Summary: when you look at the three main passages on Spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:6-8, 1st Cor. 12:7-11, Eph. 4:11-16) Paul lists them but he doesn't really define them. But even so, the gifts can be defined through our understanding of them and how they're used.
GIFTED (part three)
What's interesting is when you look at the three main passages on Spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:6-8, 1st Cor. 12:7-11, chapter 14 [tongues and prophecy], Eph. 4:11-16) Paul lists them, explains where they're from and explains what they're for but he doesn't really go into defining them. So, although the definitions aren't decisively laid out in scripture, they can be determined through our understanding of the gifts themselves.
Motivational gifts: The seven gifts listed in Rom. 12:6-8, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."
Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Encouraging, Giving, Leading, Mercy. Today we'll focus on the first three.
Receiving and speaking God's message to his people, or in regard to a specific situation, person or culture. A prophet was someone who spoke authoritatively on behalf of God to reveal God's word accurately that it may impact the lives of his people. The message usually consisted of urging to repent or warning people based on what was going to take place.
OT prophecy focused on the foretelling of future events. Today, it could be if someone said this was going to happen tomorrow at Noon. But it would need to happen tomorrow at Noon in order to be legit. And obviously it had to be something previously unknown in order to be legit. I can't say, "The news will come on tomorrow at Noon". That's not prophecy; that's a known fact.
Sometimes a self-proclaimed prophet might say something totally nebulas like, "I'm getting a revelation. Somebody somewhere is dealing with something." That's not the prophetic gift.
The gift of prophecy can also be seen where God gives someone special insight into someone's personal situation; letting them know something that the person could not have known if not for God revealing it to them. This is typically followed by a message or instruction.
If the person has done something wrong chances are the Holy Spirit has already tried to move the person to doing the right thing but he's been reluctant or procrastinating. So, God will use another person to communicate his message to move the person to action.
The characteristics of the one who has this gift are they're outspoken and able to read people well. The temptations one who has this gift can have is to be proud (as it can be with many of the gifts; especially gifts like prophecy, healing or tongues) and to manufacture prophecies. There are true prophets and there are false prophets.
A good example of false prophet/true prophet scenario can be seen in the book of 1st Kings 22. King Jehoshaphat of Judah went down to see King Ahab of Israel. Ahab asked Jehoshaphat if he would join forces with him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat agreed but he first wanted to inquire from the Lord.
1st Kings 22:6-9, "So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” “Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” “The king should not say that,” Jehoshaphat replied. So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
The prophets answered favorably but Jehoshaphat determined they weren't speaking true prophecy; they were false prophets. And we see by Ahab's response that his idea of a prophet is someone who always says what he wants to hear; which is what his 400 crony prophets did. And it's what the one sent to get Micaiah wanted him to do too.
Vs. 13-18, "The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.”
When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” “Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.” The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”