Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of His chamber, rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and His circuit from the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. " (Psalm 19:4)
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a "prophetic people." Jesus promised: "When the Spirit of truth is come...He will show you things to come." (John 16:13) Sometimes it is the artist whom God uses to show us these "prophetic things." God has ordained that art be a voice, and this is seen in His calling of skilled or cunning artists or workmen, to build the tabernacle and to furnish it with items too lovely for description, to show forth God's great redemptive plan in Christ.
As with the tabernacle, art is never to place our focus upon the artwork itself as if it were an idolatrous object. When it does this, it loses all sense of purpose for which it is designed. But rather, it should "testify" of God and of His glory and of the salvation which He has wrought in and through His son Jesus Christ.
For hundreds of years, God and the artist have entered into partnership to redeem fallen mankind. In the Dark Ages of Europe when the apostate church declared in word and in deed "we will have none of God's counsel,"innumerable artists were among the true Christians who were hunted down like animals and ed for their faith in Jesus Christ.
During this period of time called "The Inquisition," because of this seeking out of God's people, so as to silence their voice by any means possible; the truth of God's Word was still seen through the eyes of the Christian artist, in paintings, lovely stained glass windows and other art forms. We will never know who many of these were, because their enemies sought to destroy their very reputations and to brand them so that no one would consider their credibility, but the foundation of God stands sure; having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His." (2 Timothy 2:19)
In that brilliantly lit stained glass window, or painting done in oils, God's marvellous deeds were painted by those who knew what salvation meant by revelation. Their works follow them, being seen in their paintings, and various forms of art declaring that marvellous creative as well as the redemptive work of God in sending His Son to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind. Contrasted, is the vice and the voice of the spirit of error spoken in the mouthes of popes and bishops preaching a"so-called salvation" by crawling on ones knees to the corrupt city of Rome on a "pilgrimage."
"Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord; the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him." (2 Sam. 3:7)
In the life of the Prophet Samuel, we see the way in which prophecy and revelation work together. Samuel was but a child, when God called him. God is calling s as well as children to Him today, that they might serve him, in the arts and in many fields of endeavor. You will see this element of inspiration" or "the prophetic anointing" upon believing children often-times, years before they ever know that they are called and destined for such a ministry in the arts. Some of you Christian parents will begin to distinguish certain spiritual gifts emerging in your children from a very young age. Ask them about their artwork, if aspects of it seem prophetic or to demonstrate spiritual gifts to you. They just may tell you of angelic visitations, and revelations that God is imparting to them.
I DO THOSE THINGS I SEE MY FATHER DO:
Jesus said: "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but does what He sees the Father do. For whatever things He does, the Son does also. " (John 5:19) The Almighty God is the Father of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: " I and My Father are one." (John 10:30) As Jesus was growing up in Nazareth, working in Joseph's carpentry shop, we must assume that Jesus took this unbroken communion with the Father to work with Him. (Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3) The creativity of the Father would have been clearly seen in Jesus woodworking ability, as He turned out products of divine excellence.
The Israeli Jewish culture was never as that of the Greek. God was worshipped with the whole man. There was no aspect of life in which God was not involved. It was not until gnosticism infiltrated and influenced the church, that for many the Christian life became more of a "mental exercize."
Furthermore, Jesus promised when He returned to the Father, that we would not be left orphans, but He said: "I will come to you." (John 14:18) In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father and you in Me and I in you." (John 14:20)
Prophets were called "SEERS," in scripture. (1 Sam. 9:9,18-19) Gad was referred to as David's seer. (1 Chron. 21:9) As was Jehu, son of Hanani in 2 Chron. 19:2.
