Last week the whole world turned towards Jerusalem. Some in praise and hope, others in condemnation. The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem along with the 70 year celebration of the modern founding of Israel had ‘end-time’ prophecy buffs in overload. It also left Muslim leaders perplexed and angry.
The conclusion of the article was particularly poignant:
These events represent a tectonic-plate shift in the spiritual realm. I believe we are crossing into a new period of prophetic fulfillment, whereby Jerusalem becomes both the center of international conflict (Zechariah 12:3), and at the same time there is the beginning of a new outpouring of the spirit of grace and supplication (Zechariah 12:10).
As all these events take place, let’s make sure we repent and turn our hearts anew to the Lord; so that on an individual level, we ourselves will be submitted to God’s perfect will and aligned to His righteous order.
A small earthquake shook Southern California 24 years ago and a new move of God surrounding the gift of prophesy and the ministry of the prophetic came forth.
I remember it well since I was at that conference in Anaheim when it all started and I have the tapes and the t-shirt to show for it so to speak. John Wimber was scheduled to speak the first night and he referred to the earthquake as introducing and confirming the new speaker. Then he proceeded to introduce Paul Cain to the 5,000 or so folks attending the conference that was supposed to be about ‘Spiritual Warfare’ but ended up being about the gift of prophecy, the ministry of prophets, and the modern church instead. A shaking followed in the Vineyard Movement.
It doesn’t seem possible but 24 years have come and gone with some incredible highs along with lows and lessons learned the hard way. It was the beginning of what some call ‘The Prophetic Movement’ but no one involved calls it that. It was introduced out here following a small quake but how it has shaken the American Church since then has been anything but small.
Now a major earthquake- ‘The Big One’ is long over due in Southern California and many Christians in the last five years or so have had dreams and visions of it. Most believe that it is just a matter of time -God’s timing. But remember, sometimes what God is doing in the natural reflects something that going on in the spiritual realm just like the small quake did 24 years ago.
Along with the dreams of doom many Christians out here and elsewhere have also seen visions of a new revival or ‘Jesus Movement’ that will shake Southern California once again. This time for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A major Kingdom event that could end up shaking the whole church.
So what kind of quake is is going to be? Natural or Spiritual or maybe both?
Actually at VCC Laguna Niguel we are preparing for both. Across the street from our church is the huge federal building parking lot which is designated as a site for emergency services and medical care in the event of a major catastrophe in South Orange County, California. Meanwhile, we have a 24,000 square-foot warehouse filled with food and clothing and 2 years ago we were able to send a cargo container with 100,000 bottles of water and other emergency supplies to Japan when the big one along with the tsunami that followed hit there.
But more indicative of what I am really talking about is the mini revival that seems to be going on in that same warehouse. Hundreds have come to Christ in the last year and major miracles and healings continue to happen nearly every time the place is open to the public offering food and clothing to those in need. The expectation is that it is merely a foretaste of what God wants to do Spiritually all across Orange County and Southern California.
I started thinking about this and decided to share some of my thoughts after I read an account in Charisma of a dream that James Goll had where he saw Southern California represented as ‘a womb’ that would bring forth a major revival once more. A birth that is imminent and overdue just like the ‘big one’ in the natural.
The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. –Isaiah 42:13
There have been a lot of prophetic words lately about California suffering a major earthquake. Meanwhile the earthquake scientists at Caltech are warning us that a major quake is coming our way sometime within the next 5-10 years so all Californians need to be prepared.
In the news, around here there is concern about how the state will be able to pay its bills and avoid bankruptcy. Unemployment is as high as it has ever been in the Golden State. Remember that during the Great Depression of the 30’s folks came out west to California to find work. Now jobless people here are going the other way heading for Arizona and Texas. Last month 75 major companies left California for different less taxing states.
Meanwhile among my friends and family, many have had dreams and visions of major catastrophes coming our way. One of my sons who is one of the most accurate prophetic folks that I know even had a very real and vivid vision of a flash of light and a mushroom cloud appearing on the horizon as we were in the car together heading down the 91 freeway toward LA.
