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... Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:17

A prophecy is basically a message from God, of any kind. When we prophesy we speak on God's behalf what God has for us to say. What kind of messages does God give people to speak for him?

Who can prophesy? Look at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 14:31. What does that imply?

What is the difference between someone who prophesies, and a prophet? Look at 1 Samuel 9:9 and 1 Kings 22:7.

What is the overall purpose of prophecy? What is it for? Think about the purpose of all the gifts and look at Revelation 19:10.

1 Corinthians 14:3
Looking at these verses, what things are prophecies given for?

In verse 31 of this chapter, it says that one reason for prophecy is so that everyone may be "instructed." What kind of prophecy (message from God) do you think this refers to?

In the previous two studies we looked at two other gifts that can have a prophetic nature - a message of wisdom (such as advice), and a message of knowledge (information, such as news). Look at 1 Corinthians 14:24-25. What type of prophecy is used here, and why is it effective?

What other types of prophecy can you think of?

Look at Deuteronomy 18:21-22. What is an important reason for predictions in prophecies? What other reasons do you think there might be for the future to be revealed?

We've seen that prophecy is used for strengthening, encouragement, comfort, instruction/direction and conviction. There is one other type of prophecy used for a lot of these purposes. Many of the prophets God sent before John the Baptist had this kind of message, and so do the messages to the seven churches at the beginning of the Revelation of Christ. Can you think what it is? How might this fit with the pruposes of prophecy we've looked at?

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