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1 Corinthians 12:10 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 19, 2022 6:00 am

1 Corinthians 12:10 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 19, 2022 6:00 am

The spiritual gift of prophecy is confounding to many believers and has been misused over time. In this message, Skip shares several important characteristics about this complicated yet important gift.

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He who speaks of prophecy, Paul said in chapter 14, speaks edification, exhortation, or comfort.

So it's either to build up, to stir up, or to cheer up. There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the spiritual gift of prophecy. Well, today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip clears up some of that confusion and shares with you some characteristics about this important spiritual gift. But before we begin, did you know that Skip shares important updates and biblical encouragement on social media? Just follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest from him and this ministry. That's at Skip Heitzig, at Skip H-E-I-T-Z-I-G.

Thank you for tuning in today. We're passionate about helping you strengthen your walk with God, and you can be a part of connecting others to Jesus in the same way with a gift to help keep these teachings you love on the air. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Okay, we're in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 today as we get into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. What is it when Paul refers to the gift of prophecy? Is he thinking that you're going to be like Isaiah the prophet or Ezekiel the prophet or Daniel and predict things in the future? No, there's no more written revelation like the scripture ever. It's over. That's done.

That's never going to happen. But there are some particulars for a New Testament prophet. Now, in the book of Acts, there was a guy by the name of Agabus. Ever hear that name in chapter 21 of the book of Acts?

Agabus was in Caesarea. He was a prophet, and he did speak the future. He did foretell the future.

He is called a prophet. So what he did when Paul came to town to Caesarea, he took Paul's belt that was around his waist, took it off Paul in the presence of everybody. Imagine just reaching over and saying, excuse me, Paul, yanking his belt off, ties his own hands and feet with it, and then he says, thus says the Holy Spirit, this is what's going to happen to this man. Just like I'm bound, the man who owns this belt will be bound in Jerusalem if he goes. Well, that was Paul's belt.

So everybody looked at Paul, and Paul goes, yep, that's my belt. And yep, that's a prophecy that I'm going to be bound. So they said, Paul, please, please don't go. You heard what the prophet said. The prophet said, if you go to Jerusalem, they're going to hurt you and bind you.

And he's, I love what he said, he goes, what do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? I'm ready not only to be bound, but to be killed for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't care if I get bound in Jerusalem, I'm going. So bid me God bless, because I'm out of here.

You don't stop men like that. And he went to Jerusalem, and he did get bound. The prophecy did come to pass. But when we get to 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 and 14, and it speaks about the gift of prophecy, there are certain things you need to know. Number one, prophecy in the New Testament usually was a direct word from God. Don't confuse the gift of prophecy with preparing a sermon, as some commentators like to say, oh, that's just the gift of preparing a sermon and giving a message. That's modern day prophecy.

No, it's not. The gift of prophecy is a direct word for a particular time that is not associated with preparation or normal human intellectual acquisition. It's a direct word from the Lord for a particular situation.

How do I know that? Because in Acts chapter 13, it differentiates between teachers, those who prepare sermons and teach them, and prophets. It says there was an Antioch at the time, prophets and teachers. And it says, as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Lord said, the Holy Spirit said, separate unto me Paul and Barnabas for the work where I have called them. So that begs the question, how did the Holy Spirit speak that word? No doubt through one of the prophets, because they're listed, prophets and teachers. Somebody spoke a word, thus says the Holy Spirit, separate unto me these two, Paul and Barnabas, for the work I've called them to.

So they laid hands on them and they sent them off. That was a word of prophecy. So number one, it's a direct word from God for a particular situation. Number two, New Testament prophecy is clear speech, clear speech that needs no interpretation whatsoever. That's why it's different from tongues.

Now I'm saying this, I'm belaboring this for this reason. If you have an assemblies of God background, you are taught in that church that tongues plus interpretation equals prophecy. That is incorrect. They say tongues is a message from God and somebody will speak it. And then when somebody can interpret that message from God, it becomes a prophecy. No, tongues and prophecy are completely different. Now I know that we're jumping the gun a little bit, but turn to chapter 14 for a moment and you'll see that. I want you to see that. So by the time we go over it, you'll already know this stuff.

You'll be experts in this stuff. Verse one, chapter 14, pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy, for he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men. There's no message in tongues from God. That's wrong.

That's inaccurate. He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God, for no one understands him. However, in the spirit he speaks mysteries, but he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. That's the advantage of prophecy over tongues. It engages the mind.

It engages the understanding. Somebody speaks a word that all of us or a message all of us can understand. Tongues does not do that. Tongues bypasses the intellect because you speak in a tongue. Unless you have the gift of interpretation, you don't know what is being said. So prophecy, then, is a direct word from God. It is clear speech. Because it's clear speech, it can build up the believer. It can convict the unbeliever because it's understood.

