Creflo Dollar - God Speaks Through Prophecy
Well, praise God. Welcome to this study of God's words. We have been talking about how God speaks, and he wants to direct us, and he wants to lead and to guide our lives. And I've already had opportunity to show you how God speaks through visions and dreams. And tonight I wanna talk to you about how God can speak through prophecy. Now, this is very important how God can speak through prophecy. You know, there's a lot of things that happen with prophecy and a lot of misunderstandings. And my objective in this series is, you know, not tryin' to get deep but just tryin' to show you the reality of it from God's Word, to show you it's biblical, that God will speak through dreams, and he'll speak through visions, and tonight he will speak to you through prophecy.
Now, I believe that we need to get ready because there's gonna be an acceleration. We're going to hear from God. You're gonna be led by the Spirit of God, and God's gonna begin to speak to your life. And so, before I start talkin' to you about, and showing you how God speaks through prophecy, I wanna take a little detour and go to 1 Corinthians chapter 14, and I wanna talk about, you know, prophecy where we are right now so you'll know what to expect. 1 Corinthians chapter 14, in the King James, and then in the NLT. So here's what he says here. He says, "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, exhortation, and power".
So in today's time, when you hear prophecy, it should be speaking something that will edify, it should be speaking somethin' that will exhort, and it should be speaking somethin' that will bring comfort to you. Now, the NLT says this, just so you can just really get a hold of what to expect when a word of prophecy comes your way. He says, "But one who prophesies strengthens others". So the prophet or the prophecy should strengthen you, and he says, "It encourages them". So not only should the prophecy strengthen you, but it should encourage you. And then he says, "and it comforts them".
So notice the three things that should be takin' place in your life when prophecy shows up. It should be somethin' that strengthens you, it should be somethin' that encourages you, it should be somethin' that comforts you. Now, if those things are not there, then you might wanna be very careful about receiving that because it's somethin' that strengthens, it's somethin' that encourages you, it's somethin' that comforts you. When God speaks, man, that's gonna be a powerful thing. And so tonight I wanna look at how God will speak and lead and guide us through prophecy so he can bring us to the place where we need to be.
Let's go to 1 Timothy chapter 1, in verse 18, and most of the time, I'll go to the King James, and then the NLT 'cause we really wanna amplify this. 1 Timothy chapter 1, in 18, and just notice what the Scripture says. He says, "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy", so he's talkin' to Timothy, "according to the prophecies which went before on thee". So he says, "I'm charging you according to the prophecies that have already gone forth concerning you, that thou by those prophecies might war a good warfare".
Look at this in the NLT. So these prophecies are equipping us for a successful fight. It's equipping us for a successful battle. So when God speaks and through prophecy, he's tryin' to equip you. Here's what he says in the NLT. He says, "Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, and these instructions, Timothy, are based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier". So, notice, God is confirming, and he is speaking to Timothy through those prophetic words, and he says, "May those words, may they help you. May this prophecy, these prophecies, help you to fight well in the Lord's battles".
So there's an equipping effect that takes place. I mean, when God begins to speak through prophecy in your life, he's not only speaking instructions in your life, but he's also goin' to equip you, he's gonna strengthen you, he's going to comfort you, and he's going to encourage you. So, when God has spoken to us, it gives us a tool to use against the enemy of our souls. Now, listen to that now: When God speaks to us through prophecy, it's giving us tools that we can use against the enemies of our soul.
Now, remember, your soul is your mind, your will, and emotions, and once you've heard from God through prophecy, you're equipped to battle all of those suggestions of the devil, all of those thoughts of the devil, all those thoughts of failure or "I wonder if I can do it"? those thoughts of doubt. When that word of prophecy comes, the reason why I believe God allows it to come to you, before the thing even happens, is so that you can fight against the enemy of your soul, so you can fight against those things that are trying to dominate your thinking. And so we must contend for everything said to us through prophecy. We gotta fight for it. We gotta compete for all of those things that have been spoken in our lives and said to us through prophecy.
