Do read this with care and thanksgiving – and experience what is real.
Having looked briefly at the Prophets during this sweep through the Scriptures, let’s pause and consider the person of the prophet, and the place of the “Prophetic Ministry”.
There is such a great need for Prophetic Ministry – men hearing from God and speaking what God would have them say – and we hear a lot today about Prophetic Ministry – but much of what we hear as ‘Prophecy’ is no more than ‘wishful thinking’ – or people wanting to bless you with some encouragement.
One major difference between Old Testament and New Testament Prophecy – is that in the New Testament the people judge whether or not the Word is from God.
When a prophet speaks you have a choice – 1 – Change – or 2 – Kill the Prophet.
Luke Chapter 11 verse 52. The prophet is a key to what God is doing – and what God is doing He reveals to the prophets.
Sometimes it will be for sharing immediately – at other times, the prophet may have to be quiet regarding that word, for weeks or months.
There is the need for a clear trumpet sound – and the prophet is regarded as the voice or trumpet of God.
Now there can be false prophets – the teller in the bank can feel a false ‘fiver’ without looking at it. He does not even have to look at it – all he has to say is – “Excuse me sir”. He has been so trained. And you do NOT go in with a coin and kid on it is a £5 note – you make it as like the real thing as you possibly can.
Luke Chapter 7 verse 14. That is a prophetic word. In a miracle – various gifts of the Holy Spirit can be at work at the same time.
Verse 16. Jesus is referred to as ‘great prophet’.
These are real men in this Book – Jesus – Peter – Paul – Moses – Isaiah – Jeremiah – and all the others. They put their trousers on one leg at a time.
Verse 39. Religious people do not recognise prophets.
Verse 40. This is called confrontation.
Jesus goes on to teach – verse 45 – do not miss what God is doing. It is so easy to be doctrinally correct, and miss what the living God is doing.
Verse 37. The alabaster box was part of the equipment of the prostitute.
A prophet can penetrate and pierce and shock the whole religious world.
Luke 24 verse 19. Jesus – A prophet in word and deed.
Being a prophet – being prophetic, is NOT a 9 to 5 job – it involves all his life. God touches everything – work – car – home – finances – everything.
The prophet is an oracle – a mouthpiece – one who acts as a mouth for God – His Words in your mouth. It almost by-passes your brain – sometimes it has to – or you
would never speak the words.
So the prophet has to be sure that God has given him the Word.
Don’t say, “The Lord told me” – when He didn’t!
I have met very few people who have heard the voice of God – and received the word of God to speak prophetically.
Larry Christenson explaining to a group of us at a Leaders’ Conference in Germany – “I decided to go to the Conference in Kenya. Others might say, ‘The Lord led me to go to that Conference in Kenya.'” Now of course, both may be true – but there is a need for balance.
In prophecy – when prophesying – when the Lord stops speaking, that should make two of you. How often there has been a Word of Prophecy – and when the Word from God has ended, the prophet continues speaking.
When God chooses a prophet – when He is raising up a prophetic ministry – He chooses someone in the Body of Christ – and most of the time that person is very reluctant.
He is either a prophet, or an imposter. The Church judges.
God calls a man – gives a gift of a prophet to the body of Christ – and the body recognises it.
In the ‘Didache’ – when a prophet comes among you – let him stay two or three days – do not permit him to speak – then let him prophesy. They needed two or three days to discern.
That is what we need to exercise at times, in this whole area of prophetic ministry – discernment.
A prophet cannot stand – idolatry – injustice – formality – false weights.
Moses and the golden calf – the prophetic Moses – he was concerned about the moral character of God – and the character of the people of God.
Jeremiah Chapter 1 – four negatives and two positives – and Jeremiah wanted to run a mile. I cannot do that – do not ask me to do that LORD!!
I have been there – I know the reality of that one – do you?
God had left the Church of that day – and not even the priests knew – Jeremiah
Chapter 2 verse 8. They did not miss Him. Jeremiah is on a demolition mission.
A prophet is a seer – he sees something – they could see what was a-coming.
Jeremiah and the underwear – Chapter 13 – pretty dramatic – we’ll better withdraw the word pretty. This thing is a mess O God – but I have to bear it. Chapter 20.
Prophets were given strong heavy burdens at times.
In the New Testament, prophecy is always to strengthen – encourage – and comfort. I Corinthians Chapter 14 verses 1 to 5.
Speaking in Tongues plus Interpretation has the value of Prophecy.
Verse 27. (If he were writing to our present situation, it might probably be something like – at least one of you should.)
Verse 29. A prophecy is given. If God speaks, do you not think the least we can do is stop and consider what He has said – its significance – and what all might be involved.
It is not for guidance – but to confirm – or impart insight.
The edifying of the Church is important – the edifying of one’s self is equally important but that is done in a different way.
Everything is done to edify The Church – to build up the Church. And in the case of prophecy – the Church judges! That is NOT the same as criticise – or have a sneaky suspicion.
The first prophetic word I was aware of uttering was in November 1969 at a Fountain Trust Conference in Yorkshire – “I have a work for you to do, and in My Name you will do it”. It was for my brother and friend, Jim Kincaid, as he was being prayed for, prior to leaving Scotland for South Africa – and he, and his wife Val, went and did the job!
Verse 37. Prophets should be aware of Control – Order – Regulation. A bad spirit interrupts.
The prophet reminds people of GOD – JESUS – the BIBLE.
Do you want the Definition of Prophecy? “The ability granted by the Holy Spirit to a believer to speak forth words which proceed from God that do not come from the believer’s own wisdom, understanding or education. Some people see words written – or see visions – or they just begin to speak.”
Verse 39. Seek to – want to – and be prepared to take the risk.
“Almighty God – loving Father – teach us – guide us – use us – in this dark hurting world – where there is such pain and suffering. Raise up men to speak and preach and teach Your Holy Unchanging Word. Jesus, anoint those whom you have called, with love and grace and power and courage – and sensitivity and tenderness, when these are needed. Amen.”