What is Prophecy? Part Two – Exhortation

The scripture says in 1 Cor 14:3, But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Today, I will discuss the meaning of the word “exhortation.”  Exhortation in the Greek is Paraklēsis.    Paraklesis means to call near to one’s side, to summons especially for help and admonition.  Exhortation in the dictionary is to strongly urge, encourage or try to persuade someone to do something.  

When a prophet is exhorting  they are admonishing the hearer.  This word of admonishment can range from giving a gentle correction to strong, sharp disapproval or criticism of someone’s actions or behavior. Exhortation is also advisement or to caution someone to warn them about a mistake they may make or some imminent danger that may happen.  Exhorting in prophecy instructs, directs and corrects the hearer.  Exhort  also means to offer comfort, consolation, refreshment or encouragement after a loss or disappointment. 

In Acts Chapter 27, Paul and other prisoners were being transported by ship to Italy.  Paul sensed in his spirit and strongly advised them not to set sail to Italy because of the weather.  9. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,  10. and said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.  

The word perceive in the Greek is theōreō  which means to discern.  To discern means to distinguish between and determine the source of something.  God was revealing to Paul the devastation they were about to encounter as a result of the weather.  

He shares with the centurion his revelation from God, but the centurion chose the wisdom of man over the wisdom of God. As the ship sets sail they eventually encounter “typhonic wind” conditions.  After 14 days, things turn from bad to worse and Paul now gives them a rebuke and then afterward a word of encouragement 

 21. Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cæsar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.  

Sometimes, God will give you a “strong rebuke” to deliver to someone.  Pray over that “strong word” first and share it with mature prophetic people who will also pray with you concerning it. Prayer will keep you in timing with God and out of unnecessary trouble.  Never rebuke someone that is an “elder.” Talk to your superiors first and wait for them and God to give you to release the word. 

Paul was a seasoned Apostle and Prophet, as all Apostles are Prophets also.  Remember words of correction and direction should be delivered by those who are experienced in hearing the voice of God accurately on a regular basis.  Prophets, do not be quick to “advise, tell people what they need to do, where they should live, who they should marry, to quit their job, move to another country and the like.  

It takes time to develop an ear to accurately hear what Holy Spirit is saying.  Correcting and directing is really the job of an experienced prophet, not a novice/beginner prophesier.  A wrong prophetic word could lead the hearer to a wrong path and possibly death.

For more information about prophecy and to learn what other spiritual gifts or what 5-Fold ministry God may have given you, enroll in our upcoming “Discover Your Spiritual Gifts” Class today – https://shamarglobal.org/product/discover-your-spiritual-gifts-master-class/

Sources: blueletterbible.org

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