You know, if God's spoken some things to your life through prophecy, man, and you know it was God, then you gotta fight. You gotta contend to hold onto that and to not allow the enemy of your souls to dismiss it. Now, we have to seek to fulfill the requirements that God has put forth in the prophecy. So God's prophesyin' somethin' in your life. You know it was God: it encourages, it strengthens. it comforts. Then we want to seek to do all that we can to fulfill the requirements that God has put forth in the prophecy and, more or less, cooperating and walking along with it and not dismissing it.
So God has put forth in the prophecy some things that will really equip you for the battle that is ahead, and when you take prophecy lightly, the prophetic promise can never come to pass, and I know some people, and this is why I'm teaching on it tonight. We, just, kind of, we receive prophetic words. We take it lightly. We don't take it seriously. We're not standing on it. We're not holding onto it. We don't even know if it was God or not, and there you go, God was tryin' to forewarn you, prepare you, give you the tools necessary to use, but you dismissed it. You took it lightly, and so, unfortunately, it never came to pass. And so I hope you just really get a hold of what some of the things I'm gonna share with you tonight because they are powerful things, and God's gonna be a game changer in your life, and he's gonna speak and lead and guide you through the prophetic.
Now let's go to Romans chapter 4. Romans chapter 4, and this is just kind of an overview over the subject. I imagine you can go a lot deeper into this, but I'm tryin' to give you information to just get your attention. You know, sometimes we have to be careful not to let certain things slip in our lives. Certain things that we used to understand, don't let those things slip. Romans chapter 4, in verse 20 through 22, I'll look at this in King James and the NLT, but he says, "He staggered not at the," referring to Abraham here. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God".
So there's a promise here, and he didn't stagger after that promise. "He was fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was also able to perform". In verse 22, he said, "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness". And so, you know, let's look at this in the NLT. So we gotta stay on the promise. Just like that prophetic word comes to your life, you know it was God. You've got a check in your spirit that was God. You gotta stay on that thing. You gotta stay on the promise. You don't stagger. Look what he said in, now, verse 20: "Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise".
You know, you know you receive somethin' from God and it came prophetic, don't waver. And you've got to know that the enemy's goin' to send a lot of thoughts your way for the very purpose of getting you to stagger at that promise, waver at that promise or doubt it. "I don't know if that's gon' really happen to me". You gotta learn how to stay with it. You gotta learn how to stay on that promise, stay on that prophetic, you see? And then he says, "He never wavered believing God, in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God".
I believe that's what happens in the prophetic. When you get a word of prophecy, it ought to encourage you enough for your faith to grow stronger. You should be really strengthened when that word of prophecy comes, and that's what happened with Abraham. When he got that promise from God that he'd be a father of many nations, I mean, he grew stronger. He grew strong. And then the verse says, 21, and "He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promised". You have got to be fully convinced. When God is speaking to you through the prophetic, you've gotta be fully convinced that God is able to bring it to pass. And then he says, "And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteousness".
And so stay with it. Stay on the promise. Stay on the promise. Stay on the prophetic, what is it that God has said to you. Prophetic, you know, it's God, it lines up with his Word, it comforts, encourages, it strengthens. Stay with it, don't let it go. Don't let the circumstances and situations that surround you let it go.
Well, you know, in 2 Peter chapter 1, in verse 19, the Bible talks about a more sure word of prophecy, and I wanna read this in the King James and the NLT. Again, 2 Peter 1, in 19, he says in verse 19, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto you do well that you take heed, as until a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts". A more sure word of prophecy. Now, the NLT says, "Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets". So he's referring to the message that was proclaimed by the prophets, and what he says is that's a sure word, "a message proclaimed by the prophet". That's a sure word.
You know, the New Testament, the written Word of God, that's a sure word that was proclaimed by the prophet, and we have a sure word. We have a short word of prophecy. I mean, when you look at and talk about the Bible, that's not somethin' that we look at and say, "Well, it contradicts itself because people don't know how to rightly divide it, or they wonder if that's true, or they read out of the Scripture and say, 'Well, I don't know about that.'"