If you look at what happen in Missouri this week and the tornados that sweep across other areas in the last couple of months it is easy to see that we are living in different and chaotic times. I can’t remember a period in my lifetime when so many natural disasters have occurred one right after another.
A lot of us out here have been praying about how we are called to respond. A major word that was read to our congregation on Sunday indicated the following:
Everything that can be shaken will be…what remains will be solid. It is not a time to run and leave, but a time to gather together and fight, a time to prepare for harvest.
I believe that this message not only applies to our area but the entire country. We are living in chaotic times on many different levels both natural and spiritual, but the Lord is ready to do battle and bring forth a great Harvest in the midst of it all.
Some prophetic folks around here keep seeing visions of butterflies in connection with 2011. Lately we have had lots of rain in the natural which is usually a portent for an abundance of butterflies in the spring.
The message seems to be that many ministries and called ones have been hidden up and have been going through a time of preparation or metamorphosis but will soon be released to fly and do what they have been called to do.
Some are like Joseph who did his best as a slave in prison but was released in a day to do and be what he was really called to do. Others have been doing ministries they have not really been called to do –e.g: prophetical ministers and evangelists serving as pastors. These are about ready to be coughed up on the shore like Jonah and finally become who they are really called to be and do what they are really supposed to do.
The preamble makes some good points in regard to present era prophecy:
There are differing variables that can affect the timing and/or coming to pass of these words:
All prophecy not contained in scripture is conditional.
The timing of when the prophecy comes to pass may occur over a longer period of time than one calendar year. Some take many years to fulfill.
It is possible that prophetic warnings will cause either the person or nation to repent and so turn away the judgment prophesied. Biblically, this happened when Jonah prophesied to Nineveh and the city repented, causing God to relent.
There are a number of points in the document that hit home and confirm some of the stuff that I believe that the Lord has been saying to me. Particularly poignant is word that a new wind of the Holy Spirit is coming that touches a number of different nations in a special way.
The sections- ‘Third Great Awakening’ and ‘Evangelism’ leaped out at me in particular:
Third Great Awakening
We believe that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that came on November 11, 2009, in Kansas City signaled the beginning of a Third Great Awakening that we prophesied would come to America and the world. November 11th was the day the Pilgrims made covenant with God in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Many intercessors across the nation are crying out to God for the nation to once again become “a city set on a hill.” If we continue to pray and call out to God, the nation will shift.
Many churches will wake up and evangelize the lost in their cities and nations. Thousands will be swept into the kingdom of God through new “power evangelism” movements in which people [will be] shown by supernatural means that God is real.
Churches who haven’t baptized in years will begin to see many people come to Christ. Dead churches will become resurrected under the fire and power of the Holy Spirit’s working, and many [who are] lost will be swept into the kingdom of God.
I really do believe that there is another ‘Great Awakening’ coming to North America that will touch hundreds of churches and cities in a special way across all of North America.
One of the keys to the new awakening will revolve around the Kingdom of God (that is the rule of God) invading into the marketplace where we all spend a majority of our lives. An expansion the Kingdom into the workplace and businesses where we spent our daylight hours.
It is in that process that God the Father will help his children to overcome their debts and become economically secure even in the midst of major recession. Not only that, but find spiritual blessing, purpose, and fulfillment at work and in businesses.
We’ll look at more of this message in later posts.
You see, we must understand some basic things concerning the nature of the prophetic. Few, in fact very few, prophetic words are ever sovereign declarations that will come to pass without any conditions being met. Most prophetic words are invitations into a process of becoming. Often, the Lord is more interested in our becoming a word and not just getting, releasing or receiving a word.
The prophetic at its best is partial, progressive and conditional. That is not the fault of the prophetic person – it is the way it works biblically, historically and how it works today.
