The Gift of Prophecy – the prophetic Word – when spoken over a person’s life carries with it the power to perform what is spoken (Isaiah 55:11). It is an amazing supernatural Word that has the following qualities…
* Personal prophecy is creative:
The Bible teaches that all personal prophecy is first and foremost creative in nature.
This means it possesses the innate (built-in) dynamic (energy or force) to bring critical circumstances and strategic situations into existence— that is, to actually create them! Specifically, personal prophecy creates life— the life of God (His will and purpose) in a believer’s life.
Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).
Even today, it is His ongoing prophetic testimony that literally contains creative life-giving power! “For the (ongoing) testimony of Jesus is what inspires all prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).
* Personal prophecy is also highly active: It creates or causes action, motion, movement, or change. It is literally alive— running and working, an actual living (creative) word from the living (Creator) God. Specifically, it creates or generates literal activity— first, activity in the spirit realm, which ultimately creates activity in the natural realm. Personal prophecy activates. It puts into forward motion the will of God. It “stirs stuff up.” It stirs circumstances up, and it (positively) stirs you up! It brings critical issues in your life to the surface. In this sense it is wonderfully disruptive in nature. It disrupts your present static or stationary circumstances and ups the status quo in both your natural and spiritual life. Personal prophecy shakes things up! It builds up, stirs up, and cheers up (I Corinthians14:3)!
* Personal prophecy (creates) or releases the will of God and the power of God into your life: This release of God’s creative power initiates a “prophetic process.” A process is simply a series of steps designed to take you from one dimension of being (and living) to another. Therefore, a prophetic process is a series of prophetic steps designed to take you from one dimension of being and living to a higher dimension. Ultimately, this “prophetic process” culminates in the timely fulfillment of your personal prophecy as the awesome creative power of the living God was constantly released in and discharged through your personal prophecy.
It is this incredible release of God’s creative power that makes prophecy so unique among all other forms of speech. When God speaks prophetically, creative things happen! Why? Prophecy is the Creator-God speaking! When He speaks, He always creates!
*Personal prophecy is conditional: The Bible teaches that all personal prophecy is conditional (provisional/contingent) in nature. ((See separate teaching: “The Conditions, Stated and Unstated of Fulfilled Prophecy” posted in this password protected section) Typically, there are conditions or provisions to be met or satisfied, prophetic directions to follow, prophetic promises to claim, and spiritual battles to be fought and won before a personal prophecy can come to pass. Why? Personal prophecy is conditional/provisional: clearly dependent upon the proper human response of the recipient for its fulfillment. It is vulnerable and susceptible to proper human participation.
For example — take note of the interaction, the positive human involvement and cooperation (or lack thereof) between these recipients and their personal prophecies:
Â† Gideon— Gideon had six conditions: He was required to go, to fear not, to completely destroy the altars of Baal, to build an altar to the Lord, to offer proper sacrifice, and finally, to fight using only 300 select men. Without obeying the conditions of his personal prophetic promise, Gideon would never have become a “mighty man of valour” with the knowledge that “God was with him” as the angel foretold. (See Judges chapters 6-8.)
Â† Naaman— The prophet Elisha directed him to wash seven times in order to be healed of leprosy. It was only after the conditions were met, only after the seventh and final dip, that Naaman was actually healed. (See 2 Kings 5).
Â† The children of Israel— Only two (Joshua and Caleb) of an entire generation entered the Promised Land. All the others died in the wilderness. These “non-compliant ones” did not meet the conditions of faith that God had required of them. (See Hebrews 3:16-19.)
Â† King Saul— The kingdom was taken from him due to his gross disobedience. This failure to obey God and meet His conditions meant Saul forfeited his throne (I Samuel.15:22-23), resorted to divination for guidance, and his life ended in a shameful suicide (IChronicles 10).
Furthermore, because personal prophecy is so conditional, it only expresses possibilities, not certainties; probabilities, not inevitabilities; and opportunities, not guarantees. The Bible examples of: King Hezekiah, the Ninevites, the children of Israel, King Saul, the nation of Israel, and Eli, all illustrate this important truth concerning personal prophecy.
