takes all kinds
Back in the day when a prophet of God would speak
into the governing powers of Israel, there was plenty of competition
for the ear of the king who was surrounded by a court full of
prophets, princes, generals and other in-the-know court wise men.
It hasn’t changed much from that day to this. We often do
not make the valid biblical connection between the prophets of
God and the ‘real world’ advisers—those journalists,
political operatives, military and think tank fellows—and
the ‘prophetic’ role they fill for governing leaders.
If you have studied the historical books of the Hebrew Scripture—Samuel,
Kings and Chronicles—then you know that Israel’s kings
were advised not just by prophets of God, but also by a court
full of well informed advisers.
have the same deal today, only the communications industry has
exploded the privately-given news intelligence once available
only to kings and a handful of others, open to almost the whole
world, and often simultaneously delivered. Now everyone can be
in-the-know if they want to be. Everyone can also voice their
take on news events and reports, hence Time magazine named YOU
their “Person of the Year.” Not that blogging and
talk backs are brand new to the media scene, but the news media
did have to come to grips in 2006 with how the rules have been
changed by the phenomena. (A “blog” is a web log.
It is a journal or newsletter frequently updated and intended
for public consumption.)
year ‘bloggers’ on ‘the information super highway’
kept the mainstream media honest during the Lebanon war by reporting
several incidents of faked stories by Arab journalists of supposed
Lebanese civilian collateral damage. This was a good thing, too,
since such story and photo faking has been going on for years
without anyone from the mainstream media challenging faked photos
and stories, or even pointing out the truth. There are past incidents
racked up too numerous to count in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
but the world press has always turned a blind eye to Jewish watchdog
groups monitoring such things. The bloggers, who aren’t
necessarily Jewish or connected to any watchdog groups, played
a critical part in unmasking a well broken-in tool of Arab deception
that the mainstream news has been ignoring—which has, not
coincidently, allowed Israel to get hammered in public opinion.
the mainstream press won’t do their full job, then common
bloggers do have the tools today to step in and whistle blow.
(Time made a solid choice for their Person of Year despite the
complaining views of the talking heads!) This new media landscape
is indeed a real David and Goliath story because one good, smooth
stone planted firmly into the forehead of the giant can bring
a monster down. But beware bloggers: the mainstream media isn’t
happy about YOU. They will come after you for copyright infringements
you used to be able to get away with because you were such a flea
in their sight.
lot of Christians miss the reality that the media are very much
the ‘secular prophets’ of our day—along with
the experts from the think-tanks they call on to substantiate
the news message. These are often a great source of information
for the prophets of God, as long as we don’t forget that
their information must be seasoned with spiritual salt! They are
also the greatest competition for the ears of God’s people
today. Many Christians just don’t realize that it is not
just the American secular press who miss important spiritual realities
in news reporting. Israel’s media is just as secular and
unbelieving as their American counterparts, so don’t assume
their views are ‘solid gold with Divine will’ as it
seems so many Christian Zionists do. Don’t let your spiritual
wisdom fail you just because they are Israelis!
‘secular prophets’ are seriously versed in what’s
going on but they also have a collective sense of ‘calling’
not just to report the news of the day but to actually steer public
opinion and governmental policies. This is why in recent years
the media has left off with the longstanding chorus about their
“journalistic objectivity” and now just focus on maintaining
a steady drum beat of their talking points.
objectivity has ceased to be the lofty goal of news journalists,
now everyone can know ‘what side’ the news outlet
represents—Left or Right—because no one is seriously
presenting ‘just the facts.’ They are unashamedly
trying to win hearts and minds by selective and biased reporting.
Objective reporting has been thrown under the train and reporters
stay on point with the ‘prophetic’ message of the
news outlet. Christians need to understand the truth of that and
make an effort to discover what the facts really are, or at least
what sources are the safest to heed. That includes sources in
Israel: Don’t just run with religious right wing opinions
that cite chapter and verse to back up their political stance.
The Israeli Religious Right wing are just as far from knowing
the Divine will as the secular counterparts, and often are even
farther than the secularists from sharing God’s heart in
matters. (Matthew 21:31)
prophets come from a starting point of a personal vision or bias
that many have been trained in at universities and nurtured through
the news agencies that hired them (which is why Bill O’Reilly
seems to be obsessed with stories about the many crazies and fanatics
teaching in our universities). There are few ‘maverick’
independent reporters these days. Not many “fair and balanced”
journalists stay on at CNN when they can be true to their belief
systems over at FOX News (the exception may be Wolf Blitzer).
