All May Prophesy

Lesson One

What is the purpose and function of the Prophet? In this lesson we will examine the primary function of the prophet, and the ministry of the Spirit of Prophecy. By doing this, we shall understand the Biblical application of the gift of prophecy in the local congregation.

Prophetís Purpose

Rom 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Eph 3:5-6 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (6) That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

1 Pet 1:10-11 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: (11) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (KJV)

These three scriptural references establish the mission of the Prophet. The Prophet of God "... inquired and searched diligently.." the will and direction of God. God reveals His eternal plan unto His holy apostles and prophets. The mission of the prophet is to search out, understand, and communicate Godís plan and purpose. Prophecy only foretells the future to the degree that it's part of Godís eternal plan.

Godís prophets are not soothsayers, people who attempt to foretell the future using occultic methods. The primary goal of these men and women is to reveal the will of God.

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV)

Isa 30:10 They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. (NIV)

The Old Testament also confirms this concept. Isaiah, the Prophet, realized that the people of his day no longer wanted the divine revelation of God, they didn't want to know what was right, instead they wanted their seers and prophets to prophesy illusions and deceit. This concept indicates that the mission of the Prophet is to reveal the right and correct path of God.

Prophetís Mission

1 Cor 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (KJV)

Eph 2:20-22 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (KJV)

The mission of the Prophet has not changed throughout human history; the Prophetís mission is to function as the foundation to the church of God. The church of God is much more than our restricted concept of the body of Christ. The true church of God spans both Old and New Testament dispensations.

Throughout human history the Prophet has been the foundation of Godís divine revelation. Their mission is to build Godís church; to form and fit each member into living stones and place them into the service of the church (1Pet 2:5). The dispensation doesn't matter (Old or New Testa-ment), the mission of the Prophet remains the same. They are builders of Godís eternal plan, and that plan is to construct a holy spiritual temple in the Lord

Zech 6:12-13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: (13) Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (KJV)

Rev 21:22-24 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (23) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (24) And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (KJV)

The prophetic office is commissioned by Jesus Christ to build the church of God (Old and New Testament) into a holy temple. The final product will be manifested in New Jerusalem. Zechariah, the Prophet also saw the final product of Godís eternal plan of redemption - the establishment of an eternal temple for all the nations to see and experience. The book or Revelation indicates that Jesus Christ is the temple, but we are His body, therefore we shall be the holy temple of God.

All prophecy that emanates from God will have the construction of the temple as it's main focus. The prophecy may be very personal given to an individual, or it might be given to local congregations, or to nations or governments, but the emphasis will not change - the body must be built.

Edifying the Body

When prophecy is given in a local setting the building of the temple/body will be it's main focus. Over the years I have heard prophecy given that is rebuking in nature, but it's focus was not edifying of the body of Christ, this is wrong and should not occur.

1 Cor 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. (KJV)

1 Cor 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (KJV)

edifying - oikodome (oi)kodomh\n - oy-kod-om-ay'/3619); feminine (abstract) of a compound of 3624 and the base of 1430; architecture, i.e. (concretely) a structure; figuratively, confirmation: KJV-- building, edify (-ication, -ing).

oikodome- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) (the act of) building, building up

2) metaphorically, edifying, edification;

the act of one who promotes another's growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, or holiness

3) a building (that is, the thing built, edifice)

From these scriptures we see that the main focus of all church activity must be the edifying of the body. The goal of personal prophecy is to promote anotherís growth in wisdom, piety, happiness or holiness. Harsh, rebuking prophecy has no place in public worship. Should it be necessary for God to issue harsh rebuke, it first will come in private. The only time harsh rebuke is ever issued in public is as an absolute last resort. Be careful the next time you have the impulse to get up in a church service and shout "Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees - Hypocrites" you might be embarrassed, because your impulse is not scriptural or spiritual.

