Archive for the ‘Prophet’ Tag

The Vision of Prophets   4 comments

musings16

This is from inspirationfromthewordblog:

When Miriam and Aaron opposed Moses, the LORD said to them, “If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” (Num. 12:6)

The Hebrew word mar’âh  is used in this passage, and transliterated into English as ‘a vision’.  It means ‘a mode of revelation; in the sense of a mirror’.  Mar’âh can refer to anything, either literal or figurative, that is seen or perceived, which reveals and reflects back a message from, and/or a characteristic or attribute of, God.

‘Vision’, in English, means ‘the act or power of seeing with the eyes’.  The term ‘a vision’, however, relates only to that which was seen, not the action itself.  vision is an experience of the mind that naturally begins with sight — for whether the vision’s image or scene is transmitted via the eyes, or is simply registered directly in the mind — of necessity something must first be seen.

In that context, consider the phrase frequently uttered by the prophets of the Old Testament: ‘and the word of the Lord came to me’.  It would be consistent with God’s statement in Numbers 12:6 to assume that the ‘word of the Lord’ often came in the form of pictorial representations (visions and dreams) of the message God wanted to convey.  Pictures are the simplest form of communication, and they precede words: because when learning a language, we are first shown pictures of objects, then we are given the word(s) that is/are associated with them.  Pictures and words both express meaning, but pictures are superior in that they can be understood universally, while words are language specific.  And to a certain degree, a prophet receiving a vision in this manner can be made analogous to a person watching a video presentation; so the value of this method of communication is readily apparent.

However, there are also instances of God sending an angel as a messenger to speak for him; and Hebrews 1:1 informs that God disclosed his thoughts to the prophets in many ways, at different times.  So, with all of the various ways that God can communicate, why are there seemingly no prophets among the Lord’s followers today?  Does Christianity have no need for prophecy anymore?  This can by no means be the case, for Romans 12:6 states, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.”  Furthermore, we are told, “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.”  (1 Cor. 12:28)  Paul ranks prophecy as the second highest function within the body of Christ!!  He also says we ought to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy, and that he wishes everyone in the church prophesied. (1 Cor 14:1&5)  Should anyone reasonably assume then that a need for so important a role no longer exists?!  God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so if the manifestation of prophesy is nearly extinct today, it is a reflection of our own failure and inadequacy — but that is a different subject that cannot be explored here, so I will simply draw attention to the implication of the words “earnestly desire” and move on.

At this point, it would be remiss to not return to and conclude the rest of the thought from Hebrews 1:1.  Picking back up in verse 2, “…but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”  This indicates that the means by which the Father communicates with man has changed.  Prior to the Lord’s first advent, communication from God came in diverse forms.  When Jesus was on the earth, God was then speaking directly through his Son, who was the preexistent Word.  Now that he has been resurrected, God speaks via the gift of the Holy Spirit, in combination with the revealed word of Scripture.  This change in the manner by which God communicates does not bring the need for prophecy to an end in the present day, it merely changes how prophecy is conveyed.

Based of the meaning of mar’âh, a prophet of the Old Testament would reflect back to the people what God had revealed by the vision.  The vision itself was always sharply impressed upon the prophet’s mind, even when its meaning was obscure.  It was rendered in such a way that it appeared to their mind with the same clarity and distinctness as that which is visible to the eye, so that they could speak with certainty and conviction.   In a sense, the vision acted as a light to the prophet’s mind, revealing the things of God that would have been otherwise imperceptible; since vision is impossible in the absence of light.  The prophet then functioned as a mirror, reflecting the light of that vision back to the people.  Before the promised Messiah was revealed, visions and dreams served in his stead, but today the Lord is the Light of the world, by whom we are made to see.

The Father’s disclosure of his plan for the salvation of man through his Son was completed with the Book of Revelation.   It would seem that all He intends to reveal regarding the end of days has already been spoken.  It would appear that visions and dreams have had their end — perhaps not on an isolated, individual basis — but at least as far they concern any messages intended to be delivered on a national or worldwide scale.  Yet although there are no new revelations regarding salvation, in the general sense of those conveyed by visions, it is still true that not all of the revelations from Scripture have been made clear: and this is why the gift of prophecy is still essential today.