SYMBOLISM IN ART:
We see God's use of the visual in communicating prophetically in the life of Jeremiah: God directed him to a landscape, and an almond tree, and said: "What do you see?" (Jer. 1:11) This required Jeremiah's being able to correctly interpret what God was showing him visually. The prophet Ezekiel was a seer of this type, referred to in the scriptures as "seeing a vision of dry bones." (Ezek. 37) The word of the Lord came to these men in a very visual way. From the earliest mention of prophecy, these seers were God's spokesmen; placing emphasis upon the faculty of spiritual vision, at times triggered by illustrations by God drawn from natural surroundings. "And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh, by the word of the Lord. (I Sam. 3:21)
Prophetic words and visions frequently come in the form of symbols which must be interpreted, and God's word must be the sole basis of our prophetic interpretation. In the Old Testament, we see God speak through such symbols as: An almond tree to Jeremiah. (Jer. 1) A ripe basket of fruit to the prophet Amos. (Amos 8:1) and a cooking pot to Ezekiel. (Ezek. 24:3) Jesus said: "Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe already unto harvest." (John 4:35) God expects His people to listen for His voice, and is hurt and offended when we become calloused and indifferent, choosing to focus our attention upon temporal things. In the Old Testament, a message could also be given through "prophetic actions as well," such as Jeremiah breaking the clay jar in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The message was: Thus says the Lord: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potters vessel..." (Jer. 19:11) For God's people, who have and hold the very knowledge of God, not to be able to discern the signs of the times is an offence to God. Thus Jesus rebuked the people saying: "How is it that you cannot discern the signs of the times? (Matt. 16:3) The reason was that they were not well enough aquainted with scripture. For in the time of Jesus birth, the magi did discern the signs of the times and this led them to the presence of the Lord.
Jesus used the visual to illustrate His parables and other teachings. Consider the lilies, how they toil not neither do they spin. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed as one of these." (Matt. 6:28-29)
CULTIVATING THE HEARING EAR:
One of the Messianic scriptures speaks of the way in which Jesus listened for His Fathers voice and obeyed it. "He openeth mine ear, morning by morning to hear as the learned, and I was not rebellious..." We see in the bible that God has some prophets who "heard the word of the Lord," as "hearing prophets," who perceived the word of the Lord apart from "seeing the word." The psalmist receives the prophetic "song of the Lord" in this way. Jeremiah was one who "heard the word of the Lord."
Some prophets move in both anointings, and I know that I do. But for my own life, the development of the prophetic gift has meant that I have been lead to spend more time in prayer. I see this in the life of Jeremiah, not that he was reclusive. But rather he avoided what the bible calls an attitude of surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of life, (Luke 21:34) and did not keep company with those who were boisterous and loud, choosing a close more intimate fellowship fellowship with God; that he might better serve both God and man. (Jer. 15:17) I have heard similar stories from intercessors and prophetic people over the years, such as Gertrude Reidt, John G. Lake's daughter. My husband Tom is a minstrel-psalmist, and he loves to sit down at the paino and begin to worship the Lord, just playing by ear and singing what comes to him in the Spirit as he goes along. One of my favorites over the years, was received extemporarily in this way and goes like this: " You are the same God, that stood on the mountain, you are the same God that split the Red Sea, Jesus thou changest not!" It came with a lovely tune, and I sing it to myself sometimes. Over the years, we have seen this anointing blend. I ly pushed the memo button on the telephone as I was working around the house one day, so played it back, and was surprised to hear periods of silence, as I worked quietly and communed with the Lord, intervals of praying in tongues, and lots of singing in the Spirit. (1 Cor. 14:15)
Intercession has always formed the solid basis for anything which is truly prophetic. Show me a man or woman who doesn't pray, and that person may be an artist, but he or she has no calling as a prophet of God. It is in prayer, that inspired or prophetic things are birthed. God will sometimes give me a vision of a piece of artwork as I am in prayer. This happened to me this week. I was praying for the nations, as I frequently do, with no plan to draw or paint.
But as I came to a quiet time during my prayer time, the Lord gave me a vision and I found myself immediately coming into agreement with it, because it met a need for our ministry. I thanked God for this. In fact, I'd like to thank whoever has been praying for us, because this was probably the results of your prayers, whoever you are.