The Witness of Jesus

Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (KJV)

1 Pet 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)

The spirit of prophecy is the witness and testimony of Jesus. All prophetic utterance must glorify Jesus Christ. It's important to remember that all true prophecy that is given must glorify God through Jesus Christ, His son. I have seen prophecy uttered that is doctrinally biased. A person will speak, as the Oracle of God, his or her own personal doctrinal concepts. What if the doctrine uttered is limited in scope and denominational in nature? To prophesy that anyone who speaks in tongues is of the devil is just as foolish as the doctrine that teaches that anyone who doesn't speak in tongues is going to hell. The testimony of Jesus is not the utterance of our denominational doctrine. Jesus is not bound by our debates; true prophecy will unit the body of Christ not divide. The spirit of prophecy will lift up Jesus not doctrinal debate.

The Spirit of Prophecy

Up to this point we have defined the purpose and mission of prophecy. Now let's address the idea that only the anointed prophets may flow with the spirit of prophecy.

Num 11:24-29 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. (25) And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. (26) But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. (27) And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. (28) And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. (29) And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! (KJV)

Moses envisioned the possibility that all of the LORDís people could prophesy should the spirit of the Lord move upon them. This sounds good in theory, but how does it work in practice?

The Witness of Saul

1 Sam 10:5-6 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: (6) And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (KJV)

1 Sam 10:9-11 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. (10) And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. (11) And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? (KJV)

Was Saul anointed by Samuel as a Prophet? The answer to this question is NO; Saul was anointed as King. Samuel instructed Saul to journey to the hill of God (Mt. Tabor), there he would meet a company of prophets coming down from the hill worshipping God with musical instruments. When he joined himself to this company the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him and he would prophesy.

What truth can we glean from this episode? A person doesn't need to be a prophet to flow with the spirit of prophecy. All that is needed is to be among the recognized prophets when they release their gifts, and the spirit of prophecy can flow through any person who has a willing heart. Notice that the people couldnít distinguish Saul from the other Prophets when he flowed with the spirit of prophecy.

The Witness of Saulís Messengers

1 Sam 19:20-23 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. (21) And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. (22) Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah. (23) And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. (KJV)

Skeptics might say that Saul was able to flow with prophecy because the Spirit of the Lord was upon him due to kingly anointing. If this is the case then how do we explain the episode of Saulís messengers when they entered the company of the prophets? The same phenomena occurred with these men; when they entered the company of prophets the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they prophesied. This event didn't happen just once, it happened three times; in fact the Spirit of the Lord remained upon the third group of messengers until they came to Naioth in Ramah.

These messengers were ordinary people like us. Simple people working hard to earn their living. They didnít function with a kingly anointing, their only connection to him was their service. When they entered the company of the prophets the Spirit of Prophecy also flowed through them.

Now we should realize why Moses didnít want Joshua to restrain Eldad and Medad, because the Spirit of Prophecy is infectious. I believe Moses wanted the prophetic spirit that flowed through these two men to fall upon the Israeli nation, because the Spirit of Prophecy would change it's oracles into different men and women.

Samuel instructed Saul that the Spirit of Prophecy would change him into a different person also when it flowed through him. We cannot forget this fact. When we become oracles of the Spirit of Prophecy the holy nature of this spirit will change us into different people. Should we be frustrated by our spiritual failures, then find a company of prophets and get flowing.

All May Prophesy

Now let's bring these episodes into the Christian experience of today.

1 Cor 14:29-33 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (30) If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. (31) For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (32) And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (33) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (KJV)

1 Cor 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. (KJV)

The Apostle Paul understood this spiritual principle. All born again saints may prophesy when the Spirit of Prophecy is flowing in the congregation; All that is necessary is a willing heart. Should a congregation be blessed with a company of prophets (men and women who are anointed with the prophetic gift), then the kindling is in place for a fire of prophecy to erupt. When the prophets begin to release their prophetic gift, then all willing hearts who discern the flow may prophesy with the same spirit. Don't forget, the Spirit of Prophecy is infectious.

