Journey of a Prophetic People (Full Article)
Introduction: Role of a prophetic people in the journey ahead.
The Prophetic Voice
In the OT a sign of spiritual bareness was that there was little prophetic activity before the time of Samuel (1 Sam. 3:1). God seeks a voice to speak on His behalf today to His people and to the Nations. What the prophet Joel predicted was poured out on the Day of Pentecost. This prophetic unction will continue to increase as the end of the age comes to a close because the days are evil and are growing darker. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10) and is manifested through worship.
It will be imperative we hear from heaven and the Scriptures exhort us to pay attention to the prophetic word because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place. The prophetic voice, the voice of purpose, will be able to drown out the voice of pain, distress, anxiety, unbelief or the unreliable voice of reason, and others in the world, which often paralyze us.
(1 Sam. 3:1, Acts 8:24, Rev. 10, Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2, Eph. 5:16, I Cor. 14:3, 2 Pet.1:19)
A Prophetic People are those who have a prophetic giftedness; and through practice learn to operate out of a spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10) to handle prophecies, dreams, visions, words of knowledge, mysteries, etc. in various situations. We will examine the key roles of the prophets and the gifted to carry the prophetic ensign or colors within the five fold ministries in the journey ahead.
The major role we must play on this journey is to understand the times with the knowledge of what to do:
1Chr. 12:32 Of the *sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do….
(*About 200 chief men in the tribe of Issachar)
Without prophetic vision God’s people will falter and perish (Mic. 3:6). We are to hear and speak forth His counsel because our families and Church families may be depending on it:
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.
We will examine key factors in understanding the times:
– Understand the journey is changing
– Consider the hour (What time is it?)
– Preparation and strategy for the journey ahead (for this decade)
The Changing Journey: Jesus instructs His disciples that adjustments are necessary because the conditions of the journey were changing and gives them strategy on how to prepare:
Luke 22:35 ¶ And He said to them, “ When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.”
Luke 22:36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.
“But Now”: What changed here? Surely they were more mature in their faith after walking with Him for over three years. Why this new caution? It worked in the past.
Conditions of the journey were changing drastically:
– The “now, whoever” demanded collective provision for the larger groups.
– Greater commitment of provision (Money and resources)
– Willingness to sacrifice comfort for protection because of the perils and dynamics of the times.
The Key to their safety, provision and comfort was to be connected in the journey with trusted companions to share these resources. (Only the presumptuous, foolish or naïve would have ignored these instructions.)
In looking ahead to the end of the age, Jesus, and many of the prophets projected another level of urgency and caution for us in the Scriptures:
Matt. 24:25 “Behold, I have told you in advance.
Mark 13:23 “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.
In our western society It has been noted that we value the present here and now very highly, so much so, we tend not to face problems until they are upon us. I believe this has crept into the church because of the influence of society on all of us from the top down. The Scriptures do not emulate this and neither did Jesus who many times gave predictive and instructive forewarnings to his people. I believe we have a choice today:
Prov. 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
In Nehemia’s day they had to be told ten times they were going to be attacked before the were moved to take a defensive position (Neh. 4: 12-13) because they were very busy building the necessary wall. They had to slow down the work, arm themselves and strategically unite on and behind the wall with appointed watchmen to sound the trumpet when necessary. It is no different today.
I believe another “But now” is upon us and the journey is about to change as the time clock of God advances. The midnight hour is approaching and the Journey is going to change rapidly as serious times approach.
Consider the Hour: What is the Holy Spirit saying today?
The Watchmen have been warning us to prepare for perilous times through various means. I have had many warnings in dreams (Job 33:14-18) and prophecies:
A key Dream I received and interpreted before 9/11 I had titled “When the Towers Begin to Fall” is published on this Website. It is a panoramic view of about 3 decades, including times yet to be fulfilled. You will also find other more recent detailed dreams and prophecies here that I have received pertaining to our Nation.
Equipping for the Journey
Real Life Motorcycle Illustration:
I want to share a real life scenario with you that was invaluable in opening my eyes in the early years of walking in the prophetic anointing. I believe it will help illustrate the role of one gifted in the prophetic in the context of our changing journey:
Another Co-pastor and myself were part of a caravan of cars escorted by three policemen on motorcycles during a funeral procession down in Virginia.
The First One was at the head, the second one in the middle and the third one in the rear of the caravan.
– All knew the direction of the destination they were heading for.
– All were able to communicate with one another.
The first one would stop the traffic at the first intersection and stay there while the procession was passing. The one in the middle, #2, would go ahead to the next intersection, while #1 watched the intersection as the caravan passed and #3 brought up the rear watching that there were no stragglers. When he got in sight of the one in the middle, he would ride up to the next intersection beyond the one that had just gone ahead to stop traffic.
