This month we will be looking at the prophetic ministry and lifestyle. This week we will be looking at what Biblical prophecy is, the spirit of prophecy, and dreams and visions. The spirit of prophecy is the first of four different levels or dimensions of prophecy. The first three levels or dimensions builds upon the previous one.
- spirit of prophecy
- gift of prophecy
- the office of the prophet
- dreams and visions
Biblical prophecy is the expressed thoughts of God (accessing the heart, mind, and voice of God) spoken in a known tongue to build up people. The Hebrew meaning is to flow forth (to bubble forth like a fountain; to let drop, or lift up). The Greek meaning is to speak for another, i.e., God.
The apostle Paul tells us to desire to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1, 39). We prophesy according to our faith and in love (Romans 12:6; Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 13:2). Every believer can prophesy and have dreams and visions.
“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.'” Acts 2:16 – 18 (NKJV)
Most believers will prophesy through forth-telling (to make public; publish) unless you are in the prophet’s office, including fore-telling (predict the future or future event). A prophet prophesies with more authority than other believers not called to this office, and their prophecies can carry revelation, direction, correction, confirmation, impartation, and activation.
Biblical prophecy may be a declaration of God’s point of view (Amos 3:1-8), exhortation or reproach, or a promise or threat. There may be a condition to meet or that requires a change in the recipient before the prophecy comes to pass (e.g., Habakkuk 2:6-8; Jonah 3:1-10).
“If my people, who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
One purpose of prophecy is to testify of Jesus and to bring Him glory. Our Scripture verse for today declares this and is the first level of prophecy we will examine.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10 (NKJV)
Another purpose of prophecy is to reveal God’s will in our lives and destinies and the events of history (i.e., the judgment of wickedness and evil, deliverance from judgment, and releasing blessings).
Spirit of Prophecy
The first level or dimension of prophecy is the spirit of prophecy. When you give testimony to what Jesus has done in your life, it is saying that He can do it again and encourages those listening to you. They can draw spiritual strength and insight through your testimony. Perhaps the Lord gave you a verse of Scripture that helped you make it through challenging circumstances or trials that will encourage someone else. Romans 8:28 was a verse He gave me during such a time, and along with my testimony, He can give someone hope that He will bring them through their trials and challenging circumstances too.
The Word testifies or reveals Jesus and carries the spirit of prophecy (John 5:39; Revelation 19:10). Scripture is testifying (e.g., Bible verses in any form, i.e., spoken, written, on items, etc.). It is limited to the revealed Word of truth. If you have spoken or written a Bible verse or even worn one on a T-shirt, you have prophesied! The more a believer meditates and knows God’s Word, the easier it will be to prophesy. We must learn to fall in love with God’s Word and minister out of His Presence!
Jesus’ voice is the spirit of prophecy. You don’t have to be Spirit-filled (baptized with the Holy Spirit) to prophesy at this level. All can prophesy! Any believer can yield to it speaking the Word of the Lord (Numbers 11:29; Acts 2:14 – 18). The Word of the Lord can bubble up in us or fall upon us during worship as we worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). We enter into an intimate relationship in deep worship. We must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, so we flow with Him and don’t interrupt what He is already doing in the service.
Giving a prophetic word
Usually, the first impression you hear is the Holy Spirit when your eyes are focused on Jesus and tuned to the flow of the Holy Spirit. When you receive a Word from the Lord to give, ask the Holy Spirit what to do with it. Not all Words are for that time. The Lord may want you to pray and speak it at a later time. Follow His leading. Timing is everything. There is a matter of God’s timing to it, a Kairos moment (the right time).
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie, though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come. It will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)
Don’t rely on the physical sensations you may experience, i.e., fluttering heartbeat, knots in the stomach, etc. The Holy Spirit may use these to prepare you to receive or deliver His Word but may withhold these promptings as you grow in hearing Him. Trust the peace of God.
Speak loud enough, clearly, naturally, and be kind. Remember, the tone of voice matters. The Holy Spirit will confirm it in the hearts of the listeners (John 10:4 – 5).
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from prophesying. You are not a false prophet if you miss it or think you have received nothing. A false prophet has the wrong motives and heart, and it doesn’t come from the nature of God. Learn from your mistakes, ask the Lord for forgiveness, humble yourself and get back up (Proverbs 24:16; 1 Peter 5:5).
The more you prophesy, the more you get into the flow. The strength of the prophetic flow depends on your faith and knowledge of the Word. Activations are spiritual exercises to trigger the gifts and help start the flow of ministry. To activate something is to start it off, trigger it, or set it in motion. Prophetic activations help stir believers to get the river flowing into a strong prophetic flow and increase their faith (2 Timothy 1:6). Faith must accompany desire (John 7:37).
Activations are designed to break down fear, timidity, doubt, etc. They are not intended to teach you to prophesy but to hear from God to release what you hear, listen to the Spirit, step out in faith, and launch out into the prophetic.
