A Prophetic Word for 2008

Wait! Don’t let the post title chase you off.

In prophetic circles, the new year brings a flurry of prophesies from the big-name prophets for the coming year. If we had a prophetic-word generator, you could take the following list of words, add a few prepositions and articles, mix, and voila…instant prophetic word.

  • revelation, destiny, possessing, inheritance, dominion, authority, revival,
  • anointing, remnant, breakthrough,transfer of wealth, shaking, sifting,
  • repentance, fresh wind, new day, new beginnings, a new thing, new wine,
  • release, intercession, battles, persecution, strategic, great harvest,
  • abundance, increase, jubilee, visitation, glory, open heaven, decree,
  • influence, accelerate, floodgates, favor, prosper, the nations, victory

I still believe in the importance of prophecy. We need to hear God speaking to us. Yes, there are probably elements of truth, accuracy, and direction in many of the words we have heard. But there is something about platform prophecy that has become wearily predictable. This phrase from Ezekiel may apply to what prophecy has become in the church.

“…they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace…”

This prophetic message from Andrew Hamilton at Backyard Missionary has been rolling around in my thoughts since I first read it.

You know the drill… ‘I believe there is going to be a mighty work of God in this land… a revival of epic proportions… God is doing a new thing… if my people will humble themselves and pray… blah blah blah…”

I began pondering why we crave this revival experience and I wonder if it because we are too lazy to get off our own butts and get involved with the people in the communities we live in…I wonder if we don’t just want God to do the ‘hard work’ of mission…and then when he has done his thing people will flock to our churches to join us… and become like us… and we won’t have to change one bit…

Revival as I hear it depicted takes the responsibility off us to be salt and light. It’s as if the people pray and send God out on mission, and then complain when he doesn’t get the job done.

We really have to stop this nonsense talk about taking the world for Christ when most of us don’t even know our own next door neighbours. And we need to stop expecting God to do what we are too lazy or afraid to do ourselves.

I don’t say that to discourage you, but I say it because I am tired of the false hopes that get thrust at us from so many directions. So many conferences with answers and plans and models to fix where we are at – and yet so little changes.

Be sure to read the whole thing here.

It is very much like this prophetic word for 2008 I read a month ago by Steve Hill at Harvestnow.

The flood of prophecies for 2008 have begun to come in. They sound remarkably similar to most I have been hearing for the past 15 years! “This is the year of revival! This is the year of His power. This is the year of increase! This is the year of harvest.” You mean it really, really, really is going to happen this time? Since the new year is 2008 we have also begun to hear a lot about 8 being the number of new beginnings. So will this really, really be a new beginning?

The revival to come does not demand obedience now. We can feel all warm and fuzzy about the wonderful word and clap at what God will do while conveniently forgetting that where ever people are simply obeying Jesus they are seeing the Kingdom multiply now.

The gospel of the Kingdom only has power as it is demonstrated and declared outside the four walls of our comfort zones! Much of the fervor of the spiritual warfare movement is simply the avoidance of doing the now work in the fields.

Harvest fields tend to be poor and difficult places. Harvesting is hard work where ever the field! You have to get dirty and involved. Sinners do not give honorariums. Discipleship is about one on one stuff! Jesus sent away the crowds in order to invest himself in the twelve. Revival is not about platforms and performances. It is about relationships, sacrifice and obedience.

Similar thoughts from an article I wrote last year entitled, Why Charismissional?

Although the charismatic church has prided itself in revelation and knowledge of the ways of the Spirit, missional living has not been our practice. To know the Spirit is to understand the missional heart of the Father, but we have not lived as people who have this revelation.

Traditional charismatic expression has little connection or relevance to the outside world. Our use of charismatic gifts has not compelled us to go to those to whom we are called. The deeper we went in our quest for the things of the Spirit, the further removed we became from knowing and relating to those who do not yet know Jesus.

We cannot stay bunkered in our walls praying for revival. How can we accept that mentality when Jesus’ example and command is to go? We have not been given a blueprint for spiritually mapping revival. Our blueprint is to be among those who need to hear the gospel of the kingdom, befriending them and intertwining our lives with theirs. To continue to pray for revival without immersing our lives among the lost is ridiculous.

It’s time to stop looking for the big deal. As Shane Claiborne said, “Get ready, friends…God is preparing us for something really, really-small.”

God is speaking today. He is speaking through the voices of those who say we need to rethink what it means to be the church and what it means to do mission. He is urging the church to remember what it means to be the people of God, sent to love our neighbors and to make disciples. He is not calling us to greatness; He is calling us to be obedient and to be faithful.

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65 thoughts on “A Prophetic Word for 2008

  1. Good one Grace, I feel much the same way about most of the emergent chatter. I think it seems we like writing, studying, talking, holding conferences, and the like then actually getting off our rumps and doing it.

  2. I grew up in Charismatic circles. The big one was always “coming”. It amazes me looking back how people were able to year after year get themselves excited about what was coming, while the sameness perpetually went on. I think it is a form of denial. If Jesus is coming back sometime in the next 3-5 years, then I don’t have to think about that final moment when I gasp for breath.

  3. Grace!!! after reading Backyard Missionary the other day I spent some time on the Elijah list reading the prophecies that I used to follow each year. They made me sick. I believed them for so long. I loved your post today. Can you submit it to the Elijah list? Dare you!