Prophecy is not only predictive, it is also interpretive.  This can be shown by the statement found in Dan. 9:1-2, which says: “In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes… I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.”   The prophecy he refers to is from Jer. 29:1-24.  Its message was for the all of the exiles who lived in that time, and it retained its relevance to its intended audience up until the command to return to Jerusalem was given.  But a prophecy, whether it be given for guidance and instruction, or to serve as a warning, is without value unless it is understood — just like the gift of tongues is only useful when it is interpreted.  Therefore, Daniel, a prophet himself, was given understanding by God so that he could act in accordance to the dictates of a prophecy that had been given previously to another of God’s servants.  As a prophet, he was also given the power to interpret: as when he translated the king’s dark dreams.  Likewise, he received visions himself, that spoke of events far into the future — and angelic beings supplied the explanations in an obscure manner — not for his own benefit, but for the sake of those who would live during the age when the visions would attain their relevance and fulfillment.  That which was veiled would only be made plain at the appropriate time.  Since the events to which some prophecies allude have not yet occurred, and since all of their meanings have not been fully understood, it stands to reason that the interpretive component of prophecy still has relevance today.

The interpretive aspect of prophecy is essentially a process of converting something hidden — a meaning that is unseen and incomprehensible –into something that is now clear and readily understood.  This idea evokes a further discussion of sight, because understanding how light converts the invisible into the visible can aid in comprehending how the phenomenon of understanding a vision is made possible.  The eye sees, the mind reasons, and the heart understands, as stated in Isaiah 6:10 and elsewhere.  Sight is the action whereby the eyes take in whatever is reflected back and revealed by light.  The information the eyes receive is processed in the mind, and the brain then attempts to define what was seen, provide context from past experience, and attach meaning to it.  The mind then relays its analysis to the heart, submitting its conclusions for judgement.  The heart then renders its verdict as to whether the mind has determined accurately, or falsely — and the communication continues until the two are of one accord.

This process is common to all, both the believer and the unbeliever alike, but it is important to note that definitude of the heart’s judgment can only be had when it is given in the presence of the holy spirit, since God alone sees all things as they truly are — and it is only by His spirit that man can know the mind of God, and see as He sees.  The Lord Jesus, the Christ, is both the Word, who spoke in days past to the prophets in the light of visions and dreams, and the present Light of the world, who reveals the hidden things contained in the word of scripture.  He is the one who sends forth the Holy Spirit, which teaches righteous judgment to the hearts of all those into whom it is sent; and it is by this same spirit that the prophecies of old were uttered.  It should not be imagined that the passage of time has rendered the Lord’s spirit mute.  The ability to see in a physical capacity is a gift given by God, which he provides to all but a few.  The ability to see in the spiritual sense — that which can be called insight, discernment, or wisdom — is also a gift of God, but its dispensation is far more rare.  Its treasures are only discovered by those who eagerly desire and earnestly seek them.  Those who truly ‘seek first the Kingdom and its righteousness’ will have such things added to them, and more.

The prophet of the Old Testament would receive the Lord’s message or instruction in a vision or dream — they could clearly see it in their minds.  One could say they received the spiritual word by physical sight.  This is fitting because the Word of God had not yet been sent, and God’s word (Scripture) had not been completed.  A prophet of the modern era is the beneficiary of revelation his predecessors did not have access to.  Therefore, they receive insight by the Light of the Word (as Christ dwells in them): by contrast, a case of spiritual sight coming through the physical word of Scripture.  The prophets of old had faith in what they saw — they believed the vision — and thereby communicated new revelations to the people.  Today, the prophet must believe the word — and have faith in the unseen things of God — depending upon the Lord to provide insight into prophesies which are still not fully understood, though they were spoken of long ago.  The need for spiritual insight is more urgent today then ever.  Remember that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  (Rev. 19:10)  May God inspire the hearts of all those who love Him to set aside their concerns for the things of this life, and may He fill more of His children with an earnest desire to be granted the greatest spiritual gifts — which He makes readily available to those who seek.

When the Mantle Covers   3 comments

elisha-plowing

Elisha Plowing

This is from the blog Bulletins from Baxter:

When Elijah draped his mantle over the shoulders of Elisha, Elisha startled Elijah as much as Elijah startled Elisha!

