[Column] Understand the Prophetic Ministry

There was a home in which the members of a church cell group gathered for a worship service. Suddenly, prophecy was given to one of the cell members who did not know anything about the family residing in the home. He said, “You have three children. The eldest is no longer in this world but God wants you to know that he abides in the divine protection in Heaven.” The wife who heard the prophecy burst into tears and gave thanksgiving and worship to god. Even the husband who initially observed the event skeptically broke into tears. The couple and their friends were filled with joy. The family had three children, the eldest of whom was a son. About a year ago, he was drowned at sea. What was even more heartbreaking for the couple was that their son had gradually departed from God over the few years before his death. Even towards his death, the son did not draw near to God. Just as the couple were anxious to see if their son went to be with the Lord, the word of prophecy came to them and gave them comfort and healing of the soul.

As demonstrated in the above, the prophetic message is invaluable. God is pouring down upon us the gift of prophecy in the last days. Apostle Paul exhorts us, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy” (1 Corinthians 14:1). Although looked down upon due to such abuses as unbiblical “mediumism” and a wrong focus, the prophetic ministry has grown enormously since 1990s. The purpose of prophecy is to strengthen, encourage, and support (1 Corinthians 14:3). What is prophecy? It is to speak on behalf of God and transfer His message. God’s words and voice are transmitted through various channels: prayers, the Scriptures, QT, people, environment, sermons, dreams, visions, thoughts, feelings, imageries, inner voice, and intuition. To hear God’s voice clearly, we must believe in and adore it. Moreover, we must cleanse our mind of impurities, receive healing, drive our evil spirits, pray and read the Scriptures daily, worship God at the most holy place, converse and fellowship with Him, and delight in His presence.

How is the prophetic ministry to be undertaken? First, prophecy must be declared in faith. Salvation, healing, and speaking in tongues all require faith. We must believe that we can hear the voice of God that speaks to us. Second, prophecy must be rooted in love and hope. The essence of prophecy is not to point out sin but to instill hope and strength. If a negative message is given to us concerning someone, we are to encourage him and pray for him. True prophecy enriches life, instills hope, and leads the minds of the faithful to be touched by God. Third, prophecy must be practiced under the guidance of a mentor. In developing a prophetic gift, continual training and practice in a group or individual setting and mentorship are extremely important. Mistakes can occur but there is no need to be apprehensive.

Fourth, utmost effort is needed for precise interpretations. Interpretation is of greater value than the prophecy itself. We must seek God for interpretation as well. The ability to interpret prophecy is not acquired overnight. It comes with deep mediation on the Word and personal knowledge of God. Lastly, prophecy must be approved by the Scriptures and koinonia. Prophecy is the means by which the Holy Spirit speaks to and guides us outside the Scriptures. It must be validated against the absolute standard: the Scriptures and the Church. An effort to interpret and utilize the prophecy given us for the good of the community is essential. In spirituality, prophecy is not everything. Without intimacy with and love for God, everything is worthless. Let us love Him fervently, fall in love with Him even more deeply, and be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Leave a Reply