It is our desire to have a biblical balance on the issues concerning apostolic and prophetic gifts today. One of the keys to find such a balance is the phrase, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part" (1 Corinthians 13:9).
Love is the greatest commandment. As we continue to love, our love grows more mature. In that experience of maturity, we have more patience and humility. The more we know, the more we realize how much we don't know. We give place to the fact that others will know and see things that we do not. This attitude preserves unity and prevents divisiveness.
The phrase, "we prophesy in part", can be looked at in two ways. For those who do not believe in the continuing gift of prophecy at all, or who say that prophecy must be perfect or else it is totally false, we can see that New Covenant prophecy involves a level of interpretation and understanding that is only partial in nature; "for now we see in a mirror, dimly" (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Yet we do prophesy. Anyone who is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit can potentially share prophetic revelation (1 Corinthians 14:5, 6, 24, 31, 32, 39). Just because prophecy is only partial does not mean that it is not true prophecy. This is why we are instructed to "test" prophecies and "hold on to what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) If everything prophetic was perfect and complete, there would be no need to "hold on" to what is good and reject what is not!
In the New Covenant, after a person repents and believes in Yeshua, his spirit can be born again. The Spirit of God can bear witness with the human spirit (Romans 8:16) through the human conscience (Romans 9:1). Through the human spirit and conscience, thoughts come to the human mind whose origins are from God (Romans 8:6, Isaiah 55:8-9).
That is the experience of normative New Covenant prophecy: God's thoughts through God's Spirit to our spirit through our conscience, bringing God's thoughts into our thoughts. When we convey those "God thoughts" to others, it is considered prophecy or divine wisdom.
On the other hand, those of us who believe in prophecy often need to "tone down" our language. We should not speak in ABSOLUTE terms, because, after all, we only prophesy in part and we only know in part. New Covenant prophecy is not so much a direct and external command from God, but an internal understanding of the will of God through words and pictures, inspired by God in our hearts.
Therefore we should speak with more humble language, posture, tone of voice, volume and "body language". Is the way we prophesy indicating the fact that we know that the very prophecy we are giving is by definition only "partial"?
Here is the balance: "Non-charismatics" need to recognize that New Covenant believers can indeed prophesy, and that the Scriptures nowhere teach that this gift would cease before Yeshua's return. We "charismatics" need to recognize that what we are prophesying is only partial. And finally, to all of us in any kind of theological argument: whatever it is that we do know, we only know it partially. Let's give more room for humbling ourselves and learning from others.
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There have been comments to this article ...
5:18pm 01Feb18, Margaret Zehnder: Love this article! Asher is so balanced in his view! Loved seeing him on Zola Levitt.
7:26pm 01Feb18, Becky Rae: Loved your article...it brings balance to prophecy and reminds us that love and humility are the ways of the Lord!
7:53pm 01Feb18, Raymond E. Wiggins Sr.: Being the son of a preacher, now in the presence of the Lord, I was among those taught that the gifts had passed away and was dis-fellowshipped in the late 70's for teaching to the contrary. I am now 65 and have remained steadfast in teaching my "partial knowledge" about spiritual gifts in the Body of Messiah. Nevertheless, 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 was an "eye opener" or a "Day Star dawning" (2 Peter 1:19) for me. I learned, in part, that this seems to be Paul's "foundational" teaching about spiritual gifts and their longevity in the Body of Messiah "until the revelation of Yeshua" or the "end." In my opinion, until this, that is, Paul's "foundational" teaching is understood 1 Corinthians 13:10 will continue to be misunderstood by many in the Body of Messiah! Furthermore, it seems that Paul's "foundational" teaching about spiritual gifts in chapter 1:4-9 is the very "fellowship" into which we have been called by prophesying "one by one" to one another as we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:11;19-21 cf. 1 Peter 4:10-11)! You be the judge!
10:15pm 01Feb18, Leone Krohn: Yes this article is right on. We have been quick to prophesy but not always in a spirit of humility.
8:01am 02Feb18, Mirian Maranzeboim: Yes, Amen! The gift of prophecy did not cease years and years ago. Whoever believes this needs to read I Corinthians 14! especially verse 3.
12:29pm 02Feb18, Carolyn Raham: Your article is very clear and accurate! Thanks!
7:54pm 02Feb18, Celia Warner: Thank you for the balaced perspective this teaching gives.
2:45am 04Feb18, Caleb Yunni: Yes, there is a gift of prophecy, but it must be trained, because there is flesh fighting against it and adding "good willing" thougths. That is the reason why Yeshua used this verse against Kefa: "Get behond me satan..." It was flesh and Satan is in hebrew 'accuser'.
8:58am 04Feb18, Pastor Alberto Lopez Reyes: So true! When arrogance is present in prophecy, love is absent, therefore the partial prophecy actually becomes invalidated! Well written article.
1:44am 06Feb18, Joy Burlison: Thank you for this delightful article; love how you articulated this graciously.
5:04am 07Feb18, Isaac Luke: You made it, Asher! We do prophesy in part, and that is one of the factors that keep us wanting God more!
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