The desire to do a water color, or a quilt, comes as simply that. This side of myself balances out the teaching gift which God has given me. After so much time writing, I find a great need for creative expression in a different form such as a painting. When embarking upon a creative endeavor, I pray a simple prayer. "Jesus help me." Or "Lord be glorified." God has literally given me patterns for things I had absolutely no experience in making, and I love Him for many reasons, but also because He has cared about the development of these artistic gifts in me. I learned this habit of throwing myself upon the Lord for guidance in my work, from Johann Sebastian Bach, who used to initial his manuscript pieces in Latin prayer notations such as these. Jesus did help him! He will help you with your art too, for He is author and finisher of our faith, and for me at least, the developing of creative gifts and talents takes a great deal of faith.
There are so many opposing forces warring against me. The scriptures teach us that "we wrestle not against flesh and but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:11-18)
Artistic ability is one of the area in which Satan and demons work very specifically in peoples lives, because of the influence which the arts have on the masses. Call it the apostate anointing if you will, but this desire for wealth and fame has slain millions. If demonic spirits can pervert the gift God gave you, they can influence countless others through you in your life-time. An example of the way in which art has been infiltrated by the demonic, is in the ography industry, which has reached epidemic proportions world-wide. Those employed in so-called" art which degrades humanity which God created in His image, do so because their foolish minds and hearts are darkned. (Romans 1) We should cry out to God to bring a revival and a restoration that will lift up fallen mankind, and give them beauty for ashes. God is more than able to redeem even their perverted talents and abilities, that these things might be used for His glory.
VESSELS OF HONOUR FIT FOR THE MASTER'S USE:
My life has been impacted to a great extent by my maternal Danish grandmother who liked to call herself Amy, and who painted in oils, and was a milliner. My natural mother has had an equal influence on me regarding the arts, for she was one of the most colorful and creative people I have ever known, dressing very flamboyantly and having the soul of an artist. Mom liked to take us children to see ballets, and to pay our way to school symphonies, when they came along.
She encouraged us to read and to enjoy writing, having been given awards as a young writer. My grandfather, her Dad was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian minister who was also a poet. He wrote poems for my grandmother and called her his "White Rose." Grandmother was a believer, and she was like a white rose. She liked for me to read to her from the bible when I was a child, and passed on her love for the scriptures to me. As a writer, he had many published works, and lectured. But she did not become a Christian until much later in her life, unfortunately. I am convinced that if she had, she would have enjoyed the fulfillment of having God help to develope her artistic talent.
Living my own life for many years in sin, I did not think much about developing my artistic abilities as a young person. I was more like the prodigal who squandered his inheritance, and found himself a disgrace, living in a pig pen. God saved my soul from certain destruction in September of 1973. A person shared with me that Jesus died for sinners, and that I was one. The bible says: All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23, 5:12) The wages of sin is , but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Before I knew the Lord, my life certainly was a testimony of this spiritual separation between myself and God.
But the scriptures state: "If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. " (1 John 1:9) One Sunday afternoon I knelt and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and to be the Lord of my life, and I became a child of God capable of being corrected and guided by Him. I also asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit as in Acts 2:1-38, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as it says in Acts 10:46-48, and in an instant of time, I was given a beautiful prayer language with which to pray and praise Him. The desire of my heart is that in all that I say and do I might glorify Him.
The calling of the Christian artist is not just for the sale of a piece of music or a painting, it's not the performance of the worshipper in dance, but that God is glorified and souls effected for the kingdom of God. The artist's own consecrated, and sanctified life should lead others to the throne-room of God.
The prayer of thanksgiving should also be a major part of the prophets life. To the artist, there is no anointing, or creativity that does not come from God, who has power to make one person this way and that person another. When people become self-focused, their art loses that "spark" which speaks to us of God. For God is the source of true creativity. Whether the artist is in the field of music, or visual arts, God Himself should be allowed to over-see every aspect of ones work.
