For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zech. 4:10)
What kind of season are you in with the Lord right now?
I find an interesting phenomena seems to take place in me, and I think an important one to discuss because there is a biblical precedent in it – and (I hope) some encouragement for you.
Shall we not rejoice when we see he plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with the eyes of the Lord? But this grows out of the day of small things.
What on earth are we talking about? The testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy, and cultural climate in our day.
Some personal testimony: I have now written two books; both of these books I believe the Lord moved on me to write, and there was a very interesting process through which they came. The first book I wrote is about the ministry of John the Baptist (I link to where you can get each below for those interested).
As it happened, I had begun pouring over the scriptures, and the Spirit of God really began to build a message inside of me.
Now, let’s make sure I’m clear as to what I’m talking about because there is a lot of false prophecy, and (subsequently) ‘deconstruction’ been going on in the Church lately. Brother John Cooper of the band Skillet had asked “What’s with all the deconstruction stories, recently?” The short answer to that is that large contingents of the church for the last few decades have been increasingly caught up in social, and political trends (I think trying to be ‘relevant’), as well as hyper-charismaticism, and have not kept their focus on the pure undefiled scriptures of Truth. (That’s not to mention starting twit the foundation of the message of ealier generations’ ministers, rather than express study and discovery of the word for themselves.)
Just as Christ declared, those who build their house upon sand will find them destroyed (in these days, they seem to say: ‘deconstructed’), but those who build upon God’s Word are as those who built on a rock.
Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out demons? and in thy name have done many wonderful works?”
And then I will profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Therefore [‘Therefore’ here links the context of these two statements together – we often separate these two teachings of Christ, but this ‘therefore’ is a response to the false prophets of whom He speaks (should we not heed ad false prophets abound in our time?)] whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth hem not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the flood came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matt. 7:22-27)
We need to inundate ourselves with the Word of God. I keep seeing in my mind’s eye a potted plant’s root system sinking deep into the soil until it is literally filling the pot (Ps. 1:2 & 3). There is a process of consuming God’s word until it is graffed into us (James 1:21); this is what it means to be truly prophetic.
But there will be false prophets, and false ministers, and false saviors, and as we see such a rising of this and as the result [fruit] of this many dissillusioned, many ‘deconstructing’ many losing their faith. When the Church is so innundated that it is easier to be drawn into a cult, or drawn under false teachers than it is to find a genuine minister of Christ, it is merely a sign of the time.
You notice in the passage above that many of those who prophesied and wrought miracles in the name of the Lord will be called by Him ‘workers of iniquity.’ He does not know them, but they presume to prophesy.
THEREFORE, those who build their life and ministry upon the sayings of Christ (God’s word), not merely hearing the words, and so decieving themselves (James 1:2). This phenomena applies to those who take scripture out of context in order to use it how they will, to make it say what they want. They indeed hear the word (or at least part of it), but they use it to do as they please, rather than ammending their way (i.e. repenting) by it.
Christ will declare that He never knew many who believed they were prophets, yet honored not His word with their lives. But if we hear and do God’s word, He will know us:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)
But I digress, I meant to share some personal testimony. I was working at a very difficult job – the hardest job I think I’ve ever done in terms of occupational employment. While working there I read the testimony of a minister who claimed he read the new testament through every month. That made me think: could I find the time to do so, myself (in downtime from work, family obligations, etc.), and I discovered I could. That got me thinking: the new testament is approximately 1/4 of the entire bible. If I could read the new testament in a month, I should be able to read through the bible in four or five months.
Through the course of that time, I lost count of how many times I read the bible. I do recall that I obtained a copy of the Geneva translation (which predates KJV) and read it throuh in five months.
It may sound tedious, and I admit that it sometimes was, but as I read and studied the bible again and again a message began to develop inside my soul. Not surprisingly, the message was the Gospel. Yet, this also I’ve discovered: that when we view all things through the lens of the Gospel (not the least of which, the scriptures themselves) we are prepared to discern the Spirit of prophecy. The Holy Ghost reminds us of all things the Lord has said, and teaches us all things (John 14:26); consuming God’s word gives Him plenty to work with.
I read an article recently about implanting, and reversing false memories, for our memories are essentially our imagination reconstucting events through our own perceptikn of them. Many prophesy out of their imaginations (wittingly, or unwittingly) – yet if we memorize God’s word, we can know that at least our minds contain incorruptible Truth: a solid anchor for our souls through storms of life.
The simple key to he prophetic (you know, like, how they publish books about the ‘Keys to unlocking the prophetic,’ or, ‘your spiritual gifts,’ or… whatever) is to truly honor God’s word. If you reverence the truth from the mouth of God above all things; if you diligently study his word (not ‘imagine things’, or say anything you can think of that is positive and encouraging as some groups do, and call it ‘prophecy’), and are listening for his voice you will hear it.
…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Is. 66:2b)
Anyhow, so I lost my job (the really hard one), but the timing was perfect; the message of my first book had been growing inside of me as I consumed the word. Unemployed, I didn’t even have a computer; I sat in my closet next to the water heater for eight hours a day and wrote a book on a tablet in three months. It was all inside of me, and just kind of came out. (Ironically, the only negative review I’ve got on it says: ‘More of a sermon than anything’ which is somewhat funny to me as the book is about the ministry of John the Baptist.)
