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Standards of biblical prophecy, true and false prophets in the church today, and where we are in prophetical history

 
His Word
"But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay" (Jeremiah 20:9b). A PROPHETIC MINISTRY
WITH
A PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVE
 
 
 

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Prophets And Prophecy

CONTENTS

The Abrahamic Covenant

        Land
        Descendants
        Blessing
                Personal, National And Global Promises

The Davidic Covenant
The New Covenant
“Prophet” First Use Reference
Prototype Prophecy
Prophetic Enactments
How God Communicates To His Prophets

        Visions, Dreams, Dark Sayings, Clear Statements
        Trance
        The Urim And Thummim, The Lot, Mercy Seat And Angels

Characteristics And Functions Of The Prophet

        Seer
        Prophet
        Watchman
        Intercessor
        Worshipper
        Messengers
        A Continuum
        Understanding Dreams And Visions
                Revelation
                Interpretation
                Application
        Authority Of The Prophet

Mentoring
Companies Of The Prophets
Sons Of The Prophets
Is Saul Also Among The Prophets?
Assessing Prophetic Value

        Altered States Of Consciousness
        Praise And Worship Music

God Is No Respecter Of Persons

        The Seventy Elders
        Balaam

God’s Prophets Prophesy By Faith
Scriptural Role Of Prophets
Prophecy In The New Testament
God’s Attributes, Abiding And Assignments

        Character
        Compassion
        Conscience
        Gifts
        Abiding of Holy Spirit, Father and Son
        The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
                Purpose Of The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
        The Compassion Gift Of Prophecy
                Grace
                Mercy
                Purpose Of The Compassion Gift Of Prophecy
        The Doma Ascension Gift Of Prophecy
                Jesus, The Wisdom Of God
                         Impartation
                         Righteousness A Prerequisite
                         The Word Of Wisdom
        Jesus Exercises Judgement And Executes Justice
                         Judgement
                         Justice
                Purpose Of The Doma Ascension Gift Of Prophecy
        Apostles And Prophets Are Both Sent

The Purpose Of Prophecy
The Purpose Of The Doma Ascension Gifts
Our Prophetic Standard

        Preach The Gospel To The Poor
        Heal The Brokenhearted
        Preach Deliverance To The Captives
        Recovering Of Sight To The Blind
        Set At Liberty Those That Are Bruised
        Preach The Acceptable Year Of The Lord
        Our Prophetic Commission

Where Are We In Prophetical History?

        First Dispensation
        Second Dispensation
        Third Dispensation
        Fourth Dispensation
        Repeating Cycles

False Prophets

        Every Believer Is Capable Of Being Deceived
        False Prophets Look And Sound Real
        False Prophets Are Well Received
        False Prophets Are Not Assessed, Accountable Or Disciplined
        False Prophets Will Tell You Exactly What You Want To Hear
        They Are Like Chameleons And Blend In With Their Environment
        They Love Attention And Credentials
        They Value Praise For Themselves
        They Are Rebellious
        False Prophets Are Numerous
        God Will Test You Through False Prophets

Biblical Prophetic Profile

        They Teach The Abrahamic, Davidic And New Covenants
        They Recognize Prophetic Protoypes And Enactments
        They Understand Godly Communication To Prophets
        They Understand God’s Training Of His Prophets
        They Refuse Human Credentials For Prophetic Credibility
        They Don’t Beat Their Own Drum
        They Don’t Discriminate
        They Speak From An Understanding Of God’s Heart
        They Fulfill God’s Purposes
        They Know Their Scriptural Function
        They Embrace Prophetic Standards And Commissions
        They Warn Against False Prophets
        True Prophets Are Few In Number


Prophets And Prophecy

The Abrahamic Covenant
        God made promises to Abraham in His covenant with him. In this case it is a promissory or unilateral covenant, or unconditional.
        I will refer to Abram as Abraham, as his name was changed by God in Genesis 17:5 from Abram meaning “‘high or exalted father” to Abraham “father of a multitude.”
        Genesis 12:1-4:
        1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
        2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
        3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
        4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
  Land
        In verse 1, Abraham was promised land, specifically Canaan, as shown to Abraham in Genesis 13:12-17.
        Genesis 13:12-17:
        12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
        13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
        14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
        15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
        16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
        17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
        A similar promise is made to his offspring, Isaac, Abraham’s only son by his wife Sara (Genesis 26:2-4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15). Isaac was the father of Jacob and Esau.
  Descendants
        In verse 2 God promises to make of Abraham a great nation. This is further explained in Genesis 13:16: “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” This promise is also given to Isaac (Genesis 26:4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:14).
        In addition to the land of Caanan, Abraham is promised “seed” or descendants who will make a great nation.
  Blessing
        God also promised Abraham that “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” In verse 3 God states a condition for being blessed by Abraham in that He will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. God also states that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
    Personal, National And Global Promises
        The covenant with Abraham, as we see from scripture, involves three aspects: land, specifically the land of Caanan; “seed,” or descendants that would become a great nation; and blessing in the sense of being blessed and being a blessing.
        This can be understood as being a personal promise (the land of Caanan), a national promise (seed, or descendants who would become a great nation), and a global promise (all families of the earth shall be blessed).
        This covenant is restated, or confirmed to Abraham in Genesis 15:1-21, 17:4-21, 22:15-18. It is also confirmed to Isaac in Genesis 26:3-5,24 and to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15, 35:9-12.
        Keep in mind that this is an unconditional, or promissory, or unilateral covenant which will be fulfilled by God and is not dependent upon what Abraham and/or his seed, or descendants, do or don’t do.
The Davidic Covenant
        The land aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is clearly stated in Genesis 13:12-17.
        The “seed” aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is further expanded upon by the Davidic covenant.
        In 2 Samuel 23:5 David said: “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” In this verse he is referring to what Nathan the prophet said to him in 2 Samuel, chapter 7. Verses 12-16 of that chapter read:
        12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
        13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
        14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
        15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
        16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
        Confirmation of the Davidic covenant is found in Psalms 89:3-4,28; 1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicles 13:5, 21:7.
        It’s clear from scripture that the throne of David’s kingdom is forever, i.e., eternal.
        2 Samuel: 7:13,16:
        13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
        16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
        This confirms God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:6: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”
        The totality of Abraham’s “descendants” will come into a fullness in the new heavens and new earth, if not the millennium.
The New Covenant
        The blessing aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is expanded upon by the New Covenant which is stated in Jeremiah 31. In this New Covenant, God internalizes the Mosaic law in His people. He establishes a different, new relationship with His people “for they shall know me” “... I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” as stated in verse 34.
        Jesus had said in John 16:7: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (See also John 14:16-18, 26; John 15:26). The death of Jesus opened the way for the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) to abide (live) in us and to teach us, in the same way that Jesus lived with and taught His disciples. This explains and fulfills the statement in Jeremiah 31:34 “for they shall know me.”
        The New Covenant became effective upon the death of Jesus as stated in Matthew 26:28: “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Also Luke 22:20: “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”)
        In the same way this fulfilled the statement “... I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” in Jeremiah 31:34.
        Throughout these covenants and their promises we must realize the scriptural truth that Israel is the vehicle through which they will all be fulfilled.
        Despite the problems God has had with the disobedience of the nation of Israel, He will fulfill His promises for the sake of His name.
        Ezekiel 36:22-23:
        22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
        23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
        The entire chapter of Ezekiel 36 describes the fruition of God’s promises to Israel.
“Prophet” First Use Reference
        This short study of the Abrahamic covenant gives us valuable information and insight relative to God’s prototype, or archetype of a prophet, first mentioned in Genesis 20:7.
        First, God sovereignly chose Abraham and told him to leave his home, his family and his fathers house and go to an unknown land. He then promised him a specific area of land, many descendants, and that he would be blessed and would be a blessing.
        When Abraham obeyed God, it provided a model of faith for his future descendants.
        Galatians 3:6-9:
        6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
        7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
        8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
        9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
        Galatians 4:28: “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”
        Hebrews 11:8-9:
        8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
        9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
        Unger’s Bible Dictionary makes this comment about Abraham: “The spiritual experience of Abraham was marked by four far-reaching crises in which his faith was tested, and which, in each case, called forth the surrender of something naturally most dear to him: first, his giving up country and kindred (Genesis 12:1); second, his breaking off with his nephew, Lot, particularly close to Abraham by virtue of kinship as a fellow believer and possible heir (Genesis 13:1-18); third, the abandonment of his own cherished plans for Ishmael and his being called upon to center his hope in the promise of the birth of Isaac (Genesis 17:17-18); fourth, the supreme test of his mature life of faith in his willingness to offer up Isaac, his only son, whom he loved passionately and in whom all his expectations centered (Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17,18).”
        God then made a series of prophetical promises to Abraham, in the form of a covenant which included land, descendants, and blessings.
        We have seen in our short study that the land promise still stands. We see the descendant or “seed” aspect expanded upon by the Davidic covenant, and how the blessing aspect is expanded upon by the New Covenant.
        What’s the big picture here? What’s the broad overview? It can be summed up in one word. Redemptive. To redeem mankind, via the instrumentality of the nation of Israel, and restore them back into a righteous relationship with their Creator and God.
        It all started with one man, Abraham. A man whose faith was sorely tested, a man to whom land, descendants, and blessings were irrevocably and prophetically promised. A man with frailties, weaknesses and faults just like you and I. This man, Abraham, is the first person in the Bible that is identified as a prophet. In biblical terminology, this is called the “first use” or first reference, to which much importance is assigned, as it is the archetype of those that follow in the footsteps, in this instance, of a prophet.
        You and I, as a prophetic people, will also have our faith sorely tested. But as the biblical seed of Abraham, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29) ... as the seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise, we also have the promise of the land, the descendants and the blessings.
        Those are promises from God to us that cannot be cancelled out by anything we do or anything we don’t do. They will continue to stand forever. Don’t misunderstand me: from what I understand from scripture, you can remove yourself from the loop if you are really bound and determined to do so. But it won’t be easy. And the promises still stand regardless of what you do.
        God has already fulfilled His promise about the blessings through Jesus. God’s law is in our inward parts, in our hearts, He has forgiven our iniquity, and remembers our sin no more. We know God because we have His Holy Spirit, our sins have been remitted and the promised King of Davidic lineage reigns in our hearts. And as your faith is sorely tested, you continue to follow Abraham’s example.
        You, as Abraham’s seed and inheritors of the promise, are also commissioned to speak prophetical promises to an unsaved world so that they can also become Abraham’s seed and inherit the promises and walk Abraham’s walk of faith.
        The full revelation of the Davidic covenant, i.e., Jesus Christ as our King, is something that we still look forward to. In the same way, we await the full possession of the promised land.
        The biblical record of “first use” or “first reference” of “prophet” brings us to Genesis 20:1-18. A study of these verses exposes human frailties which obviously should not be interpreted as being mandatory requirements of a prophet, but instead offers us a revelation of the love, grace and mercy of our Creator.
        1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
        2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
        In verse 2, Abraham lied.
        3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
        4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
        Abraham’s lie endangered the life of another.
        5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
        Sarah confirms Abraham’s lie as being the truth.
        6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
        7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
        Abraham’s lie also endangered the lives of many others, including his promised seed. See also Genesis 12:1-3; 17:20-22; 18:9-14.
        God declares Abraham, who lied, to be a prophet. This probably saved Abraham from being killed by Abimelech.

