Why do people use old ‘KJV’ English when prophesying?


“Why is it that many  people when prophesying like to use the old KJV English words and phrases of ‘saith’, ‘thou’, or ‘thy’? If it’s really the Spirit of God speaking why can’t the prophecy be spoken in normal modern English?”

Well, in the Scripture the Holy Spirit is likened to water (Joh.7:37-39). May I use this symbol of water to illustrate my answer. Water quenches thirst. Water gives life. Water cleanses. All these wonderful properties will still be true whether the vessel containing the water is rectangular or  spherical in shape. The water simply takes the shape of the vessel it possesses. Even so, the vessel never takes away any truth of what the water is. Similarly, when the Spirit of God possesses a person to reveal the mind of God, it will be expressed through that ‘shape’ – that is to say constraint, vocabulary or expressions – of the human vessel.

It is important to know that when the Holy Spirit comes upon a person to speak through him or her, what will be imparted through that vessel is the mind of God. That mind will have to be expressed through words of a language. The words are only ‘vehicles’ to drive the ‘parcel’ (message of God) to the heart of the hearers . In other words, God ‘borrows’ the vehicle of a man’s mouth to speak. And although the ‘vehicle’ may be blue, black or white, the important concern for the receiver of the ‘parcel’ should be the parcel, not the colour or shape of the vehicle that brought it . Let it be known that if a person is inclined to, or has admiration of old KJV Engllish, that will be the vehicle through which the mind of God will be expressed. Thus, although it is the Spirit of God speaking, the person may still be in control of the language. Although he may not be using that KJV English in his or her normal conversations, his spiritual inner man or subconscious may have an admiration or  inclination to it. That one can be in control of his language, thoughts, and actions whilst God has revealed his mind to them is evident in Scripture – “And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.  For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.  The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets” (1 Cor.14:30-32).

One day I was invited to preach in a certain church in Zimbabwe. The Lord granted us grace in the teaching of the Word. Just as soon as I ended my sermon the Spirit of God came upon a woman in the audience who prophesied in Shona, a language I don’t understand. When she was done speaking, someone  interpreted the words of the prophecy to me. The prophecy declared – “This is the Word (referring to the teaching that had been given) that delivers”. To this day I don’t remember how that sounded in Shona, and I don’t even remember the appearance of the person who spoke it, but to this day I still remember the message that was conveyed. That’s what is important, keep your mind on the Message being delivered. Amen.

A C Phiri

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