In 1Cor 14:31. We are encouraged to prophesy that all members of the congregation may learn spiritual truths and be comforted. Let's correlate this concept with Samuelís exhortation to Saul in 1Samuel 10:6 that the Spirit of Prophecy would change him into a different man. Is it possible that Paulís encouragement to prophesy also includes the realization that the Spirit of Prophecy will teach and comfort the human oracle. Maybe we should allow Godís people opportunities to learn how to prophecy, and to allow them to be comforted by the prophesy.

Prophecy Protocol

In lesson one some rules of proper prophetic protocol were presented. Let's reiterate them in order for us to understand the scriptural reasons for entering the prophetic flow.

The Human Oracle

2 Pet 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

We must settle one point right now. The prophets of God are not human cassette recorders repeating word for word the mind of God. God uses human agents with personalities, frailties and weaknesses. The Bible teaches that the prophets of God were holy men who spoke Godís word as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. In the scriptures we find clearly defined writing styles. For example, who could mistake the great truths of the Apostle Paul embedded in his confused, rambling writing style. The Apostle John, also has a writing style unique to himself. If these men were simple cassette recorders speaking only word for word what God spoke, their would be absolutely no difference in their writing style. In simple words, the personality of each prophet is embedded in the prophesies of God. We cannot separate the human host from the prophetic utterance.

Why is it important we understand this point? The greatest fear people have in regards to exercising the voice of prophecy is the possibility that the utterance may be influenced by their own thoughts and personality. You cannot escape this possibility, because no prophecy is a pure flow of divine control. God uses human agents and the personality of that agent will be embedded in the prophecy.

 

All May Prophesy

Lesson Two

In lesson one we examined the purpose and mission of the Prophet ministry. We discovered that the primary function of the Prophet is to reveal the plan and will of God. We also studied the concept that all Christians may prophesy when the Spirit of Prophecy is flowing; the only requirement is a willing heart.

In lesson two we will examine the technical aspects of prophecy. We will study how prophecy manifests in a willing heart, but in order to do this we first must understand how God communicates with His saints.

Godís Thought

Ps 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. (KJV)

Ps 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (KJV)

Ps 139:17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (KJV)

God is not restricted by human language, when God speaks to us He speaks with pure thought. This point must be clearly understood, God communicates with pure thought, therefore we must learn to understand the thoughts of God.

The Arena of Deep Thought

Ps 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (KJV)

David realized that the thoughts of God are very deep in nature, therefore we can conclude that the thoughts of God are normally part of the human thought process.

Eph 4:17-18 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (KJV)

understanding - dianoia (dianoi/a - dee-an'-oy-ah/1271); from 1223 and 3563; deep thought, properly, the faculty (mind or its disposition), by implication, its exercise: KJV-- imagination, mind, understanding. (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)

dianoia- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) the mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring

2) understanding

3) mind, that is, spirit, a way of thinking and feeling

4) thoughts, either good or bad

The Apostle Paul seemed also to confirm this point. He indicated that we have an arena within us that is capable of spiritual understanding. The Greek word used for "Understanding" has the application of "Deep Thought". The understanding we have is the result of our interaction with the life of God.

Let's bring this concept into a practical arena. Deep within every saint is an arena where God communicates His thought, and that thought is transmitted into the deepest part of our human existence - the human spirit. Let me clarify this issue. We have resident within us two thought processes, one that is expressed by the human soul while the other is an expression of the human spirit.

This dual thought process is an important point, because the Apostle Paul wanted us to realize that it's possible to darken our ability to receive thought from our human spirit, because of the blindness (Porosis - Stupidity or Callousness) of our hearts. When we allow sin in our lives it confuses our minds, and we limit our ability to receive the deep thought of the Holy Spirit. Now we come to the crux of the matter: disciplined thought is a vital key to understanding the deep thought of God.

2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (KJV)

Rom 13:13-14 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (KJV)

These two scriptural references confirm my point. We must allow the Holy Spirit to bring every thought into the obedience of Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish this feat we must "Put On" the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for our flesh to express it's lusts. The only way we can put on the Lord is through prayer and Bible meditation.

