IS SOMETHING IN THE AIR? Is a subtle sense of expectation and of hope stirring in many people? Is it perhaps a new spirit of the age, or maybe a move of God in our midst? How many perceive the downfall and collapse of western society from self-inflicted moral degradation?
Those with insight know the urgent need to change our ways before it’s too late. They’re giving voice to the yearning in millions to stop the rot before it’s too late, to return to God-given values of life instead of the living-death of atheism, humanism and narcissistic hedonism: that is, the deification of man.
For example, yesterday I heard about a friend’s long-time friend who’s now expressed an interest in turning to Christ if the Church gets rid of its unnecessary riches and uses the proceeds to help the poor and needy. This person had never shown the remotest concern about the Good News of Jesus, until now!
My previous post was of Gillan Scott’s article about the new Archbishop and Pope. In its covering note I remarked that his header’s opinion, ‘God’s outsiders pointing to a new era in the church’, could be connected to recent prophetic words on God bringing about very specific changes. (The words are not associated with the Malachy ‘Prophecies of the Popes’, about which I’d blogged here and want to cover next.)
So, out of interest I dug around to check those words and was surprised how many there are – and these are only those of which I’m aware personally. However, for the benefit of those readers unfamiliar with prophecy, let’s consider first:
A Question on Prophecy
Of course, when people talk along the same lines it begs the cynic’s question, ‘Who copied from whom?”. Someone, no matter who they are in the Lord, could have heard on the grapevine of ideas expressed by anyone of prophetical gifting and then simply repeated them. Why not? It would serve to elevate or to maintain their status. Such an attitude is not unnatural, no matter whether one is a believer or not.
I believe the answer to this legitimate objection lies in the fundamental requirement of integrity of character for those operating in the Holy Spirit’s gift of prophecy, especially in His anointing of the office prophet (eg. Rev Bobby Conner, Rev Dr Sharon Stone).
But the ordinary unbeliever – and believer – is disadvantaged by not being ‘born again’ and walking in the Spirit. This enables such a one to sense, weigh and test within their own spirit whether or not something is of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28). Eg. when Sharon speaks and teaches she knows over a hundred listeners are checking what she says. Furthermore, an anointed prophet is only too well aware of the scriptural admonitions and dangers of delivering false words (eg. per ‘false prophet’ search in BibleGateway).
As stated in Introduction to Prophecy there are operational parameters and protocol to follow, yet these allow for interesting – and enjoyable – times when practised as a team. David Stark of the Glasgow Prophetic Centre recently emailed me as follows.:
“Thanks Richard, that’s really encouraging to us! I’ve just come upstairs from another of our 3 1/2 hour Lion Bites team meetings and so it’s lovely to read this [my email about the accuracy of several daily words, as in Lion Bites tag.]
“We had a great time this morning! We always write these as a team (the team usually consists 5-10 of our full-time or part-time prophetic staff), taking an hour or so to worship first, then pray and then we all sit down to listen to the Holy Spirit. When we’ve got our ‘downloads’ we write them down and share them with each other, to sharpen each other. In the days following a meeting there is more prayer and revelation for when to release them and an editorial team look over them again before release. Of course there is always space for a more ‘spontaneous’ word to be released but on the whole, we like to do it as a team because we’re a team ministry – a prophetic company. And it’s fun!!
“…the nice thing about working in teams you usually get a good balance of the different revelatory giftings and anointings. The church is in the Day of the Saints where it is less and less about the ‘big name’ man or woman of God (though they are great too!) and more about the outpouring on all flesh. So that’s why ‘team’ is so important to us and we continue to learn and grow all the time….
“Thanks for sharing and for the time you invest in your important blog.”
Later, David explained they no longer regard prophecy as being ‘an event’ akin to the Old Testament injunction of “prepare for the word of the Lord”, but as an outworking of a lifestyle of Holy Spirit habitation. They teach this is a difference between ‘perceiving’ in the Spirit and ‘receiving’ from Him. (It reminds me of Dr Stone’s teaching about seeing things from God’s perspective, as in 2013 – What God is Saying.)
Click here to read the many prophetic words promising an approaching ‘new era’ for not only the Church but also for the world.