Number three, third aspect of New Testament prophecy. New Testament prophecy is controllable by the one who operates this gift. It is controllable. It's not that you get into some ecstatic state, some altered state of consciousness, and then all of a sudden you're, oh, my children, in some weird voice. It's controllable.

It's controllable. Turn over to chapter 14. You're already in chapter 14. Look at verse 29. Now look at how he says this should be regulated in an assembly. Let two or three prophets speak. Let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let him first keep silent.

So it's controllable, one at a time, not all talking together. For you can all prophesy one by one that you may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets are subject to the prophets.

There it is. You have control. You can speak. You can decide not to speak. It's not that you get into some weird altered state of reality. You get the impulse from the Lord.

You're about to speak. You can do it one at a time. The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophets. Fourth characteristic of New Testament prophecy. It is not gender specific.

That is, it's not for men only. Only men can speak words of prophecy. Men and women can speak words of prophecy.

By the way, you should know this. In the Old Testament there were prophets, but there were also prophetesses. Not many of them, but there were some. Miriam, the sister of Moses, was a prophetess in the book of Exodus. Deborah, one of the judges of Israel in Judges chapter 4 and 5. Deborah was called a prophetess, and she did prophesy. Huldah in Kings chapter 22 is called a prophetess in the temple of the Lord. The wife of Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet, but in one section of Isaiah, Mrs. Isaiah is called a prophetess. Very convenient for a prophet to be married to a prophetess, have similar gifts.

I don't know how that worked. Stereo prophesying of some kind, but I think that's cool. When you get to the New Testament in Acts 21, again I made reference to when Paul went to Caesarea. It says, at Caesarea, Paul stayed with a guy by the name of Philip. We read about him in the book of Acts. Philip, it says, had four virgin daughters who prophesied. Four virgin daughters. All of them had the gift of prophecy. So that's pretty cool. Isaiah had stereo prophecy.

This is quadraphonic. Also, if you go back to chapter 11 for just a moment, notice this. Verse 5, chapter 11. Verse 4, every man who praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies. So there it gives allowance in the church of the New Testament for prophecy to come through men or through women. So it's not gender specific.

I think that's an important nuance to get. Also to add to that, Acts chapter 2, quoting the prophecy of Joel. Peter says, this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel, who said in the last days, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. So there it is.

It is not gender specific. What is the gift of prophecy for? Three things. We'll get to it in chapter 14, but I just read it to you in the first few verses of chapter 14. He who speaks of prophecy, Paul said in chapter 14, speaks edification, exhortation, or comfort. So it's either to build up, to stir up, or to cheer up. It's a word from God that will build up, stir up, or cheer up an individual. So if somebody comes and is very condemning, I have the gift of prophecy, thus saith the Lord, all my children, you're a bunch of idiots. I'm going to throw that person out.

Or say button it up. If it's in a meeting where that is practiced. Because it's going to be edification, exhortation, or comfort.

It's going to build up, it's going to stir up, it's going to cheer up. Perhaps the best book that I have read on this is from a systematic theology book by Guy Duffield and Dr. Nat Van Cleef. Listen to what they say. Normally in the operation of the gift of prophecy the spirit anoints the believer to speak forth to the body, not premeditated words, but the spirit supplies spontaneously to uplift and encourage insight to faithful obedience and service and to bring comfort and consolation. The words need not be in archaic English. O thou my children I speaketh unto thee.

You can just speak normal talk, nor in a loud or altered voice, nor spoken in the first person. In other words, it's normal, it's natural, but it's an impulse given by the Holy Spirit for edification, exhortation, and comfort. Okay, we'll get more as we get into chapter 14. That's enough for the gift of prophecy. Next on the list, we got to move this thing along now.

I got to move this thing along now. So to another prophecy, verse 10, to another discerning of spirits. I have always thought, I have long thought, that one of the things lacking, one of the values, characteristics lacking in the modern church today in general is discernment.

That Christians can tend to be so gullible that anybody who slaps the name of Jesus on anything, any superstar who says, God, or God bless you at an awards ceremony, or mentions my main man, Jesus, that all of a sudden we walk them into the church, they're in our ranks, they're born again, and we're just dumb when it comes to that. We need discernment. 1 John chapter 4, beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Jesus said, beware of false prophets, they come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they're ravenous wolves. So we're warned over and over again to use discernment, to be wise when it comes to people giving us a message or giving us a sign of a message or giving us some idea that they're followers of the Lord. We need to learn to discern. Okay, so that's generally discernment. On top of general discernment, which we should all have, every Christian in a mature state should have, beyond that there is a gift of discernment. A gift of discernment is the ability to discern between good and evil, between spirits, good and evil spirits, in a particular situation that you might otherwise have no knowledge about, but the Lord reveals it to you. And fortunately we have examples of that in the book of Acts.

