"On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation." - 1 Corinthians 14:3
Prophecy is speaking a message from God. A true prophet is one who actually has a message from God and who delivers that message faithfully. A false prophet is one who doesn’t have a message from God but speaks anyway as though he had one. His message is a false message; it didn’t really come from God. It may be a message from his own mind, or it may be a message from the devil, but it isn’t from God.
The Apostle tells us there are three purposes of legitimate prophecy: edification, encouragement, and consolation. Edification means to build up. It means to add to the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, building on what’s there in our hearts, to improve, fortify and strengthen the faith and the spiritual life of those who hear. Encouragement is the remedy for discouragement. It turns our hearts in faith toward the Lord and gets our eyes back on Him when we’ve begun to focus on the troubles that assail and threats that surround us. We come away better equipped to walk in faith after being encouraged by a word from God. Consolation gives comfort to a heart that is grieving; peace and healing to a weary soul. After being comforted by a word from God the healing of our hearts begins. Lord, when I am given the opportunity to speak on Your behalf, give me a message from You. Keep me from speaking out of my own mind. Let it be Your Word and not my own, even though it is poured out through me. Let it edify, encourage, and console the hearts of Your people, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Pastor Dan Giles