By now Elijah might have been expected to be shockproof. He had battled victoriously with the 400 prophets of Baal and he had fled a woman’s wrath. The Juniper Tree Experience was fresh behind him. But there God had laid three unusual duties upon him. One –anoint a new king in Syria and another in Israel and “Anoint Elisha to be prophet in your place.”

When Elijah reached the farm where Elisha was plowing, he went out into the field and in a very significant but simple ceremony, he draped his old leather mantle over the shoulder of Elisha. Elisha immediately grasped the significance –he had been chosen to succeed Elijah.

What surprises God has in store for those who minister in his service. I don’t know what Elijah thought would happen there that day, but he seemed a bit surprised that his action was taken so seriously.

Elisha wanted only to go and say his goodbyes. Elijah cried, “Go back again, for what have I done to you.”

Elisha did an astounding thing: he killed the oxen he was using to plow. He boiled their flesh for food WITH THE YOKES BEING THE FIREWOOD! Then he fed the gathered people. Even Simon Peter did not burn his boat! He just left it. Elisha built immediate finality into his decision.

That’s the key to Elisha’s coming success, he made a one-hundred-percent-decision when he surrendered to God’s plans for him. It is no wonder he later received a “double portion of Elijah’s spirit.”  BL

Scribes and Prophets
Why did the Prophet Elisha curse the “youths” for making fun of his baldness (2 Kings 2:23-24)?

Posted May 16, 2016 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Listening to God before We Speak for Him   3 comments

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This is from the Life is Worship blog:

“Holy men of soberer and quieter times than ours knew well the power of silence. David said, I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue. There is a tip here for God’s modern prophets. The heart seldom gets hot while the mouth is open. A closed mouth before God and a silent heart are indispensable for the reception of certain kinds of truth. No man is qualified to speak who has not first listened. It might well be a wonderful revelation to some Christians if they were to get completely quiet for a short time, long enough, let us say, to get acquainted with their own souls, and to listen in the silence for the deep voice of the Eternal God. The experience, if repeated often enough, would do more to cure our ulcers than all the pills that ever rolled across a desk.”

–A.W. Tozer

 

Scribes and Prophets

John MacArthur Rebuked by a Prophet (VIDEO)   11 comments

john-macarthur

John MacArthur

John MacArthur Rebuked by a Prophet (VIDEO)
[This is from the Singapore Christian blog.]

The Spirit of a Prophet
Scribes and Prophets
The Importance of the Prophetic
YouTube
A Christian Cult
An Open Letter to John MacArthur from A.W. Tozer:  He Being Dead Yet Speaketh
Beware of Theological Aesthetes

[Telling people that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased (like praying in tongues, healing, prophecy) is like telling a Russian that there is no such place as Russia and that the Russian language is nonsensical gibberish.]

Doctrine of Cessationism
Killing the Prophets
A Word to John MacArthur:  Jacob Prasch Defends Calvary Chapel

Isaiah 63: 10:  “But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.”

Zechariah 7: 11-12:  “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.”

Mark 3: 5:  “And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.”

Acts 7: 51-53:  “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:   Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

Ephesians 4: 30:  “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

_____

“The Lord judges not as man judges.
Better to be cast out of the church than to deny Christ”

–Anne Hutchinson

The Importance of the Prophetic   14 comments

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“Head of a Prophet” by Mikhail Vrubel

This is an excerpt from a post published on the blog Grace and Truth:

The Importance of the Prophetic

The prophet represents God. He goes forth from the presence of God and speaks what God has given him to speak. The prophet speaks the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not just speaking the Word, it is speaking it forth in the power of an anointing borne out of intimacy with Jesus Himself. The prophet is the ambassador of Christ in this world, and so the prophet and his message are inextricably linked. A true prophet cannot be separated from the message he brings.

We see this with Ezekiel. God had a message for Israel and He had His prophet to act out what he was proclaiming to Israel. He had to lie down for a certain number of days as a sign against rebellious Israel. (Ezekiel 4)

One cannot receive the prophet himself, whilst rejecting the message he brings. And vice versa is true.

Neither can the true prophet be separated from God. When God sends someone to speak forth His Word, then he/she is speaking it on God’s behalf. Rejection of the prophet and his message therefore is rejection of God and His Word.

