Now we have defined prophesying, or prophetic words, let’s see, what the purpose of prophetic words is.
1 Corinthians 14:3
But 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.
The Bible is telling us in that portion of scripture that there are three things that God will do when he is giving prophetic words:
- It is for edification. Edification means to strengthen, to build up in the faith, to profit spiritually. So when a prophetic word is spoken, it’s for the purpose of your edification, building you up, it’s for you to profit spiritually. Now if you discover somebody prophesying and suddenly you are drained, you are burdened, it actually pulls you down – it’s not a word from God because the bible says the purpose of prophecy is to build you up and encourage you. You should come out of an experience with a prophetic word feeling charged up and ready to go. But if a prophetic word takes away your faith and you feel drained, it’s a word you want to discount.
- Prophetic words are for exhortation. The Greek word is paraclesis, it means somebody who is called along to help. It’s for encouragement. And by the way did you know that the bible uses the word paraclete or paraclesis for the comforter the Holy Spirit. So when you are prophesying in the area of exhortation, you are functioning in the function of the Holy Ghost, coming alongside somebody, beginning to give them encouragement, beginning to bring fire and building up saying you know you can make it, you can do it. When you speak that word into somebody’s life they begin to say thank you so much, you don’t know what I have been going through, that word has just made my life, you just made my day – you are functioning as an extension of the Holy Ghost
- It’s for comfort. The Greek word is paramuthia; it means to draw near in order to speak soothingly, comfortingly, consoling. It’s an appeal and an entreaty
So you find the threefold purpose of prophetic words in the New Testament are all positive. They are words of hope, words of encouragement, not these shenanigans that are passed around and act like they have been drawn from the pages of the OT and they are breathing fire, spitting and they are like demon manifesting. That is not NT prophetic words.
So prophetic words is a ministry of entreaty, petition and advocacy. By entreaty we are saying it’s a loving insistence, persistence on the part of the Holy Spirit through prophecy, directing you to ways of righteousness. By advocacy we are saying speaking to another as God’s voice, as God’s spokesman. Pleading for God’s cause in their lives. That’s prophetic words. When you encounter that, you know you have met God.