We have a more sure word, and it's written in this Bible, and I believe it. That means, you know, this sure word of prophecy that I have right here in this Bible, praise God, I'm gon' stick with it. I'm gonna stick with it. I'm gon' stay with it, praise the Lord. And so, in the NLT, it says, "Because of that experience, we have even a greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote". He says, "You've gotta give close attention to what they wrote, for their words". He describes their words, the words written in this Bible, it's described as a lamp. "It's like a lamp shining in a dark place". It's like a lamp.
You see, if you're in darkness and you don't pay attention to this sure word or prophecy, man, you know, you're ignoring the lamp, that this Word is like a lamp in a dark place. And I tell ya, you know, right now we're in a dark place in our country and in the world, and the Word of God is like that lamp. It's like a lamp, and that's what I'm goin' to. That's what I want you to go to. That's what I want you to pay attention to. It is like a lamp in a dark place. And so he says, "until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your heart".
So ultimately what he is saying here is we have a more sure word of prophecy. It's sure. It's not to be doubted. It's not to be questioned. It's a sure word of prophecy, and if you pay attention to that sure word of prophecy, then you're gonna have a light in the middle of a dark place. Are you in darkness somewhere in your life or darkness with, you know, how to handle your finances, darkness in your relationships, darkness with raising your children, darkness emotionally, you know, because of all the things that are goin' on?
I say to you, go to the Word and hang on. Get a hold of the sure word of prophecy that is your light in the midst of darkness. And those of you who have been getting in the Word and, you know, some of you have been joinin' me for our time of confessions in the morning time, that's our light in the middle of darkness. And while other people are in the darkness, tryin' to figure out where to go and what to do and how to govern their lives, you and I are on that sure word of prophecy that is like a lamp. It's like a light in the midst of darkness.
So the message you receive through prophecy, it also, listen to this, also it has a correct timing to it. If you receive a prophetic word, every prophetic word that'll come to you has a correct timing to it. In other word, there's a specific time that this thing is going to come to pass. There's a timing factor that's involved in that prophetic word. And so you may get a prophetic word today, but you might not see it until, you know, a couple months or somethin' like that or maybe a year or somethin', but it has a timing to that prophetic. Sometimes God allows you to hear a thing way ahead of time just so you can just stay with it and stay on it and get focused in on it, and lots of other things begin to happen to prepare you for the timing of that word to come to pass.
So just as God gives us work to do, he tells us when, he tells us how, he tells us with whom, and those details are just as important as the task at hand. So there's a task at hand that may be given to you through the word of prophecy, but the timing is important as well. It's when, it's how, it's whom. I like to use this phrase: "It's really maturing as a barefooted priest".
You know, you're not walkin' with your shoes on, where you're insensitive to the things you walk on, but you take your shoes off. You become very sensitive to what's goin' on, and I believe, when you receive a prophetic word, it's important for you to understand that the timing is involved, and there are details that are involved in that prophetic word. And you don't have to sweat to try to figure those details out. God'll make sure that you get all of it. You just walk as a barefooted priest. He'll make sure you don't miss the time, you don't miss the who, you don't miss the details that are there.
And so the steps of God are just as important as the goals of God. Let me say that again. I said, "steps," I meant "stops". This is important. This is the leadership and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, even when he reveals somethin' to you. Let me say that again: The stops of God, and what I mean by that is, you know, God may show up and just say, "Don't do anything right now". The stops of God are just as important as the go's of God. You know, everybody's really concerned about, you know, "When is God gon' tell me to go"? A'ight? But I tell ya, as important of a thing it is for you to know when God's gon' tell you to go, it's equally as important for you to be sensitive to God when he says, "stop".
