RECEIVING & DELIVERING A PROPHETIC WORD
Well, praise God. Here we are again and we’re going to continue with the series on growing in the prophetic and tonight I want to talk about receiving a prophetic word and delivering a prophetic word. How can we help to receive from God and know when we are receiving from God and then also some about the delivery of it. Now a lot of times it’s very possible that we’re not receiving because we’re not asking.
In James 4:2 it says, you have not because you ask not. It is like that in the Kingdom of God many times, even with physical things. We may ask people but the context is asking God. So even with physical things that we need, we should go to God first — certainly with spiritual things we want the Spirit so we need to go to God to receive from Him and if we’ll ask for a word, He will — if He’s got one for us for that — He’ll give it. Especially as we prove ourselves worthy that we’re going to do with it what He would like done.
1 Corinthians 14:1 says, Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy… That word “desire” is the word zello like we have zealous from that and we need to zealous after spiritual gifts. We need to be zealous after spiritual gifts. We need to go after those things. We get zealous over other things in life, but do we get zealous over the spiritual things? Paul said we should desire those — eagerly desire those spiritual things. If we’ll do that, God will meet us. He wants us to have these things manifested. He wants His Spirit manifested in this world. He wants to get people’s attention. I’m not talking about the spectacular — but He wants the supernatural — don’t confuse the two. Sometimes we seek after the spectacular, but it’s not always going to be — sometimes it’s that quiet thing that changes everything. But nevertheless it will turn heads and that’s what He wants to get the attention. He wants to prepare us. He wants to get us ready for what’s coming, whatever that may be— whenever that may be so we are always one step ahead of it. He always wants to push us a little bit so we will be stronger where we are going. But we need to desire it. We need to go after it.
Now, one thing for sure is that God does not like prophets that take their words from one another. In Jeremiah 23:30 it says, “Therefore behold I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor.” You didn’t know you could steal words, did you? But God says you can. They steal the words every one from their neighbor. Now is it wrong to repeat a word? No because what did Anna do? Anna the prophetess came in — Simeon had just prophesied and she went and told that to everybody. What was the difference from that and from what Jeremiah was prophesying? It was the heart. The heart was she wanted to get the word of God out where these false prophets or incorrect prophets whichever they were — they were prophesying words that they heard and acting like it was coming from the Spirit of God. He is against them because they steal everyone the words from one another. This happens way too often in the body of Christ because of competition, etc. Especially I have seen it amongst ministers where that is taken and propounded with the wrong heart. Nothing wrong with taking a word and re-teaching it or re-speaking it, but it is a heart issue. I consider myself in this all the time because even like teaching this series, sometimes it is hard for me to remember where I may have learned something because I’ve made it so much a part of myself but for me to say or imply that I have received something from the Lord that didn’t come from the Lord — that would be wrong. But I can’t always remember where it came from, but you can see the difference in the heart — we have to be pure hearted because there is an issue at stake of honor. The Lord gets the honor and He gets it through the vessel that He poured it into. If we refuse to give honor where honor is due, then we are taking it away from the Lord. That’s why it says, “Give honor to your father and mother.” And it works in the same way in the spiritual sense — spiritual fathers and mothers. When we give honor in the right places — when we give honor to the vessel that spoke the word — then we are giving honor to the Lord. But when we steal that, we are stealing it to bring honor to ourselves — to make ourselves something that we’re not. Whereas if we repeat the word with the right heart it brings honor, doesn’t it? Can you see the difference there? Between someone who repeats it like Anna did with the right heart and someone like these prophets that Jeremiah was speaking about that steal it — so don’t start off by stealing other words. Keep your heart pure. Go ahead and repeat if you need to — if you want to — you should, obviously these things should be repeated.
Interesting enough, when we were speaking the one night here about the word that was prophesied and was confirmed and then we brought it back here about everyone being saved — being like Nineveh — we’re going to see everyone repent. You repeat that word and that word is making a difference because when it first came it was hard for me to even say and then other people kind of picked it up and then other people were saying, “Well, I can almost say that.” Interestingly enough, a day and a half after that time when we talked about this at the pastor’s prayer and share we were talking about various different things and one of the pastors said, “You know, there are actually prayer groups out there that are praying that every one in the whole city would repent.” Do you see? So to proclaim it is good — to repeat it is good as long as it is done with the right heart. Actually I think when you do that sometimes it opens the heaven and other people do receive it independently, but it comes from the Lord. But anyway, so we keep our hearts pure right from the start when we come to the Lord and ask Him.
Learn to hear His voice. His voice always brings redemption. The accuser brings condemnation. Often when a word comes we see both because we do have His treasure in earthen vessels. Our soul is the clearinghouse for prophecy. Because it says in 1 Corinthians 14:32 that the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets. So in other words anything we receive from heaven comes to our spirit but then has to go through our soul to be released. That’s the clearinghouse and that’s why it’s so important for us to be staying on top of that soul. It’s not that we don’t want the other way around where the soul is controlling our spirit and quenching the spirit. But we want the Spirit of God to be what is being manifest in our lives. That takes work. That’s called Christianity. It’s called growing up in the Christian walk — taking the old man and reckoning him dead and living unto the new Man even Christ Jesus and allowing Him to be manifested through our lives.
Without consistency and discipline there will be no dependability or reliability. Now one thing for sure as we’re growing and learning to speak the words of the Lord those who say, “He saith or the Lord told me” when He didn’t are not disciplined at best. The term “the Lord told me” is over used by those that are young in the prophetic. Look what it says again in Jeremiah 23 (31) “Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ (32) Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD. Their recklessness — they were going and saying, “The Lord said this,” when the Lord didn’t say that. They went when He didn’t send them and see that’s why we have to have that relationship with Him. He tells us secrets and then what are we going to do with them? We have to go back to Him and find out and then if He sends us we have to go. Believe me, there are times when you just can’t wait to give a word and He’s saying not to go give it. There are going to be times coming though, when you’ll get a word and He’s going to say, “Go give it” and you’ll say, “No. No. Not that one. I’m not going to say anything.” So He’s going to have to convince you to go.
But anyway that recklessness is taking out a false word because there’s no discipline behind it. Recklessness shows a lack of maturity and wisdom. Zeal can never replace wisdom, but zeal will keep the mature young at heart. In delivering a prophetic word, it’s possible to have the correct attitude, but the wrong application. This also comes through discipline. When we receive a word, we have to figure out how to apply it or to help somebody — well in terms of we getting a word and then delivering it — it has to be delivered accurately or it’s no longer a true word, is it? If I get a word and it’s for Dennis, and I give it to Dennis but then I go ahead and give it to Roger, too, is it a true word? No. Not for Roger. Now if I give it to him for information, that will be different. If there’s information in it that we can learn from, then we can learn from it, but if I go over to Roger and say, “Thus saith the Lord for you” that would be incorrect application, wouldn’t it?
The reason I’m bringing that up is because that has happened actually not that long ago — I’m going to give some examples tonight and most all of them are pretty new, but I received a prophetic word — “Thus saith the Lord” kind of word and it was sent to three ministers and I was one of them. It just so happens that I know that word was accurate because one of those ministers — I’d sent him almost the same words myself two years ago — except this came to me and so I talked to the fellow that sent it and I said, “You know — I think you made a mistake. I think it was supposed — Did the Lord tell you who to send this to?” He said, “Yeah, I was supposed to send it to all three of you guys.” I said, “Was it to all three of us? or was it to one and the other two as witnesses?” Well, you know, anyway — the point is that he’d missed the application. He sent it to three saying, “Thus saith the Lord” when it should have been to one “Thus saith the Lord” and to two as witnesses. As it turned out it would have been perfectly orchestrated because the two witnesses — he didn’t know it — but both of us had confronted this other minister on that particular thing in the past. He didn’t know that so it would have been perfect. The only thing is he missed it and he wouldn’t back off that point so therefore I couldn’t receive it. I told him, “It’s not for me” and so did the other minister that it wasn’t for — so what that did was the one that it was for it just watered it down for him whereas it could have been a real blessing and brought in some confirmation of things that were already said, but because he was a little reckless with that — he had a good word but the application was not accurately applied and so therefore the word wasn’t carried out as powerfully as it could have been and as helpfully as it could have been.
