The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus

In Luke 16:16 Jesus states “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached.” This means that in the same way that we are no longer to live by Old Testament laws to become righteous e.g. sacrificing a bull or a lamb when we sin, we are no longer to act as the prophets in the Old Testament did, because they finished with John the Baptist.
Some people today still try to give prophecies full of judgement, based on an Old Testament model of seeing what’s wrong with people and pointing it out. However, this is now the job description of the accuser of the brethren!

Rev 12:10-11 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, 'Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our breathren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony.”

Instead, Rev 19:10 says, “The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.” This has many meanings. I will go into a few of them:

On the cross Jesus dealt with the wrath of God. We are now in a season of grace which will last until the final judgement when all will be judged according to their deeds (Revelation 20:11-15). Jesus modelled the life of a New Testament prophet. He often tells his disciples “You have heard it said, but I say unto you.” Each time his disciples attempted to operate out of an Old Testament mindset He corrected them. When James and John wanted to call down fire, like Elijah had done, on the village that would not receive him, Jesus rebuked them. He compared their behaviour to that of Satan! “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:55-56


An attitude of condemnation does not have a place under the new covenant of grace which Jesus ushered in.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do weak as it was through the flesh, God did sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” Rom 8:1+2


In John 8, when the Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, He again refused to act out of an Old Testament mindset. They opened with:

“Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman, what then do you say?”

The Romans did not allow the Jews to carry out death sentences (John 18:31). Jesus stooped down and the scribes and pharisees must have thought for a split second, ‘We’ve got him! He’s going to stone her!’ They also knew that if Jesus refused to stone her he would be scorned by the people for failing to carry out the Law of Moses. Instead, Jesus wrote on the ground with his finger. He may have started writing the 10 commandments, replicating how God wrote them with his finger on the tablets of stone. Ex 31:18; Ex 34:28 So they pressed him harder knowing if he refused to act in either way they had him.

“But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.” John 8:7-8

If he had been writing the Ten Commandments he would now probably be writing the final five that the second tablet contained:

“You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s house;
You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife
Or his male servant
Or his female servant
Or his ox of his donkey
Or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”
Exodus 20:13-17

“When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was in the centre of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, “No one Lord.” And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.’” John 8:9-11

Jesus warned us that we are not to judge anyone:

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” Luke 6:37

Paul warns of the same thing:

"Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgement, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." Rom 2:1

One of the reasons for this is when we judge, we judge according to our flesh.

John 8:15+16 “You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge My judgement is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.”

Click here for a section on judging prophecy

Instead of judging others our behaviour should model that of Jesus who, until the end of the age, “Lives to make intercession” for us (Heb 7:25).

“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Rom 8:33+34

If we spot a weakness or a fault in another, we should not judge that person but pray for them and support them in their weakness before it is too late.

When Jesus rebuked the churches in the book of revelation, He had more positive than negative things to say about them.


God still has to judge

I am not saying here that God does not judge people anymore, because even in the New Testament it is clear that he still does. God, at the end of the age, will judge everyone according to their works (1 Peter 1:17, Rev 20:12). The Bible also makes it clear that God disciplines those that he loves, and those who go beyond a certain point he judges. The best course of action for a Christian is to keep a very short tally with God regarding sin and to seek help if it is a persistent problem. This allows for pruning in a winter period rather than in the spring when the sap is in full flow!

Hebrews 12:5-10 “‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.’ It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons, for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

The sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5; the judging of the false prophetess by throwing her onto a “bed of sickness”, the killing of her children with pestilence in Revelation 2:21-23; and the decision by Paul that “I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1Cor 5:5 These all show that on rare occasions even God’s children who refuse to share in His discipline can become “illegitimate children and not sons”. The judgement of God is still necessary even under the New Covenant, but wouldn’t it be better “to be subject to the Father of spirits and live?”

After much prayer support, if someone does need correcting in their behaviour it is important to use the correct scriptural procedures.
“Brethren even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfil the law of Christ.” Gal 6:1
Our attitude must be one of gentleness and support, with the aim of restoration to a position of honour, not pulling down!
If the person involved is a leader/elder the criteria is even stricter with an insistence of two or three eye witnesses of an event. If the elder continues to sin they should be “rebuked in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” 1Tim 5:19-20
James in the New Testament puts it this way “So speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement.” James 2:13. Mercy here is eleos (1656) and has the meaning of a compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary who is in one’s power or care.

How are you treating those who are in your care?

 

Next.
1. Introduction - friendship with God.
2. Friendship is higher than service.
3. OT prophet. The Spirit came upon them.
4. God wanted prophecy for all in the OT.
5. The wrath of God.
6. God is a merciful judge.
7. John the Baptist - the prophet between the OT and NT
8. NT prophet. The Spirit within we can all prophesy!
9. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.
10. Spiritual gifts are for building not destroying.
11. What you speak to rises up.
12. Prophesy truth not facts.
13. The primary purpose of prophecy in the NT.
Media
Please sign the guestbook
Home.