A wonderful understanding of the character of personal prophecy is found by substituting the phrase PERSONAL PROPHECY for LOVE in 1 Cor. 13. What would be the pretense for doing this? Because prophecy including personal prophecy is particularly connected to the person of the Lord Jesus. We know this from reading the following verse:
Rev 19:10 And I [John] fell at his feet [the angel] to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Jesus is God and God is love and the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus who is God and who IS love. Therefore what is TRUE of GOD is true of LOVE. This needs to be understood because much of the prophetic and the abuse of the prophetic comes out in harsh and unkind ways. Here is the litmus test for all prophecy: Is it spoken in the spirit of love AS DEFINED in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians?
We must define love this way because there are many definitions of love. I’ve seen blasphemous and unkind denunciations given as “tough love” when it had nothing to do with the love that is defined in 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Cor. 14:1-3 tells us that PROPHECY is for EDIFICATION, EXHORTATION and COMFORT not REBUKE, CORRECTION or REPUDIATION. The only example we have of this other kind of prophecy was when the disciples wanted to rebuke some people who weren’t following them. Jesus proceeded to tell them they didn’t KNOW WHAT SPIRIT they were of. This is because these disciples were operating under an OLD COVENANT PARADIGM of the law of sin and death not the NEW COVENANT PARADIGM of grace and mercy.
Much teaching comes out today suggesting that while a mere believer giving a prophetic utterance must only speak edification, exhortation and comfort WHEREAS THE PROPHET (they wrongly suggest) the person in the OFFICE of the prophet has the authority to REPROVE, REBUKE AND CORRECT in the context of thus saith the Lord. This is UNTRUE.
1 Cor. 13:4-7 as a Prophetic Perspective
Personal Prophecy is patient,
Personal Prophecy is kind.
Personal Prophecy does not envy,
Personal Prophecy does not boast,
Personal Prophecy is not proud.
5 Personal Prophecy does not dishonor others,
Personal Prophecy is not self-seeking,
Personal Prophecy is not easily angered,
Personal Prophecy keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Personal Prophecy does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 Personal Prophecy always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
You may find this to be inaccurate in some way but I make the plaintive suggestion that you look through the New Testament and try to find a reproving, rebuking, denunciatory prophet or prophecy. You will not find prophecy expressed, taught or operating out of the context of 1 Cor. 14:1-3 i.e. edification, exhortation and comfort.
After years of allowing the prophets and prophetic people to bully and intimidate without imprecation it is time to bring the balance. Love NEVER fails. It NEVER fails to produce something: MORE LOVE, more of GOD, more of HIS CHARACTER in our lives and the lives of those we prophesy to!
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