  4. Excellent post! Coming from a Pentecostal Background and livign in Wales, I must have heard hundreds of “prophecies” of how God is going to do again what he did in the Welsh revival of 1904-5. Funnily enough he has yet to oblige those “prophets” by actually doing it. Hmmm, maybe he’s waiting for us to do it for him?

  5. Hey, just today Erin and I played hookey from church and instead talked on the phone for over an hour about this exact subject. And (Barb), we also talked about our former infatuation with the Elijah List.

    I laughed out loud at this:

    Shane Claiborne said, “Get ready, friends…God is preparing us for something really, really-small.”

    And I would add to that,

    “This year of 08 is the year to not be great, not great in your own eyes, not great in the eyes of others. This is the year of the ordinary, of the obscure, of the invisible. This is the year of revolution, a revolution about nothing special.
    There is a fresh wind blowing, a move of the Spirit for the broken and weak, for the forgotten and overlooked. There is a new thing that is happening: servant hood, humility, otherliness…will you not see it? Probably not…for it will be so under the radar that it will not be glamorized in a rash of books or overpriced conferences or prophetic word lists…”

    (great post as usual grace….)

  6. Hi Grace – thanks for the words :)

    I found it interesting that you described my own post as a prophetic word.

    I actually had that same feeling as I was wrting, but I tend not to call my words prophetic – I tend to feel that if it has that tone about it then others will say it.

    You are the first to do so.

    I have a feeling that what I wrote was somewhat ‘inspired’, but its a big call to make hey?!

    Anyway – I have really enjoyed your site and will be hanging around

  7. Good post, Grace.

    I did not grow up in a Charismatic tradition…rather the opposite, actually.

    As a 20-something adult Zechariah 4:6 was planted firmly in my consciousness and has continued to temper and adjust my perspective about what and how the significance of circumstances and relationships should be regarded.

    The Spirit may work “dramatically” from time to time, but usually we’re called to simple, humble obedience in the ostensible smallness of day to day life. Joy is realized when Jesus comes face to face with us in our humbleness…something He has been doing all along.

    Tom

  8. …after reading Backyard Missionary the other day I spent some time on the Elijah list reading the prophecies that I used to follow each year. They made me sick. I believed them for so long. I loved your post today. Can you submit it to the Elijah list? Dare you!

    There is going to be such a backlog of unfulfilled prophecies the Elijah List has chronicled, that say, 50 or 100 or even 200 years from now some future prophetic type will point out one, “Hey, see, that was prophesied X number of years ago!”

    Eventually, every prophetic permutation of what God was up to will be recorded. Just look at the Elijah List only going back 3 years. You would think the Holy Spirit totally schizophrenic with the manner which He communicates to the churches. Some of the ‘words’ contrary to others. Other words cancelled out previous ones, etc. And so many words given that no person could really comb through them intelligently enough to make sense of it all…

    Reminds me of the absentee ballot I just filled in. So many propositions or measures that read like some convoluted political-speak. No one can make sense of that stuff…

    Yet Mr. Shultz feels he is doing believers a favor by cataloging all the words coming in from every so-called prophet from all corners of the globe…

    No wonder I opted out. What a useless proph-rhetoric mecca for every Tom-Dick-Harry type to submit their latest-and-greatest telegram from the Throne.

    Well, what happened to some of those earlier prophetic types? Anyone remember Rick & Annie Stivers? What are they up to? And Ken Peters? Anyone know of or remember him?

    I am just curious. After years & years of the same stuff over-and-over again, God cannot possibly bring about all those words now because the universe as we know it would simply be zapped out of existence by the promised Shekinah Glory!

    Anyone see the movie Sunshine?

    So, grace, why don’t you ‘submit’ the word to the Elijah List? I am all for a sober inclusion into the vast database of God’s ‘new’ direction as He ordains for 2008… :)

  9. Hey, here is an actual prophesy given by Marc DuPont at some earlier date. Can anyone determine what year?

    A SEASON OF PRUNING
    by Marc A. DuPont

    The Lord says that He loves us, and because He loves us He wants us to bear greater fruit. Because He wants us to bear greater fruit He is going to prune us. We are to know that this pruning is not a punishment, but those that He loves He prunes, just a vine grower prunes not just the unfruitful vines, but especially the fruitful ones that are his favorites.

    You have up to this point been a watering place for the Jordan during the time of John the Baptist I have brought the empty and the dry from all over the world in ways you formerly would not have believed them. I have brought them to you and you have been faithful. You have baptized them deep in My refreshing love and Joy. They have gone away intoxicated with Me and have effected many others all over the world. But know it is now the time for the John the Baptists to embrace a deeper death to self. Everything you have done, just as everything John did was of Me and for Me. But I did call for His ministry to cease so that the bigger ministry of my Son Jesus might begin. I say to you that if you will die to self, reputation, programs, and the way the river has been nourishing the peoples I will take you into an even greater baptism.

    This baptism will not be in front of the crowds. It will be alone in your prayer closet. Instead of moments of greater laughter you will experience moments of great sorrow. Just as my Son Jesus stated before the hour of His being glorified; that a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die to itself if it is going to bear much fruit” He said “My soul is troubled within Me” Those who I love I prune, and if you will let me I am going to cut you deep within you. But, I promise you where I make cuts there are going to be new branches grafted into you. And these new branches are going to bear a fruit even more delicious that what you have previously known.

