Prophecy and Prophetic
Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:54 PM
My friend worked at Times Square in NYC for David Wilkerson and says she has a prophetic gift and believes that I do as well. Hmm. Not sure about that. I believe, if I understand well, that A.W. Tozer was prophetic in that his writings reveal that he "knew" what the future church would look like even as far back to his writings in the 40's, 50's and 60's. David Wilkerson, according to my friend and my reading of his writing, reveals he was prophetic. She said, even among friends at a group gathering, that David would sit alone and no one would go sit down to him and talk, avoiding him. She said he just beamed "holiness" and this made him lonely even when he was surrounded by thousands who drew near to hear him preach the word.
So, my questions are as follows just to start a discussion on prophetic, prophesy (n) and prophesy (v) related to the deeper life (very general):
1) how do you see these terms working in our lives personally and in the church today as far as leadership is concerned?
2) help in defining their differences as I may need help in identifying them.
I will be heading off to NYC and will visit Times Square Church next Sunday and maybe the next Tuesday for prayer. Please pray because I have severe anxiety/panic surrounding this trip.
Below is a prophetic article by Tozer to read if you're interested.
Thanks for indulging my ignorance in a godly manner. Blessings, Love you all so much. You are all so dear to me.
A.W. Tozer on PROPHETIC Leadership
If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of leader. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.
Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.
This is only to say that we need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the Church. And it is my belief that the one gift we need most now is the gift of prophecy. Not “fortune-telling” but Prophetic insight. It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and to tell us what is actually going on....
Where is the man who can see through the ticker tape and confetti to discover which way the parade is headed, why it started in the first place and, particularly, who is riding up front in the seat of honor?
What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present. Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays, but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own day....
“Lord, I pray for that gift of prophetic insight. Move me beyond the knowledge You’ve enabled me to gain through education, reading, and study. I pray that I might lead as one ‘who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the throne. Amen.”
(One response to the above Tozer excerpt)
Does anyone really WANT “Prophetic Leadership”? : )
Morning, I would imagine that a large number of men in the religious world reading this writing of Tozers would say as he did, with great enthusiasm and sincerity: “give me visions from God; let me hear the voice of God so that i can lead”.
But, i would also venture a guess that if this request were granted, most of these men would be set RUNNING when they began to EXPERIENCE such a life, rather than the façade.
Because of the “extraordinary character of the revelations” that Paul received, because of the abundance of insight into God’s will, because of Paul’s obedience to God’s call on his life...this was Paul’s life:
“...with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times. Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with a rod. Once I received a stoning. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea. I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, in hard work and toil, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food, in cold and without enough clothing. Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches” (2Cor 11:23b-29).
Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:54 PM
Jesus, and Him crucified. But let's not stop there. And Him resurrected!
Yes, as I think about it, I fervently pray that God will send true prophets into this sin riddled and deceived nation. And even the world. And I'll throw this little ditty into my post: It's time RIGHT NOW for me to get my priorities straight and when I wake up each morning, avail myself completely to God!!!! Whether I "FEEL" Him or not. Oh God, forgive my laziness. And thank you SO much for your discipline for it truly brings about the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Amen
Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:49 PM
I thought you might be interested in an experience I had with a prophet. A prophet that could bring life to the Word. Please take this with a grain of salt because unless you have experienced one first hand it's hard not to question.
Two year ago shortly after my marriage ended I met Paul. He was different than anyone I have ever known or probably will know again. It's a long story but one I will cherish always. Paul was born premature and sickly, not a man of great stature but with the big Spirit in him. He was brought up strict French Catholic. His grandmother was a godly woman and one day when he was 5 yrs old he was in the kitchen with her. On the table was a statue of Christ. From the statue came baby Jesus and floated around the room, Baby Jesus went into his heart. From that time on he would council married couples, tell off the priests in private if they were on the wrong track and pretty much just lived for the Lord. He had a pretty normal childhood and when he was old enough got drafted into the army. For someone of his temperament it caused severe PTSD and when he came out He started on his discipleship. He traveled all over the country sometimes by hitchhiking, sometimes jumping railroad cars meeting believers and having God moments. He got to know the "bums" who knew the Lord and they would help protect him. One time he was staying in the desert with a small Indian tribe. He decide it was time to go so they took him out somewhere in the desert and dropped him off. I don't know all the circumstances but after a while he got pretty hungry and thirsty. And he was trying to figure out where he'd spend the night. He looked down and was surrounded by little watermelons. He hated most "things" and lived with little. When he needed money he'd wash people windows along the way. He spend 3 months a lone in the Sierra Nevada mountains, living by God's grace. While sleeping one night a bear came and smelled his face, then left. He was once committed to a mental institution, he said he had a good time there seeking out the believers and when he left the physiatrist said he had never meet anyone saner. Later on in his life he started several home churches. They never lasted more that 3 years. Slowly, people would fall away from the all encompassing life. Things would get busy with kids and homes to keep up. Paul couldn't stand regular churches. He called it churchy church. He believed in small, close geographical groups of around 30 people spending at least 3 times a week for several hours together. I ask myself was he overbearing or were the people weak.
