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The Mud of Prophetic
A Reflection on 9/11
Perhaps the most amazing thing to me about the prophetic response to the recent terrorist attacks in New York is the astounding consensus that "none" of the prophets knew this attack was coming. That is at least the word as it is presented through the popular prophetic Elijah List. Soon after the events, there was a major "prophetic scramble" in an attempt to find the Lord's meaning behind something that the prophets otherwise say none of them knew about in advance.
Now it is not as if no one had advance warning. David Wilkerson of New York City says his church had a week's advance warning by the Holy Spirit that an unspecified tragedy was coming to the city. So strong was the warning that everything in the church was cancelled that week and the Lord was sought in advance of whatever was coming. (Interestingly, Prophet Wilkerson's strong response to the events was not among those published on the Elijah List though it was available through a list out of New Zealand.)
We all desire to believe that the current of today's prophetic stream is able to give us the accurate complete mind of the Lord about what is happening in this country and around the world. We also believe in a prophetic "safety in numbers." If enough prophetic people are saying the same thing, then it must prove that the unified movement is presenting us the picture God is trying to give us. The current at-large movement certainly seems unified in a number of beliefs about God's heart rooted in positives—especially that direct judgment factored little if at all in what happened in New York.
But the fact that all these prophets tell us they were not advised in advance about what was to happen tells us that there is no ultimate safety in prophetic numbers. It tells us that a face of unity upon our prophetic visions cannot guarantee that the mind of God has truly been perceived, either fully or accurately.
The Possibility for Corporate Prophetic Deafness
It is possible that there is something about the mind of God that has either not been disclosed to or has not been received by a multitude of prophets. This potential for a missing element of God's fully revealed nature amidst an otherwise massive prophetic movement of believers opens my point for discussion.
It's really true. An entire movement of prophetic people really can miss God though they are unified in their perception of what God has said or is doing. Shadows of this possibility are seen in the Old Testament, where often an entire chorus of hopeful positive prophets was saying one thing while a handful of realists (misnomered as "doom and gloomers") were saying something opposite and were proven correct by the witness of Scripture. (Consider Elijah, Micaiah and Jeremiah for example.)
Today, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we would like to think this same situation is not possible. Yet we have just seen for a fact that an entire movement (except for one man or perhaps a few hidden unknown scattered prophetic people) was totally unable to warn us of an exceedingly major event. If an entire prophetic movement can miss such an event, it means an entire prophetic movement is just as capable of mischaracterizing God to us, simply because it is not presenting to us the entire mind of God.
To understand how such mischaracterization is possible today under the anointed cloud of today's prophetic movement, we have to understand the nature of the interface between Spirit and flesh.
Spirit on Flesh / Spirit versus Flesh
Perhaps the greatest scriptural defense of today's prophetic movement is the verse from Joel and quoted by Peter in Acts 2 that promises that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh so that all men will prophesy and dream dreams. And this is so! It is right. It is accurate. We do have a mighty prophetic movement today specifically because the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all flesh.
The problem though is that we have not looked beneath the surface of the promise to understand the ramifications of what happens when Spirit is poured out on human flesh. We believe that the pouring out of the Spirit is its own guarantee of the quality of the result when the Spirit meets flesh.
The fact is that, when you pour Spirit upon flesh, the result is only as good as what happens to the flesh as a result of the Spirit's being poured out on it. If the flesh is brought into conformity to the Spirit coming upon it—submitting to be changed by the Spirit—then it becomes a worthy vessel for the display of the Spirit.
But if the flesh is not brought into conformity—is not touched at its root to submit to the otherworldliness of the Spirit—then the flesh can corrupt the Spirit that is poured out on it and can change the truth of God into a lie. Or as Jesus said, if the (prophetic) eye is dark (by means of unsubmitted flesh), then the light (or Spirit) that is within us is changed to darkness. And how great is that darkness!
So there is a conditionality to receiving the Spirit that determines what we get of the mind of God. The fact that the Spirit is received is not its own automatic guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of His mind. Consequently, if an entire people on whom the Spirit falls retains an area of fleshly darkness that does not go to the cross, this entire people or movement can transmit a faulty picture and message from God, and can in turn be convinced of the truth of what they are saying because they have each other for finding confirmation in what they are hearing.
