Gift of Prophecy and Revelation
Sabbath Day Sermon: Saturday 28 April 2001
With so many people today claiming to have the gift of revelation and prophecy I felt that it was time that we examined this important subject in some detail. Most religions made claims to having various supernatural gifts that give them direct access to the mind and will of Elohim (God) that include seeing visions, hearing voices, and generally having 'impressions'. But what are the sources of these gifts, and how can we identify the genuine from the false? The question is no more important when it comes to Christians and Messianics claiming them for there are today, and indeed always have been, prophetic voices that are contradictory. My purpose today is therefore to draw up clear biblical guidelines so that we can know without a shadow of a doubt what the various sources are.
Three Sources of Visions, Voices and Prophecy
The Bible teaches that there are three basic sources of visions, voices, and prophecy: (1) Yahweh-Elohim, the true Elohim (God); (b) human imagination; and (c) Satan and his demons. The problem is that all three of these can seem so very like one another. Our own brain is a huge data bank of voices and experiences which, as we know from our dreams, is capable of rearranging things and creating fantasies. We know that just by closing our eyes we can imagine all sorts of things, and if we are passionately involved enough in the thinking and feeling processes, we have the creative ability to actually project them into lifelike entities. Many of the visions people see and voices they hear are but projections from their own subconscious.
Discernment of the Supernatural
But the real problem of discernment comes with what can only be described as coming from outside human consciousness and knowledge. Every culture and religion has experience with the supernatural: the uncanny ability of some to see into the future, read people's minds, and even influence others to do things against their will.
Even the Elect are Susceptible to Deception for a While
The Bible writers were more than aware of these problems and go into great detail to warn about false supernatural manifestations. Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself warned: "For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible" (Mt.24:24; Mk.13:22, NIV). In the days of the apostles the early Messianic Community (Church) was plagued by false prophecy from Satan, and this deception has been going on even today. This deception comes in all kinds of ways and through every type of person imaginable: from the openly-confessing servants of Satan to sincere Christians and Messianics who believe they are hearing the Word of Elohim (God) when they are not. My concern today is no so much with those who know who they are serving but with those who are not, because Christendom is riddled with such self-deceived ministers.
There has, since the advent of Pentecostalism, been an acute awareness amongst evangelical Christians of prophecy relating to the spiritual gifts in the latter days. Some centuries before Yah'shua (Jesus) came the prophet Joel prophesied:
The Positive and Negative Response to Dead Christianity
"And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days" (Joel 2:27-29, NIV).
Christians, fed up with the sterility that had gripped the established Church for centuries, began to desire and pray for a manifestation of the gifts that Joel spoke about, and from this awakened interest in such things the charismatic movement was born, for good and for evil. On the good side, Christendom was awakened from its lethargy and made aware that there was so much more than what they had been taught; but on the evil side, the charismatic movement has opened a Pandora's box of false spirits into the Body of Christ which has so corrupted the churches that it has, to all intents and purposes, delivered it a death blow. Though most Christians don't realise it, Yahweh has used - and is using - this chaos brought by the devil to sift the true Christians from the false and deceived ones.
As most of you know, this subject has occupied my mind for very many years, leading me to preach and write much about it. This is not only because the subject is important in itself but because I myself, since I was young, have had a number of these gifts myself on a more or less continuous basis. Prophetic dreams, visions, and even voices have been my lot now for nearly thirty years, and their presence in my life has led me to make some very serious and long range research. Part of the problem, especially for those who are young and mature, is that when they experience these things, they invariably assume that the source is good. This is partly because - especially if they are Christians - they want to think positively but also, I think, because they want explanations to be easy and straightforward. If we can find shortcuts to the solution of problems we invariably take them - that's human nature - and if there is a choice between and easy way and a hard way, we usually opt for the easy one. Unfortunately, though, such luxuries are not available to us.
Discernment is Not Easy
A moment ago I quoted the prophetic words of Messiah to you. He said, you will remember, that false messiahs and prophets would come. That is bad enough, but what ought to trouble us even more is what he added: that the elect - Elohim's (God's) especially chosen ones - would almost be deceived themselves. In other words, the illusion would be so great, the deception so clever, that even the spiritual giants would come close to being tricked. This tells us at once that discerning between true and false supernatural manifestations is not easy. In fact - and this will become clearer as we proceed - it is very, very difficult indeed.
The Problem With Invisibility
The big handicap that we, as humans have, is that the supernatural occurs on the invisible plane. We can't see the source of these powers. We can see their manifestations in terms of visions, voices, and even the movement of physical objects, but we can't see the powers themselves. In spite of the fact that we are dealing with unseen powers, Paul tells us that this is no excuse for ignorance:
The Creation as Second Witness to Scripture
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Rom.1:20, NIV).