        8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
        9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
        10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
        11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.
        Abraham displayed a lack of trust in God.
        12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
        Abraham rationalized his reasons for lying.
        13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
        Abraham states that he has a lifestyle of lying. See also Genesis 12:10-20.
        14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
        15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.
        16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.
        Abraham’s lie costs another man property and money.
        17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
        Abraham speaks to God for man.
        18 For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.
        Abraham’s lie prevented life in another man’s family.
        Summary
:
  • In this biblical “first reference” to a human prophet we see that prophets can, and will, lie, sometimes as a habitual practice. See also:
        Genesis 12:10-20, where Abraham had told the same lie to Pharaoh.
        1 Kings 13 (the old prophet)–In verse 18 the old prophet said “... an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord ...” He did not say “... the word of the Lord came unto me ...” Why this peculiar phraseology? The word “angel” can also be translated as “messenger” which could refer to his own sons who told him about the young prophet in verse 11. The object lesson of this story is to do that which God has told you to do, not what someone tells you to do based upon some other authority.
        1 Kings 22:1-40 (Micaiah)–In defense of Micaiah it may well be that he spoke mockingly in verse 15, particularly in view of verse 14. However, there is a problem in that if the king had not rebuked the prophet for lying, then it would have stood as a true word from God.
  • Others may confirm a prophet’s lies as being true.
  • Prophets will rationalize why they lie.
  • A prophet’s lies can endanger the lives of the person, their families, their ability to bring life and will cost the property and money of those who receive the prophet’s lie.
  • Prophets are not always right in what they think and what they say. See also:
        Numbers 12 (Miriam and Aaron)–In verses 1 and 2, Miriam and Aaron challenged Moses’ authority as sole spokesperson for God.
        1 Samuel 10:24–Here Samuel apparently was caught up in the emotionalism of the people and declared that the Lord had chosen Saul to be king. In fact, in Chapter 8, God told Samuel that the people had rejected Him (God) as their King, and equated it with forsaking Him to serve other Gods. God then gave the people a solemn warning of the undesirable consequences of having a human king.
        1 Samuel 16:1-13–Samuel, at God’s commission, went to Jesse to anoint one of his sons as king. Verse 6 reads: “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But God corrects him in verse 7: “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” In verse 12, the selection is made when David is sent for: “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”
        2 Samuel 7:1-17–1 Chronicles 17 1-15 (Nathan)–When Nathan the prophet said to David “... do all that is in thine heart ...” and “... for the Lord (God) is with thee ...” He spoke his own heart, and not the heart of the Father, Who corrected Nathan and instructed him to tell David that one of his sons would build a house for God to dwell in.
        2 Kings 4:29-32–Elisha thought that he could impart power to his staff that would bring the Shunammite woman’s child back to life for whatever reason. However, it took prayer to God and the physical presence of Elisha to accomplish that.
  • Prophets can have a lack of trust in God. See also:
        Genesis 12:10-20 where some 20 or 25 years earlier Abraham had told the same lie to Pharaoh and apparently still had not developed trust toward God.
        Matthew 27:46–Mark 15:35 (Jesus)–Jesus, the consummate prophet, in His suffering on the cross, felt He had been forsaken by the Father and the Holy Spirit.
  • Prophets not only speak to man God’s mind and counsel, they also intercede to God for man. In this instance, he prayed to God for healing. See also:
        Genesis 18:16-33 (Abraham)–Beginning in verse 24, Abraham the prophet (but not as yet identified as such), intercedes to God for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
        Exodus 32:11-14 (Moses)–Moses the prophet intercedes with God to spare the destruction of God’s people.
        Numbers 12 (Moses)–Moses the prophet intercedes for God to heal Miriam’s leprosy, which God had put upon her.
        Daniel 9:3-19 (Daniel)–Daniel the prophet prays to God for forgiveness of the peoples’ sins.
        John 17 (Jesus)–Jesus prays to the Father for Himself, His disciples and all believers.
        James 5:16-18 (re: Elijah)–Elijah the prophet prayed that it would not rain and later he prayed for rain.
        You and I, saints, as a prophetical people, are subject to the same problems in our flesh. That’s why God made a record of Abraham and his problems and documented it throughout the Bible.
        Abraham’s functions as a prophet were prayer, (Genesis 12:8; 13:1-4, 18) intercession (Genesis 18:23-32) and healing (Genesis 20:17,18). Note that he did not, as a prophet, verbally proclaim God’s will and purpose, rather his lifestyle, which included his human frailties, was the fulfillment of God’s prophetical promises to him, and to us, his seed.
        As the first named prophet in the Bible, Abraham also spoke prophetically of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
        Abraham said in Genesis 22:8: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
        The Net Bible translates Genesis 22:8 as:
        “22:8 “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.”
        The Net Bible comment on the verse reads: “20 Heb “will see for himself.” The construction means “to look out for; to see to it; to provide.”
        “God will provide is the central theme of the passage and the turning point in the story. Note Paul’s allusion to the story in Rom 8:32 (“how shall he not freely give us all things?”) as well as H. J. Schoeps, “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Paul’s Theology,” JBL 65 (1946): 385-92.”
        The Amplified Bible’s comment on Genesis 22:8:
        “We must not suppose that this was the language merely of faith and obedience. Abraham spoke prophetically, and referred to that Lamb of God which HE had provided for Himself, Who in the fullness of time would take away the sin of the world, and of Whom Isaac was a most expressive type (Clarke’s Commentary). For Abraham was a prophet (Gen. 20:7). Jesus said, Abraham hoped for “My day [My incarnation]; and he did see it, and was glad” (John 8:56).”
        John 8:56 KJV (mentioned above): “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”
        Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on John 8:56:
        “56. Abraham rejoiced to see my day, &c.—exulted, or exceedingly rejoiced that he should see, he exulted to see it, that is, by anticipation. Nay,
        “he saw it, and was glad—he actually beheld it, to his joy. If this mean no more than that he had a prophetic foresight of the gospel-day—the second clause just repeating the first—how could the Jews understand our Lord to mean that He “had seen Abraham?” And if it mean that Abraham was then beholding, in his disembodied spirit, the incarnate Messiah [STIER, ALFORD, &c.], the words seem very unsuitable to express it. It expresses something past—“he saw My day, and was glad,” that is, surely while he lived. He seems to refer to the familiar intercourse which Abraham had with God, who is once and again in the history called “the Angel of the Lord,” and whom Christ here identifies with Himself. On those occasions, Abraham “saw ME” (OLSHAUSEN, though he thinks the reference is to some unrecorded scene). If this be the meaning, all that follows is quite natural.”
        The biblical accounts of Abraham and John the Baptist are remarkable in that Abraham is the first Old Testament prophet and John the Baptist is the last Old Testament prophet. They both personally saw Jesus and they both prophesied that God would provide a Lamb—Jesus— Who would, in God’s timing, take away the sin of the world.
        John 1:29,36:
        29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
        36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
        The message of each embodies the truth of the statement “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (King James Version) (Revelation 19:10.)
        The phrase in the King James Version “that have the testimony of Jesus” could alternatively be translated as “who hold to what Jesus testifies.” One translation reads: “... Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Or to put it another way, the spirit of prophecy is the testimony about Jesus.
        In addition to this testimony about Jesus we have to also consider the clear teachings of Jesus Himself. As the Amplified Bible says: “... the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus ...” We could modify that to mean the substance and essence of the truth revealed by and about Jesus.
        Excerpted from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary:
        “ABRAHAM—In the New Testament, Abraham is presented as the supreme model of vital faith and as the prime example of the faith required for the Christian believer (Gal. 3:6-9; 4:28). He is viewed as the spiritual father for all who share a similar faith in Christ (Matt. 3:9; Luke 13:16; Rom. 11:1).”
        “JOHN THE BAPTIST—Jesus said of John, “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11). He was the last and greatest of the prophets (Matt. 11:13-14). Nevertheless, he stood, like Moses, on the threshold of the Promised Land. He did not enter the kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus; and consequently, “he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt. 11:11).”
        Matthew 11:10-14:
        10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
        11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
        12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
        13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
        14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Prototype Prophecy
        Looking to the prototype prophecy in scripture presents some things which have to be considered. The first words spoken in the Bible are by God Himself in Genesis 1:3: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
        These very first words reveal to us the creative prophetic power of God and also that light is to be desired and is a good thing as stated in verse 4: “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
        We also see a clear division, or distinction of light from darkness. The natural ramifications of this fact are apparent. The spiritual application is also understood.
        The first Messianic prophecy was also by God in Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
        Again, the natural and spiritual application is also clear. The seed of the woman, Jesus, will bruise the head of satan, and the heel of Jesus will be bruised.
        We see in these two utterances by God that light is established as a good thing and that Jesus, Who is the light of the world, will overcome the lordship of the god of this world and establish Himself as King of kings and Lord of lords.
        Understanding this in the light of prophetical utterance helps us to understand the purpose of prophecy as stated in Revelation 19:10: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
        The Amplified Bible translates the last part of this verse as: ... “For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy — the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose [including both mine and yours].”
        We see reinforcement of the command to worship God in Revelation 22:9: “Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”
        From this we see that “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus” in Revelation 19:10 corresponds to “and of thy brethren the prophets” in Revelation 22:9. And that these prophets have not only the testimony, or truth, revealed by Jesus, but that they also worship God, are fellow servants, and keep the sayings [Greek: logos] of the “book,” here speaking specifically of the book of Revelation.
        Based upon this we see that the light and lordship of Jesus, the truth revealed by Jesus, the worship of God, being fellow servants, and strictly adhering to the word of God are concepts to be included in the prototype prophecy as revealed in scripture.
        In addition to this we cannot ignore the fact that Enoch is also called a prophet. As the seventh from Adam, this would place him in the position of being the first prophet in the Bible (after God Himself). However, because He is not specifically referenced as a prophet in Genesis, but in the next to the last book in the Bible (Jude), it’s apparent God has a reason for this. But I think it would be wise to consider him when attempting to extract a prototype prophecy.
        Jude 1:14-16:
        14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
        15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
        16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
        This introduces the theme of judgement from God into our assessment of the prototype prophecy.
        So, in addition to the light and lordship of Jesus, the truth revealed by Jesus, the worship of God, being fellow servants, and adhering to the word of God, we must add the element of God’s judgement for failure to strictly adhere to those things. All of which are concepts to be included in the prototype prophecy as revealed in scripture.
        When we consider that prophetic utterance is speaking the mind and counsel of God, and includes teaching repentance and preaching righteousness to bring healing and restoration it helps us to focus on specifics. The specifics of the light, lordship and truth revealed by Jesus, the importance of worshipping God, being fellow servants, strictly adhering to the word of God, and coming Godly judgement upon all.
        To be clear, the phrase “the testimony of Jesus” does not refer to what Jesus testified. It refers to what is testified about Him. (See Revelation 1:2,9; 12:17).
        Now comes the acid test: In the prophetic utterances you hear today, a simple criteria is to ask: where is Jesus in all of this? How does this word reveal things that are stated in scripture about Jesus? How does this word reveal the essence of the truth that Jesus lived and taught?
        If you will read and study your Bible and can identify that which speaks about Jesus and can understand what the Bible says concerning Jesus and if you can identify and understand what Jesus taught by His lifestyle and His teachings then you will be able to identify true and false prophecy.
        Jesus did not teach about the various “movements” we have seen within the past several or more years. Therefore when you read a word that mentions that “movement” you know it is not of God. Jesus did not teach about prophets being hatched out of golden eggs by angels. Jesus did not promote one man-made movement over another. He did not even faintly suggest that one human being of His ekklesia had authority over and control of another saints’ life and family.
        Jesus did not teach that He would take away His gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds as teachers to His ekklesia and restore them in the last days. Jesus did not teach that His functional gifts of those teachers to the body of Christ are “offices” of authority and power. Jesus wants His ekklesia to mature and grow up. Why would He take away the functional gifts needed for that purpose?
        But ... don’t you grown up men and women know that stuff is not of God?
        These Godly truths, then, are the hallmark of the true prophet of God and will be evidenced in their lifestyle, servanthood, teaching, preaching and prophetic utterances.
        Reading the book of Jude — itself a powerful prophecy fitting the prototypical prophecy — reveals that the ungodly spoken of come from within the ekklesia.
Prophetic Enactments
        We see this same principle of the prophet and prophecy prototypes at work throughout the Bible. Many prophets acted out their prophecies. A few examples of this are:
  • Abraham‘s obedience in faith to willingly sacrifice Isaac in what turns out to be a prophetic enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in his statement in Genesis 22:8 “... My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: ...” We see from this powerful historical event why God has named Abraham as the first prophet in the Bible.
  • Moses bringing Israel out of Egypt as an example of Christians coming out of the world
  • Samuel anointing Saul and David, representative of their anointing by the Holy Spirit.
  • Joshua 6–Marching around the walls of Jericho, verifying Joshua’s Godly authority and to bring destruction to the city by the walls collapsing as a result of obeying God’s commands.
  • 1 Samuel 15:27-28–An unintentional prophetic act: Saul tore Samuels garment and Samuel told him that God had torn his kingdom from him and given it to another.
  • 1 Kings 11:29-31–The garment torn into twelve pieces, signifying the division of Israel
  • 1 Kings 20:35–The prophet asked someone to strike him to dramatize his message to a king.
  • 2 Kings 13:15–Symbology of the arrows with Elisha and king Joash of Israel.
  • 2 Kings 20:14-18–Isaiah prophesying to king Hezekiah that everything in his palace and had stored up and some of his descendants would be carried away to Babylon because the king had showed the messengers from the Babylonian king everything in his palace and his kingdom.
  • Isaiah 20:3-4–Walking naked and barefoot for 3 years to signify how: “So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt” (Isaiah 20:4).
  • Jeremiah 18–The clay vessel being worked in the hands of the potter. As the clay in the potters hands, so is Israel in Gods hands.
  • Jeremiah 19–Smashing a clay pot, symbolic of how God will “break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again ...”
  • Jeremiah 13:1-11–The spoiled waistcloth which was marred (decayed) as an example of how God would “... mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 13:9).
  • Jeremiah 20:1-6–Pashur, the priest in charge of the temple struck, or beat, Jeremiah and put him in the stocks for prophesying against the idolatry of Jerusalem. When he was released, Jeremiah told him the Lord changed his name from Pashur, thought by some to mean “liberation,” or “freedom,” to Magormissabib, meaning “terror on every side.” Jeremiah prophesied that he would a terror to himself and his friends and would eventually die in exile in Babylon.
  • Jeremiah 27:2–Wearing a yoke bar signifying the yoke of king Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Jeremiah 32:6-44–Jeremiah bought a field, predicting Israel’s return to the promised land.
  • Jeremiah 35–Jeremiah giving the Rechabites wine to drink as a test of their temperance.
  • Jeremiah 43:8-13–Burying large stones in the pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace and prophesying of the coming reign of king Nebuchadnezzar, whose throne would be set over those stones, and then declaring what the king would do.
  • Jeremiah 51:60-64–Writing the disasters coming upon Babylon, with an accompanying statement by Seraiah, who was to tie a stone to the scroll and throw it into the Euphrates river saying, “Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.”
  • Ezekiel 4–The enactment of a siege against Jerusalem, and punishment of the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
  • Ezekiel 5:1-4–Shaving his hair and beard and dividing the hair into thirds, indicating how some of Israel would die of pestilence and famine in Jerusalem, some would die outside of Jerusalem and some would be scattered to the winds and be chased by their enemies.
  • Ezekiel 12:1-16–Ezekiel is told to pack his belongings for exile in view of the people and to depart for another place as an example of how Israel would be scattered among the nations
  • Ezekiel 21:1-7–The prophet is told to sigh, or groan, before the people because of the coming news of God’s judgement against Israel
  • Ezekiel 21:8-17–Ezekiel is told to cry out and wail, and to prophesy and strike his hands together because of the slaughter from the sword coming to Israel
  • Ezekiel 21:18-32–The prophet is told to mark out two roads for the king of Babylon, one to Jerusalem the other to Ammon, for the purpose of bringing destruction to them.
  • Ezekiel 24:1-14–God tells Ezekiel to set up a pot to cook meat in as an analogy of how the king of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem.
  • Ezekiel 24:15-27–Ezekiel’s wife dies as a sign from the Lord and God tells him not to mourn. This is an example for Israel because God “... will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword” (Ezekiel 24:21).
  • In Ezekiel 32:18 the prophet is told: “Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit.”
  • Ezekiel 37:15-28–Ezekiel writes on two sticks of wood and joins them together to become one in his hand and to hold them up before the people and prophesy of how God shall again make Israel one nation, under one King (speaking of Jesus), cleansed, and dwelling in peace in the land God gave them, with God dwelling with them.
  • Ezekiel 39:17-29–The prophet is told to “Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.” The reference is to the slaughter of God.
  • Hosea 1:1,2–God told Hosea to marry an adulteress. God named her children to express His judgement of Israel as an example of the adultery and unfaithfulness of Israel.
  • Zechariah 11:7-14–Zechariah breaking two staffs signifying breaking God’s covenant which He had made with all the people and breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
  • Matthew 12:39-40; Luke 11:29-30–The sign of Jonah.
  • Matthew 10:14-15–Wiping off the dust from the feet.
  • Mark 3:16–Renaming Simon to Peter (huge rock).
  • Jesus eating with the tax collectors and sinners.
  • John 13–Jesus girding Himself with a servants towel to demonstrate that: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 13:16). Jesus acted out many prophetical messages, but this is His most important message.
  • Acts 5:1-11–Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead by the Holy Spirit for lying to Peter.
  • Acts 21:10-11–Agabus the prophet binding himself with a girdle.
  • Scripture tells us that John the Baptist, the last and greatest of all the prophets, saw what the patriarch Abraham, the first named prophet in the Bible, had prophesied centuries earlier:
    John 1:29 (see also verse 36): “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
    This was fulfillment of a prophetic enactment by Abraham – and much more, as it signaled the beginning of the earthly ministry of Jesus.
        Prophetic people sometimes unwittingly act out prophetic events. Some, not all, natural events contain within them a prophetical aspect. Many false and flakey prophecies are based upon reading into a natural event a prophetic cause or purpose.
How God Communicates To His Prophets
        Numbers 12:5-9:
        5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
        6 And he said, Hear now my words: 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.
        7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
        8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
        9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed.
        God says “I will make myself known unto him.” “Known” is yada (yaw-dah') meaning “to know.”
        The following is excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
        “Essentially yada means: (1) to know by observing and reflecting (thinking), and (2) to know by experiencing.
        “In contrast to this knowing through reflection is the knowing which comes through experience with the senses, by investigation and proving, by reflection and consideration (firsthand knowing). Consequently yada is used in synonymous parallelism with “hear” (Exodus 3:7), “see” (Genesis 18:21), and “perceive, see” (Job 28:7).
        “Thirdly, this verb can represent that kind of knowing which one learns and can give back. So Cain said that he did not “know” he was Abel’s keeper (Genesis 4:9), and Abram told Sarai that he “knew” she was a beautiful woman (Genesis 12:11). One can also “know” by being told—in (Leviticus 5:1) a witness either sees or otherwise “knows” (by being told) pertinent information. In this sense “know” is paralleled by “acknowledge” (Deuteronomy 33:9) and “learn” (Deuteronomy 31:12-13).
        “Yada in the intensive and causative stems is used to express a particular concept of revelation.”
        According to this definition yada is used to “know” by hearing, seeing, perceiving, and by acknowledging and learning. In the intensive and causative it expresses a particular concept of revelation.
        In verse 8 “dark speeches,” chiydah (khee-daw'), means a puzzle, hence, a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim (a concise, expressive and meaningful truth or fundamental principal). It’s from a root which means “to tie a knot.”
        The language used here indicates God will speak, using words (“mouth to mouth”), that Moses would visibly see (“apparently”) a likeness, shape or manifestation (“similitude”) of God, that he would look, pay attention to, consider (“behold.”)
        This contrast is such as to show God manifestating His presence and speaking clearly (to Moses) rather than in short, concise statements of truth that must be unraveled to determine their meaning.
        There appears to be a method here, that of God communicating to the prophet by the prophet hearing, seeing and perceiving a particular concept of a revelation from God.
  Visions, Dreams, Dark Sayings, Clear Statements
        There is also an order, that of visions, dreams, dark sayings, i.e., God speaking a riddle, or an untied knot, or God speaking directly, i.e., mouth to mouth, with the prophet seeing a likeness of the Lord. (In the New Testament God spoke from heaven three times, in Matthew 3:17 (also Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22); Matthew 17:5 (also Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:18) and John 12:28.)
        The nine words used in the Old Testament for “vision” are tied together in a commonality of meaning. They all encompass the thought of the act of seeing, sight, revelation, a look or the thing seen. A few also include the meaning of a dream or a seer.
        There are three different words used in the New Testament for “vision.” The meaning of all three words is also very similar in their meaning of literally “seeing.” The following is excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words:
        1. horama, 3705, “that which is seen” (horao), denotes (a) “a spectacle, sight,” (Matt. 17:9; Acts 7:31) (“sight”); (b) “an appearance, vision,” (Acts 9:10) (v. 12) in some mss.: (10:3,17,19; 11:5; 12:9; 16:9,10; 18:9).
        2. horasis, 3706, “sense of sight,” is rendered “visions” in (Acts 2:17; Rev. 9:17).
        3. optasia, 3701 (a late form of opsis, “the act of seeing”), from optano, “to see, a coming into view,” denotes a “vision” in (Luke 1:22; 24:23; Acts 26:19; 2 Cor. 12:1).
        That’s why a prophet, in most cases, must simply deliver the message God gives to him or her. In most, if not all, cases, it’s up to the hearer to solve the “riddle” or to untie the “knot.” Sometimes, however, it’s up to the prophet to ascertain their meaning. In Zechariah, the prophet saw things and an angel explained what they were (Zechariah 1:7,8, 18,19; 4:1-7; 5:1-11; 6:1-8.)
        In 2 Kings 5:26 Elisha’s heart goes with Gehazi when he follows after Naaman to get something of value from him for himself. Elisha confronts Gehazi when he returns as he knows he’s lying when he said he didn’t go anywhere. In 2 Kings 6:12 Elisha informs the king of Israel what is spoken in the king of Aram’s bedroom. How the prophet knew these things is not elaborated on, but it probably falls within one of these scriptural methods.
        In the book of Job, Elihu confirms that God speaks to men in dreams (also in night visions):
        Job 33:14-18:
        14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
        15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
        16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
        17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
        18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
        Note that Job’s three comforters were chastised by God in chapter 42, but not Elihu.
        Job 42:7-10:
        7 And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
        8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
        9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.
        10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
        There are those who quote the sayings of these comforters as being truth, however God says “ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right ...”
        Only Job and Elihu are not charged with speaking things that were not right. Great care must be exercised when quoting from the book of Job.
        Further warnings concerning false prophets or dreams are contained in Deuteronomy 13 and Jeremiah 23:9-40. Ezekiel 13 also condemns false prophets.
  Trance
        In Numbers 24:4 and 24:16 in speaking of Balaam the word “trance” is not in the original text. It was inserted by the translators.
        In the New Testament the word “trance” appears in Acts 10:10; 11:5 and 22:17. The Greek word is ekstasis, meaning a displacement of the mind, i.e. bewilderment, “ecstasy.” It is translated as “be amazed, amazement, astonishment, trance.”
        Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary comments on the word “trance:”
        “An ecstatic state of mind that gives a person a sense of detachment from his physical surroundings.
        “The Greek word for trance literally means “standing outside” or “being put outside” of one’s normal state of mind. Peter had been in prayer when he “fell into a trance,” receiving the vision indicating that the Gentiles were to be included in the church (Acts 10:10). In his defense to the people in Jerusalem, the apostle Paul declared that after his conversion, he fell into a trance and Christ commanded him to leave the city and evangelize the Gentiles (Acts 22:17).
        “The trances of Peter and Paul involved their seeing and hearing senses. They saw and heard the Lord speaking to them. Both trances took place as they were in prayer, and in both cases the recipients were awake. Neither trance was self-induced; God revealed Himself in both.
        “Paul’s vision on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:3-9), the experience recorded in (2 Corinthians 12:2-4), and John’s experience of being “in the Spirit” (Rev. 1:10) are other examples of revelatory trances in the Bible.
        “In the Old Testament the word translated as blindness (Gen. 19:11; 2 Kin. 6:18) suggests that God caused a trancelike state to fall on the men at Lot’s house and on the Syrians. Trances are experiences through which God communicates His will and purpose to man.”
        In Acts 10:10, Peter goes into a trance. In Acts 10:17,19 he calls it a vision. In 11:5 he calls it a trance and a vision.
        Acts 10:10, 17, 19; 11:5:
        10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
        17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
        19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
        Acts 11:5: “I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:”
        In 2 Corinthians 12:1 Paul speaks of visions in conjunction with revelations of the Lord, and in verses 2 and 3 states that he does not know whether in conjunction with the vision he saw he was in or out of his body when he was caught up into paradise.
        2 Corinthians 12:1-5
        1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
        2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
        3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
        4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
        5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
        Obviously there is a connection between trances, visions, revelations and possibly out of body experiences.
        It should be clear from scripture that we are not to seek those experiences for ourselves. The scriptural record is clear that they are not self-induced and are to be initiated only by God as a method of communication to his prophets.
        Those who seek to initiate such experiences are clearly in violation of scriptural principals and open themselves up to deception from demonic forces, if not satan himself.
        Revelations received under those conditions from such sources are very highly questionable. A careful examination of those purported “revelations” will expose the fact that they clearly violate the written word of God.
        It is the responsibility of each and every saint to assume a Berean-like attitude and search the scriptures for the word(s) that you receive from those who have indulged in such practices.
  The Urim And Thummim, The Lot, Mercy Seat And Angels
        Mention of the use of the Urim and the Thummim are made, of which little is known in Exodus 28:30 (also Leviticus 8:8; Numbers 27:21; Deuteronomy 33:8; 1 Samuel 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65.)
        God also discloses His will by lot. Biblical examples are found in Leviticus 16:8; Numbers 26:55; 1 Samuel 10:20; 14:41; Joshua 7:13; Isaiah 17:14; 34:17; 57:6; Jeremiah 13:25; Ezekiel 24:6, 45:1; 47:22; 48:29 and Acts 1:26. Proverbs 16:33 (see also Proverbs 18:18) states: “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”
        God met with the priest above the mercy seat, Exodus 25:22.
        God also sends angels as messengers to mankind, as noted throughout scripture.
Characteristics And Functions Of The Prophet
        Old Testament prophets were:
        (1) prepared by maturity
        (2) proclaimed the true and living God manifesting in history
        (3) prepared humanity for the coming(s) of the Messiah
        (4) exercised supernatural power over death, disease and nature
        (5) anointed leaders and gave political and personal guidance, instruction and correction
        (6) proclaimed Divine revelation of current events (forth-tellers)
        (7) predicted future happenings (fore-tellers).
        God established Old Testament prophets to play a prominent role in declaring fundamentals of the kingdom of God and to proclaim repentance, righteousness and restoration.
        Different terms are utilized in the original language to denote prophets.
  Seer
        “Seer” in Hebrew is roeh (ro-eh'); and chozeh (kho-zeh'), both basically meaning “one who sees.”
  Prophet
        “Prophet,” nabiy (naw-bee'); (from the verb naba, translated as “prophesy”) meaning “to bubble forth, as from a fountain.”
        We see the three terms used in one verse in 1 Chronicles 29:29: “Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer [roeh], and in the book of Nathan the prophet [nabi], and in the book of Gad the seer [chozeh],”
        Another word used is “nataph” (naw-taf'); (this word is used in Micah translated as “prophesy”). It means a primitive root; to ooze, i.e. distill gradually; by implication, to fall in drops; figuratively, to speak by inspiration.
        Yet another term for prophecy is massa (mas-saw'), a burden; specifically, tribute, or (abstractly) porterage; figuratively, an utterance, chiefly a doom, especially singing; mental, desire. It’s from the word nasa (naw-saw'); (This word is not translated as prophecy) or nacah (naw-saw'); a primitive root meaning to lift, in a great variety of applications, literal and figurative, absolutely and relatively.
  Watchman
        Sometimes the prophets are called watchmen, Hebrew, tsaphah (tsaw-faw'), Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7. Also shamar (shaw-mar'), a watchman Isaiah 21:11.
  Intercessor
        We have also discussed the intercessory role of the prophet. Scriptural examples were Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Daniel and Jesus, which, of course, is not a complete list.
  Worshipper
        David appointed Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord in the tent he had prepared for it (2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 15:1; 16:1,4-7,37). These ministers continued their work in Solomon’s temple when it was completed and the ark transferred into it (1 Chronicles 6:31,32; 1 Kings 8:1-6; 2 Chronicles 5:1,5). In 1 Chronicles 22-29 multiplied thousands of Levites were deployed by David to do and oversee the work of the service of the house of the Lord. There were officers and judges, gatekeepers, praise musicians and priests. Levites were also placed in charge of the temple treasuries.
        In addition, other Israelites were placed over the king’s army. This consisted of 12 units of 24,000 men (1 Chronicles 27:1-15), and there were leaders appointed over the tribes of Israel (verse 16). Another leader was appointed to be in charge of the king’s treasuries, and another over the storehouses in the fields, cities, villages and castles (verse 25). There were those who tilled the soil (verse 26), were in charge over the vineyards, over the produce of the vineyards and the wine cellars (verse 27). Others were in charge over the olive and sycamore trees, the stores of oil (verse 28), the cattle in the plains, and the cattle in the valleys (verse 29). Others were also over the camels, the donkeys (verse 30) and the flocks (verse 31).
        All these were the rulers (having and exercising dominion) of the substance which was king David’s (verse 31). There was also a counselor and a tutor to the king’s sons (verse 32) a counselor and companion to the king, and a general for the king’s army (verses 33,34).
        Every one of these rulers offered willingly to consecrate his service unto the Lord, by giving of their substance (1 Chronicles 29:6-9).
        God will “raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen” (Amos 9:11) (see also Isaiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 12:7,8; Luke 1:30-33). David was anointed by God as:
        (1) a shepherd (1 Samuel 17:34-36),
        (2) a musician (1 Samuel 16:14-23),
        (3) a poet (the Psalms of David),
        (4) a general (2 Samuel 8,10),
        (5) a king (1 Samuel 16:12,13; 2 Samuel 5:1-5),
        (6) a prophet (Acts 2:29-31, e.g., prophetical Messianic references made in the Psalms: 16:10; 22; 27:12; 34:20; 35:19; 38:13,14; 41:9; 68:18; 69:4,21; 109:3-5; 110:1,4), and
        (7) a politician (2 Samuel 1-10; 1 Chronicles 11-29).
        (This passage of scripture applies to the literal Israel. It has been presented as an antitype of kingly order and applied to the institutional church as examples of scriptural precedents for order among God’s people. The question arises: can this scripture in Amos be applied literally to the institutional church today which preaches another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel based upon fantasy-based “new revelations” which violate clear scriptural guidelines? This application to Israel will be by the power, will and sovereignty of God Himself. Today’s “wannabees” attempting to will this prophecy into application to itself will simply institute some type of fleshly application that meets the parameters of human wisdom, which according to James is earthly, sensual and demonic.)
        King David perhaps epitomizes the worship aspect of the ministry of a prophet when “... he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel” (1 Chronicles 16:4).
        In 1 Chronicles 23:5 and 1 Chronicles 25:1-7 we read that David himself “made” asah (aw-saw'), meaning “to create, do, make” instruments for 4,000 praisers. Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun prophesied with harps, psalteries, and cymbals. The sons of Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman prophesied according to the order of the king. Jeduthun prophesied with a harp and gave thanks and praise to the Lord. There were 288 talented singers trained in the songs of the Lord.
        The word “order” referring to the order of the king in verses 2 and 6 is yad (yawd) which means a hand (the open one [indicating power, means, direction, etc.]), according to Strong’s Dictionary. Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines it as “hand; side; border; alongside; hand-measure; portion; arm (rest); monument; manhood (male sex organ); power; rule.”
        It could be inferred from this that Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman, in prophesying according to the order of the king, received some type of temporary anointing of David’s kingly power, which incorporated the shepherd, music, poetry, generalship, and political abilities of king David in addition to his prophetic ability. If this is the case it would substantiate the current prophetic practice of “prophetic teams” in that prophetic power and anointing would be from the senior to the junior members during such times of ministry. This would also bring about a temporary corporate anointing upon the team which would include all of their various individual abilities.
  Messengers
        Prophets are called “messengers” in 1 Chronicles 36:15,16; Isaiah 44:26; Haggai 1:13 and Malachi 3:1.
        The word “messenger” in these texts is malak (mal-awk') from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher). It is translated in the King James Version as – ambassador, angel, king, messenger.
        Vine’s Expository Dictionary makes this comment in this excerpt: “God also sent messengers. First, there are the prophetic messengers: “And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chr. 36:15-16).”
        In Matthew 11:7-15; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27 referring to John the Baptist as a messenger, the Greek word is aggelos; a messenger; especially an “angel.” In the passages in Matthew and Luke, Jesus specifically names John the Baptist as a prophet.
        Haggai 1:13: “Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord.”
        Malachi 3:1: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”
        Isaiah 44:24-26:
        24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
        25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
        26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
