By Pat Sabiston, Connecting NowFaith
UNDERSTANDING THE GIFT OF PROPHECY
Are we living in a prophetic generation? Many have alluded to this possibility as the world becomes more evil and chaotic. As Christianity has increasingly come under attack, both at home and abroad, the church can no longer afford to be passive. It is time for Christians to “armor up” and stand with every spiritual gift we have been endowed to have … of which prophecy is essential. After all, it was Peter, in Acts 2:17, who quoted the prophet Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy.”
Jacqueline and Richard Maples are the Founders of Ezekiel 47 Ministries and Directors of The Healing Rooms of Vero Beach. These ministries offer various classes to equip the body of Christ, one being on how to hear God, with prophecy being only one of the manifestations.
“I met them during a time in my life when I needed encouragement and clear direction. I was on the verge of getting a divorce. Today my marriage is restored. They took the time to pray with me and share the heart of God. They are sincere, spirit-filled, and gentle when communicating prophecy. They genuinely care for others with the love of Christ,” said local business owner Janice Milesic who met the couple a few years ago and since then have become close friends.
The mission of Ezekiel 47 Ministries is to train the body of Christ in fulfilling its purpose in ministry. “In our Prophetic Labs, Dream Labs and classes, individuals understand more clearly if it’s their voice they are hearing or God’s voice. In going through training, they start to recognize the importance of personal character and integrity over spiritual gifting,” Jacqueline said. Still, her experience with God and the gift of prophecy is based on her personal testimony.
“I grew up on Long Island, NY. At 30, I was headed down a path that my peers thought was successful, but I knew it would lead to destruction. I began to pray, and on Oct. 19, 1995, I had a dramatic encounter with Jesus. I started seeing and hearing Him speak to me,” Jacqueline shared.
At first, she was frightened, but then she sensed His presence. “I knew it was safe to remain in His presence.”
Hearing from God
The Bible tells us in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” So as believers, we’ll know His voice when He speaks to us – listen, search, and seek out His heart in prayer. God’s voice is more powerful than any other voice. But we must spend time with Him. This releases God’s blessings. For example, daily, the family spends time with God praying and seeking guidance.
Responding in obedient faith will produce great rewards, shared Jacqueline. “When I hear His voice, dream, or see a vision, I ask Him to show me the interpretation and any additional instruction. Then, I wait on His Spirit until revelation and scripture come.
Just such an experience happened recently to Jacqueline.
“I was at the beach, and my children and I were packing up to leave when I distinctly heard the Lord say, ‘I want you to speak to the woman on the left. Ask her if she needs help and prayer,’” Jacqueline explained. “I looked to my left, but the only woman I saw was sitting with a beach towel over her head, so I thought I might not be hearing the Lord fully. It certainly appeared she didn’t want to be disturbed. I heard the Lord again, ‘I told you to speak to the woman on your left.’ I stood still, waiting on Him. He continued to tug on my heart. As foolish as it seemed at the time, I walked up to the woman, leaned toward her, and said, ‘Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt, Do you need help? Can I pray for you?’”
That encounter impacted both Jacqueline and the woman she met. It brings into focus the need for people, once they have clearly heard from God, to be obedient and courageous – to step out in faith and put it into action. Faith is having confidence in a God who sees what we cannot see.
“The woman and I had a wonderful conversation. What she didn’t realize was that she was an answer to a prayer I had prayed months earlier. As we prayed, God started to speak to me internally. He gave me what I needed to prophesy, and I prayed over her, words of knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8). The words resonated with her,” Jacqueline said.
So, can anyone provide a prophetic word?
“The Lord desires that all will prophesy, to hear what the Lord is saying, see what He is doing, and then speak it to others,” Jacqueline explained. “It’s Kingdom communication, His Spirit to our spirit. The reason for prophecy is that all may learn, be comforted, encouraged, or exhorted (1 Corinthians 14:3).” As our world continues to spin out of control, it appears people are more and more interested in prophecy.
“In this season of Covid-19, many have had to slow down,” she said. “I believe Father God allowed time for a divine rest and reset to occur. Time for His children to awaken to what He wants us to do both individually and corporately.”
Jacqueline pointed out, “Although there is much division in the world, there is always vision in the Kingdom, and we are under the greatest visionary there ever was and is, Jesus Christ.” Let us all be that sign and wonder, pointing to the Father and fulfilling the Great Commission together that none should perish.
To learn more about Prophetic Labs, Dream Labs, Prophetic Evangelism, and other Revelatory courses, visit e47min.org.