The levels of prophecy can be likened to a pool. The water gets deeper as they go further into the pool. The farthest and deepest end of the pool can be the prophetic level with the greatest intensity and accuracy. Just because a person can prophesy, it does not mean he is called to be a prophet or to the Office of the Prophet. Any divine communication, illumination, and divine inspiration is the work of the Holy Spirit—a prophetic spirit—and is therefore prophetic in nature. Let’s begin with the first level of prophecy.
The “spirit of prophecy” is distinguished from the Book of Revelation. This spirit can be experienced when a preacher suddenly is able to give his message with an extra fire and a fresh anointing. This spirit is also what comes upon you when you feel like the Holy Spirit is telling you to witness to a friend and share the gospel. Suddenly, you can tell you’re sharing exactly what the other person needs to hear. Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)
The “spirit of prophecy” is what inspires you to tell another believer how much you appreciate them with more than just an expression of gratitude or saying, “Thank you.” This “spirit of prophecy” comes over you while you’re praying and can cause you to “change gears” in terms of the direction of what you’re praying for. You notice you pray with more inspiration—you just feel it in your gut.
The “spirit of prophecy” is also what prompts you to pick up the phone and to encourage a friend in the Lord. The “spirit of prophecy” is simply being inspired to speak for God. Prophecy can be given to you, from God, but sometimes the “spirit of prophecy” is from you to God. Unlike “prophecy” which is a direct word from God—“Thus saith the Lord to you”—the “spirit of prophecy” is more like “Thus saith me with more inspiration from the Spirit than usual.”
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Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit move you to speak to a person and share the Word of God? What did you do?