Listening to God’s Voice to the World.
Those who have heard before
This is the first of three workshops on the Prophetic, today we will look “those who have heard before” through a general overview of the prophetic of the Old Testament and New Testament.
This workshop has been designed with the expectation that we will be able to hear the voice of the God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The very essence of biblical prophecy is that God speaks to man and man speaks the message of God to the world. We have the capacity of listening to God’s Voice and Release it. At the heat of biblical prophesy is to see what God sees, hear what God hears, and speak what speaks so that we can all love the way God loves. Revelation is given to us so we can carry a piece of God’s heart from eternity into the world.
A prophetic word brings an encounter between God and people.
The Bible is a prophetic book.
It is the written voice of God to the world. The whole council of God, that is God’s mind, God’s law, God’s love, and everything about God is told through the pages of the Bible.
It is in the Bible that we learn how God speaks to us. The Bible is the inspired Word of God able to speak to our very needs, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3.16 NIV11). “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4.12 NIV11). Paul said “… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6.17 NIV11) and Jesus said “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (John 6.63 NIV11)
We know that God speaks to us in many different ways, yet I believe that for the purpose of the revelatory message of God, the Word of God comes to us in two different forms, they are both biblical and effective.
The Logos Word.
“For the word/logos of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4.12 NIV11)
This is the Bible, it is the standard by which all thoughts and intentions of the heart should be judge.It is the council of God that we are instructed to read, study, memorise, meditate, and praying. When we come familiar with the Word of God we accumulate a vast resource of logos in our hearts and mind that can be submitted to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power
The Rhema Word.
“… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word/rhema of God.” (Ephesians 6.17 NIV11) The Rhema Word is a specific word for a specific situation. The Rhema Word is a word that is delivered using the gifts of the Spirt, such as Word of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Prophesy.
It is a Word that the Lord prophetically applies to our situations, where He speaks things directly into our spirit and encourages, strengthens and comforts us. It is a word or an illustration that God speaks directly to us.
There is no contradiction between the Logos Word and the Rhema Word, nor there is just one more important than the other and there is no place for saying that the Logos Word has eliminated the Rhema Word, instead the the Logos word teaches the continuation of the Rhema. This is important for three reasons:
When God uses the Logos and the Rhema word in us and through us it has the capacity to create faith that releases the supernatural power of God through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
When we are fed with the Logos Word then the Holy Spirit uses the Rhema Word in and an through us effectively. That is clearly seen when we are taking someone about a particular situation and the Holy Spirit prompt us to say something to them and that usually is a word from God that we learned, memorised and meditated upon, that is the Logos word. So when we encourage, instruct or comfort someone it comes in the form of an immediate word, a specific word, Rhema word that will bring a profound manifestation of the Presence of God. When we don’t feed ourselves with the Logos word, then we run the risk of being influence by other voice, our own old self and the devils.
The Rhema Word will always come under the authority of the Logos Word?
Read: Psalm 23 and meditate on it, highlight one verse and ask God to give you a rhema word based on that verse.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
(Psalms 23.1–6 NIV11-GKE)
Every true prophesy and prophetic acts points to Jesus.
There is no doubt that the prophetic message of the Bible points to Jesus. Jesus is the central message of the Scriptures and all prophetic messages past, present and future have to be centred upon the person, and nature of God the Son. It is His very own Spirit that we carry, that Spirit if the Spirit of Truth.
Jesus said to his disciples after his resurrection: “He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”” (Luke 24.44 NIV11-GKE)
Whether it was a prophesy concerning the coming of the Messiah, of the new covenant, the new people of God, the prophesies concerning Israel (judgements) pointing to the New Jerusalem and to the Spirit of God being poured out in all people.
““And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2.27–29 NIV11)
Old Testament Prophets
The main function of the Old Testament prophets was to be messengers from God, sent to speak to men and women with the words from God. Old Testament Prophets functioned under the visitation and presence of the Spirit of God Holy speaking God’s word to individuals kings and nations.
The Spirit of God came upon…
“So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.” (Numbers 11.24–25 NIV11)
“The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” (1 Samuel 10.6 NIV11)
“Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and he told me to say: “This is what the Lord says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind.” (Ezekiel 11.5 NIV11)
The Word of the Lord came …
“Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: (1 Samuel 15.10 NIV11)
“But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying…” ( 2 Samuel 7.4 NIV11)
“Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah:”(1 Kings 16.7; 17.2 NIV11-GKE)
Prophets and Seers
Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer…” (2 Samuel 24.11 NIV11)
Within the Old Testament Prophetic make up, there are two types prophets, this is very important because these types of prophets have overlapped and developed, from the Old Testament to the New Testament and to today’s church. The interesting aspect of the development of these types prophetic roles rest on the fact of the revelatory nature of God’s Spirit upon the individual prophet or group of prophets to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in a person.
James Goll, argues that all true seers are prophets but not all prophets are seers. What he means is that there is a distinction the “prophet” is mainly an inspired hearer and then speaker of the Word of the God, while the “seer” is primarily visual.
A prophet may have the particular grace to hear and proclaim the word of the Lord and yet not necessarily function as profusely as a seer does. The seer may move quite remarkable in this visionary capacity, yet not as deep in the inspirational audible word from the Lord.
The capacity to see, picture an image of what God is saying and hear the words that the Lord is saying will depend in our closeness to God, our devotion to him, a complete trust in him and dependancy on His Word and character.