    I say to you, do not trust in the programs, the systems, the ways in which you have been ministering. Do not trust in your resources, personnel, or strategies. I Am going to do something far beyond what you are capable of, just as almost 3 years ago I did something far beyond what you knew was capable. I am calling you to leave the focus of the John the Baptist ministry and travel with My Son out into the wilderness for a season of fasting and prayer. It can be lonely there. You will miss the parties and the laughter and the drunkenness. But, I say to you if you embrace this death and do not trust in what you have in place, or in motion, I will give you new ministries and a deeper anointing. I will give you the treasure of the secret places rather than the joy of the parties. I say to do I want to do these things not because I am against you but because I love you so deeply My children and I desire for My joy to be even stronger within you. And when you experience that joy you will have a strength for ministry you have never known before. And this joy will be very contagious to the lost and broken outside of the existing church.

    But I do warn you, just as not all of John the Baptist’s disciples went on to follow Jesus, not all of your leaders will be able to make this transition. Do not be hung up on everyone making the transition, because some I have given you for the refreshing stage, but others I have given you are for both, and there are some I have given you that are now coming that you know not of.

    Let each in his heart of hearts decide at this time to pick up their cross and follow Me into the deeper things. Because to whom much is given much will be required. And I say to you to always know this: “I love you with a love beyond what you can understand. Trust Me and follow Me with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding. If you will do that I will accomplish all of these things I have placed on your heart and even more, because I love you.”

  10. Grace, there is some real truth in this, thanks for posting.

    The Assistant Pastor of our church used to spend a lot of time with the ‘prophetic’ ministries of the UK, before getting disillusioned with it all… He now says that he believes the whole attitude of these ministries is essentially looking for shortcuts. It’s not that they don’t have a genuine desire to see peoples lives changed, it is just that they want to get to the end result quickly, miraculously, without the years of hard, boring, work of loving our neighbours…

    I think part of the problem is that we all got spoilt rotten in the 90’s. We would find these words, this endless searching after Revival, so much harder to believe if we hadn’t experienced it already: God did move powerfully, and lots of people did have their lives changed, without us Joe Bloggs’ (or is it Doe’s in the States?) doing very much more than take our friends along to a meeting…

    I remember an old Matt Redman song: “Fill us up, and send us out…”, but I’ve not yet been to a Charismatic church that has successfully moved past the ‘filling’…

  11. I’ve struggled recently with the whole revivalism thing, where I work (YFC) its an unavoidable annual event.

    This year everyone over here (the UK) is really going for the revival thing
    There’s a big push on mission and evangelism called Hope 08 and as much as I’m cynical I have to say it is trying to side step the usual short cut critique as there is a connecting of revival hope with strategic and genuine action.

    One of the biggest proponents of this years revival “Andy Hawthorne” is a great guy but does my head in, at a conference recently I heard him say “that St Francis of Assisi quote really ticks me off” i.e. the one about preach the gospel at all time and if necessary use words.
    But even he heads up a organisation that is not only involved in outreach and evangelism to young people in Manchester but also a commitment to incarnational ministry in some of the most deprived area’s of their city, its not like he’s just say around on his but waiting for revival to happen. His argument is “give me one good reason why God wouldn’t want to send revival this year”

    Equally one of the big prophetic revival movements (cultural shift connected to pioneer network, revelation church) that was closely connected to the matt Redman soul survivor camp I really do feel got it, not only has that movement birthed the 24-7 prayer movement, a really great thing. But allot of their weird prophetic party (going tribal, carrying round a bishops rod, tribal drums, blah blah) they feel was god speaking to them about the need for indigenous expression of church/worship/mission that for me echo’s allot of great stuff that was coming out of more studied conversation in the emerging/missional world over the pond and has lead to some import church planting and missional action.

    My beef with revival talk in the UK is I’m just not sure if the context it right, for me revival is a drawing back to the Christian heritage of a people gone astray, but I think we live in a post-Christendom context and I think revival is for Christendom context and we should be more looking at missionary contexts for hope and inspiration. Typically in the west revival has happened in a context in which people still had Christian framework or grid to understand their experiences and lead them to church, I don’t feel like people in the UK still have that frame work and so not sure they would know how to understand a experience of God, equally cultural the role of large mass preaching/evangelism is equally culturally inadequate in seeing large scale conversion to Christianity hence contexts like china seem to be a better place to look for hope (which is why Allan Hirsch forgotten ways stuff excites me)

    All this to say I’m happy to ask God for Revival as there is no way I don’t want to see Gods kingdom grow, I’m just not one for shout about it’s gonna be coming round the mountains

  12. Joseph, the prophecy from Marc was given in November of 2004.

    Please do refrain from speaking out against Him. I know him personally and the man IS anointed… so be careful what you say.

    He very rarely gives out prophetic words… they are few and far between unlike many “prophets” I’ve seen… I’ve seen him sit on a word for years…

  13. Amen to this post! Especially to Andrew Hamilton . . . it really is a prophetic word – not the kind that necessarily predicts what’s coming (unless we all in obedience and abandonment respond!), but the type that speaks insightfully to where we are at and where God wants us to go. That’s prophetic!

  14. ronni,
    I could be wrong, but I think Joseph gave that as an example of a word that actually calls the body to action and obedience rather than empty promises.

    We don’t want to go down the road of minister bashing. Most prophetic ministers are sincere in their ministry.

    Paul,
    Good point. There are promises that are long in coming that we should hold onto, and plenty to do while we wait for their fulfillment.