        In this passage in Isaiah there is a tremendous contrast stated between verses 25 and 26.
        Verse 25 in The Amplified Bible reads: “[I am the Lord] Who frustrates the signs and confounds the omens [upon which their forecasts of the future are based by the false prophets], the [boasting] liars, and makes fools of diviners: Who turns the wise backward and makes their knowledge foolishness;”
        In Ezekiel 14 there is a particularly strong warning concerning those who approach the prophet with idols in their hearts. God says He will answer that person according to the multitude of their idols, and God Himself will deceive the prophet. He goes on to say that if the prophet answers the person with idols in their heart that both the prophet and the idolater are equally guilty and that He will destroy them both “from the midst of my people Israel.”
        God monitors the quality of the words of prophets for their truthfulness. False prophets who boast in their lying prophecies, and diviners, and those who are considered wise (within the context of lying false prophets and diviners) God “frustrateth,” i.e., breaks up and makes ineffectual their “tokens,” i.e., signs given to show the truth of their words. God reverses the fleshly decisions and conclusions of the “wise” and replaces their knowledge with “foolishness,” i.e., makes them look silly. God punishes both the prophet who answers those with idols in their heart and the person who comes to the prophet with idols in their heart.
        In the same way, we should observe and assess the ministries of prophets for manifested fruit as evaluated by the truth of their words and wisdom. They must be held accountable for their lifestyle, their words and their wisdom, or lack of it. We must evaluate their words as being confirmed or not confirmed and their counsel performed or not performed. Failure to take action against such false prophets simply encourages them as their lack of fruit is ignored, overlooked or graciously forgiven.
        This understanding should greatly affect our attitude towards those who prophesy, including ourselves. God has given us clear scriptural precedents for the purpose of identifying false prophets. We ignore those precedents at our own peril, as we will be responsible to God when we see Him face to face as it’s another indication of our stewardship of the things of God. The quality of our stewardship may very well affect our Godly rewards, if not salvation itself.
        Isaiah 44:26 should also greatly encourage those who consider themselves to be servants and messengers of God in their prophetic function in that their words will be confirmed, and their counsel will be performed, i.e., finished or completed.
        The performing, or completion of the messenger’s counsel, however, may take a different form than expected as we see in this account:
        2 Chronicles 36:15-23 (New International Version):
        15 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place.
        16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.
        17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or aged. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.
        18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the LORD’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials.
        19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
        20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power.
        21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.
        22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:
        23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you—may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.’”
        We see that God’s messengers (verse 15 is the same word malak) were mocked and despised, and God’s prophets were scoffed at.
        The result of this is that God’s wrath (rage, anger, indignation) was aroused to the point that “there was no remedy” and God handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar to destroy (except for the remnant who went into exile–verse 20).
        In verses 21 and 22 we are told that all this happened in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.
        Although the messengers and prophets who were sent “again and again” were mocked, despised and scoffed at, this human rebuttal and refusal of their words and counsel caused God to fulfill the words of another prophet, thus also confirming their words and performing their counsel.
        This also validates another scriptural principal, i.e., God’s word will not return unto Him void, but it shall accomplish that which He pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto He sent it:
        1 Kings 8:56: “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”
        Psalm 93:5: “Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.”
        Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
        Ezekiel 12:25: “For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God.”
        Daniel 9:12: “And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.”
        Luke 21:33: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”
        We’ll see in a later section that scriptural precedents validate that the true prophet of God is “speaking from the mouth of the Lord” and speaks with “the voice of the Lord.”
        A true prophet, as a servant and messenger of God, whose words and counsel are rejected by his human counterparts will have his words confirmed and his counsel performed. It should be understood also that they may confirm the words and perform the counsel of other true prophets.
        Scripture testifies that the words and counsel of the Creator of prophets and prophecy have been mocked, despised and scoffed at, by many and for thousands of years.
        Scripture is equally clear that God’s wrath (rage, anger, indignation) is aroused to the point that “there is no remedy” and God will hand them over to destruction, except for the remnant, the overcomers, the household of faith of the true Israel.
        Scripture states that the true prophet today has no honor, i.e., acceptance, value, esteem or dignity and is despised by his own country, relatives and family. They display a lack of faith in them and they are not regarded favorably or approved. They will be killed, stoned, persecuted, betrayed and murdered, (metaphorically; destroyed, have hurtful things thrown at them, be driven away, given over to the enemy and subject to intentional attacks to destroy them.)
        Mark 6:4-6:
        4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
        5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
        6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
        Luke 4:24: “And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”
        Luke 13:34-35:
        34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
        35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
        John 4:44: “For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.”
        Acts 7:52-53:
        52 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:
        53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
        Jesus says that those that receive a prophet, however will receive a prophet’s reward: “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward” (Matthew 10:41).
        The true prophet, i.e., servant, messenger and disciple of Jesus, however, is encouraged that Jesus also suffered through rejection and that they are to become like Him, continue to speak biblical truth, to fear God and not man, and to press on to become perfect.
        Matthew 10:24-28:
        24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
        25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
        26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
        27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
        28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
        Luke 6:40: “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”
        The word “perfect” in Luke 6:40 is katardizo, to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust. Excerpts from Vine’s Expository Dictionary comment that katartizo means “to make fit, to equip, prepare” ... “has three meanings, (a) “to mend, repair,” (Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19), of nets; (b) “to complete, furnish completely, equip, prepare,” (Luke 6:40; Rom. 9:22; Heb, 11:3) and in the middle voice, (Matt. 21:16; Heb. 10:5); (c) “ethically, to prepare, perfect,” (Gal. 6:1; 1 Thes. 3:10; 1 Pet. 5:10; Heb. 13:21); and in the passive voice, (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11).”
        The true prophet, a messenger and servant of God, will be trained by God and will be rejected by the masses of those who claim to be Christians. These masses will continually and intentionally attempt to destroy the true prophets of God, throw hurtful things at them, drive them away, and give them over to the enemy.
        Despite this abuse, they are to follow the example of Paul the apostle who said: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
        With this forgetting of those things of abuse, God will repair and adjust us. He will complete, prepare and make us a fit “vessel unto honour.”
        2 Timothy 2:20-21:
        20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
        21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
  A Continuum
        Prophets are referred to as “servants.” (Isaiah 44:26; Amos 3:7).
        Prophets are called “messengers” in 1 Chronicles 36:15,16; Isaiah 44:26; Haggai 1:13 and Malachi 3:1.
        Prophets are given the function of “shepherd” in Jeremiah 17:16 and Zechariah 11:4-17. In Zechariah their purpose as a shepherd is to proclaim by prophetic action the worthlessness and foolishness of false shepherds.
        “Seer” indicates the means by which the prophet perceives the message from God. “Prophet” indicates how the prophet communicates the message from God to mankind. The phrase “man of God” when used in reference to a prophet indicates his lifestyle relationship to God as a servant of God.
        “Watchman” tells us of other duties of the prophet. “Servants” and “messengers” further describes the duties of prophets. Their prophetic role as “shepherds,” even foolish and worthless shepherds for prophetic purposes, indicates they understand the role of the true shepherd. In fact, prophets have a true shepherds heart.
        We easily see the prophetic/watchman/intercessor/worshipper continuum of the prophet as servants, messengers and shepherds. Understanding of the naba [to bubble forth, as from a fountain] and nataph [to fall in drops] helps us to understand the delivery mechanism of different individual prophets. “Burden” massa, brings in the aspect of the “weight” or depth of the message as experienced by the prophet. Some prophets may function in one or the other, and some in a combination of the two.
  Understanding Dreams And Visions
        The prophetical elements of a dream or a vision are subject to “to be continued,” “incomplete,” and “if” just as any prophetical utterance.
        Because of the relationship between the prophetical/intercessory/watchman/worshipper continuum it’s often difficult to determine the spiritual theme of a particular dream or vision (even prophecies.)
        The understanding of the interpreted dream or vision is subject to determining where it fits into the total overall revelatory picture (elements of which may be supplied later by subsequent Holy Spirit revelation) and the theme of it as it fits into the prophetical continuum (or components of it).
        Normally in a dream or vision there are three aspects to it: revelation, interpretation and application.
    Revelation
        The revelation from God is always 100 per cent pure and as He desires it to be. As such it is given to us in spiritual communication, i.e., from the Spirit of God to our human spirit, aided, of course, by the indwelling Holy Spirit (pictures, symbols, numbers, colors, references, etc.).
    Interpretation
        Just as we use words as symbols to communicate and each word has a natural meaning for us, so God uses spiritual symbols to communicate to our spirit. This spiritual language, received by our human spirit, then has to be “translated” into a language which our mind (emotions, and will, i.e., our soul) can understand.
        That is the interpretation of the revelation. And that is where we have less than 100 per cent effectiveness. We must rely upon human ability to translate the pure spiritually communicated revelation into symbols that our minds can understand. We have the Holy Spirit to help us, but we still have a problem in processing the spiritual revelation through our minds (soul). That’s because in running this spiritual communication through our minds, our emotions and our will also get involved in the process. That colors the meaning and adds an element of subjectivity that detracts from the purity of the original revelation.
    Application
        In attempting to determine the application of the dream or vision, we really have a problem. We pray and meditate until we think we have an idea of what the application is and give it our best try. But, be assured we are far removed, by now, from the purity of the original revelation. We can only make a crude estimation as to what the true application is.
        But try we must. Because that’s the way God has decided to do it as mentioned previously. When the Lord speaks to us in spiritual communication and in “dark speeches” it’s a puzzle we must figure out, a knot we must untie, a riddle we must guess at. And for the reasons I stated above we are not very accurate.
        “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
  Authority Of The Prophet
        God has established the prophetical role of the prophet by the example of Moses and Aaron:
        Exodus 7:1-2:
        1 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
        2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.
        God expands upon this precept by saying that He will put His words in the mouth of the Prophet (speaking of Jesus, the Messiah) He raises up.
        Deuteronomy 18:18: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
        We see this same concept established by Samuel in that he speaks with the “voice of the words of the Lord.”
        1 Samuel 15:1-3:
        1 Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord.
        2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
        3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
        One of the sons of the prophets also equates his prophetical utterance as the “voice of the Lord.”
        1 Kings 20:35,36:
        35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
        36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
        Jeremiah is also mentioned as “speaking from the mouth of the Lord,” and speaking “the voice of the Lord.”
        2 Chronicles 36:11-12:
        11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
        12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord.
        Jeremiah 38:20: “But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.”
        “The voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet” also equates the two.
        Haggai 1:12: “Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord.”
        “Voice” in the preceding verses is qowl, or qol (kole); from an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound. Vine’s Expository Dictionary comments: “Theologically the word is crucial in contexts relating to prophecy. The prophet’s “voice” is God’s “voice” (Exod. 3:18); cf. (7:1; Deut. 18:18-19). God’s “voice” is sometimes the roar of thunder (Exod. 9:23,29) or a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). Thunder demonstrated God’s tremendous power and evoked fear and submission. In covenantal contexts God stipulates that His “voice,” heard in both the roar of thunder and the prophetic message, is authoritative and when obeyed brings reward (Exod. 19:5; 1 Sam. 12:14-18). The blast (“sound”) of a trumpet is used to signify divine power (Josh. 6:5) and presence (2 Sam. 6:15).”
        Scriptural precedents validate that the true prophet of God speaks with the voice of the Lord.
        As previously mentioned Isaiah 44:26 should greatly encourage those who consider themselves to be servants and messengers of God in their prophetic function in that their words will be confirmed, and their counsel will be performed, i.e., finished or completed.
        We see this principle verified in scripture:
        The feats of Moses and Joshua are too many to mention here. The scriptural records says:
        Deuteronomy 34:10-12:
        10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,
        11 In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,
        12 And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.
        Joshua 1:1-5:
        1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
        2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
        3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
        4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
        5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
        The account of Deborah in Judges, chapter 4, in declaring God’s commandment to free Israel from Jabin’s rule, is detailed and accurate to the last detail.
        The biblical record of Elijah and Elisha also give us insight as to how a prophet’s words are confirmed and their counsel performed.
        In 1 Kings, chapter 13 there is a story of a (young) prophet and an old prophet. In verses 1-3, the prophet prophesied and the fulfillment of that prophecy is in 2 Kings 23:14-16.
        King Jeroboam attempted to apprehend the prophet and part of the prophecy was immediately fulfilled and the king’s hand was “dried up,” i.e., it withered as punishment from God. After the prophet restored his hand, the prophet declined the kings invitation to be refeshed and rewarded by the king because it would be breaking a command the Lord had given him. Subsequently, an “old prophet” convinced him to break that command and then prophesied God’s judgement for doing so. The younger prophet was later killed by a lion.
        This is a curious account, but one point to be made from this account is the authoritative statements of both prophets in that their prophetical utterances were fulfilled by God.
        1 Kings 20:35,36:
        35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
        36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
        2 Kings 5:13-14:
        13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
        14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
        2 Kings 20:8-11:
        8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day?
        9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
        10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
        11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
        2 Chronicles 25:14-16, 27:
        14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.
        15 Wherefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?
        16 And it came to pass, as he talked with him, that the king said unto him, Art thou made of the king’s counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten? Then the prophet forbare, and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel.
        27 Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.
        Jeremiah 28:15-17:
        15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
        16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.
        17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
        Daniel’s prophecies are so thoroughly detailed and accurate that some biblical scholars date them at a later time. In so doing it would discredit his prophetic gifting to an after the fact account.
        There are, of course, many other examples, including Jesus Himself.
        True prophets of God, who are servants and messengers in their prophetic function will have their words confirmed, and their counsel will be performed, i.e., finished or completed.
        False prophets, on the other hand, will have their own wickedness poured out upon them:
        Jeremiah 14:14-16:
        14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
        15 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
        16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
Mentoring
        The biblical record contains a record of those trained by God, starting with Adam.
        “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” A lone, solitary figure, Enoch was translated by faith, because he pleased God (Hebrews 11:5). As a powerful prophet of God, Enoch prophesied of the judgement of God (Jude 14,15).
        “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). Noah also walked with God (Genesis 6:9). He was obedient to God in building the ark and was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). A lone, solitary figure, he continued building the ark for many years after he had prophesied the flood. Noah built the first altar (Genesis 8:20), and was honored by God with the everlasting covenant of the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-17).
        “For what saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:6). Because this prophet of God (Genesis 20:7), one single individual, believed God in faith, today we are the children of Abraham and sons of the true and living God (Genesis 12:1-4).
        Moses is another lone and solitary figure. 80 years old, his dream a faded memory, his strength ebbing with his advanced age, he was called by God to be a deliverer, a law-giver and leader of God’s people. This mighty man of God, despite his deficiencies, is a tremendous example of what a lone person of God can accomplish by hearing and obeying God. Moses was more than a prophet in that God spoke directly to him (Numbers 12:4-8).
        We will see a pattern developing here, one that these powerful chosen vessels, in obedience to God, brought deliverance and restoration to God’s people. And we will see a pattern that each of these obedient vessels was called directly by God, or His representative, and taught, trained, matured and activated by God.
        Samuel, another strong, solitary figure was called by God (1 Samuel 3).
        David was anointed by Samuel upon instructions from God (1 Samuel 16).
        Elijah simply suddenly appears in the scriptural record (1 Kings 17:1). His uniqueness is subsequently reproduced and amplified in his God-chosen successor, Elisha. Elisha is an exception, not the rule.
        Isaiah was called, anointed and sent by God (Isaiah 6).
        Jeremiah was called, sanctified and ordained a prophet to the nations before he was conceived (Jeremiah 1-5).
        Ezekiel was called and prepared by God (Ezekiel 1-3).
        Daniel was gifted of God. “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).
        Of Hosea and Joel, we know nothing of their prophetic preparation.
        Amos was a herdsman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit, called by God. “Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdsman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel” (Amos 7:14,15).
        We know nothing of Obadiah’s preparation as a prophet.
        Jonah was called by God. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for
their wickedness is come up before me” (Jonah 1:2).
        Micah 3:8: “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”
        Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi also have no clear indication in scripture of their prophetic preparation.
        John the Baptist’s birth and ministry were announced to his father by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:8-17; 76-80). John the Baptist, was in fact, filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother’s womb.
        Jesus was fully commissioned into His earthly ministry by the Holy Spirit and God the Father (Matthew 3:16, 17; Mark 1:9-13; Luke 4:1; John 1:29-34).).
        The mentoring concept is a myth and a lie. The Moses/Joshua and Elijah/Elisha relationship was the exception, not the rule. A study of the biblical accounts of these men will show that Moses and Elijah both were evidently trained by God Himself and not by others. God had so empowered these chosen vessels to accomplish His special purposes through them that He extended their servanthood to Him by their successors, Joshua and Elisha.
        Moses had allowed himself to become angry and in so doing he disobeyed God. God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would flow. But Moses struck the rock twice with his rod. Because of this Moses wasn’t permitted to enter the promised land. In Deuteronomy, chapter 34, God showed Moses the promised land and then Moses died and God buried him. Nobody knows where Moses was buried.
        Elijah had a powerful encounter with 850 false prophets of Baal and Asheroth and God moved mightily on his behalf. But when Jezebel intended to kill him, Elijah got depressed and wanted to die. Notice how God handled the prophets depression. God sent an angel who fed him twice, and he got a lot of exercise in traveling for 40 days to Mount Horeb. Then he went into a cave there and God talked with him. God let Elijah know he wasn’t the only true prophet left and gave him a new assignment, one which would put into power those who would bring needed religious reform to Israel. Specifically God told Elijah to anoint Hazael as king of Syria, Jehu as king of Israel and Elisha as his successor.
        Conventional teachings say that Elijah did not anoint Hazeal and Jehu, only Elisha. But how many know that to anoint in the Old Testament meant taking a container full of oil, pouring it on a person’s head, delivering God’s message, and having put the prophetic letter in the mail box, walking off and leaving the person for God to deal with?
        God told Elijah to anoint Elisha “to be prophet in thy room.” “In thy room” is tachath (takh'-ath), which can mean “under” in the sense of beneath, or it can mean in place of, i.e., instead of. The question arises: was Elisha to be “under” Elijah as a junior is under a senior, or was he to take Elijah’s place? Since the Bible is not clear on this, we cannot attempt to resolve the grammatical tension.
        It is clear, however, that not only did Elijah not anoint Hazeal or Jehu, he also did not anoint Elisha. Instead, he threw his mantle over him and created a master/servant relationship. Was the servant, Elisha, greater than his master, Elijah? Yes, he did twice as many miracles. But according to Jesus, in John 13:16:“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 15:20). This principle is important enough for Him to have repeated it in John 15:20: “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”
        It’s clear then that God never intended for Elijah to create a master/servant relationship with Elisha. Instead he was to anoint him in the biblical manner described above. This is one of the reasons that Elisha had a double anointing upon him. He was to minister with Elijah, not in place of him. At least for awhile. So God arranged for a double anointing on Elisha.
        That’s why Elijah must come again. He still has to anoint a king over Syria, and a king over Israel and an Elisha in order to bring needed religious reform to Israel.
        One of the reasons Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration was to let us know that, despite their disobedience, they are in glory. What good news for us flawed, frail, faulty vessels of clay!
        There is talk of a coming “Elijah company of prophets.” Whether this is so is not stated in scripture. Scripture tells us that John the Baptist came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” ... “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Jesus said Elijah had already come, speaking of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:11,12; Mark 9:12,13). This does not preclude Elijah coming again prior to the second coming of Jesus, there is simply no mention of an “Elijah company.”
        In Elijah’s time there was Ahab, the most evil king above all that were before him (1 Kings 16:30), who wed Jezebel, the false prophetess (Revelation 2:20), provoking God to an anger more than all the kings of Israel before him (1 Kings 16:33).
        In the same way a political system wedded to a religious system is coming which is more evil, and provoking God to more anger, than all those before it. The coming Elijah will confront this false political/religious system, which includes “churchianity,” i.e., those nominal Christians who attempt to serve the true and living God of creation by serving gods of their own Romanistic, paganistic, institutionalized, traditional making.
        This evil one world political and religious system will see the power of the true God in a confrontation that requires them to make a decision in the same way Elijah did with his statement in 1 Kings 18:21: “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt” [read: limp] “ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” This coming Elijah must anoint an Elisha. They will work together for a time until Elijah departs.
        How all this will happen is obviously known only to God.
        These biblical examples of Godly “mentoring” demonstrate the end result of this process will reproduce a modified version of the original. Is anybody out there endued with the wisdom of God to determine whose uniqueness to reproduce, or who is so perfect as to think that a modified version of yourself will produce anything of eternal value, much less of human worth?
        There is only One human role model for us today. And His name is Jesus Christ. Paul the apostle said in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” “Followers” is mimetes, in the original text, which means an imitator. It is always used in a good sense in the New Testament. It suggests a constant habit of practice.
        “Disciple,” mathetes, means literally a learner. It signifies a pupil, follower, supporter and imitator of their teacher. The root word shows thought accompanied by effort. The main idea of discipleship involves learning and fulfilling Christ’s teachings.
        The concepts of “submission” and “coverings” are man made methods designed to manipulate, intimidate and control others. A study of the words used in the original text about “obeying” and “submitting” to another single human beings authority will reveal this.
        We, as individual members of the body of Christ, are each and every one of us responsible for our relationship with our Creator, God. And we are responsible for not only speaking to Him, which is communication, but also for hearing Him, which is dialogue between two beings. We are designed for God’s purposes, and not ours.
        Why does the church continue to try to replicate themselves after the most popular, or the most influential, or the most entertaining so-called “minister” of the gospel of Jesus Christ? How about focusing on Jesus Christ, and Him crucified?
        Paul, the apostle is probably our best example in the New Testament of those that are called by God to be trained by Him.
        Paul’s calling was a sovereign, sudden, dramatic event that produced an instant change in him (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).
        Paul attributes his subsequent revelation of the gospel as a revelation of Jesus Christ, and God the Father. “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” ... “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.” ... “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:1,11,12).
        “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days” (Galatians 1:17,18). In a footnote in verse 17, The Ryrie Study Bible reads in part: “... Paul’s point is not to pinpoint the location but to emphasize that it was a place, in contrast to Jerusalem, where there was no apostle to instruct him. In Arabia he was alone with God, thinking through the implications of his encounter with the risen Christ on the Damascus road. ...”
        Apparently, Paul’s time of training by God occurred in the Arabian desert. The text says he returned from there and then spent three years in Damascus.
        While it should be obvious, I need to bring out the fact that the outcome of successful training by God always results in the person moving into public view, in public ministry, in a powerful way to effect needed changes in the body of Christ, the ekklesia of God.
        The time of training by God Himself must come to a time of maturation, of fruition, of cessation. God will, of course, continue to teach, train and mature us after this intense time of “hands on” training for the rest of our lives. However, this initial training exclusively at the hands of God Himself will terminate at some point.
        This training is not an end in itself, it is simply a means to an end. That end must culminate with a public debut back into society.
        When God has prepared His chosen vessel and the training is completed, that vessel, filled to overflowing with the very presence of God, by Godly tutoring, must be poured out for the body of Christ “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:12).
        Our biblical examples demonstrate those qualities. When a person chooses not to enter into the community of the ekklesia of God, and pour out their gifts and callings for the building up of the saints, then they are in rebellion against the purposes of God.
Companies Of The Prophets
        1 Samuel 10:5: “After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:”
        1 Samuel 10:10: “And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.”
        In both verses “a company of” is chebel (kheh'-bel); or chebel (khay'-bel); from a root meaning a rope (as twisted), especially a measuring line; by implication, a district or inheritance (as measured); or a noose (as of cords); figuratively, a company (as if tied together); also a spasm of pain (especially of childbirth); also ruin.
        1 Samuel 19:19-20: “And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.”
        In this verse “company”is lahaqah (lah-hak-aw'); probably from an unused root meaning to gather; an assembly.
        There is really nothing in the definitions of these words that would lead us to call this biblical company “schools,” or “colleges.” It appears to be used in the context of a gathering, or assembly of persons who are tied together by a common interest, i.e., a prophetical calling.
        “Standing” is amad (aw-mad'); a primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literal and figurative, intransitive and transitive). Vine’s Expository Dictionary says “The basic meaning of this verb is “to stand upright.””
        “Appointed” is natsab (naw-tsab'); a primitive root; to station, in various applications (literally or figuratively). Vine’s Expository Dictionary says “to stand, station, set up, erect.”
        “Over them” is al (al) meaning above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
        The phrase “and Samuel standing as appointed over them,” referring to the assembled prophets seems to indicate that he was standing up, stationed in a prominent place, i.e., to assist him to be seen by the individual members. As such it appears that his place was more in line with being a senior member of the assembly, rather than as a teacher.
        The comments about Samuel are not meant to in any way diminish his stature as a powerful man of God. Samuel was the undisputed leader in the time of transition of Israel from an assortment of tribal communities loosely connected through religious beliefs to a Davidic monarchy.
        The purpose of the discussion is to point out that the mention of companies of prophets three times in scripture, and mention of sons of the prophets does not equate to being a “school” of prophets. These companies and sons of prophets were part of the transitional time during which Israel became a monarchy under God.
        This was also a transitional time from judge to king and from judge, priest and prophet to king, priest and prophet. During and after the period of the kings the role of the prophet emerged into its fullness. The prophets were used by God to remind His people (including the king) of His mind, counsel and purpose while being ruled by the king.
        Samuel was a judge, a priest and a prophet under God’s theocracy and was an exceptional leader according to the scriptural record.
        The biblical record tells us that Samuel’s sons “... walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”
        1 Samuel 8:1-5:
        1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
        2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.
        3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
        4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
        5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
        Apparently there was a failure on Samuel’s part to teach his own biological sons appropriate Godly behavior. It would be difficult, therefore, to relegate to him the role of a teacher to other young men with the end result of groups of young men with the same faults as his own sons. This would not preclude Samuel being looked upon as a senior member of such groups.
        Samuel’s “standing” may also be an indication, as in Jesus’ time teachers sat when they taught (Matthew 5:1).Whether this is true in Old Testament times is speculative. Moses, did, however, sit in order to judge (Exodus 18:13).
        The senior member concept also suggests compatibility with the Old Testament concept of the prophet being called and taught by God directly, rather than men “teaching” the gift of prophesying. This also suggests compatibility with the New Testament model of having “elders” and “deacons” within the ekklesia, the called out assembly.
Sons Of The Prophets
        1 Kings 20:35: “And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.”
        2 Kings 2:3: “And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”
        2 Kings 2:5: “And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”
        2 Kings 2:7 “And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.”
        2 Kings 2:15: “And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.”
        2 Kings 4:1: “Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.”
        2 Kings 4:38: “And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.”
        2 Kings 5:22: “And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.”
        2 Kings 6:1: “And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.”
        2 Kings 9:1-4:
        1 And Elisha the prophet called one of the children [this is the same word translated as sons elsewhere] of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead:
        2 And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;
        3 Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.
        4 So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead.
        The word for sons in these verses is ben (bane); meaning a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc). Vine’s Expository Dictionary says: “Ben may signify “young men” in general, regardless of any physical relationship to the speaker: “And [I] beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding” (Proverbs 7:7). A city may be termed a “mother” and its inhabitants its “sons”: “For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee” (Psalms 147:13). Ben is sometimes used to mean a single individual; thus Abraham ran to his flock and picked out a “son of a cow” (Genesis 18:7). The phrase “son of man” is used in this sense–God is asked to save the poor individuals, not the children of the poor (Psalms 72:4). Ben may also denote a member of a group. An example is a prophet who followed Elijah (1 Kings 20:35); cf. (Amos 7:14).”
        Most probably the phrase “sons of the prophets” refers to members of a prophetically called group of young men.
        The conclusion to be drawn is that there were young men who were prophetically called that met together regularly in groups, as an assembly, tied together by their common interest. And that senior prophets were recognized by these junior prophets. These senior prophets probably performed the same functions within these groups as elders as noted in the New Testament.
        As previously stated, it suggests compatibility with the Old Testament concept of the prophet being called and taught by God directly, rather than men “teaching” the gift of prophesying. This also suggests compatibility with the New Testament model of having “elders” and “deacons” within the ekklesia, the called out assembly.
        In Acts 3:25, Peter identifies the crowd of Israelites to whom he was speaking as “the sons of the prophets.” The Greek word huios, “a son” is mistranslated in the King James Version as “children” in the verse.
        Acts 3:24-26:
        24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
        25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
        26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
        In verse 26, the word “iniquities” is poneria in the Greek. Vine’s Dictionary defines poneria as: “... akin to poneo, “to toil” (cf. poneros, “bad, worthless”; see BAD), denotes “wickedness,” and is so translated in (Matt. 22:18; Mark 7:22) (plural); (Luke 11:39; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:8; Eph. 6:12); in (Acts 3:26), “iniquities.””
        From this definition it appears as if “iniquities” would have been better translated as “wickedness” rather than “iniquities.”
        This reference by Peter to the “sons of the prophets,” and of “the covenant which God made with our fathers,” is immediately followed by stating that God sent Jesus to bless them and turn them away, each one of them, from their wickedness.
        It should be understood that Peter is referring to the wickedness of their fathers, i.e., Old Testament “sons of the prophets” and Old Testament Israelites.
        This wickedness of the “sons of the prophets” is discussed under the subhead “Assessing Prophetic Value.”
        In the book “Bride of Christ, remnant and overcomers of Revelation—The Overcoming Remnant Bride” I discuss a new “company of prophets” which is the mature antitype of the immature type of “company of prophets” in 1 Samuel, chapters 10 and 19. This would include the “sons of the prophets” mentioned in 2 Kings, chapters 2, 4 through 6, 9 and 20.
Is Saul Also Among The Prophets?
        Samuel, speaking to Saul said: “And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man” (1 Samuel 10:6). And in verse 11 we read: “And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
        It’s clear that Saul prophesied here by the Holy Spirit.
        In 1 Samuel 15:26-28 we see Saul being rejected by God: “And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.”
