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What is prophecy?
Prophecies or prophetic expressions are purely spiritual messages with excellent insight of an event. Prophecy is the spiritual decoding of a specific occurrence that is going to happen in the physical realm now or in future. In further expression, prophecy is the foretelling of a spiritual event that would have significant impact on the physical world.
The Holy Bible declares that, quote; the prophecy of the scripture is not of private interpretation. The prophecy came in the old times not by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The key phrase from the above statement is that; they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Put in another expression, as the Holy Ghost gave them things of the Spirit realm or of the divine God, these vessels of God (Prophets) spoke or wrote those events down for human study and understanding. The reason for this is that insights into divine activities are not by human efforts but of the Spirit of God. Therefore, been given an inside information of any kind into the higher realm is privilege, which should be well respected by all.
For purposes of emphasis, prophecies are divine activities or information revealed to human vessels by whom the Holy Spirit choses to use for the respective prophetic mission. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and the truth that flows from Him through human vessels are authentic and bound to happen. This is what makes prophetic expressions, insight, or revelations different from normal expressions of men or from the empty power of the dark. Ultimately, the Spirit of Truth is the One that gives and transmit all godly prophecies.
All prophecies from the divine God are always confirmed either by the manifestation of the event or by another prophetic expression. The two main reasons for this is that, these prophecies are coming from the same source, though through different human vessels and mostly at different time. Secondly, the power of truth that flows from the source of truth is sure and agreeable. For example, all prophecies of the Holy Bible, from the book of Genesis to Revelation are all pointing to one prophetic mission of salvation and the glorious life eternal from the divine God to humanity through the person of Christ Jesus. This is the main qualification or canonicity of the books of the Holy Scripture, because they are all confirmation of the redeeming quality of the human spirit through the Messiah, who is Christ Jesus. That is the reason some books even with their powerful historical background are not included with the books in the Holy Bible, because they have no connecting spiritual revelation to the Messiah.
Jesus Himself never wrote any of the books in the Holy Bible, because that was not His job to do. Writing spiritual instructions though powerful, but is the easier part compare to the doing of the righteous instructions or living perfectly according to the spiritual realm in flesh. Therefore, Jesus Christ was all about the doing of perfection as the evidence that would seal and give hope to humanity forever. Those prophecies by human vessels were the messengers, while Jesus Christ was the very message characterized by His faultless living example. However, He came to earth in human flesh as the complete fulfilment of the Holy Spirit, by eradicating sin from the human spirit and gave humanity the glorious opportunity of His love to live with. In very plain language, Jesus came to the world to show, reveal, manifest and confirm the spotless evidence of those prophecies from the divine realm, with His accomplishment of life over death, of His perfect love over hate and finally of His divine truth from the very throne of Glory over the spirit of error and its negative cohorts.
That is, love, truth, peace, holiness, and obedience among other virtues, were no longer laws written for us to follow, rather they became living reality for us to see, feel and touch through the person of Christ Jesus. They became living experience or evidence in Christ Jesus.
Jesus said it, and that made the Holy Scriptures the irrefutable proof as the word of God. Importantly, the word of God is the only path for humanity to true freedom, peace, blessings, and the valid relationship with the divine God. This proof was made when Jesus said, quote; this day is the scripture fulfilled in your eyes. His statement was the full embodiment, manifestation and perfection of all the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures in Him. The Holy Scriptures became a living personality, seen touched, heard and felt by all.
This means, the prophecies were all about God in Christ Jesus, the provision of salvation to humanity from spiritual bondage by the person of Christ Jesus, and finally, the connection of humanity into the dispensation of truth and love forever with Christ Jesus. This glorious and living dispensation is the realization of the perfect relationship of humanity with the divine God established on true peace in the person of Christ Jesus, who is the gap filler, the bridge between the spiritual and physical realms in one body of holiness. Therefore, the above statement by Jesus was the perfect confirmation of the Holy Bible or the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures are true, irreversible, concrete, and would sustain anyone who relies on the word of God for total wellness, true wealth and guaranteed purpose in life.
Jesus said it and that is all the surety or the redeemable collateral of the Holy Scriptures as the word of God and inspired by the Holy Spirit through human vessels.
In very direct expression, Jesus is the perfect manifestation of the only Divine.
Now, the difference between prophecy and spiritual revelation is very slim. However, the two are different in true spiritual equation. It starts and ends with the following statement. That is, all prophecies are spiritual revelations, but not all spiritual revelations are prophecies.