Now it says in Deuteronomy 18:20, “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name which I have not commanded him to speak,…” and he goes on and on — and in verse 22″when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” The point of this is that we don’t want to speak presumptuously and we don’t want to speak a word unless the Lord has commanded us to speak and many times, like I said, He’ll give you a word, but He’s not commanding you to speak that word to anybody. So we need to go back to Him.
Now I know from studies that it says “if he speaks a word that I haven’t commanded that prophet shall die,” but the way the Jews generally interpreted that was “good, then God can kill him.” It was only the good prophets — the accurate ones — that got stoned. Believe me. You look in your Bible and you’ll see it. It was the ones that were accurate that actually got stoned. The false ones were the ones that just kept getting the money — Baal worshipers, etc., etc. Anyway the point is that we want to learn from that. Presumptuously, right?
Now, how do we have a sure word of prophecy? That’s kind of scary — what? He shall die? I don’t want to die. I don’t even want to be in that category even if we don’t do that anymore — it’s against the law now to kill prophets. The way you want to have a sure word of prophecy is to only say what the Father is saying and don’t go over it. Protect yourself from going over into control and witchcraft. Stay where He told you to stay.
In John 5 it says (19) “Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
And in John 8:38 it says, “I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” Once again it is a heart issue and a discipline issue — if we have discipline ourselves to be hearing what the Father is saying and if we’ll discipline ourselves and do what the Father is doing — we’ll always be in the right place and we’ll always have the right word. It comes with experience and that comes — experience that you live through — comes through discipline. Right? And a — I don’t mean that literally — but anyway. Sometimes that’s what we hear though as prophetic people — we are told so much “well you know they stoned them in the Old Testament if they were wrong.” One thing we haven’t done which we’ll talk about later again is we have not put into place the sons of the prophets where there was a different category of those that were learning. So he was talking to prophets there.
We as a church need to remember the sons of the prophets and those called to prophetic ministry and those called to be prophets — they need not be concerned with the title — but a prophet in training is a biblical model. To take the title too soon or to respond to the title too soon can lead to disaster. I mentioned once before, but in 1 Kings 13:18 where the young prophet he had done some great things, but he was just called a “man of God” by God, but the older prophets came and said, “Hey, I’m a prophet like you’re a prophet…” and really got to him that somebody noticed, but it cost him his life. We need to be understanding of that too, if we have a call on our life to prophetic ministry or to be in the office of a prophet, then we need to work all the more hard at waiting on God’s timing before we accept that title because especially as we see more and more in the body of Christ mentoring coming back in the way it should — we’re going to see those that are being mentored — those that are submitting themselves as sons of the prophets and there’s a big leeway — you look in the Old Testament how many places when the sons of the prophets came into town the people loved it. Those sons of the prophets didn’t have to worry about getting stoned because they could just go in and do the best they could knowing they were under the mentorship of Samuel or Elijah or whomever it was that they were submitted to. But we have not seen that in the body of Christ. We have not come back fully to the revelation of what God has given us in the Word of God, but we will. So in the meantime though to understand that to take that title a little bit too soon could make it tougher on you. Let’s wait.
I do believe, by the way, in one-hundred percent accuracy. I don’t believe there’s a difference between an Old Testament prophet and a New Testament prophet. I believe that what they had, we have and more because they had the prophets the spirit of Elijah — we have the Spirit of Jesus Christ which has to be much more. They had it by proportion — whatever proportion it was it could be put on Elisha double. But what we have in Christ Jesus is without measure. So that has to be more, right? Because He fulfilled the law and the prophets. When He met with Elijah and Moses up on the Mount of Transfiguration the spirit of Moses and the spirit of Elijah — the spirit of the law and the spirit of the prophets was fulfilled in Christ Jesus and we have His Spirit, right? So I believe we can do just as much — be just as accurate — but at the same time I don’t think we understand or have been taught today — we’re going to talk about some of it tonight — but what it is to be accurate. I think we have a false impression in our mind of what the accuracy that they had was. In other words — well, we’ll see some more here as we continue. Words that were given that now days we would say were false prophecies, but they were one-hundred percent accurate. But we forget about the nature of God and things like that, that need to be brought into it. Okay?
No place in the New Testament — excuse me — only one place in the New Testament does it say, “Thus saith the Holy Spirit” it doesn’t say, “Thus saith the Lord” any place in the New Testament but in Acts 21:11 it says, “Thus saith the Holy Spirit.” But sometimes when we say that, it stems from either rejection, fear of rejection or pride that we have to let them know we are hearing from God. Many times if we just go in and say, “Well, I feel like the Lord is speaking this to my heart” or if we come in with a meekness like that — they had to say, “Thus saith the Lord” because other guys were saying, “Thus saith Baal and thus saith Ashtoreth or whatever.” They had to identify what god they were prophesying from. I’m not against saying, “Thus saith the Lord” but I’m just saying we don’t need to say that as often maybe sometimes as we do. When we are saying, “Thus saith the Lord” we’d better be sure in our hearts that this is that type of a prophetic word — that it is that strong of a word because if I ever say, “Thus saith the Lord” to somebody I don’t want them to ever reject that because if I’m saying it, it should be from Him, shouldn’t it? So I want them to be able to have that much confidence in the word that it is serious enough to take it back to the Lord or most often it is a very good word and so it is serious enough that they can take it back to the Lord and say, “Look” that was a “Thus saith the Lord” so now I’m going to trust in this. I’ve had many of those. People come to me and say, “Hey, the Lord said this to me about you and so here you go” and I say, “Alright Lord. I claim that in Jesus’ Name.” We want to be able to be sure that we’re doing that so as we’re learning and it is a learning process, as we’re growing in accuracy we keep our mind on the goal that I believe we can be as accurate as any of those prophets in the Old Testament. I’m not one of the people that believes that there is an Old Testament style prophet and a New Testament style prophet. No. There were Elijah’s in the Old Testament and there are going to be that personality now. There were Hezekiah’s then and there are going to be Hezekiah’s now. There were David’s then and there are going to be David’s now in terms of personality. Do you see what I’m saying? I really believe that so….
Well anyway criticism and uncoachability are forms of pride. God will resist the proud and pride repels grace. We want to give grace, don’t we? Because God gives grace to those that are humble. If we are going to operate in the prophetic with accuracy it has to come out of grace and it has to be a grace that works through love.
You know I had a prophetic word given to me once by an assistant pastor of a church and he was trying to really — I think he felt that he was a prophet and really he was just trying to bless me. I had spoken at the church and he came up and gave me a prophetic word and some of it was future, but a lot of it was from my past. He started saying, “Thus saith the Lord when you were a child this and when you were a child that..” and it wasn’t correct. It was mixed with the soul and it was very obvious and so I just received it but then after — not publically — but I spoke to the pastor and to him about that because if I’m interested in a person then I want to be able to help them and so I felt there was a real mixture of some pride in there and fear and other things — but anyway he was very wrong — it wasn’t like it had to judge the future. I was judging what’s already happened. I know my own life. I know… So I explained to him that he was incorrect and his response was not what I expected. I expected him to say, “well okay sorry about that or how can I do better?” But his response was, “Well, I’ll take it back to the Lord and see what He says.” I’m like — I ought to know my own history, don’t you think? I ought to know what happened in my life. So his was really stemming from some real fear in the past, but that kind of pride that holds back the grace of God has kept him from really moving into that area. He’s very, very inaccurate and he’s gotten worse since then. I’ve known him for a while. It starts with the heart thing. You see. That was a very simple things where he could have taken a little bit of instruction, but there is an example where that just repels the grace of God.
