PROPHECY: ESSENTIAL, YET MISSING IN OUR CHURCHES TODAY
Pastor K. Kirkland, Valdez Apostolic Church, Valdez, Alaska
A prophecy seminar session preached at The Fitzgerald Apostolic Holiness Church, Fitzgerald, Georgia, Feb. 2006. Transcribed from cassette tape, adapted as a study for this website.
THE HOLY GHOST, A PREREQUISITE
In our last service, we talked about “The Importance of Prophecy,” tonight I want to talk about “Prophecy in the Church.” Lets begin by looking at a familiar verse, Deut. 29:29.
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
And this one:
Isa 46:10 Declaring
the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying,
My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
The next passage we want to look at is 1 Cor. 2:9, 10.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love
But God hath revealed them unto us by
his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Now, we believe in Acts 2:38 around here, and Holiness. But we wouldn’t have Acts 2:38, we wouldn’t have salvation, we wouldn’t have the Holy Ghost WITHOUT PROPHECY! Because prophecy ushered it all in.
These verses tell us God REVEALS “things that are not yet done” - prophetic things - to us by his spirit.
Of course, God knows all “things.” There is NOTHING that God does not know. No big item or little item of prophecy that God does not know. Since God knows all things, if we can just get him to reveal them to us, then we can know them, then they belong to us, once they are revealed to us (Deut. 29:29). Hallelujah!
I like revelation. I like God opening up things to me! Revealing things to me. It’s not something we can do without either. We NEED revelation. We can’t be saved without revelation from God.
We believe in receiving the Holy Ghost, one of the main reasons that we have it, is that we might KNOW the things of God. YEA THE DEEP THINGS of God. Which “deep things,” as we presently hope to show, are the “mysteries” we see mentioned so often in the New Testament.
[Continuing 1 Cor. 2]
what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; THAT WE MIGHT KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.
Why do we have the Holy Ghost? I know…so that we can shout and speak in tongues. That is what many people think. I want to make this as clear as I can possibly make it. One of the primary reasons that you have the Holy Ghost is that you might KNOW the things of God. Isn’t that what these verses say?
Stay with me now. We are dealing with prophecy here. And as we go along we are going to see how this develops.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
How do we know these things of God? It takes research. It takes some work. It takes comparing this verse here, with that one over there. It even takes understanding history too. And putting it all together.
God doesn’t want us to be a bunch of dunderheads. We need to know some stuff. Not just superficial things, but, YEA, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD.
1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 12
Lets go now to chapter 12, 13, and 14 of 1 Corinthians.
These chapters are, of course, written to the church. Corinthians is just like the other epistles, written to churches that had already been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…had already received the Holy Ghost. There was no issue about it in THOSE DAYS. Because there was only one doctrine to start with.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine, Acts 2:42. The doctrine established by Peter a few verses earlier (Acts 2:38). Which doctrine, once believed and obeyed, caused them, and us, to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Ghost.
So, chapter 12, written to these Holy Ghost baptized people, is the gifts chapter. Everybody recognizes that. You have nine different gifts operating in the church, by the same spirit: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues.
Now we know we have to have faith to begin with. You have to have faith to be saved. So when it mentions faith here, we know it is talking about something over and above the initial faith you have when you first come to God. This is a special gift of faith.
Same thing with these other things that are mentioned here. You have the initial experience speaking with tongues when you first received the Holy Ghost, but here you have an operation of tongues that is over and above the initial experience. It’s the same Holy Ghost operating within the church, with God sorting it out severally as he will. As HE wills, not as you will, or I will, but however God chooses.
It’s the same Holy Ghost with everybody starting at the same level – the common experience of the initial receiving of the Holy Ghost. Which is assumed in this chapter…and in the next two chapters we’ll be looking at.
God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
diversities of tongues.
We are going to be concerning ourselves with only item in that list tonight – prophets, or prophecy. In these chapters here, Paul is not dealing with what I will be. He was dealing with such things as the misuse of tongues in the church…we are not concerned with that tonight. We will try to disentangle from these things that Paul is dealing with, and pull this out about prophecy – with the help of the Lord.
In the church today, we’ve got all these things: we’ve got tongues, governments, healings, miracles…we’ve got Apostles doctrine, well, how about PROPHECY?
