Prophecy Basics – A Class Teaching

These are some teaching notes from a small group meeting that took place on 9/19. At the risk of some scriptures missing explanation, I thought it more important to post these than to edit them. It’s sort of long, but it does address some important points regarding the prophetic office, prophetic activity, and prophetic importance throughout all times.

I personally believe that as the clock ticks toward the end of this age, the activity of the prophetic will become more and more critical – but to proclaim that which the Lord would want revealed, and also to counter the false prophetic and supernatural occurrences that we are clearly warned, by our Lord, that will occur.

Matthew 24:24-25
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

The damage done by goofy prophets with goofy words is not a valid reason to shut down the activity, in hopes of sanitizing and protecting the church and the world. At the same time, those called to prophesy would do well to recognize the volatility and accountability of the ministry.


I do want to discuss some basics of prophecy tonight, simply because people either:

  1. Find themselves feeling weird about thinking they actually might be hearing from God, one way or another, and don’t know what to do w it; OR
  2. Have been taught AGAINST prophecy and then have to unlearn what they’ve been taught so they can be responsive to God; OR
  3. Don’t really know what the word says about prophets and prophecy, and may have either parked on one aspect of the ministry, or been taught re a few aspects of the ministry, and are intimidated either to (1.) prophesy, or (2.) feel comfortable defending the ministry of the prophetic.

And meanwhile, GOD HIMSELF INVENTED THE PROPHETIC – so we would all do well to understand what is going on here, so we can function IN OBEDIENCE to the Spirit, and neither OVER-STEP or UNDER-STEP the safe boundaries of the word.

BTW – The FIRST declaration of anyone BEING a PROPHET was when God told Abimelech that Abraham was a prophet, and that Abraham, who was half-deceptive in saying his wife was his sister (we won’t go there), needed to pray for Abimelech and God would hear Abraham’s prayers:

Gen 20:2-12
2          Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
3          But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”
4          But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also?
5          “Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”
6          And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
7          “Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
8          So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very afraid.
9          And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.”
10       Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?”
11       And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.
12       “But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

So we see from the get-go that we’re dealing w REAL PEOPLE w REAL ISSUES, including “FATHER ABRAHAM” – the first person about whom GOD HIMSELF testifies as being a prophet – is trying to pass his wife off as his sister to save his own bacon. Had she REALLY been his sister, he likely wouldn’t have married her….AND GOD DECLARED SARAH AS ABRAHAM’S sister!

THIS IS NOT A DOOR TO COMPROMISE – I just want us to see that PERFECT God is working w IMPERFECT MAN, always.

proph-et (prof’it) n.
HEBREW – Nabiy – a spokesman (for GOD), speaker (example – Aaron was Moses’ NABIY), prophet


  • a person who speaks for God or a deity,

or by divine inspiration.

  • (in the Old Testament).
  • a person chosen to speak for God and

to guide the people of Israel.

  • (often cap.) one of the Major or

Minor Prophets.

  • one of a class of persons in the early

Christian church recognized as inspired
to utter special revelations and
predictions. 1 Cor. 12: 28.

  • <the Prophet> Muhammad, the founder of
  • a person regarded as, or claiming to be,
  • an inspired teacher or leader.
  • a person who foretells the future.
  • a person who speaks for some doctrine,
  • cause, or movement.
    proph-e-cy (prof’uh see) n. pl. <-cies>
  • the foretelling or prediction of what is
    to come.
  • something that is declared by a prophet,
    esp. a divinely inspired prediction,instruction, or exhortation.
  • any prediction or forecast.
  • the action, function, or faculty of a
    prophet.[1175-1225; ME prophecie < OF < LL prophetia < Gk
    It gets a little fuzzy when we begin drawing lines that the scriptures don’t draw, so let’s not do that.In reality – DIVINELY SPEAKING FORTH could officially be called PROPHECY – so if you feel you are called to this activity as a man or woman of God, then walk in it and find your place in the prophetic. IT MIGHT NOT BE SOMEONE ELSE’S PLACE IN THE PROPHETIC.One might be more exhortational. Another more futuristic. That is God’s choice. YOU are called to find out what God is doing through you, and then be obedient to that.Meanwhile, God has always regarded the prophetic calling on any person’s life as being critical to the spiritual HEALTH and WELFARE of His people, and also has desired the prophetic for ALL PEOPLE of the earth.EXAMPLE: THIS WAS A WEIRD SEASON FOR THE JEWS – in the desert, complaining, Moses interacting w God.
    The presence is all over Moses, and 70 elders CATCH THE BUG and prophesy ONCE – but never again. Then others began prophesying, apart from the 70, and the Israelites got into a religious tizzy, wanting to stop those two (nothing’s changed):

    Num 11:29
    29       Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!”