Psalm 119:51 says, The proud have me in great derision, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law. See derision, confusion. Pride will bring confusion into your life and if you’re with people that are ministering out of pride, it’s going to bring confusion into your life from them. There was a situation I was in one time with some other ministries and it was just like — I don’t even want to go into all the confusion that kept coming on me and I just thought there was really something wrong with me — I had to keep going back and check my heart and what’s going on — and I was praying about it and the Lord told me to look up this verse and I look it up and it said, “The proud have me in derision, but I’ve not left the way of You law.” and it was for me and He was pointing out that it wasn’t me — it was coming on me from this arrogance and pride in these other men and so I just separated myself from it and I was fine then. It was coming on me. So that pride can be ministered and we don’t want to minister that to one another. We want to be coming from humility and be ministering grace to the hearers the Bible says.
If we come from humility then when we receive this information that we then have to clear through our soul, we can bring it in a good manner. Remember Simeon gave the word over Jesus and over Mary and it says, “He blessed them.” But those words over Mary weren’t necessarily a blessing if you really took those words and look at them. They were prophesying some hard things but they came across in a way that was easy to be entreated. So we need to understand that too, if we come from grace and not from a hurt spirit in some fashion, we will minister grace even if the words are a little tough — even if there is a little reproof in there — it will still come across in a wonderful way. And it will be a blessing to them.
In Galatians 6 it says, (1) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass (or in a fault), you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. You see, we should come in with the word, even if it is a corrective word, with the attitude to restore. If we would have that kind of an attitude, people would actually receive and look forward to correction and reproof coming from a heart like that. I really believe that we can have a new standard — we need to have a new standard for prophetic words and also just for correction in the body of Christ— that it come not from a religious or a controlling spirit or a judgmental spirit, but come from the Spirit of Christ which is the testimony of Jesus Christ which will restore. And it comes a lot from our heart and our attitude. So to restore in a spirit of meekness.
Timing — a right word at the wrong time loses effect. Proverb 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth and a word spoken in due season, how good it is. I think we’ve read this, but Proverbs 25:11 says, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. The difference between a word of information and a word of declaration is in the timing and execution.
1 Corinthians 14:8, For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? You have to know what it means when we hear it. So how we bring it and the timing of it is very important. Often how you deliver a word will show whether you are flowing in the Spirit of Christ or from a spirit of rejection, fear, or judgment.
God always speaks through imperfect people. When we judge them, the ones that are speaking, we cut ourselves off from receiving what God is speaking through them. So in terms of receiving a word, we have to understand it’s coming from an imperfect vessel, also. So we won’t want to receive with grace, also. I have been able to receive from people that are coming from a whole different attitude than they should have, but if there’s good in there, I’ll try to find that. But, what I have to do, what my job is, is to be able to judge what’s from God and what isn’t, but not to reject the person even if I have to correct the person— that would always be done in love, too. But I have to keep in mind — because I’ve been around long enough to know that sometimes a word may come to you that seems like “that can’t be — that’s not for me.” And it turns out later that it is. So we need to have a little bit of mercy too so we can wait and see. Sometimes we just need to wait and see. That’s why I say the first place were we need to judge prophecy as well as a lot of other things is with our heart — to judge in our spirit — is there a big check? Or is there a green light, even if we don’t understand it. We need to be able to start listening to our heart because the Spirit of God dwells there.
The Church needs instruction on how to receive people who walk out in faith and with love. It’s interesting though, that in the Church most times we’re not used to someone that walks in faith and love— especially out in faith because when you walk out in faith it seems a little strange sometimes and if you go a little bit too far out in faith it’s tough for us to understand where you’re coming from, but yet that’s the way Christianity is supposed to be. So the Church needs to understand what it is to receive someone that is walking in faith and help them and hold them up. Prophetic word is not always what you might want to hear, or want to speak, but it should be what you need to hear.
Matthew 10:41 says, “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward…” We have to receive a prophet in the name of a prophet if we want those rewards that come through the prophetic and there are many as we’ve seen. It doesn’t mean we have to always understand it, but we need to receive it.
1 Corinthians 4 says, (2) Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. (3) But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. That’s what Paul said. He didn’t even judge himself. Now let me tell you something — we do need to look at our hearts. We need to try our hearts. We need to go back and continually take them before the throne and come down and humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and continue to let Him sort through the things that we have in our heart, but remember Paul as he’s talking here was a mature man and he was polished by reason of use like it says in Hebrews 14. And it says there that by reason of use when you are mature that your senses are able to discern both between good and evil. So as we mature and we continue that process of going back to the Lord and letting Him sort through our hearts, we will get to the point where it happens automatically and we don’t even have to judge ourselves. Paul was at that point at this point in his life where he received it from the Lord and he didn’t even concern himself with what anybody thought. He was just flowing. That’s where we want to be. That’s where we want to get to so we don’t have to be so concerned about ourselves. The reason we sometimes are critical of ourselves is because we are checking— because we want to be accurate — because we want to bless. So sometimes we are our own worse critics, you see, but the thing we need to do is don’t end it there, but take it to the Lord and lay it at His feet and let Him sort through it. Let Him bear the burdens. Let Him — He says, “Whom He loves He chastens and rebukes.” He’ll go with you. The thing is He does it at the table. He stands at the door and knocks until you come and ask. But if we’ll go to Him, He’ll come in. It’ll be easy to be entreated also, even if it’s tough, you know He loves you. But we continue to grow and mature until it flows — it continues to go towards that goal of having that Spirit just flow where we be mature and we wouldn’t even have to judge ourselves.
People don’t always know the application when you give them a word— or they may not want to admit the application. One time I was praying publically over a woman and I saw a vision of a child — I think it was on a swing set — and I told her what I was seeing — and I said, “Do you have a kids?” She said, “No.” I said, “Are you married?” She said, “No.” I thought maybe she was going to have a kid. “No.” So I was kind of perplexed and of course you are in front of a group of people so you are like, “Hum, what’s going on?” Well you can always be assured of what you are seeing. You can at least say, “This is what I see— you can at least know that.” Then the application is where we have to be careful. So I just said, “Well, I don’t know. We’re going to pray for this kid.” So I prayed for her nieces or nephews or something. As it turned out she was pregnant and didn’t know it, but it would have been embarrassing for her to say that anyway because she wasn’t married. So sometimes you’re going to have to bear the reproach anyway and other people are just going — we as a church are just going to have to let it flow. You don’t need to know everything, but when we are walking in this — those kinds of things happen fairly often actually. I’ll speak a word over somebody and I’ll ask them a question when it’s something that they don’t want others to know — so I’ll just end up bearing the reproach. Many times they’ll come later at another time and say something and you’ll know the rest, but it’s just something you have to keep to yourself. But the point is that we have to give it anyway. As long as the church has a critical spirit there are not many people that are going to walk out and bear that reproach if they are going to be attacked for it and yet at the same time the blessings — like for instance in that situation — she came to me and she was actually very blessed because even though it was a difficult situation, she knew that the Lord’s hand was on it and I was able to pray with her for that child and bless her and comfort her, you know, in a difficult situation. But we need to do that for one another — I hope you’d be able to keep something secret about me or visa versa — you see the point is that God was honored in that and His name was glorified — her heart in a difficult situation was there was something and I’m assuming that she was probably was tempted to take other action than to have that child, but because God’s hand was on it even before she knew about it — even though she’d sinned — you see — she made the right choice then at that point. Like I said, “We may not know at the moment what the application is.”
I had a time I prayed for a man — also this was publically — and I said I was seeing him with a bicycle with a wagon — he was pulling this wagon like a kid — and he had all this stuff in it. He was going along and I said,“Are you moving?” He said, “No.” I said, “Huh.” “Do you have a bicycle?” He said, “No.” I said, “Well..” Then I just told him what I was seeing: I’m seeing you on a bicycle and you’re pulling this wagon full of all your stuff. It’s just like a little kid taking everything he owns. I said, “Are you planning on moving or a journey?” “No. No.” Every answer, “No. No. No.” Well I said, “I just going to pray: Lord whatever this means — if he’s taking a journey — if he’s going to be moving his things — we just bless it right now.” Two months later he unexpectedly was transferred and everything he had, had to be moved. He didn’t tell me until about a year later. The thing is though, I would never have known that had he not told that to me. There are many times when a person — there’s probably many more times that these kinds of things have happened when I’ve prophesied that I don’t know about — than ones that have come back to me that I’ve heard about.