1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13
In Chapter 13, verses one and two:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am
become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Of course, in this chapter on charity, Paul is dealing with something that should override every church service…the love of God. However, that is not our main subject tonight. I want you to notice the categories that are mentioned in verses one and two.
“Tongues of men and angels.” This speaks of the special operation in the church of TONGUES. Another category is FAITH…”so that you could remove mountains.” When you’ve got tremendous obstacles it takes faith to deal with it. Thank God we’ve got it operating within the church. But we’ve got three categories here…how about PROPHECY?
“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge.” Notice what he says, how he defines prophecy - Paul himself had the gift of prophecy - prophecy is the understanding of the mysteries of God. And knowledge. I thought prophecy meant, “yea, thus saith the Lord, so and so.” As if we know nothing about what God is speaking through us. We’re just a robot, standing there, in other words. Not according to what we read here. Prophecy is understanding the mysteries of God.
Now, the emphasis in our churches today is always revival and evangelism. The end result of which is to get folks to come to the altar, pray through and receive the Holy Ghost. That is in the first category here, TONGUES. All things connected with the receiving of the Holy Ghost, revival and evangelism included, fall in this category of tongues.
But what about PROPHECY, and understanding all mysteries? And knowledge? We’ve got mega-churches and mega-praise. Hey, I’m all for revival and evangelism, people getting the Holy Ghost, I’m all for worship, but hey, folks…we need to understand the mysteries of God.
THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL
Let’s look at some of these mysteries of God we need to understand. Rom. 16.
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and
the preaching of Jesus Christ, according
to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets,
according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations
for the obedience of faith:
Kept secret? What Paul is talking about here may not seem that big of a deal to us today. But if you had lived in Paul’s time and all that you had was the Old Testament…the Old Testament does not just ring a bell and say this or that is prophetic of something in the New Testament…it takes revelation! And in these Old Testament scriptures of the PROPHETS, lying hidden within them, was the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Listen, folks, the Old Testament prophets had the same Holy Ghost we do. It moved upon them! The gospel of Jesus Christ, listen, is a mystery to the world. It takes the Holy Ghost to understand the mysteries of God. It takes the Holy Ghost to understand the true plan of salvation. Rev. 19:10 says this:
…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
ALL prophecy in the Old Testament was about Jesus! It was all pointing to Jesus. And every OT prophet, yea, every one today who has the Holy Ghost…has THAT SAME SPIRIT. Which it takes to understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM
Now, lets go to Matthew chapter 13. The whole chapter deals with the mysteries of God. Let’s look at verse 52:
Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
Every one of the seven parables in this chapter have to do with the revelation that is hidden within the OLD Testament…yet all pointing to the NEW. There is great treasures there hidden in the “old,” the Old Testament, and the “new,” the New Testament. One of the most important and controversial issues is the Old Covenant vs the New. Listen, folks, there is only one valid covenant in the world today, and it is the NEW Covenant of Jesus Christ.
There are two aspects of the kingdom…In verse 41
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather OUT of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
We’re talking about an aspect of the kingdom of God that is right now…when Jesus comes he is going to gather OUT OF HIS KINGDOM all things that offend. Out of his existing kingdom. In verse 43…
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Then shall the righteous shine forth in his kingdom. A present and a future aspect of the kingdom of God. When you really get into eschatology, trying to deal with the different beliefs out there, it becomes essential that we understand the two aspects of the kingdom of God. John 3:5 & 8
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
It takes the water (water baptism) and the spirit (spirit baptism) to enter into the kingdom of God. But there are two different aspects of it. Being born again, we enter the present aspect of the kingdom, but when Jesus Christ comes we enter the future aspect of the kingdom. Not until then will the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of God. Present and future.
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST IN YOU
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made
manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
This is a mystery? It doesn’t sound like all that much of a mystery. But it is. This is really talking about the hidden secret of the Godhead, the secret of salvation. Christ IN YOU. God IN YOU. Trinitarians have never understood this. The Father is IN the Son. The secret to both the Godhead and salvation. This is a revelation. This is a mystery.
One of the main reason the Jews rejected Jesus is because of what we see in this verse. They have all those scriptures in the Old Testament about a Messiah who, when he comes, is going to overthrow all nations and take over the control of this world. But they could not see that in those scriptures there would be TWO comings of the Messiah.
