PICTURE OF A PROPHET BY Leonard Ravenhill
by Lawrence Jordan on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 10:28am
PICTURE OF A PROPHET BY Leonard Ravenhill
by Mary Clark on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 1:37pm
The prophet in his day is fully accepted of God and totally rejected by men.
Years back, Dr. Gregory Mantle was right when he said, "No man can be fully accepted until he is totally rejected." The prophet of the Lord is aware of both these experiences. They are his "brand name."
The group, challenged by the prophet because they are smug and comfortably insulated from a perishing world in their warm but untested theology, is not likely to vote him "Man of the year" when he refers to them as habituates of the synagogue of Satan!
The prophet comes to set up that which is upset. His work is to call into line those who are out of line! He is unpopular because he opposes the popular in morality and spirituality. In a day of faceless politicians and voiceless preachers, there is not a more urgent national need than that we cry to God for a prophet! The function of the prophet, as Austin-Sparks once said, "has almost always been that of recovery."
The prophet is God's detective seeking for a lost treasure. The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity. Compromise is not known to him.
He has no price tags. He is totally "otherworldly."
He is unquestionably controversial and unpardonably hostile.
He marches to another drummer!
He breathes the rarefied air of inspiration. He is a "seer" who comes to lead the blind. He lives in the heights of God and comes into the valley with a "thus saith the Lord."
He shares some of the foreknowledge of God and so is aware of
impending judgment. He lives in "splendid isolation."
He is forthright and outright, but he claims no birthright.
His message is "repent, be reconciled to God or else...!"
His prophecies are parried.
His truth brings torment, but his voice is never void.
He is the villain of today and the hero of tomorrow.
He is excommunicated while alive and exalted when dead!
He is dishonored with epithets when breathing and honored with epitaphs when dead.
He is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but few "make the grade" in his class. He is friendless while living and famous when dead.
He is against the establishment in ministry; then he is established as a saint by posterity.
He eats daily the bread of affliction while he ministers, but he feeds the Bread of Life to those who listen.
He walks before men for days but has walked before God for years.
He is a scourge to the nation before he is scourged by the nation.
He announces, pronounces, and denounces!
He has a heart like a volcano and his words are as fire.
He talks to men about God.
He carries the lamp of truth amongst heretics while he is lampooned by men. He faces God before he faces men, but he is self-effacing.
He hides with God in the secret place, but he has nothing to hide in
He is naturally sensitive but supernaturally spiritual.
He has passion, purpose and pugnacity.
He is ordained of God but disdained by men.
Our national need at this hour is not that the dollar recover its strength, or that we save face over the Watergate affair, or that we find the answer to the ecology problem. We need a God-sent prophet!
I am bombarded with talk or letters about the coming shortages in our national life: bread, fuel, energy. I read between the lines from people not practiced in scaring folk. They feel that the "seven years of plenty" are over for us. The "seven years of famine" are ahead. But the greatest famine of all in this nation at this given moment is a FAMINE OF THE HEARING OF THE WORDS OF GOD (Amos 8:11).
Millions have been spent on evangelism in the last twenty-five years. Hundreds of gospel messages streak through the air over the nation every day. Crusades have been held; healing meetings have made a vital contribution. "Come-outers" have "come out" and settled, too, without a nation-shaking revival. Organizers we have. Skilled preachers abound. Multi-million dollar Christian organizations straddle the nation. BUT where, oh where, is the prophet? Where are the incandescent men fresh from the holy place? Where is the Moses to plead in fasting before the holiness of the Lord for our moldy morality, our political perfidy, and sour and sick spirituality?
GOD'S MEN ARE IN HIDING UNTIL THE DAY OF THEIR SHOWING FORTH. They will come!
The prophet is violated during his ministry, but he is vindicated by history.
There is a terrible vacuum in evangelical Christianity today. The missing person in our ranks is the prophet. The man with a terrible earnestness. The man totally otherworldly. The man rejected by other men, even other good men, because they consider him too austere, too severely committed, too negative and unsociable.
Let him be as plain as John the Baptist.
Let him for a season be a voice crying in the wilderness of modern theology and stagnant "churchianity."
Let him be as selfless as Paul the apostle.
Let him, too, say and live, "This ONE thing I do."
Let him reject ecclesiastical favors.
Let him be self-abasing, non self-seeking, non self-projecting, non self- righteous, non self-glorying, non self-promoting.
Let him say nothing that will draw men to himself but only that which will move men to God.
Let him come daily from the throne room of a holy God, the place where he has received the order of the day. Let him, under God, unstop the ears of the millions who are deaf through the clatter of shekels milked from this hour of material mesmerism.
Let him cry with a voice this century has not heard because he has seen a vision no man in this century has seen. God send us this Moses to lead us from the wilderness of crass materialism, where the rattlesnakes of lust bite us and where enlightened men, totally blind spiritually, lead us to an ever-nearing Armageddon.
God have mercy! Send us PROPHETS!
Prophets still speak
by Lawrence Jordan on Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 8:28pm
Prophets still speak
What, or better stated, who are prophets? And is there really a need for them in the Church today? Many have believed that prophets went the way of the dinosaur after Malachi, the intertestamental period, and the coming of Jesus Christ. To be sure, there are those firmly rooted on each side of the issue. We offer to you a few testimonies, an apologetic, if you will, from a few fellow servants. Remember, we are discussing positions/offices in the Body, not Holy Spirit gifts, such as the gift of prophecy.
There is a difference between an Old Testament prophet and a New Testament prophet!
