(Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash)

It seems like every time we turn on the news, we hear about global disasters, terrorism and political unrest. The frequency of these events seems to be increasing at an unprecedented rate, which has led to a greater interest in the gift of prophecy.

Unfortunately, even some religious leaders are creating confusion by predicting the date of the end of the world. Never before have we needed to understand what the true gift of prophecy is and what it is not.

In Matthew 24, Jesus clearly states that no one can predict the hour or the day of His return and the end of the age. Only the Father knows the time. Therefore, anyone who says he knows the exact date of the end of the age is speaking contrary to God's Word.

Although speaking about events in the future is related to the gift of prophecy, Christians must make sure that what they believe about prophecy lines up with God's Word. The word "prophecy" is composed of two words that mean "forth" and "telling." "Forth-telling" is very different from foretelling or predicting the future.

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Any Christian can speak forth what he knows to be true about the past, present or future when his foundation for truth is the Word of God—God's revelation of Himself. God gave authority and inspiration through the Holy Spirit to a group of prophets and apostles to record His Truth in the Bible, God's Holy Word. Then He closed the book. No one can add to or take away from what God has included in His Word. The source of prophecy today is the Bible. Anyone who speaks anything that is inconsistent with the truth expressed in His Word is not speaking for God.

Prayer: God, thank You for giving us Your Word as our guide. Help me know Your Word intimately so that I will know when someone is speaking inconsistently with what You've revealed in Scripture. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3, ESV).

Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and on-the-ground ministry teams. Youssef was born in Egypt.

This article originally appeared at ltw.org.

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