Now let us expound a little bit on this. When the Holy Spirit send an information into ones heart, that is spiritual revelation and it might be just to make the person aware of the spiritual issue without necessarily asking for any action on it. However, true prophecies are directed to a given purpose, place or person and most times must be acted on or the event is bound to happen as revealed by the prophet. Anyone could have a spiritual revelation on something as given by the Holy Spirit. However, prophecy is a spiritual gift.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, prophecies from prophets were used to inform, build, and direct the course of the people by foretelling them spiritual events. In the New Testament, prophecies are used primarily in the assembly of saints (Church) to educate, encourage, and reveal spiritual guide to Church members.
Let us give two examples to buttress the difference between spiritual revelation and prophecy as a spiritual gift. Here is the one on prophecy. I was in worship service some time ago, and the minister asked if anyone has anything to say or request before He starts his message. I requested to read a portion from the Holy Bible and to sing a song as well. Mind you, the Holy Spirit with hope and spiritual fortification led me in this direction to exhort the congregation. After I finished, the minister was amazed and said that the portion that I just read was actually the theme of his sermon and the song I sang was right on his heart as a follow up. What really happened was that the Holy Spirit was confirming to us that the sermon and my message were of prophetic order.
Here is one on spiritual revelation. One night as I was sleeping, whether it was in dream or a higher move of the Holy Spirit, a particular verse in the Holy Bible was visibly thrown into my heart. When I woke, I went straight to the very verse and checked it in the Bible. The verse happened to be the core message on faith as exercised by the Patriarch Abraham. In this instance, the Holy Spirit was sending into my heart spiritual revelation on faith directly from the Holy Scripture.
Thus, from the two examples, we can see that prophecies are spiritual revelation given to a particular person, which is expressed to a location, event, or group of people that needs to be confirmed and acted on. However, in the case of spiritual revelation, though it is an inside information, it does not necessarily require that it must be confirmed and declared to an event or people. Spiritual revelations are mostly to enlighten the recipient. However, when the recipient of a spiritual revelation acts on the revelation, it becomes walk of faith. That is, producing physical result by acting on the spiritual insight received.
Therefore, the primary message to take from their slight difference is that they do not contend with each other, rather they work together to the goal of building up and connecting souls into the powerful ambiance of the living God.
True prophecies cannot be reversed only by the supreme discretion of the divine God. The meaning of this is that they are spiritual insight and the subjective decision or actions of the bearers (Prophets) have nothing to do with the outcome of the message. However, prophecies must never to altered based on the inclination of the prophet. Whenever such happens, then the divine message is distorted, which would ultimately alter the outcome or the purpose of the respective prophecy. Therefore, any true prophecy that is changed to suit a particular purpose or situation will lose its validity and tends to end without full authority.
The interpretations of prophecies also require spiritual insight from the Spirit of God. The reason for this is that God Himself, who is Spirit, knows best the things of Himself. Hence, to understanding the full meaning of any prophecy, the interpretation must necessarily come from the Holy Spirit, who is God. All true prophecies convey spiritual power. That is, they are messages directly from God with the full authority.
There is a story in the Holy Bible where a man was sent by prophetic vision to an assignment in another town. By the same prophetic vision, he was instructed not to eat, sleep in the town after he had completed his assignment. Further, he was told not to turn to the left or right away from the prophetic mission. The idea of the last statement was for him to stay focus and resist all distraction. Interestingly, this fellow with the prophetic mission went, completed his assignment, and left the town going back home. However, there was another prophet in the town he just left, who heard of what he had done, ran after him, got to him and persuaded him to come back, to have some rest before he embark on his journey the next day. The latter prophet as fact lied to him that he had received a message for him to rest until the next day. He listened and went with the latter prophet home to eat and rested until the next day.
Guess what happened to that fellow? That is for abandoning the prophetic instruction from God and listen to another man. His action was disobedience to God and this cost him his life on his way back home. That is the power of genuine prophetic mission. You never veer off based on any human calculation or pressure, because then the spiritual composition of the prophetic vision loses its value, and at the end it devalues God. It is akin to standing on the way of God as an obstacle to His power and purpose.
Let us crown this topic with the following examples from Jesus. When Jesus was on the outskirt of Jerusalem, He sent two of disciples with specific instructions into a nearby city to get an ass (Donkey) with a cult to ride on into Jerusalem. They went and it all happened as He detailed it to them. Brothers and sisters reading this text, this is a perfect example among many others the meaning of prophecy. That is, Jesus foretold them of events, they acted on His word, and the activities happened exactly as the details Jesus gave to them.However, when Jesus said in a gathering, quote; I and my Father are One. This is spiritual revelation, though some disagree because of lack of spiritual knowledge. The spiritual revelation from that quote was that of the unity of the Spirit. Jesus was saying, though you see me in flesh, in reality He is the same full Spirit with God the Father, who is Spirit. The Spirit of Truth is perfect, who is God the Father shown to the world in flesh by Christ Jesus.
The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of prophecy.
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