The purpose of prophecy
Jesus said " I tell you things before they come to pass so
that when they do you may believe", this is one of the first and foremost
purposes of prophecy, to confirm our faith. As God performs his word and
performs in history the things that He said were going to happen, we see more
and more how reliable His Testimony is. We see that it is safe to trust his word
as He performs it and He brings it to pass.
Peter said that prophecy is like a clear and certain light,
we can steer by, it is something reliable that helps us in the fight, we can "wage
war" by the prophecies. When we know God has said something, we can use it as
a two edged sword in a situation for the benefit of both other people and
ourselves, or as a proclamation to unseen forces. God speaks of hacking His
adversaries into pieces through the mouths of His prophets. He, not us, is able
to use the Power of a prophetic word to bring down and destroy His enemies. He
told Jeremiah that the prophetic word which He would give that prophet, would be
used to pluck up, bring down and overthrow, then also to build and to plant.
In the Book of Revelation we are told that "The testimony
of Jesus, is the spirit of prophecy". I take this to mean that prophecy is
Jesus Testifying to the Church. This lines up with statements from Peter telling
us that the Old Testament Prophets heard the Spirit of Christ testifying within
them. They earnestly sought to understand and were shown that they were speaking
for our benefit.
Paul says that "He who prophecies speaks unto man for
edification and for comfort". The word "edification" has some connection
to the word "edifice" which can mean building a building. As prophecy
ministers to us it builds us up and comforts or consoles us, it is very up
building and consoling to know that God is in control of history and that all
his predictions and proclamations are correct. As we live according to His word,
we are following a sure and reliable guide.
Another function of Prophecy is to establish to mankind how
unique our God is. He says, "Who is a God like unto me, declaring the end from
the beginning?" False prophets or fake prophecy, lacks the cutting edge of a
true word from God, it is often shadowy symbolic and confused, able to be
interpreted many ways, (like Nostradamus, see Barry's book "Better Than
Nostradamus") not in clear plain speech. But God names people, places and
events with the utmost accuracy. In the Old Testament some people are named
hundreds of years before their birth.
Isaiah was able to foretell the birth, life, circumstances,
work, crucifixion and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ about 800 years
before His birth. Hundreds of years before it happened, David described what
would happen at Calvary in Psalm 22. Other prophets described the rise and fall
of men, cities and nations, including World Empires. The prophet in his place as
Gods messenger often began his message "Thus saith the Lord..." or "The
word of the Lord came to me...", in contrast to this the scribes and teachers
spoke in their own name. Often the prophets warned of trouble times, which would
come, if people did not repent of their evil ways.
We know from the words of Jesus and from the words of the
prophets, what will be happening around the world at the end of the age. We have
not been left unaware that there will soon be a World Government, and that
Nations will unite under the rule of a cruel leader, we know as the anti-christ.
We know from the Holy Spirit that there will be a revival of the occult with
false signs and wonders, along with much religious deception.
We know that God has revealed Himself as - The One Who Was,
The One Who Is and The One Who Is to Come. God is able to look into the past,
the present and the future and to describe clearly to us what He sees. It is not
very sensible to ignore This "Very" Powerful Beings Testimony, He Is, Was
and Will be the only true God!