All Prophecy Is Given To Build Up, To Encourage, And To Comfort?
Many times there is a confusion that comes forth because many don't realize that there is a difference between the "office of a prophet" and "the gift of prophecy". One is exactly that being a office, with totally different functions, yet the same. The other is a gift of the spirit which Paul addressed in scripture.
The consensus is that all prophecy must be uplifting, encouraging, edifying, and bring comfort to the hearer. Unfortunately that leaves out many other truths according to the scriptures and closes not only the word of God off, but the power of prophecy in many areas and functions.
1Cr 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Lets examine the word exhort.
1) a calling near, summons, (esp. for help)
2) importation, supplication, entreaty
3) exhortation, admonition, encouragement
4) consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment
a) thus of the Messianic salvation (so the Rabbis call the Messiah the consoler, the comforter)
5) persuasive discourse, stirring address
6) instructive, admonitory, conciliatory, powerful hortatory discourse
Lets examine the root word
Root Word: http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3870&version=kjv
1) to call to one's side, call for, summon
2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
a) to admonish, exhort
b) to beg, entreat, beseech
1) to strive to appease by entreaty
c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
1) to receive consolation, be comforted
d) to encourage, strengthen
e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
f) to instruct, teach
Lets examine the dictionary
Exhort - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exhort
1.to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.
–verb (used without object)
2.to give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings.
The word Exhortation
Exhortation - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exhortation
1.the act or process of exhorting.
2.an utterance, discourse, or address conveying urgent advice or recommendations.
Now lets examine the word of God within the New Testament.
Act 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, Act 5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. Act 5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. Act 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Act 5:7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. Act 5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Act 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Act 5:10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
Now that was real encouraging, edifying, comforting and that which was spoken as a prophetic unction built up "Ananias and Sapphira" not to mentioned all the on lookers. Where is the grace, salvation, and the redemption of God in this word and what occurred? Couldn't a few bucks have been overlooked? OK, they lied not only to men, but the Holy Ghost.? Where was the blood of Christ, forgiveness, redemption?
Act 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Now what is this? Great fear came upon ALL the church as many HEARD (the prophecy, prophetic words) these things.
Since when is FEAR edifying and encouraging? Yet we are not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind? Interesting.
Lets examine just a few other scriptures out of hundreds that could be brought to light from the new testament.
Mar 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
Now that is encouraging! It is also prophetic. Yet seconds later it reads.
Mar 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: What?
This is also a prophetic word, and it is not encouraging at all. It is a warning. A very stern warning with major consequences. (Who was speaking here and who were the listeners?)
Lets examine another scripture.
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: BUT whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Another prophetic word. Now that is very encouraging! Sounds like a warning to me. Sounds like a very stern warning that speaks of consequences. Bottom line “Don't Do It!” and if you have "repent quickly".
Here is a perfect example of what can happen when revelation come to a person from the Father.
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, BLESSED art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but MY FATHER which is in heaven.
Wow! That is a awesome thing for one to hear the very Lord Jesus Christ say, blessed are you! Now that is encouraging, uplifting, comforting.
Mat 16;23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
"Awe! Those things that be of men".
What is this? Jesus just spoke a blessing over Peter saying thou art blessed, only to within minutes rebuke Peter, call Peter satan, and say thou art a offense to me. Not very encouraging, comforting, or edifying.
The word of God is full of prophecy, prophetic unctions. Some brings joy to the heart. Some are encouraging, some are edifying, lift you up, give you hope. And others are warnings to change course, to examine yourself, to examine your motives, and so on.
Most people fear, and become offended at the word repent, which simply means “hey I love you, change course, your going the wrong way”.
Sometimes prophecy is spoken in quietness, through edification, in encouragement and other times harshly, other times as a rebuke.
Sometimes it is shared through being herald through a writing being made plain on a tablet. Other times it is shared through a dream, a vision, through revelation and through prophetic unctions as simple as one single word. However there is even more....
That doesn’t mean that God stopped loving us or the person called to receive the word. Can you imagine the voice that Jesus used when he said "blessed are you" only to then rebuke Peter and call him satan and a offense minutes later. Picture that scene, and the emotion involved.
One of the most important words in my opinion in the word of God is the word 'if". If you do this, this will happen, if you do that, that will happen.
If you humble yourself God will exalt you, if you are prideful, God will resist you. If you wait on the Lord, the Lord will renew your strength, if you don’t, you will strive and your strength will not be renewed.
If you walk in the spirit, if you walk in the flesh and on and on it goes. These are all prophetic words with different outcomes. Blessings for obedience, curses for disobedience, prophetic words. If you hearken diligently unto the word (voice) of the Lord God all these blessings will come upon thee and overtake thee, if you don’t they will not and other things will come upon you.
Now as I said, the above is just a few examples out of hundreds and hundreds of scriptures.
Here are some other scriptures on the word exhort:
Act 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of [any man's] life among you, but of the ship.
2Cr 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
2Th 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 6:2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise [them], because they are brethren; but rather do [them] service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Tts 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Tts 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
Tts 2:9 [Exhort] servants to be obedient unto their own masters, [and] to please [them] well in all [things]; not answering again;
Tts 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Hbr 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Here is further wisdom:
primarily, "to call to a person" (para, "to the side," kaleo, "to call"), denotes
(a) "to call on, entreat;"
(b) "to admonish, exhort, to urge" one to pursue some course of conduct (always prospective, looking to the future, in contrast to the meaning to comfort, which is retrospective, having to do with trial experienced), translated "exhort" in the RV of Phl 4:2; 1Th 4:10; Hbr 13:19,22, for AV, "beseech;" in 1Ti 5:1, for AV, "intreat;" in 1Th 5:11, for AV, "comfort;" "exhorted" in 2Cr 8:6; 12:18, for AV, "desired;" in 1Ti 1:3, for AV, "besought."
Now read the letters to not the unbelievers, but the seven churches in the book of Revelation.