This week I want to talk to you about prophecy. If you are like me you have been told for years that prophecy has passed away when the last Apostle died therefore there are no longer any prophets alive today because we now have the Bible in book form and all we have to do is study it to find out what God's will for us is today. That meant that today we don't have to listen to know what the Lord's will for us is and all we have to do is to study His Word. I bought into that theory until I began to study for my self and the Lord began to reveal Himself to me.
This theory probably began when men came up with the theory that speaking in tongues was also done away with when the last Apostle died. People have always had a problem with speaking in tongues because, I suppose, they didn't understand what was being said and it just sounded like garble to their carnal minds. When we depend upon our carnal minds to understand and discern what is being said we are really in trouble. But, then, of course, according to them the gift of discernment also passed away with the last Apostle.
We have a tendency to dismiss anything we don't understand. Do we still have prophets living in the Body of Christ today? What is your conception of a prophet? Is it some old vagabond rugged individual staggering in from off the desert? Would you even recognize someone if they were prophesying to you? Have you ever studied the office of a prophet? Well, allow me to share with you today the biblical definition of a prophet.
Prophet-- The HEB. word nabi, comes from a root meaning “to bubble forth, as from a fountain,” hence “to utter”, compare Ps. 45:1. This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro'eh, “seer”, began to be used (1 Sam. 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel.
Afterwards another Heb. word, hozeh, “seer” was used. 2 Sam. 24:11. In 1 Chron. 29:29 all these three words are used: “Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer” (hozeh). In Josh. 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a kosem = “diviner,” a word used only of a false prophet. The “prophet” proclaimed the message given to him, as the “seer” beheld the vision of God. (See Num. 12:6, 8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spoke in God’s name and by his authority (Ex. 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jer. 1:9; Isa. 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; compare Heb. 3:7; Acts 4:25; 28:25).
Prophets were the immediate vessels of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deut. 18:18, 19). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be.
The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was “to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government.” Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God’s message (Gen. 20:7; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 105:15), as also Moses (Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Hos. 12:13), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:16-29), “when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;” Asaph and Jeduthun “prophesied with a harp in 1 Chr. 25:1 which says,
"Moreover David and the
captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of
Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and
with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was: Of
the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of
Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the
Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.
Of Heman: the sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth:All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight."
I bet that blows some of your thinking right out the door. How can a harp prophesy?
Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Ex. 15:20; Judg. 4:4). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men. But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, “schools of the prophets”, were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1 Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 15; 4:38), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such “schools” were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The “sons” or “disciples” of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1, 4) who lived together at these different “schools” (2 Kings 4:38-41). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, “to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and coordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny.”
In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33; 24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the “teacher,” whose office it was to impart truths already revealed.
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 (House of Israel), was, Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.
2. The prophets of The House of Judah, was, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
3. The prophets of Captivity, was, Ezekiel and Daniel.
4. The prophets of the Restoration, was, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Prophecy-- or prediction, was one of the functions of a prophet. Paul gives a description of it as one of the gift, or manifestations, of the Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:8, To one is given by the Spirit the gift of wisdom. This gift is always future because it foretells of things to come or what to do. Also to one is given by the Spirit the gift of the word of knowledge. This gift is always either present or past. In other words it tells us what is happening or what has happened.
The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah; and the great use of prophecy was to perpetuate faith in his coming, and to prepare the world for that event. But there are many subordinate and intermediate prophecies also which hold an important place in the great chain of events which illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise overruling providence of God.
