Prophets and prophesyings final version 2013
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Prophets and prophesyings final version 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. PROPHETS AND PROPHESYINGS TODAY Moving Full-Swing with the Holy Spirit in the Last Days
  • 2. Part I: Extreme Importance of Prophets and Prophesyings Part II: Definitions, Distinctions, (O.T., N.T., Last Days) Part III: Principles, Pitfalls
  • 3. * * Introduction: Before we look at the modern-day practice of prophesying and the ministry and operations of the Holy Spirit through the modern-day prophets, it is crucial that we lay the foundations first on the extreme importance of prophets and prophesying in the Bible.
  • 4. * * 1. Amos 3:7 “SURELY THE SOVEREIGN LORD does NOTHING without REVEALING HIS PLAN to His servants the PROPHETS.” Note: it is the POLICY of the Lord to REVEAL HIS PLANS TO THE PROPHETS FIRST before He does anything; why? * a.1. for His glory * a.2. to give man a chance to cooperate or not (blessing or curse) * a.3. to guide His earthly troops or army (children, His servants)
  • 5. * Second, the PLANS of the Lord come about BY REVELATION, not by reason or committee meetings, or planning sessions (planning must follow revelation) * b.1. churches should perhaps change their policies or strategies; INSTEAD OF PLANNING SESSIONS OR RETREATS, it is best for churches (especially LEADERS AND PASTORS to spend time SEEKING THE MIND OF THE LORD FIRST before going into planning; it is also best if there are identified members of the church that have recognized prophetic gifts or office to be part of the planning; or best, for the whole leadership to operate prophetically after the pattern of I Cor. 14:19-33
  • 6. *b.2. THREE KINDS OF GOD‟S WILL in relation to our “programs”: b.2.a. permissive will of God b.2.b. acceptable will of God b.2.c. perfect will of God (the perfect will of God is that which is REVEALED through His servants the prophets) Prophets and prophesyings help us determine the perfect will of God.
  • 7. * 2. I CHRON. 20:20 “Have faith in the Lord your God, and you will be upheld; BELIEVE HIS PROPHETS, SO SHALL YOU PROSPER.” 3. Sons of Issachar (three crucial passages:) I CHRON. 12:32 “men of Issachar, WHO UNDERSTOOD THE TIMES AND KNEW WHAT ISRAEL SHOULD DO…” * TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING VERY IMPORTANT POINTS:
  • 8. *A CRUCIAL FUNCTION OF PROPHETS is UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES AND THE SEASONS BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT‟S MOVES ARE DIFFERENT FOR EACH SEASON (Note different anointings in the O.T. vis-a-vis the N.T.; the ordained offices are even different; in the O.T.: patriarchs, judges, prophets, kings, priests, warriors; in the N.T.: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers; IN BOTH DISPENSATIONS, PROPHETS WERE ALWAYS NEEDED!) *KNOWING WHAT TO DO is DIRECTLY RELATED TO UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES AND SEASONS; THIS IS A PROPHETIC FUNCTION!
  • 9. ii. JUDGES 5:15 “The princes of Issachar were with Deborah, yes, Issachar was with Barak; rushing after him in the valley. In the district of Reuben there was much searching of heart.” …v. 20 From the heavens the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera.” NOTES: * The princes of Issachar exercised their prophetic role and function by accompanying Deborah (who was herself a prophetess-judge), and Barak the general of their army, and the result was:
  • 10. * Results of Princes of Issachar serving Deborah and Barak with their prophetic gift a.1. CONVICTION of those who need to be convicted (the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Dan and Asher were rebuked for not responding to the call to arms…) – this is one usual effect of prophecy: conviction a.2. DEPLOYMENT OF THE HEAVENLY ARMY (ANGELS) v.20; “the stars of heaven fought”; heeding prophetic direction places us in a position of being aided by angelic hosts
  • 11. iii. DEUT. 33: 18-19 “About Zebulun, he said: Rejoice Zebulun in your going out, and YOU, ISSACHAR, IN YOUR TENTS. they will summon peoples to the mountain, AND THERE OFFER SACRIFICES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (OR RIGHT SACRIFICES), FOR THEY SHALL SUCK OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE SEAS, and of TREASURES HID IN THE SAND.” Notes: a. “in the tents” – because the sons of Issachar spend their time seeking God (“tent of meeting”)
  • 12. b. The revelation given to them enables them TO LEAD THRONGS OF PEOPLE “to the mountain” of worship and sacrifice c. The result is sacrifices of righteousness (or right sacrifices) are offered (because IT IS GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT); sometimes our public meetings consist of perfunctory praise and worship of the Lord, when what the Holy Spirit may want for a particular time is grieving, repentance, and purification of heart; the right sacrifices are not offered because the worship is not guided by prophets) d. When right sacrifices are offered, THE LORD REVEALS RICHES THAT ARE HID OR UNCOVERED OR HARD TO GET (seas, “hid in the sand”)
