Logos & Rhema!

Ezekiel 7:26 “They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders.”

In the bible we have two ways that scripture is revealed to us. The Logos word is Gods word revealed through the written text. Line upon line, precept upon precept. The Rhema word is Gods inspired word, quickened to our hearts in a momentary encounter with the Holy Spirit, as we read the bible. Rhema has a prophetic nature to it. While God delights to quicken his Rhema word to us, unfortunately many of us are waiting for Gods prophetic word, whilst neglecting Gods logos word that is available to us everyday. Israel were guilty of the same thing, they neglected to hear the instruction of the law and the counsel from the elders overseeing them for the rush of the prophetic insight available to them through Gods mouthpieces. We need both Gods Logos and Rhema word in our lives. We live off the Logos and every now and then we encounter the Rhema. Don’t neglect one for the other. 

Even the Great Ones Struggle!

1 Kings 19: 3 ‘Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.’

Elijah is one the great men of God in history and one of the greatest prophets that ever walked the planet. He operated in such a high level anointing and saw many mighty miracles unfold in his generation. He was a man who had angels appear to him. He called down fire from heaven. He prayed and the rain stopped for 3 years. He prayed again and the rain started. His anointing enabled him to outrun a chariot. His cloak parted the waters and a heavenly chariot of horses swept him up and transported him to heaven. The dude had some serious game and he walked a higher path, and yet…

Elijah still struggled with fear and fatigue. In fact his fatigue post Mt Carmel caused him to behave in the most uncanny and uncharacteristic way. He made a mockery of the false gods of Baal. He slaughtered Baal’s false prophets. He challenged the people of Israel to stop vacillating between 2 opinions and take ownership of their faith in God. And yet…

When Queen Jezebel heard the report from her intimidated husband, Ahab, she sent Elijah a death threat and he ran for his life. Why? Cause even the great ones struggle.

Elijah ran off into the wilderness, left his servant behind, slept under a broom tree and pleaded with God to kill him. Fatigue in life and ministry will make you do weird and wacky things. When you are tired, you respond out of character to whom God has called and anointed you to be.

Elijah perceived that he was the only one standing for God and yet his own gross over-estimation of himself blinded him to those whom God had established as a remnant amongst his people. His moment of weakness caused him to see his own pride and comparison to his forefathers. The real issue was he was tired and his weariness caused him to run away in fear.

Someone reading this wants to run away from the frontline of what God has called you to. You are weary and fatigued and you are considering a course of action that will prove catastrophic to God’s purposes in your life. Don’t run away from the battle. Seek rest and refreshment in the presence of God but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. God’s bigger than the threats coming against you and can help you see through the obstacles that stand in your way. Recognize your state for what it is and don’t fall prey to the lies and deception of the enemy. God is with you and just like Elijah experienced, He will sustain you miraculously.

The Oracle!

The Calling of a Prophet!

The office of a prophet is a life calling. Most prophets are called at birth or when they are born again (salvation). It is primarily the Lords choosing, not something you seek to become, however if called, you have a responsibility to develop your gift. Some notable prophetic ministries have identified that it can take as long as 14-15 years for a person to develop into a prophet after being called.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men… And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry.” (Eph 4:7, 11)

The five fold ministry is outlined in the above passage and the office of the prophet is one of the ministries that God has established for the governmental leadership of the church. To be a prophet is a calling. To minister in prophecy is a gift. When a person ministers in the gift of prophecy, the gift is the ability to prophesy. The words themselves are the gift. When a person is a prophet, they themselves are the gift. A prophet is a gift to the church.

Apart from a foundation of character, there are actually 3 components to any mature and fruitful ministry. These are:

  1. CallingCalling gives identity. Paul was called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (1 Cor 1:1).
  2. GiftingGifting gives ability. ‘As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God’ (1 Pet 4:10).
  3. AnointingAnointing gives purpose. It was prophesied of Jesus, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners’ (Is 61:1).

The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable but the anointing of the Lord ebbs and flows according to the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit. The calling on your life describes who you are. The anointing of God provides you with your purpose in life and the gifts that God has given to you becomes the ability in which you accomplish his purposes.

The Oracle!

Honouring the Anointing!

Matthew 13:57 ‘And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour, except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.’

Jesus arrived at his hometown, Nazareth, to minister to them but they didn’t receive his ministry or honour the anointing on Jesus’ life because they couldn’t get past the fact that he was raised amongst them and yet possessed such a powerful anointing.

The result was offence and hardly any effective ministry took place in Jesus’ hometown. What a tragedy! Jesus marvelled at their lack of honour and unbelief. You know it’s serious when Jesus starts to marvel at your unbelief.

A lack of honour for the anointing of the Spirit on Jesus restricted the power of God from moving freely in Nazareth. There was not only a lack of honour for Jesus but also for the message he came to declare and the anointing he carried to the people (Isaiah 61:1-4).

If a lack of honour hampered Jesus flow in the anointing while he walked the earth, why do we get amazed to find that a similar lack of honour restricts the anointing in our present day ministries and churches? It’s never been about just honouring people for their sake alone but honouring the Spirit of God’s grace, call and anointing upon people’s lives.

