The Lord God will do Nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7. This principle of how God operates is a most interesting one. The many ramifications of this principle is the subject we want to look at now.
In the highest sense of the word, a prophet is a servant of God sent to national leaders, with a specific word from God as to what they should do. As we examine the lives of all the prophets, we find that their prime mission was to go to the king with the Word of the Lord. Notice that the prophet was NOT to preach to the king (which is what most preachers or Christians would do today if they had the chance) but they were to go with the SPECIFIC word which God gave them for that king. Evidently (from all Scriptural records) the prophet NEVER went to the king under any other circumstances, unless, of course, the king summoned the prophet. In this case, the prophet made it clear that he had nothing to say except what God might speak to him.
In the New Testament we have mentioned as one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit – the gift of prophecy. Now the gift of prophecy does NOT make the one who prophesies a prophet – he is merely one who is operating a spiritual gift that he has been given. However, I suspect that there is a close parallel between the POTENTIAL of those who have the gift of prophecy and the sons of the prophets of the Old Testament. It seems that the sons of the prophets were in some kind of a learning situation out of which presumably some prophets emerged. The sons of the prophets seem to have been taught by the prophets, for example, Elijah and Elisha. Therefore, if one who has the gift of prophecy, fully develops that gift and matures into a full-grown son in all aspects of his life, he could become a prophet of this is God’s will for him. In other words, the gift of prophecy fully developed could produce a prophet if this is God’s will. However, many who have the gift of prophecy will never be prophets.
Both of these forms of prophecy, that is: prophets and those who have the gift of prophecy come from people who are sincerely striving to follow their Lord. There are, however, other people that God chooses to speak through. These people are generally the last people we would ever think that God would speak through. In fact, most Christians would hotly deny that God is speaking through them at all. However, let us look at the record. Remember Saul. Saul spent most of his life as king very far from God. We certainly would not consider him a man of God. Yet, God did speak prophetically through Saul on one occasion, so much so that the people said, “is Saul also among the prophets?” (I Sam. 19:24). Consider Pharaoh, a heathen king of Egypt, who was slaughtering the Israelites and making their lives miserable through cruel bondage. God said, I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that he will not let Israel go. (Ez. 4:21). Everytime Pharaoh said, “No, I will not let Israel go”, God was speaking through him to fulfill His word. The truth is that God uses what and who he chooses and He speaks in a multitude of ways.
With this background in mind, let us examine the world today and see if we can find any evidence of God speaking. Prophets – I don’t see any – playing golf with the President if not fulfilling the office of a prophet. I do believe that God is preparing some and in his own time they will emerge from the backside of the desert to proclaim to our national leaders: “thus saith the Lord.” It would seem imperative that a prophet would have to know the identity of God’s servant people, Israel. At the same time, there is a problem, however, with a prophet arising from the midst of the Kingdom ministers. Most of these ministers tend to despise present-day prophecy and believe that God stopped speaking prophetically 2,000 years ago. Those having the gift of prophecy – there has been a renewed out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in the last decade and many have received the gift of prophecy. Most use it upon their own lusts, but some are seeking to go on to know the Lord in His fullness and God is perfecting this gift and His work in their lives.
God is speaking through some very unlikely sources. Consider the hippies. They have revolutionized attitudes toward health foods. There are multitudes of health food stores where before there were none or one or two. It has become respectable to be interested in health foods and to live accordingly. By contrast, all of our teaching and preaching in this area made no impact at all on our people as a whole. The hippies also have had much to say about the “Establishment” which they call “Babylon.” Certainly this name alone ought to tell us that it was no accident that they used this name, “Babylon.” The “powers that be” are certainly “Babylon” and our money system can be described by no other name so accurately. We have been saying this for years and no once noticed but now everyone has an idea of what the “Establishment” is. The hippies have also revolutionized styles in clothes. Today, anything goes. This may be good or bad, but it has certainly broken the strangle-hold monopoly of the mighty houses of fashion. It has also given the individual a greater freedom than he has ever had to dress according to this own tastes and beliefs.
Modern music is also a media that God speaks through. Not all of it, of course, but some of it. I am going to quote the lyrics of 2 modern songs. What do you think? It is interesting that although this first song was in the top ten for quite some time in the early 70’s and on the radio constantly, it never has come out on a commercial recording. I wonder WHY. Maybe the words give us a clue as to why.
I Climbed the Mountain
by Jerry Vale
There was peace in the valley
There was hope in the land
There was joy in the children
There was love, beautiful love, in the heart of man.
I can rest now for I am satisfied
I saw a rich land where each man had his share
I saw a free land with freedom everywhere.
I saw a schoolhouse where every child could come
I saw a table that welcomed everyone
I saw a city that had no slums to hide
I saw a prison that had no one inside.
I saw the lion lie down beside the lamb
I saw the white dove asleep upon the sand
I saw Caesar give up his mighty throne
I saw Johnny as he came marching home.
This next song by Bobby Goldsboro is a plea for Jesus Christ to come back to this planet and take charge of things. Compare this with some of our “religious” songs like, “Wait just a little longer, Lord Jesus.” which requests Jesus NOT to come back now.
Come Back Home
by Bobby Goldsboro
Come back home
Make the streams flow to the valleys
Take away the clouds that hide the sun
Come back home
Teach each man to love his neighbor
Give us one more chance to right the wrongs we’ve done
If only for the children
Come back home.
There’s a man I’ve read about
And they say he lives forever
When the world was full of sin
he came and brought the world together
Then he left us on our own
Now its time again for him to
Come back home.