  • 13. 1. I THESS. 5:20 “Do not treat prophecies with contempt.” (NIV) King James is more accurate: “Despise not PROPHESYINGS.” (meaning continuous exercise of gift or office of prophesying. What we are asked NOT TO DESPISE IS not just the prophecies in Scriptures, BUT THE CONTINOUS EXERCISE OF PROPHESYINGS UP TO NOW. Of course, subject to the collective discernment of other prophets or of the body; Berean Christians)
  • 14. 2. I COR. 14:29-33: “(in your meetings)Two or three prophets should speak, AND OTHERS SHOULD EVALUATE (let the others judge; KJV). But if something has been revealed to ANOTHER PERSON sitting there, the first prophet should be silent. “For you can ALL PROPHESY one by one, so that ALL MAY LEARN, and ALL MAY BE COMFORTED. (purpose of prophecy for the church is KNOWLEDGE and COMFORT.) “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, BUT OF PEACE, as in all churches of the
  • 15. NOTES AND IMPLICATIONS: a. meetings should be open as much as possible ALL THE TIME to prophets and PROPHESYINGS b. the prophet (either as one occupying the office, or one exercising the gift), or the one prophesying (where prophesying is a manifestation or operation of the Holy Spirit where the one speaking may not necessarily hold the office of a prophet or may not have a confirmed regular gift of prophesying) IS SUBJECT TO THE BODY (evaluation)
  • 16. 3. II PET. 1:19-21 “And we have the word of the prophets MADE MORE CERTAIN (NIV); We also have a MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY (KJV); So we have the prophetic word STRONGLY CONFIRMED (Apologetics Study Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible)… AND YOU WILL DO WELL TO PAY ATTENTION TO IT (“whereunto ye do well that ye take heed…KJV), as to a light shining in a dark place, UNTIL the day dawns and the DAYSTAR (morning star NIV) rises in your hearts v. 20 “First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one‟s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.”
  • 17. *Notes: a. prophecy, and/or the understanding of prophecy, is subject to PROGRESSIVE UNDERSTANDING OR CONFIRMATION (“made more certain” v. 19, NIV; “MORE SURE WORD” KJV) see DANIEL 12:8-10 “And I heard, but I understood not, then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried (THIS IS THE EFFECT OF PROPHECY ON BELIEVERS); but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.”
  • 18. *Notes: a. There shall be a time of understanding, and it is “at the time of the end”. b. The TIME of the UNDERSTANDING is WHILE WE ARE STILL ON EARTH (not when we already reach heaven) because the righteous are purified and the wicked continue to do wickedly, implying that we are still on earth when we gain understanding c. (the WISE refer to the WISE VIRGINS who keep their oil continuously replenished with oil, representing continuous filling of the Holy Spirit, MATT. CH. 25:1-13) d. We are already in the season of increased understanding of prophecy as we are nearing the time of the end (as this course or study will prove), and the understanding of prophecy will increase even more.
  • 19. e. prophecy MINISTERS TO THE HEART (“you will do well to pay attention to it, as the daystar rises in your hearts”, 2 Pet. 1:20) * Notes: PROPHECY IS UNIQUE: BECAUSE IT GUIDES YOU WHAT SPECIFICALLY TO DO, THERE IS A “DAYSTAR WITNESS” IN YOUR HEART THAT IS EQUIVALENT TO THE GLORIOUS FEELING OF THE RISING MORNING! You know that EVERYTHING WILL REALLY BE MORE THAN ALRIGHT AT THE END! (Actually, the “DAYSTAR” is not the dawn. It is the light of the sun that can be seen even at nighttime. I have seen this once in Texas, when at 9:00 p.m. there is still a glow of the light of the sun.)
  • 20. f. PROPHECY OR THE OFFICE OF THE PROPHET IS A CONTINUING GIFT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AGE (I COR. 12:28; EPH. 4:11) Notes: f.1. please note the order mentioned by the Holy Spirit: FIRST, apostles, (the spiritual fathers) SECOND PROPHETS… (THE LISTING IS SEQUENTIAL) f.2. THE PROPHET IS ONLY UNDER THE HEADSHIP OR ADMINISTRATION OF THE APOSTLE, BUT HE IS “AHEAD” OF THE EVANGELIST, PASTOR, AND TEACHER BECAUSE IT IS THE PROPHET WHO SETS THE DIRECTION, guided by the Holy Spirit of God f.3. because churches have not SERIOUSLY sought the Spirit of prophecy or the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the prophetic gift, operation, function or office, we do “hit and miss” ministry (doing the permissive and acceptable, but not the perfect will of God.)