The first time he came, he was to gather to himself those who would be subject to himself in the kingdom. INFILLED with God. The Jews could not, and still do not see that.
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and IN YOU ALL.
IN YOU ALL! That was something that the Jews could not understand. Doesn’t seem that big of a deal to us. However, in Paul’s day, this was a great revelation.
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST, THE
FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD
Moving along to the next mystery…
Col 2:2 That
their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all
riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the
mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Down in verse nine,
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
The Father, all the fullness of the Godhead, in Christ.
This is a mystery just like these other mysteries. Remember, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Don’t lose sight of what I am driving at. The gift of prophecy…and how it needs to be in the church. It takes the gift of prophecy to be able to understand these mysteries. Including this very important one about Jesus, the mighty God in Christ.
THE MYSTERY OF GOD MANIFEST IN
Here’s another, 1Tim. 3:16,
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,
This, it says, is a GREAT mystery. A great revelation. God manifest in the flesh. Not a Son in a Son, NO! All the fullness of God - which Trinitarians say is Person number one of the Trinity - in the Son. The Father IN the Son – which is taught everywhere in the NT. Not a Son in the Son as per the Trinitarian theory.
That’s the difference between Oneness and Trinitarianism. They have a Son in a Son, we have GOD in the Son. GOD, all of God, not just one third of God, was manifest in the flesh.
It is not our intention here tonight to spend too much time on the Godhead, except to drive home this point: The Godhead being a hidden mystery, and prophecy being the understanding of all mysteries, the Oneness movement already has the first prerequisite of the gift of prophecy. They have the Holy Ghost, and they understand the Godhead.
All the rest of the mysteries belong to the Oneness movement also. Mysteries also having to do with prophecy. It all belongs to them…even though they don’t want it right now.
It is our heritage. We are the heirs of these mysteries. People think, Godhead belongs over here (pointing to one end of a table), prophecy belongs over here (pointing to the other end of the table). They have nothing to do with each other. No. They are both mysteries under the same heading: prophecy.
Here’s this verse again, I want it to sink in: Rev. 19:10,
...the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The Holy Ghost is a prerequisite to the revelation of knowing who Jesus really is. Which so many think has nothing to do with prophecy. The Holy Ghost IS the spirit OF PROPHECY.
It was this same spirit that Pentecostal people received in the early part of the last century. Some allowed it to lead them into the Revelation of Jesus, some didn’t. Some went on with God, others didn’t Some continued to hold to the Trinity.
Those who went on with God went on to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. The ONLY name given under heaven among men whereby we can be saved. What a great revelation this is!
But it all has to do with PROPHECY! But our churches don’t want prophecy? When everything about the Oneness movement is based on prophecy! Christianity is a prophetic religion.
Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries...and without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.
Notice how this falls under the heading of prophecy!
“Oh, I don’t want to hear about this prophecy stuff, Bro. Kirkland. I’ve already got all I need, I’ve touched all the bases. Don’t you know? We’re going to be raptured out before the tribulation, Tim LaHaye says so, the rest are going to be "left behind." Here's our problem, we need more revelation.
It’s the same Holy Ghost that brings the understanding of the Godhead that it takes to understand the truth about the rapture. Are you seeing what I am saying here? It is all one and the same. We can’t just take the revelations we want and not the rest.
The Jesus Name people needs to move on with God. They are to play the central role in the endtime. Really. Not Trinitarians. Trinitarians don’t have these revelations we’ve been talking about here, the revelation of the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. If you don’t remember anything else here tonight, remember this. Get this connection. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy! Amen!
You know what the endtime is all about? The Revelation of Jesus Christ. That’s the name of the book isn’t it? Who does the Revelation of Jesus Christ belong to? Trinitarians? Yet, the book of Revelation is almost like a closed book in our movement.
THE MYSTERY OF THE TRANSLATION
OF OUR PHYSICAL BODIES
Let’s move along here. 1 Cor. 15:51.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet
shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be
Are you all getting this? Here is another mystery. Remember, Paul said: Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand ALL mysteries. Here is one about prophecy he understood, and so do we.
