Why the Gift of Prophecy Is Not the Usual Way of Knowing God’s Will
What I want to try to show today is that this gift of prophecy is not meant by God to be the usual way we should make decisions about the will of God. If God really speaks today, then surely this is the way to know his will about jobs and mates and investments and purchases and travel plans. And pretty soon we tend to forsake the language of wisdom and insight and reason and persuasion, and instead use the language of “God told me to do this,” and “God told me to do that” about almost everything.
Last week I tried to show that 1 Corinthians 13:8–12 teaches that the gift of prophecy will pass away when Jesus comes back—the way a dim mirror image will give way to the living face. And I argued that therefore the gift of prophecy is still valid in the church today. I promised that today we would take up the questions: What is the gift of prophecy, and how is it to be exercised?
A couple of week’s ago, we focused on gifts of healings, which leads us to next focus on the gift of prophecy. The whole issue of knowing when and where and how to pray for healing, the issue of knowing when to ask God for some sign or miracle, the issue of making decisions when you have exhausted your ability to apply Scripture. All these issues raise for us the question of the role of prophecy. Does God still speak today? Does he still give the gift of prophecy today? If so what is it like? How should we use it?
Today we turn to James 5:13–18. And the question is: Do the healing instructions here fit in with what we said a couple of weeks ago? I believe: yes! The text does support it! Today, we will look to James chapter 5 and see that it is a rebuke to shepherds that never had the faith to heal and churches that don’t pray for each other in the spirit.
On Father’s Day we try to focus on the good qualities of our dads. The facts are that none of us have had perfect dads. Even the best dad has his flaws. This morning I want to take a look at the Perfect Father, your Heavenly Father. My hopes are that dads would want to be more like Him and that all of us would put our hopes in Him. He’s the best Father of them all.
Do we need to keep the gifts of healings and miracles away from ordinary church members because that was the only way the apostles could authenticate themselves? I believe that “gifts of healings” and “workings of miracles” are for the church today—for Mt. Zion Church today and for the mission of Christ in the world today. Once you set your heart to pursue love, you will be in a position to be zealous for all the spiritual gifts.
“Grant to thy servants to speak thy words with all boldness, while thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus.” Were the signs and wonders specially designed by God to confirm the authority of the apostles so that after the apostles have done their work in providing the church with the foundation of revelation in the New Testament the signs and wonders cease?
If the kingdom has come in Jesus, what is the power of the kingdom doing? But we must be careful even how we ask the question. It is one thing to ask: how was the kingdom present in the life and ministry of Jesus and another to ask how it is present with us today. Jesus was the embodiment of the kingdom. He was the King. His demonstration of the kingdom was unique.
Is the kingdom of God a future reality to be hoped for or a present reality to experience now? The answer is that it is partly present and partly future. Many of its blessings are here to be enjoyed now; but many of them are not yet here. Some of the curse and misery of this old age can be overcome now by the presence of the kingdom. But some of it cannot be. The decisive battle against sin and Satan and sickness and death has been fought and won by the King in his death and resurrection, but the war is not over. Sin must be fought, Satan must be resisted, sickness must be prayed over and groaned under (Romans 8:23), and death must be endured until the second coming of the King and the consummation of the kingdom.
A Special Mother’s Day Presentation!
Today we take a break out of our current message series: “What is the Kingdom of God?” and we look to being a Mom from previous generations to this generation. We will have an open forum/interview with Mt. Zion’s own, Isabel Trujillo and Anna Newman!