In other words, even though Elohim (God) is invisible to our eyes, we are able to learn a great deal about Him by looking at His Creation. It is often said that there are two Bibles - the Holy Scriptures and the Creation - that work hand-in-hand. But we don't just have the Creation as an added witness of Yahweh - Paul tells us that Messiah Himself "is the image of the invisible Elohim (God), the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him" (Col.1:15-16, NIV).
Yah'shua Reveals the Invisible Father
Part of the purpose of Elohim (God) coming down as a man in the form of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was to reveal more of the invisible Father to us. To know the characteristics of the Most High God - El Elyon - we have only to look at the Person of Yah'shua (Jesus) - to His teachings, His deeds, and His behaviour generally. We have all we need to know about the Father revealed in the Son of Elohim (God).
When the Father Revealed Himself Visibly
Despite the fact that the Father is invisible, very occasionally He does reveal Himself visible to His chosen servants. Not to everyone, but to those who are pure, exemplary and trustworthy. Thus Paul said:
The Medium of Faith is Invisibility
"By faith [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible" (Heb.11:27, NIV).
Though you might think Moses was especially blessed to have actually seen Yahweh, this is not so, for we are told that the emunah (faith) that really matters is that which is of that which is invisible. In other words, seeing is not important. To the contrary, we learn from numerous Bible stories that seeing is one of the worst things that could possible happen to us, because emunah (faith) is not by sight. You all know the story of doubting Thomas - he wouldn't believe in the resurrected Messiah until he had seen him with his own eyes. Before the resurrection event, Yah'shua once said to His disciples:
The Blessedness of Not Seeing
"You have seen Me and still you do not believe" (Jn.6:35, NIV).
Seeing - whether with ones physical eyes or in visions is unimportant when it comes to emunah (faith) and salvation - indeed, they tend to get in the way. Rather, after Thomas had finally been persuaded that Yah'shua (Jesus) had arisen from the dead, Yah'shua (Jesus) said to him:
Living a Right Life by Faith
""Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."" (Jn.20:29, NIV).
Please note that: those who have not seen Him in the flesh or in visions are those who are truly blessed, because it is emunah (faith) in the invisible which actually leads a soul to live a right life.
The Gift of Seership is a Trial
Now I say this as one who has seen literally tens of thousands of visions throughout my life. And I mean what I say: my visions have actually little or nothing to do with what I believe or have emunah (faith) in. People often complain to me saying how 'lucky' or 'blessed' I am to have had these visions and I am quick to correct their misconception by telling them that these visions have, on balance, caused me more trouble than they're worth. Because throughout my life Satan has tried to trick me by giving me false manifestations amongst the true ones. And he has done so consistently ever since I first started seeing them. He has never stopped. And from the very first day that I sought to know the emet (truth) about Yahweh in prayer the devil has shown me counterfeit visions and spoken counterfeit words to counter that which Yahweh has shown and spoken.
Satan Opposes Everything That is True
Understand that this is a characteristic of Satan. Absolutely everything Yahweh does Satan opposes. He has billions of demons lurking watching what Yahweh and His malakim (angels) do. His subversion force makes the secret services of all the nations throughout history combined seem pathetic by comparison. Satan is so bold that he even tried to subvert Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself by personally laying three temptations before Him. But even after he had failed in that attempt, he did not stop - he tried to get Peter to prevent Yah'shua (Jesus) from going to His death (which was His mission). When Yah'shua (Jesus) said: "Get behind Me, Satan!" (Mt.16:23) He wasn't talking only to Peter but to the devil who was speaking through the chief apostle!
When Satan Used Peter
"But when Yah'shua (Jesus) turned and looked at his talmidim (disciples), He rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of Elohim (God), but the things of men." (Mk.8:33, NIV).
Now note this well: Peter's fault was wrong-thinking - he didn't know his Scriptures and came to the wrong conclusions. But that was enough for Satan to take control of his mind and use him as his voice. The human voice of Peter became the diabolical voice of the devil - from Yah'shua's most faithful talmid (disciple) who was willing to follow his Master even if it cost him his life.
Vain Confidence in Self-Incorruptability
Now here is a mistake that many Christians make. They delude themselves into believing that they are so knowledgeable and pure that Satan can't possibly use them. This incident with Peter was inserted in the Bible to warn us against such vain confidence. Everybody is capable of being deceived and used by the devil, including believers. They may not intend this to happen, and it may be ignorance that leads them to do this, but it does happen. And it happens all the time.