        In 1 Samuel 16:13-15, the Spirit of the Lord departs from Saul: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.”
        The biblical record clearly states that Saul prophesied (naba) while under the influence of an evil spirt. 1 Samuel 18:10 “And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.”
        1 Samuel 19:9: “And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.”
        Note that 1 Samuel 18:10 and 19:9 both confirm 1 Samuel 16:14 in that an evil spirit from the Lord “troubled him” (more literally, tormented him with fear).
        In 1 Samuel, chapter 19, verses 11-18 Saul again attempts to kill David and fails. David escapes to Ramah and Saul then sends messengers to capture David in 1 Samuel 19:20-21: “And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.”
        It’s clear from verse 19 the messengers prophesied by the Spirit of God.
        Saul, himself, then went to Ramah. 1 Sam 19:23-24: “And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?”
        There are some who teach that Saul prophesied from the evil spirit from the Lord here, however, the text says “and the Spirit of God was upon him also.” The word “also” as used here, gives emphasis to the fact that it was the same Spirit of God by Whom the messengers prophesied.
        The phrase “he stripped off his clothes” includes his armor and royal robes and “lay down naked” meaning he was prostrate on the ground and stripped bare of his armor and royal robes.
        This appears to be a unique example of how God humbled a man in the fullness of a murderous rage and turned that energy into Godly prophetical utterance while at the same time indicating that Saul no longer had a position of kingly authority by him being stripped bare of his armor and royal robes.
Assessing Prophetic Value
        There is no scriptural record of the musical company of prophets and sons of the prophets playing a role in declaring moral and doctrinal aspects of God’s mind and counsel. In 1 Kings 20:35-43 one of them, in a prophetical enactment involving king Ahab, caused the death of an innocent bystander. There appear to be no other instances of their predictive prophecying. The company of prophets drew attention to themselves playing their instruments and prophesying non-stop. They failed to reflect the behavior of the classical prophets in their prophetic utterances. The company of musical prophets are mentioned in conjunction with Samuel, so it must be assumed that they prophesied correctly, although with limitations.
        Scripture, however, states that “all the prophets and all the seers” as God’s servants spoke to Israel of repentance, righteousness and restoration and they all gave witness of the coming Messiah:
        2 Kings 17:13: “Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
        2 Kings 17:22-23:
        22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
        23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land
        Luke 24:27: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
        In the passage in Acts 3:11-26, verses 18, 21 and 24 Peter uses the phrases “all his prophets,” “all his holy prophets,” and “all the prophets.”
        Acts 3:18,21,24:
        18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
        21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
        24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
        Acts 10:43: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
        We must, therefore, consider the prophetic function of the musical company of prophets and sons of the prophets as being included within the scope of speaking to Israel of repentance, righteousness and restoration and that they all gave witness of the coming Messiah.
        Elisha, however, apparently used music to soothe his emotions, not to stimulate his emotions as did the musical prophets. He called for a minstrel in 2 Kings 3:11-16, when he was upset by the presence of king Jehoram. It apparently soothed his roused emotions so that “the hand of the Lord came upon him.”
        We also see when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David would take a harp and play and refresh Saul and make him well and the evil spirit would depart from him, which emphasizes the soothing aspect of music.
        When music is used to arouse, stimulate or provoke the prophetic gift the end result is not a good work. In Saul’s case, the spirit of God departed from him and he eventually consulted a witch and ultimately committed suicide.
        Even the musical prophets David appointed wrote only a few of the Psalms and had no effect upon the apostatizing of the nation of Israel. David himself wrote 73 of the psalms. Asaph wrote 12 psalms: Psalm 50 and Psalms 73 through 83. Heman wrote Psalm 88. Jeduthun wrote 3 psalms: Psalms 39, 62 and 77.
        In fact, David himself, although God called him a man after His Own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), struggled badly with sin in his life. His adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband Uriah in an attempt to cover his sin was confronted by Nathan the prophet. The consequences of his sins plagued him the rest of his life. The child from the union with Bathsheba died. His sons were wrongly influenced by him. Absalom rebelled and tried to take the kingdom from David. Amnon raped his half-sister. Bitter fruit for the sweet Psalmist of Israel, who wrote 73 of the psalms.
        We see in Amos that God is more interested in judgment and righteousness and in grieving for the afflictions of Israel than in songs and musical instruments. This type of activity by those who are at ease in Zion will also cause them to “go captive with the first that go captive” into exile.
        Amos 5:23-24:
        23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
        24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
        Amos 6:1-7:
        1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
        2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
        3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
        4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
        5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
        6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
        7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.
        That the sons of the prophets prophesied correctly is attested to by scripture. That they lacked maturity (as compared to Elisha) is also clear.
        2 Kings 2:16: “And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.”
        2 Kings 4:39-44:
        39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.
        40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.
        41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.
        42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
        43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.
        44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord.
        2 Kings 6:5-7:
        5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
        6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
        7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
        One anointed a leader only upon the instruction of a mature prophet (2 Kings 9:1-4), and one caused a senseless death in an enacted predictive prophecy. In this text it’s not clear whether the man who refused the prophets request to strike him with his weapon was specifically chosen by God to do so. However, in verse 37 the prophet “found another man” who did strike him. This would seem to make it apparent that the first man was not specifically chosen by God. So this may be a case of the prophet presumptously saying he was speaking “the voice of the Lord” to the first man who refused his request. If not, then it wouldn’t make sense for him to have “found another man.” Since this other man did strike him at this request, then it was senseless for the prophet to have spoken “that thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord” to the first man and then called down a death sentence upon him. He could have simply chosen to look for somebody else, which he did, without causing the man’s death. (1 Kings 20:35-43). The question must be asked: why did God allow the first man to be killed by a lion? To this we look to scripture and find that Lot’s wife (Genesis 19:26), Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1,2), Achan (Joshua 7), the young prophet (1 Kings 13), and Uzza (1 Chronicles 13:9,10) suffered a similar fate.
        These actions demonstrate God establishing precedents of His Godly power and authority for mankind and demonstrating the penalty for disobedience. This is also expressed in the disobedience of Adam and Eve, except that their death was a spiritual one.
        There appears to be little in the way of fruit from these companies of prophets and sons of the prophets particularly when we see Saul as among them, whose fruit was also lacking.
        Samuel’s wisdom in utilizing musical prophets in order to turn Saul into another man by exercising the prophetic gift must also be called into question. This would also relate as to whether or not he was holding “schools” of prophets in view of his deficiency in the training of his own natural sons. This would throw further doubt as to whether these companies of prophets were, in fact, schools.
        That God was displeased by this aspect of Samuel’s life is substantiated in Psalm 99:
        Psalm 99:1-9:
        1 The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
        2 The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.
        3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
        4 The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
        5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
        6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them.
        7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.
        8 Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.
        9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.
        The Amplified Bible gives us a better understanding of verse 8:
        “You answered them, O Lord, our God. You were a forgiving God to them, although avenging their evil-doings and practices.”
        This Psalm mentions Moses, Aaron and Samuel and that God forgave them (or Israel, of which they were a part) of some of their doings, although He took vengeance, i.e., punished them. The mention of Moses, Aaron and Samuel brings a specific focus upon their lives, whether as individuals, or as a part of Israel.
        Moses and Aaron were both guilty of not specifically obeying God. As a result they did not get to see the promised land. In addition, Aaron was, among other things, responsible for the golden calf, which represented not only an idol, but multiple gods, although he was not specifically judged for this. (Numbers 20:2-13, 23-28; Deuteronomy chapter 34; Exodus chapter 32).
        We see in Jeremiah further identification of Samuel with Moses: Jeremiah 15:1: “Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.”
        Samuel, while nothing is explicitly stated in the Bible, was evidently held responsible for the conduct of his sons. He had appointed them as judges over Israel and they did not follow in the way of Samuel but, rather, took bribes and perverted justice. This and the fear of the nation of Ammon caused the people to desire a king. (1 Samuel chapters 8 and 12).
        We see Samuel, who somehow caused or allowed his sons to become corrupt with bribes and perverted justice, causing the people to desire a king during a time of national crisis. This was a direct rejection of the Kingship of God. The Lord told the people, through Samuel, of the consequences of having a king, but the people still insisted on a king.
        Those consequences were that the king would take away their children (sons and daughters) and use them for forced labor, he would unjustly take a share of their property and possessions and tax them on the rest, and they would become slaves of the king. Samuel further told the people that they would cry out against their king, but the Lord would not listen to them.
        Through this Psalm, we are reminded that God reigns in justice, equity and righteousness, and we are to worship Him.
        We are also reminded that our leaders, both those chosen by God and those chosen by men (within the church and outside of the church) will be punished by God for their disobedience unto God, for leading the people into polytheism and idolatry and for not being diligent in raising their children up to serve God properly.
        In rejecting the Kingship of God Himself, and serving another through our insistence on placing a secular or church “king” over us, we will lose our children to forced labor, we will suffer unjust loss of property and possessions, and unfair taxation and we will become slaves to those we so enthrone as king over our lives.
        None of these things is within God’s will and purpose for His ekklesia. We must remember, however, that this was a choice made by the people of Israel, and a choice that God’s people today continue to make and establish in their lives by practicing it, perfecting it and promoting it.
        We see in Psalm 99 partial culpability on Samuel’s part for this ungodly practice.
        In the scriptural record relevant to the company of prophets who played musical instruments and the sons of the prophets compared to the permanent works of the classical action and writing prophets the contrast is a vivid one.
        I mentioned earlier that Old Testament prophets were:
        (1) prepared by maturity
        (2) proclaimed the true and living God manifesting in history
        (3) prepared humanity for the coming(s) of the Messiah
        (4) exercised supernatural power over death, disease and nature
        (5) anointed leaders and gave political and personal guidance, instruction and correction
        (6) proclaimed Divine revelation of current events (forth-tellers)
        (7) predicted future happenings (fore-tellers).
        However, in the company and sons of prophets their immaturity is evident.
        Apparently there is something in those comparisons of the musical company of prophets and the sons of prophets compared to the classical action and writing prophets that God would have us to see. If we want to be scripturally correct, we are well advised to err on the side of using music to soothe, rather than arouse, stimulate or provoke our emotions, which is the current worship practice in the institutional churches. This leads to an exercise of the gift of prophecy by individuals the end result of which is lacking in the biblical value that God has assigned to the gift of prophecy.
        This is an area that requires much caution, and exercise of the gift of discerning of spirits in conjunction with wisdom. The modern day contemporary practice of arousing, stimulating and provoking emotions in order to bring about the exercise of the gift of prophecy is questionable as a valid technique for the true prophets of God.
        The point must be made that the words and counsel of these loud, attention getting (musical company of prophets), reputation and credential seeking young prophets (the sons of the prophets) were confirmed and performed by God despite their immaturity.
        However, in looking at the entire spectrum of biblical prophetic activity, it’s obvious there are striking differences from that particular time compared to today.
        As mentioned previously God was establishing precedents of His Godly power and authority for mankind and demonstrating the penalty for disobedience. This includes the prophets and their biblical role.
        In 1 Samuel 3:1 we read: “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.”
        The word “vision” is chazon. The following is excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
        “Chazon almost always signifies a means of divine revelation. First, it refers to the means itself, to a prophetic “vision” by which divine messages are communicated: “The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth” (Ezek. 12:22). Second, this word represents the message received by prophetic “vision”: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Prov. 29:18). Finally, chazon can represent the entirety of a prophetic or prophet’s message as it is written down: “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz...” (Isa. 1:1). Thus the word inseparably related to the content of a divine communication focuses on the means by which that message is received: “And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision” (1 Sam. 3:1)—the first occurrence of the word.”
        In other words chazon signifies the method and message of prophecy.
        The functional priesthood as instituted by God had been severely degraded and the spiritual climate of Israel polluted during the time of the Judges. Since the time of Joshua only two prophetic figures are mentioned in Judges, Deborah and an unnamed prophet. The method and message of prophecy was “precious in those days,” i.e., rare or infrequent.
        Why did God allow this scarcity of prophets?
        While there may be no definitive answer, it may be that He wanted to impress upon mankind that without benefit of a constant reminder of His mind and counsel, mankind would drift away from Him and the law He had given Moses.
        In Proverbs 29:18 we read: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
        “Vision” is chazon, “perish” is para, to loosen; by implication, to expose, dismiss; figuratively, absolve, begin. Different translations use the phrases “cast off restraint,” “are unrestrained,” and “run wild.” The sense of the verse is that where there is no message and method of prophecy the people are unrestrained and run wild.
        Scriptural proof of this is found in Judges, where the same statement is made twice: Judges 17:6: “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
        God made His point during the time of the judges: without those who would speak His mind and counsel, Israel was unrestrained and running wild. And at a time God was transitioning from the judicial phase (the judges) of His theocracy to the executive phase (the period of the kings).
        Having made His point, God then reestablished and reemphasized the need, function and credibility of prophets that had been first established by Moses and Joshua as He ushered in the transitional period from that of the judges to the kings.
        The action prophets of this period continually reminded God’s people of His mind, counsel and purpose. Obviously, God knew that some of the kings would fail in their devotion to Him.
        These young prophets were included within this time frame because they were prophets and God did not exclude them because of their immaturity. To hear the voice of a prophet, mature or immature, was to hear the voice of God. This is understood from scripture.
        We will see in a later section that today every believer is filled with God’s Holy Spirit, Who has the nine gifts of the Spirit, one of which is the charisma descension gift of prophecy. This is regardless of immaturity. But the gift of prophet is given to the mature believer.
        Today, when we see those who draw attention to themselves and prophesy incessantly and those who lack biblical and prophetic maturity, we should realize that they have very little of biblical value to offer us through their flamboyant, flashy and fleshy ministry.
        In the same way as their counterparts in the Old Testament these musical prophets and sons of prophets show no evidence of having been prepared by maturity and by God. The question also arises as to if they have been sent by God, or merely “went.” There is no understanding of the Father’s heart. There is no teaching to bring repentance, i.e., to change an erring spiritual direction, no preaching to encourage a righteous lifestyle and as a result, no healing, or restoration unto their God.
        Their lack of spiritual maturity is evident to those who are familiar with scripture and the lifestyle and ministry of the effectively called Old Testament prophets who were trained by God Himself.
        Their identification as a prophet comes from their lifestyle of calling attention to themselves and their ministry (musical prophets) and by heaping upon themselves credentials (sons of the prophets). Which things truly called, prepared and sent prophets do not do, as they do only what the Father shows them to do, say only what the Father tells them to say, and go only where the Father tells them to go.
  Altered States Of Consciousness
        David’s emphasis of the worship aspect of God’s people indicates that music affects the thinking and choosing processes of our soul.
        That this is so has been substantiated in the contemporary scientific community.
        Our brains produce simultaneously four brainwave frequency patterns named as Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta. Only one, however, is predominant at any given time. All of these states of consciousness can be measured on an EEG machine. They are scientific fact, not theory.
        Beta is approximately 14 cycles per second and up. This is our normal state of consciousness.
        Alpha is approximately 7 to 14 cycles per second. Dreaming takes place in the Alpha state, which is known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. In sleep, we transition through the four states of consciousness. Each cycle has a duration of approximaely 90 minues. In the Alpha state, known as the Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep state, this REM time increases. We usually wake up from a long Alpha, or REM cycle, which is why we remember the dream we just had. The Alpha state is also considered to be the refreshing, or rejuvenation time for our bodies. While in this state we are 20 to 25 times more susceptible to suggestion.
        Theta is approximately 4 to 7 cycles per second. This is the hypnotic state. And the state of our consciousness while anethesized for surgery.
        Delta is approximately 0 to 4 cycles per second. Little is really known about this state.
        A repetitive beat, by music, voice or light, of 45 to 72 beats per minute is a tool by which a hypnotic state can be induced and generates the eyes-open altered state of consciousness called the Alpha state. As mentioned, while in this state you are 20 to 25 times more open to suggestion than while in a wide-awake, fully aware Beta state.
        In addition, sounds alone can induce an eyes-open Alpha state of altered consciousness. A 6-7 cycle per second sound generates an Alpha state, which can affect 10 to 25 percent of the population. In this altered state of consciousness suggestions made to them would be interpreted as virtual commands.
        Many other sounds produced at different cycle per second ranges affect us. We cannot isolate ourselves from them as some of these sounds are not stopped by natural substances. Sounds so produced can cause anything from agitated emotional upset to lethargic depression.
        In an altered state of consciousness, your brain releases chemicals almost identical to opium, creating an addiction to whatever caused the altered state.
        In simply watching television, the viewer constantly slips in and out of an altered state of consciousness. When subliminal messages and the insertion of black frames spaced a given number of frames apart are used, the subconscious of the viewer is greatly pre-disposed to accept what is said as being imperative.
        There are many conversion, persuasion and brainwashing techniques that are documented as being proven highly effective. When these techniques are used in conjunction with voice, sound and lighting methods to produce altered states of consciousness, the effect on individuals is such that it robs them of their ability to correctly perceive, analyze and interpret the effects of what is happening to them.
  Praise And Worship Music
        Music has rhythm, melody and harmony. Great care must be taken in utilizing the rhythm used for praise and worship purposes. Melody can also produce undesireable effects upon our state of consciousness because of differing vibrations per second. Harmony also greatly affects our emotions, from sad, even depressing, to one of high elation and joy.
        Music used to praise and worship our God must also be very carefully selected by the use of the words used. Songs should be short, simple and specific in words that direct praise, worship, honor and glory and other scripturally stated Godly words and phrases to the true and living God of the Bible. This focuses us on God and God alone, and prevents our minds from wandering off. Anything that distracts our attention from God should be absolutely avoided.
        It would be fair to say that the right music, with the right instruments, played by the right people, is an aid to our worshipping God. However, because music affects our emotions, we must be very careful not to allow “praise and worship” music to become a ritual, or to become an idol to us. We must constantly keep Jesus and the cross in focus when we utilize music for worship purposes and keep in mind the Godly order that David implemented, not only in his worship, but in his organizational structure. The devil is very well aware of the effect of music upon our thinking (minds) and our feelings (emotions) and will attempt to utilize it for the purpose of drawing us away from God. And we must not forget that the Godly king David, who created instruments for praising and worshipping God and wrote 73 of the psalms also produced some bitter fruit in his life.
        This same principle of focusing on Jesus and maintaining Godly order would also apply to other situations such as laying on of hands for Holy Spirit baptism, healing, blessings, prayer and etc. We are not to obey the commands to mindlessly “receive” something when hands are laid upon us. For the simple fact that we may receive something that is not of God.
        Scripture gives us our best example of the result of correct Godly focus and Godly order utilizing music for worship purposes with the Godly order that David implemented:
        2 Chronicles 5:11-6:2 (see also 1 Kings 8:10-14):
        11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:
        12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
        13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;
        14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
        2 Chronicles 6:1-2:
        1 Then said Solomon, The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.
        2 But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.
        We see from this passage that the glory of God filled the temple as the people became one in praising and thanking the Lord. Solomon describes this manifestation of God’s glory as “thick darkness.” This cloud of thick darkness was so dark and so thick that the priests’ vision could not penetrate the darkness of the cloud in order to go to their places of ministry inside the temple.
        Some have taught that the priests fell down, overpowered by the presence of God. However, the phrase “could not stand to minister” is best understood as their not being able to see through the darkness of the cloud in order to go to their ministry stations.
        The important thing is that the people concentrated on worshipping and thanking God and “were as one” in their music and praise and thanks to the Lord.
        These are Old Testament events, types and shadows of the New Testament. Today, each individual saint is the temple of God.
        In Hebrews 8:13-9:1 we read (New International Version): “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.”
        It’s clear that “regulations for worship,” and “an earthly sanctuary” are now “obsolete and aging (and) will soon disappear.” After 2,000 years do we understand that it has already disappeared? These “regulations for worship” and “an earthly sanctuary” have been replaced by the individual saint of God. We each of us worship God in spirit and in truth as His temple in which Father, Son and Holy Spirit abide.
        “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Corinthians 14:26.) The word “when” is hotan in the Greek. Strong’s Definition is: “whenever (implying hypothesis or more or less uncertainty); also caus. (conjunctionally) inasmuch as.” There is no planned meeting at a certain time, on a certain day, for a certain reason. He is saying that whenever you happen to meet together, the charisma descension gifts of the Holy Spirit become operative in the lives of those believers who are in attendance.
        Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Do you see the focus upon “one another?” “Let all things be done unto edifying.” We edify “one another” according to scriptural values, not the traditions of men.
        When we assemble to minister to “one another,” God will move. Our response will automatically trigger praise and worship of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
        There are no “regulations for worship” any more than there is a requirement for “an earthly sanctuary.” Worship, under grace, is spontaneous, extemporaneous and improvisational as led by the Spirit of God. We are not under the law with regulations and appointed places of worship. Jesus, our Shepherd, leads and guides us through His Holy Spirit how we manifest our “one anothering.” When we come to realize our true liberty in the Holy Spirit to focus on “one anothering” at those times we meet together, our worship will come effortlessly and it will be said of us that we “were as one” in our music and praise and thanks to the Lord.
God Is No Respecter Of Persons
        Prophets are called by God from all walks of life.
        Abraham was a prince: “And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead. And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth” (Genesis 23:5-7).
        Samuel was called as a child: “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:19-20).
        Ezekiel was a priest: “The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him” (Ezekiel 1:3).
        Jeremiah and John the Baptist were called to be prophets before they were born.
        “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
        “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13-17).
        Amos was a herdsman: “Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit” (Amos 7:14).
        Elisha was a farmer: “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him” (1 Kings 19:19).
        Women are called and recognized: “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances” (Exodus 15:20).
        “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment” (Judges 4:4-5).
        Hannah, while not specifically named as a prophetess, prophesied of David’s rule in 2 Samuel, chapter 2.
        “So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her” (2 Kings 22:14).
        “College” in the above verse is mishneh. Strong’s Concordance defines it as meaning a repetition, i.e. a duplicate (copy of a document), or a double (in amount); by implication, a second (in order, rank, age, quality or location). Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary makes this comment: “College (second part)—an inaccurate translation of the word mishneh (2 Kin. 22:14), (KJV; (2 Chr. 34:22), KJV; (Zeph. 1:10)). The word refers to a district of Jerusalem and actually means “Second Quarter” (NKJV).”
        In the New Testament Elizabeth and Mary, while not specifically named as prophetesses, clearly functioned in that capacity:
        Luke 1:41-55:
        41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
        42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
        43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
        44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
        45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
        46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
        47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
        48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
        49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
        50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
        51 He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
        52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
        53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
        54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
        55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
        Anna, the prophetess is mentioned in Luke:
        Luke 2:36-38:
        36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
        37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
        38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
        The Book of Acts restates Joel’s prophecy regarding the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon sons and daughters and servants and handmaidens:
        Acts 2:17,18:
        17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
        18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
        Acts also mentions Philips’ daughters, who prophesied:
        Acts 21: 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
        Under the New Testament, we have the doma ascension gift of prophet from Jesus Himself. As Head of the ekklesia, these gifts are headship gifts and should be understood to be headship gifts given as male spiritual headship functions. God may, for His sovereign reasons, gift a woman as a doma ascension gift prophet. God has used women throughout biblical history to help preserve the spiritual headship principle when the men have failed to do so. Women functioning in the biblical male spiritual headship position may be allowed, in fact, instituted by God, when He finds it necessary to take up the slack of irresponsible [read: wimpy] males in the ekklesia. This is done to provoke the men of the ekklesia of God to responsibly assume their spiritual headship roles. When they continue to be irresponsible, and allow the women to continue to rule over them then it leads to evil for the ekklesia and for the women. The point is that women in male leadership roles of spiritual headship is a symptom of a much deeper problem, the root of which is male irresponsibility in functioning as spiritual head to their wives. A wife does not rule her husband at home and she doesn’t rule in the ekklesia.
        Women may also function as “lifestyle” prophets or in any of the “lifestyle” gifts of Romans 12:3-8. Note these gifts also include “ministry” (diakonia—servanthood), “teaching” (instruction) and even “ruling” (leading, directing, and attending to with zeal, promptness, watchful interest and earnestness). However, these functions are not male spiritual headship gifts, which have been identified by Paul as being mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. (For a full discussion on this subject with scriptural support see “Women Keep Silence, or Don’t Lose Your Head, Please!” which discusses biblical types and antitypes, examples and clear scriptural instructions for scriptural spiritual headship, why Paul the apostle insisted upon it, and the dangers of irresponsibility by the men of the ekklelsia.)
  The Seventy Elders
        Numbers 11:14-17:
        14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
        15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
        16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
        17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
        Numbers 11:25-29:
        25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
        26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
        27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
        28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
        29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!
  Balaam
        God will use even false prophets to deliver a true prophetical message. In Joshua 13:22 Balaam is called a qacam (kaw-sam'), “soothsayer” a word used only of a false prophet. Note that in 2 Peter 2:16 he is there called a “prophet.” However the whole verse must be taken in context as Balaam was “rebuked for his iniquity” by the donkey speaking and preventing his “madness,” i.e., foolhardiness. Although Balaams lifestyle and lack of understanding of the Father’s heart brands him as a false prophet, he did speak a true word of the Lord under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
        “And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him” (Numbers 24:1-2).
God’s Prophets Prophesy By Faith
        Prophets were not to simply repeat the words of other prophets, nor to speak their own words:
        Jeremiah 23:16-22:
        16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
        17 They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
        18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
        19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
        20 The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
        21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
        22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
        “Counsel” in verses 18 and 22 is cowd, meaning a session, i.e., company of persons (in close deliberation); by implication, intimacy, consultation, a secret. Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines its meaning as “secret or confidential plan(s); secret or confidential talk; secret; council; gathering; circle.” “... means, first, “confidential talk.””
        It’s clear that it takes private, uninterrupted time in intimacy with God to prophesy effectively and turn the hearers away from their evil ways and the evil of their doings.
        To simply run with the current “prophetic trend” will bring the anger and wrath of God.
        Ezekiel 13:1-23 (New International Version):
        1 The word of the LORD came to me:
        2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!
        3 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
        4 Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins.
        5 You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the LORD.
        6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.
        7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The LORD declares,” though I have not spoken?
        8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign LORD.
        9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.
        10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,
        11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth.
        12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”
        13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.
        14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the LORD.
        15 So I will spend my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it,
        16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign LORD.”’
        17 “Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them
        18 and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own?
        19 You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.
        20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.
        21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
        22 Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives,
        23 therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
        Jesus stated this requirement for fidelity to God’s word simply and plainly:
        “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50).
Scriptural Role Of Prophets
        There is a distinction between the Old and New Testament prophets, and of the gift of prophecy. They differ in priority, power and purpose. A common denominator linking prophecy is speaking forth the mind and counsel of God.
        Old Testament prophets proclaimed the law until John the Baptist. Then Jesus, and His ministry of grace, began a new era of the administration of the kingdom of God. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matthew 11:13; see also Luke 16:16). “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:15-17). “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” (Galatians 1:6). “... for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
        Jesus had spoken of the ministry of the Old Testament prophets: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (Matthew 13:16,17).
        The Apostle Peter expanded on this thought: “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven ...” (1 Peter 1:10-12).
        Paul the apostle confirmed the witness: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:21-24).
        The manifestation of the secret of the mystery attested to by the Old Testament prophets establishes the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His grace: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).
        Jesus fulfilled the law (and Old Testament prophets) (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44). Refer also to Daniel 9:24 and the six prophetical promises fulfilled by Jesus. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,” (1) “to finish the transgression,” (2) “and to make an end of sins,” (3) “and to make reconciliation for iniquity,” (4) “and to bring in everlasting righteousness,” (5) “and to seal up the vision and prophecy,” (6) “and to anoint the most Holy.”
        In the phrase “... and to seal up the vision and prophecy ...” “seal up” is chatham, meaning to close up, especially to seal. The word “vision” used here is chazon (discussed earlier) which signifies the method and the message of prophecy. The word “prophecy” is nabiy (discussed earlier) meaning a prophet. “... seal up the vision and prophecy ...” actually means to close up the method and message of prophecy, and the prophet. This brought the Law and the Old Testament prophets to an end, to be fulfilled in Jesus which is inferred by the phrase “... and to anoint the most Holy.”
        It’s clear from all of these scriptures that the gifts of Jesus to His church (Ephesians 4:7-11) are not founded upon the Law, as the Law and the Old Testament prophets came to an end, and when Jesus came He fulfilled the law. “... for ye are not under the law, but under grace” Romans (6:14b). “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7).
Prophecy In The New Testament
        “Prophecy” propheteia, in the New Testament is, literally, “to speak forth.” It’s from a root meaning a foreteller, by analogy, an inspired speaker, by extension, a poet. Throughout the New Testament Jesus used the word prophecy in referring to the Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jonah and Daniel. This is the same New Testament word used in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 to refer to a prophet, or prophecy.