The seer/prophet will say “ I believe that the Lord is showing me…
The Prophet will say “I believe that the Lord is saying …
New Testament Prophesy
In the New Testament there is a shift, Jesus has come, He is the ultimate and perfect prophet who came from the Father. He is the Word, the Logos, his words are Spirit and Truth. Graham Cooke says that in the Old Testament we see a prophetic concentration of the gift in only a few people who represented the Lord. In the New Testament we discover a prophetic distribution of the gifts because now the Holy Spirit live in all God’s people who have surrendered to Him, Jesus said “My sheep know my voice” John 10:3,4,16, 27.
New Testament prophesy is revelatory in nature. It discloses the ways, destiny and plans that God shares with his people in a spontaneous way. It is not revelatory in the sense that is above the ultimate revelation, the Word God, but it is a specific revelatory activity of the Holy Spirit which gives rise to any prophesy by a New Testament prophet.
This is important because prophesy has the capacity to reveal the manyfold plan of God, it discloses the secret of people’s hearts and it brings edification, comfort and encouragement.
New Testament prophetic culture is Holy Spirit dwelling in and with his people.
New Testament Prophets functions by becoming the habitation of the Holy Spirit, “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”(Ephesians 2.21–22 NIV11)
I really love what Kris Valotton says about the nature of New Testament prophetic nature:
“The price that Jesus paid on the Cross determined the value of the people He purchased. God saw something good in us even when we were sinners. It doesn’t take a prophetic gift to see the sin in sinners or the junk in the lives of Christians. It does require the eyes of God, though, to see broken people like Simon (Simon means “broken reed”) and in the midst of their brokenness, call them Peter (Peter means “rock”). True prophetic ministry is looking for gold in the midst of the dirt in people’s lives.”
Graham Cooke asks a really important question: “Who, while walking in the prophetic, first sees or senses the negative people are dealing with? If you do, it is because God is trusting you with his Heart and asking you to speak the opposite. He wants you to call on the gold out of them”
The Prophetic Gifts
Under the new covenant we don’t usually see prophets who live by them- selves in the wilderness. e prophetic ministry is a vital part of the body of Christ in a city. Prophetic people are mandated by Scripture to be involved in the local church, not separated from it. Prophetic people serve within the church as one of the “joints that supply” the other parts of the church, enabling it to be the prophetic voice in the earth (Eph. 4:16).
Gift of Word Knowledge
“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12.1, 7–8 NIV11-GKE)
What is a Word of Knowledge?
Simply, a word of knowledge is a supernatural revelation of information received through the Holy Spirit. It is knowledge received apart from natural analysis or human means. it concerns supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit about a person’s life, it includes specific facts that will help bring someone’s heart closer to God. It helps people to feel known by God so that they will believe more deeply in the truth. it usually comes right before a prophesy, healing or a miracle. It releases faith.
God gives His revelations in different ways, and that is true of words of knowledge for healing as well as for other kinds of revelation.
The Context for Receiving a Word of Knowledge
You may receive a word of knowledge any time or anywhere
You might get a word during a prayer meeting, a cell group meeting, walking past someone in church or in the supermarket, or while washing dishes at home.
You may or may not know for whom the revelation has been given
Most often, the word of knowledge is given for someone present. However, it may not be for someone present, but for a person whom someone present knows about. Or it can be for someone you will see in the near future.
1. Jesus The Samaritan woman (John 4: 17-30) 2. Peter Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11) 3. Paul Ephesian elders (Acts 20:28-31)
How the gift is manifested
Visions and dreams
A definite impression of the Holy Spirit or inner voice
Audible voice or angel (messenger)
Quickening of scriptures
It could happen when talking, counseling, or praying.
Some of the more common ways He gives words of knowledge for healing are: Feel It, See It, Read It, Think It, Say It, Dream It, Experience It
Gift of Word Prophesy
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.”
(1 Corinthians 14.1–5 NIV11-GKE)
Speaking forth the mind and council of God under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Prophesy is the ability to know what is available or what is in the heart of God for the future. it is known what God wants to do or what he developing someone or something to do. Prophesy makes people feel what they might feel in heaven, as if they have some of the hope that is in eternity now. They can feel like the rear of their lives are important and worthy because they are eternal beings, and they matter to God. it can be defines as the supernatural ability to speak the mind of God for the future by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prophesy can include any and all the revelatory gets. Prophesy speaks to men for their Encouragement, strengthening, and comfort.
To convict and convince (1 Cor 14:24-25) For instruction and learning (I Cor 14:31) Prophecy in the purist sense is Foretelling—to know the future and Forthtelling—to cause the future.
When God speaks, it is an event. Something is created and birth. Something is supposed to happen in people’s hearts when they receive a prophetic word or action.
So we must remain in the love of God. We have to learn how to see people the way God sees them. We need to learn how to speak to them the way God would speak to them.
The Three Parts of Prophecy
There are three elements in a prophetic word. However, God may give you a revelation, but not the interpretation or the application
Revelation: The person who gives the prophetic word is responsible for the revelation of the word. It may come as a dream, a vision, or any of the ways that are explained in the next chapter.
Interpretation: What does the revelation mean? Prophetic people need to realise that just because they had the revelation does not mean that they have the interpretation. We often get into trouble when we try to interpret a vision or some other form of God’s voice.
Application: What should we do with the word once we know what it means? Our pastor or overseer should always be involved when the prophetic word includes direction. They should help the recipient of the word devise a plan to actually apply it to their life and walk it out.
Any prophetic Gift requires intimacy with God
Impartation of the gifts, ask the Spirit to give you the gift of Word of Knowledge and Prophesy.
Call out prophetically what God sees, what God says on a person.