Since pre-history mankind has desired to hear the Divine Voice. Our ancestors heard it in the thunder, wind and storms that buffeted them as they strove to survive.Milennnia later , all religions had developed their specialists who could hear the Voice for their local communities.In the evolution of Judaism a gifted ‘seer’ was known as a prophet or prophetess. Such terms conjure up an image of a ‘wild’ maverick who dressed strangely, scaring the living daylights out of their political and religious rulers. One of the most famous of these prophets was Elijah who discovered a great secret whilst possibly suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The Divine didn’t speak to him out of powerful natural phenomena like wind or fire but in a still small Voice.
Ancient prophets of all religions believed that beings from the spirit realm came upon or indeed, possessed them to communicate a relevant message from the gods whom they served. The Jewish ‘nabi’ believed that the Spirit of their national god, Yahweh, came upon them especially in times of great political or religious crisis. In the early Christian era travelling prophets or ‘charismatists’, as they were then known, travelled from place to place delivering Divine messages to Yeshua’s followers, claiming their source as Holy Breath or Spirit.
We’re told in conservative religion that such manifestations of Spirit have no longer any relevance for the modern Yeshua follower, since God has popped all relevant information in the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures. This could be debated, as the Irish say, ‘ until the cows come home’ but such debate can be left for another day. Instead I wish to encourage the experiential side of the spiritual life by discussing this ancient source of inspiration.
In my life prophecy has been both a blessing and a curse. I’ve received great inspiration from but have also been turned off by what often passes as prophecy within the religious and spiritual worlds. Let’s have a look at the idea of Divinely inspired messages, given through a revelatory gifted person. Well try the question and answer method again to try to get some relevant truth surrounding this topic.
What is a prophecy?
It’s a Divinely inspired message that usually comes to you through another person.
How does it happen?
The Jewish word for prophecy has as its root meaning connotations of ‘ a bubbling up’ from within, particularly from the belly or abdomen, the Spirit residence in man.Something flows within the person chosen as the giver of the prophecy that has to come out vocally.
Does this person lose control while he/she is doing this?
Definitely not. The person’s conscious mind is still in control but the ‘prophecy’ seems to flow past it as it makes its journey outwards . I never take seriously a prophecy delivered by anyone who has ‘lost it’!
What is the purpose of such a prophecy?
Generally a prophecy’s role is to encourage and strengthen the recipient, usually reassuring them that Divine Love knows their situation, loves them unconditionally and wants to have an intimate communion with them.
Do some prophecies tell the future?
They can do, but generally address a situation which the recipient is presently going through.
Can anyone receive a prophetic or revelatory message for another person?
Definitely, although the ability to hear the Divine clearly usually comes with age and experience.
Do I have to use religious language to give a prophecy?
Preferably not as the recipient may be spooked by strange religious buzz words.
How do I receive a prophecy?
A vision, particular word or phrase may come suddenly into your mind seemingly out of nowhere – you just instinctively ‘know’ that it’s for someone else.
How should I give the recipient the prophecy?
In a simple nonreligious way if possible. It can be mentioned quietly in deep conversation or sent in a little letter or note.
Are there any dangers in giving such ‘prophecies’?
Yes, I’m afraid there are but with a little wisdom and experience these dangers can be greatly reduced. Always remember that any revelation we received is only a little drop of Divine wisdom for the recipient. We don’t know all the details of their spiritual journey. We mustn’t be overly directive in our delivery of the ‘God thought’ or demand that the recipient receive it as from God. Our responsibility is to sensitively pass on the message.
How should I receive a prophecy?
Listen carefully at a deep heart level but don’t throw out your discernment or common sense. I can usually tell after a few seconds if this message is really from God or the giver’s supercharged imagination. One good test is that the Spirit will be confirming something that He has already spoken to the recipient. In other words a genuine prophecy often confirms a previously held belief or sense of direction. One should never jump out on the whim of a so-called prophecy without a number of such confirmations.
Can you give me an example of where you received an incorrect prophecy?
Yes. Many years ago while with a little group of friends one of them claimed to have seen my wife and I with lots of children in our garden – the inference being that we were to have lots of kids. This has not come to pass and unless a miracle occurs of Marian proportions it is never going to happen at our age! My friend had the right intentions for us but it was out of a vivid but well wishing imagination that the ‘prophecy’ originated.
Can you give me an example of a genuine prophecy that you’ve given or received?
Yes, here’s one that I’ve detailed in my book The Prodigal Prophet, received a number of years ago for Kennedy Chongo, a young Zambian orphan friend.
After our evening meal I’d a feeling that God wanted Carol and me to pray for Kennedy. He graciously accepted our invitation for us to lay our hands on him as we prayed. As soon as I closed my eyes I saw a prophetic vision. Kennedy was walking along an elevated path in the Zambian bush. His friends from the orphanage were waving goodbye to him. The path was straight and disappeared into the horizon. I prophesied that God had set him apart for a purpose different from that of his peers. He would quickly be taken to a faraway place for a special purpose. Kennedy was grateful for the revelation and shed a few tears. Two years later Kennedy was granted a soccer scholarship by an American Christian College and is presently finishing his studies in a suburb of Los Angeles. He plays semi-professional soccer and has just led a mission with fellow students back to his Zambian orphanage.
Why bother with this sort of risky activity?
I believe that, despite the risks, Other always wants to encourage us in a deeply personal and intimate way. A revelation delivered through a fellow human can bring great comfort and a fresh realization of the Divine Presence on our journey home. Like a good wine though it is best received in moderation.
Finally let me encourage you to expect visions,dreams and prophecy from the Divine Source. Don’t ditch your conscious mind for religious hysteria but do give it a little rest from time to time. You might just be surprised at what manifests!