THE VOICE OF PROPHECY, THE VOICE OF DIVINE GUIDANCE
Sermon By Pastor Lawrence Olufemi Obisakin delivered at RCCG Jesus House Parish, Jericho, Cotonou on Sunday 19 January, 2014.
What is prophecy? Doctrine of revelation, divine word, future, spiritual gift, practical Theology
Texts: (Deut 18:15-22), (1 Cor 14:26-33).
INTROIT: BIBLICAL OVERVIEW ON PROPHECY
- (1Co 14:3) – “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”
- (2Ch 20:20) – “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”
- (Isa 3:10) – “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. general to all righteous and obeys divine law of harvest; whatever you sow, you will reap.
- (Act 2:17-18) – “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy”
- (2Pe 1:20 -21) – “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
- (1Sa 28:6) – “And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.”
- (1Co 14:32) – “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
Thank God for grace to preach and the Pastor in charge for the opportunity to preach here. Today we are at the 18th day of the 100 days of fasting. It was a prophetic utterance. (Mat 10:41) – “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.”
John Gill comments thus: that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet,…. By “a prophet” is meant, not one that foretells things to come, but a preacher of the Gospel; for as prophesying sometimes signifies preaching, so a prophet designs a minister of the word: and to “receive” him, is not only to embrace his doctrine, but to entertain him in a kind, and generous manner; and he that does this, “in the name of a prophet”, not as coming in the name of another prophet, but upon this account, and for this consideration, because he himself is a prophet; so the phrase, לשם, “in the name”, or on the account of anything, is often used in the Misnic writings.
Today we shall examine: 7 great prophecies, characteristics of a good prophet, 7 benefits of prophecies. Your challenge.
- DEFINITION: Webster defines voice as: a : wish, choice, or opinion openly or formally expressed <the voice of the people> b : right of expression; al1 a : sound produced by vertebrates by means of lungs, larynx, or syrinx; especially : sound so produced by human beings. And also asb (1) : musical sound produced by the vocal folds and resonated by the cavities of head and throat (2) : the power or ability to produce musical tones (3) : singer (4) : one of the melodic parts in a vocal or instrumental composition (5) : condition of the vocal organs with respect to production of musical tones (6) : the use of the voice (as in singing or acting) <studying voice> o : influential power5 : distinction of form or a system of inflections of a verb to indicate the relation of the subject of the verb to the action which the verb expresses <active and passive voices>with one voice : without dissent : unanimously
- Without a prophet you may not go very far in the wilderness of this earth. The word is power, it is a great weapon; remember it is God. You need a visionary guide, mentor, and leader eg. Moses led out of Egypt, Joshua led into the Promised Land. Exilic prophet. (John 1:1) – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” A prophet for your generation. Keep your line of communication clean holy and active. (Amos 3:3)
- The etymology of speaking forth and foretelling a vision. The word ‘Prophet’ in Hebrew, generally, ‘Nabiy’, ‘a spokesperson‘, or ’speaker’ occurs in the whole Bible 491 times. In the Old Testament, 328 times. The first occurrence is in (Gen 20:7) – “Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.” The word ‘Priest’ occurs 960 times, in the Old Testament 794 times and 166 times in the New Testament. The word ‘king’ occurs in Old Testament 3169 and in New Testament 426 times)
- It is speaking for the LORD (Deu 18:18) – “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” It is listening to the ‘still small voice.’ See (1Sam 3: 9-10), for you must learn to hear before you can speak. He who cannot hear may not be able to speak. The prophet is God’s Ambassador. He must know his leader’s voice, policy and direction very well before he can speak the mind of his leader.
- It is a ministry. Some are for all, especially on god’s decrees as the law of harvest. Some are for a group, nation, for a period as DGO’s annual prophecies. The Bible of Jews divided into the law and the prophets. The major prophets send the minor. TANACH= ha torah ha navim and Kotovim; the scriptures. See, (Mat 22:40). On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. It is a gift. Charismata. They are given for special task, assignment in and through the Church, the body of Christ. in Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem defines spiritual gifts as ‘any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the Church’
- (Deu 13:1) – “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder.” Here a dreamer of dream also hears or sees the mind of God. John Gill comments thus: ‘or a dreamer of dreams; the same with the prophet, only to be distinguished by the different manner of their having the mind and will of God revealed to them, pretended’
- Other name was Seer as in (1Sa 9:9) – “Before time in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.”
- In the New Testament the word occurs 163 times. First occurrence is (Mat 1:22) – “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet,…” Remember Jesus is prophet, priest and king.
- (Num 12:6-7) – “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.”
- (1Co 13:9 -12) – “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
- MOSES definition of true prophecy. (Deu 18:22) – “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
- The Bible is (2Pe 1:19) – “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts”
- Personality versus message. God will use Holy vessel otherwise he will avoid a blind Balam and speak through a donkey.