The Thoughts of Men

Ps 94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. (KJV)

Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (KJV)

Isa 55:7-8 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (8) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (KJV)

The Old Testament establishes the fact that the normal human thought process is full of vanity (undisciplined thought). David realized that only God could reveal the true condition of his private thought life. He knew that he must endure the searching process of God in order for his thought to be exposed.

Ps 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (KJV)

Apparently David understood that resident within every human being is an arena of secret sin, that can only be exposed through the light of Godís holy face. We can only find His face in prayer and Bible meditation.

It's important we understand that our normal human thought process is scattered and undisciplined, because our ability to discern and flow with the Spirit of Prophecy is directly connected to our ability to maintain a disciplined thought life.

Soul or Spirit?

1Thes 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)

The Apostle Paul clearly understood that man was a triune being. He possessed a spirit, a soul, and a body. The prayer of Paul was that our complete man would be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should take some time to examine each facet of our triune being in order to understand how Godís thoughts come to us.

Dual Dimensionalism

To begin our study let's journey back to the Genesis narrative, and walk with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Should our concept of Adam and Eve be rooted in our childrenís concept, then we have missed the great truth God wanted us to understand from this experience. Should we only see Adam and Eve as naked simpletons who walk through the garden with God asking childish questions about creation, then we don't understand the true power and nature of Adam.

Adamís intellectual prowess was far greater than our ability to think. He walked with God in the cool of the day, but at the same time he had dominion over planet earth. Now we come to the crux of the matter. In what capacity did God walk with Adam? Did God take physical form and walk with Adam - physical creature to physical creature. Or, did Adam walk with God spirit to spirit. I think the Eden narrative supports the concept that Adam walked with God in the Spirit.

Ponder with me this possibility! Could Adam have been a dual dimen-sional creature, able to experience two dimensions at one time. At the same moment in time Adam could walk among the trees of Eden and walk with God in paradise.

Adamís Triune Nature

In order to understand this concept we must also understand the type of triune creature Adam was. God gave him a physical body in order to experience the physical dimension. In this body God created five senses - sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell - in order for Adam to understand his world. God also created Adam as a spiritual creature, he gave him a spiritual body, that also has five spiritual senses in order for him to experience the spiritual dimension. Adam now possesses two bodies that allow him to walk in two dimensions at the same time. But how does he understand the sensory data being transmitted to him by both bodies? Now we come to the reason for the human soul.

God created in Adam a human soul whose primary function is to process data being received from both dimensions. Adamís soul functioned like a Central Processing Unit (CPU) in a computer. It received sensory data from both dimensions, it digested that data, and it put in into thoughts and words Adamís reasoning prowess could understand.

Two Edens

This concept would explain how Adam could walk in Eden and also walk with God at the same time. This concept also projects an interesting application to the Eden narrative. Is it possible that the Eden narrative is a description of two dimensions at the same time. The physical world occupying one dimension, while the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil occupied another. The Bible also alludes to this concept by locating the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God (Rev 2:7). We have no scriptural evidence that God ever moved the Tree of Life, but we do have evidence that it's located in the Paradise of God.

Adamís Rebellion

Adamís rebellion changed the whole structure of human existence. Death was the result of Adamís sin; his two bodies would eventually die. After the curse of God, Adam died to the spiritual dimension that God inhabited. His physical body died several hundred years later. It's important we understand that Adamís spiritual death didn't destroy his spiritual body. But death and darkness became it's normal state. For all intent, at this point Adam is a one dimensional creature, because the sensory data received from his spirit body is filled with death.

Christian Dual Dimensionalism

Why should we be concerned with Adamís triune nature? How does this truth affect our Christian experience today? The Bible clearly teaches that we are sons of Adam, patterned after his triune nature (1Cor 15:22). If this is true then we have the potential to be dual dimensional. The problem we have is from the moment of birth we have trained our souls only to receive sensory data from one dimension - our physical bodies. Through Christian regeneration we are born again to the spiritual dimension, and the light and life of God floods our dead human spirit. At this point we are dual dimensional; able to walk in two dimensions at one time. We experience these two dimensions when we sense the Holy Spirit of God moving in us during seasons of worship.