  • 21. FINAL POINT: There are abuses, misuses, excesses of the gift and office of prophecy. BUT SO IS TRUE WITH THE OFFICE OF APOSTLE, PASTOR, TEACHER AND EVANGELIST. Yet we do not reject these other offices. We continue to seek God‟s guidance and enablement for the continuing proper exercise of these gifts and offices. Let us affirm therefore the CONTINOUS VALIDITY, EFFICACY, NEED, AND URGENCY for the prophetic gift, office, and work of the Holy Spirit. For our own safety, peace, and prosperity!
  • 22. PART II. THE MODERN-DAY PROPHET AND PRACTICE OF PROPHESYINGS
  • 23. Introduction: * The prophecy of JOEL (2:28ff) clearly says that in the last days the “Holy Spirit will be POURED OUT ON ALL PEOPLE, AND THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS WILL PROPHESY…” * WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “PROPHETIC”? * CAN EVERY ONE BE “PROPHETIC”? * IF ONE IS PROPHETIC, WOULD HE BE LIKE THE OLD TESTAMENT OR THE NEW TESTAMENTS SAINTS? * HOW DO WE PROTECT THE PROPHETIC PROCESS FROM “INFILTRATION” BY THE ENEMY OR ABUSE?
  • 24. *I. DEFINITION OF TERMS: *PROPHET – Heb. Nabi; Greek Prophetes - is a person who serves as a channel of communication between the divine world to the human world (Harper‟s Bible Dictionary) *The Greek word “prophetes” has its KEY ROOT WORD – “pro” – meaning BEFORE or FORTH, which means to PUT FORTH BEFORE ANOTHER, TO PROPOUND (Zodhiates Hebrew Greek Study Bible)
  • 25. *PROPHESY (propheteuo in Greek, used 200 times in the NT) (note: this implies that prophesying was ORDINARY or USUAL in the life of the NT Church) *Naba -- in Hebrew: to BUBBLE FORTH (idea of heated water bubbling forth, or a spring bubbling forth: connotes an INNER WORKING – either a heating up or a springing up -- that is EXTERNALLY MANIFESTING by a “bubbling forth”) *PROPHETEUO in Greek – is a compound word from prophetes (prophet) and phemi (to tell)
  • 26. *ALL PROPHESYING has two main activities: a. Reception – receiving from God b. Communication or delivery – communicating what one receives from God *Communication further is in two forms: a. FORTH TELLING (to say what one is tasked to say) b. FORE TELLING (to say beforehand something before it happens)
  • 27. * 1. INTEGRITY AND PURITY * Psalm 24:3-6 “3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face O Jacob. Selah”
  • 28. 2. INTIMACY, INTIMACY, INTIMACY!!! The “logic” of prophetic operation is GOD REVEALING HIMSELF TO MAN. This assumes INTIMACY – closeness enough with God to be able to hear Him because: PROPHECY IS NEVER OF HUMAN ORIGIN. (2 PETER 1:21 – “For prophecy NEVER HAD ITS ORIGIN in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”) JER. 23:21 – “I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.” (CLEARLY IMPLYING THAT NO ONE SHOULD EVER PRETEND to be speaking for God when he has not received anything from God to say.)
  • 29. * THE “TABERNACLE PATTERN” of the journey to the Father’s heart and mind:
  • 30. The “TABERNACLE PATTERN” of journeying to the Father’s heart * From the outside you enter through the ONLY ONE GATE, that is Jesus Christ * You must have received the atonement at the BRAZEN ALTAR; you must have ALSO MORTIFIED THE FLESH at the brazen altar
  • 31. * You must have been mirrored, washed, refreshed at the WASH LAVER * These two articles (brazen altar and wash laver) are the two articles IN THE COURTYARD, also known as the OUTER COURT
  • 32. You must have entered the HOLY PLACE: * e.1. TABLE OF SHEWBREAD is INTIMACY (the Bread here is called the “Bread of My Presence” EXODUS 25:30) * e.2. MENORAH (Seven Golden Lampstand) is ILLUMINATION * e.3. ALTAR OF INCENSE is INTERCESSION Then HOLY OF HOLIES is HEARING GOD, RECEIVING FROM GOD (the High Priest is not allowed to speak in the Holy of Holies; he only receives and listens); THIS IS THE SOURCE OF ALL PROPHESYINGS.
