(May 26, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a further question on prophecy…

Dear Dr Robert
You explained to me a while back what a word of prophecy is. Please tell me some more. Jono

Dear Jono

All right… seeing we’ve just passed Pentecost Sunday, the one day of the church year we should gladly celebrate as it recalls the coming of the power of the Holy Spirit, I feel to share the following, Jono.

It used to be common practice for pastors (especially Pentecostal ones!) to allow this precious Holy Spirit gift to operate in Sunday services… as well as other meetings. What would happen would be along these simple lines… At an appropriate moment that didn’t disrupt the flow of the service especially the preaching, say, after an exhorting chorus or hymn, or general prayers, someone (not necessary the pastor or other church leader) would in faith speak forth an encouraging, perhaps directive, word of prophecy from the Lord. (They were allowing the Holy Spirit to use their voice and would ‘just’ know when to stop speaking. They would be natural in it all, never saying anything foolish like ‘Thus saith the Lord-da…’).

That God-given message would be welcomed by hearers and generally ‘Amens’ would resound around the room. (Of course this was done on the understanding that if those in leadership didn’t accept that it was a genuine word for God, they would promptly interrupt and disqualify it. Praise God, this rarely had to happen).
I must add this, though… unfortunately due to
1) Lack of teaching on the ways of the Holy Spirit,
2) Absence of expectancy that we should be hearing from God,
3) Forbidden by church leadership who themselves have never known or experienced the Spirit,
4) Unwillingness by those who could be used by the Holy Spirit to be used,
5) Focus that’s been on ‘entertainment-seeking so-called spiritual music’
– one rarely, if ever, hears such a flow of the prophetic word in church services these days… worse, these several years!

But… it’s interesting to note that in recent times, we hear of discontentment among young folk who are not interested in being entertained by music as they used to be but are wanting to know more about God and what scripture can really teach them, especially about the Holy Spirit. They’re like you, Jono, wanting what they term ‘real’ down-to-earth Christianity, such as they’re discovering as they read about the life of Jesus, Acts 2 and the early church’s experiences.

Unfortunately latest covid-19 restrictions on Sunday and other ‘mass’ gatherings is again interrupting things. But here’s something to note: The Holy Spirt doesn’t need a visa or passport, or a meeting place! What can happen is this for example… we can be simply chatting to someone on the phone or Skype and out-of-blue the Spirit uses us to give the listener a prophetic word – or a linking word of knowledge or word of wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 12:8)! Happened with me last week as I was talking on the phone to a pastor whom I had never met. When I had finished giving the word, I asked if it meant something to him and he told me (a stranger) that it did, that it touched him deeply and blessed him. Trust this is helpful, Jono.

Got a question for either Dr Robert or Pr Maureen McQuillan? Email to   


  1. I too can testify to knowing the Holy Spirit used Robert to bring me a ‘relevant’ usually encouraging or ‘wise’ word when he was not even aware about a situation in my life.

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