The gift of prophecy as experienced in the Church.
Real life examples of this gift
of the Holy Spirit are given.
Powerful evidence of God at work.
Please quickly read the article, “Experiencing the Holy Spirit” that introduces this subsection, “Gifts of the Spirit” on the website.
Another article, “Is this Spirit stuff real?” explains, as the name implies, how we can analyse the manifestations of so-called gifts and recognise their genuineness. I have no doubt that this stuff looks – to anyone who has had no contact with this area of the Christian Church – like it came from planet Mars! But it actually began in the first century, as documented in the Bible, and it is now happening again.
And I admit it all still amazes me. This whole website has been developed by an analytical minded person, over a period of many years, with the help of a supporting team of qualified advisors. It has been designed to guide thinking people in their journey of faith. For the who’s, how’s and why’s of this website please click here.
“Prophecy” and other ‘advisory’ gifts from the Spirit, such as so-called “words of knowledge” also referred to as “messages of knowledge”, are both mentioned in the Bible’s New Testament [1Corinthians:12]. Today, they are quite commonly witnessed within the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement around the world.
Christians within the ‘movement’, who possess these gifts, are used by God as a conduit/ channel to provide guidance or advice to others. These gifts like all the others mentioned in 1Corinthians:12 are used by God to edify the Church; are used in effect by the Lord to draw people to Jesus etc. And they are also used by the Spirit to further build faith and belief for those who are already members of the Church.
2. HOW PROPHECIES WORK
Now, I know from my own past experiences how crazy all this stuff can look to beginners. But bear with me, as I so often write!
In effect a baptised member of the church congregation, who has this gift of prophecy, knowingly receives a message from the Spirit in their mind. The member is also told who is to receive that message from them. So, they give the message to the appointed person, or even the entire church congregation if that is what they have been told to do.
Of course these gifted members of the church can even receive messages for other Christians outside of their church. These messages can just arrive in their minds, at any time in their daily lives, with a clear understanding of whom they are to be past on to. And yes, they really do happen! I cannot write it any clearer.
This particular article discusses ‘prophecies’ and my own examples of them. Note that the article following this one relates to messages or ‘words’ of knowledge.
3. EVALUATING PROPHECIES
As you would guess, prophecies from the Spirit are offered to us through someone who has been given that gift. That includes members of the clergy, but it is up to the Holy Spirit who receives the gift. Prophecies are related to events that will occur in the future. In fact if the information passed to you, by an anointed Christian with this gift, is a genuine prophecy then the Lord will make it happen.
When I receive a prophecy from a person in the movement, who I know has that gift, then I also know to lookout for that message to materialise somewhere in the future. And, these messages are not ‘wishy-washy’ or vague in any way. If you receive one then you will know exactly what it means!
I give examples, below, from my own journey of faith. They are examples that I have either witnessed or experienced for myself. I hope that you can at least accept that I genuinely believe that these prophecies really did come to happen in due course. I offer the examples to you, so that you can better recognise prophecies if you too are fortunate enough to be involved with this amazing stuff.
Hopefully you will come to recognise with certainty, like me, that such events really are made to happen, or orchestrated, by God. So I guess my primary aim is to guide you in what you can expect, and hopefully recognise it, when a genuine prophecy does occur in your presence.
4. PROPHECY I WITNESSED
To begin with, I have a very special incident in my life to share with you. It relates to my wife. (She had previously received an unrelated ‘healing miracle’ many years before this incident.) The prophecy happened about five years after the previously described miracle, so now possibly 17 years ago. Again, it related to a health issue.
My wife had undergone abdominal surgery, years before, and had been left with ongoing and severely painful episodes. Simply said, she suffered from serious pains in her ‘gut’ that would happen without warning. She had a couple of surgical procedures, looking for the cause, over time as a result. Finally unable to identify any causes, her surgeon wrote the issue off to good old ‘it’s all in your mind’. Now that was humiliating for her.
The severe pains continued, seriously affecting my wife’s quality of life, and we really didn’t know where to turn. We regularly prayed together for an answer.