  • 33. LOOK AT THE “PROGRESSION” OF THE POSTURE: * Outer court is for PEOPLE * Holy Place is for PRIESTS * Holy of Holies is for HIGH PRIEST * While Jesus has TORN THE VEIL to the Holy of Holies, HE ONLY GAVE US THE RIGHT AND AUTHORITY to enter the Holy of Holies, and in His mercy, He enters that IN OUR BEHALF; BUT IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, IT IS VERY POSSIBLE, IN FACT, IT IS THE NORM that WE OURSELVES SHOULD ENTER INTO IT WITH JESUS, BY JESUS, IN JESUS
  • 34. * MEANING, THE CHRISTIAN IN HIS PRAYER AND QUIET TIME, as much as possible, MUST “REACH” THE “HOLY OF HOLIES”. This is not hard now because of Jesus Christ. HEBREWS 10:19-23 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say , his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised ;”
  • 35. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS TODAY: *Those who move in the prophetic often spend much time with the Bible and in prayer *They enjoy and linger in such times and are not in a hurry *They set a time for this always *They take notes of burdens, impressions that the Lord gives to them *They check things out, always asking for confirmation
  • 36. *They seek worshipful and prayerful company *They often want to be alone with God *They give the Holy Spirit full freedom to operate in their lives *They are always focused on God, His grace and goodness, and what He wants * They want to know the heart and mind of God
  • 37. (This is very interesting!) 1. Seer - (ro’eh, used 12 times in the Heb. Bible, and chozeh, used in 16 times) root meaning of “see” (chozeh is “to split, to separate”; one who is able to “separate” the invisible from the visible and see it; one who sees spiritual realities (the “veil” separating the physical from spiritual has been removed); THIS IS SIMILAR BUT NOT THE SAME AS VISION! Examples: * John in Revelation * Daniel * Elisha with servant (chariots of fire)
  • 38. 2 Kings 6:17 “And Elisha prayed , and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw : and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” Note: the chariots of fire were REAL; they were angels, invisible to the naked eye, but the servant was allowed to see as he was allowed to experience the “splitting or “separation” (chozeh) of the invisible from the visible, the spiritual reality from the physical reality.
  • 39. 2. Visioner – from vision, chazown, a mental sight, a picture in the mind or spirit; one who sees images, pictures, with spiritual meanings Examples: * Ezekiel chapter 37:4, when Ezekiel was asked “what do you see?” and he said he saw a “valley of dry bones”; the dry bones were not really there but it was a PICTURE of something to happen in the future (the holocaust of the nation of Israel and the rebirth and revival of the nation) * Joseph the Dreamer – the bowing sheaves, the bowing stars (Genesis 37). THESE WERE ALL PROPHETIC AS THEY WERE A REVELATION FROM GOD OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE.
  • 40. Third type of prophet or prophetic experience: 3. “Hearer” – one who hears the voice of God; may be “literal” or audible, as in the case of Samuel (I Sam. 3); or “hearing in the spirit” -- ISA. 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, YOU WILL HEAR A VOICE BEHIND YOU SAYING, „This is the way, walk ye in it.” This may be related but may be different from: 4. “receiver of the word” – Joel 1:1, “The word of the Lord that CAME to Joel the son of Pethuel…” Also Jeremiah: "Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, (NOTE: IT IS NOT THE VOICE OF THE LORD, but a WORD that “CAME”) saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see a branch of an almond tree." Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word." And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north." Then the LORD said to me: "Out of the north calamity shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land." Jeremiah 1:11-14
  • 41. 5. Dreamer – dreaming dreams with messages or meanings * Ex. Pilate‟s wife dream before the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27:19), Joseph‟s dream (Genesis 37) 6. Oracle – oraculom, from oro, to utter – oracle is the utterance of God * Interesting example – when Balak asked Balaam to curse Israel, what came out of Balaam‟s mouth were blessings (Numbers 24), these were the oracles (utterances) of God; * Oracles are translated burdens or words also.
  • 42. 7. Burden – (massa‟) – a carrying, a lifting; ALSO MEANS A LIFTING, A RAISING UP (nassa) (BOTH WORDS CAN BE TRANSLATED BURDEN) Habakkuk 1:1 “The burden which Habakuk did see (chazah)”. Malachi 1:1 – “The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi…” 8. Inter-active communicator with the God‟s spirit world * Daniel 7-12 * John in Revelation 9. Being taken in the spirit * Paul – to the third heaven, 2 Cor. 12 * Ezekiel and John the Beloved – to the Divine Council
  • 43. V. THE PROPHETIC OPERATION: Involves a four-way process: 1.The SOURCE of the Message 2.The TRANSMISSION of the Message from the Source 3.The RECEPTION of the Message by the receiver 4. The DELIVERY of the Message by the receiver to the person intended 1. The SOURCE OF THE MESSAGE – God * Isaiah 46:9 -- “I am God and there is no other; I am God there is no one like me, I MAKE KNOWN THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, and from ancient times, what is still to come.” * I Cor. 2:9-10 – “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what GOD has prepared for them that love Him, BUT GOD HAS REVEALED IT TO US BY HIS SPIRIT.” * Amos 3:7 – “SURELY, the Sovereign Lord DOES NOTHING WITHOUT REVEALING His plan to His servants the prophets.”
