Seek Prophesy

The best gift

1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

There are two commands given to the Believer in verse 1:

  • follow af­ter charity
  • desire spiritual gifts.”

Charity is a certain “way”[1] that a Believer should walk in his Christian life.  Along the “way” of charity, there are different kinds of spiritual gifts that God gives us to equip us to accomplish the purpose He desires for us to do.  An example of this is how God instructed Moses and the Children of Israel.[2]  God “…made known his WAYS unto Moses, his ACTS unto the children of Israel.” His “ways,” like “charity,” were the “ways” that He wanted them to live.  His “acts” were the different miraculous things that he did by His Spirit and by the Spirit’s moving upon different people to accomplish miracles, like the way the Spirit was evident in Moses.  The spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 correspond with the “acts” of God demonstrated in the Children of Israel’s wandering in the wilderness. 

The spiritual man will see the “way” that God wants him to live.  Along that way of life, the Holy Spirit will per­form certain “acts” through the gifts He gives to that man.  In contrast, the carnal man is more concerned with the “acts” of the Holy Spirit, through the use of gifts, and not the “way” that God wants him to live his life.  The carnal man enjoys being a showoff.  He wants the attention drawn to himself and not the Lord Jesus Christ’s way of living as a Christian.  If we are given a choice between knowing God and see­ing His works, we are better off choosing to know Him.

Among all of the Spiritual gifts, Paul mentions one gift that is over all the rest, and that is the ability to prophesy.  Proph­ecy, then, is among the best of the spiritual gifts that a Christian can get.[2]  Prophecy is the ability to foretell the future through the supernatural revelation that Jesus Christ gives a person.  When the Apostle John closed out the one book of the New Testament that is entirely dedicated to prophecy, he writes, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).  Prophecy, then, is the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the best-known prophets of the early church was a man named Agabus.[3]  Agabus, supernaturally received messages from the Lord Jesus Christ and then communicated those messages to the people whom God wanted to receive them.  So, when Agabus spoke, he didn’t speak in a special language that only he and God understood.  He spoke in a language that the people who were listening could understand the message God had for them.  Therefore, it was much more edifying for the people that Agabus used the gift of prophecy instead of “tongues.”  God wants Christians to know what was going on.  They didn’t have a completed Bible at that time, so the gifts of “tongues” and prophecy were used for communicating.  “Tongues” was a useful gift for communicating God’s prophetic message to the early church.  But, without prophecy, it was nothing; prophecy was much better than tongues because prophecy concerns the content of the message.

Concerning prophecy, there are some things that every true Christian should know about their future:

  • He should know that he has eternal life as a present possession.
  • He should know that he is destined for the New Jerusalem.
  • He should know the eternal destination of the lost.
  • He should know about the sure return of Christ.

Moreover, he should tell others about those things.  A prophet doesn’t just know the future; he broadcasts it to others.  That is why it is profitable.


[1] 1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

[2] Psalm 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

[3] Acts 21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. Acts 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

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