There was a man that I prophesied over and there was a miraculous healing in his back. But he never told me. I heard about it through — it was just miraculous that I heard about it because this was in Washington where I prayed for the guy. He testified at a worship conference in Virginia. Somebody that I know from Kentucky heard him testifying that I had prayed for him and he called me up and anyway just how that happens — otherwise you just don’t know — you just have to speak it. You just have to go in faith and that faith comes by reason of use. It comes by you doing it and going out in faith and just, “Well, I don’t know.” If you — every time you speak a word say, “Well, thus saith the Lord — this is what it means….” What you’re going to find is that it’s going to be difficult to grow. Because if we just kind of come in a meek way and say, “Well, I’m not sure what it means. I thought it meant you were moving, but I guess you’re not moving. I thought it means you had a kid, but I guess you don’t have a kid — you’re not married.” Now do you see what I’m saying? Just go with the Lord and when it comes to that application — if we don’t know — just be meek about it and be flexible with it. Let the Lord work with it.
Oh, I’m sure I could have a bunch of examples, but those suffice, I think.
If we are fearful of man’s judgment, we’ll never ever speak. In Mark 13:11 it says,”But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” Now we don’t want to wait until we get arrested to be prophesying, okay? The point is that He wasn’t talking to just the guys on the street here. He was talking to His disciples. He was talking to those that were disciplined. He was saying, “Look, if you’ll do your best and you discipline yourself, then don’t worry about it when you get into those stressful times. Just go ahead and speak it because what you speak under stress is going to come from the Spirit. It’s going to be the Word of God.” Many, many examples in the Scripture of that happening and many great miracles have happened under distress like that because the person just let — they disciplined their lives so when it came under stress it was really the spirit that was shining, not the soul. So praise God.
Hebrews 13:6 says, So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” There’s some confidence behind that statement. There’s some confidence that there’s nothing that man can do to me — so if we have that attitude — now the writer of Hebrews is talking from an attitude of what can man do to me in the time when they were feeding Christians to lions. So if he can say that, “What can man do to me — I’m not afraid of man.” Then shouldn’t we be able to just go out and do our best and not be concerned about the thoughts and what people might say behind our back? Especially if we are coming and delivering that through humility and a spirit of meekness with the heart of love to help that person and bring a word to them in a good way.
I had a word one time and I had a vision one time and I was praying for a lady — she was an older lady and I saw her sitting on a cloud playing a harp. What does that mean to you? It meant the same thing to me. But, I wasn’t going to prophesy that unless I was a hundred percent sure. I told her what I saw and I know she’s an intercessor and so I told her possibly — even tied it in with the Lord and He wanted to be with you, etc. And I talked to her pastor and said, “Look. This is between you and me. I don’t want you saying anything — not even to your wife or anything — what do you think that meant?” He thought it meant the same thing. That she wasn’t going to be around much longer. But we had both decided that we were going to pray and not going to speak that since the Lord didn’t tell us to and I wasn’t a hundred percent sure — so we were not even going to speak that because you know how a story can get going and then pretty sure it is a self-fulfilling prophecy and we don’t want that — especially with negative results. Well as it turned out that has been quite a while ago and she’s fine. So I’m thankful that I walked in wisdom and what she has done is pushed in, in intercession and become a whole different — it’s become a whole different thing for her in terms of entering into the presence of the Lord. So we have to be careful with that application.
Now, I want to talk to you about different levels of revelation. Any prophecy or prophetic word has three parts to it. The first part if the revelation or what you receive that comes in a dream or a vision or an inspiration that you receive. The second is the interpretation. What does it mean? That interpretation can come in increments. It can come over a period of time. And the third one is the application. That also can be immediate or it can be long term. There are words that were given to me many, many years ago that I’m still finding pieces of how that applies now because it unfolds with time and the Lord adds to it or continues to confirm it and move you along in that direction. What a great blessing it is to apply a word. Jesus was applying the words that Simeon spoke over Him. He was applying those all His life. The application may unfold even in a longer of period of time.
I want to talk here about the revelation part. How we receive it and the different levels. If we understand the different levels, basically, of how we receive from the Spirit, this is going to help us in delivering that message.
We need to recognize how God speaks to us so that we can recognize when He speaks and understand what the Spirit’s saying. I thought a great example of this was given by Robin McMillin when he was talking about in Deuteronomy 33 where Moses was going along and it says he turned to the bush and it was on fire, but it wasn’t burning and it says, “He turned aside to see this thing …and then he was spoken to.” Sometimes God is trying to get our attention and it’s not until we stop and we turn aside, then He can speak to us. An interesting thing was that in Exodus 3 it talks about the angel that appeared to Moses that dwelt in the bush. That word “dwelt” meant that he’d taken up house there. He didn’t just show up right then. It implies that he’d been there for a while trying to get Moses’ attention, trying to get his attention so he would turn aside so that he could say, “Hey, take off your shoes. This is holy ground.” He wanted to get his attention. So sometimes I think we are the same way — God’s trying to get our attention off the things of the world — off the sheep herding that we are doing or whatever it is that we do all day long and get us aside where He can say, “Hey, I have something for you.” We need to turn aside.
There is a great example you know of in 1 Samuel 3 where Samuel was a young man and he was there and he was sleeping in the other room and Eli who was his mentor the priest and he hears, “Samuel” and he gets up and runs in there and wakes up Eli and says, “What do you want?” Eli says, “I don’t want you. Go back to bed and leave me alone.” Again, “Samuel.” Up he gets. He’s a faithful servant. He just hadn’t been taught you could hear the voice of the Lord. Who did it sound like to him? His master. Well that’s who it was. So he ran a second time. A third time he went in there and Eli it finally dawns on him, “Oh. It’s God.” It dawns on him so back he goes and he says, “This time when He speaks to you listen to him. Write it down. Whatever He says take it very seriously.” This time when Samuel heard, “Samuel, Samuel.” You know when He starts saying your name twice, He wants you attention.
That reminds you of one night when I was sleeping and the Lord woke me up and He said, “I want you to get up and pray.” It was early in the morning or late at night I guess to put it in perspective, I guess. I said, “I don’t want to get up and pray.” Generally if He says that, I’ll get up and do it, but I just didn’t want to. I said, “No. I don’t want to get up and pray.” And He said, “Get up and pray.” I said, “I don’t want to get up and pray.” He says, “Alright then turn on the light and read.” I said, “I don’t want to get up and pray and I sure don’t want to turn on the light and read.” So I said — for some reason I said, “All right, all right….” because it seemed like if I said, “No.” again it was going to get worse — like “Okay get up and take a cold shower or something.” So anyway I turned on the light and I took the book that was on the top of the stack on the night stand and it just happened to be a book I was reading called The Book of Enoch. I wasn’t too far into the book, but I opened it up to where the marker was and started to read it. This is what it said, “Blessed are those that sleep not. Blessed are those that wake in the night and say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Hosts.’ Blessed are those that sleep not in the night but seek the Lord in intercession.” I closed the book and turned off the light and started praying. I’ve never moved that book marker. I’ve read some more, but I left that book marker — it’s kind of like a milestone to me. So don’t argue with God when He wakes you up in the night. He’ll always make it worth your while. But anyway. Praise the Lord.
So Samuel’s began like that as a child. He began to hear the voice of the Lord and you know even if He woke him up in the middle of the night he got up — he was a servant. In 1 Samuel 3:21 and 4:1 if you look at that, he may have started off by just hearing the voice of the Lord and having the Lord come speak to him in the night like that, but it grew to the point when the Lord would appear to him even through the Word of God and then Samuel would go out and speak those words to the people and never did any of his words fall to the ground. Because he grew in the maturity of the voice of the Lord and how he heard the voice of the Lord until the Lord could actually appear to him. That’s a powerful growth in how he received the revelation.