So take heed what you listen to. Consider the source, as the saying
Secular prophets are sure they have seen through to the end of
a thing and have come up with the best possible solution, the
best moves to make for the outcome they deem most desirable. They
have an ideology, a political theory that all new information
is filtered through. This acts as an unintended limitation on
being able to see the true potential for other outcomes in any
given world situation.
is where the true prophet should have an extraordinary advantage
over secular prophets, knowing there is nothing impossible to
God and knowing that God’s ways are not like man’s
ways. The true prophet should not be halted at the same discernment
barriers as their secular counterparts. Where the secular prophets
see opposition and obstacles mounted too high to overcome, the
prophets of God should be able to recognize that impossible circumstances
are God’s specialty. To the brink of impossibility is often
where God chooses to drive us because that is what it takes to
work something into us (or out of us) that He wants.
the spiritual prophets
starting point for any true prophet of God has got to be God Himself.
If there is no Divine purpose conveyed, how is it then anything
more than just human or even spiritual reasoning?
should remember that God did not always pick out prophets who
had no inkling of political or military realities to deliver messages
to Israel’s highest leaders. He also called ‘princes’
with prophetic gifting, like an Isaiah, or a Moses, raised and
educated in the courts of the kings and pharaohs. To be a “true”
prophet does not mean one has to be completely ignorant of the
realm God sends one in to prophesy about. God is not against us
being informed or intelligent, but we do have to be more sensitive
to His heart and purposes than we are to all the rest.
prophets are not completely different from their secular counterparts
in that even those with true spiritual prophetic gifting and vision
are filtering what they see and hear from the Spirit of God through
their own human biases and expectations. Here is the key to pure
prophecy: the less likeness of Yeshua within the prophet, the
more of our own biases and expectations the prophetic word is
secular media used to claim that their reporting was objective
and that they did not allow their personal opinions to influence
their news reporting. Now they know that is untrue and some even
admit it is impossible.
is equally necessary for spiritual prophets to realize they face
the same issue of ‘spiritual objectivity.’ For the
prophets of God, the more they allow Messiah’s likeness
to be formed in them, the more spiritually pure their prophetic
words will be. So our priority is to be growing in Messiah-likeness
so we will more purely have and be able to communicate the heart
and purposes of God. But we don’t have to turn our back
on knowing what is going on in the world either.
can use a donkey to speak through, but normally He chooses men
and women who are informed of what is happening in their world
with discernment of where God is moving, as well as where He is
not moving. In other words, one needn’t be ignorant as a
donkey about things happening in the world in order to be a pure
communicator of the prophetic word to the nations. One can have
a grasp of international politics and still be more sensitive
and discerning of the Divine purpose than he is to the worldly
politics. Prophetic purity does not come from ignorance of the
way the world works; it comes from sensitivity to the Father’s
heart and purpose.
is how Yeshua knew what He should do and when He should do it.
He knew He was born to be King of Israel just as the prophetic
scriptures indicated, but Yeshua did not discern the Father moving
Him to that part of His destiny.
when His close followers expected that to be ‘the end’
or even the point in His coming, Yeshua Himself was focused on
discerning how God was leading Him for the day at hand. Where
was the Father moving? That is where Yeshua went to minister.
He didn’t get ahead of the Father about what His ultimate
end would be, because He was focused on discerning what the Father
was doing and saying today.
It is not just what prophetic scripture says is going to happen.
It is also the timing of a thing that makes something prophetically
accurate or inaccurate. Yeshua knew this so He did not try to
prematurely establish the prophetic promises of God which were
written of Him. He let God direct His path according to the Father’s
own timing. His path was not overwhelmingly dictated by knowing
what His ultimate destiny was—to be the King of Israel—but
it was directed in His daily maturing in hearing from God and
following His direction for life and ministry. Likewise, prophetic
scripture assures us certain promises to Israel that will all
be fulfilled, but the timing of those matters must be discerned
by following God’s leading day by day, issue by issue.
of those giving us prophetic vision for Israel are not focusing
our attention on discerning God’s direction in our daily
lives as much as they are just continually communicating their
own political perspectives which are based on prophetic scriptures.
