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The Prophetic Landscape

Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” (Number 11:25-29).

The following is a quick overview of the prophetic ministry. To help do so, I have shared some of the insights the Lord has revealed to myself along the way, and some examples of the type of ministry I am now led into by Him. This is by no means an extensive lesson, rather meant to provide a glimpse in the breadth of the prophetic ministry of God.

Perhaps the main ongoing revelation for myself regarding the prophetic is that it is like a large mural landscape, with so many parts to it, and is not just limited to perhaps the basic means we have seen supported, for example, one on one prophetic word, or preaching/prophetic declaration of Scripture. Here are just some components of the prophetic landscape I have discovered/learnt …. to date.

Firstly, the difference between anointing, gift, and office of prophecy – which may explain why some move in prophecy more than others:

  • Anointing - That all may prophesy (1 Corinth. 14:1). Jesus is the Prophet, and as such as we are in Christ, and as believers His Spirit dwells in us, we can but prophecy. The Bible even says. ‘the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy[1]’.

  • Prophecy as a Gift of the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinth 12:10 – where He gives you the supernatural ability to know and prophecy God’s insights and word.

  • Office of the Prophet – See Eph. 4:11; 1 Corinth 12: 28, and as revealed in Bible through the lives of prophets like Agabus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, et all, and in the days from Christ’s first revelation, this is someone who is a gift from Christ, for the equipping of the saints, and the work of His kingdom; Effectively, your life is prophetic; Those strong in this gift will shifting atmospheres; Training for this will probably take at least 20 years or more (and probably entail the odd pit or too) as witnessed through Jesus, Joseph, Daniel, and probably Agabus. It is the case that some may begin prophesying simply by being in the presence of someone who operates in the Office gifting, as they come under the anointing of that gift. A good example in the Bible is Saul prophesying as he came under the influence of Samuel.

I also learnt to understand more about the way God talks, and how to minister in prophecy:

  • God speaks - all the learning styles and more, e.g. through the Bible, an internal voice, audibly, other writings, images, creation, movement, art, dance etc..

  • God like to lead us on a journey...revealing a little at a time so we become more dependent on Him than our own understanding. Thus, you may sense some prophetic insight from the Lord, but only get a few words to share, and as you share them more comes.

  • Ministry outworking’s - Spoken words; Physical actions; Even objects/signs/symbols; Prayer/Intercession; Written word; Often ministering in Gatherings, prayer meetings, alter calls, blog site; intercession; In the unseen realm; One on one (prophesying in to lives); Strategic and business planning (at church and in the work place).

One of the things that has gone hand in hand for me in the prophetic, is the healing ministry. As you would know when we care praying for healing, as Rev. Steve so wonderful revealed, we are declaring that someone would receive health in an area in which there is currently sickness. Thus, prophesying to a future state that involves healing…’calling those things which do not exist as though they did’[2]. In my experience healing ministries are seem more effective when the prophetic is encouraged and understood.

I learnt some essential guiding principles:

  • About relationship with the King, and has His foundations of justice and righteousness, and balances truth and mercy. Above all, comes from the Father heart of love.

  • Consistent with the Bible – the Written Word is our benchmark

  • Obedience – Learn to hear, and obey, and follow the Holy Spirits leading, and the more you do, the more He reveals. He wants all your life, not just a part of it.

  • Timing - including sharing versus intercession (taking in to the prayer closet) vs declaration (either in to the spirit realm or to people or creation). Know the time of God's release of the word, and also the delivery.

  • Prophecy will build up, admonish, encourage, reproof, and for instruction in righteousness[3]

  • Judge prophecy by fruit - character and word

  • Declaring His word such that it shapes destinies (a person, people, land, etc), and it is about foretelling that can help change a future outcome, if obeyed, or simply reveals what will come to past. He may even bring a word to build you up, which could involve correction – remember love.

  • Gifted to see what others cannot see - don’t be disappointed when they do not see, you can only by the grace of God...it is a gift

  • It is not limited to the church, and in fact is meant for the broader advance of the Kingdom of God, and to bring insight to all creation.