So for example, here's an example, you don't have to turn to it because you know it so well. Acts chapter 5, Peter is given a word of knowledge and the discerning of spirits together. These gifts sometimes operate in pairs or in triads.

They work together. He gets a word of knowledge and he gets the discernment of spirits. When Ananias comes to the church, Peter turns to him and says, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? You haven't lied to men, you've lied to God. He had a word of knowledge that Ananias was not truthful and he had the gift of discerning of spirits that the motivation was Satan filled his heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. That's the gift in operation.

Let me show you something even plainer than that. Turn to Acts chapter 8. Acts chapter 8. If you don't want to turn to Acts chapter 8, because I don't hear a lot of Bibles fluttering, I'll just read it to you, but Acts chapter 8 is a good example. In Acts chapter 8, the church is persecuted in Jerusalem. Because they're persecuted, they scatter.

They go everywhere else and some of them go north to the city of Samaria. So verse 5, Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits crying with a loud voice came out of many who were possessed, many who were possessed, many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man called Simon who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great. To whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest saying, this man is the great power of God. And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized, then Simon himself also believed. And when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and was amazed, seeing the miracles and the signs which were done. Philip had the gift of miracles and he had the gift of evangelism.

He was very successful. What he did not have was the gift of discernment of spirits. It says that this man Simon believed, but the belief was not saving faith. It was bandwagon faith. It's like, I'll join. I'm coming.

I'll tag along with this. We find out that it's because the limelight was no longer on him because everybody said he's the great power of God, but now this guy does miracles, Philip, and the limelight is now on Philip, not on him. So he conveniently believes.

But watch this. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet, he had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, your money perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

Wow! He had the gift of discernment. Philip had the gift of miracles and evangelism, not discernment. Now the apostles come, they have discernment. They know there's a motivation underlying that.

How would they know that? Holy Spirit impressed that upon them and so they spoke that word out. A few chapters later in the 13th chapter Paul is on his first missionary journey and they first go to the island of Cyprus. They go to one of the main towns in Cyprus, Solomus, and they encounter a guy by the name of Bar-Jesus. Great name, son of Jesus, but he really was the son of the devil. So Bar-Jesus also called Elamas in that chapter. Paul the apostle in seeing him says, oh full of deceit and fraud you son of the devil.

Wow! Paul, you're having like a bad hair day or something. What up, dude? No, he had the gift of the discerning of spirits and he knew that this guy was out for a different motivation.

I'll give you one more example. This one I want you to turn to and that's Acts chapter 16. In Acts chapter 16 they come to the city of Philippi. It is Paul the apostle again at the city of Philippi verse 16. Chapter 16 verse 16, now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us who brought her masters much profit by fortune telling. This girl followed Paul and us and cried out, these men are the servants of the servants of the most high God who proclaim to us the way of salvation. Stop right there.

That sounds pretty good. I mean if you want a PR person you want to hire her. These men are going to tell you the truth. Listen to what these guys have. They teach us salvation. What she is saying here is true.

Great PR, but keep going. Verse 18, and this she did for many days but Paul greatly annoyed turned and said to the spirit I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her and he came out that very hour but when her master saw that the hope of profit was gone they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. Paul had the gift of the discernment of spirits. Now here's the hard part if you ever have this gift.

The hard part is that it's so obvious to you but not to everybody else. That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from the series Expound First Corinthians. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you come alongside the hurting in our society even more. The United States fought the devastating civil war to overcome a deeply dividing issue. As followers of Jesus and people who represent his love we can help one another deal with this topic today.

Here's Skip Heitzig and Tony Clark. Speak to white evangelical people about what white evangelical pastors about how in churches we can create spaces for black and brown voices to be heard in a loving atmosphere in a in a concerned atmosphere. This is the church's finest moment because racism is a sin.

It's a sin in the heart so now it's our job to begin to guide them and to have a biblical mindset and also having sympathy and empathy for those who are trying to live out this Christianity and their skin may be a little bit darker than yours. Cultivate the empathy that comes from gaining a biblical perspective on racism. Get your copy of this conversation between pastors Skip and Tony when you give $20 or more today. We'll also send you pastor Skip's booklet The Church and Racism.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Coming up tomorrow Skip Heitzig shares startling insight with you about the spiritual gift of tongues. What is the gift of tongues? The gift of tongues is a form of communication. It's a form of communication we discover in chapter 14 to God.

He who speaks in the tongue does not speak to men but he speaks to God. It's prayer. It's worship. It's directed heavenward. It's to God. That's why some people refer to the gift of tongues as a prayer language. You're directing a prayer to God. It's not a message from God to people. It's a prayer to God. It's worship to God. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 17:56:39 / 2023-01-25 18:06:04 / 9

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