If personal prophecy expressed only that which was inevitable, then Hezekiah would have immediately died (he did not), and the Ninevites would have been immediately destroyed (they were not). The children of Israel all would have entered the Promised Land (they all did not). King Saul would not have had the kingdom taken from him (which he did). The nation of Israel would not have been defeated by her enemies (which she was). And the priesthood would still be in Eli’s lineage today (but it is not).
All these biblical events did or did not take place because the key individuals, groups, or nations to whom these personal prophecies were directed responded in such a way (some positively, others negatively), and this greatly affected the final outcome (not necessarily the fulfillment) of these very conditional personal prophecies.
Â† King Hezekiah did not die as the prophecy initially stated he would (Isaiah 38:1-5).
Â† The Ninevites were not destroyed as the prophecy initially stated they would be (Jonah 1:2, 3:10).
Â† The Children of Israel did not enter the Promised Land as the prophecy initially stated they all would (Hebrews 3).
Â† King Saul did not retain his kingdom initially given him through prophecy (I Samuel 15).
Â† Israel did not remain undefeated in driving out the enemy from their land as the prophecy initially stated (Numbers 14:45).
Â† The priesthood did not remain forever in Eli’s household as the prophecy initially stated it would (I Samuel 2:30).
In sharp contrast to these very conditional personal prophecies, there is however, another category of prophecies found in the Bible that are not conditional at all. These unconditional prophecies are a unique collection of prophecies that are independent of any proper human response necessary for their ultimate fulfillment.
For example, the numerous messianic and so-called “end-time” prophecies in the Bible are unconditional prophecies. That is, whether or not the specific individuals to whom these prophecies were spoken responded properly had virtually no effect on their fulfillment whatsoever. All “messianic” and “end-time” prophecies were/are fully unconditional in nature.
Specifically, the Messiah was born 2000 years ago whether or not the people of that generation were ready for Him. Some were, most were not. Nevertheless, God the Father carried out His eternal plan by sending forth His son at precisely the perfect (prophetic) moment in time. Nothing and no one could have hindered His first coming. The Bible says, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Likewise, the many futuristic prophecies yet to be fulfilled about Christ’s second coming will not be affected by man’s readiness or lack thereof. In other words, Jesus Christ is coming back again whether or not certain people or circumstances respond properly. In fact, He will return when we least expect Him (Matthew 24:44)!
His first coming was announced through numerous unconditional messianic prophecies, and His predicted second coming has also been announced through numerous unconditional end-time prophecies.
*Invitational: The Bible teaches that all personal prophecy is invitational in nature. It is a personal request from a personal God to you— personally! Personal prophecy invites you to participate in His will, but it will not make you participate in His will. It is only a divine invitation or request, an opportunity. It gently pursues you, entices you, woos you, and lures you. It suggests or requests that you respond. If you do not gladly, willingly, and properly respond to your personal prophecy, it will not and cannot come to pass.
Why? Personal prophecy is invitational not dictatorial in nature. It will not absolutely and brutally make you do anything. It will not override your God-given human will. Personal prophecy will not impose its will or opinion upon you. It can be persistent, but it will never be overtly “pushy.” Personal prophecy is clearly invitational. It requests your presence and willing participation in its fulfillment. You can always accept or reject the invitation represented in your personal prophecy. It’s entirely up to you.
Either you will enjoy the benefits of responding properly to your personal prophecy or you will suffer the consequences of responding improperly. Again, it is up to you— it’s voluntary.
Personal prophecy is also invitational in another way. Personal prophecy invites or attracts change. It alters, modifies, and sometimes radically transforms your life for the good. Personal prophecy seldom maintains the status quo in your life— your existing state of (natural/supernatural) affairs. Instead, it causes change to take place— sometimes great and permanent, positive change. Personal prophecy can cause positive change to occur in your circumstances, to affect key people in your life, and even permanently alter the direction of your future.
It especially causes you, the recipient of the personal prophecy, to change your attitudes, perspectives, desires, focus, and responsibilities. It can, and usually does, make a new person out of you! Personal prophecy invites you to do the (ever-exciting) will of God and to embrace the many wonderful changes this may require. With personal prophecy there is no looking back.
