Pro 29:18 (God's Word) Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow God's teachings.
Now that I have sufficiently ruffled the feathers of you translational purists, I will present the old KJV:
Pro 29:18 (KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
So, we can see, when we look at twenty or thirty different bible translation versions of this verse, that there is a difference in thinking that is just about split down the middle among the translators: some speak only of vision, which might lead a novice on the surface to think that the discussion here might be referencing natural sight only. The rest of the translators regard that it is most certainly prophetic vision that is being spoken of here. More than a hundred years ago, James Strong rendered the breakdown of the lexical nature of this Hebrew word that we English speakers pronounce as "KHAW-ZONE" as follows:
From H2372; a sight (mentally), that is, a dream, revelation, or oracle: - vision.
Mr. Strong says the word is used 35 other times in the OT. The root word, #2372 pronounced "KHAW-ZAH", A primitive root; to gaze at; mentally to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically to have a vision of: - behold, look, prophesy, provide, see. This Hebrew word is used 54 times, bringing us to a total of 89 biblical appearances where this concept is mentioned.
We have looked into the word at depth and we recognize that prophetic sight is being talked about here. God is saying that there is prophetic sight or vision. God has always spoken to man and God, in OT days, sent Seers: He sent men who had visions. God spoke to and warned men through dreams, according to Job 33, about things that they could receive no warning about in their waking hours. There is, apparently, some sense that it was certainly true, at least in OT days. that the lack of prophetic revelation would lead the people to run wild or perish. The Good News bible says the nation will be without order in such a case. The pulpit commentary says that rather, they will cast off restraint, become ungovernable and cannot be reined in when they have no prophetic vision, or as they say, no prophecy in its' widest sense.
So, the fatal effect of the absence of such vision will occur, which can only occur when God sends, as He says He is sometimes wont to do in Amos 8:11, a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. God activates and sends His prophets early, according to Jeremiah, and it can be God's sober decision to withhold them. Scripture indicates that should He choose to withhold them, the result will be that the condition of the people will be characterized by confusion, disorder and rebellion. They will be out of control and will fall into all sorts of excess and God will not raise up one finger to hold them back from going over the cliff; people and pigs in agreement as to their considered course of action when a legion of demons have fully possessed them.
New Testament teaching indicates that God has placed the church upon a foundation of apostles and prophets. Jesus told Peter that upon this rock (the ability to receive and perceive a thing by revelation from God), that God would build His church. Moses dreamed of a day when all men might prophesy. Today, we live in such a day when it is possible that every born again, spirit filled person might prophesy. But does this warning from Proverbs 29 hold true today? Might God pull back His prophets? Might God simply close their mouths and give them no further unction? Might He stop giving them visions and dreams? Might He give them a direct command to give no further warnings to an obstinate and rebellious people? I think He might very well behave today just He has done in the past, OT times.
We shall proceed to look at the balance of Proverbs chapter 29. The subject matter from first to last is that of correction and the reaction of people, children and such to various forms and types of it. Stubbornness, the hardening of the neck, will get one destroyed according to verse 1. Verse 15 teaches us that, contrary to modern teaching, a spanking will do a child much good and will produce wisdom if the warning is properly heeded. The failure of the parent to mete out appropriate discipline will surely produce a child who will disgrace his mother.
Then, following the verse that discusses prophecy, we see the subject matter returns once again to the subject of disciplining a slave (substitute employee here if you are too squeamish about such things), among other matters and the point is made that sometimes, words are not sufficient to bring the requisite correction that will be required when the case becomes advanced in the corruption exhibited.
I am thinking now of those times when my father got very quiet when I had done something wrong. I knew that when he barked a correction, I had better hop to action immediately; that if he had any inkling that I was not paying attention when he was speaking to me, he would help me in a physical way to improve my attention span. I knew when he grew quiet that I was really going to get a licking. It was that same way during the times when my five children required correction. They knew they were probably going to do quite nicely if all they were getting was a good "talking to". But if I got quiet, they knew that I was only trying to let my anger be cooled before I settled upon some appropriate corporal punishment. They were either going to get spanked or it was going to cost them something: a grounding perhaps, or a cancelled trip, but they really did not enjoy that quiet time while they knew that I was praying and trying to determine the appropriate judgement. So, this is the type of thought process that God is indicating that He is going through when He decides to withhold the prophet and deny the people any prophetic word or guidance. God is growing quiet in such a time, and since He has promised that we are not appointed to wrath, we may at least hope that our punishment will be some appropriate chastisement. Nevertheless, the Holy 2 X 4 is painful, and God has many ways to let you know that it is Him you are dealing with as you are walking around, rebuking every name of every demon you can possibly think of, using the name of Jesus to do just that thing. The only thing though.....the name of Jesus does not function when you use it to try to stop God from chastising you. It will not work on the individual level and it definitely will never work on the national level.
I could not talk my dad out of spanking me. It never worked. Eventually, I just started to be quiet too and take my medicine. Likewise, once God grows quiet, you are wasting your time praying for mercy and rebuking demons. It is too late for that. The hammer is about to fall upon you.