  • 44. *Repeat: PROPHECY IS NEVER OF HUMAN ORIGIN. (2 PETER 1:21 – “For prophecy NEVER HAD ITS ORIGIN in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”) *WE SHOULD NEVER CONSIDER HUMAN THOUGHTS AND IDEAS AS MESSAGES FROM THE LORD. IF WE ARE NOT SURE, IT IS BEST TO QUALIFY THAT “I BELIEVE” OR “I FEEL THAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING…” 2. THE TRANSMISSION OF THE MESSAGE – by the Holy Spirit *There are two types of transmission: b.1. by “INSPIRATION” of the Holy Spirit (of authors of Scriptures only)
  • 45. II Pet. 1:20 “First of all, you should know that no prophecy OF SCRIPTURES comes from one‟s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.” Note: because ONLY THE SCRIPTURE AUTHORS WERE INSPIRED (“ALL Scripture is inspired of God” or “breathed-out by God”, 2 Tim. 3:16), ONLY THEY NEEDED NO SCRUTINY or evaluation; what they spoke was the WORD OF GOD * “INSPIRED” or “GOD-BREATHED” – is THEOPNEUSTOS in Greek, meaning “THEO” – God, “PNEO”, to breathe. THIS IS A SPECIAL PROCESS USED OF THE AUTHORS OF SCRIPTURES ONLY. IT IS NOT USED of other gifts, working, and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. * All the others after the Scriptures is completed (with the Book of Revelations) HAVE TO BE CHECKED if they conform to Scriptures (see Acts 17:11 the Berean Christians)
  • 46. b.2. by “WORKING” of the Holy Spirit I Cor. 12:1-11: NOTICE THE WORDS USED: • GIFTS (charisma) of the Holy Spirit v. 4 • SERVICE (diakonos) ADMINISTRATIONS v.5 • WORKINGS (operations, dunamis) v. 6 • MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT v. 7 NOTICE WHAT IS GIVEN IN RELATION TO THE REVELATION: -- just a “word” (KJV) of wisdom, word of knowledge (“message” in NIV), BUT NEVER “ALL SCRIPTURE” BUT: this IS “given to every man to PROFIT withal” (KJV) v. 7
  • 47. HOW DOES “WORKING”, “MANIFESTATION”, “SERVICE” OR “OPERATION” WORK WITH “INSPIRATION”? * The “INSPIRATION” is CONSTANT, UNCHANGING, PERMANENT, INERRANT, AUTHORITATIVE *The “WORKINGS” ETC. are subjective, particular, specific; they have authority only when they are consistent with Scriptures *Example: THE BIBLE IS LIKE A COMPASS. The NORTH remains the SAME AND IN THE SAME PLACE AT ALL TIMES. This is “INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” – the Bible.
  • 48. The “WORKINGS” (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, revelation, prompting, leading, visions, dreams, orac les, burdens, etc.) is LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE, THE TURNING TO THE LEFT OR THE RIGHT, BY HOW MUCH ANGLE OR DEGREE, BY STOPPING, GOING, WAITING. * The PROPHETS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT PROVIDED THE COMPASS. (The Constant). * The prophets and prophesyings of today, REFER TO THE COMPASS and give the location, position and direction in relation to the compass, BUT THEY CAN NEVER GO AGAINST THE COMPASS! * Note: QUIBOLOY DEFIED THE COMPASS.
  • 49. C. THE RECEPTION OF THE MESSAGE There are at least 15 ways by which God‟s message is received by man. 1. Via His written word in the Holy Scriptures. This is the primary way by which God speaks. His word also provides us with a safe and strong foundation to discern and test what we are receiving. See 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 for verification. Study John 1: 1-3 and Hebrews 1:1-3 2. Via His voice. The Holy Spirit can speak directly to us with an inner voice or an external voice. The inner voice is heard within your mind while the external voice is heard physically with your ears. See John 16:13 for verification. Study 1 Samuel 3: 1-10, 1 Kings 19:12 and Isaiah 30:12. (I Cor. 2, Rom. 8) 3. Via Dreams that God uses to communicate with us. See Matthew 2:13 and how Joseph was lead by angel that appeared in a dream for verification. (Joel 2:28) 4. Via Visions which can be open visions or inner visions within your spirit. Sometimes these are called trances in the scriptures. See Peter's experience in Acts 10:10 for verification.