He who receives you receives me, and He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” Matthew 10:40

The Way of the Flesh

The rejection of the Word of God is normal. What I mean by that is that it is the way of human flesh.   The flesh always resists the Spirit. It always has and it always will. The flesh has its eyes blinded and its heart hardened.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

I don’t know about you, but since I was born again I left behind “normal”. I don’t want the way of the flesh anymore, I am desperate for the way of the Spirit. As followers of Christ, we who are now living by the Spirit should be able to receive and hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church regardless of whether it is a message of encouragement/edification or whether it is a message of correction/reproof. You see, the Holy Spirit wants to work in us to conform us to the image of Christ and sometimes the old needs to be torn down first before the new can be built.

Rejection of the Prophetic Word

The consequence of the rejection of the prophetic Word is judgment and death.

This may sound harsh, but there is a spiritual principle at work here.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” Galations 6:8

Because the Word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12) when it is received it takes root in order to bring forth life, just like a little seed.

However when the Word of God is rejected, that place where life was meant to dwell becomes a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and something has to take that place.   What enters in is corruption.  When Christ is actively rejected after the Word has been preached, a new level of corruption enters into that individual/church/city.

Jesus told the disciples what action to take with those who reject them and their words:

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorra in the day of judgment than for that city!” Matthew 10:14, 15

The action of the shaking of dust from one’s feet is an act of judgment against that place.

“The Jews thought the land of Israel so peculiarly holy, that when they came home from any heathen country, they stopped at the borders and shook or wiped off the dust of it from their feet, that the holy land might not be polluted with it. Therefore the action here enjoined was a lively intimation, that those Jews who had rejected the Gospel were holy no longer, but were on a level with heathens and idolaters.”

–John Wesley

Jesus brings Sodom and Gomorrah into the picture as a picture of God’s judgment.  It was an awful judgment of fire and brimstone against awful sin. Yet they were judged apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ—it had not been preached to them. How much more severely will God judge the place to which the gospel has been sent and rejected?

__________

Here is my comment to the above post:

Excellent post. Sometimes it is not merely the words of a prophet that are rejected by certain people, but the prophet’s lifestyle of obedience.

But here is some more on a prophet’s words being rejected: Back in 1989 [or 1990] I was attending an Assembly of God in Ames, Iowa. I stood up and gave a testimony on how I was delivered from many demons (I think it is one of the most beautiful and powerful testimonies that I have ever given—it really glorifies God). After I gave my testimony, the pastor (Gary Pilcher) jumped out of his seat, threw the assistant pastor out of the pulpit and told me in no uncertain terms that he did not like my testimony and that I should leave the teaching to him. (I didn’t think I was doing any teaching, I was just giving a testimony of the Holy Spirit’s powerful working in my life.)

Six months later I gave a similar testimony about how I was delivered from many demons (in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established). In my spirit, half of the congregation received my testimony, but the same pastor replied somewhat negatively—I don’t remember exactly what he said. Immediately, the Lord told me to take the shoes off of my feet, shake the dust off of my shoes and walk out of that church. I didn’t do it because I felt sorry for Pastor Pilcher. After the church service, I walked out the door and Pastor Pilcher followed me outside and spoke to me privately. Basically, what he said is that my testimony glorified Satan. When Gary Pilcher said that, he blasphemed the Holy Ghost; he will never get saved. A few years later, Gary Pilcher’s son died of cancer.

The last I heard, Gary Pilcher was the assistant supervisor of the Assemblies of God in central Iowa: when you reject Christ for a living, you can really be promoted up the ladder in the world system of churchianity. The wages of sin (rejecting a prophet’s testimony) is death—spiritual death and physical death. Touch not my anointed, do my prophets no harm.