The resulting healing rolled out in a completely unexpected way.
4.1 Prophecy is received
My wife and I were regularly attending mid-week evening Charismatic services within our Protestant church without any expectations. The clergyman running the relevant service, a bishop no less, began in the closing stages to offer ‘prophesies’ to individuals in the congregation. He knew absolutely nothing of my wife’s ailment but he offered these words to her, “The doctors will find the cause of your pain shortly and fix it!”
My wife and I were certainly encouraged by the statement, but bearing in mind that her surgeon had written her off, we had no idea how the prophesy could happen. But thankfully it quickly came to pass.
4.2 The prophecy shapes up
My wife visited another health specialist, who had attended to her over the years, for a routine examination. It happened a few days after that relative church service. During the course of the consultancy with the doctor she mentioned her longstanding health issue; those pains.
The specialist knew my wife very well and stated that, as a result, her pain would not just be ‘in her mind’. Shortly after the consultation, and unknown to us, the specialist contacted the surgeon who I referred to earlier.
To my mind the Spirit had now begun his ‘orchestration’ of events.
Begrudgingly the surgeon agreed with the specialist to examine inside my wife’s abdomen through an endoscope (a viewing tube inserted through a small cut). The surgeon told my wife’s specialist that he would only perform the procedure if the specialist assisted. The deal was the surgeon would give the specialist a well-aged bottle of scotch whisky if they found anything out of the ordinary. And the surgeon obviously felt he was pretty safe with that deal.
4.3 The prophecy is fulfilled
In short, during the operating theatre procedure the doctors noticed a section of intestine that had been accidentally stitched to the front wall of my wife’s abdomen. This had happened when the incision was closed after that first abdominal surgical procedure I again referred to earlier.
The stitch was snipped using an attachment on the endoscope, allowing the pinched section of intestine to drop into its rightful place.
And that severe pain was no more. The surgeon was subsequently too embarrassed to charge for the procedure. Indeed as the bishop had said, “The doctors will find the cause of your pain shortly and fix it!” The well intentioned specialist got his bottle of scotch whisky too.
4.4 The final evaluation
I still analyse those events. What else could it have been, other than God involving himself in the issue, I now ask you? My wife’s pain had continued relentlessly for three years. Then it was gone, two weeks after that prophecy from the bishop!
You will note that the two examples of healing with my wife, that I describe in two separate articles, occurred in completely different ways. One, the healing of stroke damage, happened in the moment within a miracle healing ministry through a direct act of God … no doubt about it now! The other, I have to write, was clearly orchestrated through an act of God’s providence (his helping hand) after that prophecy.
5. BACKGROUND TO MY EXPERIENCES
Now, under the next two Headings, I offer a couple of examples of prophecies that I received. I was already a ‘real believer’ even before receiving the first one. I had already proven to myself, beyond reasonable doubt, that God was present in my life. (A whole section of the website related to God’s involvement in our lives.)
And I had also been involved in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement for a year or so. My wife had already received her healing miracle, as mentioned above, at this stage of my faith journey. So, I pretty well had ‘iron-clad’ belief in God. And I was a faithful Christian … ‘by and large’ that is.
The first example of a prophecy received by me, immediately below, was jumbled in with other information from God. That info was in the form of a word/ message of knowledge. You can read the actual details of those messages in the following article, “Messages of knowledge”. Incidentally, the mix of prophecy and messages was all delivered through a pastor, who knew absolutely nothing about me.
6. FIRST PROPHECY RECEIVED
And here I was now in a Charismatic service, arranged by our Protestant church leader. A Baptist pastor had been invited by our leader to minister through his gifts of prophecy and messages of knowledge.
The pastor (who didn’t know me at all) pointed to me with his finger. I admit to being a bit excited by that. He began by offering me messages of knowledge, which, as already explained, are discussed in that following article. One message related to my Bible interpretations, mind you, and the other to an unusual experience of mine relating to God’s presence. Then came the prophecy.