In Mark 16:12 it talks about when Jesus was on the road to Emmaus and He was walking with the disciples but they didn’t know who He was because it says that He appeared to them in another form after Emmaus and after the resurrection He would appear in different forms. Many times the Lord appears to us in different forms than we expect and we miss Him. We’re not looking for Him in a bush. We’re not looking for Him in a child. We need to be receptive at all times. He like to keep us guessing because He wants us seeking Him. He’s after our heart. He wants our attention. It’s like the Song of Solomon — He wants us to be seeking Him like He’s seeking us. He’s peeking through the lattice. Always we are looking for Him — that’s what He’s after. So He will appear to us in different forms but we will always find Him if we are looking for His heart. We often miss the Lord when we hold Him to our pre-conceived ideas while He is showing Himself through another form.
Another thing that God will do — He will many times or often or sometimes — He will offend our heads in order to reach our hearts. Because Jesus is the Stone of Offense, right? He just has to be Himself and He’s going to offend the flesh. We’re supposed to die to ourselves. Romans 9:33 says that “He is the stumbling stone and the rock of offense.” 1 Peter 2 says, (7) Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” (8) and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. Many times we are appointed to a word, but because we’re walking in the flesh and He becomes an offense to us. That happens sometimes when you give a word — that’s why you want to make sure that when you are giving a word to someone there’s a possibility they may be walking in the flesh — you want to make sure that doubly sure that you’re coming from love.
It’s like I always like to say, that we as Christians are going to receive accusations. It comes with the territory. It is a promise. If you’re not getting any, maybe you’re doing something wrong. Our job however, is to make sure that they are all false accusations. We need to be blameless. They blamed Jesus and He was blameless. But, at least they were false, you see? That should be our example. We don’t want to offend God and we don’t want to be offended by what He does—regardless of the vessel that He chooses.
God may communicate in a dream or a vision. He might use dark sayings as well as plainly show us face-to-face. In Numbers 12 (6) Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. (7) Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. (8) I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?” There are different levels — different ways that He speaks, but all that He said that was so nice about Moses — Moses was eighty years old before we have any indication that God spoke to him at all. But, He spoke to him face-to-face. We see through a glass darkly, but then face-to-face. There’s a place that we can go. We have the Spirit of Christ. If we will submit ourselves to those dreams and visions and dark sayings— if we will pursue God — that’s why He gives us those things — that’s why we prophesy in part— that’s why a vision comes and we know in part. Because He wants us to come to Him for the interpretation. He wants us to come to Him for the information. He wants us to come to Him for the application of that. He wants us to be dependent upon Him and yet “a” word of knowledge, “a” word of prophesy can change lives. None of us is ever going to have “all” prophesy or “the” words of knowledge. It won’t happen. We’re a body. He’ll give you a part. He’ll give me a part. He wants us depending upon Him and He wants to give it to us so that we will have to come back to Him. I believe that as we train ourselves to come back to Him that many times it becomes more and more face to face. It becomes more and more clear and more and more apparent. But that is His choice. The fact is He’ll give it to us in piece — He’ll give it to us in part. We can take it and be faithful with it, but we go back to Him always to find out what we need to do with it and what does it mean. It’s not always clear what God’s saying, but the information given to us is meant to cause us to pursue Him.
Now here’s a way that He speaks to us: “In a still small voice.” As a matter of fact when Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear let them hear.” After the resurrection He said, “He who has ears to hear let them hear what the Spirit says,” So He told us the rest — what He was talking about. He’s the only one in Scripture that uses that term. Yet it’s the most repeated phrase that Jesus says in the whole Bible. He is interested in knowing what the Spirit is saying.
When Jesus was baptized by John and He came up out of the water and what did God say? “This is My Beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased.” Then on the Mount of Transfiguration there are Jesus and Moses and Elijah and Peter starts talking and God says, “This is My Son, hear ye Him.” In other words, “Be quiet and listen to Him, would you.” I got to thinking about that — when God speaks about His Son — there’s not many places in the New Testament when God the Father speaks. The only places where He does He is speaking about His Son. That should tell us something. We should be listening. Listen to Him. Then it dawned on me one time that Mary, His mother — remember at the wedding in Cana — she took the servants and she said, “Here. Whatever He tells you to do, do it.” And it dawned on me that both Jesus’ father and mother — the one thing they say about Him is, “Do whatever He tells you to do.” So it dawned on me — maybe I should listen to them. We ought to be doing what He says. We need to be hearing what the Spirit is saying to us. It many times just comes in that still small voice that He speaks to us in. “I come to the garden alone,” right? “And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me that I am His own.” Those words — it’s a personal thing. He talks to you. How does He talk to you? Different than how He talks to me because you’re you. He speaks to you in a language that you understand — that touches your heart.
In Isaiah 30:21 it says, Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. We need to be listening in order to hear because mostly He is directing us by that peaceful voice that He speaks and there’s that voice saying, “This is the way.” “Lead me not into temptation,” we pray and there is a voice that says, “This is the way.” He knows.
In 1 Kings 19 when Elijah went out and was sitting under the Juniper tree and then the angel comes and then in verse 11 it says, Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, (You know that’s a tough wind. It didn’t break trees, it broke rocks.) but the LORD was not in the wind; (That would worry me a wind that came by and broke rocks and the Lord wasn’t in it.) and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; (12) and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. Sometimes I think we need to go through the fire in order to hear that still small voice. Sometimes it’s the things that we are tormented with and we are in turmoil with — those are the things that we can have burned off by the Holy Spirit and have those things thrown in the furnace now so that we can go and hear that still small voice. It’s all this noise that comes from the world and God’s not in it and it keeps us from hearing His still small voice that can change our lives. This still small voice that came and spoke to Elijah changed his life and set his ministry on a course to change that nation.
In Jeremiah — there are other places but this is a good example — Jeremiah 32:6 And Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, — it told him what to do and he went and carried it out and then in verse 8 it says, and then I knew that this was the Word of the Lord. Here’s Jeremiah — he gets the word and he is obedient to carry it out and to speak the word and after he speaks it then he goes, “And then I knew it was the Lord.” Now if Jeremiah sometimes wasn’t sure — what about us?
When God was talking to Moses and God said to him, “I’m going to send you down there to Egypt. You’re going to tell them to let My people go and you’re going to do all these miracles.” And Moses said, “What am I supposed to do? I’m going to go down there and they’re not going to believe me.” He says, “Listen. Give me a sign so I know this is really you.” God says, “Fine. After you go down there and all these miracles that happen then Pharaoh is going to resist you and then he’s going to eventually let the people go and you’re going to bring them back here and you’re going to worship Me on this mountain. Then you’ll know it was Me.” That was his sign. Go do it. When you come back that will be the sign. That’s not the kind we like, is it?
That wouldn’t have worked for Gideon. It worked for Moses and it worked for Jeremiah. Sometimes we need to go out and do it and then we know. It comes. It makes sense. I’ve had that happen many, many times. You’re in the middle of something and all of a sudden — oh, it’s so obvious — but it wasn’t obvious just a second before. You had to go. It was by faith that you got there. It’s like the louvers in a blind. From one angle you just can’t see out. All you have to do is change your position and it’s totally unobstructed. Outside you can see everything. What has changed? Nothing but your position. When we go out in faith we have changed our position. We can receive from the Lord and we can say like Jeremiah did, “Now I know it’s the Lord.” But we have to walk out in faith before hand. Like I like to say, “Prayer is faith. Because you’re praying to somebody you can’t see about something you don’t know about or don’t have asking Him to give you that thing that you don’t know how you’re going to get at a time when you don’t know when.”
Prophecy is not too much different than that either. You’re getting a word that you’re not quite sure about and you’re going to go give it to somebody that you’re not quite so sure that they’ll receive it. But you’re going to go deliver it with confidence, not sure what they’re going to do with it, but after you do it then you find out that yes, that was the word of the Lord. That’s faith. It’ll also keep you humble or maybe something else. Paranoid? I don’t know.
