Any reader might like to use this visual key, to extract meaning from this writing: Key: truth, use, God’s way.
Abbreviations: Bible Versions, ESV = English Standard Version, TPT = The Passion Translation. Bible References: ~ = location, cp. = compare, cf. = confer.
The prophetic Voice is not just someone prophesying in church, or just any other occasional speech, including teaching and preaching that may be considered prophetic. It’s the whole prophetic function, role and example of God’s Church: to show forth who He is in power and glory, but it’s ‘a voice’!
I and the Father are one ~John 10:27-30, ESV.
Each Christian believer’s unity with the Father has been established by the New Covenant, and we are therefore able to hear and follow Christ’s voice, whether it be through the convictions of His word as written in the Holy Bible, or through His supernatural voice or visions and dreams, or through natural revelation, all based upon true faith in God.
So, will we fulfill Christ’s prayer to the Father, thus written?
so that they will be joined together as one
and experience the same unity that we enjoy.
You live fully in me and now I live fully in them
so that they will experience perfect unity,
and the world will be convinced that you have sent me,
for they will see that you love each one of them
with the same passionate love that you have for me ~John 17:22-23, TPT.
God’s compassionate lead came on my reading of Job 6:7-30, in the Amplified version, indicating in general, the sort of anguish my soul has been in, concerning church leaderships and ‘our’ handling of the the way the saints are trained & equipped, so-much-so that I’m concluding that very few church leaderships are ‘into it’ or will facilitate God moving in this way.
God ‘needs to be’ ‘facilitated’, it’s true! We’re commissioned by Him as ‘a royal priesthood’ ~1 Peter 2:9 & Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10. Any church and equipping meeting of the saints both ‘in church’ and ‘in the world’ is commissioned as a priestly order of people who are enabled by God to facilitate people’s approach to God and our/their conduct in God. It’s huge! It’s a huge vision, but one that God’s ‘into’ and we can prove it with God, with Holy Spirit’s infilling and inspirational words.
Concerning God’s churches, my recent dilemma is that “It’s not just prophecy!” My concern is for many things, like: the training & equipping of the saints for the use of their gifts, and for the making of disciples and all this involves – not just spiritual gifts!
We’re commissioned by God for the making of disciples, and we need to find and operate in the best way of doing it: God’s way!
On-the-whole, I just don’t think we’re making progress on that at all! And I don’t think church leaderships, as-they-are, want to ‘look this way’! into the truth and use of the prophetic Voice for making disciples, but some may, and eventually: God grant! all will.
Witness the numbers of church-goers who are stuck in mental illness, addictions, family problems, who are welfare dependent or have just become complacent. We have an ‘old, weary way’ that’s not God’s way. I know! there’s a great perseverance of godly love among leaders and leaderships, with their families and congregations trying to help such cases and causes, but there’s got to be a less tiresome and more productive Way, for Jesus said:
“For I tell you the truth, throughout history there has never been a man who surpasses John the Baptizer. Yet the least of those who now experience heaven’s kingdom realm will become even greater than he. From the moment John stepped onto the scene until now, the realm of heaven’s kingdom is bursting forth, and passionate people have taken hold of its power” ~Matthew 11:11-12. TPT.
If we’ve got so many tiresome problems, then I think so! For the kingdom of God comes with power and divine wisdom. God’s kingdom rule changes lives by His very presence and nature, and the way to get it here on earth as it is in heaven, is through the prophetic Voice, for God’s kingdom is heaven’s kingdom, and we’re citizens of heaven.
Please, don’t take my advice on these things, but:
Let’s see it from the Scriptures:
We need God’s power and wisdom to operate among us, but it won’t come in any other way, than in this way of His Word ~cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, TPT.
My brothers and sisters, when I first came to proclaim to you the secrets (or mysteries) of God, I refused to come as an expert, trying to impress you with my eloquent speech and lofty wisdom ~v1.
No philosophy will do! Not even the philosophies of past revivals, not even our ‘hearts for God’ nor the prayers we’ve prayed because the apostle Paul came to the Corinthians. The Corinthian church had to have a leading servant who was confident that he could “proclaim to you the secrets/mysteries of God”, and just look how he did it!
For while I was with you I was determined to be consumed with one topic—Jesus, the crucified Messiah. I stood before you feeling inadequate, filled with reverence for God, and trembling under the sense of the importance of my words ~vv2-3.
The message I preached and how I preached it was not an attempt to sway you with persuasive arguments but to prove to you the almighty power of God’s Holy Spirit ~v4.
So, I wonder if the great apostle included other believers in this proving process, even training them in his “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (ESV), whereas the Passion Translation separates a couple of claims here: “the message I preached and how I preached it” ~TPT, compare: “my speech and my message” ~ESV. And: “to prove to you the almighty power” ~TPT, cp. “demonstration of the Spirit and power” ~ESV.
There’s clearly two parts to the first claim: 1. the message I preached and 2. how I preached it, and/or 1. my speech and 2. my message; whereas “demonstration” and “proof” are two quite different concepts.
I think “proof” supports this case where the apostle was involving others by teaching them and training them to ‘prove’ the Spirit’s power. Whether in doing that, Paul was training them to work miracles or that they were being ‘vested with God’s power’ through Paul’s works would probably take a Greek word and grammar search to separate the difference.
In any case, it can be argued that the role of an apostle is to “equip the saints for works of service” ~Ephesians 4:12, and since the apostle Paul himself has written this and the Ephesians 4 scripture, then: do you think he would ‘step out of the bounds’ that he himself had set? What further proof would we need!
So, it’s evident that Paul not only showed the proof of God’s power through his own faith on this occasion, but also taught others how to use their faith for the same supernatural works and for the show of God’s power.
So, here’s the clinch-point. Please read and re-read ~Psalm 29, for an idea of the spiritual, eternal and even the natural effects of God’s prophetic Voice. It’s the picture of a great storm sweeping over the lands, and which results in the peace of God’s people. Therefore our use of it, is crucial.
Also ~Romans 12:4-8 shows the company of the redeemed as that storm! Just imagine the members and constituency of your church, coming as a storm, as these people are instructed to conduct themselves as the body of Christ! They bring peace.
And then: ~Ephesians 4:15-16. For that same storm-riding Body, “builds itself up in love” when it’s/they’re operating by the prophetic Voice.
Even Zechariah 4:2-3 & 11-14 where the scripture means that we’re commissioned to ‘pour our oil’ – the anointing that comes from operating our gifts – into “the lamp stand’s bowl and pipes” in order to “supply the lamp stand with light”.
A lamp stand is a powerful metaphor for the Church.
Those scriptures and this logic ’support my argument’ that this is the truth-&-use of the Prophetic Voice, that we’re to be trained as disciples of Christ to use it for ‘greater works’ cf. ~John 14:12.
Psalm 29 has the awesome sense of the true effect of God’s voice when it’s “used”, and we can use it! That’s what we’re here for! “The wind blows where it will” is a metaphor for our born-anew-nature that we have as Christians ‘here on earth as we are in heaven’, and Jesus chided Nicodemus about his belief in “heavenly things” ~John 3:5-8 & 12.
Therefore, we do need to learn to use our natural and spiritual gifts in combination ~cf. Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4:1-13, even-&-especially in our daily lives but most importantly, for the training and equipping of one another in our weekly or intra-weekly church services/equipping sessions.
Since we are vested with the use of heavenly things, then let’s use them!