I feel led of the Lord to look at this subject of God, holding back His prophets, from another angle entirely. Let us imagine a well worn scene: A tree falls in the forest! Does it make a sound if no one is there to listen? To add to the familiar saying a pejorative twist, does the tree make a sound if a church of a thousand souls are standing a hundred feet away and they have their ipod music turned all the way up in their headphones? Certainly, they MIGHT feel the tree hit the ground, but they would never hear it! Let us imagine again that they had been warned that someone was coming to cut the tree down, but they told the one giving the warning that they WERE NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO THE FALL OF IT. They were going to put their fingers in their ears. They were not even going to look at it. They refused to hear or see any such thing whatsoever!
The ignorance of most of the church is abominably palpable when it comes to prophets and prophecy. After all, Jesus came to Earth and He gave prophetic warnings while He was still alive in the flesh prior to His crucifixion. He returned later to Paul, knocked him off his horse, blinded him and gave him instructions regarding the life course correction that Jesus was now going to require of him. Jesus also came to give John visions and prophecy. Paul was, as we have said, told that the church would be built upon a foundation of apostles and prophets. Paul was also told that the church is a living body made up of living stones, so that the foundation of the building must also be composed of living men. John was told prophetically by Jesus that before Jesus returns, God will send two witnesses who will be two prophets. This is all still future. Yet, much of the church teaches that prophecy is finished and that God sends prophets no more. They audaciously preach that the "perfect has come" so that prophecy has passed away. They refuse any such warnings, fingers stuck deeply into ears. They gather behind pastors who guard the pulpit and refuse access to any such insane men as prophets. Still others will agree that God still sends prophecy and prophets, but they will not listen to a prophet if his word is hard. These pastors will give the prophets no forum: only rose petal from heaven prophets are allowed in such churches. Yet, we know that God has sent the true prophets. We have heard their warnings. A few of us have heard, but how many have heard? Many have heard, but time has passed and delays have caused many to go to sleep in terms of their vigilance. God has been talking to us, up to now. God has been giving us a good "talking to", has He not? We know that even though most of the church has refused to listen or to hearken, God has been warning His people for 30 years minimum during the prophetic era and probably, you can go back further than that to include some prophetic type warnings that came through an on fire Billy Graham early in his ministry in the 1950's.
Yes, God is still speaking prophetically, but I can hear an increasing hush. I can see more and more Christians standing there, either with fingers or earphones in their ears. They are so busy. They have no time for prophecy any more and no patience with prophetic warnings that they have concluded are for some distant time in the future if they are going to come to pass, at all.
I can look back, for example, to 2006, when there were 824 posts in one month in my online prophetic group called Watchmen Prophets Assembly. We had a large number of prophetic ministers, gathered together there, who were each hearing from God, writing it down and sharing. We had many others who would read those words, pray and hear from God on their own, and then they would share. It was glorious functioning in the Holy Ghost. Today, One or two prophesy and all that is ever spoken in reply is an "amen" or a "blessing brother" or some such other short exclamation of mild approval and those are only one or two. Everyone else is very quiet. Stillness rules!. It seems that no one else is hearing from God about anything, or those who are reading are hearing, but perhaps they are reluctant to share what they have heard with other people. This prophetic apathy, as I have discerned it and identified it here with a label, has been growing for several years and it is very severe just now.
Have you looked around? It is the same throughout the church. There are some groups and ministries that are active in personal prophecy, but I am talking about the receipt of the kind of words that a talkative God might still send forth to warn a nation about the spanking to come. I used to belong to a few other online prophecy groups. Those have gone away totally. The quiet is increasing. The hush is palpative. People who used to have visions, dreams and prophetic experiences are going back to the denominational churches. People are fleeing the prosperity obsessed abomination that presently characterizes the single pastor controlled, supposedly "full gospel" churches.
Has the tree made a sound? Did anyone hear at all when it fell? America has been chopped down in the Spirit, but who has known it; who has beheld it? Who can bear it? Prophets speaking to a disinterested world and to a purposefully deaf church! How long will it go on before God says........ENOUGH! How much longer will this trend continue? How close is the swinging 2x4 to the backside of America? How long has a thinking God been calculating our chastisement? God tried to warn us in such a way that we might craft a Goshen here in America, but we would have none of it and failed to populate and establish even one assembly that might be made ready for the impact in any place the Holy Spirit indicated. A few people went to those places and they were, for the most part, alone. And so, all are on their own, and there will be many refugees and people fleeing alone in that day when the double shock of the Lord arrives to fibrillate the church back to life and bring prophetic wakefulness. In that day, there will be a remnant, but they will be weeping and mourning in the mountains and they will be alive, but very much alone. Protection in that day will be a family by family affair. You either have it or you do not! Protection will be in God sufficiency alone in that day. Jesus: our prophetically awake and aware relationship with Him, is the only prep that will suffice. There will be no safe place any more. Only by Him and in Him. Only Him!
I believe, by the Holy Spirit, that the extremely severe impact on the buttocks of America and the rest of this wicked world is but a millisecond away in the Spirit. But do not be deceived: the double judgements could have only come as a harlot church, after the order of Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots, had received prophetic word from real prophets, had prayed for their delay, had obtained that delay and still continued on in their wickedness and idolatry. The thing is doubled because it has been delayed and no repentance has ensued. Make no mistake about it: America and the wicked nations are only in the way. The bulls-eye target of the double judgements is the harlot church, and nowhere is it more arrogantly entrenched than in America.
Brace yourselves! Everything and everybody you know of as His church is going to be caught by surprise, and boy, how they will jump into the air when the pain of that backside impact is registered! Oh how it will burn. You will all feel it.
Stephen L. Bening
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