This doesn’t say, “behold, I am going to show you a mystery: we shall all be raptured before the tribulation.” It doesn’t say that at all does it? People read that into it, but it is not there. The great mystery here, is that we shall be CHANGED…in a moment and in the twinkling of an eye…at the last trump. What last trump? Well, it’s not hard to find. Go back to Matt. 24:29-31.
29 Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all
the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with A GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET…and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This is a revelation! “Behold I shew you a MYSTERY,” it says. The mystery is NOT a Pre-trib rapture, it’s a Post-trib one. This is essential! Essential for this day and the time that we live!
I know, here goes Bro. Kirkland again, beating the drum for post-trib. Well, say what you will, I don’t care. Where ever I go I’m going to preach this. I was recently in Hong Kong, China. Guess what I preached over there? You guessed it.
There once was a large Jesus name church in China. When the Communists took over after World War Two, they persecuted and slaughtered the saints terribly. Afterwards, they said, why didn’t you tell us the truth? You taught us pretrib.
The saints in Hong Kong, now a part of Communist China, especially needed to hear this. I vowed before God that if God allowed me, I would preach it…and I did. It is getting too late for games.
Our Oneness brethren already have the spirit, they already have the understanding of the Godhead and salvation mysteries. With the Holy Ghost, they have got the prerequisite to understand all mysteries. Including this one.
THE MYSTERY OF GOD’S WILL
Now, lets go to Eph. 1:9, 10. Another mystery here.
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed IN HIMSELF:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one
all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even
Well, what’s so great about this mystery? There’s some great stuff here.
Great men have studied eschatology, “last things,” prophecy, in other words. They have formulated various systems of eschatology. They all see in their particular system, “the will of God.” As do the Pretribs. And they say, “Here it is, the mystery of His will, God’s plan of the ages.”
We beg to differ. Here is the mystery of His will: that
he gather together in one all things in Christ.
In "the fullness of times." Rom. 11:25 speaks of the “fullness of the Gentiles.” “Mystery” is mentioned in that verse, also. The mystery of the final ingrafting of believing Jews into the Israel of God, the olive tree. We’re not going to have time to really get into that chapter, it would require at least a whole teaching session on it alone. Suffice to say, this final ingrafting occurs in conjunction with the fullness of the Gentiles.
First, the fullness of the Gentiles - which does not reach its fullness until the nations (Gentiles) are gathered together at Armageddon in the fullness of times. – then the final ingrafting occurs. Then comes the conclusion of God’s will, the rapture and resurrection, when he gathers together in one all things in Christ.
When does the ingrafting happen? At the very end of the tribulation. This is not talking about antichrist Jews here, but believing Jews who will reject the Talmud and the Kabbalah. Only then, when these Jews are “in Christ,” will God’s will, or plan, be complete and He can “gather together all things in Christ.”
What I am saying is, there are many things yet to be fulfilled, we do not have the FULLNESS OF TIMES yet. Things are getting mighty evil nowadays, right? Well, we haven’t seen the fullness of it. In the tribulation we will have the fullness of sin headed up by THE man of sin. Evil like we have yet seen.
The fullness of these “times” conclude with the post-tribulational
rapture, this is when God “gathers together in one.” And that is His WILL.
Get this: the post-trib rapture is
Pretribbers are going against God’s will, because a pretrib rapture is not his will. His will is that all things have to reach their FULLNESS before he gathers together in one all things in Christ, at the second coming, in the rapture.
What about all who have died these last several thousand years in faith? Where are they? They’re in heaven. At the rapture, He is going to gather together all things in heaven… and in earth. The dead in Christ shall rise, in their resurrected bodies they shall rise to meet the Lord in the air.
This is God’s great plan, his will, when the fullness of all things converge at the end of the tribulation. In the post-trib resurrection, which the book of Revelation calls the FIRST resurrection. It’s the “first,” which means there is not another one until THEN.
The theme of the book of Ephesians is the “eternal purpose of God,” the mystery of the church, one body, Jew and Gentile, to be gathered in one. You don’t have a “Gentile Church,” who are God’s chosen people, and Jews, another group, as God’s chosen people. No, because there is only one body, Eph. 4:4. Even though at this time there are not many Jews in that one body, yet at the end God will FINISH HIS WILL! Which he purposed from the foundation of the earth.