Then there are many prophecies regarding Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4-6, etc.), and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (Gen. 12:7; 13:14, 15, 17; 15:18-21; Ex. 3:8, 17). Many of these prophecies are still being fulfilled today. Such as, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a series of predictions which are even now in the present day being fulfilled. In the writings of the prophets Isaiah (Isa. 2:18-21), Jeremiah (Jer. 27:3-7; 29:11-14), Ezekiel (Ezek. 5:12; 8), Daniel (Dan. 8; 9:26, 27), Hosea (Hos. 9:17), there are also many prophecies regarding the events which were to befall that people. There is in like manner a large number of prophecies relating to those nations with which the Jews came into contact, as Tyre (Ezek. 26:3-5, 14-21), Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, 15; 30:6, 12, 13), Ethiopia (Nahum 3:8-10), Nineveh (Nahum 1:10; 2:8-13; 3:17-19), Babylon (Isa. 13:4; Jer. 51:7; Isa. 44:27; Jer. 50:38; 51:36, 39, 57), the land of the Philistines (Jer. 47:4-7; Ezek. 25:15-17; Amos 1:6-8; Zeph. 2:4-7; Zech. 9:5-8), and of the four great monarchies (Dan. 2:39, 40; 7, 8, 9). But the great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly to the advent of the Messiah, beginning with Gen. 3:15, the first great promise, and extending in ever-increasing fullness and clearness all through to the very close of the canon. The Messianic prophecies are too numerous to be quoted. “To him gave all the prophets witness.” (Compare Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Isa. 7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1, 2; 53; 60:10, 13; Ps. 16:11; 68:18.) Many predictions also were delivered by Jesus and his apostles. Those of Christ were very numerous. (Compare Matt. 10:23, 24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43, 44; 24; 25:31-46; 26:17-35, 46, 64; Mark 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1-6, 14; 14:12-31, 42, 62; 16:17, etc.)
So we can learn from this that a prophet is someone who speaks forth the will of God. Thus, anyone that preaches or shares with others would be said to be prophesying. There is a large difference between being called of God to be a prophet and someone who prophesies. I don't have the space here to go into all of that but it is suffice to say that prophecy still occurs in the hour we live in. Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:1,
"Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy. The one that prophesies speaks unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort."
Did Paul say that we should forget about spiritual gifts of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit? NO! But when we prophesy we are communicating with those who are listening. They can hear and understand what we are talking about.
Do you realize that you prophesy every day. HUH!! Yes that is right. You see, in the past we have been hard of hearing. Jesus said in John 11:23,
"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them."
Boy, will your carnal mind ever argue with you about this truth. If we can only accept what Jesus has told us we can do, then nothing will be impossible for us and not only that but if only two of us will agree about something it will come to pass.
Every day you will say something like, "I can't do that!", "It's going to rain today!", "You know that so and so will never amount to anything!" How about when we go to McDonalds and at the drive up the person will say to us, "Have a great day!" Do you not realize that this is prophesying?
What about, "Our government has got us into such a financial mess we never will get out." How about sitting back and allowing our president to say all over the world that our nation is no longer a Christian Nation?
Did you know that the worlds were formed by the Word of God. And God said, "Let there be Light!" and there was light. This happened before He created our sun.
Brethren, when will we ever fully realize that we are the sons of God and as such we have been given authority to rule on this earth? I shared with you 2 weeks ago how we can know the extent of the power and authority that has been given to the sons of God. Eph. 1:19-21, (NIV)
"...and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."
I didn't say that and I didn't lift it out of text. The great Apostle Paul said that
and if you believe that he wrote by inspiration then we can put our faith in what he said. The very truth of these scriptures should convince us that we have been given authority on this earth and we can, as the body of Christ, take authority over what this world system is trying to do to us. We no longer have to just sit back and take it on the chin because it is time for the Church of the Living God to stand up and be heard.
Most of us have all our lives had the privilege of living in these great United States of America and have enjoyed the blessings that have been poured out by our Father on the USA. It wasn't because we deserved to have these blessings more than all the other countries in the world but because God made promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. The promise given to Abraham was that in thee and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. 22:18, Gen. 26:4 and Gen. 28:14
Peter told the people of his day in Acts. 17-26, (NIV)
brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.