    Maty,
    Absolutely. We shouldn’t throw out prophecy, but rather we should bring it into missional activity, bringing God’s voice and word into the places where He is already at work.

    andy,
    What really struck me in these words is that we have used prophecy and intercession with the expectation that God would suddenly do something for us, as you said a shortcut.

    joseph,
    I am torn because I believe that God is always speaking and so there should be an abundance of His Word. Yet in the abundance we seem to lose regard for the value of His Word.

    tom,
    Perhaps revival and renewal is what happens as we find the Spirit’s empowerment in the small and ordinary.

    hamo,
    Yes, your words were inspired. I understand and appreciate the wisdom to not make that declaration yourself.

    I knew I would post this as I sat at a prayer meeting Friday evening. Unable to participate in the prayers for revival, for God to move in our nation, I thought, “Thanks alot Andrew!”

    Good word Pam!

  15. My quick search of that Marc DuPont prophesy indicated it was given 10 years ago: February 1998…

    rebuildingruins: November 2004 you say?

    I brought it up for these reasons: if that indeed was what God intended or purposed or destined for a group of people geographically or globally or within a certain denominational flavor or whatever, it would be a lifelong process, not just an annual directive…

    That prophesy was one of thousands given that year, let alone the years after it. And it was an example of a more, well, introspective & sacrificial type than most…

    A concern I have is the broadcast manner which such words are directed. I mean, for the average Joe-in-the-pew, such generalized words are not as practical as they may sound. Maybe such a word pricked a few hearts back when it was given. I dunno. Could be a close study of the lives it did impact would actually discover some of those saints experienced its fulfillment…

    What I found during my involvement in the prophetic was either the general word given to no one in particular vs. a personal word that then had little if any practical application either. So from grand in scope to specific in scope, both types had no real godly guarantee. Either God got tired of repeating Himself, or He did not wish to be obligated by those that insisted they were speaking for Him.

    After so many words have literally fallen flat, is it any wonder such a gift or function or benefit to the greater Body of Christ is viewed with skepticism & suspicion? And they keep coming! It hasn’t abated. Word after word after word…

    Marc shouldn’t be worried about giving such a word or what other people think of him. In fact, if it is God that is going to do such-and-such the onus is in on Him, not the prophet. God can take care of Himself. I’ve had many kind, gentle, loving, sensitive saints give me words. Heck, I’ve given my fair share. I am not convinced the major content of such words were in fact from God even if the desire was sincere…

    Marc may be anointed. Could even be prophetic. But I will not accept that assessment from others based on their say so alone. None of the so-called mega-prophets today are without their own supporters & peer network.

    It could be God has allowed the massive output of prophetic words to dilute their appeal. Could be all the noise, the cacophony of words, is permitted to make it clearer when God is actually ready to speak a word that brings focus back to the doing instead of just the hearing…

  16. Pete, Mike, Glenn, Peggy, Jeff, and bajanpoet,
    Glad you enjoyed the post! May we each be changed by hearing the Word.

    Lombard,
    Good point. The prophetic isn’t necessarily predictive, but rather exhortational and empowering.

    Barb and Pam,
    I never followed the Elijah List because we were in a different branch of the prophetic. We still get magazines and mailings from ministries we were involved in. It is odd to read them now from a different perspective.

    Andrew, Barry, and emergingchange,
    The passivity of waiting for revival reminds me a lot of the believers in the NT who were sitting around waiting for the end times. I think the point is that we are to continue doing what we know to do, and if and when God miraculously shows up, we are already busily involved in the Father’s work.

  17. Excellent exchange here; I would only add two thoughts.

    We are human. Sinful and fallen in our nature; even when regenerated by the Holy Spirit after believing in King Jesus, we still sin. We love God sure enough — but many times we love ourselves a whole lot more.

    So we want “a fresh word” for great new stuff, and money in the account, and a shiny car, and great health. We’re King’s Kids, after all; He wants us to have it.

    This of course is self-absorbed vanity; not of Christ at all, but another gospel ‘preached’ in His name.

    The second thing is this: because there are so many folks who think this way, a market develops. Not God’s hand at all, but Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” begins filling the market niche with “ministers” who make a really good gig out of making stuff up to tickle such gullible, self-absorbed little ears.

    The vast majority of ‘ministries’ in all ages — and certainly in the West today — are nothing more than a gig. A way to keep the bank account flush and the collectors at bay, rather than having to go build things, or repair things, or make useful things for others.

    Paul made and repaired tents; he was a “construction worker” when he wasn’t teaching the gospel of Christ. When he took up collections, he did it for others; almost never for himself. Not like today’s career ‘ministers’, who lay out wares on their tables, with the shiniest baubles right out front where the sun might make them sparkle.

    Fools’ gold.

  18. David,
    Yep, that’s the direction I’m headed next when I have time to get my thoughts written down.

    Nathan,
    Great post and great blog. I’ve added you to my reader. The prophetic word should be more than a spanking for the church. I think it will produce godly repentance and a change of direction.

  19. I was reading tonight in “Building Missional Communities” where Innagrace writes,

    Worship is not a doorway out of this world, a path deeper into the self, an abstract communion with God, but a way into the world through an alternative vision and way of life. Participation in the Lord’s Supper teaches people how to remember, how to eat, and how to live.

  20. Forgive me if my understanding of prophecy is unduly literal here but I think it is worth noting that the concepts of prophecy and free will are mutually exclusive. Free entails you being able to determine the course of the future by your own choices. Prophecy, by virtue of knowing the future means that there really are no choices, the course of the future is decided. You choices are predetermined. In other words, you don’t really have any choice at all.

    This, by the by, also creates a problem with God being omnicient. If God knows everything, then he knows how it will all turn out. Again, you have no real choice about how you will behave. Everything you will do in your life is already known, you cannot deviate from that path.