_____

“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This is Sodom! This is Sodom!
Behold, I Send Unto You Prophets
Jackson, Wyoming Fire, 2012

The Prophet’s Call   7 comments

amos_1_-_1_amos,_who_was_among_the_herdmen_of_tekoa

Prophet Amos

This is from the blog Susanne Schuberth’s Poetry:

The Prophet’s Call
By Susanne Schuberth

Those who are aliens here on earth
Endure tormenting pangs of birth
They make the call to share their pains
Alas, the whore is bound in chains
She’s looking for applause of crowds
The prophets though are His ‘all-outs’

They call the stout to leave the wall
So they can hear the desert’s call
That calls for you and me, my friend
To leave that church which is a blend
Of truth and lies we might not see
And if we stay, we won’t get free

God calls us to the narrow path
So that we may escape His wrath
That is to come so very soon
When sun is darkened, and the moon
Where you can hear the weak one say
“He strengthened me, I’m on His way”

Don’t we reject the voice we hear
Through prophets’ words and by our ear
They urge us that we make our choice
And listen to His longing voice
The Lord’s still speaking to our heart
Because He wills that we take part

In joining them wholeheartedly
Who prayed to Him for eyes to see
The wickedness down to the core
Of Satan’s wife, his bride, his whore
See, all the years she took from Him
The fat, the wool, the sheep at whim

Still there is time for us to come
Unto the Lord before it’s done
The prophets who stand in the breach
Were called for us to pray and preach
Don’t we despise their words that hurt
Since Christ now wants to sift from dirt

A Prophet’s Eyes
The Prophetic Voice
Josephus on John the Baptist

Posted June 21, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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The Prophetic Voice   12 comments

shofar-blown

This is from the blog Grace and Truth:

I have a Word from God.  Judge it, accept or reject it.  Whatever, but this is it:

What this generation needs more than ever is the Prophetic Voice.

A prophetic voice under the anointing of the Spirit to cut through the clouded numbness that has settled over the Church.

A prophetic voice to divide truth from confusion.  But even more than that: the prophetic voice to speak forth the oracles of God.

Don’t you see? We are now so bogged down with questions and confusion.  What to do about/with homosexuals, how to deal with transgenders, how to appeal to the youth, how to stop people leaving our churches.

To hell with all that!  What we really need is prophetic voices raised up.

Don’t you see? We are now in a period the church has never seen before.  A time of such manifest wickedness and gross darkness.  The things we’ve been busy with in church over the last few decades ain’t cutting it anymore.  How are we to answer these things? With endless discussions, conversations and conferences?  There’s no time anymore to mess around.  If you’ve been waiting for God to do something then I am here to tell you what it is:

He is telling you to lift up your voice now, and be not afraid.

Now more than ever we need those who are unafraid to stand in the midnight hour. We need men and women with the courage of their convictions to speak forth the Word of truth.  Once again we need WATCHMEN TO STAND ON THE WALLS.  To take up the Sword of the Spirit in the power of the Spirit.  To cut through the crap! I’m sorry but that is the least offensive word I can use for what I see.

I see the Church bowed down under a weight of confusion.  I see a Church struggling to cope and turning to the wisdom of the world.  I see a Church in its sad desire to be pleasing to this world ultimately conforming to this world and losing its witness.  I see a Church in the depths of horrendous spiritual adultery.

I see a Church turned in on itself.  I hear more messages about Self than about Christ.  I hear the psycho-babble of heathens infiltrating the pulpit.  I hear calls to “find yourself” from ministers of the gospel.  The Spirit is grieved and my heart breaks.

But there is a cry from His heart that is breaking forth amongst the remnant.  That cry is for the Sword to be picked up again.  To be wielded in the courage, power and strength of the Holy Spirit.

I have seen it I tell you.  When the Word of God goes forth in power a cry rises up from the Church.  She recognizes her Master’s voice and she is desperate and hungry to hear it again.  I’ll tell you something else: the world also recognizes it.  They may reject it, but when there’s an anointing they know it and they respect it.

Redeeming-The-TimeThat is the only way forward now O People of the Cross.  The only thing that can cut through now is the Sword of the prophetic voice.  There is no time left for anything else.

“Lift it up your voice with strength

Lift it up, be not afraid” Isaiah 40:8

Lift it up! Lift it up in your homes.  Lift it up in your work place, lift it up in your church, lift it up on Facebook, lift it up on Twitter, lift it up in the streets. Lift it up be not afraid, lift it up!

Holy Spirit bless this word to go forth, in Jesus’ Name Amen

A Prophet’s Eyes
Scribes and Prophets
A Harlot, an Emergent and a Pope Walked into a Bar . . .

Posted June 11, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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