Wow, so what if you've been doin' a thing for, I don't know, several and, God says, "Stop". And, you know, you wanna "Why, God, how come"? No, no, no, no, the stops of God are just as important as the go's of God. That's that timing that will work within that prophetic word, the stops of God. I don't know. Maybe God has spoken to you about a promotion in your life, and you're in the process of doin' some things, and in the middle of, you know, this whole timing, when you're waiting on this prophetic word to come to pass, all of a sudden, there's a leading in your spirit it's time to stop this.
And for some people, because they don't consider the stops of God to be as important as the go's of God, then the prophetic word is ready to take place at this particular time with this particular situation, but you're not paying attention to the stops of God. I actually sense that in my spirit that there are some of you, right now, have ignored the stops of God. We don't ignore the go's of God, and sometimes we do, but they're equally as important for you to become sensitive to where this is concerned.
Now, I wanna warn you because there are some people who just like goin' around, and they wanna prophesy to everybody, and you don't want to make people your source. You don't wanna go to somebody, you know, "You got a word for me"? Because, you know, you don't wanna do that. Let's just show you what the Scripture says. Matthew chapter 7. Matthew chapter 7, in verse 21. This is so very important. Matthew 7, verse 21, he says, "Not everyone that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven". I thought this is very interesting. I've never taken this out on this verse of Scripture before, but notice what he says: "Not everyone that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord.'"
So, obviously, there are gonna be some people who are goin' around and talkin' about "The Lord said that," and "The Lord said this," and it's not gonna be so. These are the people who are always trying to give a word. Have you ever met anybody like that? They're always trying to get a word. When I was in college, I would come in contact with Christians. They're always trying to give a word. It made me a little uncomfortable because I couldn't receive anything they said. Every time I came around, they said they had a word for me. And so dependin' on others to know the will of God is dangerous. You don't wanna get in a place where you're depending on other people to know the will of God for you. You have a relationship with God. You don't want to depend on other people.
Please get that. Don't depend on other people to know the will of God. Don't depend on other people to know the will of God for your life. If there's one area that you need to make sure that you know for yourself, and that's the will of God for yourself because, I tell you, when the problems show up and the situations come, and you're confronted with all of these different things, you better feel comfortable that you know the will of God for yourself because God's spoken it to your heart, and you are convinced, but don't depend on other people to know the will God for you.
You know, oftentimes, people will say to me, "Well, I don't know what to do, and I don't know how to respond here," and my response is you need to get on your face and you need to pray until somethin' happens. You need to pray until you resolve this issue. I don't wanna be the one goin' around, "Lord, Lord," and, you know, you dependin' on me to know the will of God for your life. And even as a pastor, I don't want you dependin' on me to know the will of God for your life. You need to know the will of God for your life. You don't go around and pay some prophet to show you the will of God for your life or stop the crystal-ball lady and have her to look in your round ball and see if she can say somethin' or read your palms and all that kind of stuff. You need to know the will of God for your life.
Now, let's look at Jeremiah chapter 23, in 21. This is very interesting how he says this because, as a sheep of God, the Bible says, "My sheep, they know my voice, they hear me". And as a sheep of God, you need to know God's voice for yourself. And Jeremiah 23, in verse 21, he says, "I have not sent these prophets", he says, "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, and, yet they prophesied". I think that's so effective. Look at this in the New Living Translation. There are people that are gonna come around your way. God said, "I didn't send 'em".
Now, there are people that'll come and try to prophesy to you. God said, "I hadn't spoken anything through them". He says, "I have not sent these prophets, yet they run around claiming to speak for me". He says, "I have given them no message, yet they go on prophesying".
I believe Jeremiah, and I so appreciate this Scripture here. It's just to let you know that you've got to be a sheep that knows God's voice. You've got to know that, when somebody comes around you and they are prophesying discouragement instead of encouragement, they are prophesyin' somethin' that makes you feel weak, they are prophesying somethin' that takes away all comfort, you've got to know from 1 Corinthians 14, that that's not God. I showed you at the beginning of this teaching that, when prophesy goes forth, it will exhort, which means it will strengthen you. It will encourage you, it will comfort you. And if you're not getting exhortation, comfort, and strength, that's probably not from God.