«FOUNDATIONS FOR PROPHETIC GROWTH Transcribed from a tape entitled: Tape #180-A GROWING IN THE PROPHETIC Lloyd Phillips Fellow Laborers' Int'l Network ...»
FOUNDATIONS FOR PROPHETIC GROWTH
Transcribed from a tape entitled:
GROWING IN THE PROPHETIC
Fellow Laborers' Int'l Network (FLInt Net)
P.O. Box 113 - Missoula, MT 59803
www.flintnet.org - (406) 251-5730
Praise God. We are going to start tonight our series on "Growing In The Prophetic."
Tonight I'm going to cover a lot of general information, but it will help you and I believe it will help lay a foundation for us as we continue this series, however long it takes.
We're not going to just learn, we're going to do. Because Jesus called the disciples that they might be with them, that He might also give them authority and send them forth. So we're going to do all those things. We're going to learn, but we are going to do also.
We're going to see that the Spirit of God is with us, in us and among us. We're going to hear from the Lord and we're going to trust in Him. We're going to learn how to discern the Spirit of God. We're going to learn how to give a word. We're going to learn to, at least to interpret, because interpretations belong to the Lord our God. So there are a lot of things we're going to get into.
One thing we do know is that the Lord does speak to us. Some people believe that He many years ago used to speak a lot until He filled up a Book, then He had that written and then He stopped speaking. I don't believe that. If you do I'm not going to try to convince you any different, just don't give me a hard time, alright? Because I believe He still speaks today and I believe He still leads us in the way we should go. His Word is a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet and any true prophetic word is a word from God and it should be treasured. The Word of God that we have is a more sure word of prophecy. All prophecy should be judged according to the Scripture, however we need specific word. If the Lord could speak to Ananias and say, "Go out your door. Turn on the street called Straight. Go down there. You are going to find a man. Tell him what his name is. Tell him what he is going to do and even tell him how to pray for that man so he would be healed. Tell him what he is called to do..." God is the same God today as He was then. He can speak to us just as specifically as He did then, and He will. We will see the same things and we are seeing the same things that they saw in the early church.
The true prophetic word, not only does it look to the future, but it also prepares us for the future. The reason we find ourselves unprepared many times is because we are not hearing from the Lord, we're not walking prophetically, we're not listening to the prophetic word, we're not receiving the prophetic word. So we are going to change that.
The church is changing to receive those words that are spoken from God. God speaks through His people.
There was a time years ago before the day of Pentecost when primarily God spoke through His prophets and His priests, those that He put the Spirit upon. But there were others also, Simeon, Mary, Elizabeth, Hanna and many others would receive the Spirit and could speak prophetic words. But, generally speaking, the people of God had to come to the prophet to hear what God was saying. Now we still have prophets today, but unlike then we have the Spirit of Christ, all of us. We are a nation and should be a kingdom of prophets, priests and kings, all of us. Now I don't mean to say that we are all going to have a kingdom and have servants. We are all prophets in the five-fold sense of the word and we are all priests to the point that we would all go out and kill goats to sacrifice.
However, we are priests in a sense that we all now can bring living sacrifice to the Lord Jesus in terms of our own life. We all are kings in that Jesus is Lord of lord and King of kings and when we submit to Him we are the kings that He is "Kings" over. It say if we will be faithful in the little things, He will make us faithful in much and He will give to us if we will not bury our talent in one day, He will put us over cities or many cities depending on what His choice is. But, our job is to be faithful in what He's given us, right? And we are all prophets in the sense that we all may prophesy because we all have the Spirit of God. We don't have to be prophets in the five-fold apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher sense, but that we have the spirit of prophecy. So we may speak the oracles of God. Every Christian has that ability.
There are a number of things I want to go over. There are many, many more, but things that I want to point out about the prophetic as we get a foundation laid here.
1. The prophetic gives us wisdom. The number one thing I want to say about the prophetic is that it brings and give to us vision. What we find is that in our lives when we are distracted that leads us to discouragement. Discouragement leads us to deception.
Deception leads us to destruction. But when we receive vision from the Lord, we break that cycle. When we have no vision that is the cycle we are always in.
Proverbs 28:18 says, Where there is no revelation (or vision) the people cast off restraint.
The people are perishing for lack of vision. But happy is he who keeps the law. Those of us that will receive vision through the prophetic word will be happy. We will not be perishing. We will not be in the cycle that leads to destruction. We will not be distracted, but we will have our eyes on the Lord. We'll have that voice as it says in Isaiah (30:21) that comes up behind us and says, This is the way, walk ye in it. We will walk in it. And we'll not lean to the left nor to the right. Because of that word which comes and is brought to us that we might walk in His ways.
When Ezra (You can read it in the book of Ezra.) returned to Jerusalem he found a remnant of people who had been living for eighty years in the ruins of what use to be because they had no vision. We find in the church today that many people are sitting in the ruins of what use to be hoping for something different but they have no vision.
Prophetic brings the vision. Not everybody will get out of those ruins, but many will.
There are many that are sick and tired of sitting in those ruins, sick and tired of sitting amongst those burned stones and they'd rather be building with those burned stones as they did in Jerusalem. When we bring the prophetic word in, it gets people a vision and a hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. When people have a clear hope they automatically will have the faith and they will begin to rise up because God promises that in His Word. If we will give Him the vision, that will be the hope and the faith will rise up if we will be faithful. Things will begin to change and we'll stop sitting.
It reminds me of the leper sitting at the gates of Samaria, Why sit we here until we die?
