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Summary: The end purpose of all true prophecy is to build up, to admonish, and to encourage the people of Cod. Anything, that is not directed to this end is not true prophecy.

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Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Senior Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.

E-Mail: Mentorship2003@yahoo.co.uk

Note to the reader:

If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you simply telling me where in the world you are based - I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God for the fact that all over the globe, the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God. Thank you.

Herman Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa.

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SERIES: HOW TO JUDGE PROPHECY

TEST 1 OF 9

THE PURPOSE OF PROPHECY IS TO BUILD UP, ENCOURAGE AND COMFORT

The end purpose of all true prophecy is to build up, to admonish, and to encourage the people of Cod. Anything, that is not directed to this end is not true prophecy.

This basic purpose of true prophecy is stated in 1 Corinthians 14:3:

KJV: "He that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, and comfort."

NIV: But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.

Amplified Bible: But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation.

A. PURPOSES & LIMITATION OF TRUE PROPHECY

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1. These words define the divinely appointed purposes and limitations of true prophecy: edification (upbuilding); exhortation (encouragement) and comfort (consoling the believer). Anything which does not achieve these purposes, or fall within these limitations, is not true prophecy.

2. One sometimes hears utterances, purporting to be prophetic, of which the effect was to confuse, or to condemn, or to discourage the people of God. Utterances such as these cannot be accepted as true manifestations of the gift of prophecy.

3. It is important to remember that one main title of the Holy Spirit, in his relationship to the people of God, is "Comforter" (John 14.16). This word may also be translated "Advocate" or "Encourager". The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to plead our cause, not to condemn us. He never discourages the people of God. His final purposes toward us are always positive, not negative.

B. REMOVING THE NEGATIVES TO REPLACE IT WITH POSITIVES

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1. However, in dealing with human sin and weakness, God sometimes first removes that which is wrong and negative in order to replace it with that which is right and positive. This is clearly illustrated in the call of Jeremiah to the prophetic ministry. God said to Jeremiah:

"I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations ... I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant" (Jeremiah 1.5, 10).


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