  • 50. 5.Via Prophecy given through a person by the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 12: 4 - 10 for verification. 6. Via Other languages (tongues) and an interpretation given by the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 12: 4 - 10 for verification. 7. Via Angelic Messengers that God sends to minister to you. See Paul's experience in Acts 27:23 for verification. Study Hebrews 1: 7. 8. Via Inspired thought patterns that are internal but given by the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 2:13 - 16 Study also Romans 12: 1-3 and Philippians 4: 8, 9. 9. Via the counsel of others. See how the apostles in Acts 6: 1 7 came together for counsel to address a problem. This includes those who teach and communicate spiritual truth to us. 10. Via open or closed doors of opportunity. See Paul as he followed the leading of the Lord through an open door in Acts 16: 6 - 10.
  • 51. 11. Via the evidence of historical God directed events either through a time of blessing or a season of judgment. See the summary of Noah's life in Hebrews 11: 7. 12. Via the experiences or testimonies of others. See Peter's testimony before the other apostles and how that launched a whole new dimension of ministry in Acts 11: 1 -18. 13. Via supernatural signs, wonders and miracles done to meet peoples needs and lead them into relationship with God. These supernatural events confirm that God is speaking. See Mark 16: 17 - 20. 14. Via supernatural manifestations of God's direct Presence. See the burning bush encounter that God engaged Moses with in Exodus chapter 3. 15. Via Creation. We are told that creation itself speaks to us of God's attributes. Jesus used many spiritual parables to illustrate what God was saying and how God speaks. See Romans 1: 18 - 20.
  • 52. VI. THE DELIVERY OF THE MESSAGE (if intended for others) i. The Person delivering: • Through the PROPHET (one who occupies the office) • Through the exercise of a GIFT OF PROPHESYING (either through a prophet or one who does not hold the office of a prophet but who operates in the gift) • Or Through a PROPHETIC UTTERANCE (message delivered by one prompted by the Holy Spirit at that moment only, though the messenger does not occupy the office of the prophet or does not necessarily have the gift of prophesying) ii. The Place of delivery • Either private • Or public (I Cor. 14:26-33)
  • 53. iii. The manner of delivery * By simple declaration (speech) * By tongue with interpretation * THE INTERESTING CASE OF “STAMMERING LIPS” Isaiah 28:11-14 - New King James Version (NKJV) “11 For with stammering lips and another tongue (with foreign lips and strange tongues NIV)He will speak to this people, 12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little,” That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught.”
  • 54. PART III. PROPHET PRINCIPLES TO OBSERVE AND PITFALLS TO AVOID I. THE ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MODERN-DAY PROPHET A. “CONTROLS” of a prophet and of prophesying He must be careful that he must not presume to be speaking for God when God has not spoken (DEUT. 18:20,22; Deut. 13:13) If he is not sure, it is best that he says “I feel that God is speaking to me to…”
  • 55. WHAT IF A PROPHET SPEAKS FALSELY INTENTIONALLY? Deuteronomy 18:20-22 New International Version (NIV) “20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.” 21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
  • 56. He WILL SURELY BE DEALT WITH BY GOD, including death, if God wants, but in His hands, not ours. WHAT IF A PROPHET PROPHESIES “by mistake” or inaccurately? * What is a “mistake”? Examples of seeming “mistakes” a. John 11:4 – “This sickness is not unto death”…, but Lazarus still died b. I Chron. 17:1-4 – Samuel affirmed that David‟s plan to build the temple was going to be “the Lord is with thee”, but when the Lord spoke, Solomon was to build it not David c. Acts 21:4 – “said to Paul through the Spirit that he should not go to Jerusalem”, but Paul previously said in Acts 20:22, 23 that he was “bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem” (see related passages Rom 15:25-31, Acts 19:21)
  • 57. Note: possible explanations: c.1. Spirit testing Paul c.2. Utterances mixed human ideas with Spirit words c.3. Both were correct – Paul was compelled by the Spirit to go, and Spirit told disciples not to go (parallel: Samson‟s case: Judges14) d. The prophecy of Agabus – (Agabus takes Paul‟s belt, binds his hands and feet, and says) Acts 21:11 “So shall the Jews in Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles” * But what happened (ACTS 21:17-40) – the Jews did not bind Paul or turn him over to the Romans; instead the Romans took Paul from the Jews and bound him themselves (Note: Agabus earlier in Acts 11:28 correctly predicted the famine).