The point is that if we’ll walk in faith, God will hold us up and we’ll grow because it’s the faith-walk that brings us closer to Him. But if we’ll do it in meekness and humility then it will be able to grow even through the trials that we undoubtedly will go through. It’s part of life. We want to go through those trials. That’s how we grow. We will have them so we may as well make up our mind that we’re going to go through them in a godly way and not — we will receive rejections so we may as well just make up our mind we’re going to forgive. We are going to make mistakes as we learn so we may as well just make up our mind to deliver in meekness and say this is from me so that there is no concern about being presumptuous with the Word of the Lord. We’re just going out in humility and love trying to help and do— what we’re trying to do is bring a Word “from” the Lord—that’s good—and give it “to” somebody—that’s good—so if we’ll do it in meekness even if we get a little bit off, we did it in meekness, right? What’s wrong with that? As long as we do it with that heart, that is not a false prophesy, even if we get it wrong, because we are coming at that level of someone that’s learning. If it’s not received, at least it’s not because we didn’t deliver it in a godly, biblical fashion. I have seen God work in those situations, even if it was a little bit off because it came with such humility and He just explained it. That’s what we’re after, right? Truth. But that information would never have been brought if somebody hadn’t had the love to bring it forth. That’s what this whole thing is about. Walking in love.
Now this is an interesting little side-note. Biblically there are three Hebrew words that are translated as a prophet or a seer. There is raah which is a seer, someone who sees open visions and that same word is used for someone that sees with your eyes. So someone who sees with their eyes and a seer is someone who sees in the spirit. So that word is actually in the Bible a lot. But when it comes to a prophet who is a raah-prophet. There’s not that many of them, really. Someone who sees open visions. Then there is chozeh this one has the emphasis on spiritual apprehension; a knowing internal visions. So in other words not in terms of their long suite being open-visions that they see and visitations and things like that, but visions nevertheless, but internal visions and inspirations which come. Then there is nabiy which is the most common word in terms of the prophetic. It’s not the most common word, but when you relate it to the prophetic out of these three words and it just means in a prophetic context it means someone who has the Spirit working within it. It is a word for inspiration. “The man received inspiration.” Now every prophet will be receiving inspiration. Every prophet will be the nabiy kind, but not every prophet will be the raah kind. It is interesting that even the prophets in the old testament there were a lot more of them that went by the inspiration that came and said, “Well, I’m pretty sure this is what I’m supposed to do and I’ll go do it and find out.” As compared to the ones that saw an open vision and carried that out — saw the Lord appear to them and then did what He said.
There’s one verse that has all three of these words in it: 1 Chronicles 29:29 — Now the acts of King David, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Samuel the seer (that’s raah), in the book of Nathan the prophet (that’s nabiy), and in the book of Gad the seer, (that’s chozeh). So they’re all three there. Like I said all three of those prophets are really the nabiy, but they’re different levels and it was just being pointed out in this verse. I think that’s really interesting. So for us to understand that even the prophets of old — there were different levels of how they received — even within the old prophets in the Old Testament. So we need to understand in our prophetic walk, there’s going to be different long suites within us, too. Some of us are going to see open visions. Some of us are going to have visitations of angels. Some of us are going to have dreams and visions and trances and some or all of us are going to have inspirations and a leading of that inner witness. All of us have to learn that first. That is the most important that we know how to listen to that inner witness and that still small voice.
1. Impressions. Now that still small voice really is under the category of impressions. So that first category that I’m going to list here — I’m going to list twelve of them, but I’ll put impressions first. You know it is interesting too that in Numbers 11:29 Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous(or envious or upset for me?) for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” That’s the word nabiy. That’s the most basic prophet — somebody that has the Spirit of God that can hear that inner witness and hear that still small voice and that’s what Moses was saying, “I wish God’s people had the Spirit then they could hear his voice.” That’s every person that’s born-again is in that category now. What Moses was looking for was that. We are a nation of prophets, priests and kings, not that we all walk in the office of the seer — not that we all have an office that would be receiving in that level but that we all have the Spirit of God and so that’s what Moses was talking about — we all can hear God. Paul said, “We all may prophesy.” That’s exactly what he meant. We are all in that category as far as we can receive through inspiration and we can receive through that voice of God and then give it.
2. Knowing or the witness. This is the knowing or the witness that I’ve been referring to. These generally — I’m going to list these in the order they generally go — from the simple most common to the more difficult, but yet the more sure. This witness in Romans 9:1 — I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit. We all have an inner-witness — it’s called the Christ that’s in you — your witness will tell you — it’s your spiritual conscience now we have a conscience in our soul and that can be seared with a hot iron it says if we will not continue to work on it, but we have a spiritual conscience which is that inner-witness — it’s the mind of Christ that keeps telling us what we ought to do and reminding us of the things that we ought to do.
1 John 5:10 says, He who believes in the Son of God has a witness in himself. We all have that. If we have confessed Jesus as Lord, we have an inner witness that’s ours that will lead us in the way that we should go.
3. We can feel things. We receive things through our emotions in our soul and in our body. That’s why it’s so important to sanctify ourselves. 1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense of everyone who asks you the reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. We have to be ready at all times. That means we have to keep under our body. That means we have to have our soul disciplined to be under the Spirit of God that we are ready and when we receive something from the Lord and we have even — “I just think I need to do this…” — you go do it. But it’s not coming through your flesh. There are times, “Well, I just felt it was God” and it wasn’t God at all — because it was the lusts that are in your flesh and you’re blaming Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 talks about we have to sanctify our whole spirit, soul and body that we can be blameless. That’s how we become blameless. That’s how we become sensitive to His Spirit — to sanctify — to set apart our spirit, soul and body— to set it apart for God — to be living sacrifices. Isaiah 28:7 says, But they have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up with wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, and they stumble in judgment. If we are going to walk where we want to receive from God something to give to somebody else, then these things that affect our minds — affect our bodies — drugs, alcohol, etc. — you cannot give an accurate word if you’re going to indulge in those things because another word — the word for pharmakeia is the word “witchcraft.” That’s where we get our word “pharmacy” or “pharmacist” for drugs. It’s give you visions, but it won’t be from the Lord and the affects in your life, even after they’re gone are too great that you cannot be relied upon. That’s exactly what God was saying here. They erred in vision and they stumbled in judgment. It is interesting that pharmakeia where we get the word pharmacist from that is translated witchcraft — what were they doing here? They were error in judgment, stumbling in vision. If you give a word that’s an error in judgment and you’re telling somebody that you say is from the Lord and it causes them to error because of your words, that is witchcraft because witchcraft is a control that is put on somebody through words — just as much as sorcery is a control that is put on somebody through objects. You see? Now there are spirits that go on the words and that’s why it’s so important that we have our spirts, soul and body pure before the Lord.
4. Visions. The most of what we’re going to receive in terms of visions are going to be visions of our heart. I mean the spirit. They are going to be visions in our spirit and our eyes could be opened — thank goodness because many times I’ll get them while I’m driving. But anyway — they can be opened or they can be closed. Many times if we’re receiving a vision or we feel like we are — close your eyes and it helps you to concentrate. It’s not that the vision’s any different, but that your mind now is quieted down. If you are praying for somebody and there are things going on around you especially when you are first learning to walk in this. Go ahead and close your eyes. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you are seeing. The goal is not necessarily to let them know what you are seeing — the goal is to let them know what God is saying. But often we don’t know what God is saying until we start to begin to tell them what we are seeing. You see? We need to be able to speak those things in love.