        Others in the New Testament referred to Jeremiah, Isaiah, Samuel and Joel. New Testament writers did not differentiate between Old and New Testament prophets, applying the Greek term to the ministries of both.
        In Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13 Jesus talks about giving gifts to your children. “Gifts” in both texts is doma, which gives greater emphasis to the concrete character of the gift by giving more prominence to the specific qualities and characteristics than to the fact that it’s a present freely given. The influence of the qualities and characteristics are implied or stated. It’s coupled with the word “good” in the original, which states the influence of the gift. Doma is used in Philippians 4:17 where Paul is commending the church at Philippi concerning their giving to him: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” The same meaning is found: that of the specific qualities and characteristics of their gifts to Paul. Verse 18 explains the influence of their gifts: “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God.” The influence of their gifts to Paul was to cause God to be well pleased with the givers.
        Doma is used in Ephesians 4:8: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” In verse 11 the gifts are named. The specific qualities and characteristics of these gifts and their influence upon the body of Christ are explained in verses 12 through 16. These gifts given unto men — apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers — are to prepare and equip and make us fit for the work of the ministry. That means works of service in building up the body of Christ, “Till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). We are to stop being children, tossed and blown around by the cunning craftiness of men to deceive, speaking the truth in love, building ourselves up in love. Each of us is to be the part that God has empowered us for.
        The doma gift of the Holy Spirit and the influence of His qualities and characteristics are fully explained throughout scripture. The Holy Spirit is also a dorea “gift” (Acts 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17; Hebrews 6:4). A dorea gift is a supernatural gift emphasizing it is a present freely given without persuasion, reasoning, or a cause. The Holy Spirit is yours as a gift for the asking.
        The doma gift of the New Testament prophets is an ascension gift of the ministry of Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 13:57; 21:11,46; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24; 7:16; John 7:40; Ephesians 4:7-11). As such, it has no basis in law, but in grace.
        New Testament prophets (including today’s church) were given a prophetical portion of the personal ministry of Jesus as an ascension gift. They are to continue to proclaim repentance, righteousness and restoration. They are anointed (equipped, enabled and empowered) in a way corresponding to Jesus’ ministry of teaching repentance, preaching righteousness, and healing for restoration (Matthew 4:23; 9:35).
        The effects of the “spirit and power” of the prophetic are revealed in scripture.
        In Matthew 17:10-13 (see also Mark 9:11-13) we read: “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
        In the same way the prophetic, in the “spirit and power of Elias” (Elijah) (Luke 1:17), will “first come, and restore all things.” The word “restore” is a key to the purpose of the prophetic.
        Subjective experience of prophets and their ministry by today’s church does not negate their scriptural role as objectively stated in the Bible. Prophets will continue to teach repentance and preach righteousness to bring healing of body, soul and spirit to individuals so they may be restored back to their Creator.
God’s Attributes, Abiding And Assignments
        God’s attributes balance the perspective of the fullness of:
        1. His character,
        2. His compassion and
        3. His conscience.
(Exodus 34:5-7; Deuteronomy 7:8; Isaiah 33:22; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16).
  Character
        God’s character is love, subjectively caused by willful choice (thought). It is expressed throughout the Bible and the Living Word, Jesus (word). God’s love is unconditionally activated through the cross (deed). God freely expresses His divine love subjectively caused by His willful choice, and offers us His grace.
  Compassion
        The compassion of God is extended to us through His grace and His mercy. “Grace,” in the New Testament is charis, literally “graciousness,” from the root chairo, meaning to rejoice. In the Hebrew the word is chen, meaning subjectively, kindness, favor, or objectively, beauty.
  Conscience
        God’s conscience deals with good and evil using divine wisdom, judgment and justice. He considers our every thought, word and deed. God is the sum of all wisdom and lacks nothing. God uses supernatural revelation to give us a glimpse of His wisdom, i.e., His mind and counsel. God’s wisdom influences His judgment that is according to truth (Romans 2:2), deeds (Romans 2:6), and enlightened conscience (Romans 2:12-15). He is no respecter of persons (shows no prejudice) (Romans 2:11). God’s wisdom and judgment are the vehicles by which He executes justice which is the use of authority and power to uphold what is good. God exercises His wisdom, expresses His judgment and then executes His justice through His deeds by a system of rewards (blessings) and punishments (curses), as noted throughout the Bible. God’s wisdom, judgment and justice are recorded in a formal statement — His Word, the Bible.
  Gifts
        The gifts God has given to His church spring from these attributes.
        From God’s character, i.e., His love, He has given us His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the nine gifts of the Spirit, known as the charisma descension gifts.
        From His compassion, i.e., His grace and mercy, He has given us the gifts listed in Romans 12:3-8. They have been referred to as “motive” gifts, but in truth spring from His compassion (grace and mercy).
        From His conscience, i.e., His wisdom, judgment and justice He has provided us with the doma ascension gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor (shepherd) and teacher. The names in the original language of these gifts describe their actions and functions. They have been called “offices.”
  Abiding of Holy Spirit, Father and Son
        “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:15-17).
        If a believer loves Jesus and keeps His commandments Jesus will pray the Father and He shall send the Holy Spirit to abide (live in) the believer.
        “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:18-21).
        Again we see that he that has the commandments of Jesus and keeps them, is the one that loves Jesus. And because of this love and obedience that person shall be loved of the Father. And Jesus will love him and manifest Himself to the person.
        “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” (John 14:22).
        The disciple asks how Jesus will manifest Himself to those who love Him and are obeying His commands.
        “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23).
        So we see from this dialogue that Jesus will first send His Holy Spirit to those who love and obey Him.
        Because of this love and obedience that person shall be loved of the Father. Jesus will love him and manifest Himself to the person.
        Still stressing love for Jesus, and obedience to His commands, Jesus says: “If a man love me, he will keep my words:”
        Continuing to stress the love of the Father for the believer, He says: “and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
        The believer has received the Holy Spirit. Continuing to love Jesus and obeying His commands, the Father will love the believer, and then the Father and Jesus will come unto him, and live with him (John 13:20; 17:11,20-23,26).
        Applying this to the prophetic, there appear to be three levels of prophecy. (Also two levels of teachers).
        1. The Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of prophecy (the Holy Spirit).
        2. The compassion, i.e., grace and mercy charisma gift of prophecy (the Father).
        3. The doma ascension gift of prophecy (Jesus).
The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
        The manifestation of the charisma descension gift of prophecy is given to all Holy Spirit filled believers (the body). It is a gift for the body, regardless of maturity. (1 Corinthians 12).
        A study of definitions of the manifested gifts of the Holy Spirit in the corporate assembly reveals their attributes. The following observations to bring perfection to the saints may be made:
        To give individual and corporate:
        (1) Correction (conformity to a just standard by discipline. It removes errors and adds truth to bring us to a state of goodness):
        The practicality of wisdom. (Answers the question — what?)
        The progression and placement of knowledge. (Answers the question — where?)
(But not always who, when, how or why)
        (2) Direction (a necessary activity or attitude. It turns our attention to an immediately desired goal or effect to give us guidance.)
        The permanency of faith. (Our starting point — an anchor — Hebrews 6:12-20; chapters 11,12)
        The plurality of healings. (Encompasses all directions — within the physical body and also soul and spirit)
        The power of miracles. (The cause of the effects — God’s power is the cause of the miracles)
        The proclamation of prophecy. (Keeps us on a Godly course. It proclaims the mind and counsel of God to man)
        The presence of evil, human or Godly, discerned spirits. (Keeps us tuned in to our Godly source of direction and guidance. Alerts us to interference with that source.)
        (3) Affection (requires desire, response and activity. It causes us to appreciate, delight in, and crave the presence of God. It causes us to please Him and promote His welfare (a state of thriving and progress) by being obedient servants to His will and purpose as our part of the body of Christ, exercising our gifts and anointings. This brings glory to God):
        The personal use of tongues.
        The public use and interpretation of pronouncements of God’s greatness, magnifi-cent works, and mysteries, spoken in tongues.
        1 Corinthians 12:11: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
        “But” alla, means on the contrary. “Worketh” is energeo, literally, to work in, meaning to be active and operative. “... that one and the selfsame Spirit, ...” is emphatic. “Dividing” is diaireo, separating and distributing. “Severally” idios, means about self, i.e., one’s own. “Will” boulomai, strongly expresses the deliberate exercise of volition.
        God’s Holy Spirit, and He alone, has deliberately chosen to activate and make operative the manifestation of the gift He distributes to each individual. This is the essence of Divine sovereignty. We must respond to Him by simple acceptance to attain God’s desired results for His corporately assembled body. This is the essence of human responsibility.
        I mentioned earlier relative to the blessing aspect of the Abrahamic covenant how it was expanded upon by the New Covenant. And that the death of Jesus opened the way for the Holy Spirit to abide (live) in us and to teach us, in the same way that Jesus lived with and taught His disciples. This fulfilled the statement in Jeremiah 31:34 where God said “for they shall know me.” In God’s love, which is one of His attributes, He has given us His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the nine gifts which Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
        We’ve seen how these nine gifts bring perfection, i.e., maturity, to the body of Christ. They bring needed correction to bring us to a state of goodness; direction to give us guidance towards the right spiritual goal; and affection to bring glory to God.
    Purpose Of The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
        The Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of prophecy, then, is for us to express God’s love, which is made possible for us through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit of God. A love that brings us to perfection, or maturity, by bringing correction for goodness, direction for guidance, and affection to bring glory to God. This maturity comes from corporate manifestation of all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, of which prophecy is one.
  The Compassion Gift Of Prophecy
        The compassion gift of prophecy, also a charisma gift, springs from the compassion of God, i.e., His grace and mercy (Romans 12:3-8). Romans chapters 12-15 deal with the subject of our lifestyle and conduct before God, self, the rest of the body, all men, government, neighbors and the weak believer. This “lifestyle” prophetic gift would come with more maturity in the Lord.
        As a “lifestyle” prophetic gift, we go right back to Abraham, God’s prototype prophet, who apparently was a “lifestyle” prophet on the basis of God’s grace and mercy.
    Grace
        God’s grace has many aspects. Seven of them are briefly presented here as they are frequently sequentially manifested:
        His attitude toward us — free unmerited favor. No works are necessary for God to view us favorably. Grace is contrasted explicitly and implicitly with debts, works and law (John 1:17 — 2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 3:21-24; 4:4,16; 6:14,15; 11:6; Galatians 1:6,7; 5:4; Ephesians 1:3-7; 2:8-9 — verse nine “not of works” thus contrasting works with grace as the gift that saves; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 2:11).
        His action in us — supernatural influence on the human spirit effecting observable change in man’s natural life (Romans 15:15,16; 1 Corinthians 1:3-5; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 4:15; 8:1-9; Ephesians 3:2-7; 1 Peter 5:10).
        His activation of us — divine equipping, enabling and empowering for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7,12 — also Romans 1:5, 12:6a; 1 Corinthians 3:10; 1 Peter 4:10).
        His acknowledgment of our acceptance, application and thankful appreciation of His grace by further activation of us — giving us greater grace (John 1:16; Acts 4:33; Romans 6:17; 2 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Timothy 1:12,14; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:6, literally “a greater grace;” Proverbs 3:34; 1 Peter 5:5).
        His augmentation of us, enlarging, extending and expanding us as individuals (2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 4:7; 2 Peter 3:18).
        His addition of us, i.e., the process of joining us to the body to increase the corporate total (Acts 2:47; Romans 1:5-7; 5:15; 12:3-5; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 1:1,2; 2:19-22; Titus 3:7).
        His assimilation of us — bringing us to a state of resembling Him and making the saints part of Himself (John 17:20-23; Colossians 3:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:12).
        Growth in grace is achieved by being in union with God and with man. “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). This text speaks of the growth of Jesus as a young child. It’s comparable to the growth of the body of Christ—born-again believers—individually and corporately. As a young child he became larger physically (grew). He was strengthened as He increased in vigor in spirit (waxed strong). He developed practical skills and a keen mind (wisdom), and the grace (charis) of God was upon him. In verses 46 and 47, the doctors (teachers of the Jewish religion), and all that heard Him were astonished (amazed) at his “understanding.” This is sunesis, reflective thought, suggesting quickness of comprehension preceding action, and answers (responses). “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Jesus made progress in wisdom and maturity and in “favour” charis, grace, “with” sun, denotes union, God and man. The text does not say Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in grace with God. He attained wisdom, stature and grace as He remained in union with God and man. We must stay in union with humanity, saved and unsaved, to grow in proper scriptural balance.
    Mercy
        God’s mercy displays His actions to those in distress. The death of His Son, Jesus Christ, exemplifies this (Titus 3:4-6). Mercy results in peace — the experience in the heart of man (John 3:16,17; Acts 10:36; Ephesians 2:13-17).
    Purpose Of The Compassion Gift Of Prophecy
        The “lifestyle” charisma gift of prophecy, then, is for us to express God the Father’s grace and mercy by prayer, intercession, healing and prophesying of Jesus, as did Abraham.
  The Doma Ascension Gift Of Prophecy
        The doma ascension gifts of Jesus are to express His wisdom, judgment and justice.
    Jesus, The Wisdom Of God
        Matthew 12:42: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (See also Luke 11:31).
        1 Corinthians 1:24: “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
        Colossians 2:2-3: “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
        The following is excerpted from New Unger’s Bible Dictionary on “wisdom” in the Old Testament: “Hebrew sakal to “be prudent, circumspect,” (1 Samuel 18:30; Job 22:2; cf. Psalms 2:10; 94:8); etc.).
        “Hebrew tushiya properly “uprightness”, counsel, understanding (Job 11:6; 12:16; 26:3; Prov. 3:21; etc.).
        “Hebrew bina “understanding”, the faculty of insight, intelligence (Prov. 4:5,7; 17:10).
        “An attribute of God, wisdom is intimately related to the divine knowledge, manifesting itself in the selection of proper ends with the proper means for their accomplishment. Thus not only the world of nature but especially the economy of redemption is a manifestation of divine wisdom (see Psalms 104:24; Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Revelation 7:12). Thus the Old Testament appeal of wisdom to men is the appeal of the only wise God (see Proverbs and Psalms).”
        “Wisdom” in Greek is sophia, wise. It denotes practical skill or quickness of perception. It is keenness of mind or discernment; insight, hence, wisdom.
        The sequence of the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8, where wisdom is listed before knowledge, are not without significance.
        In man’s experience, normally his educational process follows a sequential track. First facts exist independently of opinion, conjecture or theory. They represent the state of things in physical and spiritual reality. Learning is exposure to facts and retaining them in memory. Knowledge is retention of learned facts. Understanding is determining the meaning of facts. Wisdom is the ability to generate cause and effect from knowledge and understanding of facts. We can see that, in the natural, knowledge comes first, then wisdom. However in the listing of the gifts Paul lists a word of wisdom first, followed by a word of knowledge. This immediately alerts us to the fact that there is here a tacit understanding of a spiritual truth.
        James 3:13-18 (New International Version):
        13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
        14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
        15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
        16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
        17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
        18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
        Wisdom and “understanding” (verse 13, better translated as “intelligent”) appear to be related, as well as a good life, or behavior, as a result of the humility that comes from wisdom. The word “humility” is the same word in the King James Version translated as “meekness” in Galatians 5:23, which is a fruit of the Spirit. This word, prautes, means “meekness, mildness, self-control. A calm composed evenness of soul and spirit which comes from dependence on God. The exercises of it are first and chiefly toward God, with no fighting, struggling and contending with God. It’s associated with self-control and results in absence of pride, self-assertion and self-interest because of lack of pre-occupation with self.”
        It’s evident then that Godly wisdom involves understanding and intelligence, and manifests itself in a Godly, good lifestyle that comes from an underlying attitude of dependency upon God and denial of self. This wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, impartial and sincere.
        The lifestyle of these peacemakers results in a harvest of righteousness.
        In these verses James contrasts the wisdom from above (Godly wisdom) with earthly wisdom. Proverbs 11:18,19 brings out the fact that righteousness brings life and unrighteousness brings death.
        Godly wisdom brings righteousness and life. Earthly wisdom brings unrighteousness and death. This is the tacit spiritual truth that Paul is emphasizing by listing a word of wisdom first in his listed sequence of spiritual gifts.
        If we lack wisdom, James 1:5 tells us to pray for wisdom. So we are to pray to receive Godly wisdom, which manifests in a “good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
        Don’t confuse this Godly lifestyle wisdom with the Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of a word of wisdom.
      Impartation
        1 Corinthians 12:4 reads: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
        “Diversities” diairesis, is literally, to take apart. It signifies to divide into separate parts and distribute. It is translated “diversities” here and in verse 6, and “differences” in verse 5. In verse 11 “dividing” is diaireo, same meaning. “Gifts” charisma, here and in verses 9,28,30 and 31 show spiritual endowments manifested, by God’s grace. This is through individual believers by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
        Gifts of the Holy Spirit, as disclosed in verses 7 through 11, are separated and distributed by Him as He wills. In Hebrews 2:4 the word for “gifts” is merismos, a separation or distribution. It should read “and distributions of the Holy Ghost” referring to His gifts, but not explicitly stating the word “gift.” These manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and of Joel 2:28,29 are given by the Holy Spirit. They cannot be “imparted” to another.
        Deuteronomy 34:9 is quoted as proof that one can “impart” a spirit of wisdom by laying on of hands. The following verses, however, make it clear that the “spirit of wisdom” spoken of in these passages refers to the Holy Spirit.
        Exodus 28:3: “And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”
        Isaiah 11:2: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;”
        Ephesians 1:17: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”
        With this understanding, we can better understand Deuteronomy 34:9 and Numbers 27:18-20 as laying on of hands for receiving the Holy Spirit, or a fullness, or baptism of the Holy Spirit, Who is the giver of all gifts.
        Deuteronomy 34:9: “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.”
        The parallel account of this incident is in Numbers 27:18-20:
        18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;
        19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.
        20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
        Note that Joshua was “a man in whom is the spirit.” After Moses laid his hands upon him he “was full of the spirit of wisdom.”
        Honour is hod, “splendor; majesty; authority.” The following is excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary: “In many cases hod focuses on “dignity and splendor” with overtones of superior power and position but not to the degree seen in oriental kings: “And thou shalt put some of thine honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient” (Numbers 27:20) — the first occurrence of the word. ... In every use of the word the one so described evokes a sense of amazement and satisfaction in the mind of the beholder.”
        Genesis 48:10-22 is also quoted as proof of “impartation.” However, the context indicates laying on of hands for blessing in response to a subsequent prophetical utterance.
        In Romans 1:11 when Paul said “that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift” the word “impart” is metadidomi, meaning to give a share of, as distinct from giving. Verse 12 explains Paul’s intent.
        1 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6 are also used as proof of “impartation.”
        1 Timothy 4:14: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”
        2 Timothy 1:6: “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”
        Apparently, Paul is speaking of the same incident in these two verses. 2 Timothy 1:6 really explains that, whatever the gift was, it was “the gift of God.”
        Examining 1 Timothy 4:14, the gift given to Timothy “was given thee by prophecy” which makes it clear that it was a Holy Spirit inspired utterance that conveyed the information that the Holy Spirit was giving Timothy a spiritual gift. The word “with” is meta, a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment.
        After having announced that Timothy was receiving a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit, it was accompanied by the ceremonial practice of laying on of hands by the elders. In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul is reminding Timothy of the incident and speaks only of himself “putting on of my hands” but not mentioning the other elders present.
        The Jamieson, Faussett and Brown Commentary says this about the phrase “by the putting on of my hands” in these verses—It is “with [not by] the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” The apostle was chief in the ordination, and to him “by” is applied. The presbytery were his assistants; so “with,” implying merely accompaniment, is said of them. Paul was the instrument in Timothy’s ordination and reception of the grace then conferred; the presbyters were the concurrent participants in the act of ordination; so the Greek, “dia” and “meta.”
        In other words the symbolic act of laying on of hands was done by Paul, with the presbytery (elders). This same principle holds true for all such incidents recorded in the New Testament.
        An excerpt from Unger’s Bible Dictionary regarding “men already possessed of delegated power and authority” tells us that “Not that the mere act” [of laying on of hands] “could confer any special spiritual power, but it was employed as a fit and appropriate symbol to denote their full and formal consent to the bestowal of the divine gift; and, being accompanied by prayer to Him who alone can really bestow it, might ordinarily be regarded as a sign that the communication had actually taken place.”
        We have the problem of accepting this logical explanation or of accepting the fact that the Bible contradicts itself in 1 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6 when compared to 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and Hebrews 2:4:
        1 Corinthians 12:8-11:
        8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
        9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
        10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
        11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
        Hebrews 2:4 “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts” [read: distributions] “of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”
        It’s clear from these texts that “by the Spirit” and “by the same Spirit” and “the selfsame Spirit” and “according to his own will” mean what they say.
        Laying on of hands for Holy Spirit baptism, blessing, healing and deliverance and raising the dead is scriptural. However, scripture is equally clear that gifts are given by God the Holy Spirit only.
        This is a basic understanding concerning Godly wisdom which involves understanding and intelligence of God’s word and Godly principles. This Godly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, impartial and sincere. With a Godly lifestyle of peacemaking it will result in a harvest of righteousness. This Godly wisdom brings righteousness and life. Earthly wisdom will bring unrighteousness and death.
      Righteousness A Prerequisite
        We can see from this that a need for righteousness, to bring life, is a necessary prerequisite for operating in the Holy Spirit descension charisma gifts.
        Those whose lifestyle is not biblically righteous will come to us to minister with earthly wisdom and will bring unrighteousness and death to us.
        Those who minister to us and those who minister must have this Godly wisdom operative in their life, manifesting righteousness and bringing the fruit of life. They must be prudent, upright, understanding and intimately related to divine knowledge, selecting proper ends for the proper means for their accomplishments in the natural world and especially in the economy of redemption. They will have Godly practical skill, quickness of perception, keenness of mind, discernment and insight into the righteousness of God and will minister in a fullness of the Holy Spirit of God that those who do not have this Godly wisdom cannot possibly attain to.
        You must responsibly determine the lifestyle of those who minister to you. And you must responsibly follow Jesus in every way possible in thinking as He thought, speaking as He spoke and doing what He did.
        The ministry of Jesus was the Father, and He did only what the Father told Him to do, and what the Father told him to say, and where the Father told Him to go. He was constantly attuned to the wisdom of the Father. As a disciple of Christ, that is also your responsibility.
      The Word Of Wisdom
        The mature prophet will not only have Godly wisdom, but will also manifest the Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of the word of wisdom, which must operate in conjunction with the word of knowledge for its full revelational purpose and value.
        In the phrase “word of knowledge,” “knowledge” is gnosis, a seeking to know, inquiry, investigation. It denotes knowledge, especially of spiritual truth. Related to ginosko, it signifies to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, or understand. Inception or progress in knowledge is suggested, in contrast to fullness of knowledge. It also implies an active relation between the one who knows and the person or thing known. This is in contrast with simply coming within the scope of the knower’s perception.
        The original language in the text in 1 Corinthians indicates that the manifestation of the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge are paired and work together and are given to different people (numerically). They would be of the same kind, or sort. And they would be alike or agreeable in their character, type or nature.
        The word of wisdom unaccompanied by a word of knowledge defeats the full revelational purpose of the utterance. A word of knowledge spoken without a word of wisdom fails to correctly apply practical righteous, i.e., Godly, wisdom to the situation.
        The scriptural precedents Paul sets in the original language indicate different individuals manifesting the gifts together. This contributes to, and effects, a desired result. Another individual may be reluctant to speak out the manifestation of a word of wisdom or knowledge. The Holy Spirit will then use the original individual to manifest both to effect a desired result.
        This is another reason why a prophetic partner, or a prophetic team is more effective and biblical in stating God’s will and purposes.
    Jesus Exercises Judgement And Executes Justice
        Psalms 89:14: “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”
        Proverbs 21:3: “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
        Isaiah 9:6-7: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
        Jeremiah 23:5: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”
        Judgement and justice are the “habitation,” i.e., foundational to the establishment, or support, of God’s throne, from which our King, Jesus, will execute judgement and justice. “Execute” is asah meaning “to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines it as “to create, do, make.”
      Judgement
        “Judge” krino, means to form an opinion as a process leading to a decision. “Judgment” krima, is a pronounced decision made based on opinions.
        James, chapters three and four, and Titus 3:2-7 instruct us not to judge fleshly weaknesses, as we all have the same problems. We are not to judge opinions, observances of days or what is eaten. We are not to be a stumblingblock, but are to use our strength (in the Lord) to bear up those who are weak (Romans 14-15:13 — see also John 7:24; 8:15; 1 Corinthians 8-11:1; Colossians 2:16; Galatians 6:1-10). We are not to judge prematurely the “counsels of the hearts” (i.e., motives or purposes) of another’s ministry. When the Lord comes He will “bring to light the hidden things ...” (1 Corinthians 4:1-7 — see also 1 Corinthians 2:15,16).
        1 Corinthians 5 is clear that we are not to judge those in the world. However, we are to judge the effects of fellow believers on the body (see also 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 7:8-12).
        [Those who do not believe on Jesus are judged (John 3:17,18, where krino is translated “condemn(ed)” and verse 19 states the reason. Jesus did not come into the world to judge the world, but to save it (John 3:17; 12:47). The Father does not now actively judge but has placed that task into the hands of Jesus (Acts 17:31 — Psalms 9:8; 96:13; 98:9), Who has stated that His Word will judge (John 5:22-27; 12:47-50). The Holy Spirit teaches and reminds us of His Words (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26; 16:7,13). Therefore final judgment exercised after the second coming of Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:22-30; 8:26; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 14:9-12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5; Revelation 20:11-15) will be according to His Word].
        We are also to judge between the brethren (1 Corinthians 6:1-8 — see also Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:25-30) and are to judge carefully and intelligently (Acts 4:19; 15:19 (where krino is translated “sentence”); 16:4 (where krino is translated “ordained”); 16:15; 21:25 (where krino is translated “concluded”); 1 Corinthians 7:37 (where krino is translated “decreed”); 10;15; 11:13,31; 14:29).
      Justice
        It should be clear that a truly mature prophet will have Godly wisdom, and will also strongly manifest the gift of the word of wisdom.
        Will this mature, biblical prophet be entrusted with expressing God’s judgement and executing God’s justice?
        We have seen from scripture that Jesus is the Wisdom of God and that judgement and justice are foundational to the rule of Jesus.
        We, on the other hand, are not to judge fleshly weaknesses, opinions, observances of days, what is eaten, “counsels of the hearts” (i.e., motives or purposes) of another’s ministry or those in the world. We are not to be a stumblingblock, but are to use our strength (in the Lord) to bear up those who are weak.
        Since final judgment exercised after the second coming of Jesus will be according to His Word, we are bound to judge according to the word of God.
        When Jesus comes He will “bring to light the hidden things ...” The things that we, in our limited human perspective, are unaware of.
        We are, therefore, limited in our judgement to judge the effects of fellow believers on the body, to judge between the brethren, and are to judge carefully and intelligently.
        I’ll discuss the establishment of the governmental structure of the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the kingdom of God in a later section. There we’ll see that we don’t legislate new laws and we don’t function in a judicial capacity in that we don’t enforce justice which is the use of authority and power to uphold that which is good.
        Only God in His wisdom, can exercise Godly judgments and execute Godly justice. However, we are empowered, and in fact required, to administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom of God as we go about our Father’s business.
        While there are biblical examples of prophets judging and executing justice, the primary function of present-day apostles and prophets differs from that of their Old and New Testament counterparts. Those functions assigned to prophets were part of God’s method of establishing His governmental authority under a theocracy in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we see only a few examples which re-establish the authority and power of the Holy Spirit in the eyes and the lives of the living stones of the newly formed Jewish and Gentile house of the true Israel. This will be discussed in the next few sections.
        We must be guided by scripture: James 2:13 tells us “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against” [read: triumphs over] “judgment.” We must extend mercy, as we have received mercy, and forego our human judgements.
        This is not to say that today’s prophets cannot exercise judgement and execute justice. However God would only entrust those functions to a very mature, experienced prophet who knows the Father’s heart well enough that God can trust them.
        The coming evil one world political and religious system will see the power of the true God in a confrontation requiring them to make a decision in the same way Elijah did with his statement in 1 Kings 18:21: “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt” [read: limp] “ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”
        This coming Elijah may very well be anointed and entrusted by God with expressing God’s judgement and executing God’s justice.
        He will also anoint an “Elisha” and work together for a time until Elijah departs.
    Purpose Of The Doma Ascension Gift Of Prophecy
        The doma ascension gift of prophecy, then, is for us to express the conscience of God through the wisdom, judgement and justice of Jesus Christ.
        The doma ascension gift of prophecy carries with it a higher level and corresponding greater authority and encompasses the other two. (Ephesians 4). It takes many years for God to develop a man or woman to this level, with considerable training in different areas. We are not going to study this training as it is another subject.
  Apostles And Prophets Are Both Sent
        We are here talking primarily about the doma ascension gift of prophecy, although it is possible that those with the compassion charisma gift of prophecy may also be included.
        The word used for “sent” and “send” in the following verses is apostello (ap-os-tel'-lo), meaning to set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively. It is from this word apostello that we get the word apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os) translated as “apostle” meaning a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ [“apostle”] (with miraculous powers).
        Matthew 23:34,37:
        34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
        37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
        Luke 11:49: “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:”
        Luke 13:34: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
        Mark 1:2-4:
        2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
        3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
        4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
        Luke 7:27-28:
        27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
        28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
        John 1:6: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”
        John 3:27,28:
        27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
        28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
        It becomes evident from reading these verses that prophets are also sent by God, but most probably limited to being sent in order to proclaim the mind and counsel of God, but not necessarily limited to that.
The Purpose Of Prophecy
        “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3). Paul is speaking of the orderly flow of the exercise of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy.
        “Edification” oikodome, is literally “the things of building up.” “Exhortation” paraklesis, is a calling to one’s side. It is an invitation to encourage one to a course of action. It comforts, relieves, and eases grief, loneliness, discomfort, etc. “Comfort” paramuthia, (para, near, muthos, speech), signifies speaking closely (to someone). It denotes comforting with a greater degree of tenderness than paraklesis. It stresses the process or progress of the act of comforting.
        “... but he that prophesieth edifieth the church” (1 Corinthians 14:4). “... but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe” (1 Corinthians 14:22). “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace” (1 Corinthians 14:29,30).
        “Revealed” apokalupto, here, is to unveil the mind of God for His church. “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted” (1 Corinthians 14:31). “Learn” manthano, is to increase knowledge, frequently by inquiry, observation, use and practice. “Comforted” parakaleo is the verb form of paraklesis, translated in 1 Corinthians 14:3 as exhortation.
        There is a teaching prophecy is for confirmation only. This teaching states a prophetical word must confirm something God has already revealed to you. If not it is not a true word of the Lord. Analysis of scripture fails to prove this teaching. In fact, it reveals the opposite. The first Messianic prophecy given by God to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15) did not “confirm” something they already knew. Jacob’s prophecies to his sons (Genesis 49) were a new revelation and “confirmed” nothing for them. All the prophets — including Jesus — spoke forth the mind and counsel of God. They spoke of things foreordained from before the foundations of the world. They didn’t wait for someone else to speak it first so they could confirm it.
        A mature prophet may speak out that which is new to you (but not to God) as a timely word for you. It may be a revelation that is days, or years away, and it will have conditions attached to it.
        All prophecy, in fact, has three addenda. One reads “to be continued,” another reads “incomplete,” and the other is a great big “if” stamped on it. The “continued” addendum is to let you know that prophecy is a dynamic process that will continue to speak into your life as time progresses. The “incomplete” addendum tells you that the prophecy doesn’t contain all there is to be said concerning the recipient of the prophecy. The “if” addendum lets you know that there are conditions to be met in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled.