But not until the fullness of times, now, that’s a revelation, a prophetic mystery.
Eph. 5:32, another mystery here, a “great” mystery Paul called it. Which is “Christ and the Church.” Which he compared to Adam and Eve, a man and woman, husband and wife. Matter of fact, any line of prophecy you want to follow, it always come down to this great theme – Christ and the Church.
All these “mystery” texts, of course, constitute prophecy. This next one too - the mystery of iniquity, 2 Tim. 2:7. Now, here is where endtime prophecy really gets into the mix. This is where “Mystery” Babylon, and the Beast come in:
“The mystery of the woman and the beast that carrieth her that hath the seven heads and ten horns,” Rev. 17:7.
And where the image
and mark of the beast, and the false prophet, come in. All part of the mystery of
We have to know the bad guys too. It takes revelation on this as much as the other mysteries. The mystery of iniquity is an essential item for the church who is going to face these things in the endtime. Remember, our text (1 Cor. 13:2), says prophecy is “understanding ALL mysteries.” Even these. Next mystery, Rev. 10:7.
in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the
mystery of God should be finished, as
he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
“Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all knowledge.” You don’t suppose “his servants, the prophets,” here in this verse, had the gift of prophecy, do you? Moved on by the SAME SPIRIT that we are? Did you know that we are “the children of the prophets,” Acts 3:25? Endtime prophecy should be prominent among us, if it wasn’t for pre-trib it would be. We owe everything to prophecy, prophecy is OUR gift of the spirit! We wouldn’t even have the revelation of the oneness of God without it!
So, these mysteries will be consummated at the LAST trump. Only THEN will the mystery of God be finished, Rev. 10:7. Until then, therefore, the gift of prophecy will still be operating in the church revealing the mysteries of the endtime.
And that includes all the other prophetic stuff you see in Revelation that will occur before the last trump sounds. That belongs to us as people of “the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy.” If it’s prophecy, which Revelation surely is, then it belongs to us.
People are scared to death of the word “prophet.” I don’t claim to be one. I’m just a prophecy teacher. But there is a great need for men who will stand in the gap and make up the hedge on this subject. Preachers who are not afraid to be identified with prophecy.
Church is NOT just about getting the Holy Ghost. We’ve got to have it, of course, but it is the Holy Ghost that enables us to understand THESE mysteries. The endtimes included. Which we, of all people, are supposed to understand.
BACK TO 1 COR. 13
All right, now lets go back to the gifts of the spirit in 1 Cor. 12 through 14.
The entirety of chapter 13 deals with something that should govern prophecy and prophecy preachers. Having spent many years in the “prophecy wars,” a speaker at seven prophecy conferences, I’ve known some pretty hard spirited prophecy men. Where we’ve been lacking, I believe, is in the application of the principles of chapter 13. Notice how this chapter, the love of God chapter, falls in between two chapters on the gifts of the spirit. Considering the state of mind many get into in prophecy, I full well understand why this chapter is placed where it is!.
Look what it says:
suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself,
is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own…
Prophecy is heady stuff. It can really puff you up. This cuts it crossways. It says we should not be vaunting up ourself. Our goal should not be self glory. I believe there is no limit what can be done, if preachers did not care who gets the glory.
Not saying that I have conducted myself right, but I read here in the word of God the answer. If we are ever going to get done what needs to be done, we are going to have to have men who love prophetic truth governed by the rule that we see here.
Faith, hope, and charity is how the chapter ends. Faith has to do with the past. Our salvation was procured for us in the past. Charity has to do with right now, the present. Charity is how we conduct ourselves in the here and now. Hope has to do with the future, or prophecy.
We’ve got these organizations, we see the walls they have constructed. They don’t want prophetic truth, they don’t want to hear it. What’s the matter? It comes right back to this verse. We have salvation (faith, the past), our present life of the church (charity, the present), but we are lacking in the latter, prophecy (hope, the future). Verse six:
“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
Not just Godhead truth. Not just salvational truth. But, also, endtime truth. We should rejoice in all of these truths.
Some of the hardest people to get along with are prophecy preachers. (Laughter) Some would even say that about me. Ha, ha. I can tell you this, I’m not in this for Bro. Kirkland. I want the truth out! But I’m not dismayed. God is still on the throne. He is going to have a people ready for the endtimes.