    I have never really been given any answer to this problem. Any other points of view would be greatfuly recieved.

    I think that here is nothing in the world quite as satisfying as having your ideas about things thrown in to doubt. You have no choice then but to see the world with new eyes. Give me some solid doubt people! :)

    Regards.

  21. by the way, my apologies for my atrocious grammar and spelling and the odd missing words. Unfortunately, the rules of written english have always eluded me and I doubt that will change anytime soon. :)

  22. Gary,

    I think Thomas was a solid doubt person!!

    If there’s anything I would doubt about your questioning – it’s the one area of where you seem to have no doubt at all – and that being that the Lord is omnicient – in the sense that He knows the end from the beginning in every little detail and every little thing….

    Maybe He doesn’t have to know everything – maybe He purposefully designed it so that He didn’t have to know. Maybe He’s really not a control freak running a computer program on a matrix.

    Maybe He’s real sure of the path He’d like for you to take – and He knows exactly where that will lead to – but He’s not real sure of which one you’re going to take? Maybe He too is standing on the sidelines of your life – cheering for you. And maybe He’d love to get a prophetic word to you to show you how much He loves you and to show you a path in your life that will draw you closer to Him?

  23. … one more thing….

    Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20-21)

    my point is …… He didn’t know until He did an investigation ……..

    (This probably makes me a heretic of course)

  24. Maybe the issue isn’t whether God knows or not. Maybe he does know, and it doesn’t matter because we still have free choice.

    Think about this: we see our world in three demensions: hight, length, depth.

    But we see only two demensions in space and time (space and time) and we can only move forwards in it.

    But God is outside of space and time. What if he has a 3-dimensional view of space and time? What if God doesn’t have to move forward with time, but he can go backwards, forwards, and side to side?

    What if time and space to God is like looking at an object, and he can enter into it at any time he likes?

    Would that solve the problem?

    Yep.

    (Credits go to Rob Bell for this teaching. Or at least, that’s where I heard it first).

  25. I always think of prophecy as God telling us the stuff he wants us to know clearly. Modernly, prophecies seem always to be about a grandiose future. The most common biblical prophecies seem to be: Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand. Stop doing that! Its wrong, I don’t like it, and you won’t like what comes next! (license with actual verbiage taken here) That kind of thing. I love you (and you, and you, and you.)

    Have I missed something?

  26. spot on grace! time and again i have witnessed (and ashamedly been complicit in) the paryer meetings for revival without going forth and being immersed in the community.

    here’s to follow-through and the coming of the time for the charismissional…

    peace

  27. In response to Gary, when I hear the term “prophetic word,” it could mean one of two things: either “words of prophesy” that predict the future, or words of discernment or insight which are revealed by God into a particular situation.

    The difference is primarily the time factor, one is for the future and one is more often in the here/now. What is similar is that those who have the gift of prophesy or a prophetic gift have the ability to clearly sense/hear God’s voice in and for a particular time and place or situation.

    If one’s gifting is truly yielded to the Holy Spirit, the words can be cutting at times, but always truth that usually speaks to the heart of issues in ways the speaker may not be able to do on his/her own. God often uses prophetic words to affirm, guide or warn His people. And, yes, people have free will to ignore it, but in the end, people see that prophetic words spoken from the prompting of the Holy Spirit are true. In the OT examples we see time and time again, the prophets not only predicted what was going to happen, but they were also advisors to the kings, speaking on behalf of God.

    In both cases, they were using their prophetic gifts. Today I would say there are a lot more people with prophetic giftings for the building up of the Body, but I confess, I’m not one to put much stock in the many who proclaim to be “Prophets” foretelling what is to come (ie in 2008).

    The gift of prophesy is hard since you must completely block out your own desires and voices and surrender your thoughts and understandings to God. It is a difficult discipline and one that cannot be taken non-chalantly.

    When I hear, what I call, “prosperity-gospel” prophesies or ones that portray values contrary to the message of the Cross, I am dubious. Someone who has a prophetic gift, however, will quickly sense what is not true and can expose those kinds of messages for what they are, speaking truth that reveals God’s heart instead.

  28. Nice articles. Dallas Holm sang a song about this in many times. One of the lines in one of his songs is, “We say that we love our neighbors, but don’t even know their names.”
    How guilty I am of this, but I can tell you what time Joel Olsteen is on my TV every week.
    Very thought provoking material.

  29. Just thought I’d put in my two cents…sorry you didn’t agree with it.

    But I’m not going to argue with you. Especially on Grace’s post.

    I hope you find the answer to your question.

  30. I’ve heard many of those “prophetic buzzwords” often. I’m nearing a point where hearing various “prophecies” given to the church I attend are getting tedious to listen to, and I want to scream. Some of them may’ve been true; but really.

    One in particular: “The harvest is coming…and it’s going to be easy.” What? And here I thought there was going to be some work involved!

    As for Gary’s query regarding “free will”: Personally, I don’t believe in it. There are many verses in the Bible that state outright that God knows what he’s doing, that he’s in control. Plus, if there was a such thing as “free will”, then God is subservient to man instead of man being subservient to God. (Even Jesus understood this. “Not my will, but YOURS be done.”)

  31. Gary,

    The essence of Christianity is that God became a man (Jesus) and placed himself inside the limits of being a man (time and space and a lot of other things) if you will. He came to where man was because man could not attain to where He was. He will meet a person on the person’s level.