        Beware, however, of false prophets — you shall know them by their fruits (false doctrine, teaching and utterances — Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20-22; 1 Peter 1:3-7) (Matthew 7:15-20; 24:11; Mark 13:22). Seek God for the manifestation of the gifts of a word of wisdom and knowledge and discerning of spirits. Then you may, among other things, truly discern if a prophetical word spoken is from the Holy Spirit, a human spirit, or an evil (familiar) spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8,10; 1 John 4:1).
        In summary, the purpose of prophecy is to:
        (A) Provide:
                  (1) A way for man to speak forth the mind and counsel of God for:
                           (a) Repentance to be taught,
                           (b) Righteousness to be preached and,
                           (c) Restoration, to heal (Matthew 4:34; 9:35), “... for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (King James Version) (Revelation 19:10.) In the Amplified Bible it reads: “Then I fell prostrate at his feet to worship—to pay divine honors—to him, but he [restrained me] and said, Refrain!—You must not do that! I am [only] another servant with you and your brethren who have [accepted and hold] the testimony borne by Jesus. Worship God! For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy—the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose [including both mine and yours].)”
                  (2) A way for the priorities, the present-day utility of God’s power, and contemporary purposes to be communicated to man as history progresses (Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”; Hebrews 1:1,2 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds”; Revelation 10:7 “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
        Note: Those items are manifested in greater power and permanency in the doma, ascension gift of the prophet than in the charisma gifts of prophecy.
        (B) Profess, or declare:
                  (1) Unto men (1 Corinthians 14:3)
                  (2) Exhortation — an appeal, encouraging a course of action. It also comforts, relieves, and eases grief, loneliness, etc. (1 Corinthians 14:3)
                  (3) Comfort — comforting with greater tenderness than “exhortation.” It stresses the process or progress of comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3)
                  (4) Revelation — unveiling the mind of God, to the mind or senses of man, for His church (1 Corinthians 14:30)
        (C) Promote:
                  (1) Edification — spiritual growth and character development:
                           (a) Individually (Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”; 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”, 19-21 “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”)
                           (b) Corporately (1 Corinthians 14:3,4)
                  (2) Learning — increasing knowledge by inquiry, observation and use
                           (a) Individually (1 Corinthians 14:31)
                           (b) Corporately (1 Corinthians 14:31)
                  (3) Comfort (verb usage of “exhortation”) (1 Corinthians 14:31)
        (D) Prove, or demonstrate:
                  (1) A sign for believers (1 Corinthians 14:22)
        (E) Prioritize:
                  (1) Covet to prophesy, for the edification of the church, and forbid not to speak with tongues, with interpretation, i.e., explanation, in the church (1 Corinthians 14:1,4,5,12, 19,31,39).
The Purpose Of The Doma Ascension Gifts
        In Ephesians chapter 2, note the time frame of what I will loosely call the “past” (verses 2,11,12 specifically speak of the past). This will explain the “Now therefore” in verse 19, which brings Paul back to his present time. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesians 2:19). This is a key to understanding what he says in verse 20: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20).
        Paul then completes the building analogy: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21,22).
        Since Paul has spoken of the “past” it’s clear that the apostles and prophets he is speaking of in verse 20 are the New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets—not those coming after he made the statement (but see the Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Commentary, below). It is they who laid the foundation. That was their purpose, their calling, their anointing. They laid the foundation for the building of which Paul speaks in verses 21 and 22.
        Excerpts from the Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Commentary on Ephesians 2:20:
        “20. Translate as Greek, “Built up upon,” &c. (participle; having been built up upon; omit, therefore, “and are”).” ...
        “foundation of the apostles, &c.—that is, upon their ministry and living example (compare Mt 16:18). Christ Himself, the only true Foundation, was the grand subject of their ministry, and spring of their life. As one with Him and His fellow workers, they, too, in a secondary sense, are called “foundations” (Re 21:14). The “prophets” are joined with them closely; for the expression is here not “foundations of the apostles and the prophets,” but “foundations of the apostles and prophets.” For the doctrine of both was essentially one (1Pe 1:10, 11; Re 19:10). The apostles take the precedency (Lu 10:24). Thus he appropriately shows regard to the claims of the Jews and Gentiles: “the prophets” representing the old Jewish dispensation, “the apostles” the new. The “prophets” of the new also are included. BENGEL and ALFORD refer the meaning solely to these (Eph 3:5; 4:11). These passages imply, I think, that the New Testament prophets are not excluded; but the apostle’s plain reference to Ps 118:22, “the head stone of the corner,” proves that the Old Testament prophets are a prominent thought. David is called a “prophet” in Ac 2:30. Compare also Isa 28:16; another prophet present to the mind of Paul, which prophecy leans on the earlier one of Jacob (Ge 49:24). The sense of the context, too, suits this: Ye were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (in the time of her Old Testament prophets), but now ye are members of the true Israel, built upon the foundation of her New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets. Paul continually identifies his teaching with that of Israel’s old prophets (Ac 26:22; 28:23). ...”
        Excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary: “FOUNDATION (TO LAY), FOUNDED 1. themelios, or themelion is properly an adjective denoting “belonging to a foundation” (connected with tithemi, “to place”). It is used” ... “ metaphorically, (a) of “the ministry of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith,” (Rom. 15:20; 1 Cor. 3:10,11,12; Eph. 2:20), where the “of” is not subjective (i. e., consisting of the apostles and prophets), but objective, (i. e., laid by the apostles, etc.); so in (2 Tim. 2:19), where “the foundation of God” is “the foundation laid by God,”—not the Church (which is not a “foundation”), but Christ Himself, upon whom the saints are built; (Heb. 6:1); (b) “of good works, (1 Tim. 6:19).”
        Paul states that Jesus Christ is the only foundation to be laid: 1 Corinthians 3:11: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
        We find the same thought expressed by Paul in Romans 15:20-21: “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.”
        Paul’s thought is consistent: where someone has laid the foundation of Christ, be it apostle or prophet or another servant of God, then that is all sufficient. No other foundation can be or should be laid.
        The sense of the meaning of Ephesians 2:20 then is: You were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (in the time of her Old Testament prophets), but now you are members of the household of faith of the true Israel having been built up upon the foundation, which is Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, laid by the New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets.
        It should be easily understood by this short study on Ephesians 2:20 that the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets were responsible for laying the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner stone in the household of faith of the true Israel. Jesus is the foundation, not the apostles and prophets, who were simply the instruments by which the foundation was laid. No servant of God can or should attempt to build another foundation. We are to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ which has already been laid in place.
        Moving to chapter three of the same book, Paul in a long parenthetical statement makes another observation. Please note that Paul has now moved from the “past” to his “present,” again, loosely speaking.
        Ephesians 3:4-6: “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:”
        Note in verse 5 he refers back to the “past” (“which in other ages’) in which the mystery of Christ (and the Gospel) was not made known unto the sons of men. He then brings himself current to his own “present” and makes the statement “as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Emphasis mine.)
        I’ll just point out a few things in verse 5. Law transited to grace, and grace involves, among other things the giving of the Holy Spirit to the saints. By the Spirit, then, God’s holy apostles, still speaking of the New Testament apostles, wrote the New Testament, just as the Old Testament prophets wrote the Old Testament.
        However, the prophets (and apostles) he refers to in verse 5 are those of his “present” time, not the Old Testament prophets (“as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets”). We have to keep in mind also, that the Apostles of the Lamb, the Twelve, were also either prophets or prophetical, especially in their New Testament writings.
        The New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets are the ones who laid the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner stone of Paul’s allegorical building. However, the revelation of the inclusion of the Gentiles as “fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” was given to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament period in which Paul lived. The Old Testament prophets had written of it, but the meaning of what they had written was a mystery to them. This was a sovereign act of God to progressively reveal His plan of salvation for all of mankind. This revelation has now been made known in all of its fullness as I’ll discuss in following paragraphs.
        First the established building, then further revelation knowledge. All by the apostles and prophets at different times (the past and Paul’s present).
        In Ephesians 4 Paul speaks again of apostles and prophets (and the gifts from Jesus of evangelist, shepherd and teacher). Paul has spoken of the past, and the present. He is now transitioning from his present time and speaking of the “future” (his future). It was during his lifetime that the transition from Paul’s “present” apostles and prophets to his “future” apostles and prophets occurred.
        Speaking of Jesus, Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-16:
        11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
        12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
        13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
        14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
        15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
        16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
        Note that the “future” apostles and prophets (and the evangelists and shepherds and teachers) now have a different gifting from the “past” and from Paul’s, “present” apostles and prophets. This is simple to determine because the scripture says in Ephesians 4:8: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”
        Were there not already prophets? Were there not already apostles? Yes. But scripture says “he ascended up on high ... and gave gifts unto men”—gifts which include “prophets,” and “apostles.”
        It’s clear from scripture that the gifts of Jesus to His church (Ephesians 4:7-11) are not founded upon the Law, as the Law and the Old Testament prophets came to an end, and when Jesus came He fulfilled the law. “... for ye are not under the law, but under grace” Romans (6:14b). “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7).
        When Jesus ascended and gave gifts to men the Old Testament prophets and prophecy had ended. Jesus gave new gifts, under grace, instead of under the law, for His ekklesia, which now would include Gentiles also.
        In the phrase “pastors and teachers” the word “and” in the Greek is the article “kai.” This word is used in a copulative and also an informational sense. So it doesn’t mean just “and.” I believe what Paul said was that Jesus has given gifts to mankind, some to be sent, some to speak the mind and counsel of God, and some to be itinerant preachers and some shepherds. In the phrase “pastors” [shepherds] “and teachers” the word “kai” is used in the informational sense and would be better translated as “namely” or some such intent. In other words, Jesus has given us those four gifts of public service—apostles, prophets, evangelists and shepherds—namely as teachers for the maturing (perfecting) of the saints and etc. In the framework of this understanding, “five-fold” may be a misnomer. However in actual function there still remain five distinct giftings. The actual identification would be more along the lines of apostle-teacher, prophet-teacher, evangelist-teacher, shepherd-teacher, which is four distinct doma ascension gifts, each however, combined with a teaching “gift”—a total of five servanthood “gifts” given by Jesus to His ekklesia for the purpose of maturing the saints.
        The existing building and its foundation, still stands. The revelation knowledge of the original apostles (that is to say, those mentioned throughout the New Testament) still stands. There is no “new” foundation to put in place (unless, of course, you have replaced the chief corner stone, Who is Jesus Christ Himself, in which case what I’m saying is pointless to you).
        There are no “new” revelations of Jesus and the Gospel which can replace the revelations of the New Testament apostles.
        No, the “future” apostles of which Paul spoke have a detailed job description as given by Paul. I repeat that it was during Paul’s lifetime that the transition from his “present” apostles and prophets to his “future” apostles and prophets occurred. And those future apostles and prophets are the ones that continued after the New Testament and include what is our present-day apostles and prophets.
        These present-day apostles and prophets have a different gifting from the Old and New Testament apostles and prophets. Today’s apostles and prophets (and evangelists and shepherds as teachers) are to mature the saints by preparing them for works of public service, or ministry. And to teach them how to build up the body of Christ. The purpose is to bring about unity of the faith that comes with the knowledge of the Son of God so that the body of Christ will mature into the full measure of Christ Himself.
        There are no “super-apostles” coming to lay a “new” foundation and to give us further “revelations” that surpass those of the New Testament apostles and prophets regarding Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Christ.
        Today’s apostles and prophets have a different function and that is to help the body of Christ grow in understanding and experiential knowledge of that which has already been written for us.
        With this understanding of the scriptures you will be able to recognize the false prophets and false apostles that the word says will be among us in these latter days.
        True unity of the faith is based upon the knowledge of the Son of God, which, of course, includes the truth of the word of God which teaches us of Christ. Unity in the body of Christ must be based upon the truth of scripture, not ecumenical councils or other devices which simply overlook the truth of the Bible.
        Understanding the scriptural role of today’s prophets will help you recognize today’s false prophets and apostles that the word says will be among us in these latter days.
Our Prophetic Standard
        In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus publicly quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2a and indicated to his audience that the scripture was fulfilled in Him.
        The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary makes this note:
        “18, 19. To have fixed on any passage announcing His sufferings (as Isaiah 53:1-12), would have been unsuitable at that early stage of His ministry. But He selects a passage announcing the sublime object of His whole mission, its divine character, and His special endowments for it; expressed in the first person, and so singularly adapted to the first opening of the mouth in His prophetic capacity, that it seems as if made expressly for this occasion. ... The quotation is chiefly from the Septuagint version, used in the synagogues.”
        As disciples of Christ, we also must recognize our prophetic capacity, i.e., our authority and our responsibility. A responsibility that involves a moral, ethical, principled and righteous standard in our mission to reveal God’s divine character and His giftings.
        Luke 4:18-19:
        18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
        19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
        The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary makes this note:
        “The first words, “THE SPIRIT of the Lord is upon ME,” have been noted since the days of the Church Fathers, as an illustrious example of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost being exhibited as in distinct yet harmonious action in the scheme of salvation.”
        As disciples of Christ, (“disciple,” Greek, mathetes, literally a learner signifying a pupil, follower, supporter and imitator of our teacher), we have to recognize our need for the Spirit of God in our lives and the anointing of God in order to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The root word for “disciple” shows thought accompanied by effort. The main idea of discipleship involves learning and fulfilling Christ’s teachings.
        “Anointed” is chrio. The following is excerpted from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words: “Chrio is ... limited in its use ... it is confined to “sacred and symbolical anointings”; of Christ as the “Anointed” of God, (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38), and (Heb. 1:9), where it is used metaphorically in connection with “the oil of gladness.” The title Christ signifies “The Anointed One,” The word (Christos) is rendered “(His) Anointed”); in (Acts 4:26), RV. Once it is said of believers, (2 Cor. 1:21). Chrio is very frequent in the Sept., and is used of kings, (1 Sam. 10:1), and priests, (Ex. 28:41), and prophets, (1 Kings 19:16). Among the Greeks it was used in other senses than the ceremonial, but in the Scriptures it is not found in connection with secular matters.”
  Preach The Gospel To The Poor
        Still quoting excerpts from Vine’s Dictionary:
        “Preach, euangelizo is almost always used of “the good news” concerning the Son of God as proclaimed in the gospel [exceptions are e. g., (Luke 1:19; 1 Thes. 3:6), in which the phrase “to bring (or show) good (or glad) tidings” does not refer to the gospel]; (Gal. 1:8) (2nd part). With reference to the gospel the phrase “to bring, or declare, good, or glad, tidings” is used in (Acts 13:32; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 4:2).
        “In (Luke 4:18) the RV “to preach good tidings” gives the correct quotation from Isaiah, rather than the KJV “to preach the Gospel.” In the Sept. the verb is used of any message intended to cheer the hearers, e. g. (1 Sam. 31:9; 2 Sam. 1:20).”
        “Poor, ptochos, an adjective describing “one who crouches and cowers,” is used as a noun, “a beggar” (from ptosso, “to cower down or hide oneself for fear”), (Luke 14:13,21) (“poor”); (16:20,22); as an adjective, “beggarly” in (Gal. 4:9), i. e., poverty-stricken, powerless to enrich, metaphorically descriptive of the religion of the Jews ... ptochos stresses (the) poverty-stricken condition.”
        This first commission of Christ to “preach the gospel to the poor” encompasses the idea of our doing so in the power of the Holy Spirit and the anointing of the Father and our reaching out with the fulness and maturity of Christ within us. In our preaching to those in a spiritually poverty-stricken condition, we should bring a message intended to cheer the hearers.
  Heal The Brokenhearted
        The word “sent” is apostello (ap-os-tel'-lo), meaning to set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively. It is from this word apostello that we get the word apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os) translated as “apostle.”
        “Heal,” is iaomai (ee-ah'-om-ahee) meaning to heal, to cure (literally or figuratively).
        “Brokenhearted” in the original is two words, suntribo and kardia, the Greek word for heart.
        Suntribo is explained in these excerpts from Vine’s Expository Dictionary as “lit., “to rub together,” and so “to shatter, shiver, break in pieces by crushing,” (it) is said of the bruising of a reed, (Matt. 12:20); the “breaking” of fetters in pieces, (Mark 5:4); the “breaking” of an alabaster cruse, (Mark 14:3); an earthenware vessel, (Rev. 2:27); of the physical bruising of a person possessed by a demon, (Luke 9:39); concerning Christ, “a bone of Him shall not be broken,” (John 19:36); metaphorically of the crushed condition of a “broken-hearted” person, (Luke 4:18) (KJV only); of the eventual crushing of Satan, (Rom. 16:20). This verb is frequent in the Sept. in the passive voice, e.g., (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 57:15), of a contrite heart, perhaps a figure of stones made smooth by being rubbed together in streams. Cf. suntrimma, “destruction.””
        Suntribo is from the combination of two words sun and tribos. Sun means union, with or together. Tribos is from tribo which means to rub; a rut or worn track. Vine’s Expository Dictionary says tribos is “a beaten track,” “a path.”
        We can see in these words a description of our contemporary lifestyles that is described by the phrase “Most men” (people) “live lives of quiet desperation.” Life becomes a rut or a worn track, a path that we continue to follow once it is established. And we become victims of our own past behavior by being trapped within the confines of those worn ruts. And then become embedded deeper and deeper in those ruts as we continue endlessly upon our self-established beaten track.
        As disciples of Christ, we are also commissioned and sent to heal, cure and make whole those that have been irritated, shattered, broken and crushed by the lifestyles, situations, circumstances and demonic forces that have attempted to destroy them.
  Preach Deliverance To The Captives
        “Preach,” kerusso means to herald, or proclaim.
        Vine’s Expository Dictionary says that “deliverance,” aphesis, denotes “a release, from bondage, imprisonment, etc.” ... in (Luke 4:18) it is used of “liberation” from captivity. Strong’s Concordance defines aphesis as freedom; (figuratively) pardon.
        “Captives,” aichmalotos is properly, a prisoner of war, i.e. (genitive case) a captive.
        We are to boldly proclaim to those who are held captive as prisoners to bondage that they have been liberated and pardoned by Jesus and they are now free to enjoy the love of the Father, abundant life in Jesus and liberty in the Holy Spirit. There are many applications to this commission, and we need to start in the house of faith of those who love God and liberate them from the traditions of men and their controlling tactics.
  Recovering Of Sight To The Blind
        “Sight,” according to Vine’s Dictionary is anablepsis which denotes “recovering of sight” (ana, “again,” blepo, “to see”).
        “Blind,” tuphlos, is used in the sense of physical and metaphorical blindness.
  Set At Liberty Those That Are Bruised
        The word “set” is apostello (ap-os-tel'-lo), the same word used in verse 18 for “sent,” and means to set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively.
        “Liberty,” aphesis, also the same word used in verse 18, denotes “a release, from bondage, imprisonment, etc.”
        “Bruised,” is thrauo, to crush. Vine’s Dictionary defines it as ““to smite through, shatter,” ... i.e., broken by calamity.”
        In Isaiah 61:1 the phrase “the opening of the prison to them that are bound” corresponds to the phrase in Luke 4:18 of “recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
        The Jamieson, Fausset, Brown commentary makes this comment about these verses:
        “opening of the prison—The Hebrew rather is, “the most complete opening,” namely, of the eyes to them that are bound, that is, deliverance from prison, for captives are as it were blind in the darkness of prison (Isa 14:17; 35:5; 42:7) [EWALD]. So Lu 4:18 and the Septuagint interpret it; Lu 4:18, under inspiration, adds to this, for the fuller explanation of the single clause in the Hebrew, “to set at liberty them that are bruised”; thus expressing the double “opening” implied; namely, that of the eyes (Joh 9:39), and that of the prison (Ro 6:18; 7:24, 25; Heb 2:15). His miracles were acted parables.
        The disciple of Christ will open up the eyes of those whose spiritual vision is dimmed or lacking, so that they “see again,” i.e., they recover their true full natural and spiritual vision as God has intended for us to see. In so doing, they will also set apart and release from bondage those who have been crushed by calamity, either observed or experienced.
  Preach The Acceptable Year Of The Lord
        “Preach,” is kerusso the same word used in verse 18, meaning to herald, or proclaim.
        “Acceptable,” dektos, from Vine’s Dictionary, denotes “a person or thing who has been regarded favorably.”
        “Year,” eniautos, also according to Vine’s Dictionary, is used in this verse as “originally “a cycle of time,” (and) is used of a particular time marked by an event.”
        In “Isaiah, Prophecies Promises Warnings” by W.E. Vine, he makes this comment: “He was sent “to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,” lit. ‘the year of the LORD’S good pleasure’ (verse 2). The year stands not for a particular date but for a season. That season lasted during the days of the Lord’s testimony and subsequently in the proclamation of the Gospel to Israel; it applies in a wider sense to the whole period of Gospel grace.”
        Christ’s disciples will proclaim to those who have rejected God’s wonderful provisions, and to those who have doubts, and also to those who have self-doubt, that this is the time, this is the season that God has poured out His love and His grace and His mercy and to encourage them to avail themselves of the riches of Christ to have life eternal with their Creator.
        Jesus did not finish reading the rest of the second verse in Isaiah 61. It reads: “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
        W.E. Vine continues his comments on “to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,” quoted above: “In contrast to the year is “the day of vengeance.” God in mercy will shorten the period of the exercise of His wrath. The Lord, in quoting this passage in the synagogue, finished His quotation at the preceding clause. He had not come to earth to usher in the day of vengeance. Later He foretold that the days of vengeance would come upon the nation, and that Jerusalem would be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22-24).”
  Our Prophetic Commission
        As disciples of Christ, a learner, follower, supporter and imitator of our teacher, we are to exercise our authority in conjunction with responsibility that involves moral, ethical, principled and righteous standards in our mission to reveal God’s divine character and His giftings.
        We must recognize our need for the Holy Spirit in our lives and the anointing of God to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. And consciously make an effort to learn and fulfill Christ’s teachings.
        We are to “preach the gospel to the poor” with the fulness and maturity of Christ within us, bringing a message of Christ intended to cheer the hearers.
        We are to “heal the brokenhearted” and have been sent to heal, cure and make whole those that have been irritated, shattered, broken and crushed by the lifestyles, situations, circumstances and demonic forces that have attempted to destroy them.
        We are to “preach deliverance to the captives”and boldly proclaim to them that they have been liberated and pardoned by Jesus and they are now free to enjoy the love of the Father, abundant life in Jesus and liberty in the Holy Spirit. We must liberate God’s people from the traditions of men and their controlling tactics.
        We must busy ourselves with “recovering the sight of the blind” and “set at liberty them that are bruised.” We must restore full natural and spiritual vision as God has intended. We will release from bondage those who have been crushed by calamity.
        We are to “preach the acceptable year of the Lord” during this season that God has poured out His love and His grace and His mercy in the riches of eternal life in Christ.
        We must have a sense of urgency in our awareness of the approaching day of God’s vengeance as a motivating factor in our mission for God.
Where Are We In Prophetical History?
        How does God reveal Himself to mankind and how does God involve Himself with mankind?
        There are four sequential and concurrent dispensations of prophetical history:
        1. Throughout these dispensations God communicates His divine will and purpose to individuals, either through theophanies (appearing to man), visions, dreams, trances or speaking of divine communications by means of the prophetic gift. (Mostly expressed as a variant of, “Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying ...”). His communication with secular persons was mostly through dreams, Ambimalech (Genesis 20:6); Pharaoh (Genesis 41:25); Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2,4); Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19).
        2. God communicates His divine will and purpose to His people through those He sovereignly selects as prophets for that purpose.
        3. God communicates His divine will and purpose to His people through His word written by His Old Testament prophets, New Testament apostles, and others He commissioned to expand and complete the written scriptures. He also speaks through His Holy Spirit to those who apply themselves to the study of His written word, the scriptures.
        4. God communicates directly by His Holy Spirit to those of His people through whom He can communicate His divine will and purpose to mankind because of their assimilation and understanding of His written word.
  First Dispensation
        In the first dispensation (patriarchal), God communicated directly to mankind, and all miracles were brought about by God directly. Only in Genesis 20:7 do we see the term “prophet” used referring to Abraham. God communicated his divine will and purpose by theophany (appearing to man), visions, dreams, trances and speaking of a word to certain individuals.
  Second Dispensation
        In the second dispensation (Mosaic), God communicated to His people through the vessel of human instrumentality. God formed a theocracy which needed human administrators for it to operate. Why? Because that was God’s sovereign choice to use human vessels. So we see Moses, Joshua, the judges, king Saul, king David and king Solomon communicating to God’s people those things that God told them. Subsequent kings, classified as good and evil, communicated God’s purposes with a considerable difference in effort and effectiveness.
        The word “judges” in the book of Judges is shaphat. Strong’s concordance defines it as a primitive root; to judge, i.e. pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish. Excerpts from Vine’s Expository Dictionary further inform us that “In many contexts this root has a judicial sense. Shapat refers to the activity of a third party who sits over two parties at odds with one another. This third party hears their cases against one another and decides where the right is and what to do about it (he functions as both judge and jury). ... Shapat also speaks of the accomplishing of a sentence. ... In some cases “judging” really means delivering from injustice or oppression. ... This sense (in addition to the judicial sense), “to deliver,” is to be understood when one speaks of the judges of Israel (Judg. 2:16): “Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that [plundered] them.” Shapat can be used not only of an act of deliverance, but of a process whereby order and law are maintained within a group. This idea also is included in the concept of the judges of Israel: “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time” (Judg. 4:4).”
        We see Moses enacting laws (legislative), the judges (judicial) and the period of the kings who administered the laws and affairs of the kingdom (executive).
        Note that from the beginning the prophetic gift was a living dynamic that was established and exemplified when God spoke. Creation itself was a result of the spoken word of God. The promise of the coming Messiah in Genesis 3:15 solidified the principle of the prophetic gift for mankind.
        The prophetic gift was in operation, however the prophet emerged more slowly, manifesting especially through the patriarchs in their dealings with their sons.
        Although God’s laws, ordinances, statutes, commandments and precepts were put in writing during the Mosaic period we see that these early prophets were primarily action prophets. As time passed we see the inception of writing prophets, although they were also action prophets.
        There was a transitional period beginning with king Saul. David and Solomon, actively engaged as kings, wrote much regarding the things of God.
  Third Dispensation
        The third dispensation involves the time of the New Testament until more recent history, in which God communicates to mankind through His word and through His Holy Spirit.
  Fourth Dispensation
        In the fourth dispensation, the latter days, God is communicating directly, through His Holy Spirit, to those of His people through whom He can communicate His divine will and purpose to mankind because of their assimilation and understanding of His word.
  Repeating Cycles
        God Himself set the standard for the use of the prophetic gift in the first dispensation when He spoke to mankind directly. He established the fact that He desired to communicate His divine purpose and will to mankind through the prophetic gift which eventually manifested during the patriarchal dispensation. Having set this precedent, He began to utilize the prophetic gift through human beings as His prophets.
        We are going to see that these four dispensations repeat themselves as a sub-cycle, or as a sub-category in the second, third and fourth dispensations. In other words, having set the precedent of His desire and intent to communicate to His people, God then spoke to His people. Then we see the repetitive cycle of God speaking through His people, then through His word and His Holy Spirit, and then to those of His people through whom He can communicate, by His Holy Spirit, His divine will and purpose to mankind because of their assimilation and understanding of His word.
        In the second, or Mosaic dispensation we see God speaking to His people, and through His people, Moses, Joshua, the judges and Samuel. The legislative, and judicial branches of God’s government under a theocracy have been established and codified and written down as a result of God speaking to and through His people.
        Subsequent to that, it is God’s people who administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom in an executive capacity. We have our citizenship in the kingdom of God and are His ambassadors. In addition to that we shall be kings, priests and prophets unto our God in the eternal state, probably assuming those functions in the millennium period.
        This then, is the establishment of the governmental structure of the kingdom of God. We don’t legislate new laws and we don’t function in a judicial capacity in that we don’t enforce justice. Justice is the use of authority and power to uphold that which is good. Only God in His wisdom, can exercise Godly judgments and execute Godly justice. Of course, we cannot preclude the possibility that some very mature prophets may be used by God to express His judgement and even possibly execute His justice.
        However, we are empowered, and in fact required, to administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom of God as we go about our Father’s business.
        To those who would say that the five-fold ministry is the government of God I would say that you are both right and wrong. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17). We look to Him, not the law, as God’s government. The doma ascension gifts are gifts given by Jesus Himself. Any study of the scripture will reveal that Jesus is the consummate special messenger sent by God, the consummate speaker of the mind and counsel of God, the consummate itinerant preacher, the consummate shepherd and the consummate teacher. Yes, we use these as titles for apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. But I’m describing them by the functions that they are, which is scripturally correct.
        Since Jesus is the government of God, and is so gifted, and He has given His gifts unto mankind, then the assembly of those so gifted may be referred to collectively as the government of God. The problem is that we have not recognized our limitation to the executive branch of God’s government and administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom of God as we go about the Father’s business. Needless to say, we include our own laws and our own affairs and our own personal business.
        It should be crystal clear and totally comprehensible to every saint of God who understands what is written in the Bible that our purpose, as His people, is to learn what He has taught us and to obey the laws, ordinances, statutes, commands and precepts that are recorded in the Bible.
        God has made sure that His will, purpose and intent is available to His people so that we may obey Him. We have been empowered, and are obliged, to administer the laws and affairs of God’s kingdom as stated in scripture.
        However, the modern day trend is to instead attempt to re-invent the wheel all over again. False apostles, false prophets, and false teachers are constantly bombarding us with their brand new “revelations” of God’s latest alleged change in plans. If they were true apostles, prophets and teachers they would recognize from scripture the fact that God has completed the foundations and building of His legislative and judicial branches of His government and made certain that fact is recorded for us to know.
        The trickle-down effect of this apostasy is that the saints are now imitating these false statements uttered by those who have sovereignly declared themselves to be the latest and greatest apostle or prophet or teacher uniquely called, chosen, prepared and sent by God Himself. With, of course, a display of signs, wonders and miracles that would make a fourth of July pyrotechnics display pale by comparison. Unfortunately, this is always a private thing and there are no witnesses to corroborate this phony testimony. Every day, the prophet wannabees post their incredulous, preposterous and ridiculous “prophecies” on the internet, or holler them out in some congregational gathering somewhere, or write and self-publish a book. The gullible many love it so. The discerning are attacked and ridiculed for failing to recognize the “powerful anointing” of their new-found phony prophetic heroes.
        Scripture is twisted, modified, reinterpreted and misapplied in attempts to convince the gullible many. Appeals for money and status fly around like irritating mosquitoes on a hot summer day. But the gullible many continue to love it so.
        Whatever happened to “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” (Luke 11:2)?.
        From Samuel to Uzziah, about 800 B.C., God communicates to His people primarily through His word. Samuel himself was a judge, a priest and a prophet under God’s theocracy. At that point in history Israel spoke their desire to be ruled by a king, which was tantamount to rejecting God as their king. God allowed this, although He told the Israelites of the dire consequences of such an act. So we see the transition from judge to king and from judge, priest and prophet to king, priest and prophet in the reign of those kings so anointed. During the ensuing period of the kings the role of the prophet emerged into its fullness, and the role of king and priest relegated to such as David and Solomon. The prophets of the period of the kings were primarily action prophets, and were used by God to continue to remind His people of His mind and counsel and purpose as He knew that the succession of kings would falter, some badly, in their devotion to Him.
        Little did God’s people realize that He would use this rebellious act of raising up a human king for His own glory. In His wisdom, He planned for a succession of human kings through which He would raise up His Own Son, Jesus Christ, to be the ultimate King of kings, and Lord of lords.
        With the raising up of His prophets, God could then speak to mankind through His people. This period ran from about 800 B.C. to about 400 B.C.
        If the cycle runs true then God will speak directly, by His Holy Spirit, to those of His people through whom He can communicate His divine will and purpose to mankind because of their assimilation and understanding of His word. Instead, during this period there are 400 years of silence from God.
        Why? God’s people have been rebellious and disobedient and those of the northern kingdom have been destroyed and/or assimilated by Assyria. Those of the southern kingdom have been destroyed and/or sent into exile, from which only about 50,000 of the faithful of the house of Israel (which term incorporates Judah) return to continue His plan and purpose. Messiah and His Holy Spirit cannot come because of the rebellion and disobedience of God’s people.