Twoedged Sword

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)

Now we come to the reason we must allow the word of God to divide between soul and spirit in our lives. The natural state of human thinking is to trust only the physical five senses. Our souls receive stimulus from our spirits, but it's not recognized, because the stimulus is foreign to our normal human thought patterns. We must allow the Holy Spirit to use the word of God to divide between soul and spirit. We must allow the Holy Spirit to be the discerner of our thoughts and intents. What connect do these truths have with the ability to prophecy?

Prophecy first comes to us in the form of spiritual thoughts (pictures, sentence fragments, etc.) into our human spirits. It's the responsibility of our souls to digest these images and put them into words we understand. We must learn to discern the thoughts of God in order to flow with the spirit of prophecy. In simple terms we must earn to discern your spirit from your soul. Failure to develop this type of thought disciple is fatal to Christian maturity.

How do we embrace the twoedged sword of Godís word?

Deceitful Heart

Jer 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (KJV)

Jeremiah, the Prophet presented a very interesting point. The heart of man is very deceitful and full of wickedness, and the normal human being doesn't recognize this fact. Why is it we don't realize our own personal deceit and wickedness? The answer is simple; no man knows the true spiritual condition of his heart. Only God can reveal our deepest thoughts to us. We will only frustrate our spiritual walk with God should we fail to recognize this simple truth. Our hearts are filled with deceitfulness and wickedness, and we must allow the Holy Spirit to purged our secret thoughts. The fact that deceitfulness fills our hearts only indicates that we hide our true spiritual condition in the robes of self-deception.

Eyes of Jesus

Ps 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (KJV)

Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Prov 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. (KJV)

We must acknowledge the fact that we have resident within us a dark realm of secret sin that has the ability to hide in self-deception. The only way our secret sin can be exposed and purged is in the light of Godís countenance. We must allow the eyes of our Lord to search our inner thoughts, and expose the true condition of our hearts. This can only occur through a disciplined lifestyle of worship and prayer (1Chrn 7:14 Heb 11:6).

The Bible teaches that the Countenance of God (face of Jesus) is filled with intense light. We cannot seek His face without the light of His glory exposing our true spiritual condition. This is the reason why our secret sin life is exposed when we walk with Christ in communion.

2 Chr 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (KJV)

This concept brings us to 2Chronicles 7:14; the famous scripture often quoted to support Intercessory Prayer. I hear and see this verse being used by preachers to support their doctrine of prayer, and it's usually quoted in this fashion, "...If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, .... then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ..." It's interesting to note they leave out the main purpose for this verse. Our goal in prayer and praise is to seek the face of Jesus (gaze into His eyes), and turn from our wicked ways (secret sins). When we allow the Prayer of Communion to be the focus of our prayer life, then true intercession will manifest, because we have touched the heart of God. This verse is not a call to intercession it's a call to communion. Only when we walk with God in honesty and truth can the light of His presence transform us. Our nation is healed because the families of that nation are healed.

Cleansing Word

Ps 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (KJV)

The Bible also teaches that we cleanse our way (thought life) by taking head to the word of God. How do we heed the word of God? Do we heed the word of God when we confess an occasional religious belief? Do we heed the word of God be casual Bible reading? The answer to these two questions is NO.

heed - shamar (rm)v=l - shaw-mar'/8104); a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.: KJV-- beward, be circumspect, take heed (toself), keep (-erself,), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man). (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)

shamar- (Brown-Drivers-Biggs)

to keep, to guard, to observe, to give heed

a) (Qal)

1) to keep, to have charge of

2) to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchman (participle)

3) to watch for, to wait for

4) to watch, to observe

5) to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory)

6) to keep (within bounds), to restrain

7) to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow)

8) to keep, to preserve, to protect

9) to keep, to reserve

b) (Niphal)

1) to be on one's guard, to take heed, to take care, to beware

2) to keep oneself, to refrain, to abstain

3) to be kept, to be guarded

c) (Piel) to keep, to pay heed

d) (Hithpael) to keep oneself from

The Hebrew word "Shamar" is a very serious word. It has the application of placing a hedge of thorns around your memory in order to guard what is treasured. We must consider very carefully what the Holy Scriptures are teaching us. We must read, study, and meditate the word on a daily routine. The only way we can cleanse our thought lives is to fill our minds with the word of God.

