The Stenciled Word of the Lord
and the Branded Heart
[This is in follow-up to The Hidden Word of the Lord sent out the other day.]
In the last article, I lamented that there is no clear authoritative prophetic voice in the earth to which we can look for direction in the same way we can consistently, reliably turn to the writers of the Scripture. Instead, what is supposed to be the present "word of the Lord" through prophetic ministry has become debased through an unmeasured proliferation of unprovable declarations into a meaningless babel of competing voices in a prophetic marketplace.
Out of this, I said, is a reality of a true Hidden Voice of the Lord, discernible not by what is said, but by what is not being said, between the lines of what is being said, in spite of what is being said, underneath all that is being said—something discernible only to a certain kind of heart.
The Stenciled Word Of The Lord
A good illustration will help. In the fine arts, there are basically two ways to create contrast to produce an image. In painting, one can apply paint to directly create an image. The image is recognized by what is specifically painted. On the other hand, one can put down a stencil on a paper, then spray paint over the whole picture. Then, the stencil is removed to reveal an image. In this case, the true image is revealed by what is NOT painted.
The same is true in sculpting or etching. An image can be revealed by cutting a stone or metal plate directly into a certain shape. Or it can be revealed by cutting away an image from within the stone. In the latter case, the image is revealed by what is MISSING.
As we have looked to the Scriptures, so we have looked to today's prophetic to apply a direct image to the canvas of life, to cut the stone itself directly into a certain shape—contrasting the one, true flow of the mind of God from the surrounding world of blank earthly voices.
But instead, the worldwide prophetic anointing has proven itself to be, not the direct image of God's mind to the church, but only the broad "spray paint" over the stenciled word of the Lord, perceivable only to those able to hear His voice in the gaps and empty places between all that is being prophesied. The babylonic jumble of today's open prophetic anointing is only the background stone surface from which is carved the true word of the Lord. And it is discernible only to a certain heart that can tell the missing image from the vastness of the noisy background.
If all this is true, how then is the heart to perceive the etched "image of silence" revealing God's true Word from the background noise of prophetic babylon? How is the heart to discern the authoritative stenciled image of the Lord's mind from the immeasurable unprovable spray paint of vocal prophetic anointing covering the church now?
The Branded Heart
It’s here that the Lord led me to an understanding of spiritual branding. Those familiar with cattle ranching are familiar with the concept of branding. A branded animal is one that has had a mark burned into its surface through the applying of hot metal to the skin. It is obviously a painful process for the animal. The brand—designed to show ownership of a rancher over a certain cow—accomplishes its mark, not by painting a contrasting image over the skin, but by removing the skin and hair itself. It reveals the rancher's mark of ownership by what is taken away.
It is a short step to realize that this is the spiritual truth about our hearts. In order to perceive the stenciled word of the Lord under the spray paint of today's prophetic anointing, we must have a branded heart! A branded heart is a heart that has had the mark of Lord's ownership burned into its surface, enabling the ear to discern the unspoken word of the Lord.
To perceive the true stenciled word of the Lord, our hearts must first be stenciled. To hear Him through what is NOT being prophesied and UNDERNEATH what is being mis-prophesied, we must have our own hearts carved out with His mark of ownership. This is the heart Jesus was referring to when He said, “He that has ears to hear let Him hear!”
Isaiah presents us a picture of a branded heart. The coals were taken from the altar to touch his lips (ie, his heart. The circumcised ["carved"] heart of Jeremiah speaks to this also.) This same branding in Isaiah is what is meant when in Revelation the Lord speaks of "sealing" His servants in their foreheads. Right now, a hidden branding process is taking place throughout the earth, underneath the theater of what is generally referred to as church. But when that process is finished, look out.....
It is not enough then to have prophetic anointing. I have become convinced we cannot look to "propheticism" for our real direction in God. In the end, the prophetic movement really means nothing; it's impressive signs, wonders and predictions notwithstanding (Paul says as much). It is not providing the essential mind of the Lord to the church or the earth. The answers to life's questions and the burning issues of destiny are not to be found in the holy place light of the prophetic anointing. (That is my conclusion at this time.)
But the prophetic movement IS necessary to elucidate the hidden word of God to the branded heart of those being sealed. The prophetic movement provides a guide in reverse and by contrast to where we really need to go in our pursuit of the Lord and His promise of immortality. We need this otherwise blinding spray paint in order to "see" the hidden stenciled image of silence—to hear the still small voice—that alone reveals God's true mind to us through these end times and aligns with the Scriptures.
Again, this is not intended as a discouragement to prophesy. We must faithfully do so under our unction, adding our part to the prophetic "backdrop" as required by the Lord. But this is written to shake us from false trust and expectation in the visible prophetic, and as an encouragement in the face of the inevitable confusion we face by looking to the prophetic for a direct portrait of God's mind in these times.
Blessings to all the Lord's earnest seekers in spirit and in truth.
Riverside, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created May 7, 2004 / updated May 11, 2020