What we honour determines the reward we will receive. Matthew 10:41 ‘The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.’

I’ve observed the reality of this revelation in action when I preach in different church atmospheres. Where I am received as a prophetic ministry, I find great freedom to flow in the anointing of the Holy Spirit through preaching, prophecy, words of knowledge and miracles. But where I’m not received, its like chewing concrete, painful to say the least.

It takes real security in one’s self, humility and discernment to honour the anointing upon someone’s ministry. In other words, it takes spiritual maturity. When you open your heart to honour the anointing, you will receive a mighty reward from that ministry. Let’s not be hard-hearted like Jesus’ hometown but lets appreciate the different grace God extends to individuals and when they come to minister to us, honour the anointing upon their lives. It will be well worth it.

The Oracle!

Don’t Miss God’s Voice!

Acts 13:27 ‘For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognise him nor understand the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.’

Have you ever thought about how much of the bible is made up of prophecy? Approximately 50% of Scripture is prophetic literature. A lot of OT prophecy is contained within the Gospels themselves, with Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah, more than any other OT prophet.

For believers who are planted in a local church and hearing God’s Word regularly preached, are we really hearing God’s voice and obeying it or are we so distracted by our own stuff that we, like Israel, miss His voice?

There is ‘The Voice’ in the prophets which may be missed, a meaning not apprehended. The ‘voices of the prophets’ in Acts 13 implies something just beyond mere words but the very voice of God. It’s the ‘VOICE’ of the prophets we need to hear. Big things hang upon hearing God’s voice above all the other voices.

Failure to hear may lead to irreparable loss, such as it did for the Jews when Paul announced in Acts 13:46 that he was turning to the Gentiles, due to the hardness of heart in Israel. The Gentiles response in Acts in V48 to Paul’s announcement is indicative of that fact that it is a great thing to hear and obey God’s voice.

I personally believe that the most important word in the bible isn’t love, faith or grace but ‘HEAR’. Everything in the kingdom is predicated upon how and what you HEAR. The Parable of the Sower emphasises the central importance of HEARING God’s Word.

Are you hearing his voice or are you present bodily but absent spiritually when the prophets are being proclaimed from the pulpit? I pray that God would give us an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church in this generation.

The Oracle!

Your Life is Your Message!

Too often we try to share a message rather than become the message! In a world of competing brands, you are the best brand you could ever get. The Scriptures suggest, ‘our lives are a letter written to the world.’ When people read your life, what do they read?

In the Holy Scriptures, the prophet’s entire lives became God’s message to his people. A prophet was an active extension of Yahweh. Hosea married a prostitute to proclaim a message to Israel about it being a ‘whore’ in their relationship with God. Isaiah walked around barefoot and naked to communicate what was going to happen to Israel if they continued to rebel against God. Prophets didn’t share something external to themselves, they became God’s message and shared their lives with the people and this gave them authority to speak what God wanted his people to hear. As you can imagine, a tough calling to carry at times.

We can share a lot of things with others but we have no authority to speak on something we haven’t first lived out ourselves. What message are you becoming? What authority do you walk in, to share out of? You and I must become the message before we deliver the message. When you and I become the message, the impact of it will be far greater in the lives of people around us.

Embrace what God is doing in your life right now. Don’t try to run ahead and force his hand according to your desire. The Lord is writing his story onto your heart each step of each day. Your spiritual authority is directly connected to your relationship with your Heavenly Father and his power at work in your life.

The Ancient Ministry of the Prophet!

The prophetic is the only one of the 5 offices that has a long and scripturally detailed history reaching back into the early origins of the Old Testament and God’s people, Israel. Understanding the historic origins of the prophet helps us understand how we are to operate in this ministry today.

There is a vast difference between one who stands in the office and one who prophesies in the moment. When God gives someone a word for the moment, the person is not responsible post the delivery of the word to stand in the office but a true prophet is called to wear a mantle that cannot be removed.

The word prophet comes from the Hebrew word nabi meaning ‘speaker’, one whose mouth has been touched to speak for God. Some think that a prophet is one who only foretells the future or speaks of things only God could know.The truth is, when prophets are called to speak, it is about anything God wants to address, the past, present or future, revealing things hidden or merely speaking of what is mundane and well-known.

The word ‘prophet’ was first mentioned in Genesis 20:6-7, describing Abraham as a prophet, in the context of healing. After Abraham we see the prophetic office established in Moses ministry, as the purpose of prophets was revealed: to listen to God for the people.

Today, it is still the same. God wants to have fellowship with his children and he wants us to listen to him. But some will not and others seemingly find it very difficult to hear God and this is where prophets are needed, because in God’s wisdom he speaks to his prophets on issues that he does not reveal and discuss with every one of his people. Until that time in the future when the perfect one comes and all will know him, from the least to the greatest, prophets and their office are necessary.

Don’t despise the Lord’s servants, the Prophets and their prophetic utterances but hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches.