Prophesying by The "Gift" of Prophecy
There is a difference between speaking prophetically by one's own power or speaking by a spiritual "gift."
Do the girls mentioned in Acts 21: 9 speak by their own spiritual power, or do they speak by using a spiritual gift?
Acts 21: 9 "And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy"
Tongues and prophecies that all may do:
Acts 2: 4 "And
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
2:33, 38-39 "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and
having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hatn
shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." "be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to
your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord
our God shall call."
In context of Acts 2:33,38,39; all of the
people who Peter is speaking to are hearing massive amounts of tongues.
If the science of hermeneutics means anything; Peter was showing that
the "gift" of the Holy Spirit which was "promised" (to all) is the
tongues speaking that the crowd saw. The crowd understood
tongues-speaking to accompany salvation--and Peter knew that was what
they were understanding it to be.
4: 31 "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were
assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and
they spake the word of God with boldness."
They were all
filled, not just some of them, but they were already believers; many,
or all of them were at the Acts 2 Pentecost earlier. It is not a
stretch of the imagination to say that they all must have spoke in
tongues and prophecies because it was a powerful manifestation of the
Holy Spirit because the house was actually "shaken."
8: 16-17 "(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on
them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
In recent years, many
Pentecostals have pointed out that the Samaritans of 8: 16 must have
spoken in tongues and prophecies because Simon the sorceror was there
and he was impressed with what he saw (tongues and
prophecies--presumably) and wanted to buy that power.
laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And
when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy
Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying Give me also this power,
that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." Acts 8:
10: 44-46 "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on
them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed
were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the
Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard
them speak with tongues and magnify God"
19: 6 "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came
upon them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
is a tongues and prophecies that all may speak in church services (or
anywhere); But there is also listed tongues as a gift and prophets as a
gift. Perhaps such gifted persons have the ability to prophesy more
often then others. They certainly (if they are men) are to have
authority in the church; as opposed to the rest of the church who are
not "prophets" but still receive prophecies or other revelation from
God from time to time.
Speaking By a "Gift"
Acts 15: 32 "And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them."
21:10-11 "And as we tarried there many days, there came down from
Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us,
he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus
saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that
owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the
11: 27-28 "And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the
spirit that there should be great dearth [famine] throughout all the
world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."
are tongues that all may do and there are tongues that only those with
the gift of tongues may do. There are prophecies that all may speak and
there are prophecies that only those with the gift of prophecy may
speak. The gift of tongues that only some can do is manifested during a
church or prayer service, and it is a message in tongues from God to
man. This is the tongues-speaking that Paul would like to be
interpreted for others' learning (it is not simply praise). This, of
course, would require the interpretation to be spoken.
tongues that all may speak is a prayer and praise language to God. This
is seen in Acts 2, Acts 10, and Acts 19 where "all" spoke in tongues
when they got saved (not just those with the "gift" of tongues). The
prophesy that all may do is also during a church or prayer service (or
anywhere else). In this environment anyone may speak a "prophecy," a
"word of wisdom," a "word of knowledge," an "interpretation," etc--not
just those with the "gift" of prophecy.
The gift of prophecy
that only some can do (those who receive the gift of "prophecy," like
Agabus in the verses above) may be manifested inside, or outside the
church. The "gift" of tongues and prophecies (as well as other gifts)
are referenced in 1 Cor. chapter 12:
"And God hath set some
in the church, firts apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
teachers,after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all
prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the
gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" 1 Cor.
Ordinary belivers may prophesy in church, or they
may receive the gift of prophecy, and may be called "prophets." Paul
encourages believers to seek spiritual gifts; therefore, it is possible
to be given additional gifts. Paul says:
"Eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy" 1 Cor 14:1
above verse makes no sense if there is not a possibility of God
granting extra gifts to the believer at his asking. Paul also says:
you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build
up the church. For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should
pray that he may interpret." 1 Cor 14:12-13
conclusion of Paul's words is that we may be given gifts at the asking.
Yes, indeed, all can prophesy, as Paul says, "For you can all prophesy
in turn...the spirits of the prophets are subject to the control of the
prophets."1 Cor 14:31-32
Copyright 2006 - 2007. Peter Kwiatkowski. All rights reserved.