Ps 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (KJV)

Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (KJV)

Ps 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

We must understand that the word of God is perfect, and it has the ability to convert the soul (arena of thought). When we fill our minds with the word of God we create a fertile ground for the thoughts of God to reproduce in us. Godís thought will often follow the path of memorized scripture. We must remember this fact when we want to flow in unison with the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Bible is filled with instruction to meditate on the things of God: let's examine a few spiritual objects of meditation.

Biblical meditation is not the humming of a Christian mantra while we set in a kneeing position projecting to God a mind empty of all thought. We are not christianized Hindus. True Bible meditation is to ponder and carefully think through the application of scripture, and how our study verse is applied in our lives.

We know that a willing heart is necessary for us to oracles for the Spirit of Prophecy. A willing heart is a heart made ready through a lifestyle of disciplined worship, prayer, and Bible meditation. The Spirit of Prophecy will use any open vessel to speak the word of the Lord. It's important we understand that the ability to prophesy is determined by our willing hearts.

Worship and Prophecy

1 Sam 10:5-6 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: (6) And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (KJV)

Let's return to Saulís first encounter with the company of Prophets. Notice that prophets were engaged in worship with song, music and dance when the Spirit of Prophecy was flowing. This fact brings to light an important principle necessary for the release of the Spirit of Prophecy, and that principle is the element of praise and worship. Why is this the case? Is God so vain that He needs His created creatures to worship Him? Again the answer is NO. Worship and praise is not designed for God only; it's also the medium utilized by man to walk with God. The reason why we are confused about the necessity of praise is our ignorance about the spiritual value of praise.

Ps 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (KJV)

inhabit - yashab (<m*oy - yaw-shab'/3427); a primitive root; properly, to sit down (specifically as judge. in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain; causatively, to settle, to marry: KJV-- (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), easeself, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.

yashab- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

to dwell, to remain, to sit, to abide

a) (Qal)

1) to sit, to sit down

2) to be set

3) to remain, to stay

4) to dwell, to have one's abode

b) (Niphal) to be inhabited

c) (Piel) to set, to place

d) (Hiphil)

1) to cause to sit

2) to cause to abide, to set

3) to cause to dwell

4) to cause (cities) to be inhabited

5) to marry (that is, to give an dwelling to)

e) (Hophal)

1) to be inhabited

2) to make to dwell

yashab- (Geseniusí Hebrew Lexicon)

"To sit, to sit down; to sit upon a throne in judgment"

We are taught that God inhabits our praise. The Hebrew word "Yashab" doesn't just indicate some reclining at rest, but it has the application of a mighty king setting on his throne in judgment. When we apply this application to our concept of praise we conclude that God doesn't just inhabit our praise, He enthrones our praise. We have a misconception of Godís habitation should we think that He is coming out of heaven in some sort of glorified cloud to inhabit the spiritual vapor of our praise.

The Spirit of God doesn't come out of heaven, He is released through our yielded human spirits. Simply stated, Jesus doesn't manifest himself independent of our human spirits. He comes from within, he is expressed through our yielded human spirit and soul when we praise Him.

Therefore we can conclude that praise and worship is joint venture between God and man walking together in Spirit and Truth. Praise is not an exercise we practice in order to ONLY glorify God. Praise and worship opens our renewed human spirit to the presence of God, and allow Him free expression in our midst. This is the reason why we can discern the presence of God during times of intense praise. God is being released through us not just manifesting Himself to us.

When we understand this principle it should be obvious why praise, worship, and prayer are vital parts to the manifestation of the Spirit of Prophecy. Should we desire to flow in prophetic utterance then develop a disciplined life of worship and Bible meditation. Should our worship experience with God be restricted to only a Sunday morning exercise, then our ability to discern the thoughts of God and vocalize them with prophetic anointing is also greatly restricted.