27 Jun 6/27/18 “Spiritual Gifts – Prophecy and Discerning of Spirits”
1 Cor. 12 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant . . . 6 there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
• WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, GIFTS of HEALINGS.
• MIRACLES: Something that cannot be explained: “working of powers” – blindness, raising from the dead, feeding people on leftovers, etc. Again, faith would play a BIG role.
Lord, I need a Miracle [not always BIG]. God never performs because people want to see them. They often come in the normal course of life as a person is filled with God’s Spirit AND doing His will. Many were looking for a sign in Jesus’s time and they are doing it today.
• PROPHECY: to “speak forth” the divine will of God to influence people.
“Many people misunderstand the gift of prophecy to be the ability to predict the future. While knowing something about the future may sometimes have been an aspect of the gift of prophecy, it was primarily a gift of proclamation (“forth-telling”), not prediction (“fore-telling”).” https://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-prophecy.html
FORTH-TELLING: Chip Ingram on the gift of prophecy from Romans 12:6-8, “The divine enabling to proclaim God’s truth with power and clarity in a timely and cultural sensitive fashion for correction, repentance, and edification; the ability to reveal God’s Word accurately. People with this gift ask, ‘What went wrong; what caused this?” It’s someone who has the sense of culture, and the needs of the church. God gives them clarity. When they speak—they speak to where the real issues are.
FORE-TELLING: “Is Divine disclosure or unveiling in which the Spirit makes known something previously hidden” (Sam Storm).
• Agabus, “stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world” (Acts 11:28).
Preaching preaches from the Scriptures. Prophecy reveals something that was not planned out.
THE DANGERS of “Heard from God” – Everything must line up with Scripture (e.g., Carlton Pearson example.)
• “…test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
There are 3 voices – God, the Devil, and us (a good word isn’t always a God word).
In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul encourages everyone to pursue the gift of prophecy (v. 1). The primary purpose of prophetic ministry is to strengthen, encourage, convict, and comfort believers (v. 3).
C.H. Spurgeon – “I could tell as many as a dozen similar cases in which I pointed at somebody in the hall without having the slightest knowledge of the person, or any idea that what I said was right, except that I believed I was moved by the Spirit to say it; and so striking has been my description, that the persons have gone away, and said to their friends, ‘Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did; beyond a doubt, he must have been sent of God to my soul, or else he could not have described me so exactly.’ And not only so, but I have known many instances in which the thoughts of men have been revealed from the pulpit. I have sometimes seen persons nudge their neighbours with their elbow, because they had got a smart hit, and they have been heard to say, when they were going out, ‘The preacher told us just what we said to one another when we went in at the door’” (ibid.).”
One other occasion is worth noting, in which Spurgeon broke off his sermon and pointed at a young man, declaring: “Young man, those gloves you are wearing have not been paid for: you have stolen them from your employer” (Autobiography: The Full Harvest, 2:60). After the service the man brought the gloves to Spurgeon and asked that he not tell his mother, who would be heartbroken to discover that her son was a thief! This information could not be found by Spurgeon from reading the Bible.
• DISCERNING OF SPIRITS:
This gift is in operation when a person is able to discern if there is a demonic presence, or a demonic cause – SOMETHING JUST DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT.
Acts 16 – Paul discerns that the power of a certain slave-girl is in fact a demonic spirit.
SAM STORM – “I can’t think of another spiritual gift that is so desperately needed in the life of the church today. Consider the many instances when it would prove immensely helpful to know whether or not a sin or an addiction or the breakdown in a marriage or a display of what appears to be mental illness is the work of sinful choices, or biological factors, or emotional wounds from an abusive past, or perhaps the influence of a demonic spirit or perhaps even some combination of all of them.”
CLOSING: Let’s pray and believe tonight for discernment, prophecy and for His miraculous power.
Desire Spiritual Gifts – it’s the normal Christian experience. If a person questions and doubts, I have a hard time seeing how God is going to give them gifts – the “skeptic” is always skeptical.