1 Cor. 12:8-31 Prophecy , Discernment & the Body


A)      Intro: Tonight we are continuing our study  on the gifts of the H.S. focusing on those listed here in 1Cor. 12


B)      We have looked at the first 5 of the Gifts listed in v. 8-10 / Wisdom / Knowledge / Faith / healings & miracles


C)      Tonight we are going to pick up our study starting w/ PROPHESY/ Rdv.8-11



Now when we hear the Word Prophecy we immediately think of the predicting of future events FORETELLING OF THE FUTURE

A)   And that is how Prophesy is predominantly seen in the O.T.


B)   Men were moved by the Lord to predict future events – to a large extent the prophesies dealt w/ the coming of Jesus Christ


C)   But many times the Lord raised up a prophet to prophesy concerning the Judgment of God that was to come upon the nation of Israel unless they repented

&             Heb 1:1  In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways (NIV)

&              2 Pet 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved


D)   Men like Moses & David were used in this area of Prophecy / not primary calling -

1) Moses in Deut. 32  foretells the events that would take place AFTER Israel entered the promised land.


E)  He tells of how they would turn away from God and be scattered among the nations.

NOTE:  The people memorized this song. They grew up singing this song.

And though they knew & sang it  often  they fell in the very things that

the song warned of.


F) It was when they were singing this song in captivity that they realized the reason for their captivity.



DAVID  is mentioned in Acts as a prophet of God.

&              Acts 2:30-31  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption.


Many of David’s psalms are predictive in nature and content. Many are messianic..... that is, they deal with the coming Messiah.


So Moses & David were men who moved in the Prophetic ministry although though that wasn’t their primary ministry

A)      Where as others like Samuel / Elijah / Elisha / Isa. Jer.  / Hosea were called by God to be PROPHETS OF GOD / Very Predictive in ministry



1)   It is also the Forth telling of the mind, heart & word of God to His people


C) The word PROPHECY derives from a Greek root which means "to cause to shine," & is linked with the prefix "pro" which means "before."

1)  So a person w/ the gift of prophecy is one who stands before God’s people and causes the word of God to shine./ Heart REVEALED


D) The word burns w/ in the heart of those who have this gift & they must get  it out !


Prophesy is the gift of declaring truth  basically it is the gift of

expounding Scripture, making Scripture come alive.

A)This speaking forth the mind of God was also seen clearly in the O.T. in the Prophetic ministry of men like Isa. / Jer. Hosea


B) Men Who repeatedly were used to call the People to REPENTENCE


C)Although a large part of the ministry of the O.T. prophets was the foretelling of future events –

1)   The Judgment upon Israel that would come if they didn’t repent as well as some other nations as well & The 1st & 2nd comings of J.C.


Now in the N.T. we have a reversal of this order / where the O.T. prophesies were more fore telling than forth telling

A)   N.T. is the opposite – More Forth tellingor speaking forth the mind & heart of God than it is the predicting of future events


B) Although there are those who predicted in the NT / Agabus is mentioned in Acts 11:28

28     Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.


Acts 21: 10  And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

11  When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'"


B)   The Apostle John moved in that predictive aspect when he penned the book of Rev. – but those are about the only records




C)   What we see instead are men & women who were used to declare God’s truth & expound God’s word –

1)    cause it to shine so that people understood.-   Their ministry was more of a GUIDING MINISTRY THAN A PREDICTIVE


D)   Take the vision & Run w/ it !!!!!


Now Paul defines for us the PURPOSE OF THIS GIFT IN 1COR.14:3

3       But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.


EDIFICATION = TO BUILD UP /  Word used in Architecture in referring to the establishing of a Building !!!! Make Firm Solid


EXHORTATION =  parakaleo -  ( PARACLETE )  primarily, "to  call to ones side to help/  to admonish /  to urge one to pursue some course of conduct


COMFORT – similar word derived from the same grk word – Paraklesis = one called to one side.