  • 58. Paul in Acts 28:17 also later said he was “delivered as a prisoner in Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans” seemingly perpetuating the inaccuracy. MY VIEW: Un-intentional mixture of human and divine. Agabus saw a PICTURE of Paul being bound and held by the Romans, AND AGABUS INTERPRETED what he saw by saying Paul would be bound and delivered by the Jews to the Romans. The “spirit” of the prophecy was correct but the details supplied by human thinking rendered the prophesying to some seeming “inaccuracy”. BUT THE MAIN MESSAGE WAS NOT LOST, that Paul would be bound if he goes to Jerusalem. THE BIBLE CALLS AGABUS A PROPHET SO HE WAS A PROPHET! Paul on the other hand had a very compelling sense of bringing the gospel of salvation to the lost. He believed that he was “compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem” when his “compulsion” may have just been to preach the gospel farthest and widest, not necessarily to Jerusalem. Or he may have been indeed instructed to go to Jerusalem.
  • 59. QUESTION: Why does God allow “mistaken” or “false” prophesying? Why does He not just stop them? DEUTORONOMY 13:1-3, especially verse 3! (ASK THEM TO READ IT.) THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF A PROPHET: 1. He must allow himself and his message to be EVALUATED and “JUDGED” by the body of Christ I COR. 14:29 “Two or three prophets should speak, AND OTHERS SHOULD WEIGH CAREFULLY WHAT IS SAID.” Verse 33: “THE SPIRITS OF PROPHETS ARE SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL OF THE PROPHETS” 2. His life must be an open book to the body of Christ, and he must be open to scrutiny and even criticism Acts 20:18 (Paul speaking in Ephesus to the elders): “YOU KNOW HOW I LIVED THE WHOLE TIME I WAS WITH YOU FROM THE FIRST DAY…”
  • 60. 3. A prophet must SUBMIT to the authority of BODY OF ELDERS which include the apostles, fellow prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, evangelists. The one appointed to the declare the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms IS THE CHURCH (not just one or some “super Christians”) – EPHESIANS 3:10 REASON: People have different gifts. Let others operate in their gifts. That is why one’s gift (including prophesying) is “distilled” by the operation of the gifts of others (pastors, evangelists, teachers, apostles). See 2 COR. 10:12-18 4. In the church, he is treated and stands as an ELDER, and is assessed, rebuked and disciplined in the manner as an elder is disciplined. I TIM. 5:19-25
  • 61. 5. A PROPHET MUST NEVER, NEVER USE PROPHESYING TO CONTROL OR MANIPULATE PEOPLE, OR FOR PERSONAL GAIN. If he does, he has engaged in sorcery and witchcraft. One purpose of witchcraft is to gain control of people‟s lives, usually by using fear. Symptons of spirit of witchcraft: * Refusing accountability * Refusing submission to a body of elders * Superiority complex (“I am a prophet you all follow me or listen to me”) * When fear of the Lord is replaced by fear of man (like fear of the “prophet”) * Constant criticism or fault-finding; barely an encouragement * Over felicitation (overflowing praise of others)
  • 62. * (From 1. . PROPHETIC BENCHMARKS IN THE BIBLE: Prophets Principles and Pitfalls by Bill Hamon, With additions) MANHOOD (or WOMANHOOD) Gen. 1:26-27 Rom. 8:29 Heb. 2:6,10 I Tim. 2:5 2. God makes a man/woman first before giving ministry Man apart from position, message or ministry Personality evaluating person not performance Jesus manhood 30 years, 3 ½ ministry, ration 10:1 MINISTRY 2 Cor. 6:3 Matt. 7:15-21 Deut. 18:22 No offense to ministry; I Cor. 2:4-5 – power and demonstration By their fruits you shall know them – anointing, results Prophecies or preaching are productive – proven, pure, positive
  • 63. 3. MESSAGE Eph. 4:15 Speak the truth in love; present-truth, life-giving I Tim 4:2 Message Scriptural, “full gospel”, doctrinally and spiritually right Mark 16:60 God confirms His Word – not person, pride or reputation 4. MATURITY James 3:17 Right attitude; maturity in human relations; heavenly wisdom Gal. 5:22 Fruit of the Spirit; Christlike character, dependable, steadfast Heb. 5:14, Tim 2:15 (KJV), 3:14-17, Soaking in the Word (solid food) I Cor. 13 Not childish; disposition of love 5. MARRIAGE I Tim. 3:2,5 Scripturally in order 1 Pet. 3:1,7 Priorities straight – God, wife and family, ministry Eph. 5:22-23 Marriage exemplify Christ relationship with church
  • 64. 6. METHODS Titus 1:16 Rom. 1:18 Rom. 3:7-8 7. Rigidly righteous, ethical, honest, integrity – upright Not manipulating or deceptive Good end results do not justify unscriptural methods MANNERS Tit. 1:7; 3:1,2 Unselfish, polite, kind, gentlemanly or ladylike, discreet Eph. 4:29; 5:4 propriety in speech, in words and mannerisms 8. MONEY I Tim. 3:6 not money-interested; does not approve dishonest methods I Tim. 6:5-17, Luke 12-15 is not materialistic; simple and content
  • 65. 9. MORALITY I Cor. 6:9-18 Eph. 5:3 Matt. 5:28 Virtuous, pure and proper relationships, Col. 3:5 Biblically pure in sexual attitude and action, I Cor. 5:11 Pure thought life 10. MOTIVE Matt. 6:1 to serve or to be seen? Personal desire or God’s desire? I Cor. 16:15 True Motivation: to minister or be ministered? Prov. 16:2 to herald the truth or just be heard by man? I Cor. 13 motivated by love for the brethren, or fame, name or recognition?