A good example: When I was up here prophesying over people and I saw a vision and it was like this flood coming in — if I remember correctly — and I saw the enemy coming in like a flood and that he and his wife were on this raft and they had floated above it and they stayed completely dry but it was like a raft so it could have tipped if they’d done the wrong thing, but what the Lord showed me was that if they did the right thing they could stay totally high and dry and what I was reminded was like, “Oh great. We’ve had enough attacks. We don’t need another one.” So you see — was that a bad word? I mean it wasn’t something he wanted to hear. He wanted to hear, “Hey, Bro, everything’s going to be great the rest of your life. You have nine million dollars coming in tomorrow…” But you know what happens is the world is after those kinds of words. They want good words — even if they are false words. But the reason they’re after that is because they’re not getting any words from the church. So that word at the time probably put a little stress on him, but then it was just a few days later when his wife went in, right? with the tumor and he was able to say to her, “Look Honey, we’re going to rise above this. We’re not even going to get wet.” And that word — see God will give us the keys to the Kingdom, right? That was a key that could be put to use and brought faith in there and God did miracles and brought her out. Now why didn’t he say, “Okay, your wife has a tumor. We’d better go over to the hospital tonight.” I don’t know. I have no clue why He didn’t say that. But He said what He said and there was very good fruit in the end, but at the time he received it, it probably was like, “Okay, what’s this?” This is why we have to have integrity because you may have to bring a word and they may only believe it because of you. How about if I was a person that was not very believable? And I gave him a word and he just put it on the back shelf and said, “Oh, yeah.” and threw it out the window. It could have been very disastrous but the good that came of it because if you have some integrity and somebody — well even if they’re not sure about he word — but that person is trustworthy. You have to have some integrity. Part of the prophetic character. We have to have a higher standard.
The promises that Jesus gave to His disciples about when you ask anything in My name, I’ll give it. That wasn’t to the masses out on the mountain, that was to the disciples. If you want those promises it’s going to cost you. We want those promises. We’re willing to pay the price. They’re available to anybody, but they don’t work for just anybody.
There’s a third example. One time I was dedicating a baby — he was just less than three weeks old — and as I was praying I saw a tree and then the vision zoomed in on the little tiny little bud on the limb. I saw that bud open up and it unfurled and as I — I didn’t tell them what I was seeing, I just said — it was a dedication of a special thing and I was prophesying it as I saw it and I said, “As the bud is turned to the sun and it unfolds, and the leaf receives the rays so will the Lord bless you and keep you, etc.” Then the vision changed and I saw him as a baby — a very tiny baby and I saw this attack on his heart and the words went like this — I was just flowing — it’s harder to tell you than it was to say it at the time, because the Spirit was just flowing and my soul was to the side. The words were, “And the enemy has come against you not once, not twice, but I have saved you. And again I promise to you that I’ll not allow the enemy to take the breath from your lungs.” I thought that’s kind of a dumb thing to have in a dedication, but that’s what it was. Interestingly enough, first off the mother told me that three times while he was in the womb, they couldn’t find a heart beat and then they found it. So they just thought they couldn’t find it, but here was this prophecy that says that there were three attacks while he was in the womb — where the enemy came against him and God saved him, but then ten days after this prophecy he had an attack on him and he couldn’t breathe. They had to take him to the hospital and I got a phone call to pray. I went out to pray and the Lord said to pray the prophecy. I said, “Pray the prophecy. I don’t remember what the prophecy was.” I couldn’t remember — so I went outside and I just said, “Oh, You remember.” So I prayed. I said, “Lord, you spoke the words. You made a covenant with that child, with that family so whatever the covenant was, keep it.” It was later when they played the tape for me, but those words kept the faith of that family and that child came out of it when he never would have otherwise. He would have died. He’s doing very good now. Healthy young man now. But those words — not only did they — see there was enough confirmation of things that had happened that I didn’t know anything about — that built the faith for when the thing that was coming came.
But see how visions can be very powerful and help. They can be very sure compared to like an inner-witness. But yet an inner-witness can be just as strong — that still small voice that Elijah heard — that came almost as an impression changed his life because he went in that direction. Okay?
A couple more — I’m enjoying this. I prophesied over one of the leaders in the FLInt Net. It was over the phone, but as I was praying for him and it turned to prophecy and I saw a vision of a room and it was a dark room and it was like all these snakes all over the floor. He was walking along in cowboy boots — I forget what that meant, but it meant something to him. But these snakes were blind. They were poisonous. They were short, little snakes, but they were blind. They were all just kind of laying there — happy, but potentially deadly. I told him, “You have to go through there. It’s not pitch dark in there, but it’s dark and you need to go very slowly and you need to walk through that room very carefully because if you go through this room without stepping on one of those you’ll really do well but if you step on one of those you won’t die, but it’s going to make your ministry very, very difficult.” He knew exactly what it meant. Some of the situations with many of the other ministers that weren’t walking in the same types of things in the prophetic, etc. were he was called to walk. It was very touch and go and he was in some situations where he needed to use a lot of wisdom. There were times when he just wanted to say something to somebody and actually this prophecy was important for a number — I think it was about six months — and there were times when he was just ready to — and he remembered that vision and it saved him and he eventually — there was one point when he called me and said, “Do you think I’m to the other side of that room yet? It seems like there’s a break.” I said, “You know. I think we’d better wait.” Sure enough, what it was, the enemy had backed off a little bit hoping that he would think he was across — but see that tension came back again so he was able to get to the other side of that room. That vision was very profitable for many, many months — well directly for many months — but here it is many, many more months later and the profit is very apparent because those relationships are doing great where they would have been very strained or maybe not even be relationships at this point had one of those snakes been stepped on. See what I’m saying?
There are lots of other examples. I personally have had many that have helped me in my ministry that have explained so many things. The Lord has explained things to me. A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it? So sometimes He can show you something and explain so much more to you than if He told you. Well. I think we’d better move on here.
5. Supernatural senses. You could have supernatural hearing where God turns up the hearing. You could have x-ray vision where you actually see through something. You could have a heightened sense of smell. You could have a taste that God does something. There is a record in the Old Testament where Elisha’s sons of the prophets were making up some porridge and they tasted it and they said, “Oh, there’s death in the pot.” How did they know there was death in the pot? Nobody had died. God did something supernaturally to tell them and then of course Elisha took action and supernaturally — I mean I’d have dumped it out and started over. That would have been the safest thing. But he just threw — I forget — I think it was some flour in and that was the end of it. So they had a heightened — somehow spiritual taste. You know the record where — the story where I was in the airport here coming back from India the last trip and I was sitting on the one side of the restaurant way on the other side of the restaurant were two men talking and just supernaturally God turned up the volume and I heard one of them say to the other — every disciple will be a believer, but not every believer will be a disciple. Then the volume went back down, but that was enough to know that there was some kind of connection. I needed to go over and get into that conversation so I went over and introduced myself and they looked at me like, “Who are you to interrupt our conversation?” But as it turned out we had a great time. Roger came over and we had a wonderful time and it has actually blessed us here in a great way because of the connections that we’ve had and the information he gave me and the book he gave me, etc. Because God supernaturally turned up that volume. Now he could have just said to me, “Why don’t you go over and talk to those guys.” Why didn’t He? I don’t know. Maybe I wouldn’t have listened. I might have said, “I don’t want to do that. That’s probably me talking.” Why? I don’t know, but that’s what happened and that is one way so we need to be watching for these different ways and understand that they are possible.
6. Dreams. The next level up is dreams. You see them all the way through the Bible. You see Jacob at Bethel and the angels that came up and down, right? He said, “This is the house of God. This is a gateway to heaven.” Joseph saw the vision or dream of the moon and the stars. He saw the dream of the sheaves bowing down and got himself in big trouble by telling his family about it. It probably was something he should have kept to himself, but at the same time they were more mature. He was the younger. They should have been able to help him and mentor him. If his father — he reproved him, but he kept them — those things in his heart. It was many, many years before those things came to pass and yet he was sure of them even if we’re not so sure of his heart when he told them at first. But anyway, Joseph — Mary’s husband received a dream with an angel — a very sure word because he based his life on it — he made a major decision based on that dream. It was very powerful to him.