A)    Important to note this that the word of Prophecy is going to be like that a person who comes to the aid of another – in perfect time of need.

1)   Out of gas on the side of the road & some one pulls up just at the right time – give you a lift


B)    That word of PROPHECY works in much the same way – You come to a Bible study – out of gas – worn out / defeated

1)   And what is taught is exactly what you needed – filling up the tank


C)    Or your talking w/ a friend & they share a verse w/ you – EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEEDED – ( read your mind)

1)   Sunday nights / RETREAT – scriptures shared – word of Prophesy – Someone needed to hear exactly that verse / cards / notes / e-mail


D) Sometimes - prophecy gets a bad rap -by those who - hyper spiritual - talk king James - Oh my people - thou hast corrupted thy ways …..

1)  I have a problem w/ that for a couple of reasons - one you don’t see that in Scripture - in the N.T.


D) 2nd  Paul says in 1Cor. 14:3  that he who prophecies speaks edification / exhortation & comfort to men .

1)  In other words prophecy is that which is meant to encourage / build up / and comfort the body !


When you prophesy you are speaking FOR God to the Church to edify..... you are building up your brothers and sisters.


 When you prophesy you are speaking FOR God to the Church, you are encouraging people to trust the Lord and lay hold of the promises of God.


When you prophesy you are speaking FOR God to the Church, you are exhorting people to ACTION. Exhorting to praise and prayer and service.


When you prophesy you are speaking FOR God to the Church, you are comforting others. The Holy S. works through you to minister comfort to us.



The last thing we want to note is the VALIDATION OF A PROPHECY

1Cor.14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.

Prophecy must be judged    3 WAYS

1.) Does it line up with the revealed Word of God?/   God will NOT say something CONTRARY to the Written Word of God.


IF it is contrary to the Written Word of God, THEN it is NOT prophecy.




2.) Does it line up with the FACTS concerning the NATURE of the GIFT ie – EDIFICATION / EXHORTATION & COMFORT

A)    If a PERSON PROPHESIES & IT does NOT line up with the facts then it can NOT be God,



3.) If it is predictive in nature, then you look to see if it comes to pass.



In this area of Judging the Prophesies – the next gift mentioned comes into play – DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

A) It is significant that this gift is listed immediately following the gift of prophecy. In this  We see God’s  Divine order.


C)     Because although there have been those Throughout history, who have been prophets & have brought forth the Word of God to God’s people.

1) There has also always been   FALSE prophets


D)     For that REASON It is CRUCIAL to have this gift in order to discern truth from lies, the Holy Spirit from demonic spirits,

1)    because Satan is an extremely good counterfeiter.


E)      Jesus specifically warned in the Last days of false Christ & false prophets who would come on the scene

&Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

& Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

& 1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


TRY = to test (lit. or fig.); to approve, discern, examine.


So we have this NEED for the gift of the discerning of spirits.

A)This gift is often seen in Conjunction w/ the gifts of Word of Wisdom / Knowledge / Prophecy & the INTERPETATION OF TONGUES




In The Life Of Peter

 Acts 5:1-2  Ananias & Saphira – Peter had discernment they were lying


C)They came with the FALSE PRETENSE that they were giving ALL of the price that they had received.

1)   Peter discerned the lie that he was seeking to perpetrate against the Church in trying to appear as having surrendered all.


B)   Word of Knowledge w/ the Gift of Discernment


C)   Acts 8 Simon False conversion/ wants to buy the gift – Peter  again

 22  "Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

23"For I perceive that you are poisoned by bitterness & bound by iniquity."


D)   Perceive = to stare at – to DISCERN CLEARLY


People w/ this gift are those who might sense there is something not right w/ someone when everyone else is gung ho

A)   Had this happen many times – everyone was so excited about a certain minister or musician etc. ( I would be leery ) couldn’t get excited


B) I would feel horrible – So negative – After time something revealed


C)This gift is essential for those who are involved in Leadership in ministry/ if you don’t have it – pray

Don’t receive it make sure you are linked up w/ someone who does