    There is so much about Him that we do not understand because we live in a finite little piece of His infinity. But He often steps out of His infinity and puts Himself on our plain. If we’re capable of operating on four dimensions, He will be right there with us on those four dimensions, even though the number of His dimensions is beyond us.

    I met Him in a college text book after a devastating experience in a failed relationship. I prayed a three word prayer “Jesus help me”. Help didn’t come at the speed of light – but He sure did come and more of Him than I had ever dreamed of. My whole life was totally and absolutely changed forever. No man or woman will ever be able to talk me out of that experience where God met Jerry on Jerry’s level.

    My uncle – the business man – met Him though a business deal that he (my uncle) made with Him. The Lord proved to be a more shrewd business man than my uncle.

    My mother met Him through her oldest son (my brother). Many mothers come to Christ because of their children.

    Some of the disciples met Him when He showed them a little something about fishing.

    To Thomas it was – “put your fingers here and see my hands, put your hands upon my side and just believe”.

    All I’m trying to say is that Christianity is not about a set of morals or ethics or even the proof or disproof of anything. Christianity is an encounter with Christ – where He turns a doubter into a believer.

    The turning point in a person’s life is when they finally realize how finite they really are – and their guards are gone, their efforts are exhausted and their force fields are penetrated by the infinite One. He has a name – it is Jesus.

    Just ask Him to meet you where you are – He will. It may not come at the speed of light (or it may) – but it will come – and you will be changed into something that you are not now. For me it happened in a moment of time – about a year after I asked for help – I fell to my knees and cried, I stood up and laughed – I was a brand new man. I gave up – He came in.

  32. one more thing…. I said your force fields are penetrated … but really – He will not violate you in any way – it’s the devil who rapes people – not the Lord.

    For Him to gain access to you – you have to allow Him that access – behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in….. (Rev 3:20)

  33. Jerry,

    I do not doubt you had a life altering experience. I only doubt that a supernatual entity came to you. I believe it was all you Jerry. Your catharsis framed within a mythology you were taught. As I asked someone else. If you had the same experience as a Muslim, would it not have been Mohammed who came to you instead of Jesus. If you had been born and abandoned to life you whole life alone on an Island, who would have come to you then? Mother Earth?

    You have an experience and then presume too much. After all, many Atheists have powerful spiritual experiences.

    If Jesus exists and wants to come to me, I will not obstruct him. I seek only the truth.
    Never forget Jerry that the devil was made by God. Why would God not restrict him or unmake him entirrly if he is soo teribble?

  34. Let’s keep the comments on this thread on topic please. Because most of those commenting on this thread believe in the importance of the prophetic word, I don’t want the comments derailed proving the existence of God. For now, you can take that discussion to the Unbelievable! post as long as the comments remain respectful toward one another. I am concerned about the tone that conversation is taking also.

  35. Love this post, Grace. This same thing has been bouncing around in my head for a long time. Well written and so true.

    Lark News had a kind of related post this past month. :-)

    Your post also reminded me of one of my favorite minor stories in the Old Testament. Micaiah and Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings 22. All the prophets are saying good things about a planned battle. “It’ll all work out great,” they tell the kings. “No worries.” The kings aren’t sure so they call in Micaiah. But one doesn’t want to because Micaiah is always so negative. Micaiah comes in and at first tells them what all the other prophets say. “Go, have fun, great things will happen.” But Jehoshaphat presses and tells Micaiah to stop BSing, so Micaiah only then actually gives a real prophesy.

    There are Micaiah’s in the world today, but a lot of the popularity still goes to the false prophets and their generalized favor. Contemporary prophesy is much less about really hearing distinct messages from God and much more a kind of genre, with specialized language and formatting and expectations from the audience.

  36. REVIVAL! REVIVAL! REVIVAL!

    “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it seem to you like nothing?” -Haggai 2:3

    The ancient book of Haggai has a very contemporary message for Christ’s church. Haggai prophesied about 20 years after the Jewish exiles had returned from Babylonian captivity and began rebuilding the temple. Now, some 20 years later, they were expending their energy and resources on their own homes and estates while the temple stood incomplete. But they had their reasons: “The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.” (1:2). I wonder, what was it that they were waiting for?
    Twenty years earlier, when the foundations were laid (Ezra 3:10-13), those who were older and had seen the former temple wept aloud. The beginning of this temple was nothing compared to the glory of Solomon’s temple. Apparently that became the predominant mindset as the years passed by. The people now seemed to be waiting for some mighty work or move of God that would establish them once more as a major world influence. The older people did a mighty disservice to the younger, who were shouting for joy on that same day that the older ones wept. The legacy they left the next generation was their image of what God’s work should look like rather than seeing God’s current working and participating in that work. This caused them to abandon God’s work and busy themselves trying to make their own lives comfortable.
    The message for us today? It shouldn’t take much for us to connect the dots here. Christendom has been ‘dethroned’. The church does not wield the power of influence it once had in our culture. It seems the traditional church has given up and withdrawn to their Christian huddles only to talk about the good old days. Oh sure, they talk about, hope for, and even pray for a great revival – a great move of God across the land, restoring the church to its former glory. Then they can roll up their sleeves and get Christendom back in command where it belongs! All the time they fail to see where God is already working. The legacy of Christendom has dulled the minds of next generations with a picture of a past glory that lives only in their minds, and more often than not keeps them from the great work of the Kingdom.
    God is always working. His Kingdom is dynamic and ever adaptable. Yes, let us hope for revival – but for God’s sake, let us work while we hope! Let us seek once more to see where He is working now, and then roll up our sleeves and participate with Him.