Let me run that by you one more time – the gift of prophecy is partial, progressive and conditional and the conditions are rarely revealed at that time. This is where personal responsibility takes over and each believer must search out the King’s heart for the keys to unlocking the revelation.
There is a big difference between the revelation and the manifestation! As I have said many times before, the gap between the revelation and the manifestation is called the “until clause.”
Response: Readers-what do you think? I might have worded it differently but it does sum up my experience with the prophetic in the church today.
Time and again I see references to ‘The Prophetic Movement’ like it is some kind of unified quasi- church organization of some sort. What is it anyway and where can I find it? Then I see a whole lot of folks and ministries lumped together as somehow being representative of this movement and all sorts of crazy stuff which is suppose to be part of it, like angel feathers and gold dust and even miraculous gold teeth.
Then I read that it all started at a Vineyard conference when John Wimber introduced Paul Cain and let him take over. (However a prophetic movement had been going for years among some Pentecostal churches) I have read all sorts of crazy stuff about what happened at those meetings. Well guess what- I was there!
In February 1989, I was one of over 5,000 attending a “Spiritual Warfare Conference” with a number of major speakers planned. The first night John Wimber took the stand and announced that he believed that the Lord had inspired him to change the agenda and he introduced Paul Cain who spoke that first night and every night thereafter.
About five minutes into his first talk, Paul said something that convicted me personally and the Holy Spirit came upon me and I landed on my face and knees for a while, which was different and I have never been the same since. All I know, what happened to me that night was a sovereign work and I know a lot of other folks that were truly blessed at that conference. Yet when I read what the critics say about it, I wonder if it was the same conference. But I was actually there and the critics weren’t.
Later that year, I was there at the ‘Prophecy Conference’ when all the Kansas City folks were introduced including a strange guy called Bob Jones. Guess what, I was blessed at that conference also.
I guess that I have been part of ‘The Prophetic Movement’ for over 18 years and didn’t even know it. Some of the folks that are said to be part of it, I do know and have had close relationships with. Others I don’t know and don’t even agree with, but we are all part of some movement together? Some have fallen away and changed over the years, but they’re still part of the movement too?
If it is about gold dust, angel feathers, gold fillings and guys and gals with ‘Prophet’ in front of their names passing the collection plate and acting like rock stars, then count me out. If it is about re-establishing and implementing a true prophetic calling and gifting in the church, then count me in, I am part of that lower case ‘p’ prophetic movement.
I just received the following from Encounters Network and James Goll. James and Michal Ann Goll have recently teamed with Rolland and Heidi Baker on a number of occasions, and both are gifted in prophetic ministry. Since there seems to be a continuing discussion about the prophetic on this website (and I certainly welcome it), this short outline message about prophecy- evaluation and application -would seem to be on target and helpful. For some of you, this will probably be quite elementary but still a useful review:
There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration considering revelatory gifts. Failure to understand these factors can lead to dismissing a genuine word as being “off” or missing the impact that God intended for it to give. Therefore it behooves us to learn the many facets concerning the anatomy of a prophetic word.
A. Its Source
1. God – I Jn. 4:1, “…test the spirits to see whether they are from God…”
A. Bring the Two Together The following scriptural references show how revelation must be wedded with proper interpretation. Numerous genuine words have been judged as false because of a wrong interpretation.
1. Acts 10:9-17– …Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen (revelation) might be (interpretation)… (v. 17).
2. I Pet. 1:10-11 – …seeking to know what person or time (interpretation) the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating (revelation) as He predicted the sufferings of Christ… (v. 11).
3. Zech. 1:8-9– I saw at night (revelation)…then I said, “…what are these?”… (interpretation).
4. Dan. 8:15– …I, Daniel had seen the vision (revelation)…that I sought to understand it… (interpretation).
5. Acts 16:10 – And when he had seen (revelation) the vision…concluding (interpretation) that God had called us…
6. Gen. 40:5-13 – Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it”… (v. 12).
7. Gen. 41:25 – Now Joseph said…”God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do.”
1. We…began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.. (Acts 21:12).
2. Notice that those who heard Agabus were convinced that God was warning Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Paul, however, interpreted the word differently. This obviously made his application the exact opposite of what others had hoped it would be. Paul received the word not as a warning not to go, but as a confirmation of his sensing that he was to count the cost of what lay ahead.