For example, how many times in the last decade or so have you
heard how the Israelis will probably nuke Damascus in the next
few months because of the prophecy in Isaiah 17:1? Oh, Damascus
will “be removed from being a city,” alright but scripture
did not say Israel would be the remover of it, and so far, the
prophets have also been wrong with all their predictions of imminent
fulfillment. Could it be because they were not listening for that
timing to be revealed, but only making assumptions based on prophetic
scripture? We all do this. We all need to do less of this.
I just say this is how Yeshua’s followers missed understanding
that He was headed first for a personal cross before sitting down
on the throne of Israel? Wasn’t it Judas, the one disciple
most insistent that Yeshua seek His ultimate destiny as king of
Israel, who in the end sold Him out? Judas was focused on the
injustices and unrighteous rule of Rome over Israel and it caused
Him not to keep his eyes fixed on Yeshua, waiting for the timing
should walk as Yeshua walked, waiting patiently on the timings
of God, and not as Judas walked—wanting what we want when
we want it. To inherit the promises of God, we must learn with
all Yeshua’s disciples to find our way through discerning
the heart and purposes of God. The timing belongs to Him. Just
because the promise is in scripture does not mean it is ours for
the taking in our timing alone. (I am talking about Israel’s
borders, in case anyone missed that.)
mistake of Judas is often repeated by those whose expectations
are predominantly fixed on the doom part of end time prophetic
scripture—on the “wars and rumors of war, earthquakes
in diverse places, and nations in anguish and perplexity at the
roaring and tossing of the sea.” Those with such a focus
rarely, if ever, spend time teaching us about the flip side--the
parallel reality that “the gospel of the kingdom”
will be preached “in all the world for a witness”
unto “all the nations.” Matthew 24:6-7, 14
we behold, we become. That’s why we are told to fix our
eyes on Yeshua and not on the signs of end. Noah was a witness
to the world because in spite of knowing that destruction was
coming, he was building the prescribed shelter—not just
telling people how dark the darkness was getting. Noah was called
a “preacher of righteousness” because he personally
walked in righteousness. He was a preacher of righteousness because
of who he was, not what he said. What he became, not what he preached
to others. Our prophetic priority must also be with our foremost
focus on righteousness. Detailing the darkness is not the prophetic
priority but building the prescribed shelter against it is.
said, ‘About those wars and rumors of war and all the other
fearsome things that will be happening,’ these are not the
end, but are just the “beginnings of sorrows.” The
‘end’ is Yeshua’s disciples enduring past all
the prophesied offenses, betrayals, hatred and cold love that
are part of “the end time.” It isn’t just huge
disasters happening on an international scale—wars, famines,
pestilences and earthquakes. We may never be involved in one of
those events personally but we all are going to have to endure
through the “offenses, betrayals, hatred and cold love”
that comes to all human beings. This is also a prophesied part
of the end time scenario.
what? Only those who endure through the trials that cause us to
be transformed into Messiah’s likeness are going to be able
to provide a “witness” of the “gospel of the
kingdom” to the world. We will not overcome in the big disasters
if we can’t even learn to forgive the offenses and betrayals
that lead so many of us into a living hell on earth—the
hell of hatred and cold love…and all those attending demons.
As Jeremiah put it, “If you have run with footmen and they
have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses?”
isn’t enough to know there are going to be shakings throughout
the world. Anyone who can read scripture knows that. It is Prophecy
101. The more spiritually mature we become—meaning, the
more Messiah-likness we put on—the more we will be motivated
by Yeshua’s desire to save the world rather than to judge
the world. There is not any other measure of spiritual maturity
except how much we have been transformed from our old nature into
the likeness Yeshua. It is in possessing His very Nature that
our spiritual maturity is measured by.
every new believer dives into prophecy with fascinated gusto.
Partially this is due to our thirst for revenge because we want
to look into the prophetic judgments of God falling upon the earth.