THE MEANING OF “PROPHESY” IN
THESE CORINTHIAN CHAPTERS
Chapter 14, verse one:
after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
Paul is going to be contrasting tongues and prophecy in this chapter. But when he speaks of “prophesy,” just exactly what does he mean?
Agabus who, “signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth
throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar” (Acts
11:28)? Who warned Paul of what
would befall him if he went to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10)? Certainly so, however,
this is not the whole story. 1 Cor. 13:2 clearly sets forth another meaning. The
gift of prophecy is to understand all mysteries, and all knowledge.
Some say the term “prophesy” in these Corinthian
chapters simply means “preaching.” However, when
we look at 1 Cor. 13:9-12, we see Paul’s usage of the term defined.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. “
Obviously, the prophesying is about the second coming, “when that which is perfect (Jesus) is come. “Then face to face,” verse 12. Who, then, has the gift of prophecy? Must be those who “prophesy” as per the definition here. Thus it is not “preaching” per se, but preaching that has to do with the second coming and the endtime.
We know in part, we prophesy in part. These verses tell us that those who prophesy are not “know it alls,” as no one has perfect knowledge of all the highly complex details of prophecy - we know in part, we prophesy in part.
As we have tried to point out, Oneness preachers who preach the mystery of the Godhead already have the gift of prophecy (13:2). Where they are lacking is the follow through. Preaching the rest of the mysteries. Most of which have to do with second coming issues.
This is not just about healing, miracles, and casting out devils…that’s under the category of faith (13:2). Going into a town somewhere and building a good church. You’ve got to have faith to move mountains to that. You are up against all kinds of obstacles, especially in this day and time. It takes faith to do this, thank God for men with such faith!
TONGUES VS PROPHECY IN CHAPTER
Paul sets forth three broad categories of spiritual gifts in the opening verses of chapter 13: tongues, prophecy, and faith. But it is tongues and prophecy that he is primarily dealing with in chapter 14. In fact, as we are going to see, he sets the two over against each other. Prophecy, he seeks to prove, is set above tongues.
Lets put this in the perspective of today, everything is geared to tongues, tongues, tongues. Prophecy? Sorry, not allowed here.
“Tongues” is synonymous with revival and evangelism. Evangelist preaching is a essential thing, none of us would be saved without it, but if they were to allow the gift of prophecy to work (per Paul’s definition) – which gift they have - and actually deal with endtime prophecy, these great, powerful preachers would be even more effective.
he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification,
and exhortation, and comfort.
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue
edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Prophecy edifies. What does that mean? It means it strengthens you, builds you up. Prophecy exhorts. To exhort means to warn. You do know there is some kind of heavy duty warnings associated with prophecy! But it has got to be brought out and preached. It will build you up and strengthen you. And it will warn you if you are not living right.
Prophecy comforts. Do you know it is a great comfort to understand prophetic things going on all around us? Most people are in confusion. Comfort is the opposite of confusion.
“He that prophesieth edifieth the church.” We NEED that. Yet all we hear is “come get the Holy Ghost and speak with tongues.” Tongues, tongues, tongues. You would think that is all there is to preach. We need the Holy Ghost, however, we need something to edify us once we get in.
The endtimes are bearing down on us! We live at the end of six thousand years of human history when all things are converging, coming to a head, coming together in the fullness of times. You are going to need this, you are a special generation. I’m trying to hurry along here. Verse 6:
Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
Tongues vs prophecy again. The profitable things listed here are not under the tongues category, but the other one. I’ve began to notice that in many camp meetings, you hardly hear doctrine preached anymore. Just “come get the Holy Ghost.” We need doctrine! Revelation? The revelation of the Godhead comes under the heading of prophecy. We need it preached. Knowledge of the endtimes? We need it preached.
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they
give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
Put this in the context of what I am teaching here about prophecy as opposed to just tongues, revival, and evangelism. We need to be prepared for what’s coming! If preachers are giving an uncertain sound, who is being prepared for the endtimes? If a TRUMPET give an uncertain sound. We don’t need vague uncertainties in this day and time, especially about the last trump. How can we understand these trumps in the book of Revelation without prophecy being taught and preached?