*Progressive: The Bible teaches that all personal prophecy is progressive in nature. This means all personal prophecy is always moving forward and working behind the scenes. In the process of moving forward, it is always attempting to improve the spiritual condition of the recipient. It may move forward very slowly, gradually, but it always moves forward. Sometimes it moves forward in obscurity, in secretness,” and in “hiddenness.” Sometimes it moves ahead so slowly you may mistakenly think the prophecy has died. However, when the “due season” for the prophecy arrives, the prophecy wonderfully comes to pass.
Why? Personal prophecy is progressive. It is always moving progressively forward (believe it or not).
This truth is evident in the life of Joseph after he had two progressive prophetic dreams regarding his destiny. Notice the series of seemingly disastrous situations and stagnant natural circumstances that led to Joseph’s very positive personal destiny in God becoming a living reality. Notice the progressive nature of his two prophetic dreams. See how they moved ahead and see how they moved Joseph ahead in God’s plan for his life.
This series of horrific circumstances illustrates the point that personal prophecy is powerfully progressive. It moves the recipient ahead (not necessarily smoothly or quickly) in the will of God. However, it clearly does move the recipient ahead— straight ahead into the will of God and His perfect prophetic destiny for the recipient! Notice…
Â† If Joseph had not dreamed, his brothers never would have hated and envied him, and his father never would have rebuked him (Genesis 37:5-10). This was the beginning of a chain reaction of (progressive) prophetic events— most of them negative in nature and all because
Joseph had two (progressive) prophetic dreams from God.
Â† If Joseph’s brothers had not hated and envied him, they never would have plotted to kill him.
Â† If Joseph’s brothers had not plotted to kill him and then changed their minds, they never would have mercifully thrown him into the pit or well.
Â† If Joseph weren’t thrown into the pit or well, the Midianite slave traders never would have bought him as a slave.
Â† If the Midianite slave traders had not bought Joseph, he never would have gone to Egypt.
Â† If Joseph had not gone to Egypt, he never would have worked for Potiphar.
Â† If Joseph had not worked for Potiphar, he never would have met Potiphar’s wife.
Â† If Joseph had not met Potiphar’s wife, he never would have been falsely accused of gross sexual misconduct.
Â† If Joseph had not been falsely accused of gross sexual misconduct, he never would have been condemned to Pharaoh’s dungeon for ten years as an innocent man.
Â† If Joseph had not spent ten years in prison as an innocent man, he never would have met his fellow prisoner, Pharaoh’s chief butler.
Â† If Joseph had not met the chief butler, this same butler, upon his release from prison, would never have been able to forget about his good friend Joseph who was still in prison. (Joseph stayed there for two more long years.)
Â† If the friendly but forgetful butler had not forgotten who Joseph was for two more long years, then Pharaoh would not have called upon Joseph at precisely the right time in history to fulfill Joseph’s destiny in God, which began as he interpreted Pharaoh’s prophetic dreams!
Only with God can a series of negative circumstances result in a positive outcome. Joseph’s two progressive prophetic dreams came to pass— wonderfully, powerfully, and completely. His prophetic destiny became his prophetic reality at precisely the perfect time!
Here is the conclusion to Joseph’s experience with his two prophetic dreams: “And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find such a man as this man in whom is the Spirit of God? Joseph, you shall be over my house and all my people . . . I have set you over all the land of Egypt’ . . . so Pharaoh took his signet ring and put it on Joseph’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck, had him ride in the second chariot while the people cried, “Bow the knee, bow the knee to Joseph! So, without Joseph’s consent, no man was permitted to lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:38-44).
The dramatic story of Joseph is a grand example of the progressive nature of dreams, visions, and prophecies. Even while Joseph was being victimized, the persistent progressive nature of his two prophetic dreams kept Joseph moving forward in the plan of God for his life. Ultimately, he realized the wonderful fulfillment of everything God said to him thirteen years earlier!
* Optimistic: The Bible teaches that personal prophecy is generally optimistic (upbeat) or redemptive in nature. The New Testament teaches it “edifies, exhorts, and comforts” (I Corinthians 14:3). Personal prophecy “sees” you as a winner. It anticipates victory for you in your battles. It also believes for success for you in all you do. Your personal prophecy believes in you. It is optimistic about you and your future.
Why? Because God is optimistic about you and your future! Personal prophecy expresses the best for you. It is redemptive. It expresses how a loving God sees you and what He truly thinks of you. It expresses God’s ideal for your life— His perfect plan. In personal prophecy, God always seems to find something good to say about His kids. He always sees the good side of things. He sees us all as His favorites!