A Man Led Astray By False Supernatural Manifestations
About a year ago someone we know well in the United States started hearing voices and having other supernatural experiences. He would listen to hours to this voice believing it was God. Most of what it taught was the truth. He was given spectacular demonstrations of supernatural power by the voice to convince him it was Yahweh - and I mean, really spectacular. His computer continued working when there was a power-cut, he was shown spectacular pictures in the sky with his eyes wide open, and such things. And, never having experienced these things before, he lapped it all up. He came to me full of confidence and told me that a doctrine I taught was false 'because the Lord had taught him'. My reply was that I didn't care what his 'lord' had told him because the Bible said the opposite, and the Bible never lies, because it is Yahweh's perfect Word. A few weeks ago he telephoned me and admitted I was right. He had been taken on a long wild goose chance by a demon masquerading as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Mind you, he was too proud to apologise, but at least he admitted he had been wrong.
Satan the Musician
I hear such stories all the time. Hearing voices, seeing visions, having spectacular dreams, and even witnessing prophecies fulfilled are all part of the devil's range of tricks. Christians and Messianics underestimate him. He was the second most powerful and knowledgeable creature in the whole of Creation before he fell. The Bible even tells us in the Book of Ezekiel that Satan was a master musician and that he used to play the tambourine and the flute before Yahweh.
Bible Translation Corruption of Ezekiek 28
It's interesting the modern Bibles have actually cut this part out even though it's there in the original Hebrew. Listen to what the New International Version says:
Now listen to this verse:
"You [Lucifer] were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the Garden of God; every precious stone adorned you ..." (Ezek.28:12-13, NIV).
Now listen to the King James Version which is a faithful translation of the Hebrew:
"Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared" (v.13b).
A Deadly Weapon
"the workmanship of thy tabrets [tambourines] and of thy pipes [panpipes] was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created" (Ibid., KJV).
You see, the devil has even caused men to pervert the Bible by leaving out one of Satan's deadliest weapons: music. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) contains the same perversion, and so does the Living Bible (LB) and many others. Why? Because Satan doesn't want people to know what he's doing in the musical world - he doesn't want them to know that he is himself a musician.
Digging Up Buried Truths
Can you see now how even the very elect of Elohim (God) can come close to being deceived? The deception has become so bad that the Davar Elohim (Word of God) itself is being perverted. That means that the true believers have got to do a lot of serious homework to know what Yahweh has actually said. That is why so many truths are hidden. And that is why Yahweh has led me to spend years and years digging for them to warn people.
Perversion of Swedish and Norwegian Bible Translations
I could cite you many other examples where modern Bibles have been perverted even to making Lucifer look like a good person! And worse is yet to come. Some of you have seen the new 2000 Version of the Swedish Bible which has left out big chunks of scriptures which the editors didn't like! Many of you know all about the perversions of the 1978 version of the Norwegian Bible which leaves out chunks of the Lord's Prayer! Satan is busy on our Bibles because he knows that this is the most important reference tool that believers have!
Counterfeit Spiritual Gifts and Bible Translations: A Double Hit
It's not difficult to figure out what he is doing. As more and more true believers get the true gifts, so Satan comes along to give them counterfeit manifestations. He teaches them doctrines through visions and voices which are false hoping that those who listen will believe them more than the Davar Elohim (Word of God). But if he can manufacture corrupt versions of the Bible which agree with the corruptions he whispers to people, he has scored a double hit - then those accustomed to listening to his voice will believe him for sure and carry on listening to him.
An Experience with a Lying Fallen Angel
I have heard lying demons. About two years ago I listened to what I thought was the voice of Elohim (God) preach to me for about an hour - a whole hour. It was a brilliant discourse even though I admit I had my suspicions. Then the false malak (angel) dropped in his lie and I at once knew he was a fraud because what he said contradicted Yahweh's Davar (Word). Sometimes these demons say the most outrageous things. A few years ago one, when we were living in Texnes, one of them even had the audacity to say that Yah'shua (Jesus) was God's Second-born Son! Yes, despite their brilliance, they will tell you the most outrageous lies.
Tuning In to the Wrong Spiritual Wavelength
Why do they do it? Very simply - if they can get you to believe one outrageous lie, they will tell you bigger and bigger ones still until you are completely trusting in their words. And remember, they will happily preach the emet (truth) for you too, especially if you are one of Yahweh's elect and a Bible-believer. Yes, they will preach from the Bible to you, tell you to be good, kind, chaste, not drink and smoke - they don't care about such things as long as you will continue listening to them and believing them. Because so long as you are listening to them you are tuned to their wavelength; and if you are tuned to their wavelength you aren't tuned to Yahweh's; and if you aren't tuned to God's, then you cannot hear Yahweh. In other words, you cannot hear Yahweh because you are too busy listening to them. And the more you listen to them - the longer you listen to them - the harder it will be to listen to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). In the end they will talk to you so much that you won't have time to do anything else.