Here is an activation to get you started based on Scripture. Ask the Lord to give you or read a Scripture then launch into a prophetic word the Lord gives you, i.e., 2 Timothy 1:7; My son or My daughter, don’t be afraid for I am with you, etc.
I like what Ada sings in her song, “I Testify.” Testimonies. We can tell how we overcame, how the Word is working and therefore, we all so full of praise.
Dreams and Visions
Anyone can dream. God wants to communicate with us and bring us into a relationship with Him. God speaks to us in dreams and visions because He loves us. He wants us to see and perceive things from His perspective. God speaks in many different ways, i.e., by the Word of God, Rhema Word of Christ, and the inward witness of the Holy Spirit, through creation and nature, and through prophecy, which also includes dreams. We need to know how He speaks to us outside of dreams to understand how He speaks in our dreams. Therefore, dreams are a channel of communication and an invitation to a relationship with Him.
We need to value our dreams because God’s Word is ministering to us. He is always speaking, but we need to know and understand His dream language, which consists of parables, symbols, and metaphors and requires interpretation. Pictures are the language of the heart, and God wants to engage our hearts. He wants our hearts, not just our ears!
Through visions, God speaks plainly and clearly. Visions in the night are more literal and often look like viewing a movie screen. God will give you the knowledge or revelation of it.
Not everything you hear or see in the spirit realm is from God. Dreams and visions from God are a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit in the prophetic realm. They will be life-giving, encouraging, based on the truth of His Word, and His ways; lead us to Christ. They often relate to us but may refer to others, including nations.
We need to discern what type of dream we have received and pay attention to it. If it is from God, He may reveal something that is going on in our lives to align us with His plans and purposes for us through instruction, correction, etc. or speaking into our destiny. If it is soul-ish, it may give insight into our current state of mind. Demonic dreams need to be dealt with immediately, so they can be pulled down and do not take root in our spirit. We can take authority over the enemy and even do spiritual warfare in our dreams. Because our spirit is awake, we can cause ourselves to wake up from the dream!
God-given dreams often speak to what is going on in our lives. They may bring instruction, wisdom, healing, deliverance, warning of danger, save lives, need for course correction, confirmation, keep us humble (reveal pride), reveal God’s will, speak prophetically to our destiny, and reveal the glory of God, etc. Our dreams may be greater than us as God reveals His plans and purposes to us for others through prophetic dreams.
For God may speak in one way or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit and his life from perishing by the sword. Job 33:14 – 18 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. Psalm 16:7 (NKJV)
In October 2018, I heard a teaching about dreams at a prophetic conference that got my attention. The speaker said that everyone dreams, but might not remember them (Joel 2:28-29). Even scientists state that everyone dreams. I never thought I dreamed because I never remembered having them. But what amazed me the most was when I learned that God speaks through dreams. I wanted to hear from God and connect with Him. I was in a place in my life where I was hungry for more of Him and desired to have a more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.
The speaker prayed a prayer of activation and impartation over the attendees, and I asked the Lord to speak to me in dreams and night visions. I asked the Lord to forgive me for not listening to Him. My dream life opened up, and I began to have many dreams. I started on a path to learn more about my dreams and how to interpret them.
Prayer and Activation for the Prophetic and Dreams and Visions
I pray that we would go to sleep in peace, and our sleep would be uninterrupted to prepare ourselves for a nighttime revelation. I bind and rebuke all attacks of the enemy that would try to keep us awake through worry, anxiety, fear, or stress in the name of Jesus. I cancel every dream that would come from the demonic in the name of Jesus. I plead the blood of Jesus over your sons and daughters as they sleep in the name of Jesus. I thank You that as we sleep, we are safe and protected.
I pray that You would activate those reading this prayer in the prophetic and release divine dreams in their lives in the night season. I pray that upon awakening, they would remember them and be able to write them down. Even as Daniel and Joseph were able to understand Your dream language, I pray that You would give them wisdom and understanding to interpret their dreams and know their meaning. I pray that the Holy Spirit would bring revelation quickly so we may walk in Your will and ways for our lives. We declare that we will obey.
I thank You that You desire to speak and encounter us in the night season. I thank You for prophetic dreams. I call forth the dream of the Lord in the name of Jesus. We come against all false dreams in the name of Jesus. We honor and value our dreams given by You Lord and their purposes for our lives. Thank You that they give us divine direction and show us our destiny. Thank You for opening up our spiritual eyes and ears in the name of Jesus.
I pray that we would receive Your word of encouragement and wisdom and obey what You tell us to do so that we may prosper. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
For more information on dreams, visions, and their interpretation, see my previous blog at Https://alexiscarucci.com/2020/07/01/calling-all-dreamers/
- Eckhardt, John. (2016). Prophetic Activation. Lake Mary, Florida: Charisma House.
- Eckhardt, John. (2017). The Prophet’s Manual. Lake Mary, Florida: Charisma House.
- Your Prophetic Journey by James W. Goll (Video Series)
Next week we will look at the gift of prophecy.