7. Open visions. Where your eyes are opened and you see it just like I’m looking at you. You’re seeing it happen and it’s being played out right before your eyes, whatever — it can be some pretty strange things — wild things. Many times when you read the visions in the Bible they’re not saying whether they are visions of the heart or open visions, but I can tell you that there are different visions and when you are seeing open visions like this and they are happening it’s like it’s there, but nobody else sees it — if there’s somebody else around. Nobody else sees it, but you. Just to give you an example I believe is the Mount of Transfiguration where Peter, James and John were up there and there was Jesus, there was Moses and Elijah there. They saw them right there. So that was an open vision. Now some people think they were actually translated into the future — well, if that’s the case, great. It’s still a spiritual open vision. They saw it.
8. Trances. Now this is different than visions because I can see a vision and look at you. I can see a vision and drive down the road. But, if I’m driving down the road I don’t want to have a trance. But, what will happen if I do go into a trance, that means when I come out of that trance there would have had to been some supernatural thing to keep me on the road because I would not be aware of anything else. If I went into a trance like Peter on the housetop, then I’m in that trance. I’m not aware of anything else that’s going on around unless God wants me to be aware. But that trance is — then the vision is unfolding and everything that I see — everything that I am is on that. When Paul was in the temple, and the Lord appeared to him, he was in a trance. It was a very powerful thing. We don’t know whether he was standing, sitting, laying down or whatever, but he was in a trance. So he was not aware of anything else going on around him so trances are another level. I went into those a lot when I was in school. I don’t know if they were from God, but I would space out a lot. I use to think, “Well, Joseph was a dreamer…” so I’d just daydream. So anyway. I don’t know if that counts, though.
9. Audible voices. In Acts 9 there is Paul going to Damascus and the Lord knocks him off the horse and says, “Listen. What are you doing? Why are you persecuting Me?” He says, “Who are you?” He says, “I am the Lord that you are persecuting.” He says, — oh you know, but it says in verse 7 that the other men stood by and heard a voice but they didn’t see anybody. There was an audible voice to Paul. When you hear audible voices, it’s very powerful. It will definitely get your attention. But if you ever hear an audible voice you will know — if you don’t know now — you will know for the first time in your life what John was talking about in 1 John where he says, “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirit” because the time when the Lord has spoken to me audible it has always been something that shocked me. “That can’t be.” Then I have to go make sure — I knew it was Him, but you know it was just, “That can’t be.” It was totally opposite of what I believed or — well not every time — but the one particular time it was just, “It can’t be” and I went straight to the Word of God and it unfolded. It was correct, but you see I had to try that voice. Other times it was just He spoke something that was opened up realms of understanding to the Word of God. But it’s another level of surety, but you do have to try it still.
10. Visitations of angels. One thing about angels is that what we saw affects what they do. They are sent as ministering spirits and when we say, “Let your angels go, Lord.” That’s like saying, “Let there be light.” In the Psalms when David said, “Let the angels go to the enemy — let them bring confusion.” He’s saying, “Let them go.” If we are saying, “You can’t do that God.” The angels say, “Okay.” They are waiting around for you to change your words, but even when there is visitations of angels there is something that needs to happen, now. They are going to bring us some information. The angel came to Daniel to bring him understanding. The angels came to Abraham because there was something very important that needed to happen. They wanted to inform him. God does nothing but that He tells His servants, the prophets. You know those angels that came to Abraham, but still Sodom and Gomorrah got destroyed, but Lot at least was saved and his family. But God didn’t do it without telling His servant.
In Acts 10:3 it says that in the ninth hour of the day that Cornelius saw clearly a vision of an angel coming and saying to him. He saw that angel clearly and that angel brought him supernatural information. It told him what to do in order to get somebody he didn’t know that lived a couple days away to come up there and explain to him about salvation. Why didn’t the angel just tell him? I don’t know. Maybe that’s our job. But the Lord is highly in favor of people getting saved. Even if He has to send the angel to the nonbeliever. But it worked.
11. Visitations of the Lord. What I’ve found with people that I know that have had visitations from the Lord is many times the first time is for a commissioning. Not always, but many times there is a commissioning that the Lord Jesus Himself wanted to commission. Many times you’ll find it very difficult for somebody to talk about. It’s not something they want people to know about, especially since many people wouldn’t believe it. But the point is it is very important and maybe very private, but certainly it will be powerful if you have a visitation of the Lord. It will be life changing. Many times there is a commissioning.
12. Caught up in to the third heaven. This is the last category that I have. But, both Paul and John were caught up into the third heaven. In 2 Corinthians 12:1 Paul says, yet doubtless not profitable for me to boast, but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. Now maybe if we are praying for those things, we will get them. You see, he was seeking. He says, “Look, no doubt in my mind. I’m going to come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” He was confident. We should also be praying if we want to see these things, then why not ask — that doesn’t mean we go try to make them up. We don’t try to imitate them from some other source, but if we’ll get on our knees and be diligent to seek them, right? Desire spiritual gifts — won’t He be diligent to give them to us — if He has to do something in our life to prepare us, don’t you think He’ll do it? But if we’ll be diligent, we’ll receive. Paul said, “Hey, no doubt I’m going to receive visions and revelations — not just visions and revelations — but of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know.” Paul — this was so real he didn’t know if he actually went in his body to the third heaven and earth and came back or if he went just as spirit — now we’re talking about going in the future. He said, “I don’t know if I went in the future in this body or if it was just something I saw in the spirit and went there.” He wasn’t even sure. It didn’t matter. He was there. He received it. He saw it. “God knows such a one — he was caught up in the third heaven — he’s talking about himself. And I know such a man whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know — God knows,” He says it again. This affected Paul’s life. How he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which is not lawful for man to utter. That word “not lawful” means it is not permitted for that man to tell. He’s talking about himself and this the Lord showed him. He showed him basically what’s in the book of Revelation and He said, “Paul this is for you but don’t you tell anybody about it.” But look at how excited it was when he started talking about it. He says, “Well, this man fourteen years ago he went, whether in the body or not I don’t know, but God does.” He had to say that twice. He didn’t get a stutter all of a sudden. That’s just how excited he was to tell what he could tell. That’s all he could tell because God trusted him with secrets and he wasn’t going to betray that trust because there was another man that was going to write it down and that was John. Isn’t that interesting — but he could be trusted — that’s why God could show it to him. It was so real he couldn’t even tell if it was a vision or if he was actually translated there in his body.
Well, just to end up — in Luke 11:49 it says, Therefore the wisdom of God also said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute…” Not a real pretty picture. When you have that in the job description you’d better watch out if you apply for the job. It’s like when Paul listed in 1 Corinthians: Here’s what an apostle has to go through and then at the end of it he says, “And this I tell you to warn you….” I always say, “What was he trying to warn them?” “Don’t sign up to be an apostle.” So here you have these guys though — you have John and you have Paul and you have Ezekiel and you have Daniel and the revelations that they received were tremendous and they have been life-changing for many people and they have set a course even here thousands of years later, but those men didn’t get those the day they first began to receive impressions from the Lord. They got those because they were willing to stand even if it meant to be stoned — in Paul’s case, literally. But, they stood and they were able to stand for the Lord and not deny His name.
I always like to joke and say, “If you want to see visions that are as good as what acid brings then you have to be willing to get stoned.” These guys were willing. If we want to be that committed, then we will also put ourselves in a position to receive those spiritual things. What’s worth more to us? You can’t go buy a vision from the Lord. You can buy things that will bring visions, but not from the Lord. So if these things are worth something to us — if we really want to change the world — see that changed Paul — that changed John — that affected them, but the greatest change was for us — they were used to bring a service to the body of Christ — to bring the Word of God so that we could be prosperous. So that we could adjust and prepare for the things that are ahead and when we have a servant’s heart like that, that we are willing to give our life as living sacrifices then we will also grow up into all things unto Him who is the Head. We will grow up to the place where we can see Him face-to-face like Moses did and be able to receive that sure word of prophecy which we can give — which will change lives and change the nations. Amen.