  • Prophecy is one God’s keys to establishing a creative, dynamic, and Spirit-filled atmosphere, as it draws down from heaven the Lord’s hope and dreams, and releases the creating power of God’s Word (aka “Let there be light, and there was…)

God's call on my life now

Note: The below is provided as an example only to show just one way the Lord uses the prophetic gift, particularly associated with a seer/watchman prophet.

In obedience to the call of God, we are now living by faith, having stepped away from work on His leading, and as circumstance dictated (I believe the Lord’s orchestration). This is a great place, and a scary place to be….and one we continue to check in with Him about. Generally, I find myself focused increasingly in several areas, mainly:

Calling to continue to pray and prophecy as the Lord leads as a servant to Him, focus on preparing His bride and creation for His return. In general, I find myself starting each day during the week in 3 hours of prayer/waiting on the Lord, including prayer walking different places on the Coast and beyond. For myself, one key focus in encouraging the church, those in the body of Christ, to rise into their God given identities, and purposes. This includes equipping in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and prophecy/prayer.

In the Book of Matthew Jesus encourages us all to watch[4] for His return, and for some of us, this seems to also extend to preparing the way. This may entail operating in what is called the Elijah anointing[5], and have similarities to some aspects of John the Baptist, and others in the Bible. Importantly though, it is learning to follow God leads, not copy someone else. I strongly sense that we are in the latter days, and increasingly the Lord is calling us to refocus on Him, and perhaps with a shout, wake up the church, call her to be filled afresh with His Spirit, and to seek His face and purposes afresh. He is seeking more of us.

Calling to the upper room to wait on Him. Part of the above for myself has very much involved the need to stop doing and be more focussed on being with Him. Waiting[6] on the Lord in prayer, devotion, through sacrifices of time and money, are just a few parts of how I sense the Lord has called me/us at this time. Meeting together with others is a key part of this and learning to allow and encourage all to minister to the Lord and each other with their God given gifts, while maintain a focus on the headship of Jesus, and Him.

Preparing lands for His move through discerning God’s plans[7], and sometimes the enemies’ schemes, and praying. For example, consider a prayer work my wife and I have been involved with for some time around Buderim. Strongly sensing the Lord wished to build a house of prayer in that place, we began seeking to understand His insights, prophesy, and pray. The Lord revealed that in the late 1800 South Sea Islanders met 7 days a week for worship and prayer on the top of the location, and all part of a Christian mission and support work, linked to a mill. This work helped encourage the building of churches, and some of those involved built he the Methodist Church. This well of the Holy Spirit was dug deep and seemed to mirror in the natural when we discovered an old well existed in the grounds of the now Uniting Church. Thus, confirming to us the Lord plans. We continued to pray across the mountain, sharing with some this revelation from the Lord, and subsequently have seen a prayer house established from sometime at one end of the mountain, and this has now closed, but another has opened in the church hall of the Buderim Church, facilitated largely by a South Sea Islander. There is also a rise of prayer gatherings in the area, and a Kingdom House established nearby. For sure many were involved in this work over the years, however it does show prophetic insight and prayer is used by the Lord to build His kingdom. Ironically, they filled in the old well at the Uniting Church as part of building works, however this just galvanised prayer efforts, and has not stopped establishment of what is called the Convergence House of Prayer that meets in the Buderim Uniting Church hall – their old church.

Watchman – Perhaps best illustrated in the Old Testament, this prophetic gift is one where those we station ourselves intentionally with the Lord to see what He reveals about a certain area, maybe people group, church, where you live, and so on. Generally, for me there have been had different focus areas, with some lasting for a long season. Such as government, and more recently the church. It seems to also be the case the Lord would have me watching with Him over different geographical locations. At times I will feel to simply pray/intercede with that which the Lord reveals, and other times share in some way with others the insights and warnings of God.

