A prophecy or prophetic word is a word with which God now addresses individuals, congregations or the whole body of Christ. In prophecy there is assurance and encouragement, among other things by pointing to the greatness of God, but also warning and conviction of sins.
In 1 Cor. 14, Paul exhorts the church in Corinth to seek the gift of prophecy with great zeal. There should be room in the worship services for all to speak a prophetic word. The prophetic words should be checked by all.
Prophecy is legitimate and necessary not only in the 1st century, but also today. We need it in addition to the Word of God because God wants to live in a relationship with us and speak to us concretely. In the Old Covenant, He considered it necessary to speak concretely to individuals and His entire people through prophecy, even though the covenant at Sinai had already been given long before. Being a Christian is not a book religion, but a living relationship with the living God.
So how is it that prophecy played almost no role in many years of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ?
Paul expected that in a church where all have the gift of prophecy, an unbeliever would come to be seen through by all and the hiddenness of his heart would be so revealed that he would capitulate to God, worship Him and say loudly and clearly “that God is truly present among you” (1 Cor. 14. 24 – 25). In such a situation, God is dangerously close to us. If we are not ready to let God show us our sins, if we want to have total control over our church and do not want to tolerate any other center of authority next to us, and especially if we think that we are rich and with the means we have now, we ourselves are up to all the demands that come our way: Then the gift of prophecy interferes. The consequence should be that we will not strive for this gift and will try not to let it come up in our church, among other things, with the Bible verse “Do not touch the anointed of the LORD!” If we don’t want to be changed and challenged by God, life will be much more comfortable. But it will all be in vain if we are not willing to let Jesus work on us as our Savior and let Him be our Lord. And how can we let Him be our Lord if we are not willing to let Him speak to us now?