  • 66. PROPHETIC PITFALLS TO AVOID 1. WE SHOULD NOT SEEK THE EXPERIENCE OF THE SUPERNATURAL, RATHER, WE SHOULD GOD, THE GLORY OF HIS PRESENCE! When people hear about the supernatural, it is often natural to desire the “experience” (dreams, visions, meeting with angels, etc.). WE ARE NEVER TO SEEK THE EXPERIENCE. WE MUST SEEK GOD, HIS PRESENCE, THE GLORY OF HIS PRESENCE, AND NOT THE EXPERIENCE. EXODUS 33:15 – “If your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here..” Verse 18, “Moses said, please show me your glory.” It‟s up to the Lord what kind of experiences He will allow us to experience.
  • 67. 2. Do not be hasty to be laid hands on, and do not be hasty in the laying on of hands (I TIM. 5:22) Be careful with impartation of spirits The Holy Spirit can be imparted by the laying on of hands (ACTS 8:18); so can other spirits (see also 2 TIM 1:6) 3. CHECK OR TEST EVERY SPIRIT! (I JOHN 4:1) Those intimate with the Lord are often warned! The VERY, VERY SAD AND TRAGIC EXAMPLE OF 1 KINGS 13. READ THIS! All of us have an ANOINTING WITHIN TO KNOW THE TRUTH! I JOHN 2:20-27
  • 68. 4. KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION Depression is the most common form of un-wellness in the Bible. IT IS NOT ITSELF THE DISEASE. It is pointing to some disease, PROBLEM OR NEED. It is a common experience of prophets. I KINGS 19 See Elijah’s problems: a. Exhaustion (over-extension); too much activity without rest (v. 3) b. Depression and c. death wish (v. 3) “take my life!” d. FALSE GUILT (SELF-BASHING) (“I am NO BETTER THAN MY ANCESTORS”). STUDY 1 KINGS 19
  • 69. 5. BE WARY OF HUMAN PRAISE It lessened David’s sense of righteousness (Too many people adoring him resulted in loosening morals) DIVERT ALL CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU TO THE PRAISE OF GOD. Never OWN God’s work. Return all praise and glory to Him alone! He must increase, I must decrease! JOHN 3:30 In all that you, whatever you do or say, let all be for the glory of Christ! I Cor. 10:31 6. WE MUST STUDY AND MASTER THE BIBLE! 2 TIM. 3:14-16 – But as for you, continue in the things you have learned… and that from childhood you have known the Scriptures… for all Scriptures is inspire of God… that THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE COMPLETE, THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK.”
  • 70. 7. DO NOT FORGET THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL! I COR. 13 LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE! 1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV) “1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
  • 71. 8. Remember: MAIN PURPOSE OF THE GIFT, INCLUDING PROPHECY IS TO BUILD UP, NOT TO DESTROY! EPHESIANS 4:11-13 “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may BE BUILT UP, until we ALL reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the WHOLE MEASURE of the FULNESS of Christ.”
  • 72. FINAL VERY IMPORTANT POINTS: 1. Joel 2:28 ff says that in the last days, the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all people and the sons and daughters will prophesy. 2. This strongly implies that the last days moves or anointing of the Holy Spirit is prophesying. 3. WHY? Because since Jesus is coming again, once and for all, to establish His Kingdom and eternal reign, He will need prophets to prepare His way in all the earth! 4. DOES THAT MEAN THAT ALL THE OTHER GIFTS (pastor, evangelist, teacher, musician, administrator etc.) are no more, or are “second fiddle”? NO!! But it will mean that the pastor will pastor prophetically, the evangelist will evangelize prophetically, the teacher will teach prophetically, the musician will worship prophetically! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! LET THE PROPHETS OF GOD ARISE AND PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD!!!