POWER OF PROPHETIC RESPONSIBILITY
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Prophetic Responsibility- Bill Johnson teaches that there is a dual responsibility when it comes to prophecy on both sides: giving and receiving prophecy. The one prophesying has to recognize that the LORD desires to speak to each and every one of His children, and to those who have not yet been redeemed. We can trust that God will speak in a situation if the attitudes of the heart are correct. When we yield over to Holy Spirit, we can trust that He will speak. We must then be careful to give the prophecy in the purest form given by Holy Spirit. There are many scriptures against false prophesy and giving words to people in the Lord’s name, when it is not the Lord.
FINDING THE MARGINS- The proper use of the prophetic mantle moves against the negative and releases the positive. Jesus became nameless and faceless in order for the Father to be made known. It says in Scripture to honor the prophets. Part of the reason is that a prophet goes through an incredible amount of testing until they are like gold, able to be trusted by the Lord. These ones are anointed of the Lord, and must be honored and prayed for, just as you would a leader or Pastor in the church. Honor a prophet and receive a prophet’s reward.
The Lord is constantly refining us like gold. He is raising up an end time generation that will be effective and mighty in power against the powers of darkness. He will use prophetic gifts to speak to those desiring a God of the Supernatural, that is revealed in POWER. As we submit to the Lord in obedience and humility, we will be trusted with anointing to bless others.
In the realm of revelation and prophetic manifestations, there are really three types of prophetic ministry: Illuminative Revelation, Informational Revelation, and Inscripturated Revelation. Of the three, only Inscripurated Revelation is no longer in operation. Illuminative Revelation is what we call prophetic preaching. It’s when a message is given that is based on the Inscripturated Word and applies the Word to peoples life situations. Informational Revelation is when God gives specific information about people’s lives and situations (words of knowledge/wisdom).
How do you know if you are beginning to flow in the prophetic stream? One way is to test the ways God is speaking to you and how He has spoken to you. All of us can prophesy, but not all of us will be known as members of the prophetic community. Is God speaking through you verbally? God does still speak to us and through us you know. In the Bible, God spoke at Mt. Sinai audibly. He spoke audibly again to Samuel. He spoke from Heaven at Jesus baptism. God spoke again at the Transfiguration. God spoke audibly confirming Jesus prayer in John 12:28: “Father, glorify Your name! Then a voice came from Heaven, Í have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’” Saul of Tarsus heard the audible voice of God on the Road to Damascus.
God also speaks to us in our hearts (inaudibly). This is probably the primary method of revelation today. God also speaks through Visionary Revelation. In other words, through dreams and visions. Numbers 12:6 says, If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision and I will speak to him in a dream. In my opinion, dreams and visions have been the gold standard for true prophetic ministry like… forever! God spoke to Abraham the Patriarchal Prophet, now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet… (Genesis 20:7), in a dream… Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours in a dream. He spoke to Joseph in dreams, and Daniel in dreams.
God also speaks to heathens in dreams, Abimelech, Laban, the Midianite, a Baker and Butler, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Three Wise Guys from Vegas, and Pilate’s wife, along with Solomon. This is important, as we have been promised dreams as a divine mode of communication as this present evil age concludes, and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions (Joel 2:28).
Visions are the other side of the prophetic office. They are closely associated with dreams. The difference is they happen when you are fully awake. Many think visions are the exclusive domain of the prophet in office.
Discerning of spirits enables believers to distinguish – by means of spiritual insight – the motivating spirit behind certain words or deeds, be it human, demonic, or divine.
Spiritual language enables us to speak prophetically to God He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him… (v. 2).
Speaking to God in spiritual language is not the only way to speak to Him, but it is a privileged benefit through which we gain intimacy with God, and by which the Holy Spirit empowers us to serve others.
God loves you uniquely and individually. Utilizing prayer language is an important element in speaking to God personally, as it allows us to address Him uniquely and individually, as we express our hearts in a way only He understands.
While we may not necessarily know what we are saying, we do know the One we are speaking with, as well as the quality of what our heart is feeling toward Him, as Holy Spirit lets us communicate beyond the language limitations we have.
Spiritual language equips us with prophetic insight…however, in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. (v. 2). The word “mysteries” is not talking about peculiar things but about God’s truth being brought into the light. It may be fresh to our minds, but it’s not going to be different from what’s in the Bible. To us, a mystery is something we can’t figure out, but in the Greek (mysterion), it is an insight or revelation that now we understand.