6.1 Prophecy is received
I was advised by God, through the pastor, that I would act as a “bridge to Christianity” during ‘one-on-one’ ministries that would arise for me during my work as an auditor (surprising those folks at the church service who knew me). A picture of a chapter heading, i.e. those exact words from a book I had read recently, appeared inside my head as the pastor spoke.
The chapter was about bringing people from pantheist religions to Christianity via a ‘bridge’ of knowledge.
6.2 Prophecy shapes up
Obviously the chapter heading quoted, that came from the mouth of the pastor, was intended by God to make that very connection. Because of my broad religious knowledge (see the article, “So, what is God?”) I could easily engage in conversations with people holding differing spiritual beliefs. My knowledge of mysticism, for example, put me in the perfect position to encourage people from pantheist religions.
6.3 Prophecy is fulfilled
And so my little ministry began. I was thereby assisted/ empowered by God in that encouragement for these people to trial Christianity for themselves.
My occupation at the time meant that I met and chatted one-on-one with dozens of widespread fellow staff members, in a very large state-wide organisation, during any year.
God would always ‘set it up’ for me. As examples I might notice a book – relevant to say Buddhism, palmistry, Taoism, astrology – just sitting on the side of their desk. Maybe I would notice their religious necklace. They possibly had a small religious ornament of picture there. Yes he would hint, one way or another, when I should begin a brief conversation about religion. Of course, I would then take the conversation towards Christian similarities and beyond.
Again. Again. And again, the conversation would lead to mutually interesting conversations that offered Christian alternatives to those staff members. Yes, God impressed me ‘no end’, through it all!
6.4 The final evaluation
I never had to push the religion ‘wheelbarrow’ in this personal ministry because God, through acts of providence, actually brought me into contact as prophesied. That is with people who were open to, and indeed enjoyed, such conversations. And I comfortably did as I had been directed by him. Providence, or God’s helping hand, brought it all together. It was a case of ‘no sweat’ for me!
7. SECOND PROPHECY RECEIVED
Now I move on to the second prophecy I came to receive. It arrived many years after that prophecy on ministering to fellow staff members, provided above. This time it came through another member of the clergy, that Protestant bishop (in the movement). I was a member of a different church by now.
7.1 Prophecy is received
This time I was told, through that prophecy, that I would ‘minister widely’. I understood that I was certainly no longer tied to one-on-one sessions or a narrow focus, as in the first prophecy, when promoting Christian faith.
7.2 How could it be achieved?
This prophecy did sound like it was related to my first. But, at the time in 1996 when I received it, I did not have a clue how I might achieve it? I just thought hard, then shook my head.
It never dropped out of my memory though. I just wondered from time to time, as the years passed, when would I see that prophecy fulfilled.
7.3 Prophecy is fulfilled
This About-I-AM website was posted in its very ordinary, first edition during 2006. Ten years after that second prophecy … which I had been clueless about how it might come to pass!
The world wide web was well underway by then. The masses were beginning to utilise it.
And I now accept that this website is the result of that prophecy.
That advice from the bishop certainly came to impact me in the long term.
7.4 The final evaluation
I could see in hindsight that God would have had a forward plan for me, when he had directed at that earlier time I should only minister one-on-one.
Truly, the wording of the second prophecy sounded ‘all the world’ to me, all along, like an extension of the first one. The two clergy men, who passed on those different prophecies to me, could not have had a clue about what each other had said in the past or would say in the future. And those two qualified members of the clergy just spoke the words they had been given.
They both told an unqualified member of the greater Christian Church … a qualified auditor … to get out there and minister, one way and then another.
I will again say that those Christians with these types of gifts (prophecy and messages of wisdom) often mix both of them up. I guess I should say that God actually does so, through those people. Deliberately too, mind you! For a starter, one message of prophecy may be dependent on some other information being passed on in the form of a message of knowledge.
So, yes, the two types of information may be mixed together. But, rest assured, the Lord does make it clear what is expected of us (in my case) … or … what is going to be provided to us (in my wife’s case).
You will know instinctively, maybe in your soul? Yeah, you will know!
Now let us continue to the next article, “Messages (or ‘words’) of knowledge”.
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