In other words, there was always someone looking ahead, someone watching the middle of the caravan so that no one would broad side it, and one always watching the rear. (We could hear constant radio communication between the three of them while this was taking place.)
Revelation: As we witnessed this, the other Co-pastor turned to me and said, “Joe that’s what you do as a prophet in our church.” “You’re looking ahead for dangers, then while we are walking through the situation you watch to see that the enemy does not interfere and that there are no casualties, and finally you try to make sure everything is ok in the rear.
Application to the Prophetic Journey Ahead:
I want to expand this analogy to apply it to us today because we are being called to rise up collectively in these last days with this mantle as a prophetic people on our journey together. The Holy Spirit will use us through dreams, visions, prophecies and other manifestations more and more as the end of the age draws near. (Joel 2: 28-29) Collectively as a spiritual people we are being equipped to be vigilant on our journey together, each playing his or her part. I believe the Holy Spirit will begin to show you the general relevance of the word you will bring like the sons of Issachar. At one time or another the prophet or gifted person will function in any one of these 3 vital areas at any given time with strategic influence:
1. Pointing the Way – The head of the column is usually focused where it is going . At times you may be made aware of the dangers ahead. You may have prophetic input (prophecy dreams, visions, etc.) predicting future spiritual road signs and may only be seen by others when we get close.
– Do not be concerned others do not see it beforehand.
– You may not see it because your timing was off.
– We may not be able to stop what we see coming, but it can change things. Remember Jesus’s instruction about Israel’s tribulation: Matt. 24:20 “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
Caution: You won’t always be at the head of the parade.
2. Affecting the Spiritual Atmosphere: A prophetic people will be able to help bring heaven to earth through our giftings and relationships and help create, sustain and steward a supernatural atmosphere in the midst of turbulent times in the body of Christ. You may be made aware of attacks in the midst of our lives as we are walking together. A word of exhortation or comfort may be paramount. You may prophesy in the midst of disruptions, confusion or even division in in the body. Be careful you are not the cause. Let love be your aim in your interaction with people.
Know how to communicate with the life in your midst, especially with the leadership where the life is abundant. Many times that is where we see the most turbulence. Be ready to ACT, but if you are not Accountable, Correctable, and Teachable don’t act.
Many times a prophecy needs to be Shepherded:
One time I had a word for a person. Later in the week they went to one of the other co-pastors in confusion and fear, so we immediately got together. I could not believe my ears as to how the person applied the prophecy and how severely wrapped around the axel the person had gotten. Fortunately I had recorded it on my recorder and it was only a few words she had gotten twisted that changed the whole meaning for her.
In those early years of learning we insisted on a two-man rule and, if the prophecy was corrective or directional in any way, leadership had to be present.
3) Watching for the spirit of Amalek- In the OT King Amalek preyed on the weak and the stragglers on the fringe in the wilderness (Deut 25: 17-18). His spirit will at be at war with us from generation to generation (Ex. 17 9-17) and the weak and stragglers will be a critical task in the final hour.
Understanding we are moving forward in what God is doing is important in the “Day of His Visitation” and that spiritual casualties left behind will be in great danger. When God is moving on we need to keep in step, keep in formation, and a prophecy can build them up to overcome their weakness or warn them of the dangers. Many may be struggling to keep up and survive spiritually in the times ahead, but God wants us to help one another to thrive.
Understanding the seriousness of the times is to stay connected & engaged: It is no time to be a loner and do not allow the enemy to separate you through hurts or offenses. Your battle is not against “flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). Learn to bloom where you are planted. It may take the Cross applied through the Father's love.
4) The God of the Times (Dan. Ch. 10-12)
What is God doing? I believe the most significant “darkness” the body of Christ will be facing is the lack of understanding of God’s judgment and what He is doing through it. He is:
– Ripening the Harvest
– Maturing His bride, the church
– Crushing His enemies
The Three Thieves
While our journey is taking place I see three thieves coming:
The first thief is the sudden darkness that will occur like a trap if we lack understanding:
1Th. 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
Dan. 12: 9-10 records that only those who have insight will have understanding at the end of the age.
The second thief that comes will try to break into God’s people’s hearts:
Luke 12:39 “ But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Prov. 24:33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest;
Prov. 24:34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
The enemy will try to steal the treasure within us through compromise during the time of extended darkness, if the head of the household is not aware of what time of night it is and is asleep. (The church of Laodicea is a prime example of what I mean Rev: 3 14-22.)
The third thief is the Lord Himself:
Rev. 3:3 ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
He will come and steal us away in the midst of this prolonged darkness and that is why the church needs the extra oil. The word for the hour is
“Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit”
“Trim your lamps”: less works of the flesh in serving Him and less time and efforts wasted on worldly pursuits. The extra oil will be needed for the extended time of darkness the church will go through before the Lord comes.