Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prophetic Act & Declaration

Prophetic Act & Declaration

Generally, when we refer to a word or sign as "prophetic", we mean that word or sign speaks of something that will take place in the future (foretelling), or that it declares something for and of God in the present tense (forthtelling). Both types contain a supernatural revelation, for they both reveal things or conditions of people or of circumstances that cannot possibly be conceived with the natural mind.

Prophecies may be of either one or both types. Both has a forerunning or preparatory purpose in the plans of God. Prophecies of the first nature (foretelling) tell of what the Spirit of God is doing that will manifest itself in the natural sometime in the future. One example would be the instance in which John the disciple spoke of the Lord's return in the Last Day. It is something that will take place in the future, when we do not know. John described how it was going to be like, but we can only visualise it in our minds now, since the events will only take place naturally in the future when the Lord returns. Forthtelling, on the other hand, is of a different nature. Here, the prophecies may not be anything to do with the future at all, but are prophecies nevertheless. The revelation contained in forthtelling reveals the mind of God in the present circumstances.

Besides the usual oral utterances that people commonly recognise and accept as prophecies, the prophetic ministry may also deliver divine representations in other ways. One of the most frequently demonstrated form of prophecies recorded in the Bible is prophetic acts or declarations.

A prophetic act is something done (at God's directions) in the natural (physical) realm that supports God's workings in the spiritual realm, to bring forth results that would be manifested in the natural realm. Such prophetic ministry becomes the forerunner of that move of God that opens the channel for His glory and power to be released that will affect our natural environment. It prepares the way for God to work His will on earth, for the prophetic acts become the means by which His power is brought forth. However, we must always remember that the prophetic ministry does not hand down formulae and methods as precedents to follow. Prophetic acts that might have yielded fruits of great glory are of no special significance if not ordered by God.

Let us explore some instances from the Bible on the demonstrations of prophetic acts and declarations:

Moses' Rod

In leading Israel out of the land of slavery, Moses performed many signs and wonders with the rod that God had given him. Out of the several times in which Moses fulfilled the purpose of God through prophetic acts worked with the rod, two instances probably register most vividly in our consciousness. One was the occasion when Moses parted the waters of the Red Sea by stretching out his rod over the waters according to God's directives (Ex.14:16,21), and the other was when he raised the rod in his arms to secure victory for Israel while she battled the Amalekites (Ex. 17:9-13). Both instances are forthtelling in their prophetic nature, since in the acts themselves, God's will and power was made known and manifested.

In the second instance, whenever Moses raise up his rod, Israel mounted the Amalekites, but when the rod is lowered each time Moses let his arms down, the Amalekites overcame Israel. Such physical manifestations show that the lifting of the rod must bear some significance in the spiritual realms, though how so we are not able to explain. It is not always possible to fully justify or defend the sense behind prophetic acts using our natural minds. However, where the Spirit's leading in executing a particular act is direct and certain, the human understanding of it i.e. whether we see the purpose in it, is inconsequential. While a comprehension of the purpose behind a prophetic act will not add to its glory, a lack of understanding will also not undermine God's intended result in it.

Elisha & King Joash's Arrow

In 2 Kg. 13:14-19, Elisha was drawing his last breaths as King Joash visited and wept over him. The king's tears probably arose from the threat of an imminent loss of a spiritual figure at just the time when Israel suffered hard under the oppression of her enemies. Most probably aware of the king's anxiety over his nation's security, Elisha began to direct him in saving his people from their oppressors. From the sickbed where he lay, the prophet instructed the king to release arrows eastwards from a bow. Apparently, this was a prophetic act that meant that Israel would triumph over her enemies, the Syrians, who were occupying Israel's land in the east of Jordan.

Following that, Elisha gave instructions for another prophetic act:

"The arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them".

Having said that to the king, Elisha instructed the King to strike the ground with arrows. Had King Joash been more perceptive, he would have noted the connection between this instruction and Elisha's earlier words about "striking the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them." He would also realise that Elisha was literally meaning that the striking of the ground was equivalent to striking the Syrian army! Not realising the divine significance of the act, however, King Joash dealt only three blows to the ground - to the reproach of Elisha who told him that because he struck the ground only three times, therefore Syria would suffer defeat not more than three times; while had the king struck the ground repeatedly Syria would have been rendered beyond recovery and would cease to be of any further threat to Israel.

Losing his country's peace and independence to another sovereignty was a costly price to the king, owing to his lack of understanding and therefore obedience, to a divine direction. Had King Joash perceived the import of Elisha's words correctly, he would have preserved his country's peace. The measure of victory we gain over our enemies comes from the obedience we give to divine instructions.

