When God speaks, we should listen. Every Christ follower gives assent to this principle. The entire Bible is replete with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit speaking:
In the beginning, God spoke, and created everything with His words (Genesis 1). In the beginning was the Word, and that Word became flesh (John 1). We have life, not simply from food, but by every word that come from the Father (Mark 11:23). Jesus said we should be hearers and doers of His words (Matt 7:24-29) and that His sheep hear his voice (John 10:27). The Spirit of Truth, a name for the Holy Spirit, comes and speaks (John 16:13), and again the Holy Spirit will speak through us, even as we stand in defense of our Lord.
There isn’t enough time or ink in this book to annotate all the times and places in the Bible that God speaks, or when we are exhorted to listen to the words of the Lord. The more interesting, questions revolve around when our Lord speaks (or has spoken), how He speaks, and by whom or what does He speak.
Hearing God’s voice at its most basic can be broken into two modes:
* Hearing God for yourself
* Hearing God for others, and sharing it with them.
Most of us have an expectation that we can hear from God in our lives. That we can turn to our loving Father for guidance and expect to hear from Him. Maybe through His word, through a timely teaching we come across, or simply through His still small voice in our hearts. We all should expect to hear from God regarding own lives.
But usually very few have an expectation to hear from God concerning others, and to share with them what we have heard.
The word “prophecy” means, divinely inspired declarations or utterances.
To “prophesy” is to communicate such an declaration or utterance.
Prophecy is simple the second mode mentioned above, to hear from God for another, and to share it. The rest of this chapter is to briefly look at prophecy through the Bible, and learn to understand its place in our own lives, and the lives of the churches:
* We will look at how the Old Testament considers prophecy, as well as who might prophesy and when the Spirit of God came upon people.
* We will review Jesus words regarding prophecy, and the Holy Spirit’s place
* We will review the early church and early epistles, and what their expectations were reading prophecy.
* Finally we will quickly review what prophecy might look like in our midst today.
Prophecy in short, is simply hearing from God for another person, and the Lord eagerly desires us to be prepared to hear His voice at all times, for ourselves and for each other.
— An draft excerpt from an upcoming book, (Super)Natural Theology, a look at moving our theology into a daily expectation of God moving in our midst. An intro section for prophecy.