Prophecy has been eternity's workhorse. It can be seen in God's admonishment to Adam about eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and about Eve's promised seed. It can be seen in Abraham's promised son, Moses' exodus through the Red Sea and David's perpetual reign. And it can surely be seen in the Messiah's coming.
Prophecy is never off-duty because the Lord starts and administrates all He does with prophets and prophecy. Their services are ever needed until the end of this age, which means, title or no title, through recognition and persecution, God will always need prophets most of all.
Psalm 138:2b says the Lord "has exalted Your word above all Your name." What is it that prophetic people handle most? The answer is God's word, in a multiplicity of ways. Prophecy is only a slice, albeit a significant and indispensable slice, of what God does to transmit His Soul and Spirit to earth.
The single most foundational thing you should know about prophecy is that it is a seed. It is a seed within a seed that implants itself within all who live on this planet. When it leaves God's mouth, it becomes a deposited seed, one that answers the question of why the Old Testament is still in effect today, and why the New Testament did not and cannot supplant it. Old Testament prophets differ from and foreshadow those of the New Testament, a quintessential comparison that all divine communicants should assimilate and articulate well.
Everything that comes out of God's mouth, regardless of its form or purpose, is divine communication. God is divine, and He talks to His creation. The single word for His talking is bound up in the word "communication," what prophecy is to Him. Prophecy, by definition, means "to say or speak beforehand."
Divine communicants are vessels—willing, articulate, perceptive vessels—some of whom prophesy and predict, and others who intuitively impart God's wisdom. Because of this, many divine communicants double as teachers, counselors, advisers and coaches due to their spiritual faculties that are able to cut to the truth and voice things the recipient could not say or think of on their own.
Divine communicants can be endowed with souls so highly developed that they effortlessly penetrate carnal veils to stir up what may be called their "sixth sense" or their "soul sense." God enables this sense to permit anyone on the planet to seek His word for their lives. They may not always consider His truth or be interested in His righteousness. Nonetheless, He wills to allow them to hear and heed their Creator, even if only now and again throughout their life. This is what the prophet Joel's message, fulfilled in Acts 2:17, reveals: "'In the last days it shall be,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.'"
To prophesy is to say what has yet to happen as if it has already manifested, before situations and events emerged to make it so. Keep this meaning in mind, because it is the essence of prophecy.
The fact that prophesying refers mainly to speech tracks well with the word communication we are all familiar with. But to enfold all aspects of God speaking and embrace all types of vessels and messengers, He uses the word "prophecy" as a catchall phrase to encompass the range and scale of His thoughts.
If you confine prophecy merely to prediction, many souls with a measure of spirituality and future-sensing through dreams, visions and spirits will be left out.
While I am not of the persuasion that psychics are merely misplaced prophets or that futurists and clairvoyants are unenlightened prophesiers or seers, I will concede that our God gave them their giftings, which they have squandered. Any other explanation is to suggest that there is another almighty creator dealing out creature talents and abilities.
I cannot see any real Christian, let alone a prophet, apostle or minister of Jesus Christ, saying such a thing. Besides, Psalm 68:18 affirms that the Lord's gifts went to the rebellious before He sent His church to earth.
Like gifts and talents granted to all creatures before the foundation of the world, prophecy too has a preexistent life that was implanted in every creature's genealogy for God's use throughout their lifetime. However, what was implanted is prophecy as defined by God, speaking and determining from His realm what He desires and ordained to manifest in this realm. For these reasons, futuristic prophecy is only one part of God's divine communication.
Prophecies can be divine notifications containing instructions and kingdom alerts. They can encompass all varieties of tidings, from early or advanced warning signals to ordained or decreed changes and revisions from the King's throne. God's many-faceted communications relay intelligence that surpasses mere reports telling us what happened yesterday, what will happen tomorrow and who will get what from the Lord and when.
"In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1a) reveals that divine communication is not merely a human invention. To bring all that pertains to this world, including both its violence and triumphs, to a close, the Lord must stay in intimate contact with earth's inhabitants, especially His own agents.
For these purposes, He created myriads of institutions to facilitate His deposits and dispensations. The Lord does all things by His Word, including divine communication, prophecy, preaching, teaching, counseling, correcting and all the ways in which the Lord communicates in this world. These are staples of His work and keep Him connected and in control. As Sovereign of sovereigns long before He became Savior, the Lord is compelled to be heard by everything His power brought into existence.
Take time to study Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8 thoroughly to appreciate how critical prophetic vessels are to the Lord and what Jesus must do to wrest His eternal communications media from the forces of darkness and entrust them to His children of light.
Edited excerpts from Assessing Your Prophetic Self: Discover and Train Your Gifts of Prophecy, © 2020 by Paula A. Price, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.
Dr. Paula A. Price is one of the most dynamic, multifaceted thought leaders of this generation. As a speaker, author, talk show host, inventor and minister, she challenges her audiences to "Think Differently and Live Powerfully," a phrase that epitomizes the significant impact she makes in the lives of those she touches. She manages her own consulting firm and assessment company; is the author of over fifty books and manuals, including The Prophet's Dictionary; serves as the president of Price University; and oversees the Congregation of the Mighty in Bixby, Oklahoma. Visit whitakerhouse.com/book-authors/paula-a-price.
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