Prophesying to Creation

Many of us, we trust, must have had sufficient encounters to know that prophesies can be given to and over God's people. However, this does not mean that prophecies are only reserved for man. Sometimes, a prophecy may not be addressing a living person, but to other units in God's creation. Prophet Ezekiel experienced a ministry of this sort when God commanded him to speak against the mountains, the hills, ravines and to the valleys: "Son of man, set your face towards the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them..." Instead of prophesying to man, Ezekiel was asked to speak the words of prophesy against physical statures of creation. This was repeated again in Eze.20:6 where Ezekiel was called to "preach against the south and prophesy against the forest land...", and yet again in Eze. 37:4-10, God commanded him to prophesy breath and life to dry bones so that they rise up to become an exceedingly great army.

New Testament Example

In Matt.8:24-26; Mk.4:37 and Lk.8:23-25, when the disciples on the boat cried out in fear of the storm, Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves and the forces of nature were tamed. He later rebuke the disciples of little faith. It shows that He would aspect the disciples to do it and they would achieve the same result.

In Acts 5, Peter, when dealing with a deceitful couple, spoke against them so that death came upon the man and woman according to his words. In Acts 13:11, after Paul declared to the erring Elymas: "the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind," his words took immediate effect and the sorcerer lost his sight as soon as the words left the apostle's lips.

In both instances, no prayers were uttered either by Peter or Paul. They merely spoke, as inspired by the Spirit, and their words brought into existence things that had been spoken about. In such prophetic ministry, man becomes God's voice on earth as they proclaim, pronounce and declare things according to His leading, for His purpose.

Modern Day Example

Today, God continues to use prophetic acts and declarations to fulfil His will on earth. In 1990, one of the generation's spiritual influences Cindy Jacobs received a word from one of her friends who had been divinely instructed in a dream to bury the Word of God under the soil of Russia. Following the instructions of that dream, an evangelistic tract named "The four spiritual laws" was buried in the neighbouring soil of a university in Russia. After that, Cindy began to prophesy and proclaim words of victorious evangelism. "The seed from this tract will grow schools of evangelism, and theology will be taught", was her bold and confident declaration. At that time, the likelihood of that prophesy being realised was far from the people's imagination. However, after the fall of Russian Communism, evangelist Billy Graham started schools of evangelism on Russian grounds, thus fulfilling the words in Jacob's prophesy.

On another account, many years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, several servants of God had been instructed to lay hands on the bricks and command them to come down. What seemed like a vain thing to do at that time became labour that yielded fruits years later when the Berlin Wall eventually came down.

In 1998, Brother Sadhu Selvaraj received a call from God to blanket the nation of Tibet with prayer. He responded by embarking on a prayer journey there, and I was glad to have accompanied him on some of those trips. At certain sites where the Spirit guided us to, we prepared sacraments used in remembering the Lord's communion and we partook of communion. Thereafter, we buried the sacraments in the ground as a prophetic act symbolising the presence of Christ's covenant with believers working towards the redemption of the land. A cross would also be planted at the spots where we shared the Lord's Communion, as a sign proclaiming Christ's resurrection power and lordship over the land.

In just three months ago, our family was called to go to Australia and plead the blood of Christ over her coastline and, to pray for the mercy of God to cover the nation. The Spirit told me that just like how the blood of Abel cried out to Him, the blood of Christ that we plead over the coastline of Australia will continually cry out to heaven for the full redemption of that nation.

When operating in the realm of the spirit, rationales for particular actions taken or words spoken are not always available. God, being supreme in purpose and wisdom, and whose understanding surpasses even the most insightful of men, does not always give reasons for His directions. However, because His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts above ours we should eagerly receive His instructions with all readiness of heart and obedience. For it is through the faith and obedience of men that the will of God could be done on earth as it is in heaven. What is planned in heaven above can only come to pass on earth if man is willing to do the dictates from heaven.

In our days, God is raising a new prophetic and apostolic generation who will not only speak for Him but as Him. It is to be a ministry in the first person, where people will hear words from the spiritual leaders as if they were coming from God Himself. In order for any minister of God to do that, he will need to be so united with God's Spirit so that he could declare the will of God into peoples lives, and situations and even to declare God's plan over nations and His creation that will manifest the purpose of God. A successful minister here will be one who has the richness of God's word in his life and who so deeply abides in His Spirit that he is able to feel the inclinations and desires of the Lord the way they exist in His heart. Only then could one discharge without blame the heavy responsibility of speaking on God's behalf to His creation.

God is leading His church to a new understanding of prophetic act and declaration - how they function as His voice and body on the earth. Some may have been called to speak to the spiritually dead, walk the neighbourhood, lay hands on grieving souls and decree to the earth and, speak to nations, etc. Not all that God calls us to do is going to be easily accepted as sound and logical. But however foolish it may seem, let us remember that His ways are higher than our ways. To embrace this revelation, we need to be open to revelation and sensitive to the Spirit's prompting.

1 comment:

  1. Revelation now I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.


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