But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’ “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
The United States and Great Britain are the two nations that have received the blessings that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob prophesied to Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, that one of them would become a league of nations and one of them would become a great nation. The United States is the greatest nation that has ever been in this world and Great Britain is the greatest league of nations that has ever been.
Whoever is Ephraim and Manasseh today must be in possession of the earth's choicest agricultural, mineral, and other wealth-the great gold and silver mines; iron, oil, and coal, timber and other resources. Which nations fulfill these prophecies? There are only two that fulfill these prophecies, Great Britain and the United States! At one time more than half of all tillable, cultivable temperate zone lands of this earth were in the possession of these two great powers alone! The rich agricultural lands of the Mississippi Valley; the vast wheat and grain fields of the Northwest, of Canada and Australia; the great forest lands of the Pacific Northwest and many other parts of the world; the gold fields of South Africa, Australia, Alaska and the United States; the great coal mines of the United States and British Isles; the natural waterfalls and means of power and motivation, and consequent prosperous industrial and manufacturing districts of England and the eastern United States; the choicest fruit lands of the Pacific Coast and Florida. What other nations combined ever possessed such material wealth? And nearly all this incredible wealth has come since AD.1800! Whether you believe this or not, you will have to admit that these two nations have been blessed of God more than any other two nations on this earth.
You might say, "Well, these promises were made to the Jews and the people of the United States and Great Britain are for the most part not Jews." The problem with this statement is that the promises were not made to the Jews!" Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not Jews! They could not have been because there were not a people called Jews at that time. The name Jew came about from the tribe of Judah several years later. After Solomon the tribes of Jacob became split in to two nations. The House of Judah, consisting of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin and the House of Israel, consisting of the other 10 tribes. You can read how all this came about on my website, www.rejoicinglifeministries.com, The Lost Tribes of Israel.
My point in all of this is that we are the seed of Abraham, not only through heredity but prophetically. You know that Jesus is the singular seed of Abraham and He is the head of the spiritual body of Christ. We are of course in Him, spiritually. This makes us the spiritual seed of Abraham and as a result the world is blessed through us. The United States and Great Britain have over the years been the two nations that have blessed the other nations of the earth.
Moses told the 12 tribes in Deau. 28:1-14,
"If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them."
The 12 tribes of Israel failed to obey the Lord and all the curses that the Lord forewarned them of in the rest of the chapter came upon them. However, the prophecy that Jacob blessed the two children of Joseph with was not conditioned upon their obedience. This prophecy was the blessings of the first born and they have and are being fulfilled in our lifetime.
Notice that one of the blessing promised to them through Moses was, The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated
before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven..... Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. "
These promises were great but we have been given even greater promises by the Lord Jesus Christ. He told us in Mark 11:23,
"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Jesus came to reveal His Father to us and in this verse of scripture He revealed His Father's will to us by giving us unlimited authority which is only condition upon our faith in ourselves. If we can believe and not doubt we will have unlimited authority. That is an unbelievable, astronomical promise. Woops! I said, "Unbelievable!" This is our problem! Our carnal mind cannot wrap itself around such a statement.
Jesus put the ball in our
park when He said this. It's only because our
Father is faithful to His word and because He loves us that we are blessed today, but if we will just believe who He says we are and as a result start acting like it, the sky is our limit, so to speak.
How many of you will agree with me today and lift up your voice and prophesy to the four winds? Will you declare with me, "We, the United States of America, have been founded upon the word of God and as such do hereby lift up our voices to our Father and declare that we are His Sons and Daughters and as such do hereby declare that no enemy that shall rise up against us shall stand. They may come at us from within or without but they shall flee in seven directions because we are the Sons of God and do hereby declare it to be so. Our God has blessed us above and beyond any other nation on this earth and as such we have blessed all nations with our wealth and prosperity and shall continue to do so. We are one nation made up from all peoples on this earth and have been established on the principles of liberty and justice for all men!"