Last year, our host Kenny did a mini-series on the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Kenny tackled multiple topics related to the Holy Spirit. One of those topics was the topic of prophecy. You can listen to that episode here: “87: What is Prophecy?”
Kenny made the case that the gift (or function) of New Testament prophecy has been grossly misunderstood by many contemporary Christians, and that the spiritual gift of prophecy often gets maligned or abused. In response to that previous episode, Kenny received an email from a regular listener asking for clarification about the topic of prophecy.
In this episode, Kenny seeks to bring clarity by again explaining that the Old Testament office of “prophet” was restricted to only one person, meaning that only one person had access to the fullness and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, but that ever since the day of Pentecost, all New Testament Christians now have full access to the fullness and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. And as such, anytime a believer is empowered by the Spirit of God to speak boldly to the people of God on behalf of God, then in essence, that person is prophesying.
The spiritual gift of prophecy does not mean that someone is foretelling the future, but rather that they are being empowered by the Spirit to speak boldly to God's people for a specific person of cause. Occasionally this may indeed involve elements of “words of knowledge” or unique spiritual discernment, but in most cases it ought to be more focused on admonishment, rebuke, correction, teaching, calls to worship, and calls for repentance.