Deadly Scepticism and its Answer

We are warned however in the Scriptures that there is a very real danger of quenching the Spirit and making nothing of prophesying (1 Thess 5:20), so that either, as is very common, there is no prophesying at all in the Assembly nor any desire for it; or, if there is, it is passed by, as were Ezekiel's prophecies, as a pleasant song without any practical value. We hear, but do nothing about it. (Ezek. 33:30-33). This spirit unfortunately leads to a general undervaluing of the prophetic gift. Apparently even Timothy had fallen into this error, and needed to stir up his gift instead of neglecting it. (2 Tim. 1:6; 1 Tim. 4:14).

When The Spirit speaks it is important that His words should be correctly received. In the Old Testament we are given examples of Baruch (Jer. 36, and Isaiah 30:8, and Habakkuk 2:2) being told to write down prophetic words, and the existence of the Old Testament prophecies in the Bible is the evidence that they were so written. Since prophecy should be "judged" by "the others" it is difficult to see how this could take place unless the words had in some way or other been correctly reported. A shorthand writer, if there should be one in the Assembly, could be a great help in this way. In ordinary practice however, no attempt is made either to capture or judge what is said. It is taken almost for granted that no real attention need be paid to it, and certainly nothing to be done because of it. There lies behind this practice a profound spirit of scepticism, which robs all prophetic ministry of its power, and yet is by its nature illogical. Either prophecy is God speaking through a man or it isn't. If it isn't, then it is a