Various keys unlock God’s prophetic word to be appropriated or fulfilled in our lives. The following are some simple keys:
A. Faith Heb. 4:2 – …the word…did not profit…because it was not united by (with) faith…
B. Right Soil Lk. 8:4 – The parable of the sower of the seed portrays the importance of having the proper condition of the soil of your heart. The same seed was sowed to all, but had various results, due to the condition of the soil.
C. Diligence in Seeking Dan. 9:2-3,16 – Here Daniel finds that the desolation of Jerusalem is to be for 70 years. His response was to give himself to seeking the face of the Lord through prayer and fasting.
What are the conditions that must be met so that the promise can be fulfilled? Sometimes, these conditions are present in the heart of God, but are not spoken to the mind of man. Therefore questions must be asked.
C. Jonah 3:4-10 Yet forty days and Ninevah will be overthrown…God relented.
D. II Kings 20:1-6 …Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.
VI. THE TIMING OF A MATTER
There is a ‘Karios’ appointed and strategic timing for a matter to come into being. This takes patience and wisdom to discern.
A. Genesis 37:5-8 …Joseph had a dream….”Are you really going to rule over us?”
B. Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for the appointed time…though it tarries, wait…
C. Galatians 4:4 …when the fullness of…time had come, God sent forth His Son… (NKJ)
D. Mark 4:28 The soil produces…first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain…
E. Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… (NKJ)
God looks deeply into the heart of man. What is our true inner motivation? Do we want glory for the Lord or promotion before man?
A. Ezekiel 14:4-5 …Any man…who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet…give…an answer (according to)…his idols…
B. Psalm 106:13-15 They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but craved…and tempted God…so He gave them their request…(NASB) but sent leanness into their soul (NKJ).
In some occasions, the Holy Spirit has spoken very clearly. However, the birth of the promise can appear differently than expected, especially in infant stages. Again we must cry out to the Lord that we miss not the day of visitation due to the manner of which that promise has first appeared.
A. Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… (NKJ)
B. Matthew 1:18-25 …Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly…(Joseph was changed from being a man of principle into a man of faith).
C. I Kings 18:41 …There is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.
IX. DISCERNING PROPERLY
We must be careful how we listen. One of the potential problems for the prophetic person is that he is assumed to be in the ‘prophetic mode’ all the time and every time he speaks. This not only shows lack of wisdom on the part of the listener, it also dishonors the prophetic person. Let us prayerfully, and with godly trusted counsel, seek proper discernment.
A. II Samuel 7:1-15 …Nathan the prophet…said…”Go, do all that is in your mind…the Lord is with you”…Go…say to…David, “Are you the one who should build me a house…?”
B. I Samuel 16:6-7 (Samuel) …He looked…and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is…BUT THE LORD SAID…
X. FINAL STATEMENT
When all of these wisdom perimeters are put in place, let’s create an atmosphere of faith and ask the Holy Spirit to move freely. Let us not err on the side of ‘license’, nor on the side by ‘stifling”the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. But with these understandings in place, let us walk on into fruitful prophetic maturation.
By Jim W. Goll, (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Pub. Inc., 2004, 190 pgs.)
What is the difference between a Seer and a regular Prophet? Jim Goll explains and differentiates between the two prophetic ministry streams, from the perspective of a participant. It is loaded with personal experience and wisdom, but it also helps one to better understand the different prophets in the Bible. A must read for all those who minister in the prophetic, or in the pastoral for that matter. This book is an excellent presentation of the different prophetic ministries operating in the church today. It is available through most Christian book stores, or may be obtained directly from Jim Goll’s website.