THE HEARING EAR:
The prophets of the Old Testament learned to listen to the voice of the Lord. They entered into ecstatic worship, playing musical instruments and dancing for extended periods of time, and the prophetic anointing flowed, in visions and prophetic words from the Lord. Although the Christian church has a remnant of the prophetic, it has lost much of this prophetic element, which God has purposed to "confirm His word;" but is restoring this very important "portion" of His to the church. Visions can be transmitted in the arts in a number of ways, as the Lord leads. We are seeing this coming forth in churches, in praise and worship music, art, and even in prophetic dance, and gesture in which God's Spirit comes upon the worshipper, inspiring the movements for His own prophetic purpose. After the victorious Red Sea crossing, Miriam the Prophetess; who had been singing antiphonally with her brother Moses, took her timbrel and danced what most think was a pantomime type dance, as she sang prophetically. (Exodus 15:20)
In the New Testament, Peter stood on the day of Pentecost and cried: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God; that 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." (Acts 2:14-17) God is raising up leadership to pastor the arts, and to give godly direction. Prophecy in the arts, must be judged by the principles for judging other prophetic manifestations. (1 Cor. 14:8, 15, 25-40,1 John 4:6)
IF THE TRUMPET GIVE AN UNCERTAIN SOUND:
The spiritual battle battle rages on as it has down through the centuries. Each side has it's weapons of warfare, each it's trumpet call to arms. There scriptures say: There are many voices and none is without signification. But if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who can prepare himself for battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8) Much of the art that we see trumpets forth "this uncertain sound."
It's the garbled speech of l, rather than the "pure lip" which God has prophesied. Why? Because the artist himself has never been redeemed---has not experienced the new birth or the baptism in the Holy Spirit as proclaimed in Acts 2:38. He lacks "revelation," which is the essential ingredient in prophecy. The bible tells us: The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy." (Rev. 19:10)
Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus every one of you for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." The artists and the world of the arts must be redeemed. Our God is the great Creator of the universe. He merges creativity with communication, and one look into the bible will make this clear enough. What are some of the things communicated prophetically? What is the prophetic or Elijah-Task of the church today?
THE PROPHETIC OR ELIJAH TASK IN THE ARTS TODAY:
To bring the light of revelation as seen in the plan and purposes of God. (If anything is revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace for you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and that all may be comforted. (1 Cor. 14:30) We see this element of revelation resting on God's Word present in the arts. God had great reformers in the field of Christian art, even in the centuries past, and they certainly received revelation from one another. Just as we receive revelation from them today. The bible tells us that the voice goes on..."And he being yet speaks..."
There is only one body of Christ, and you can receive revelation from a person in your church service today, or the spirit of revelation can rest on something spoken centruies ago. Truth is always relevant for for us today. 3) Prophecy in the arts helps to prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Art of this sort, brings down the high places, declares Jesus as salvation, lifting mankind into the very plans and purposes of God. The glory of the Lord is revealed in art.
Have you ever been in a museum, filled with a variety of paintings; when suddenly you come upon one that is Christian? It speaks revelation to your heart, and you may find yourself meditating upon it's message for a long time afterwards? (Isaiah 40:3) 3) Prophecy declares the signs of the times, to those who may not be aware of God's kingdom, or they may have come under a spiritual sleepiness, and not be walking in the truth of it. 4) When God merges the arts with that breath of the prophetic, He is able to visually speak a word of encouragement, comfort and edification to the body of Christ. Think about it. Haven't you been encouraged, exhorted and comforted many times by an inspired piece of art, such as a painting of Jesus, the followers of Christ, or art depicting the ministry of angels. These can bring home a truth from God's word in a very vivid way.