        So, lacking those who are faithful to His word there is, instead, a period of silence during this sub-cycle of the fourth prophetic dispensation of the second prophetical historical dispensation.
        In the third dispensation, the time of the New Testament until more recent history, in which God communicates to mankind through His word, we see the arrival of Jesus, the inclusion of the Gentiles into God’s household of faith, nominally called Israel, and the writing of what we have come to know as the New Testament.
        Note that Jesus is the anti-type and substance of all of the Old Testament types and shadows. Jesus is the consummate prophet. Jesus is the sum of the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the government of God. Jesus is the perfect judge, king, priest and prophet. Jesus has sent His Holy Spirit to teach us. Jesus has given gifts to the true Israel to mature the saints by preparing them for works of public service, or ministry. And to teach them how to build up the body of Christ in order to bring about unity of the faith that comes with the knowledge of the Son of God so that the body of Christ will mature into the full measure of Christ Himself.
        In the New Testament we see God communicating His divine will and purpose to mankind directly in the Person of Jesus. (Note also that several times the Father Himself speaks directly to the people).
        God then communicates His divine will and purpose to mankind through His people, those we know as the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, and those associated with the Twelve.
        With the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, Whose blood redeems us back to God, the sending of His Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the writing of the New Testament, God communicates His divine will and purpose to mankind through His word, which eventually becomes the completed canon of scripture, and through His Spirit.
        God now communicates directly, by His Holy Spirit, as He seeks those of His people through whom He can communicate His divine will and purpose to mankind because of their assimilation and understanding of His word. He continues to use visions, dreams, trances and giving of a word to communicate His purposes.
        Because of the apostate wolves who have come into the flock, error predominates and after about 500 years of striving with the spirit of man, there is another period of silence from God. There is a lack of those who assimilate and understand His word. Those who receive visions, dreams, trances and giving of a word to communicate His purposes are rare. For approximately 1000 years, two and a half times as long as the first period, there is mostly silence.
        Miraculously, the written word is preserved by an apostate system. Because that word has fanned the faith and understanding of some, God is able to communicate His divine will and purpose to mankind through His word and through His Spirit.
        Upon entering this fourth dispensation of prophetical history, God is still communicating directly to those of His people through whom He can communicate His divine will and purpose because of their assimilation and understanding of His word.
        God still speaks to His people. How does He do that? Through the indwelling Holy Spirit. God still speaks through His people. Through the charisma descension gifts of the Holy Spirit. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).
        God still speaks to us through His word. And every saint of God, who is full of God’s word and God’s Holy Spirit is empowered to speak the mind and counsel of God.
False Prophets
        I have tried to communicate an understanding of a true, genuine prophet. As you probably know, the best way to identify the counterfeit is to learn to know the genuine.
        Rather than go into the many scriptures about false prophets, I will leave you with a few guidelines about false prophets.
        Ultimately, it is your responsibility to know the teachings of the Bible so that you can not only identify false prophets, but also other false “ministers.” And to recognize false doctrine, practices and teachings.
        On that day when you stand face to face with Jesus Christ, He will not ask you if you understand and agree with His teachings. He will hold you responsible for your understanding of them. You will not be allowed to say that “Prophet so-and-so” or “Teacher so-and-so” or “Pastor so-and-so” told, taught, or trained you and if it’s wrong then they are at fault.
        While this may be true, God is concerned about what you have become and what you have done in naming the name of Christ.
        This is not a complete or exhaustive list. I have tried to capture the essence of many hours of teaching in these few simple statements:
  Every Believer Is Capable Of Being Deceived
        Your chances of being deceived increase as you continue to avoid reading the Bible.
        The Bible is inspired, infallible and inerrant in the original autographs. However, over time, there have been scribal errors, insertions, well-intentioned editorializing and honest mistakes. Many words have been mistranslated and are no longer in popular usage and understanding today. There are different reliable translations of the Bible available today for you to read. Again, it is your responsibility to research the reliability of the particular version you select to read. I would recommend that you read out of at least three different translations of the Bible.
        In addition to reading the Bible, you must study it to determine what it says about a particular subject. To do this, you will need Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries and Concordances.
        Pray for the gift of discerning of spirits, a charisma descension gift of the Holy Spirit.
        Read the totality of the Bible, each and every page from Genesis to Revelation. Not just once, but many times. Failure to understand the whole counsel of scripture will result in your not understanding the heart of God relative to particular issues.
  False Prophets Look And Sound Real
        The best way to recognize a false prophet (apostle, teacher, shepherd) is to understand that they look and sound exactly like their true, genuine counterpart.
        The Bible is clear, in many verses, that there will be an abundance of false christs, prophets, apostles, and teachers.
        Since the Bible says there will be that abundance, then we have to realize that they exist. And that many of the saints that you know, or know about, are those false persons. Maybe you are one yourself.
  False Prophets Are Well Received
        The outstanding characteristic of a false prophet is that they will be very popular, admired and respected and well received by the masses of the people as a true prophet of God.
  False Prophets Are Not Assessed, Accountable or Disciplined
        The second outstanding characteristic of a false prophet is that there will be no assessment of their scriptural prophetic worth and character as evidenced by their lifestyle and ministry, no accountability for their prophetic utterances, whether they be true or false, and no action taken against them regarding their false prophecies or the lack of biblical fruit that will be evidenced in their ministry. Instead, it will simply be ignored, overlooked or graciously forgiven and they will be encouraged to continue and will be well supported by the masses of the people.
  False Prophets Will Tell You Exactly What You Want To Hear
        Because their doctrine is deficient in biblical truth, and they have taken their eyes off of Jesus Christ and are self-centered, they have a spirit of pride. This opens them up to spirits of control, unteachableness, judgementalism and rebellion against what they perceive as authority which challenges their own self-appointed authority. This opens them up to the Jezebel and Ahab spirits and other evil spirits, particularly familiar spirits. It is by those familiar spirits that they can tell you what you desire to hear.
        Familiarity with their lifestyle for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week will reveal their flawed moral character, which will eventually be publicly exposed.
  They Are Like Chameleons And Blend In With Their Environment
        False prophets will attempt to “play the role” of what their conception of a prophet is and does, according to the expectations of those who receive them and of their contemporaries.
  They Love Attention And Credentials
        Like the musical and sons of prophets of the Old Testament they will draw attention to themselves and their ministry and will utilize human credentials as much as possible.
  They Value Praise For Themselves
        They value a good reputation and will do anything to be praised by their followers.
  They Are Rebellious
        They rebel against authority challenging their self-appointed authority and breed rebellion. They are prideful, seek followers, and sexual immorality is not uncommon for them.
  False Prophets Are Numerous
        Nelson’s Bible Dictionary comments about false prophets: “During the reign of King Ahab of Israel, false prophets were officially approved by King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. The writer of 1 Kings speaks of “the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kin. 18:19). Later, 400 false prophets spoke words they knew Ahab the king wanted to hear and assured him of victory at Ramoth Gilead. Micaiah, the true prophet, who warned Ahab of defeat and disaster was put in prison on a diet of bread and water (1 Kin. 22:1-28).
        “A recurring characteristic of the false prophets is that they often are found in the employment of the powerful and that they are careful to speak pleasing, positive, and flattering words to their employers. Jeremiah condemned the false prophets who were always saying, “Peace, peace!” when there was no peace (Jer. 6:14). The false prophets preached a popular message: there would be victory against Babylon. Jeremiah said, “The prophets prophesy falsely... and My people love to have it so” (Jer. 5:31). Even though Jeremiah was a true prophet of the Lord, the false prophets were rewarded by the king and Jeremiah was cast into a dungeon (Jer. 38:6).
        “In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). He warned his disciples to beware of false prophets “who come... in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). When speaking of the signs of the times and the end of the age, He also said, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:11,24).
        “Later, the false prophet Bar-Jesus, also called Elymas the sorcerer, was smitten with blindness by the apostle Paul because he tried to turn the Proconsul Sergius Paulus away from the Christian faith (Acts 13:6-12). In the Book of Revelation, the dragon (that is, the devil), the beast, and the false prophet make up an unholy trinity of evil that opposes Christ and His people (Rev. 16:13).”
        Excerpts from Holman’s Bible Dictionary:
        “While the term “false prophet” does not occur in the Old Testament, references to false prophets are clear. The pages of the Old Testament are filled with men and women who fit the description of a false prophet given in Jer. 14:14 (NASB): “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.”
        “The true prophet must be loyal to the biblical faith directing one to worship Yahweh alone (Deut. 13:1-3). A second test required that the words of a true prophet be fulfilled (Deut. 18:22; Jer. 42:1-6; Ezek. 33:30-33).
        “Accurate prediction was not a final test. Other tests included agreement with previous prophets’ words (Jer. 28:8), good character (Mic. 3:11), and a willingness to suffer because of faithfulness (1 Kings 22:27-28; Jer. 38:3-13). Similarly, the New Testament believers had to distinguish true prophecy (1 John 4:1; 1 Cor. 14:29).
        “The apostles instructed believers to be diligent in faith and understanding of Christian teachings, in order to discern false prophets when they arise (2 Pet. 1:10; 1:19-2:1; 1 John 4:1). The tests of a prophet are:
        “1) Do their predictions come true (Jer. 28:9)?
        “2) Does the prophet have a divine commission (Jer. 29:9)?
        “3) Are the prophecies consistent with Scripture (2 Pet. 1:20-21; Rev. 22:18-19)?
        “4) Do the people benefit spiritually from the prophet’s ministry (Jer. 23:13,14,32; 1 Pet. 4:11)?”
        1 Kings 22:23: “Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”
        Isaiah 2:6: “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.”
        This is a little clearer in the Amplified Bible: “Surely [Lord] You have rejected and forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with customs from the east and with soothsayers who foretell like the Philistines; also they strike hands and make pledges and agreements with the children of aliens.”
        Jeremiah 2:8: “The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.”
        Jeremiah 14:14-16:
        14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
        15 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
        16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
        Jeremiah 29:20-23:
        20 Hear ye therefore the word of the Lord, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:
        21 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;
        22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
        23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord.
        Jeremiah 23:9-11; 29-32:
        9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.
        10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
        11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.
        29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
        30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
        31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
        32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.
        Jeremiah 28:15-17:
        15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
        16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.
        17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
        Jeremiah 29:8-10:
        8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
        9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord.
        10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
        Acts 8:9: “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:”
        Acts 13:6: “And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus:”
        2 Timothy 3:12-13:
        12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
        13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
        Matthew 7:15-20:
        15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
        16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
        17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
        18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
        19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
        20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
        Scripture is clear that false prophets continue to plague the people of God. And that He despises them, and punishes them, even killing some of them because they cause His people to go astray from all that He has for them. But God cannot protect us from ourselves if we insist upon embracing their deceitfulness, He can only punish us also.
  God Will Test You Through False Prophets
        God allows false prophets to flourish in order to test your love for God.
        Deuteronomy 13:1-4:
        1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
        2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
        3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
        4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
        “Proveth” in verse 3 is nacah meaning “to test.” God will test you to know whether you love Him with all your being.
        In what way is that a test? You will transfer your love for and dependency upon God to the false prophet. Their teachings and prophetic utterances will begin to control you. This is a step into witchcraft, using intimidation and manipulation to control others.
        The Holy Spirit leads, He does not control.
        Deuteronomy 18:20-22:
        20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
        21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?
        22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Biblical Prophetic Profile
  They Teach The Abrahamic, Davidic And New Covenants
        The true prophets of God, seasoned by maturity, recognize the promises made to Abraham and his seed. They understand the personal, national; and global aspects of their inheritance as a descendant of Abraham.
        They acknowledge that they will inherit a land, that they are the true descendants of Abraham and that they are on this earth to be blessed and to be a blessing.
        They see in the Davidic covenant a confirmation of the seed, or descendant aspect of the Abrahamic covenant. They recognize partial fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham that “kings shall come out of thee” in the establishment of king David’s monarchy, with complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
        They see the birth, life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and sending of the Holy Spirit as the inception of the blessing aspect of the Abrahamic covenant through the New Covenant that God made with the totality of Israel (which includes Judah). And of being blessed, and being a blessing because of the availability of the forgiveness of sins for themselves and for all of mankind by faith in the shed blood of Jesus.
        The fleshly weaknesses of Abraham are viewed through the appropriate lenses of self-inspection and praise and thanks is given unto God for His love, grace and mercy in choosing frail vessels of clay to accomplish God’s purposes.
        The lifestyle of Abraham in fulfilling God’s prophetical promises to him is recognized and prayer, intercession and bringing healing are seen as required fruit for their own lifestyles.
  They Recognize Prophetic Protoypes And Enactments
        The true prophets of God adhere to the principles of the prototypes of prophecy which are recorded in scripture.
        They understand the light and lordship of Jesus, His truth, the necessity of worshipping God, being fellowservants, and adhering firmly to the word of God. They teach repentance and preach righteousness and bring healing and restoration to all. They also know the consequences of Godly judgement for not making these things part of their lifestyle, servanthood, teaching, preaching and prophetical utterances and ministry.
        They understand the prophetic enactments recorded in scripture and recognize that some natural events, including those in their own lives, may contain elements of a prophetical nature. However, they make no attempt to interpret each and every natural happening as being prophetic. They only do so when they hear the voice of God directing them to look for such a meaning.
  They Understand Godly Communication To Prophets
        God’s prophets recognize that He communicates to them by their hearing, seeing and perceiving particular concepts of a Godly revelation. They also recognize the importance of visions, dreams, dark sayings, clear statements and trances as methods of God communicating His truths to them. They understand there is a relationship between trances, visions, revelations and possibly out of body experiences. They do not attempt to initiate such experiences as they know that is a violation of scriptural principles and it may open themselves up to satanic and demonic deception. The Urim and Thummim, lot and mercy seat are not viable, the lot arguably.
        True prophets of God understand the functions of seer, prophet, watchman, intercessor and worshipper. They see their place as messengers, servants and shepherds to God’s flock. As such they teach that each individual is personally responsible for their decisions based upon how they think, feel and choose. We have been given that sovereign decision-making ability to exercise our own intelligence in making choices free from the rule, control or influence of another, including God Himself. These men and women of God are aware that their lifestyle relationship to God marks them as a “man of God.”
        In interpreting dreams and visions (their own and other’s), they realize that some of the original meaning is lost by their interpretational processes and phraseology and that determining the application of such Godly means of communications is “through a glass, darkly” as we unravel the “dark speeches” aspect in untying the prophetic knot, and solving the prophetic riddle.
        The true prophet of God understands scriptural precedents validating that they speak with the voice of the Lord and are careful not to make immature utterances which could mislead or jeopardize others.
   They Understand God’s Training Of His Prophets
        The Godly prophets see their place in the body of Christ as a senior member who shares their mature insights with those they recognize with a prophetic calling upon their lives. They don’t attempt to “mentor” those, but rather to let God sovereignly teach and train them according to His truth and according to His will.
        They recognize that there is only One human role model, that of Jesus Christ. They point others away from themselves and to Jesus and to learn of Him and to be a pupil, follower, supporter and imitator of Jesus. They see through the thin facade of human wisdom in attempts to initiate “submission” and “coverings”and prophetic human discipleship and encourage them to learn instead of the love of God, of the abundant life of Christ and of the liberty of the Holy Spirit.
        They have confidence that God will, in His timing, release those He has chosen as His prophets into public service, i.e., ministry when He feels they are ready. And they will recognize that the prophet of today, like themselves, are to be about the Father’s business “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
        They will see themselves as seniors (elders) in the body of Christ, responsible for being a Godly influence upon the juniors (deacons).
        They will understand that their human influence upon these younger members of the body of Christ could result in their walking, as Samuel’s sons who “...walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment” (1 Samuel 8:3).
        “Turned aside,” is natah, to stretch out in the sense of turning aside from their proper moral direction. “After,” is ahar, following after, “lucre,” betsa, unjust gain. “Took,” is laqach, grasped, took hold of, “bribes,” shachad, here, corrupting and influential gifts for indecent purposes. “Perverted,” is the same as “turned aside,” natah, going in the wrong moral direction. “Judgement,” mishpat, is used in the sense of judging in an official capacity, and also someone’s rights.
        They departed from Godly morals and followed after unjust gain, grasping corrupting and influential gifts for indecent purposes. And in so doing, set a bad moral standard in their official capacity as judges and they abused the rights of others.
        The prophets of God will exemplify Godly morals, and not concern themselves with financial gain, content with God’s provisions for them, thus avoiding the temptation to accept corrupting and influential gifts for indecent purposes. They will set a moral standard of excellence in their official capacity as prophets of God and will go to extremes to assure that the rights of others are upheld.
        They will pour out their gifts and callings for the building up of the saints, and not rebel against the purposes of God for His ekklesia by attempting to build their own personal kingdom.
  They Refuse Human Credentials For Prophetic Credibility
        These men and women of God will not attempt to acquire human credentials to establish their credibility with men. They will be content with what God does in their lives and ministry, both privately and publicly, to establish their credibility in the eyes of men.
  They Don’t Beat Their Own Drum
        Godly prophets will understand the futility of “beating their own drum” to bring attention to themselves and the ministry God has given to them. They will not rely upon music to arouse, stimulate or provoke emotions to exercise the gift of prophecy. They will recognize the power of repetitive beats by music, voice or light to alter the state of consciousness of men and women as a method of control that’s as strong as other manipulating and intimidating techniques used to control others. They will be careful and guarded in their use of praise and worship music and will seek to soothe human emotions as an aid to lessening the pressures and distractions of the human soul (thinking, choosing and feeling processes) as an aid to worshipping the true and living God. They will do only what the Father shows them to do, say only what the Father tells them to say, and go only where the Father tells them to go.
  They Don’t Discriminate
        Men and women of God who are gifted as prophets will recognize the prophetic call upon those from all walks of life and won’t discriminate on the basis of looks, gender, economic status, age or other human variables.
        They will also recognize those very rare occasions when God speaks a true word of prophecy through a false prophet.
  They Speak From An Understanding Of God’s Heart
        God’s prophets won’t repeat the words of other prophets so as to appear to be in the current contemporary “prophetic flow.” They will speak only what the Father gives them to speak, even if it runs totally contrary to a perceived contemporary theme.
        They will recognize that Jesus fulfilled the law and the Old Testament prophets and that their function is to speak forth the mind and counsel of God as He would speak to us today, through the ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ. They will know that their function is defined by the word “restore” and will also understand that there are times when some things must be torn down in order to restore, but the tearing down is only for the purpose of restoring.
        Through the study of the Bible, they will have a thorough biblical understanding of God’s love, grace, mercy, wisdom, judgement and justice, although not always classifying or naming them as such. They will have an understanding of the Holy Spirit charisma descension gift of prophecy, the Father’s charisma compassion or lifestyle gift of prophecy and the doma ascension gift of prophecy from Jesus.
        They will have a Godly lifestyle of righteousness and wisdom and operate strongly in the Holy Spirit charisma descension gifts of word of wisdom and word of knowledge.
        They will understand that only the Holy Spirit can impart and distribute the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A limitation on human judgment will be understood from the scriptures, accompanied by a tacit understanding that only God, in His wisdom, can correctly and properly execute His justice. And they will not preclude the possibility that some very mature prophets may be used by God to express His judgement and even possibly execute His justice. They will know that they, like apostles, are sent by God, but in a limited sense of proclaiming the mind and counsel of God, but not always with those limitations.
  They Fulfill God’s Purposes
        These mature prophets will speak the mind and counsel of God for repentance to be taught, righteousness to be preached and for restoration, to heal.
        They will follow the scriptural pattern of revealing God’s purpose to bring rescue, safety, deliverance, preservation, salvation and in some instances, judgement. They will speak of God’s priorities, power, will, disapproval of idolatry, some historical events and various themes as other aspects of His purposes as God reveals them.
        They will communicate God’s divine will by symbolizing in parables, apocalyptic visions, narratives, doctrinal teaching, prophetic enactments and natural events God’s activities in the affairs of mankind, past, present and future.
        They will also speak to edify, exhort and comfort those of the body of Christ. Their words regarding God’s power and will, as servants and messengers of God, will be confirmed, and their counsel will be performed, i.e., finished or completed.
        They will know and teach that the primary purpose of prophecy is for mankind to learn of God and increase in knowledge and understanding of Him through sincere study of His word and that we are to demonstrate biblical wisdom in reflecting His love, grace, mercy, wisdom, judgement and justice in our lifestyles.
  They Know Their Scriptural Function
        Their proper place in the sequence of prophetical functions will be understood by them. They will not attempt to lay a new foundation, and replace Christ as the chief cornerstone and foundation of the ekklesia, and will compare all revelations they receive and compare them to scriptural precedents to ensure they are from God. They will do everything they can in their prophetical ministry to ensure that the body of Christ grows up into Christ-like maturity, and are not tossed around with self-serving and erroneous doctrines. They will not be clever, crafty and cunning and utilize lying schemes and tricks and deceptions.
        They will work very hard to mature the saints by preparing them for works of public service, i.e., ministry, teaching them how to build up the body of Christ. They will always speak the truth of God’s word, avoiding the temptation to use subjective experiences, other “holy books,” human opinions and “private interpretations” in place of, or in addition to, the word of God.
        They will bring unity of faith based upon the written word of God, the Bible, forsaking ecumenical councils and other human devices of commonality that base unity upon something other than the written word of God, which is inspired, infallible and inerrant in the original autographs. They will recognize false prophets and other ministers who do not adhere to these scriptural concepts.
  They Embrace Prophetic Standards And Commissions
        They adhere to prophetic standards as set forth in the Bible, and perform their prophetic commission as disciples of Christ. That is to say, they “preach the gospel to the poor” bringing a mature message of Christ to cheer the hearers. They “heal the brokenhearted,” those who have been shattered, broken and crushed by their experiences in life. They “preach deliverance to the captives” boldly proclaiming liberty and pardon because of the magnificent work of Jesus, and liberate, not enslave, the saints of God. They recognize traditions of men and controlling tactics, and seek to bring truth and light into those darkened areas in the ekklesia of Christ. They restore natural and spiritual vision and release from bondage those crushed by calamity, by “recovering the sight of the blind” and “set(ting) at liberty them that are bruised.” In “preach(ing) the acceptable year of the Lord,” they urge all to avail themselves of God’s love, grace and mercy in the riches of eternal life in Christ. They are motivated by a sense of urgency in their awareness of the day of God’s vengeance approaching.
        These gifted and anointed prophetic men and women of God have an understanding of the government of God as established in the Old Testament. They encourage the body of Christ to responsibly administer the laws and affairs of the kingdom in an executive capacity as His ambassadors, kings, priests and prophets. They recognize the prophetic times and continue to urge all sons and daughters of God to exercise their prophetic gift.
  They Warn Against False Prophets
        As good stewards recognizing the preciousness of the gifts and callings of God, the true prophets of God continue to warn the body of the infiltration into the body of Christ of false ministers, including false prophets. They will continually remind you that you can be deceived and that false prophets are indistinguishable in appearance from true prophets. They will point out that false prophets are well received by the majority of the body of Christ, that their character and lifestyles are not scripturally assessed, that they are not accountable for their words, and are not disciplined for speaking out false words. They will warn that false prophets will tell you what you want to hear, that they blend in with what is perceived as popular, they love to bring attention to themselves by beating their own drum and showing off their human credentials. They will tell you to look for those who value praise directed to them, and that these false prophets are rebellious and breed rebellion, are prideful, seek followers, and are prone to sexual immorality.
        They will also warn you that a false prophet may give you a sign or a wonder that comes to pass, but if they urge you to go after other gods, that God is testing you. And they will remind you “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
  True Prophets Are Few In Number
        Enoch was a prophet (Jude 14). Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are noted in scripture as prophets (Genesis 20:7; Genesis 49; Psalms 105, verse 15 which reads: “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” which refers back to verses 9 and 10: “Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:”). Moses (Deuteronomy 34:10-12) was a uniquely great prophet. The seventy elders of Israel prophesied (Numbers 11:16-29). Miriam was a prophetess (Exodus 15:20). Joshua (Joshua 1:15) walked in Moses’ footsteps as a prophet.
        After that, during the period of the judges there are only two prophets mentioned: Deborah (Judges 4:4) and an unnamed prophet (Judges 6:8).
        After the period of the judges, Samuel was raised up as a prophet. During this time a “man of God” prophesied God’s judgement upon Eli (1 Samuel 2:27-36). Companies of prophets and sons of the prophets are also mentioned.
        Huldah is identified as a prophetess (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22).
        During the time of David, himself a prophet (Acts 2:29,30), there appeared Gad (1 Samuel 22:5; 2 Samuel 24:11, called a seer), Nathan (2 Samuel 7:2), Zadok (2 Samuel 15:27, called a seer), Heman (1 Chronicles 25:5, called a seer), Jeduthun (2 Chronicles 35:15, called a seer), and Asaph, who prophesied at the king’s order (1 Chronicles 25:2). The sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun prophesied with harps, psalteries, and cymbals. 1 Chronicles 25:1-7 reveals a totality of 23 sons. (Verse 7 says that 288 were instructed in the songs of the Lord. This would be better translated as songs unto the Lord. The same phrase is translated in Exodus 15:1 as “song unto the Lord,” in Psalm 28:7 “with my song,” in Psalm 69:30 “with a song,” and in Psalm 96:1,2; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 149:1; “sing unto the Lord.” They were trained musicians, not prophets.)
        Ahijah arises as a prophet during the reign of king Jeroboam. Iddo is also mentioned as a seer (2 Chronicles 9:29), and a prophet (2 Chronicles 13:22). In 1 Kings 13 there are two unnamed prophets, one identified only as an “old prophet.” Shemaiah is identified as a “man of God” who prophesies in 1 Kings 12:22–also 2 Chronicles 11:2-4.
        Azariah, son of Oded, encourages king Asa in a prophecy in 2 Chronicles 15:1-8. Verse 8 contains a strange phrase “And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet ...” The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary makes this comment about the verse: “... when Asa heard ... the prophecy of Oded the prophet—The insertion of these words, “of Oded the prophet,” is generally regarded as a corruption of the text. “The sole remedy is to erase them. They are, probably, the remains of a note, which crept in from the margin into the text” [BERTHEAU].” The prophet Hanani, identified as a seer, however, rebukes king Asa and gets thrown into prison (2 Chronicles 16:7-10).
        Jehu, the son of Hanani declared judgement against king Baasha (1 Kings 16:1-12). He also rebuked king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:2,3). Jahaziel prophesied to king Jehoshaphat that the Lord would win the battle “against the children of Ammon, Moab and mount Seir” (2 Chronicles 20:14-17). Eliezer prophesied against king Jehoshaphat when he made an alliance with wicked king Ahaziah to make ships. “And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish” (2 Chronicles 20:37).
        During the reign of king Ahab Elijah the prophet appears (1 Kings 17:1-5) along with Elisha (1 Kings 19:16). An unnamed prophet prophesied that king Ahab would win a battle against king Benhadad of Syria (1 Kings 20:13) and that Benhadad would come up against him “at the turn of the year” (1 Kings 20:22). Another unnamed prophet, “a man of God,” predicted victory for Ahab when Benhadad returned for battle (1 Kings 20:28). After the battle one of the sons of the prophets told king Ahab: “And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people” (1 Kings 20:42). Micaiah prophesied destruction to king Ahab, which was fulfilled (1 Kings 22:7,8,17,34-37).
        King Amaziah of Judah was told by an unnamed prophet “a man of God” that he didn’t need an army he had hired to go against Edom, “... for God hath power to help ...” After his victory king Amaziah “... brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them” (2 Chronicles 25:14). This angered God who sent another unnamed prophet who rebuked him for seeking after false gods.
        When king Pekah of Israel defeated king Ahaz of Judah’s army, they brought back 200,000 captives. Oded, the prophet, urged them not to keep captives for bondmen and bondwomen, but to set their kinsmen free “for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you” (2 Chronicles 28:9-15). “And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria” (2 Chronicles 28:15).
        Although not relating to this period ending with 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, i.e., Israel’s exile into Babylon, it’s interesting to note that Isaiah’s wife is called a prophetess (Isaiah 8:3-5).
        From Genesis to 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles there are 131 prophets identified as such in scripture. (Not including all of the companies and sons of the prophets).
        (During the time of the judges, there are only two identified prophets. According to Paul the apostle this is a period of about “... four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet” (Acts 13:20)).
        Easton’s Bible Dictionary makes this comment:
        “Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups:
        “(1) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz., Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.
        “(2) The prophets of Judah, viz., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
        “(3) The prophets of Captivity, viz., Ezekiel and Daniel.
        “(4) The prophets of the Restoration, viz., Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.”
        This spans a time frame of about 430 years for these 16 prophets. To this we add Isaiah’s wife for a total of 17.
        Igdaliah, a man of God is mentioned by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 35:4.
        This brings the totality of identified biblically gifted prophets to 149, plus the companies and sons of prophets.
        That’s a total of 149 identified biblically gifted prophets in the Old Testament. There were probably more, there is simply no biblical record of them.
        In the New Testament Jesus and the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb were obviously prophets. John the Baptist was a prophet. Anna was a prophetess (Luke 2:36). Philip had four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9) (although this doesn’t mean they had the gift of prophet). Agabus is identified as a prophet from among a group of other unnamed prophets (Acts 11:27-28). There are 5 named prophets in Acts 13:1 which includes Saul (Paul), and 2 named in Acts 15:32. In Luke 1:67, Zacharias prophesied over his son, John the Baptist. Caiaphas, the high priest, prophesied of the death of Jesus (John 11:49-52). John, on the island of Patmos, who wrote the book of Revelation, was a prophet (Revelation 22:9).
        Adding these 30 to the 149 gives us a sum of 179 biblically gifted prophets, which is only a rough figure as scripture doesn’t tell us how many prophets were involved in the companies and sons of prophets or how many others were with Agabus. However, the point to be made is that within this 4,000 year period there are only 179-plus biblically gifted and recognized prophets mentioned in the Bible.
        Breaking this down to approximate time periods:
        From Enoch to Abraham 2,000 years—1 prophet is scripturally acknowledged.
        From Abraham to the book of Judges 850 years—76 prophets scripturally acknowledged.
        From the book of Judges 450 years—2 prophets scripturally acknowledged.
        The book of Judges to the New Testament 700 years—70 prophets scripturally acknowledged (from Malachi to the New Testament there are 400 years of silence from God’s prophets).
        The New Testament—30 prophets scripturally acknowledged.
        For a total of 179 (plus the companies and sons of prophets and those with Agabus).
        Although not scripturally identified as a prophet Noah preached and prophesied the word God had given to him. Hannah was not named as a prophetess, but prophesied of David’s rule in 2 Samuel, chapter 2. In the New Testament Elizabeth and Mary clearly prophesied (Luke, chapter 1).
        This would bring a total of 183 scripturally acknowledged prophets (plus the companies and sons of prophets and those accompanying Agabus).
        However, within all the institutional churches in any sizeable city today there are at least that many claiming to be a gifted prophet (not just a Spirit-filled believer who prophesies, but a gifted prophet in the “office” of a prophet).
        Matthew 24:11: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
        Matthew 24:24-25:
        24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
        25 Behold, I have told you before.
        Mark 13:22-23:
        22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
        23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
        1 John 4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
        2 Corinthians 11:13-15:
        13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
        14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
        15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
        Selah ... pause and calmly think of that.