This is for the Jesus name people. These Corinthian chapters are for a Holy Ghost Apostolic Church. And for them to be ready for the endtimes, they don’t need mealy mouthed, wishy washy preaching about it. We need revelation, prophesying, and doctrine. We need prophecy preachers sounding the trumpet in preparation for the endtime battle ahead.
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I
speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that
believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but
Can you see the distinction he is drawing here? Almost everything nowadays is geared towards the tongues side of this. It says, somebody speaking with tongues is a sign to the UNBELIEVER. But after you have the Holy Ghost and are in the church, it says you need prophesying: prophesying serveth for them which believe. Them which believe, people in the church, WANT to know about prophecy. Especially this generation.
There is more in this verse. You see, in the Old Testament, the sign of the Old Covenant was circumcision and Sabbath. It identified you. But when you get into the New Testament, the sign of the New Covenant is water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of what circumcision was pointing to. And the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which the Sabbath was pointing to.
If we had time to go back into Isaiah 28, we would see that this is dealing with the covenant. Paul is quoting from verse 11 of that chapter. He is saying here in 1 Cor. 14, that tongues are the SIGN of the New Covenant. Which covenant will continue until the end of the tribulation. There is no pretrib rapture, then God reverts back to the Old Covenant.
What’s the purpose of the rapture anyway? So we can have a super-duper elevator ride? No. It is a gathering point. The elect from all over the world gathered to Jesus, the gathering point. But only in the fullness of time…not before then.
Verse 26, How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
This is what our church services should be. Psalms has to do with worship. We believe in worship. Doctrine, we need it. Tongues and interpretation, we need it. We need also prophetic revelation.
Thank God for worship, Apostolic doctrine, and tongues…but how about prophecy? Remember, prophecy is under the category of revelation. “Though I have the gift of prophecy,” Paul said, “and understand all mysteries.” Revelation of the mysteries of God. Which mysteries we have set forth:
Lets hurry on. Verse 33,
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
He had just got through saying in v. 29, now, when you get together, when you’ve got more than one prophecy preacher, let them speak two or by three, and let the others judge. Which is a common thing at prophecy conferences. Do all prophecy preachers see eye to eye on every item of prophecy. Ha, ha, not hardly. But on the major things we had best see eye to eye.
For instance, you don’t need one to get up and preach Preterism, which believes Jesus came in AD 70. That’s real confusion. God is not the author of confusion. When prophecy preachers get up by two by three, people should hear them out. Let the others judge. But, unfortunately, not one, let alone, three, prophecy preachers are ever allowed to preach in most churches. Pretrib is automatically assumed everywhere, post-trib is never given a fair shake.
One last verse:
any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that
the things that I write unto you are the commandments
of the Lord, verse 37.
Since the preaching of prophecy has been his major theme, we conclude that IT IS A COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD THAT WE HAVE PROPHECY PREACHED IN OUR CHURCHES! At least that it be allowed! If not, they are in disobedience to the commandment of God.
Yes, Paul dealt with other things. The misuse of tongues, the role of women in the misuse of these gifts, neither of which has been our subject here tonight. Our focus has been on one thing, we’ve extracted one thing out of these chapters – the use of prophecy in the church. It is something we surely need.
Lets stand. I want you to pray with me. Really! I want us to pray in a concerted effort. In unison. For the people of God in all our churches. They need this. I’m just one little voice crying in the wilderness. We need some more. We’ve got to have this! It has got to be restored to us! We need to get a hold of God right now about this. I have a burden for it, I would to God that you did. Lets all pray. Come on! Lets call on God.
Bro. Kirkland’s closing prayer –
“God we call on you tonight on the behalf of this that we have been preaching. Oh, God, that the gifts might be restored in the church. They are sorely needed today, according to the word of God. Have mercy, Lord!
All the churches, Lord, who believe in the fullness of the Godhead in Christ, whether they be in China, Africa, Canada, the United States, God, wherever they are, we pray for them tonight in Jesus name. I call on you, Lord, for I know that you are a prayer answering God. You hear our prayers, Lord, it’s the burden of my heart. I know it’s your burden, Lord. Amen.”
K. Kirkland, Pastor - This article is Copyright © 2006, All rights reserved.
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