Church, a warm welcome to everyone just back from their travels. We are thankful to God for journey mercies. A warm welcome to everyone visiting us for the first time here in the church or online and of course a welcome to the church.
As we sanctified ourselves and waited upon God in preparation to end the year and begin a new year, God gave us some prophetic words anchored in scriptures for 2024. God impressed it upon my heart that he would do amazing things for us as a people and surpass our expectations. I also sensitise you to determine and take note of what you plan to do for Him and his kingdom.
God comes alongside us and helps us to achieve certain personal things in our lives so that we can be focused on His Kingdom agenda.
BTW,.if you're new to the faith and wonder what's all the fuss around new years. Well a year is a good chunk of time for short to medium time planning purposes. Of course that year has to be broken down into chunks of time like months, weeks and days for planning sake.
End of years gives you an opportunity to take stock and evaluate your plans for course correction for the year to come. Here is what Paul told the Ephesians about timing.
So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will. Ephesians 5:15-17 TPT
As we came to the end of year and sought God for the new year, God revealed that we can expect 8 wonders and I wonder what you've planned to do for God. This morning, I wish to further guide you in the things of God. Amen. The topic of the sermon is the workings of prophecy.
When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan. The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm. Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed. Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah. Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place; for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed. Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” Isaiah 7:1-9 NLT
1 Corinthians 14:2-4 NLT
For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church. 1 Corinthians 14:2-4 NLT
First, let's start with definitions. Here is a simple definition for prophecy. Prophecy is God’s intention or "things to come" revealed to us to strengthen, encourage and comfort. In other words, in prophecy, God is foretelling us what would happen.
Prophecy can also be calling forth telling which means that we call those things that are not as though they are by the inspiration of God. For example in Ezekiel 37 God inspired Ezekiel to speak to the dry bones.
Types of Prophecies
Prophecies can be broken down into two types - conditional and unconditional.
Unconditional prophecies are God’s plan that are not subject to humanity. Mainly these are things that will have a global impact on Kingdoms. Examples of unconditional promise are the first and second coming of Jesus. Another example is the giving of land to Abraham and his seed in a foreign land for 400 years. Gen. 15.
Conditional prophecies are God’s intent that's dependent on the recipient. We have many examples of these in the scriptures. These bear directly “upon men’s responsibilities”. They are often predicated by if. Many of God’s dealing with us are conditional otherwise they infringe on our will which was given as a free will.
For the rest of the sermon, I'll therefore share with you the purpose and the responsibilities of men as it pertains to prophecies. God has said certain things to us about 2024, for what purpose and what are my responsibilities?
In the bible passage we read, two Kings had planned to attack Jerusalem and the people had become very fearful. God therefore sent Isaiah to give a word of prophecy - it will not happen. The purpose of the word of prophecy to the king in foretelling the things to happen was to deal with fear, to strengthen him, to encourage and comfort him.
In 1 Cor. 14:2-4 where Paul explains the difference between prophecy and speaking in tongues, again we are told that prophecy is for encouragement, strengthening the believers and comforting.
And so some of us finished last year with certain pressures and difficulties. Satan, our common adversary, would often use what's going on in our lives to orchestrate defeat through his weapon of fear and discouragement.
Friends, challenges are part of life and they are meant to empower us for the next season of life but Satan would want to take advantage of it to create defeat and not just defeat but a cycle of defeat so that one might give up hope and stop trusting in God.
And so God comes alongside us with a prophectic word to encourage, strengthen and comfort us. As I took stock of my life and the life of the congregation, I was greatly encouraged when God said that he will
Raise divine help
Give us joyful celebrations
Give us victories
Do great wonders
Bring us into great harvest and