With Pentecostalism being the fastest-growing “brand” of Christianity going these days, many denominational groups find themselves faced with the question of what to do about this heretofore untraditional expression as it springs up more and more often throughout their congregations. Within the House Church movement, the same situation applies.
How does your House Church handle the prophetic utterance as it comes forth? How WILL these manifestations be handled as they occur (and they WILL) in the future?
Where New Testament Prophecy is concerned, Edification, Exhortation and Comfort are the main ingredients in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:3, “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation and comfort.” Because we have a personal God who speaks to each of us individually…because Jesus is the King who guides and leads His kingdom…each of us can be certain that He will use prophecy to CONFIRM that which He is already speaking to us. In other words, He won’t speak prophetically through anybody else to tell you it’s time to be a missionary in Africa UNLESS he has already spoken the same thing to you PERSONALLY.
Dr. Bill Hamon teaches about the 3 W’s of Decision Making, i.e., the Word, the Will and the Way. Hamon says, “The most accurate method of making sure you do everything in harmony with Heaven is to follow the “Three W’s”: “Determine God’s Word on the matter, His specific Will about it, and His Way to fulfill it. These are like three traffic lights which must all be “green” before we can proceed on our way.” This is good instruction that is quite applicable to one’s handling of the prophetic “word” as well. Another way of putting it is (A) Is it Scriptural? (B) Does the word witness with your spirit? (John 16:13; I John 2:20) and (C) Have all the circumstances lined up? In other words, not everything that seems good is of God. In my own life, when I felt it was time to leave the town I’d lived in for 14 years, after receiving a prophetic word, I can recall my heart nearly beating out of my chest as I awaited one last confirmation – an important phone call – before making my move. When the answer came, with it came a peace that passed all understanding, meaning, it made sense to very few others except me and the Lord. I moved, and in so doing, made the best decision I’d made in decades. I’ve never once doubted that choice.
Today, many people are taking an apparent word of prophecy that is spoken by well-meaning, living room “prophets” and, because they aren’t sure what to do next, too often, take the “word’ they received and run with it, only to find themselves trainwrecked later. They may relocate, marry unequally, leave a job…all at the altar of so-called “Prophecy.” On one hand, we have to admire the zeal of the one who believes he/she is prophetically-gifted (though improperly trained) for their willingness to step-out in faith and share what they believe God had placed upon their heart. On the other hand, we cannot fault the improperly-trained recipient of the Request prophetic word for not knowing what to do with what they were told.