Anyway I don't know his full story because he had a private side too and had experienced giving pearls to swine so to speak. I do know he could preach to me the Word of God. He'd stand up before me for more than a hour sometimes and drill into me. Ephesians 2: 8-9 (para) Grace is a gift from God that no one should boast. Or 2 Tim 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Paul is a man/teacher/prophet that sees that condition of His sheep and has God's love and anger right on the surface. Paul was the first person in my whole life to love me with the love of Christ. He could take out my deep secrets, look them over without condemnation and strengthen me with our Savior's love. He always knew when I was hiding things even when I didn't think I was. Once he even snapped his fingers at me, shocking me into realizing I was holding something back. It wasn't anything huge, just a worry I had been holding inside. Lastly, I'll say that Paul was the funniest person I ever met, he was a total goof ball and continually made me laugh. He could swear up a storm too if the occasion arose and believe that when Jesus was yelling you filthy vipers it was the same as some of our bad words. He hated all my dogs because they were an attachment/idol.He had a motorcycle he kept spotless so I'd remind him of that. Prophets aren't perfect ya know.
Yea, I fell in love with him but he belongs only to God. And I loved him so much I could let him go. Now he's just happy with the little God moments and hiding in a cave waiting for the Lord.
Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:30 AM
Now Candice I ask your forgiveness for hijacking your thread. And I will be praying hard for your exciting NYC trip. Be anxious in nothing but by prayer and supplication make your requests be known to God. This is an adventure the Lord is sending you on, keep your eyes open for the sheep He puts before you! Rejoice dear sister. bets
Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:52 AM
Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:35 PM
I don't have a lot to add beyond what's already been said. However, I am eager to hear about your experiences this weekend! :-)
Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:52 PM
Thank you for your replies. I guess my one overarching question is - did the Old Testament (BC) end the age of prophets, e.g. prophecy in the sense of prediction? I wonder this because I was in a church that insisted that there was nothing more, beyond the Book of Revelation, to be revealed regarding the future and that anyone making predictions, esp. listing dates for some event, was always a false prophet, particularly when that predition did not come to pass. So, are prophets no longer required. I see in the New Testament books the word used to prophecy as in the verb to "teach, preach, exhort".
Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:31 AM
According to Vinson Synan, "The early church of the New Testament was indeed a charismatic one, according to the Book of Acts. It is also clear that the early church retained its original gifts and Pentecostal power in the long period of struggle and persecution before the triumph of Christianity in the West under Constantine. After gaining acceptance and power, however, the church began to experience less and less of the miraculous power of the primitive church and turned more and more to ritualistic and sacramental expressions of the faith.
The Montanist renewal movement of the period A.D. 185-212 represented an attempt to restore charisms to the church. Despite some early successes, in which tongues and prophecy were restored among the followers of Montanus, the movement was ultimately condemned by the church. The major cause of this rejection was not the presence of the charismata, but Montanus' claim that the prophetic utterances were equal to the Scriptures. Many scholars now feel that the church overreacted to Montanus by asserting that the more sensational charisms, though experienced by the apostolic church, were withdrawn after the perfection of the accepted canon of Scripture. This opinion was expressed by Augustine and echoed by scholars in the centuries that followed" (The Century of the Holy Spirit, p.18).
In other words, after Constantine (Roman emperor) took over the church, it became more ritualistic. Then when Montanus sought the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, he received it--as did his followers. But because they went too far, the church, and later Augustine, declared that the more supernatural gifts were no longer needed. Augustine was tremendously influential and he is the reason most churches believe this doctrine today. Luther, for example, was an Augustinian monk.
However, if we look at the facts, it looks like false theology and extremism were the real issue rather than the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We can see that today. Some people are confused and others still have carnality in them, and they misuse the teachings regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, Rome was extremely focused on controlling everything and they quashed any group that might have a direct encounter with God. THEY wanted to be the ones who heard from God and they bestowed sacraments--even salvation to the church. Men were saved by going to church (a sacrament) rather than by grace.
So, I believe all gifts are for today, but we need to operate within them according to Scripture. That means we encourage the gift of prophecy, but if a brother seems to be a little off course, we have a system of checks and balances where others with a prophetic gift can measure his words. That's how we work together as a body.
That's my take anyway!
Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:38 AM
Just a few thoughts..
Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:46 AM
Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:09 AM
So, this morning, I flip on the television and see this guy on Sid Roth (Supernatural) show. The fellow is looking into the camera, addressing the television audience in general. He is saying something like, "I see a man out there who lost his job.....", "I see a woman who is searching for a believer husband..." and I think "NO" I don't know why, but this just appeared false to me.
I believe the gifts are for today also, but this doesn't seem like the gift of prophecy as I would view it. What about you all? What do you see it looking like?
Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:27 AM
So, I guess that was a word of knowledge, and I don't doubt it when people receive a message from God. I think we see the prophetic gifts clearly in Scripture, like when Agabus said there would be a famine and there was (Acts 11:28). I've had people prophesy over me, and have their words come true.