A similar thing happened with my second book; a message developed within me, which came from meditating on God’s word. In both cases, I believe the mesage was timely; i.e. that God constructed the message in me, and opened the door for me to write them at the appropriate season. (This I don’t say for self-agrandizement, I’m nobody; in fact if you’re reading this it’s probably because you stumbled accross my blog somehow in a web browser. My point is that you can hear God if you honor, and meditate on His word.)
The prophetic is not seperate from scripture, nor does it use scripture to suit its own message. True prophetic utterance is born of the scripture’s message and context, and can be derived by anyone who honors God’s word and seeks His voice.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. (Ps. 25:14)
What season are you in?
Of late, I have been memorizing the book of Revelation (because Rev. 1:3); this week I got through chapter 11. I actually have a number of books that I’d like to read, and perhaps spend more time writing, but the word has been so sweet – like honey in my mouth – as I meditate on it.
The last couple of weeks have contained an awesome lesson in the prophetic;
…Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea, and upon the earth.
And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, “Give me the little book.” And he said unto me, “Take it, and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.”
And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up…
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Rev. 10:8-11)
The next chapter is mainly about the ministry of the two prophets who stand before God (11:4), and the seventh trumpet (the end of the age (Rev. 11:15-19)).
There are a number of interesting things about this passage, for one thing it comes chronologically after the sixth trumpet thus prior to the seventh. This chronology is actually central to the passage, and the angel himself prophesies with an oath that the end of time comes with the seventh trumpet, and that with it the work of salvation [the mystery of God] will be finished (Rev. 10:6 & 7). Thus chronologically the story of the end of time ends at the final verse of chapter 11. Chapter 12 goes BACK to the birth of Christ, and retells this same story with different details (specifically from the standpoint of Satan and his established earthly kingdom).
Yet right at this juncture – just before the last trumpet – there is a great move of the prophetic; John consumes the book, and must prophesy AGAIN, before the last trumpet. The two witnesses are given power to prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Now lest we mistake this for something it isn’t, what that means is quite simply this: that the Gospel is to be preached until the end of time. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8), is still the author of ou salvation right up to the final trumpet and His return to judge the nations, the dead, the prophets and saints, and to destroy them that corrupt the earth (Rev. 11:18).
The Gospel doesn’t change – and here is one false prophecy widely believed in our time, that salvation will revert to the Old Covenant for the Jews; no the two witnesses will declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection and ascention to heaven even after the sixth trumpet – so much so that their life and death will emulate the Lord’s death, resurection, and ascention as a final testimony to the world who despised the Gospel (Rev. 11:7-12) – and the enemies of the Truth will indeed behold this last testimony, and so be without excuse (11:12b).
Note that the book which John consumed in order to prophesy again was an open book. Unlike the book which the Lamb has opened in the first chapters of John’s vision, which was sealed with seven seals (kept hidden) – the book in the angel’s hand, which John consumed is open already. In fact, it is noted that the book is open from its first appearance in the narrative (Rev. 10:2).
There is not a new word of prophecy for the end of days, but the Gospel revealed in Jesus Christ and testified by the Apostles and Prophets of scripture. Those who come in the last days claiming to have the final revelation, or prophetic mystery are false prophets; those who claim the Gospel, or the way to attain salvation is different in he last days are false prophets. (But our ministers were weaned on such false teachings rampant in our day – no wonder such false prophecies and dissillusionments have come!)
True prophetic revelation of these days comes from ingesting the word of God which is all times (in this age) open to man. We may, indeed, find understanding of the word which has not been discovered by many others, we may indeed see events before they happen (John 16:13b), and see miraculous answers to our prayers (John 15:7); and we ought to be operating in spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:1).
Are you consuming the book? Or would you rather listen to ministers? (By this will there be many more dissillusioned – too many of the ‘ministers’ seem not to be consuming the book themselves, but are blind guides, parroting things they have heard, or worse taking scriptures out of context to make up their own message.)
The two witnesses, when the come will preach the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. They won’t have a political agenda, they won’t be ‘woke,’ they’ll call you our for your murders, and sorceries (drug use & strange spirituality), fornications, and thefts (Rev. 9:21) unto repentance and faith in the Lamb of God who, alone, is worthy to open the book. For this reason they will be killed by the beast from the abyss, and their dead bodies rejoiced over by the people of the world. That is indeed a bitter belly-full.
Do you see a wealthy minister, and well liked? These witnesses will prophecy in sackcloth even while their brethren are martyred forty-two months (Rev. 11:2 & 3).
Who has despised the day of small things? We have been given an open book, do we value it? Do we pursue God’s word above all, or are we happy to have a just little of it on the side?
It is sad to say that many are likely in this time to forsake the ways of the Lord. The many have stood and prophesied falsely, because they have prophesied from their own desires, theology, and political motivations, not from filling up on the book.
Wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. (1 Cor. 14:39)