  37. I’ve heard many of those “prophetic buzzwords” often. I’m nearing a point where hearing various “prophecies” given to the church I attend are getting tedious to listen to, and I want to scream. Some of them may’ve been true; but really.

    One in particular: “The harvest is coming…and it’s going to be easy.” What? And here I thought there was going to be some work involved!

    Shelly: I attended a small 4-Square church in the northern end of the greater San Francisco Bay area. There were specific prophecies given to that church that implied it was the most strategic piece in God’s plans to defeat the demonic strangleholds & release the glory of the Lord in that region! Yup, this small group of people, that at first glance were not cutting-edge or theologically aware or even healthy as a congregation were going to be God’s superpeople by divine appointment. There were more than just a few needy saints in the group. But from what God was saying, they were going to be the pioneers of the next great move of God (however you wish to understand what that meant)…

    Left me scratching my head in more than just mild befuddlement.

    And of course since the congregation was small, all the words given to individuals took on greater & greater proportions. But if you actually just observed the lives of those that were given such words, no other-worldly or supernatural ‘favor’ released them from their past hurts or their family dysfunctions or their inability to rise above the issues that required intimate Holy Spirit convalescence. Those ‘words’ were more fluff than fact. More hope than effect. More smoke than fire…

    And those types of words just kept being given. If God really wanted to address real issues that left people bruised & bound & crippled, He would have drilled down to the core of any of us & laid open the issues that needed to addressed, not give some us some pseudo-saccharine pabulum or promise to send us out as a “voice unto the nations…”

    As for Gary’s query regarding “free will”: Personally, I don’t believe in it. There are many verses in the Bible that state outright that God knows what he’s doing, that he’s in control. Plus, if there was a such thing as “free will”, then God is subservient to man instead of man being subservient to God. (Even Jesus understood this. “Not my will, but YOURS be done.”)

    Shelly: The topic of free will & how God permits or allows or makes room for human choice is a hot one in emerging thought. I am not convinced God has such a ‘fixed’ structure to what we experience. If our choices are indeed illusory, that makes God culpable to the eternal destinies of those hapless creatures that miss out on a heavenly reward. It does cause one to wonder just what God is doing with the unfolding of time from our perspective. I think that if God can ‘choose’ to forget our sins & remember them no more, then He certainly can limit His omniscience regarding the choices we make. Could be He does know every possibility, but waits until we decide & then He goes from there. I don’t claim to know God’s motivations. But those of prophetic bent do claim to reveal His intent to us. I am just not convinced that is the gift’s purpose. “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” 1Cor 14:3

    That is the litmus test I use for any so-called prophecy given. Stroking egos, sounding pompous or important, being super-spiritual, etc. is not why prophecy is given. And the vast majority of what is passed of as “the word of the Lord” does not have the effects Paul pointed out in his epistle…

  38. I am convinced that the dynamics of ‘God’s sovereignty’ and ‘man’s free will’ will remain a true mystery because it transcends the time/space continuum (our only way of rationalism). In light of that (or, in spite of that), we hear over and over these days about how ‘Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship’. I agree. Can there be a relationship if one in the relationship has no choice?

    I believe God’s original purpose in creating man was fully relational. Mankind was to live in a serving organic community while enjoying constant guidance in a relationship with God. (I believe Jesus verified this when He gave the Great Commandment ‘Love God with your all, and your neighbor as yourself’). Relational guidance speaks more of ‘collaboration’ than it does ‘cooperation’.

    For those who seem to be stuck in the time/space continuum and the attending dogma of predestination; How do you explain God’s interaction with Moses and Israel in Exodus 32 – particularly verse 14 where it says, “And the Lord repented of the evil He thought to do unto His people.”? (KJV) I see God collaborating with Moses. Moses both acknowleged and honored God’s complete sovereignty in the matter, and made no demands of God. Yet God considered Moses’ words and went a different direction with His final decision.

    Isn’t that what prayer is about? If God’s got everything all worked out already, then why pray for His divine intervention? Pleading grace, in situations beyond our control and abilities? Of course our will cannot overrule God’s will. We cannot make demands of God! But as submitted subjects of His Kingdom, cannot we come to Him humbly, and plead our case with Him? Even our Lord Jesus did this in Gethsemane, but added “nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

    I think the church would be better off if we focused more on our relationships in light of the Great Commandmant, and less on our dogmas.

  39. For those who seem to be stuck in the time/space continuum and the attending dogma of predestination; How do you explain God’s interaction with Moses and Israel in Exodus 32 – particularly verse 14 where it says, “And the Lord repented of the evil He thought to do unto His people.”? (KJV) I see God collaborating with Moses. Moses both acknowleged and honored God’s complete sovereignty in the matter, and made no demands of God. Yet God considered Moses’ words and went a different direction with His final decision.

    In the verses before that, God considered destroying the Israelites…which would’ve been God breaking his promise to them. Moses reminded him of that. So God “changed his mind”, as it were. But I believe that was a sort of role reversal, perhaps to get the reader to understand that God always knows what he’s doing.

    But as submitted subjects of His Kingdom, cannot we come to Him humbly, and plead our case with Him?