    First, that reveals Moses’ heart re the matter.
    Second, that itself prophesies about the outpouring of the prophetic mantle thru Jesus. I believe ALL don’t prophesy, but that the potential is for ALL to prophesy, just like we know God wants ALL to come to repentance, although ALL won’t.

    MOSES’ cry is a humongous statement.

    This has always been God’s heart – that His people would be spoken into by MANY PROPHETS – men and women of God who came into the place of understanding that prophecy was His will.

    IN FACT, that is why there is so much noise and resistance and even demonic activity surrounding prophecy.

    RULE OF THUMB – If there’s something that God wants accomplished, there will be resistance. EXPECT IT, AND GET OVER THE RESISTANCE.

    And don’t dwell on that negative. If you spend your time dwelling on the negative, you’ll miss what God wants to do.

    THE FOLLOWING ARE CRITICAL VERSES FOR ANY MINISTRY – Prophet, Teacher, etc. – although brought forth in the context of the prophetic (which, I personally believe, extends WAY beyond what the current church marks as “prophetic”. I think the whole gospel of Jesus is a revelation of the “speaking forth” of the Kingdom) so these verses would do well to be embraced, at trembled at, by every saint in any ministry.

    These verses also illustrate how much effort our adversary wants to invest in falsifying the prophetic.
    BACKGROUND: ISRAEL was in a horrible place w God – and that place was being made worse by the false prophets:

    Jer 23:14-40
    14       Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.
    15       “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts (GOD’S AT-WAR name) concerning the prophets: ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem profaneness has gone out into all the land.’ “
    16       Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the LORD.
    17       They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You shall have peace” ‘;and to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.'”

    THIS IS ALWAYS A MOST POPULAR THEME OF FALSE PROPHECY, in both testaments. False grace.

    KEY – standing in the counsel of the Lord to get the real deal:
    18       For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?
    19       Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury– a violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
    20       The anger of the LORD will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

    (I BELIEVE THIS APPLIES TO THE NT PROPHET AS WELL AS THE OT PROPHET – “In the latter days” is TYPICALLY a marker for end-times events).

    21       “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
    22       But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.
    23       “Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off?
    24       Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.
    25       “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’
    26       “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,
    27       “who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.

    THE REAL GOOD NEWS the BONAFIDE TRUMPS THE COUNTERFEIT and that is where we want to dwell, function, and prophesy from:

    28       “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
    29       “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
    30       “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor.
    31       “Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’
    32       “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.

    (skipping down)
    38       “But since you say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Because you say this word, “The oracle of the LORD!” and I have sent to you, saying, “Do not say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!'”
    39       ‘therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence.
    40       ‘And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'”


    Fear God, be intentionally and intensely in His word, remain in His presence. SPEND time. Your alabaster box is your time spent on Him. It is irreplaceable and invaluable. Wasting time is a waste. Redeem the time because the days are evil, says Paul in Ephesians.

    And in that place, understand it is HIS HEART and HIS DESIRE that the TRUE PROPHETIC FUNCTIONS W AUTHORITY.

    Don’t fret over the false prophet. GOD HIMSELF will go after the false prophet.

    OUR CALL is to go after God.

    (REAL AND TRUE) Prophecy has to come forth from a person who has been moved upon by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, AT BEST, it is good intent. And that is not enough. And in fact GOOD INTENT is OFTEN the breeding ground for false prophecy.

    “Angsting” (new word!) over false prophets, compulsively, will simply waste your time and energy, and distract you from intimacy.

    TEACHING – False teaching drives me nuts. Sometimes when I hear of some doctrine I groan knowing I MAY have to address it, word for word. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I have felt the Lord incline me to SPEAK TRUTH, as opposed to CONTRADICT FALSE DOCTRINE.

    Jer 23 gives me great encouragement in that.
    28       “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
    29       “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

    Point to note: the dream state is often used by God as a means to speak to the prophet. That’s how He speaks to me, and there’s been established an entire MAP LEGEND of images and symbols that God knows I am learning to better understand Him as He speaks to me prophetically.

    EXPECT GOD to speak to you – and ask Him how you are to respond to that dialogue. Then respond. For me, it’s writing things down faithfully whether they are understood or not, at which time He typically opens them up to me.

    OBJECT LESSON: Dueling Prophets – Israel was headed for 70 years of captivity and Hananiah was telling them folks “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY”

    Jer 28:1-3
    1          And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
    2          “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
    3          ‘Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD’S house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.

    Jer 28:6-11
    6          and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! The LORD do so; the LORD perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the LORD’S house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place.
    7          “Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people:
    8          “The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms– of war and disaster and pestilence.
    9          “As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent.”
    10       Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it.
    11       And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.'” And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

    Jer 28:15-17
    15       Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.
    16       “Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.'”
    17       So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

    We are GUARANTEED there will be false teaching, false prophecies, false church (The REV HARLOT is the false church).