        Suggested reading:
"God, Creator of time, the universe, space, energy, matter and life" – An article that attempts to present ideas to better understand the magnificence of what God has wrought for us in His creation and what is truly natural as distinguished from what is truly supernatural. Discusses how spiritual gifts are confused with natural abilities and learned skills, how precognition may be a natural phenomenon, and how many who have this natural precognitive ability eventually drift into the occult and are being conned by a familiar spirit, and how some prophetic words and actions may contain an element of Godly supernatural precognition. Also discusses how migraine (and epileptic) auras may cause what appears to be supernatural phenomenon.
"Truth and power of God or self delusion, esteem, grandeur?" – Strong delusions of the Jezebel spirit believe the lie of grandeur, power and control of people.
"False prophets in the church of Jesus Christ" – False prophets in the church of Jesus Christ utter tabloid prophecies, not fulfilled true Bible prophecy prophesied by a proven New Testament prophet
"Cult practices of false teachers, apostles and prophets" – Cult practices of false teachers, apostles and prophets deceive and corrupt the Bible truth of God, Jesus, doctrine and practices-a true gospel standard.
"False christs, apostles, prophets, teachers are not brothers" – False christs, apostles, prophets and teachers are not brothers or teaching faith in Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible but instead teach apostate antichrist doctrine.
"The Fleshly "Church" Of Today-works of flesh, satan, Jezebel" Works of the flesh, satan, Jezebel and Balaam cause false doctrine in the institutional church of God with false prophets and apostles, sin, idolatry and adultery.
"Warning!-Beware, a prophetic voice not from God will deceive" – The prophetic voice today will deceive if you do not discern the prophecy as from God. Test it as false or not from His word. False prophets deceive,
"Decree of false prophecy is not Godly revelation." – Decree of false prophecy is not Godly revelation. True Bible prophecy will speak repentance, righteousness and healing for restoration to hearts. An analysis of a false prophecy.
"The Danger of Self-Centeredness-the Jezebel spirit of self" – Prophet of God, a Jezebel spirit of self centeredness is destroying the character, credibility and conscience of the prophetic minister. Use discerning of spirits.
"The Purpose Of The Five-Fold Gifts from God through Jesus" – God under grace through Jesus Christ gifts His New Testament body of Christ with prophets and apostles who should be teachers of the truth of His Word in the Bible.
"Prophecy Junkies-need God, His Word, Jesus, the Gospel, life" – Prophecy junkies: get tough with yourself-you need God, His Word the Bible, Jesus, the Gospel, and to get a life to build faith and love in righteousness, not self.
"Ministering Spiritual Gifts (with personal prophecy and impartation)" – A satirical article rebuking those who "make merchandise" of the saints of God.
"Spiritual gifts of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit to His church-Growth In Gifts-God’s contemporary and temporary gifts for man on this earth, A Functional Teaching" – A biblically balanced viewpoint of the purpose of spiritual gifts and their relation to God’s prescribed authority structure for His church. Paul gave us 1 Corinthians 12 so His church shall have spiritual knowledge of gifts given to His ekklesia from the word of God to be like Jesus Christ.

An Important Message

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