Often when I am studying and come across something that I just don’t get, I ask the Lord to help me tap into His Holy Spirit to see where it fits. It’s important to remember that the Bible was given by the Holy Spirit. While I am praying, another verse will come to mind, and then it will all click: this connects to that. Or the Lord will whisper something in my heart, and it all becomes clear.
Spiritual language is self-edifying He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself… (v. 4)
We speak in tongues, because there is an edifying—or building up—of ourselves. It’s good for us. This doesn’t mean that we are not interested in loving the lost and serving others. Scripture says: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20-21). Jude continues by saying that we are to be compassion ward the lost, and reach out to those who need to be drawn from the threat of eternal loss into life in Jesus.
The use of our spiritual language also serves as an occasion where we welcome the Encourager, the Comforter, aka Holy Spirit, as He comes alongside us to help us (Paraclete). When we pray in the Spirit, Holy Spirit flows refreshing goodness into us. This is indeed something you have to experience personally, as there is no human explanation for the supernatural infusion of His encouragement and strength into our lives when we pray in the Spirit.
Spiritual language enlarges the boundary of our praise and intercession… For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us… (Rom. 8:26)
Worship and praise are powerful tools of warfare that drive back darkness. Praise drives darkness away, as true praise and worship is despised by the enemy. There is power in our praise when it becomes an instrument in the hands of the Spirit to drive back the works of darkness. Praise is an instrument of warfare and intercession, and it is loathed by the Adversary. It’s why we are supposed to sing in the Spirit.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:26-28 that we don’t know how or what to pray often. This is offset with Holy Spirit knowing the mind of the Father, and Holy Spirit then enabling us to pray exactly the way we need to, regardless of our human limitations. Holy Spirit also helps in our weaknesses, For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
All of these benefits of spiritual language help us see in the Word why on the day the Church was born, the Lord gave everybody the gift of spiritual language. It wasn’t to prove to them that Holy Spirit had come; as the love of God overflowing in their hearts accomplished that task. Nor was it to demonstrate that the power of God had come. Over each of their heads could be seen fire from Heaven that had come to energize. I believe spiritual language was given not as a proof but as a resource they would need in order for the Church to be the Church.
I will never argue against the idea that tongues are an evidence of the baptism of the Spirit, because I think there is sufficient evidence for that. It’s just not the only evidence. But the Lord did not give us spiritual language as a point of argument for the Church. He gave it as a resource to capacitate the Church. The Holy Spirit, who has come to dwell in us, wants to overflow every one of us and, in that overflow, to release His spiritual language.
Leadership Oversight– Leadership will need to closely oversee and instruct each person as the Lord leads. Along with the freedom to prophecy in this closed environment, there is also responsibility when moving in prophetic gifts and a level of maturity and healing is required to be able to give pure prophetic words without filtering in our own “paradigms”. Therefore, careful instruction in prophecy will be given. In order to raise up a company of prophets, learning to move in the prophetic requires a humble and teachable spirit to accept correction. Discernment and hearing God’s voice must be emphasized. Training and release will need to occur before a person will be asked to minister outside of this close setting. In time, a person with a prophetic gift will be able to give and receive prophecy with the correct attitudes of the heart, spiritual maturity, without fear and move in the flow of Holy Spirit’s pure stream of love for the body and for “nonbelievers”.
It is the receiver’s responsibility to receive a word from a prophetic person, encouraging them in their gift if they are new to it. They then must submit this to the Lord and ask Him to confirm it. We must be careful not to receive it in our spirit automatically, as woundings can occur and doors can be opened in the spirit. It is important to understand that the Lord will continually build upon something He is telling you. It will not just happen once. Most of the time, when you receive a word, it will be in confirmation of something He is already telling you.
We must always “test the spirits” to assure that we are following after His love for them. The Lord is faithful to teach us HIS WAY of doing things. As we are faithful to move in obedience, our giftings are perfected in His love. Luke 15:3-5, So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Words given often have good intent but little prophetic content. Or just because a word comes and everything seems to go in the “opposite direction” doesn’t mean the word is false. That is called “prophet process” and if you listen too or read Graham Cooke he teaches that this is a part of the process at times. We can reject those prophets or so called prophetic people, that seem to prophesy out of the flesh or pride or even envy. These are called curses, and we do not have to receive a word just because someone says they are prophetic. Guard your heart and mind against these kind. Give grace in all things and correct them if led by Holy Spirit. God abhors a false prophet.