“But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” 1 Corinthians 14:3
The Bible gives us a great number of examples of prophetic preaching. Preaching and sharing that brings life and change rather than the dead letter of the law.
The following are a few examples to hopefully wet your appetite for your own research. I’ve called in the “para’s” to give us a bit of Greek support!
Boldness (parrhēsia par-rhay-see’-ah παῤῥησία)
There is total freedom and confidence as the living word rings out. Acts 2:29 shows the apostle frankly and freely interpreting Israel’s history while the Pharisees are amazed at the disciples fearless proclamation in Acts 4:13.
Exhortation (a word in season) (parakaleō par-ak-al-eh’-o παρακαλέω)
This word is literally “called near” – and is often too close for comfort! It is similar to the word “to comfort” but in this sense it is not the comfort of the sick bed, but the comfort of seeing chains fall off as conviction of sin and judgment come, as the “sword-word” strikes with precision. See Acts 13:15 and Titus 2:15.
There is an appeal to the emotions. Like the disciples on the Emmaus road our hearts may burn within us as we hear. There is an appeal to love and an ability to relate, not just in words and reason, but also in “feeling” and identification, with the audience. See 1 Thessalonians 2:11 and 1Corinthians 14:3.
After the para’s we need to move on.
Jeremiah 23:29 says,
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”
A fire can burn a house down and a hammer can begin to demolish. There are times when, because of the extreme corruption, there is only the “demolition” solution, but, in the main it seems that the New Testament prophetic word was meant to literally “edify” and build up the house, the church, the body of Christ. Listen to Paul’s words in Acts 20:32:
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified”
Edify (Build up the house) (epoikodomeō ep-oy-kod-om-eh’-o ἐποικοδομέω)
The book of Acts begins with a powerful anointing to be “witnesses” to the end of the earth. Living testimony is always valid as are the living lives laid down daily in front of a watching world.
Bear Witness (charge) martureō mar-too-reh’-o μαρτυρέω
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
The daily “martyrdom” of a worthy life is our challenge, not just a quick ticket to heaven in a blaze of glory – although that too is not to be despised in extreme circumstances!
I’ll leave the last word to Jeremiah who was so troubled by the superficial words of the lying “pseudo” prophets of his time. He gives us the key to successful prophetic preaching in chapter 23:18.
“But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?”
Are we standing in the council of the Lord?
Do I see and hear his word?
Who has listened and heard his word?