An Example of a Lady Who Listened to Fallen Angel Voices
I knew a lady in Bergen, Norway who had this very problem. She was a believer but she heard voices. These voices would talk to her all day. Once when I was preaching in Bergen she told me after the meeting that what she thought was "God" had preached to her throughout my whole sermon so she hadn't heard a word I had said. When I asked her to tell me what the voice had told her, it was a lot of gobbledegook. The demon had said nice things about her, told her how special she was, how wonderful she was, what she would do for God, and so on, with the express purpose of making sure that she would not hear the Davar Elohim (Word of God) preached to her that evening. She doesn't belong to a church - she feels she doesn't need one - she's one of those 'solo Christians' I so often speak of. The demons flatter her so much and puff up her pride so much that she doesn't feel she has need of the very thing the Bible says every Christian and Messianic needs - the Body of Christ or Messianic Community.
Symptoms of Those Who Listen to Demonic Voices
Her voices in the end replaced her Bible and her access to Yahweh's wavelength. She had a drug-like dependence on them. Many of you know the woman I am talking about. Very nice lady but she found it hard to concentrate on anything and her mind would continually wander. This is a typical symptom of those who listen to demonic voices. They keep to themselves and prefer their own company and the company of the flattering voices who tell them how wonderfully important they are. I'm dealing with a man in Oslo who has a similar problem right now. He hears voices, even sees the 'angel' who speaks to him, except he's into it quite deeply. This demonic angel has him by the throat, creating all kinds of unnatural fears in him, so that he is virtually an invalid. He spends more days at home than at work because he can't function around people. He is in spiritual chains.
The Place Where Yahweh is Fully Revealed: Ahavah
Yahweh does not need to communicate to His people through visions, voices, or other supernatural phenomena. Indeed as we shall see next week when I look at the lives of Yah's nevi'im (prophets), seers, and revelators, we shall not only discover who are given this gift but why they are given it and how they are supposed to use it. We shall discover that the real power of Yahweh is not in sounds and sights - which Satan is readily able to duplicate - but in changes of the heart which Satan cannot duplicate. Indeed, as I hope most of you have by now understood, the one thing that Satan has never been able to duplicate, and never will be able to duplicate, is the pure ahavah (love) of Messiah. Seeking after this pure ahavah (love) therefore becomes the Christian's and Messianic's highest priority because it is this ahavah (love) - and this ahavah (love) alone - which sets him apart from all others. It is this mark by which we are identified and marked as candidates for heaven or not. This is what Paul said:
The Only Thing That Ultimately Matters
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor.13, NIV).
In my life I have had more than my fair share of supernatural experiences - visions, dreams, revelations, and voices. But I count all of these are being of no worth compared to knowing and experiencing the ahavah (love) of Yahweh. I can say with the apostle John:
He also said:
"The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the emet (truth) is not in him. But if anyone obeys His Davar (Word), Elohim's (God's) ahavah (love) is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Yah'shua (Jesus) did" (1 Jn.2:4-6, NIV).
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the ahavah (love) of the Father is not in him" (v.15).
The mission of Yah'shua (Jesus) was to die for our sins and to show us how to love. Everything else is way down the scale of importance. The moment we are in that ahavah (love), things start happening to us in a dramatic way. For one, unbelievers don't understand us - and that includes the occultists with their visions, dreams, prophecies, voices, and the like. John says:
"How great is the ahavah (love) the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of Elohim (God)! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him" (1 Jn.3:1, NIV).
"This is how we know who the children of Elohim (God) are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of Elohim (God); nor is anyone who does not love his brother" (v.30).
"We know that we have passed from death to chayim (life), because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death" (v.14).
Continued in Part 2
Comments from Readers
 "Awesome work! Very timely and necessary. Oh, how the people need this!" (KDJ, USA, 30 March 2014)
 "'The real power of Yahweh is not in sounds and sights - which Satan is readily able to duplicate - but in changes of the heart which Satan cannot duplicate. Indeed, as I hope most of you have by now understood, the one thing that Satan has never been able to duplicate, and never will be able to duplicate, is the pure ahavah (love) of Messiah' - that made my heart leap. Love the blog post. Very well written. I didn't get any 'Uh Oh!' in my spirit reading it" (MLP, USA, 30 March 2014)
This page was created on 12 May 2001
Last updated on 30 March 2014
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