That is really the cry of many people that I meet. "Why sit we here until we die?" Many Christians are tired of sitting and the prophetic word brought in will bring a vision which will set a direction and people will be able to get up and they will go because as we said earlier, "It matter not to God if He saves by many or by few." What we will find though as we get up many will be getting up. It might be a trickle at first, depending upon where you are, but it definitely will not stay that way. Because of the days in which we live and the harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few. We are living in a day and time when we are listening to what the Lord said two-thousand years ago, which as we are praying for the Lord of the harvest to send laborers and by the prophetic word we are raising up laborers and we are setting a vision and they are going forth into their callings. We are raising up an army. We've neglected the prophetic and lost our way and our gifts along with our way. But we should not base our expectations of the future on what we have experienced in the past, but on God's promises. If we do, we will continue to allow the enemy to define for us the boundaries instead of allowing God to define for us our boundaries. But, if we will release the prophetic we will see that it gives us authority to tear down strongholds, to break captivity, to bring a release and a birth. It breaks the strongholds of fear and helplessness that have been holding back the people of God.
1 Corinthians 12:31 says, But earnestly desire the best gifts. Now he goes on to talk about the more excellent way which is love. But in no way can you say that he's saying, "If you have love that you should not have the gifts in operation." We need the gifts in operation.
He says to earnestly desire", to covet after those things, the best gifts, those gifts that can bring blessings and if you understand what Paul is saying, "If you really walk in love, you will desire those gifts, but it won't be as some of those in the church in Corinth were using them for their own pride, but you'll be desiring them to bring blessings to the church." So if we truly are listening to what he ways in 1 Corinthians 13, to walk in love, then we will do what he says in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 which is desire the gifts and to manifest the gifts for the people of God to be edified and built up, correct? Praise God.
1 Corinthians 14:1 says, Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. Especially that you may prophesy, the context of what Paul's talking about here is in the church, especially in the church we ought to have prophecy because it builds up the church. It brings the word from heaven to our ears. 1 Corinthians 14:39 says, Therefore brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy and don't forbid to speak in tongues and especially if we interpret because we are edified as we receive the word from heaven.
Forbid not to speak with tongues. Desire earnestly to prophesy. Now I know people that don't read that verse. I know entire denominations that cut that out. I'm not going to go into that because I'm not speaking to them right now. The point is that I don't think it should be cut out. I believe it was put in there by God for a reason. I believe it is just as much valid today as the day it was written. We should desire earnestly to prophesy. The gifts are given by the choice of God and according to His will. You can see that in 1 Corinthians 12:11 & 28.
The gifts are activated by the faith of the believer. We activate the gifts by our faith. If they're not in operation, it is due to our faith. Now information may help our faith. If I have never been taught about the gifts, it's going to be difficult for me to walk in them.
Miracles do happen. I never heard about speaking in tongues until I was seventeen years old and went to college. What I heard wasn't good at first. That is the truth. But, I'll say good things to you now and tell you great things about all the gifts. They are given to us for a reason. They are given to us to strengthen us. It is the devil that has tried to keep the church from using those gifts and walking in those gifts. I don't care if it comes through a child of God, it's still the devil that has originated those thoughts. Bless the person, but the doctrine is heresy. Any doctrine that comes against the clear Word of God cannot be from heaven. The Lord died to give these things to us. We don't want to give them up.
We want to walk in them and desire them earnestly.
James 4:6 says, (you can read 7 & 8 also) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
"God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." You know if you have heard me teach other times, the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 are the grace gifts or empowerments from the word charas which is the word "grace." They are charisma which is from the word grace. The way we receive those gifts is to humble ourselves before the Lord because He gives grace to the humble. If we will use what He has given us, He will be faithful to give us more. So we can have these gifts in operation. It says, "He gives according to His will." What we need to do is put ourselves in a position by humility that it's His will to give them. He always desires to give good gifts to His children.
2. The prophetic word brings testimony and confirmation from God to man. 1 Corinthians 14 says, (3) But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. (4) He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. (5) I wish you all spoke with tongues,(Now I'm not going into tongues tonight, but I think I will read that again&emdash;I wish you all spoke with tongues) but even more that you prophesied (Does that mean to do that, but forget the other? No. He said, "I want you all to speak in tongues and I want you to prophesy more so in the church. What does that mean we are supposed to be doing in our private life? Speaking in tongues like a house a fire, right? Speaking in tongues a lot. What you will find if you will speak in tongues a lot is you will have a word from time to time to bring to the church through prophecy or interpretation.); for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, (Okay this is what we find: prophecy and interpretation are equal to one another so when we have someone come up here and speak in tongues and they bring the interpretation, that is to our ears the same as prophecy because it is a word from the Lord that we can understand and judge and put into practice. It's a word from the Lord from God to man.) that the church may receive edification.
Those who truly understand spiritual authority seek the lowest place out of selfpreservation if nothing else. Prophets may have to speak things which are not in the category of exhortation and comfort. The people will come back into the category of exhortation and comfort if they obey that word, but thank God we're not all prophets, okay? So if you come and bring a word to the church it's going to be edification, exhortation, and comfort. But, those that are walking in the five-fold office of a prophet many times need to bring a word that you don't want to have to bring. See my point?
There's an authority that comes, to whom much is given, much is required. Many times when someone receives a word and they're seeing some problem, they aren't called to get up there like Elijah and call down fire. I've never seen one call down the fire, yet. They're called to pray. You're called to pray.