what the Lord wished to say to each Church in its own peculiar situation at the time. Thus the Churches were built up or exhorted or comforted as the need might be. So too Timothy was told not to allow the spiritual gift he had received through prophecy and the laying on of Paul's hands to lie dormant, but to rekindle it and go forward bravely (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6).
3. Prophecies are also given us to enable us to fight a good fight against the devil (1 Tim. 1:18). They come either to warn us of great opposition or to encourage us with great promises, or both. Our Lord pointed out on the way to Emmaus the Old Testament predictions which had shown Him a plain but fearful path, in the light of which He spoke of what He would do after death with as much certainty as if He were already alive again. It was through their ignorance and unbelief that the apostles were so much in the dark and therefore defeated. It was through the prophecies which continually met him on His way to Jerusalem that Paul was not overwhelmed. Unfortunately, Paul had bound himself by an oath (Acts 20:22) against the Scripture of James 5:12, and found himself obliged (Deut. 23:21) not only to disregard the prophecies which would have restrained him, but also to play the hypocrite at James' suggestion (Acts 21:20-26) and enter into the deserted Temple at Jerusalem, as if the Lord were still there, and the Law of Moses was still in operation. This obliged the Lord to take him prisoner and lead him out of Jerusalem, never to return there, so that he described himself as "The prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles" (Eph. 3:1). It is a dangerous thing to disregard