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Randall House Church
Dr. Paul J. Dean Jr.  |  Greer, South Carolina
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Randall House Church
215 Randall St.
Greer, SC 29651
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Randall House Church
212 Harbin Ave
Greer, SC 29651
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The Gift of Prophecy, Part 1
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
140+ views

I hear more and more talk about the gift of prophecy and how it serves a major function in authentic church life. We’re told that we’ll experience life in the Spirit in a greater way, and the church will more effectively build itself up in love. If that’s true, then that’s what I want. Yet, I wonder if Christians aren’t satisfied with biblical life in the Spirit consisting of heartfelt worship regardless of our emotional state, dealing with sin at the heart level, and engaging in plain ole encouragement of one another, among other things. I wonder if Christians are conditioned to want something more -- to seek the experience. We’re trained that way, especially in America, and we’re taught that way by an increasing number of pastors and pseudo church leaders.

What is the Gift of Prophecy?

What is the gift of prophecy? Biblically, prophecy is direct revelation from God. That’s it’s main feature. The bible is filled with prophets declaring, “Thus saith the Lord.” They had a word from God, and it was one-hundred percent accurate. And yes, while prophecy may be primarily described as forth-telling the word they had from God, it often had an element of foretelling the future. If the prophet declared anything contrary to Scripture already given, or made a prediction that did not come true, he was to be put to death (Deut. 13; 18).

The Charismatic View

Today, there are other views of prophecy. Of course, if they contradict the Scriptures, they’re false views. Broadly speaking, there’s the Charismatic view. Those holding this position assert they receive direct revelation from God, yet often that revelation contradicts Scripture. They might predict a financial windfall for someone, or a healing, but more often than not these things fail to come to pass. Many predict that Christ is coming again in a particular time-frame, something the bible clearly tells us no one knows. Further, they redefine the gift of tongues, a gift that also involves direct revelation from God. Tongues is just an old King James era word for known languages as defined in Acts 2. Charismatics claim the gift of tongues is an unintelligible heavenly language. When spoken to others it is prophetic. They also claim tongues is a private prayer language. Neither of these claims is biblical. The notion the gift of tongues refers to a heavenly or private prayer language flows from misinterpretations of certain verses in 1 Corinthians 13 and 14.

Matt Chandler's View

Another view that’s gaining popularity is that put forth by Matt Chandler and others. It really falls into the Charismatic view, but has slight differences. He illustrated on one occasion by asking an audience to imagine he had a dream. By way of summary, in this dream he saw a pirate ship; it had a number of canons that were firing; a shark was chasing it; and a number of other things happened. He then asked the audience to imagine that this dream was a word from God that he was to give to a friend. Chandler said you don’t really know what the dream means, you might get some of it wrong, but nevertheless, you must go to your friend, and tell him about the dream. You don’t try to interpret it by surmising that Jesus is the shark for example. You simply go in obedience with the prophetic word. You might ask, “Does that mean anything to you?” It might not, he said. Even so, you'll be experiencing more of the Spirit, and those who engage this way will be edifying one another.

The major problem with this view is two-fold. First, prophecy is not defined in the bible this way. If you don’t know whether the word came from God, whether you got it right, or even what it means, then it’s not biblical prophecy. Second, we’re not told in the bible to use the gift this way: taking dreams or impressions that make no sense to anyone and dispensing them to others. Christianity is not built upon random, nonsensical notions that pass through our heads. It’s built on truth. That’s one reason Paul says God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).

The Gift of Exhortation

The church edifies itself in love by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 3). Why not merely engage in the simple practice of encouraging one another with the Scriptures? For some, apparently, it’s not exciting enough.

Of course, there are other views of prophecy. And, there is the main question: is the gift of prophecy in operation today? We’ll turn to those issues in Part 2.

Sign up free for "True Worldview News," a weekly e-mail newsletter highlighting relevant news stories affecting Christians. Dr. Dean’s comments on selected stories along with editorials are included. The newsletter also features True Worldview, a twice-weekly podcast hosted by Dr. Dean and his daughter, Christi Johnson.

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     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

The Shame and Tyranny of Contact Tracing
TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
140+ views | 10+ clicks | 1 user comments
Churches as Agents of the State Pastors and denominational leaders from our state (SC) were in on a live stream conference call with our governor, and we were told to make sure our churches do contact tracing. The first thing that needs to be...
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Everyday Habits for a Happier Marriage
SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
100+ views
It’s usually not a good idea to listen to the world’s advice on how to have a happier marriage. We’re told to buy gifts, spice things up, take trips, or other things along those lines. Gifts often lead to a “what have you...
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Three Simple Reasons Abortion Must be Outlawed
TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
140+ views
Most Christians understand that abortion should be outlawed. At the same time, it’s good to have some arguments under our belt. Here are three reasons that are fundamental: it’s unconstitutional, uncivil, and unbiblical. Abortion is...
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Rethinking Social Distancing, Part 2
SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
80+ views
Be Optimistic Part of how we navigate the world God’s given us is through right thinking and right attitude. We suffer, life is hard sometimes, but Christians should basically be optimistic because God has redeemed us, has given us things to...
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Rethinking Social Distancing, Part 1
TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
180+ views
A Lament There’s a verse that describes our situation in this political crisis connected to Coronavirus: “How lonely sits the city That was full of people! How like a widow is she, Who was great among the nations! The princess among...
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The Move to Abolish Homeschooling
FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
220+ views
Harvard Magazine is out with a stunning piece calling for the outlawing of homeschooling. “Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, sees risks...
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It's Time for the Shutdown to End - Part 2
MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
240+ views | 10+ clicks
The Numbers are Wrong We’ve been lied to. It goes without saying that any loss of life is tragic. Telling a Christian life is valuable is like telling a man stranded in the Sahara that water is valuable. But people die, and they die from...
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It's Time for the Shutdown to End - Part 1
FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
220+ views
Unprecedented. That’s one of the few words I can think of to describe the times we’re in, not because we’re in a health crisis rivaling the plague – we’re not – despite the job the main stream media and other...
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A Call for Serious-Minded Christians
TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2020
Posted by: Randall House Church | more..
160+ views
Too often Christians eschew what they perceive to be doctrine or deep thinking when it comes to one’s relationship with God or Christianity in general. Some wear it as a badge of honor: “Don’t give me all that doctrine, just give...
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