*Personal prophecy does not harm or hurt. It does not indict, expose, or embarrass. It does not go looking for your faults. It may refine, adjust, correct, re-align, and improve you, but it will not expect the worst from you. It will not speak pessimistically of you. Personal prophecy is fundamentally optimistic in nature because God is fundamentally optimistic about you! It tends to be solution oriented, providing help and assistance in your life, coming along side you and comforting you. Personal prophecy is generally optimistic. It edifies, exhorts, and comforts you. It builds up, stirs up, and cheers up!
*Futuristic: The Bible teaches that personal prophecy is frequently futuristic in nature. It looks and plans ahead. This simply means that personal prophecy expresses what you can be— what you will be in God. It is your “prognosis” in God— the course for your life as God sees it—your future. Personal prophecy expresses your potential: What you are actually capable of becoming â”€ all that you were meant to be for Him.
However, it may not always address current fact or present reality to your satisfaction. It may even seem to almost ignore critical current circumstances in your life. Personal prophecy sees what can be, not what necessarily is at the moment. It looks ahead. It is futuristic in the sense it projects. It plans ahead, but it does not have to actually predict specific events to be futuristic.
Personal prophecy calls you (like Abraham) a “father of many nations” when you are clearly not one (yet), and it calls you “a mighty man of valor” (like Gideon) when you are clearly not one (yet). It sees you as a “finished product.”
Why? Personal prophecy is futuristic. It looks ahead and sees your potential. Remember, God knows your potential because He’s the One who made you. He has already been to your future. He has already visited your destiny! Personal prophecy clarifies and confirms your potential and serves as a preview of what can be your awesome future in God.
*Limited: Finally, the Bible teaches that all personal prophecy is limited in nature. (See separate teaching: “The Boundaries to Prophecy” pasted in this password protected section) “Limited” is not a negative term. It simply means it has boundaries — a fixed purpose— a restricted function or role. The Bible says, “We know in part and we [always will] prophesy in part” (I Corinthians 13:9). By God’s design personal prophecy is a limited gift with a limited (but important) application. It is just not a magic wand. Neither is it the complete and perfect counsel of God for your life. It seldom addresses everything God may be doing in your life.
Often, personal prophecy is only an outline, a brief overview, and a general survey of your life. Personal prophecy is never the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is just part of the truth for your life. It is just a glimpse, just a peek, just a slice of the prophetic pie. It is not the whole pie. Personal prophecy is limited and tends to give us the outcome and not the many details. It is partial, not perfect. It is not all-inclusive. It is not limitless. Personal prophecy (by God’s design) is a limited (yet powerful) spiritual gift. No other gift can take its place!
*Personal prophecy is (highly) creative. It possesses intrinsic (built-in) spiritual power. This incredible power is first released or discharged into your life (the creative prophetic process) when the prophecy is first spoken (conceived) and continues (even intensifying) until the prophecy is wonderfully fulfilled (birthed). As a result, you may experience dramatic even radical change in the natural and supernatural realm. You may never, ever, be the same!
*Personal prophecy is (very) conditional. It is very dependent on your proper response for its fulfillment. Failing to meet any conditions (stated or implied) may jeopardize the ultimate fulfillment of your prophecy
*Personal prophecy is (frequently) invitational. It is a type of supernatural request. It lovingly draws you to participate in God’s unique will for your life. By responding to this invitation, you are asking for permanent change to occur.
*Personal prophecy is (clearly) progressive. It is always moving forward, sometimes slowly, but it is always moving forward. It is always “at work behind the scenes.”
*Personal prophecy is (wonderfully) optimistic. It says good things about you. It anticipates and expresses the best: God’s ideal for your life. It does not expose, indict, or purposefully embarrass. It reminds you that you are one of God’s favorites.
*Personal prophecy is (strongly) futuristic. It addresses God’s potential in you and for you— the “perfect” rather than the “actual.” It looks ahead and may not address current fact or present reality in your life. Yet, it plans for your success as a child of God.
*Personal prophecy is (by design) limited. In this sense it is not perfect; it is not all-inclusive. It is a limited New Testament gift with a limited application. Still, it is a powerful gift from a generous God – a much needed gift with the power to transform your life