Gift of Prophecy

Number 1:  Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets…..(Numbers 11:29)

In Numbers chapter 11, the Israelites are wandering in the wilderness and are tired of eating manna.  They are whining and dissatisfied because the Lord is giving them their daily bread, literally!!!  It is different than they are comfortable with.  They would rather go back to Egypt and bondage because there, they would at least have melons, fish, onion, and garlic instead of traveling in the wilderness eating manna on their road to freedom.  They are complaining to Moses daily, all 600,000 footmen.  (Elder D. Todd Christofferson says there were well over a million people.)  Moses asks the Lord for help.  He tells Moses to choose 70 elders of the people and bring them to the tabernacle, where He will put His spirit upon them that they might help bear the burden of the people.  Most of the men go to the tabernacle.  Two of the 70 remain in the camp.  The Spirit comes upon the men and they begin to prophesy.  Eldad and Medad in the camp begin prophesying too.  Someone comes to report the prophesying in the camp and Joshua requests that Moses put a stop to the prophesying, to which Moses says, “Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets………”

Why would Moses wish that all the Lord’s people had the spirit of prophecy?  Revelations 19:10— “…..for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  First, if they had the spirit of prophecy, if they had a testimony of WHO was asking them to complete this journey, they probably wouldn’t be whining about manna.  They may not know how long the journey or the difficulty of it.  They may get a little tired of manna, but their willingness to endure hardship for the cause may greater.

How often do we complain about what we are asked to do, by the Bishop, or in our personal trials?  Can we see where the Lord is taking us, what character traits He is trying to build within us?  Do we know WHO is asking us to complete the journey and make the change??

Number 2:  A testimony of Jesus Christ is built on the rock of personal revelation.

Matthew 16: 15-18
13 ¶When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, aElias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
 15 He saith unto them, But whom say aye that I am?
 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the aChrist, the bSon of the cliving God.
 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon aBar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not brevealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this arock I will build my bchurch; and the gates of chell shall not dprevail against it.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie in Doctrines of the Restoration, Edited and compiled by Mark McConkie, p.115
“And how could it be otherwise?   There is no other foundation upon which the Lord could build His church and kingdom.  The things of God are known only by the power of his Spirit.  God stands revealed or he remains forever unknown.  No man can know Jesus is the Lord, by by the Holy Ghost.
“Revelation: pure, perfect, personal revelation—-this is the rock.
“Revelation that Jesus is the Christ………….The divine sonship of our Lord………..God is his father………the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy.”
Number 3:  We ‘prove’ spiritual truth through testimony.
A testimony of Jesus Christ, or other things in the spiritual realm, are gained only through a witness of the Holy Ghost.
Think about that a minute.  How do you know the spiritual truths you KNOW?  It is because you have received a witness from the Holy Ghost.  He has spoken to your soul and you know it deep down.  When we share the gospel with others, it is the Spirit that will witness that truth to their soul.  That happens when we share our testimony.  In order to share the gospel in a meaningful way that changes the other person, we have to allow the Spirit the opportunity to witness to them, which we do by sharing our testimony.
Elder McConkie again, “The way that Peter and the ancients proved that Jesus was the Son of God, and therefore that the gospel which he taught was the plan of salvation, was to establish that he rose from the dead.  And the way you prove that a man rises from the dead, because it is in the spiritual realm, is to bear witness by the power of the Spirit of knowledge that is personal and real and literal to you.  Peter could have gone into a congregation and said, ‘I know that Jesus is the Lord because Isaiah said this and this with reference to him.  Or the other prophets said this…..’  But the great crowning thing that Peter could do was to stand before the people and say, ‘I know he was the Son of God.  I stood in the upper room.  I recognized him……….He is the man who ministered among us for more than three years.  I  felt the nail marks in his hand and in his feet.  I thrust my hand into the spear wound in his side.  I saw him eat food……..He said his body was flesh and bone………..I know………….I am his witness!”  p. 124
Number 4:  Application
How then, does this information apply to us?  First and foremost, we must examine our testimony of Jesus Christ.  Do we know Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God?  Do we know He lived a perfect life?  Do we know He atoned for us?  Do we know He rose from the grave?  Do we know what the scriptures and the prophets teach about Him??  Do we believe their words?  Do we have a personal witness born of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, our Lord and Redeemer?? 

If we do, then what are we doing about it??!

Number 5:  A testimony alone, has not the power to save us.
James teaches us that action (works) must accompany our faith.  James 2:14-21 (JST)
14  What profit is it, my brethren, for a man to say he hath faith, and hath not works? can faith save him?
15  Yea, a man may say, I will show thee I have faith without works; but I say, Show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
16  For if a brother or sister be naked and destitute, and one of you say, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; notwithstanding he give not those things which are needful to the body; what profit is your faith unto such?
17  Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone.
18  Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?
19  Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble; thou hast made thyself like unto them, not being justified.
20  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
21  Seest thou how works wrought with his faith, and by works was faith made perfect?
(Picks up with verse 23)

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham abelieved God, and it was imputed unto him for brighteousness: and he was called the cFriend of God.

 24 Ye see then how that by aworks a man is bjustified, and not by faith only.
 25 Likewise also was not aRahab the harlot bjustified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
 26 For as the body without the aspirit is bdead, so faith without cworks is dead also.
We cannot only have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ… James says, even the devils know Jesus is the Christ.  The question then is, what are we doing with our testimony of Jesus Christ?? 

This topic obviously continues.  But the post is getting too long………so I will continue it later.  Just know that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ.  I know he is my Redeemer.  I recognize without his gift of the atonement and resurrection, I could not return to live with my Father in Heaven.  Because of this knowledge, I try to live my life in a way that reflects His gospel.  I am not perfect, nor would I claim to be.  But I try over and over to change my life and the way I behave so that others know I have a testimony of who Jesus is and what he did. 

Check out Heather’s five favorite posts of 2011!!

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