That is spiritual immaturity, pure and simple. So we should watch
out for prophets whose thirst for relating the coming judgments
exceeds their desire to help all of us find the shelter of the
Lord which will protect us.
think the prophet Amos gave us a hint of how God views this when
he wrote (Amos 5:18), “Alas, you who are longing for the
day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be
to you? It will be darkness and not light.” If we are “longing”
for the judgment to begin falling on a world that we have judged
as enemies, then we do not have the Messianic heart of salvation
we were called to.
one reason why I hate seeing prophets who maintain a steady drum
beat of describing the doom and rolling judgments, and who do
not counter-balance their message with the spiritual truth that
will help God’s people “endure to the end.”
can a message of judgment be counter-balanced? The same way Yeshua
counter-balanced it: He did not compromise the truth of the coming
judgment of sin, but most of His time was spent training disciples
to walk as He walked.
is our example in all things—even in communicating to people
about prophetic events because knowing the exact description of
coming judgments does not help people, but teaching them how to
enter into the shelter of the Ark of His Presence does. We have
to point them to the transforming power of Yeshua, “For
the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.” This
is in the prophet’s job description, not just giving words
about the future.
“gross darkness covers the people” of the earth, God’s
ancient promise is that at the same time “the LORD shall
arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you.” Isaiah
60:2 Only the glory spoken of here can be “a witness”
of “the gospel of the kingdom” to “all the earth”
in such a day of gross darkness. When affliction, disaster and
trial has reached such a fevered pitch as Yeshua described coming
upon the world, the only shelter from such things is for us to
be found in His likeness and with His nature. Matthew 24:6-12
glory of the LORD, is the glory of transformation into the likeness
and image of Yeshua. How else can we overcome the offenses and
betrayals that pile up on us in this life, little by little defeating
us by marking us with the hatreds and cold love the enemy has
authored in our lives?
many fret about taking the “mark of the beast” thinking
it is computer chips or national identity cards. How much better
if we concern ourselves with not taking offenses and betrayals
into our hearts? Unattended offenses and betrayals harden into
strongholds of hatred and cold love, signs of the end times that
Yeshua pointed out in Matthew 24. These are the things we must
learn to overcome in order to endure to the end. Preaching these
things are also in the prophet’s job description.
is a mistake to make the end times just about spiritual warfare
on a grand international scale, because if we fail to overcome
these things that happen to us in our own intimate, personal lives,
I can guarantee you that we will not be able to endure these things
on a greater scale.
also warned that many false prophets would arise and deceive many
at this time. Can I tell you that if a prophet has your eyes fixed
on just the great and mighty judgments that are going to befall
the enemies of God in these last days, and that prophet is not
teaching how imperative it is for us to be overcoming our personal
spiritual warfare with offenses, betrayals, hatreds and cold love—that
is a prophet with a message that will not help us whatsoever to
endure to the end, or to be a witness of the gospel of the kingdom!
I said that every new believer is fascinated with end time prophecy.
It is almost a rite of passage to go through a time of immersing
ourselves in what the Bible has to say about the final wars of
good and evil in our earth. We all have a desire for justice but
we don’t really even begin to have a grasp of what God means
by justice until we begin to mature in the likeness of Yeshua.
If we do not grasp that we must fix our eyes on this one thing—becoming
like the One we have made LORD of our heart, mind and soul, then
we are going to leave the path that alone can cause us to endure
to the end. No other path leads to endurance to the end. Only
said in the Matthew 24 passage that “because iniquities
will abound, the love of many will wax cold, but he that shall
endure to the end, the same shall be saved, and this gospel of
the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to
all nations; and then shall the end come.”
is not the wars, the famines, the pestilences and the earthquakes
we have to be afraid of. It is in allowing our love—this
love which God shed abroad in our hearts by Yeshua—to wax
cold in the face of the increase of iniquities we encounter in
our day to day life. Forget what the prophets of doom are focusing
your eyes on! If you can’t get over the offenses, betrayals,
hatreds and cold love that you have to deal with in your family,
your congregation, your job, your neighborhood, what chance do
you give yourself against a world that all the prophetic voices
are telling you is coming at you?
me say it plainly: if this is all they’ve got for you, their
message is not pure prophecy from God. If they are not encouraging
you toward “putting off the old man” in order to “put
on the new man in Messiah Yeshua,” then they are not delivering
a prophetic vision that will help you endure to the end.
is going to take “the glory” of the Lord that He has
willingly offered to us emerging in us in order to endure as a
witness to His kingdom in the darkest of times. Christ in us,
the hope of glory.