Prophecy Series – Introduction

Posted on May 24, 2015

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So what is prophecy?  Prophecy is a revealing things or information of God that were hidden.  Simply speaking the Bible is a document of prophecy that reveals things that have happened and are to happen as well as things that please God and things that displease God.  I like to call the Bible the timeless prophetic word of God since it is a book for all people of all times and if a person receives prophetic insight today I like to call that a now word of God.  Unlike the Bible the now word of God has a shelf life or a time limit on its purpose as well as a unique application.  Whatever the now word of God says it will NEVER contradict the written word of God, the Bible.

Hidden Things

There are lots of hidden things and not just what God has to say.  In the occult throughout time there have been people using hidden things for personal gain using God given gifting for purposes other than God intended.  Balaam would be the greatest example of miss-using his gift.  Balaam had spiritual insight and others knew of his gifting and wished to use it for personal gain.  In another post I will talk more about being “prophetic” and how it typically work but today I want to talk about what God gives us through prophecy.

The Possible Content of Prophecy

Prophecy can deliver many things but in the following dream is a great summary of the type of things God might say through a prophecy.  This was received through a dream which is just one way God can speak. It would be no different than if a prophet such as Elijah came to Abimelech and spoke these words directly to him. I will take each verse and break them down but read the entire passage first.

Genesis 20: 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. 4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? 5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

In verse three God says two things, the first is a warning, thou art but a dead man.  The first thing Abimelech learns in this prophetic experience is that his life is in danger; God uses prophecy to warn us of potential judgment. The next thing in this same verse God gives revelation that Sarah is really Abraham’s wife.  Abimelech learns his life is in danger and that the woman he is courting is really the wife of another man.

In verse four and five Abimelech interacts in the prophetic experience and again, if Elijah the prophet was speaking this to him Abimelech still could have asked the question. This appeal is almost like intercession and repentance of a mistake not known at the time.

Verse six finds God giving more revelation to Abimelech.  First God acknowledges that he knows Abimelech’s heart and God also reveals the he had intervened to keep the relationship from going too far.  Abimelech may have known about this intervention or looking back he could see it after God spoke though it’s not revealed in the Bible.

The first part of verse seven find more three more things that come from prophecy, instructions, and results or future with some more revelation.  God tells Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham for the instruction then gives some revelation that Abraham is a prophet.  The results or future that are given are like a programing statement in a computer language, if Sarah is returned then Abraham will pray for you and you will live. This was not an exclusive prediction; the outcome was based on the actions of both Abimelech and Abraham.  This is very important to know since this is God himself speaking directly into Abimelech’s life and giving a prophecy completely dependent on the actions of two individuals for the prophecy to come to pass the way God would like.

The second portion of verse seven has the negative “if then” statement of the prophecy.  God gives the consequences of disobedience.  Abimelech is told that if he does not return Sarah to Abraham that he would die and everyone that belonged to him.

Summary

In summary of the kind of things that came through this prophetic experience they are; 1.) Warning of judgment – you are a dead man, 2.) revelation about a fact – Sarah is another man’s wife, 3.) interaction – Abimelech pleads his position to God, 4.) God acknowledges Abimelech’s heart, 5.) revelation about God’s actions – prevented Abimelech from going too far, 6.) reveals a positive future outcome – return Sarah and Abraham will pray for you, 7.) reveals the other side the negative outcome – Sarah stays and God takes you and everyone around you.

Why the Prophetic Dream?

God could have handled this many ways so why the dream and why was Abimelech the one with dream? The easy and obvious answer is Abimelech is the one that did things wrong but also Abraham denied his bride as well. The real reason for the dream is to get the purposes of God back on course and is always the reason for any prophecy.  God’s plan was in danger and he had to stop Abimelech and get Sarah back with Abraham where she belonged.  God had already intervened with a plague of bareness on Abimelech and that did not get his attention or even Abraham’s so the dream was the next step for God to speak directly to Abimelech to get things back on track.

Always the Purpose

Any prophetic experience whether a dream, a sign, a word, or even emphasis on a Bible verse is about God’s big plan and purposes not only for you but anyone else that you come in contact with or may influence with your life, even after you are gone.  Abimelech returning Sarah affected the entire nation of Israel, even the linage of David and Jesus. This doesn’t mean that a specific and very personal word may seem only for you but all of our lives influence others somehow.

Watch for more posts on the gift and office of prophecy.

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