    In fact, it has nothing even to do w the outcome of our words, or the response of the people:

    Jer 7:25-27
    25       “Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them.
    26       “Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.
    27       “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.

    I DO THINK (a friend) sent out my recent blog about DEAD PROPHETS SOCIETY – so you can read that – and I won’t go into that this evening.

    BUT I DO WANT TO GO FORWARD INTO THE NT – as I believe in many ways the office of the prophet has not changed all that much, even though the church is inclined to slobber all over the activity of prophecy as if NOW is FINALLY WHEN all can speak forth anything they want in faith and we can see whether it works or not.


    This verse is ALL ABOUT JESUS – it gets quoted and referenced by PETER and by STEPHEN THE MARTYR – It is a PROPHETIC WORD ABOUT THE PROPHET JESUS, and about PROPHECY IN OUR DAYS:

    Deut 18:18-22
    18       ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
    19       ‘And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
    20       ‘But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’
    21       “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’–
    22       “when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

    Lots of false prophets, in the scriptures, said goofy things and did NOT die within the year (like Hananiah). But there’s DEATH surrounding false prophecy, and also there is the bigger issue in these verses about PRESUMPTION.

    I do believe we all will need to grow in our callings. So if/when we blow it, or miss hearing God, or get on a roll and add to what God has told us to say – all that is NOT GOOD, but it is NOT FATAL.

    But don’t PLAY W PROPHECY. Treat this w love and care, in the fear of the Lord.

    NOW – 1 Corinthians:
    1 Cor 14:12-32
    12       Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. (MOTIVE)
    13       Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
    14       For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

    BOTTOM LINE (Paul’s Bottom Line – he will both pray and sing in the Spirit – in his heavenly language, and with his understanding – his natural language):
    15       What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
    16       Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?
    17       For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
    18       I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;
    19       yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
    20       Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
    21       In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. (wonderfully crazy – Paul is quoting Isa 28:11 – clearly a portion of scripture prophesying about the upcoming INVASION OF ONE KINGDOM BY ANOTHER KINGDOM – that SAME PROPHETIC DECLARATION is ONE of the purposes of tongues – no wonder the religious spirit wars against tongues – it is a prophetic fulfillment of “YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE”)

    THE “WEIRD VERSES” (which really are not weird, although at first blush they may seem backwards)
    22       Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.

    TONGUES, which is NOT understandable in and of itself, is telling the unbelievers “THERE’S A KINGDOM COMING – one kingdom is invading another kingdom”. That would be us, saints, invading the kingdom of darkness.

    PROPHESY, which IS understandable, and DISCLOSES the heart and mind and life, (sometimes the history and future) of an unbeliever, will work to transform an unbeliever into a believer.

    PROPHECY is evangelistic.
    23       Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
    24       But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.
    25       And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
    26       How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
    27       If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
    28       But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
    29       Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
    30       But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
    31       For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
    32       And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

    God has an amazing calling upon the saints who would have ears to hear Him in these days.

    It comes down to intimacy.
    It comes down to time spent w Him.
    It comes down to having the word in you, so that when the Lord moves upon you what you speak and pray and prophesy is in conjunction w His personality, will and purpose.

    The enemy will definitely try to trip you up – hang you up, puff you up.
    You can withstand that.

    Eph 6:12-13
    12       For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
    13       Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand..

    It all comes down to a WHOLE ARMOR walk that God is calling every saint into, especially in the upcoming critical days, and especially for ones called into ACTIVE prophetic ministry of any kind.

    DO NOT RELY UPON YOUR GIFTINGS to see you through to glory.
    Remember what Jesus said, when they told Him they had prophesied and cast out demons in His name.

    Matthew 7:21-23
    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
    22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
    23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    That and that alone will be your safe place.

    I’ve sadly seen highly anointed people fall. We have too many examples of that, biblically as well as historically.

    Everything in order is what we want. Always. All the time.

    Isaiah 33:14-16
    14 The sinners (IN ZION, the place of relation w God) in Zion are afraid;
    Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
    “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
    Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
    15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
    He who despises the gain of oppressions,
    Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
    Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
    And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
    16 He will dwell on high;
    His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
    Bread will be given him,
    His water will be sure.

    Isaiah 33:6
    6 Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
    And the strength of salvation;
    The fear of the Lord is His treasure.

    All scripture NKJV

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About ez3728

I am a believer in Jesus - that He is the One and Only Messiah of the world. I believe the Bible is the perfect and complete Word of God, and that God is absolutely competent and capable of keeping His Word perfect, undefiled, and uncorrupted. Jesus was born Jewish. So was I. He lived a perfect life, and is worshiped. I live an imperfect life, and I worship Him.
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