    Of course; that’s Biblical, too. But, ultimately, it IS God’s will that will prevail. Like we said, even Jesus understood that.

    http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/freewill2.htm

  40. dear god i pray that people read this and warn othersabout what is to take place, in christs name i pray

    God spoke to me over ten days ago and told me what was to happen in the world he told me of the strong winds that would cause devastation and flooding and the shaking of the earth that would cause death and devastation, i wrote these things down yet i told no one and as they unfolded and i watched them on the news the cyclone in burma and the earthquake in china, my heart went out to all those affected and i realised i should have spoken out that god was showing me things that were to happen and i should have warned people about what is to come

    Glory to God in the highest he has shown me again what is to happen and this time i will try and get the message out there, so please i pray take head to this message and give glory to God
    on may 28th 2008 there will be a violent earthquake that will shake america to its core, the epi-centre will be in california, it will trigger a volcanic eruption in yellowstone park, spewing molten rock,ash and smoke high into the air. for God’s sake do not send your children to school this day..please
    in the atlantic and pacific oceans earthquakes will strike sending devastating tsunamis towards the coastlines, volcanoes will erupt around the world spewing fire and smoke high into the air, fierce storms will batter britain and europe with high winds and hail causing devastation.
    the effects of all this will be so devastating that it will send the world economy into chaos, causing a worldwide crash, wars will break out,there will be famine,plagues and pestlence on a world wide scale, with food shortages and oil shortages devastating the western world.

    this is but the begining of the woes that will signal in the begining of the tribulation, may God have mercy upon our souls, give glory to god for his judgements are true and just…turn to christ and be saved, for God is loving and true giving to us his only son Jesus Christ to be our salvation, now is the time to turn towards him not away, do not dismiss Gods precious gift of salvation in his son anymore, God wants us all to be saved, may god give us strength and courage in the times to come and let us seek refuge in Christ our lord till he comes, Glory to God in the highest..Amen
    may 28th 2008 unprecedented events will begin to take place, and my wrath will commence upon the earth for all have been unfaithful all have sinned, yet I will show mercy to those who i have promised through my son, yet for all who have denounced my son and for all who have turned away, i will send my angels upon the earth to bring about earthquakes,hurricane’s,war,economic disaster,plagues,famine,hail and fire will rain down upon mankind, warn all the peoples tell them the day of the lords wrath is near, warn them to turn to the lord and be saved, warn them that the time is short, yet remember i am merciful and will forgive all who truly repent and turn to my son to be saved, the final birth pains are about to commence, repent and be saved and pray that the time of wrath will be short, for a time of unrest and terror never before seen in the world is about to be unleashed upon the world, for the sins of mankind have reached their fullness and the gospel has been proclaimed to all peoples, there can be no more excuses the time his here the tribulation is upon us, this is the word of God, glory to God in the highest.

    On may 28th 2008 the events will begin to unfold upon the earth that will be unprecedented more than at any other time in man’s history, terror will strike the hearts of all mankind , the world stage will be set for the tribulation to begin, we must stay faithful and true to God in Christ, as disaster and terror strikes the earth the likes of which man has never experienced before, stay faithful in Christ, for Jesus will come pre-tribulation to take all those who have remained faithful to God through him, to be with him for all eternity, and as the Christians are raptured from the Earth, the stage will be set for the anti-christ to take his position as world leader,to institute a one world goverment, a one world currency and with no Christians a one world religion, and he will be known by his number 666, 6 being mans number and 3 being Gods number, for this man will set himself up as a God to be worshipped, during his reign prophesised devastation will come upon the earth until Christ returns to to take his rightful place as king of all and will reign on earth for a thousand years before the last war Armeggedon, and the devil,the beast and false prophet are thrown eternally into the lake of fire and God renews all things for all eternity with him, God the father of all creation let the glory be yours and the love everlasting in Christ our lord Amen

    these words are trustworthy and true and given to me by God, through inspiration and vision, i will not respond again, but will say only one more thing that Babylon who all the nations have prostituted themselves with will fall, the anti-christ who is alive and on the world stage will begin his rise to power as head of the new roman empire and Israel will once again be the main stage for world conflict, may Christ rest in you all and may God show mercy on us all, the miserable offenders we are, God give us strength in the coming times until Christ comes to takes us to be with him, Maranthana, come lord Jesus come

  41. I’m no Biblical Scholar but I believe the revival we seek will come when we humble ourselves and seek His face. I believe it will begin as a revival of repentence. As we are broken before our God, when all that matters to us is His prescense. When we realize what we have done to His Church and seek His forgiveness. Revival
    is and always has been a heart issue, as each child comes before the Father in brokenness He will heal us and renew us, revive us. When true repentence comes true revival follows. Then and only then can Christ be fully formed in us.
    A revival of repentence in each heart that calls upon the name of Jesus? These are those who have turned the world upside down.

  42. I like your line of thinking. Having traveled to some places in the world where revival is truly happening, I have come to the conclusion they have one word in their vocabulary which we have removed from ours: “IF”. No revival has ever come by God randomly waving his magic wand. It has always come in response to His people humbling themselves and taking the posture repenting for sins of themselves and their land, choosing to obey the Holy Spirit and God’s word and to seek him diligently in prayer. I believe God’s desire is reflected in most every prophecy that is given each year. Unfortunately, the prophets have not heard that still small word “IF”.

  43. Well, warm up the ‘ol prophecy generator for a bevy of new words for 2009.

    Start with the Elijah List conference:

    “What is God Saying for 2009?”

    And I do believe that dangling question mark on the end of the conference title more ‘prophetic’ than anything they have published to date…

    :)

  44. I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful, but can anyone tell me if and what happened on May 28th that changed the course of the world? Maybe it was supposed to be October 28????

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