“ How to Identify the Spiritual Gifts ”
I. Understanding Prophecy
A) What does it mean?
- Its biblical meaning; an inspired declaration (to make known clearly) of the will of God
- A prophet is is a person who prophesies (speaks for God, or tells about the future.)
- A prophet is a preacher, or teacher
B) Some Characteristics
- A characteristic… is something that makes you different from others.
- Example; My wife is very quiet. Other people talk a lot. “Being quiet” is my wife’s characteristic.
- The need to express thoughts and ideas verbally (especially about things that are right and wrong.
- Example; Peter spoke first more than any other apostle.
- Acts 2:4,14,38…. Acts 3:4,6,12….Acts 4:8,19….
- The habit of making quick judgments on what is seen and heard, and to speak up quickly.
- Example; Peter was also a very quick to answer person.
- Matthew 14:28…Matthew 15:15…Matthew 16:16…Matthew 14:4…Matthew 19:27…Matthew 26:33…John 6:68
- An amazing ability to sense when someone or something is not what it appears to be and to react harshly to dishonesty.
- Illustration; Peter was quick to sense(know) that something was not right with Ananias and Sapphira.
- Acts 5:1-11…
- A desire to reject those who offend so that justice will be done and others are warned.
- If someone does wrong to you or another person, then you will refuse to be with them or be friends with that person until everything is straightened out.
- You also want to warn others of this person (not to gossip, just warn)
- Example; Peter did not want to forgive the person who offended and asked how long he had to put up with him.
- Matthew 18:21…
- An openess (does not hide) about personal faults and failures and an about your self as well as others.
- This is someone who tells others about their own personal feelings, faults and failures.
- Illustration; Peter fell on his knees and said… “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” in Luke 5:8
- A tendency (habit) to be painfully direct when correcting friends.
- Even if someone is your friend, you tell them the truth, even if it hurts their feelings.
- Example; Peter rebuked Jesus for what he thought was wrong
- A true friend will not lie to you.
- Mark 8:31-33…
- A tendency (habit) to be impulsive (quick to act) and to put everything you have into what you are doing.
- Example; Peter was the first one to speak up and do something
- Matthew 14:25-28… John 13:6-9…
- A desire to show a person your loyalty and total commitment.
- Some people will tell you…” I am behind you 100%, I’ll support everything you say and do.” while others say nothing.
- Example; Peter told Jesus he would never deny him. He also defended Jesus.
- Matthew 26:33… John 18:10…
- A willingness to suffer for doing what is righ
- It doesn’t bother you to be patient for a while even if it bothers you if you think what you are doing is right.
- Example; Peter rejoiced in doing what was right and having to suffer.
- Acts 5:29-42…
- Ability to be very persuasive in defining what is right and wrong.
- You are able to easily encourage others to know what is right and what is wrong.
- It was easy for Peter to preach and see the Holy Spirit move to convict others after he told them what was right and what was wrong.
- Example; Acts 2;14-47… Note verse 37… ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
III. The Misuse of the gift of Prophecy
A) Correcting people who are not your responsibility
- Prophets often feel they are responsible for everyone.
- It is hard for them to hold back when they see things that are wrong.
B) Jumping to conclusions
- If you immediately make a decision about something someone said, or and action made or a reason for something.
- Example; A member of the church goes to the church calender on the wall and changes an event planned. So I go and jump all over that person, chew them out and tell them not to do it again.
C) Forcing or helping a condemning spirit
- To be quick to say someone is guilty without any examination of the truth or facts.
- Sometimes a person may take what another has said and twist it in order to prove a point.
D) Judging or exposing an offender rather than restore them
- Someone has done wrong and we quickly judge them and tell others about their mistake, when we should have tried to help them with their problem and try to do something about making them a better person.
- Many times prophets point out the problem but many times do not know how to solve the problem.
E) Cutting off a person who has failed
- If a person fails you, you don’t want to be friends with them, talk to them and then you encourage others to do the same.
- This is wrong.
F) Focus on the negative
- Some people only focus on the negative (bad) things rather than the positive (good) things that others do or things that happen.
- Prophets are more sensitive to evil and false things. So they may seem to be always preaching against things rather than for things.
- Some things are half right and half wrong. A prophet will see it all as wrong.
G) Not being very cautious
- These are people who are not careful or nice when expressing their opinion.
- We should always consider the feelings of others when we express ourselves or try to make a point.
- These people have a desire to be totally open and honest, and sometimes say things that should not be said.
H) They demand a positive reaction to a harsh rebuke
- These people expect immediate repentance (change of ways) when someone advises them of the wrong doing.
- Example; The preacher preaches against smoking. So, a person goes to the altar and announces to all that he has sinned and asked God to help him with it. Then the next day someone see the person smoking and comes up and says… “Hey you are supposed to be quiting the habit of smoking, quit it right now.
- Many people have bad habits and sometimes they will not be broken for many days or years.
I ) Condemning of self when they fail
- This is someone who blames themselves every time something bad happens or when failure occurs.
- This is also someone who blames others for something that has happened.
J ) Pointing out all the faults
- If they are trying to sell something then they point out all the faults and weaknesses of the item they are selling first.
- They accuse others of deception if a person does not reveal all the faults.