Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Prophecies at Kansas City - 1975!
I thinks sometimes we may make the mistake of assuming that we (the "Joshua" generation) are far beyond our fore-fathers in certain aspects of Christian life - especially the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This may be true in some areas - by God's grace and through faith in and relationship with the Holy Spirit the Church is indeed marching on. For example I reflected this morning walking back from work that I don't think the Church could except Ern Baxter's teaching to "go into the land". I have interrogated my dad and mum many times about those significant days at the Dales Bible Week and have been horrified that many churches returned from hearing a week of Ern's ministry and NOTHING was said or done about what he taught and brought.
However in listening to Dave Devenish's awesome teaching on the Kingdom of God at "Together on a Mission" in Brighton, I looked around and marvelled that the teaching was so similar to Ern Baxter's - yet the mood is different. These were leaders and pastors and elders and apostles and prophets listening! And they are eager to go on into the land!
Prophecy is another area where I am not so sure that we are that much more advanced or mature in, in a general world-wide sense. I have been reading through the New Wine Magazine covering the Kansas City conference and they included a number of prophecies that were brought at that conference. Let us not be fooled into thinking that the Kansas City conference was just about teaching or preaching simply because that is all we have of the ministry tapes! God was speaking powerfully and here is what He said;
"The Lord says, 'Mark down this day and remember it. And write down this word and recall it. Because My promises shall never fail and no word that I speaks falls to the ground but I will fulfill every word. Remember it. Call it to mind. Declare it publicly. Have no fear. Because I am faithful to My word and I will fulfill it.
I am going to restore My people and reunite them. I am going to restore My people the glory that is Mine so that the world will not mock it or scorn it but so that the world might know that I am God and King. And that I have come to redeem and save this earth.
Yes mark it down and remember that I have told you that I am restoring My people, bestowing on them power and glory, bringing them back to them the glory that is proper to My people. And making them look again like a Kingdom - the Kingdom of God on this earth".
"I the Lord God would speak a word of encouragement - a word of exhortation - a wordof admonition to My people. For I say unto you, My people that the things which I have said to you up to this time have not been empty requests neither have they been suggestions. But I, the Lord your God, say unto you that they have been commandments. And I have commanded ye saying, Ye shall be one. You shall love one another.
The Lord would say that there are yet many who in their hearts say, 'These are but suggestions from the Lord our God'. And who have said, 'I will do this in my appointed time and if it is the proper time and convenient for me, I shall obey these words'. But the Lord your God would say unto you this day that, 'I desire you to set your face to obey Me. I do not desire that you be like the children who followed after the ways of Balaam. For Balaam heard My word and would have obeyed but he reasoned in his heart saying, 'I shall not do it this way. I shall not do it as the Lord my God commands'. And I the Lord God said unto him in that day that his ways were contrary to My ways. And I was a swift witness against Balaam.
Therefore I the Lord your God would say unto you that I desire that ye be children after the manner of Abraham. For when I said to Abraham 'Take thy son, thine only son ...' Abraham My faithful servant heard the word NOW. And he obeyed. For he arose the next morning and made preparation and did the word of the Lord God.
Therefore I say unto you, My people NOW is the appointed time. NOW is the acceptable day. And I desire that ye My people hear My word NOW for I desire that you hear that you shall be one. For this is My desire for you that you shall love one another ... that you shall not reason in your heart saying, I shall do it another way. You shall not be like the ox who seeing the yoke before him stiffens his neck but you shall say in your hearts, 'Yea and Amen Lord!'. This is the word which You have spoken to us and this we shall do'. The Lord your God would say unto you, 'This is my commandment and I desire that ye walk in it".
I hope that in writing this post I have gone a little way towards fulfilling Bruce Yocum's prophecy; "'Mark down this day and remember it. And write down this word and recall it ... Remember it. Call it to mind. Declare it publicly. Have no fear". It made me reflect somewhat that if we really earnestly desire the gift of prophecy we are desiring a somewhat dangerous thing. Why does the Bible - the living Word of God - sufficient and complete canon of Scripture - COMMAND us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts - ESPECIALLY the gift of prophecy?
By the way as an aside - that Scripture seems to suggest to me that if we DO NOT earnestly desire spiritual gifts ESPECIALLY prophecy then surely we are being disobedient to God and disobeying His commands?
I think the Bible urges this because the gift of prophecy is God speaking! So prophecy is indeed dangerous because if we sincerely seek this gift then we are saying, "God we are prepared for You to speak to us - whatever You want to say, we want to hear it!". I don't reproduce these 30 year old prophecies for historical purposes only. I notice in these prophecies there is the same life-throbbing vein that is present in many of the prophecies we are hearing in church life today. God is commanding His Church to mobilise themselves! God is declaring to His Church that He wants the world to sit up and take notice of His beautiful Bride! The question is - are we ready for Him to speak like this? Or does our eschatology not allow for such life-changing demanding words? Because surely that could be one reason why our prophecies are still about sunflowers and waterfalls and butterflies (and I am NOT mocking them. I love those kind of pictures!).
Maybe God will accelerate our maturity in the gift of prophecy when we are prepared to honestly speak what He wants saying!