Our pastor, Alec Rowlands, owns a particular piece of artwork that we have all heard him refer to many times, because of the way that this encourages, comforts and strengthens him. It's a print of the old prophet Simeon holding the infant Jesus. What could be said today along similar lines, because even this stirs revelation of Christ in us the hope of glory, and of those who prophesy into our own lives. (Luke 2:25)
5) How many times since you became a Christian, has God used the visual or prophecy in song to forewarn you of coming calamities and danger. There are still scriptural events to unfold along these lines. (The reaping of the harvest, the rapture, the marriage supper of the Lamb, etc. 5) Art in various forms also serves to declare present truth "i.e. the truth God is restoring to His church; which has been allowed to degenerate and fall into disuse" to the body of Christ. The bible tells us: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep. " (Genesis1:1-2) 6) To give prophetic direction to the mission of Jesus Christ's church. (Acts 2:16-21)
THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS VS THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY:
And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world and received up into glory.
Before Adam and Eve were formed, God declared His intent that man would know God intimately, for He said: Let us make man in our own image and likeness. Genesis 1:26) He said this, speaking prophetically of His plan to reconcile all things to Himself in Christ Jesus.
As the Lord spoke the world into creation and all that is in it, man did indeed come forth, with awesome power and authority, capable of incredible communion with God. They walked and talked with God as with a friend, trusted Him and he taught them many things. The most important aspect of all God taught them, was of the trees in the garden: Trees pleasant to the sight and good for food, The tree of life, and also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of the trees in the garden, they could freely eat, bu of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they must not partake for in that in the day that they ate of it, they would surely die.
THE CRY TO GET BACK TO THE GARDEN:
In the 1960's rock bands were singing: "We've got to get back to the garden." What did this mean? It spoke of the loss of man and woman's eternal life. The biblical account of this is found in Genesis chapter three: One day, as Eve was alone, and Adam was busy elsewhere, the serpent, (Satan himself, who had lost his heavenly position) but was more subtil than any beast of the field appeared, and drew her attention to the forbidden tree. Hath God said you can't eat of it he said? Before the day was out, the women partook of the fruit of that tree, gave some to her husband. As the scripture has said: Whereby, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned. (Genesis 3, Romans 5:12) But the bible also tells us that what the law could not do, in that man was weak through the flesh; God sending His own Son(Jesus Christ) in the likeness of the flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)
RESTORING THE ARTS:
This topic of the two trees in the garden, and the lost dominion have long been a favorite topic of Christian artists. Believers in church history have even described sketching this topic, and painting it from visions they received from God. The theme has been hammered by metal smithes, painted in oils, and woven or embroidered by fiber artists since the beginning of time. The wings of the cherubim on the veil of the tabernacle echoed it.
The bible says: There are many voices, and none is without signification. But if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8) When people go a-whoring after idols, there is probably no area in which a "spirit of immorality" is any more evident in fallen man than in the arts, because the demonic spirits which bind the artist seek to use his or her artistic talent to disciple others to sin.
In the Middle Ages, when pagan clergy were commissioning artists to produce artwork that would appeal to their base and degenerate mentality, most of these artists probably did not consider that "their works would follow them," and testify against them for countless generations." The museums of Europe are literally filled with paintings and sculpture that shouldn't even be viewed. Tourists come in bus-loads to gaze upon them. They call them art, but God calls them sin, for they do not achieve arts highest purpose which is to glorify God.
But even in the darkest hours of history, God has ordained artists within His true church who have refused to bow the knee to Baal. So it is today. The one, like Lucifer, merchandizes his anointing and prostitues his gift for the sake of sin and Satan, and the other to see men and women redeemed, and made in the image and likeness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The bible tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)
Art is the clarion trumpet call, of two opposing armies. But make no mistake about it. The glory of the Lord Himself will be seen in the spirit of the Christian artist, because he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit. The bible tells us beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God. (1 John 4:1) What does the artwork say to you? Who does it testify of? Is the spirit of it holy or unclean? For in these aspects the Christian artist and his work will be walking testimonial that God does indeed have a prophetic voice in the field of the arts. The counterfeit art which Satan inspires continues to elicit worship for himself, even in the field of the arts.
Le Alouette Prophetique
More of the Creative Artist Series:
More of the Creative Artist Series: