Personal Prophecy—what is it? The older Pentecostal movement and more recent Charismatic Movement both hold that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit never ceased and are meant to be used in the Church today. One of those gifts is Prophecy, as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10 and enlarged upon in chapter 14. A prophecy may be pertinent to the whole Church, the local church in which it is given, or to an individual or individuals, usually members of the local church in which it is given. The prophecy can be either forth-telling, concerning the present, or fore-telling, concerning the future. Great care must be exercised if a prophecy is both personal (to an individual) and addresses the future, especially if it is ended with “thus saith the Lord!” The use of such prophecies by undisciplined persons to manipulate another person can have disastrous results.
That said, personal prophecies having to do with the future can be very significant and helpful. I think I received such a prophecy on the first Sunday in January, 2016. My landlord/grandson phoned me from his house next door and said Tom was there looking for me. I told him to send him up. When he arrived, I recognized him as a Christian acquaintance from another local church.
He handed me a piece of paper, apologizing that he had been so slow in delivering it to me. It was a hand-written prophetic word for me. He didn’t explain anything about it, and after we chatted a while about other things, he left.
With my bad eyesight, I had a terrible time trying to decipher it, but my granddaughter, Stephanie, figured it out and supplied me with a copy in large type. As she gave it to me she said, “Grandpa, I get a witness that this is 100% right on!” Here is the text:
Though thy days be numbered, so shall I use thee still. For I am a jealous God desiring to use that which I have prepared. So shall thy days be numbered among the people, saith the Lord of hosts.
This isn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. My age, 95, had been catching up with me and my opportunities to be of use to the Lord seemed to be shrinking. I was frequently crying out, “Maranatha,” meaning O Lord, come (to take Your Bride). And if that is going to be very far off, come and take me home. I was singing, O, come, angel band, come and around me stand. Carry me away on your snowy wings, to my immortal home.
I decided to play it by our Tuesday evening home meeting, commonly known as the Geritol Group, to see if I could get a more favorable interpretation. Nope, they agreed with Stephanie.
So I decided to take it seriously. There is considerable evidence for its authenticity:
- It did not occur at a meeting where Tom and I were together and the sight of me could prompt some purely human observation;
- Instead it came out of the blue during the night, and he got up to write it down, noting that it came at 6:00 AM on November 24, 2015. Tom and I attend different churches, and have no information highway between us;
- It had been many months before the day of the prophecy when I had last seen Tom;
- The use of the words thy, thee and saith, King James style, are not used between Tom and me on the few occasions when we meet;
- Tom is a conservative, cautious person who would not lightly attach “saith the Lord of hosts” to end a prophecy;
- From the beginning till now, this prophecy has seemed to me to be genuine.
Having come to that conclusion, let us examine the contents to see what the Lord is saying:
- Sentence one verbatim: “Though thy days be numbered, so shall I use thee still;”
- Sentence one, personalized and edited: “Russell, though your days are numbered, I shall still use you in those that remain;”
- Sentence two, verbatim: “For I am a jealous God desiring to use that which I have prepared;”
- Sentence two, edited: “For I am a jealous God desiring to use you whom I have prepared;”
- Sentence three, verbatim: “So shall thy days be numbered among the people, saith the Lord of hosts;”
- Sentence three, edited: “So shall your days be numbered among the people, says the Lord of armies.”
Restatement of the entire prophecy as personalized and edited:
Prophecy from Tom to
Pastor Russ Peters
Received 6:00 AM, 11-24-16
“Russell, though your days are numbered, I shall still use you in those that remain. For I am a jealous God desiring to use you whom I have prepared. So shall your days be numbered among the people, says the Lord of armies.”
Though the prophecy may indicate that I will be around longer than I had hoped, it certainly has some encouraging aspects:
- Any communication from the Lord is a thrill. Think of it! God has sent a personal message to me;
- God still wants to use me, old and decrepit as I am;
- God says He has prepared me (to be useful). That is so very encouraging to me! Thank you Lord;
- During the remainder of my days I will be useful among the people;
- Since the Lord identifies Himself with (His) armies, I hope to be a good soldier, despite any hardship, per 2 Timothy 2:3-4, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. “
I am willing to fully cooperate with this scenario, but I would really appreciate your prayers on my behalf, for without the Lord I can do nothing!
Since receiving the prophecy about six weeks ago, I have thought and prayed quite a bit about how the Lord will use me until the end of my numbered days. I have not received any clues from the Lord, so I have asked myself what would be my heart’s desire (if the choice were mine to make)?