Beacon University Institute of Ministry Syllabus and Study Guide, BIPT136 Leaders Under Construction, Dr. Mark Allen stated that in the Old Testament, if a prophet misspoke they were stoned but if the people did not obey, they were stoned. The Old Testament spokesmen gave God's very word, guidance, exhortation and confirmation. In the New Testament, it is the Holy Spirit that gave the word, see Acts 21: 10-11. The word given by the New Testament prophets was also to be judged, see First Corinthians 14:29.
Note: Deuteronomy 18:22 (KJV) "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that it is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
Author -The Day of the LORD is at Hand
~ excerpts from the book, pp 77-81 ~
"I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS"
The LORD always reveals His secrets to those who are close to Him. The first example is when GOD revealed to His friend Abraham His plans to destroy Sodom. "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do." GOD always warns His friends when He is ready to bring His judgment. Jesus told us: "Henceforth I shall not call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." If we are His friends, then we will hear His voice. The LORD declared this: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." There is ample precedent for the LORD revealing His plans to His chosen people in advance. With the greatest event in the history of the world about to occur, the LORD is again warning His friends. Wouldn't you warn your friends? I would. That is why I am writing this book. Dear reader, you are being warned. Listen to His voice.
The LORD uses the example of the roaring lion as a warning of the judgment to come. "The lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken, who can but prophecy?" The LORD JESUS CHRIST also refers to the lion as a symbol of this last hour, when the lion has come out of hiding, and the plans of the prince are now being revealed to GOD'S people. "The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant." Who will not fear? "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion." The people who can hear from the LORD are the true prophets. They bear the indignation of the LORD, and their ministry is to warn the people to turn from their sins, lest they be consumed in the judgment. Their voices are in the minority, and they are always found in the wilderness, rejected by the religious leaders of the day. The true messengers of the LORD are always rejected by the majority of the people, who prefer to listen to the false prophets preach a message of peace and prosperity. Thus it is today as well.
PROPHETS STILL SPEAK
The Church is in desperate need of the true prophetic voice of GOD to be brought forth in this last hour. The prophets of GOD are the eyes in the body of Christ. They are the seers who announce to the people the warnings of the LORD. The true prophets have always had the spiritual discernment to understand their times. It was the function of the prophet to admonish, to warn, to reprove and to denounce existing sin. The prophets are also called as Watchmen. They are set upon the walls of Zion to blow the trumpet and to warn of coming danger. The true prophets receive their prophetic office directly from the LORD.
The life of a prophet is of hardship and suffering, loneliness and rejection. The true word of GOD has always been hard to bear, and the true messengers of the LORD have always been rejected by the people. "And the LORD, the GOD of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of GOD, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy." The message of the true prophets will cause men to shun their company, and to speak all manner of evil against them. They are cast out by friends and family, and rejected by the nation at large, but the LORD JESUS CHRIST is faithful to send His warnings to the people time and time again.
GOD has chosen a very hard path for the vessel to be used as His mouthpiece. The life of the messenger with the genuine prophetic call is not immune to the valleys of depression. This is all part of the package. He lives a life that is lonely. The revelation of Christ can only come in the solitary place away from the crowds and noise of the vendors and their religious wares. The prophets are burdened vessels, for they see the vision and the lateness of the hour. They know the night is far spent and the day is at hand. The prophet's character is very likely to be one of shifting moods, unpredictable at times and not likely to be found mingling with the religious. He is serious, sober and not easily persuaded to compromise. His lot is most likely found hidden away on the backside of the desert alone with GOD. He is the one with a heart for justice, righteousness, honor and integrity. His words may come across as harsh and cruel, but to the one with spiritual perception, his words are received to awaken to righteousness. The higher the calling into His purposes, the hotter the fires required to purify the servant. The greater the responsibility, the greater and more intense the fires to perfect. This is the cost of prophetic ministry.
The highest prophetic office is held by those who can hear the LORD'S voice directly, and who have been chosen to speak to the LORD face to face. "Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" When a man or woman of GOD speaks the true word of the LORD; their ministry and message will always produce hatred and scorn in the minds of their listeners. "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation."
The prophets of GOD are not trained in the religious schools of man, nor are they raised up from among the leadership of the organized Church. None of the prophets of Israel came from the priesthood. They were all called and prepared by GOD alone. The appearance of Elijah is such an example. "And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD GOD of Israel liveth, before whom I stand." Elijah's only qualification was that he stood before the LORD GOD of Israel. Nothing more was said of him. He was an ordinary man who knew his GOD. John the Baptist was of similar origins, trained on the backside of the desert wilderness. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel." John had no university or seminary training. He just appeared as the forerunner of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. GOD'S ways are not man's ways. He still uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Many people have rebuked me for speaking the word of the LORD saying, "By what authority do you speak these words?" My answer: "By the authority of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, the GOD of Israel."
THE JUDGMENT OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
GOD judged ancient Israel for departing from the truth, and turning to the worship of idols and for following the GODS of the pagans. The LORD in His mercy always sent His prophets to warn the people to repent, and return to the LORD, or they would be judged and the nation destroyed. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and many others came and preached the word of the Lord, but the people always refused to listen, turning their ears to the false prophets, while rejecting and in many cases, killing the true prophets of the Most High GOD.
Each of the prophets of Israel spoke of the specific judgment that would come in their time, but they also spoke of the Day of the LORD, which is the final judgment upon the whole earth. This is another example of the principal of dualism, where the message of the prophets would be fulfilled twice. First, to the specific people to whom it is addressed and then again, at the end of the age. Jeremiah is one such prophet, who spoke to the children of Israel warning of the destruction of their nation, for the sins of idolatry and immorality, which had filled the land. The prophecies of Jeremiah also speak to the last day's Church in America. The LORD never judges a nation without first sending a warning to His people. Before addressing the word of GOD to our nation, I must first dispel a widely held error in the modern Church. If you fail to discern this error, you will be wide open for deception..