Q. What is prophecy? How do people prophesy, and are there still prophets today? I ask this because I think I have the gift of prophecy but I’m not sure. I’ve asked God about it, and I think He’s told me yes. It’s just that sometimes, I know things that are going to happen and that they are true. I have no idea how to explain it except for that. Please help!
A. Simply put, prophecy is history, told in advance. In Old Testament times God chose prophets to speak for Him so His people could know what He was doing. Also, since He often told them things that hadn’t happened yet, when those things came to pass it proved that He was who He claimed to be, since only God can accurately predict the future all the time.
Since the New Testament He has spoken to us through His Son, (Hebrews 1:1-2) who inspired the New Testament writers to give us the Scriptures. Even so, some believers receive the gift of prophecy as Paul taught in 1 Cor. 12:7-11. The purpose of this gift is to “fill in the blanks” in God’s revealed word by giving supporting information as to how God’s plan will be fulfilled in various situations. Accordingly all prophecy given today has to be consistent with and validated by God’s Word. This is what makes the New Testament gift of prophecy different than the Old Testament office of Prophet.
I believe someone with the gift of prophecy would know by testing his or her prophecies against actual events. In Old Testament times Prophets were required to be 100% accurate. Check yourself and see how you do.