Dirt, Water and Fire
Man is made of the dust of the ground. As flesh, he is but dirt. The Spirit is likened to rain and to fire. If the Spirit is received by the flesh without submitting to the purging of His separating fire, you get the same result as when you pour water on dirt. You get MUD. You get something to get stuck in! But if the Spirit is received not only as water but also as fire for bringing truth to the innermost parts and for separating man to the Lord, then the mud or clay becomes transformed to a pottery vessel that is able to truly hold and display God's power and mind.
This brings us to what I perceive as the greatest difficulty of the present prophetic movement. As a corporate body, God's prophetic people has not encountered and endured God's inward purging that severs them from their fundamental sense of identity with the world of man in which we find ourselves. We have received the Spirit of prophecy, but we have not been circumcised by that Spirit's fire from our core alignment with the adamic race of man.
A fundamental HUMANISM lies at the center of our perception of God and His relationship with man. We view man and his needs as the "be all" and "end all" of God. This view of man's (not Christ's) centrality to the plan of God and our allegiance to that view has not been broken by the corporate receiving of the prophetic Spirit.
Because the receiving of the prophetic Spirit has not broken this deep human allegiance, it has become darkened, being filtered through a subtle lens of humanism that makes the Spirit out to be a supporter of Adam in all his races and all his ways. What we have is a vast movement of "prophetic mud," wreaking with a fleshly sentimentality that is being passed off as the compassion of God, and is ultimately exalting—not the Lord—but the human culture and societies to whom He comes. Names of nations and peoples are lifted up and glorified by the numerous words of the prophetic movement, displacing the glory of Him that will not share His glory with another.
Prophetic Glorification of America
In America, we see this through the ubiquitous mingling of the American flag and the cross; and the overlaying of images such as the human Statue of Liberty with the truth of Christian liberty. We see it through the books and prophecies that romanticize American history as akin to God's movement on the early church, and extrapolate isolated covenants such as by the Pilgrims to declare the entire adamic nation founded by a mix of Christians, deists, masons, internationalists and commercialists—founded through a war leaving them bankrupted and indebted to the Bank of England—as "the nation of God." (For those unaware of it, Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution is a bankruptcy reorganization plan.)
Nothing we are saying here is to minimize the call of the Lord on us to intercede concerning the state of this and other nations, or to minimize the mandate that we be able to speak prophetically before kings and governors concerning the situations their people face. I for one was personally deeply grabbed by the Holy Spirit's call last year to intercede concerning the American election. But please understand. The vast majority of the prophetic church seems unable to discern its place of ministry as from a place of separateness from this world in its identity according to I Peter 2:9.
As a result the church is misdirecting the prophetic Spirit to glorify the mankind to whom it ministers. This prophetic humanism accounts for the church's inability to take a strong stand concerning the issues of repentance and judgment that otherwise characterize the end time church seen in the Book of Revelation. Far from saving men "from this perverse generation" as Peter called for, men are being reinforced in their adamic fleshliness by the prophetic, and so sealed in their lostness, rather than challenged with the issues of the imminence of death and the consequences of eternal damnation as was preached in days of old.
Sincere But Wrong
My friends and brethren, I trust that no one will take these words as an attack upon specific ministers in the prophetic movement. I have held the utmost esteem for most of the major players in the prophetic and intercession movements of our day, and genuinely love them in the Lord. I have attended their conferences, supported them financially and heeded their calls for intercession where those calls converge with my own call in the Lord.
Nevertheless, it is my unction to declare to you my belief in the Lord that most of them are sincerely wrong and are speaking from a platform of humanism in their presentation of the Lord to men, and consequently are causing many believers, including themselves, to become sidetracked from obtaining their eternal inheritance, as well as obstructing the true harvest of which they proclaim themselves to be agents.
Much more could be said about this. I have only scratched the tip and perhaps will write more about this in days to come as the Lord gives liberty. Every man must discern for himself the truth of what I have said according to his openness to the Spirit of purging fire in the inward parts. I will only commend this writing to you for your exhortation and edification. And hopefully, someone will be benefited to preserve his or her true inheritance in the Lord.
With all faith,
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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