THE GIFTS OF PROPHECY
“And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”, Joel 2:28-30.

The gifts of prophesying become manifest in many ways and forms. We may see it attached to past events, past sins Act5:1-5, past wisdom, exposing them; we may have them concerning future events Act.21:4, outlining them, purposing them, exposing them, avoiding them Mat2:13,22, or just assuring or reassuring them; we may see them attached to preaching the right way Act.2:14, or we may see it standing out among vain preaching of some kind (I mean, that someone is well arranged in words and speech and God decides to use that same mouth to put him down by uplifting something God would say in his position, just as happened to the High Priest who prophesied concerning the death of Jesus, John 11:50); we may see prophesying within ways of discernment, linked and working miracles and wonders Act 3:1-4 or even to avoid them to be done, Act 8:21-23; we may see this gift working sanctification out for some people, working justification out in some others, in fact, working anything the gospel works in any soul whatsoever; it comforts, it breaks a sinful spirit down, it exhorts, it lifts up towards holiness, it brings down; we see the gift of prophesy in prayer, helping infirmities of the saints making known what they should pray about even and when they got an answer, especially people who stand before God for the sake of people, issues or things which matter the Kingdom of God in the heart of man; we may see the Spirit moving in man as heaviness upon the soul of clean vessels, or as a lightness such has never known before; in fact, there are no limits as to how God applies His gifts to the main benefit of His Kingdom WITHIN man.

Christians should also know that this gift is to serve as a tool and never as a main issue, nor as a hindrance to God’s Holy and Main work. It has got to be prompted, inspired, limited, ended and outlined by God Himself every moment of its existence. Man has full control over it as well, and that’s why it turns so hard to be loyal to it, since it has to be controlled and sponsored by God and yet, it is the vessel who has full charge and control over it as well, for “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” but submitted to God and His blessings of growth and multiplication for future needs, 1Cor.14:32. That's why we read, also, "Prophesy son of man". Hence the main reason why prophets are in need of great wisdom, patience and care as they speak or as they do not speak, for silence may be prophesying as well, “being stricken dumb”, Ez.3:15.

Prophesy may serve as a seed which grows into something as well and that’s why it is not that precise many times, for it means to bring something about and it is not, yet, and it cannot be precise in the outlining of it at all. Men ought to be precise with God mainly, and not only become precise with words and prophecies like it happened to and with Jonah who said the city would be destroyed and was saved because he said so. It is the proper heart that speaks the right words, heated up by God which may even bring  something about different than they spoke. The main point is that God's word is not to come back empty unto Him or unto us.

A clean heart may even say the right words knowing when they are or are not prompted by God, how much more when those are the wrong words, 1Cor.7:6, 10, 12. There is an endless list of unthinkable and of thinkable situations where these gifts are to be applied and where they are never to be applied. The honour of God may be defeated if a prophecy is brought about sometimes. The main point to cultivate in man, is his own (and not other’s) closeness to God and not only because of prophecy. All prophets should sometimes forget they are prophets (when they are frenetic about it) and other times recall it to mind when they are slack or disobedient in some way. In all times, we should know God is the main gift and ultimate end of all good prophecies and all other things which come along will only lead to the Creator as He is and never as He is supposed to be, if they are truthful and genuine and on fire for God. Mainly, God is God and prophecies which do not lead to the Main Gift eventually are all vain and useless, if not false. Prophecies pass away, Love does not.

There are three distinct and outstanding features concerning the many features of this gift wherever it is to be applied: 1.the closeness to God; 2. the ability to discern between the heart and God; 3. the faithfulness towards it in spite of men’s opinions, problems, circumstances or whatever may hinder it or push it the wrong way (for, if the devil can’t hinder it, he will surely try to make part of it from then on). All of these things will take place in the heart of man which is not void of accusations and pressure from outward deceit; it will breed in the walk, in the look, among the words, in the eyes, in the mouth of whoever lives close enough to God and does not mind if he wears clothes made of camel’s hair. Prophecy is a walk as much as it might be turned into words.

The real battles of any prophet are found inside his being, in his own heart – even the battles against nations. There, other people’s problems and ways become an awareness to the prophet as well as a real problem to be solved by prophet himself the right way. Seldom do we find a prophet who is not assaulted by other’s temptation so as to work out a way out for or in himself, so he can preach about it and show that way out to others as he saw and took it himself. The way to stand among these fierce assaults is to yield unto God among them and never to avoid them at all. Jesus did not avoid the Cross. Jesus became flesh and so do prophets become flesh with no sin or sinning in them as well to open a way out for people and towards people by God. Prophets may never sin either, but rather yield so as to be able to work a way out. People who think and believe prophecies are words that come upon us, without using the reasoning, the example, the yielding, the prayers and the kind of heart of the man upon whom those very words come is seldom accurate about many other issues concerning life and living as well. Many people say Babylon destroyed Israel in battle – I believe prophets did it for God, and not the northern kings who just carried out a word which battled to come out of many a prophet’s heart and soul; many people believe Mary conceived Jesus and I believe prophets did it and not Mary, for she just carried in her womb whatever Prophets brought about through God centuries before.

Prophets and prophecies may be prepared beforehand, before they work out and take place, or they may become while they are becoming prepared, it is, while preparing vessels and events things may take place or work out. There are no rules with a Living God. The only rule and outstanding mark is that light and darkness are not friends at all in the heart of any prophet and if they are, it will only lead to that prophet’s own fall and public, shameful death somehow. Many times right prophecies and right prophets seem to be bound in the eyes of bound men, being free, and some fake prophets seem to be free being in bondage because these preach about what the flesh loves to hear, having itching ears. Men of God have little of this world in them and are often the mockery of so called wise mouths all over this world. This world will easily uphold a prosperity preacher more than a poor prophet who is right with God, for greed feasts its eyes on other’s riches as well. And all those who love to believe God upholds those.

May you become a prophet and bear the heaviness of this world upon your shoulders as well. Do it for God. Amen.

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José Mateus
zemateus@msn.com