Our Lord Jesus, and Agabus, in the New Testament[8]; and, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Habakkuk and Ezekiel in the Old Testament[9] are classic examples of such ministries.

Sometimes their warnings and insights they shared were heeded, and other times not, and that is all they could do. This has been my big learning. As a prophet, or one with a prophetic word, our job is to deliver it appropriately, and trust the Lord with the rest. The free will of man, and the mystery of God’s sovereignty we have no control over.

Another part of the watchman ministry is to watch with the Lord a He fulfills His word. This is an interesting place to be, for the Word of the Lord does not return to Him void, and He sometimes calls you see this come to pass. Perhaps like the aforementioned Buderim House of Prayer example, where this was more a prayerful watch over promises from God. However, in the Bible Jacob revealed how this can also involve God’s signs that represent this type of prophetic ministry. Here we see the Lord using speckled and striped sticks to represent His intent for the lambs to be born so that Jacob could receive his rightful wages from his tricky uncle…see Genesis 30 – 31. As Jacob placed these sticks near the watering hole the Lord was establishing His watch over His word to Jacob…and the speckled and striped sheep abounded.

Kingdom mapping – the Lord revealing insights to His plans and purposes for a region etc, through its history, the first fruits of His gospel work in the area, insights to where His spiritual gates and prayer watches are. Think of the ministry of Ezekiel, a priest and prophet who the Lord used to reveal the future gates and boundaries of Israel, and the Temple of God[10]. The Apostle John having similar insights as revealed in Revelations[11], as to Zechariah[12] which he shared in the book of the Bible after His name. The Kingdom of God is not limited to what we see with our natural eyes, but also exists in the unseen realm and with the prophetic gift some are given the sight to see this realm, and futures, and perhaps why they were called Seers[13].

For myself, when the Lord reveals these structures this work usually leads to prayer walks, documenting what I have ‘seen’, and sometimes sharing that information with others as the Lord leads.

How you can move into the prophetic

Pray for the Holy Spirit gifting, and anointing. Prophecy is largely enabled by the Holy Spirit, and therefore it is important we continue to grow in the Holy Spirit, and so the flow of these Living Water gatherings. As we obey His flow, it grows deeper, and the gifting He gives do so as well. We should not think we can compartmentalise Him, allowing Him to move in one area, but not others. My experience is that while He may allow this by grace for a period as we learn to step out in Him, God looks for us to give more of ourselves over to Him. However, thinking we can partition the Holy Spirit from the rest of our lives in an ongoing way basically means we think we are the Lord, not Him, that we use Him only as we see fit, not Him. We cease to mature, and the Holy Spirit sees where He is not welcome and the flow dries up, unless there is a sovereign move of God.

Encourage each other to learn to move in prophecy, as the Apostle Paul encouraged us in 1 Corinthians 14: 1-5.

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

Provide safe place to grow in this gift. Home groups are a good place for this, and another thought is to start a school of the prophets, which could meet regularly , to help us all learn to move in prophecy.

Encourage people to share what they sense the Lord is sharing in the Sunday services, perhaps starting in the Living Stream service, and into the other corporate gatherings.

Pray for boldness, and two by two (or more) team up and go into our community to pray, heal, prophecy, and preach the gospel.

[1] Revelations 19:10 [2] Romans 4:17 [3] 1 Corinthian 14:3; 2 Timothy 3:16 [4] Matthew 25:13 [5] Malachi 4:5; Matthew 11:14 [6] Isaiah 8:17; 40:13; Zephaniah 3:8; Acts 1:4,5 [7] Proverbs 22:28; Isaiah 37:26; Jeremiah 6:16; 18:15 [8] Matthew 24:3, 42; 25:13; 26:41; Mark 6:45-49; Acts 11:28 [9] Is. 21:6-11; 62:6; Hosea 9:8; Habakkuk 1:5; 2:1; Ezekiel 3:17; 33:2 [10] Ezekiel 40-48 [11] Revelations 21-22 [12] Zechariah 2 [13] 1 Samuel 9:9; 2 Kings 6:17

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