We have graduated from being a sheep to a friend, and now a prophet. Before we start in the book of Numbers, Chapter 11, I want to give a little background. This is where Moses just finished praying a prayer that could be a prayer today that every “Burned out,” pastor prays. He prayed, “If you love me, kill me!” Of course, God responds with, “You’re trying to bear the burden alone. You need others to help you.” Then Moses comes and tells the people what God said.
Numbers 11:24 – So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD, and he gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. (Verse 25) Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders, and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.
(Verse 26) But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle, yet they prophesied in the camp. (Verse 27) And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the came.”
(Verse 28) So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” (Verse 29) Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!”
All Can Prophesy
Notice what Moses said, “That “all” the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” Wouldn’t that be great that the Lord would put His Spirit on all people? But did He not?
Acts 2:17 – ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. (Verse 18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.’ “
We fall into two categories, either you are a manservant of God or a woman servant of God. If anyone thinks there is an in-between, take it up with the Creator. In the last days, God said He would pour out His Spirit on both men and women and they shall prophesy. We are living in the last days.
1 Corinthians 14:31 – For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. If the Bible says you can, then don’t say you can’t! This just makes sense: If we can speak for God by giving someone a word from God, then we can “hear” God! We couldn’t prophesy if we couldn’t hear God. Prophecy, in essence, is a message from God. Acts Chapter 2, is an answer to Moses’ prayer.
The Bible says that all the seventy elders prophesied, but never did so again. Why? because of the word “rested.” The Spirit rested on them. In other words, “for a moment,” the Holy Spirit ever descended on and remained was Jesus! And it is in the “context” of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
John 1:33 – “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ ” I’ve gone over this before in previous studies: Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, so yes, there is another baptism besides being baptized with water. We just read the Scripture in John.
The people that only believe in water baptism, only have the Holy Spirit “resting” on them for a time. That’s why they can be full of the Spirit at one minute and mean the next. God didn’t intend for His children to live that way. He didn’t intend for the Holy Spirit to come on us one time and then never prophesy again like in the Old Testament!
God wants the Holy Spirit to come on us, be baptized, anointed, emerged with the Holy Spirit all the time! His Spirit wants to come alongside us in our Christian walk “all the time!” In the same way that God walked and talked with Adam and Eve, the Holy Spirit wants to walk and talk with us daily, but we have to receive Him.
Yes, when we get saved, we are baptized into the body of Christ with water, but then the Bible talks exclusively about Jesus wanting to baptize us in the Holy Spirit – Holy fire! Why would people ever be afraid of something that’s in the Bible? The Holy Spirit is not “mute!” He can speak! Don’t ever forget: The Holy Spirit knows all things and tells us what the Father has said.
Prophecy is not manipulative.
Prophecy is not to be used to get others to do what we want them to do. Prophecy does not add “Thus saith the Lord,” to your opinion.
Jeremiah 23:25 – “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ (Verse 26) How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.”
Jeremiah 23:30 – “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. (Verse 31) Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ “
Ezekiel 22:28 – “Her prophet plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them saying, ‘Thus says the LORD God,’ when the LORD had not spoken.”
When a person uses the name of the Lord for selfish reasons, they are violating the third commandment – “Thou shall not take the name of the LORD God in vain!” Don’t just put God’s name on what we are telling someone. We better be sure He said it. When a person has selfish motives, they can’t hear God. When a person’s will is at the forefront, they can’t hear God’s will.
A word of prophecy will have confirmation. Why would God tell someone else something intimate about your life and not tell you? However, if God has already told you something and another tells you the same thing, that’s confirmation.
Prophecy is encouraging.
1 Corinthians 14:1 – Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (Why would the Bible tell us to especially desire to prophesy if we couldn’t do it? Prophecy is not for only a select few.) (Verse3) he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. Just edify people, build them up, and encourage them.
When I was in a huge congregation and was going through a foreclosure, I didn’t have one person who said, “It will get better. It will be alright.” No, they would say, “What are you going to do? Where are you going to live?” My encouragement came from my clients who were truly concerned. Not even my own family ever said that it would be alright.
However, I know how comforting encouragement can be and want to be that type of person that helps the person try and figure out what to do next. More than likely, every person has a situation that they came out of and know some things on how to help another. Prophecy is an encouragement!
1 Corinthians 14:31 – For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. So apparently, prophecy encourages people. Encourage – “put courage in!” Don’t put fear into people about heir circumstances, put encouragement into them.
God wants us all to learn how to hear God so that we all can prophesy so we can share God’s word with others.
1 Corinthians 14:32 – And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. This is not talking about Ephesians 4, where it speaks about the offices of ministry for the equipping of the saints, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher. Those are for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. But we all can encourage.
The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. Notice it didn’t say, “subject to the words,” it said the “spirits.” God’s concerned about our motive and our attitude when we share with people. The word is subject to the Word of God. The prophet may be saying the right words, but the motive or attitude is wrong. The word has to line up with God’s word, but the spirit of the prophet has to line up with the body of Christ!
Acts 4:36 – And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement). Paul was an apostle, Barnabas a prophet, but Barnabas was named Joses by his mother. The apostles changed his name to Barnabas, which means Son of Encouragement. Heres’s what that means: “If encouragement has a son it would be you, Barnabas.” So they changed his name. What would your friends change your name to? Son of “anger?” Daughter of “criticism?” Or would you like to be called “Son or daughter of Encouragement?”
Acts 15:32 – Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. It doesn’t say, “Corrected, rebuked, and tore them down!” they exhorted and encouraged them.
I remember my dad saying one time after a service in this particular denomination, “According to this preacher, I don’t do anything right!” My dad would always ask me why he felt worse after the sermon than when he first came to church? I told him it was because this man focuses on the sin more than focusing on the grace of God! The message was always condemning instead of lifting up.
If prophecy is exhorting, building up, and encouraging, and prophecy is from God, what does that say about God’s character? It says that God doesn’t want to tear or discourage anyone. God wants to build each one of us up!
“Every good and perfect gift comes from God!
Every time we have a thought to encourage someone, you are hearing from God!