Prophetic Ministry and…(#propheticresistance)

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What is the essence of prophetic ministry and why is it often resisted?  In this collection of posts, we will circle around these questions and look at them from multiple angles.  In this initial post, we will especially focus on the first aspect: the essence of prophetic ministry.

So, what is prophetic ministry?  Well, to begin with, we should take a closer look at the original Greek word used in Scripture for prophet, which is prophétés.”  This word is derived from two Greek words, “pro”, meaning “before”, and phēmí“, “to make known one’s thoughts, to declare.” (Strongs) If we look even deeper, we see that the word phēmísprings from an obsolete Greek word “phao” which means, “to shine, or make manifest.” Prophetic ministry in its essence, then, is that which shines before and makes manifest the heart, mind, will, and/or works of God.

A further insight into the essence of prophetic ministry can be gained from T. Austin-Sparks excellent book, Prophetic Ministry.  In Chapter One, “What Prophetic Ministry Is”, he describes it this way,

“Prophecy is spiritual interpretation.”  “It is the interpretation of everything from a spiritual standpoint; the bringing of the spiritual implications of things, past, present and future, before the people of God, and giving them to understand the significance of things in their spiritual value and meaning. That was and is the essence of prophetic ministry.” (page 10)

In addition, we have the highest expression of the essence of prophecy given in Scripture itself.  Revelation 19:10 declares, “…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”   Behind, in, and through all that God is saying and making manifest is the shining light of the testimony of Jesus.  Whatever specifics prophetic ministry may be concerned with at any given time, it will always bear within it that which testifies of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word and Light proceeding from the Father.

In considering these insights into the essence of prophecy and prophetic ministry, then, we can understand more clearly the function of prophetic ministry.  Its objective and operation is to shine the light of God into the darkness in order to make manifest, interpret, and testify regarding God’s heart, mind, will, and/or works in and through Jesus Christ.

Prophetic ministry is God’s answer to the darkness and as such it is inherently, implicitly, and often explicitly confrontational.  The most primal, pervasive, and persistent conflict that exists in God’s universe is that between light and darkness.  Prophetic ministry stands at the very forefront of that battle and triumphantly presses the radiant testimony of the Lord forward against its dark enemy.

As a result of this light/darkness conflict, prophetic ministry is often resisted and rejected by those who walk in and love the darkness.  The apostle John said: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)   This darkness takes on many forms and some of these even deceptively masquerade as elements or principles of “light.”  These are often the most persistent and pernicious obstacles to and opponents of prophetic ministry.

In this collection of posts, “(#propheticresistance)”, we are going to consider a number of psychological and sociological strongholds that present some of the greatest resistances to prophetic ministry, even among God’s people.  By focusing in on these, it is the hope that we may be able to more readily identify and overcome them and thus be better prepared to receive and respond to God’s light as it shines in and through His prophetic Spirit, Scriptures, and anointed vessels.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

The Face of the Eagle – Prophetic Calling (#thecorporatechrist)

Next post in this collection (#propheticresistance):
Prophetic Imbalance and… (#propheticresistance)

About David

Following Him who is the Way; learning of Him who is the Truth; living by Him who is the Life. - John 14:6
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4 Responses to Prophetic Ministry and…(#propheticresistance)

  1. Lloyd says:

    Amen, David!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Allan Halton says:

    Thank you, David, for that definition of prophecy, particularly that it is a shining forth of what cannot otherwise be seen.
    As to T. Austin-Sparks statement that prophecy is spiritual interpretation, I understand what he is saying; only in God’s own light can the light of prophecy be correctly interpreted. But all too often prophecy is misinterpreted. To this day there are many prophecies in the Old Testament that are interpreted wrongly. So perhaps Austin-Sparks is saying that the spiritual interpretation of prophecy is also prophecy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Bolton says:

      Alan, thanks for your comment and thoughts. I think you bring up a valid aspect of prophetic ministry, which includes the proper interpretation of prophecy itself. Portions of Scripture that immediately come to mind are, for instance, Jesus on the road to Emmaus giving the proper interpretation of much of the Old Testament (which undoubtedly included prophecies, prophetic typology, foreshadowings, etc…) as it says, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) Also, Peter on the day of Pentecost giving the proper, “this is that…” (Acts 2:16) interpretation of Joel’s prophecy of the last days. Much that falls under the banner of prophetic ministry is plain, unambiguous, and gives clear light concerning the heart, mind, will, and/or works of God, and some requires further prophetic revelation and insight to understand and interpret properly. Thanks for bringing into consideration this second aspect! Very true! Blessings, brother!

      Liked by 2 people

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