CHARACTERS OF GOOD PROPHETS
You want to prophesy then learn these characteristics of great prophets.
- Holiness as manifested through (Lev 11:44) – “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” They must have an active, robust relationship with God. A sinner cannot be a prophet of God. God will abandon an unholy prophet, Balam, and rather speak through a donkey. He disobeyed God blinded by Bribes. See (Num 22:12-13,21,28-34).
- Humility. (Jas 4:6) – “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” You must decrease, Christ must increase in you. (Jhn 3:30). He must increase, but I must decrease.
- Meekness as in Moses. (Num. 12:1-3). Meekness is no weakness.
- Generosity about gifts to others as Abraham was a giver. (Gen 18:3-7). Jesus the foremost of prophets was a gift. (Jhn 3:16), (Matt 14:15-20).
- Righteousness, honesty, transparency as in (Samuel 1Sam 12:3-5)… be interested in God. Seek God as Moses did in the wilderness; he fasted 40 days twice without food at all. (Deu 10:10) – “And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.”
- Intimacy with God at ear shot away. (Exo 33:11) – “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” (Mar 1:35) – “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Psa 42:1- 2) – “To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Hear Moses practice!” (Num 9:8) – “And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.” Prophets separated themselves. They were mountain dwellers.
- Exemplary home. For Abraham, see (Gen 18:19) – “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Also see (1Ti 3:4 – 5) – “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”
- Structure, message of God. (1Co 1:23) – “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness”
- Prophecy is linked with praise. See (2Ki 3:15) -”But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.”
- False prophecy. There are false prophets used by Satan. Beware. (Her 29:31), (Ezekiel 13:6)
SEVEN GREAT PROPHECIES
- Noah the deluge. (Gen 6:8 -9) – “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” He obeyed God (Gen 6:13 – 14) – “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”
- Abraham. His wife was protected, divinely protected from Abimelech in (Gen 20:17 -18) – “So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bore children. For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.”
- Moses fire fall, sea shall divide. (Exo 14:21) – “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Also see earth open to swallow families at command of Moses. (Num 16:31) – “And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them”
- Elijah decreed draught and then asked heaven not to rain for 3 1/2 years. See (1Ki 17:1) – “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, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”
- Elisha oil multiplication (1Ki 17:14 -16) – “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.”
- The just shall live by faith. Read (Hab 2:4) – “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” See (Rom 1:17); (Gal 3:11), (Heb 10:38)
- Jesus declared, ‘the Spirit of The Lord is upon Him’ (Luk 4:18). (Isa 61:1-4) – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
- Hear and believe, pray it down. Believe God’s prophet and receive the rewards. Rewards will come from the personality of the prophet and from the divine word: (Mat 10:41) – “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.”
- Daddy GO’s prophecies. In three parts: individual, Nigeria and international. God is mindful of our geo- political situation.
BENEFITS OF PROPHECIES AND CHALLENGE
- Where there is prophecy there is vision. You will be focused staring at approaching your goal. (Num 27:16 – 17) – “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” Your pastor is the prophet appointed over you. Let pastors prophesy good into your life.
- You have life if you communicate. All living beings talk. But the quality and direction of your talk determine whether you are wrapping rubbish, edifying or prophesying, linking Human beings with God or dividing them.
- You are a spokesperson of God. You are on talking terms with God. You are at peace with God. Prophets are anointed of God. You have divine protection as in (Psa 105:15) – “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
- Communication measures a church’s relationship with God. In His presence fullness of joy. (Psa 16:11) – “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
- Prophecy is spiritual, it comes from God. (2Pet 1:20-21). You become so intimate with God, you begin to resemble God as in (Exo 34:30) – “And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.”
- Encouragement. (2Ki 6:16) - “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
- Healing. (Psa 107:20) - “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
About 1995 at RCCG Restoration Assembly, Agura hotel pastors had gone for annual thanksgiving while as Asst. PASTOR I held fort. Pastor was delayed on light on Sunday. One pastor who managed to reach church met me reaching and was shocked pleasantly that I was preaching at the Gn. Overseer’s Introduction Event at the same time! The spirit of prophecy is of God and sees beyond technology.
- Are you speaking for God? The Lord is seeking genuine reliable spokesperson, today. Be one for Him! (Rev 3:20) – “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
- Are your characters good for a prophet? Fruits grow out of divine life trees and people love and enjoy them. (Mat 7:20) –”Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”-Jesus Christ.
- Are you in good standing with Christ? If not, begin a new life by repenting and seeking the Holy Spirit baptism today. Read (Act 1:8) - “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Rom 8:14)
God bless you.