Prophetic Bulletins - Are They Valid Today?

Articles - Prophetic

 


by Lyn Packer

Around this time of year, and also earlier at the Jewish New Year, there are lots of prophetic words from Prophetic ministers that hit the Internet. Why is that?

Is it simply that it's a good time to think about the coming year? That is certainly a possibility and not a silly reason for doing so. Is it because one person did it and others copied? That is also, unfortunately, a possibility. Or, maybe, is there something special about these times of the year that causes God to speak more than at other times?

I don't believe there is anything special about these particular times of the year (Rosh Hashanah – Jewish new Year or our western calendars New Year) although many people do. I know some people will not like my saying that – especially those who follow the Jewish Calendar and feasts, but it is good sometimes to be challenged to take the time to look at and question why we do what we do.

Personally I believe that it is no longer a necessity for us as New Covenant believers to follow the Old Covenant feasts (Gal 4:8-11) – they have interest factor and can teach us things, but our lives should not be based around them. Our lives are to be based on and lived from the New Covenant – what Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection. That is the pivotal thing for us to walk in. I also believe since Jesus' ascension we have been in a continual season of his favour, under a continual open heaven and place of being able to hear God and fellowship with him.

But back to commenting on the Prophetic words that are being released…
Let's look at the timing of releasing prophetic words. In the Old Testament we don't find the Prophets putting out prophetic bulletins to coincide with a particular date. They spoke when God spoke or when God told them to release the word, no matter what day that was. Let me explain that a little further by giving an example from my life. In my prophetic walk there have been words God has given me that I have prayed into for weeks and months before releasing them to do their work. At other times there has been an immediate release of a word in a particular situation. Both ways are valid and done for a reason. Some words that God gives you are only for taking to prayer and may never be publicly released; some are to be birthed in prayer first before being released, while others are to be given when they are received. Part of growing in my gifting as a Prophetic minister is learning to discern which is which.

While I don't have a problem with the annual prophetic postings, and indeed I do one myself, there is something that does bother me concerning them. That problem is not primarily with the words themselves but is this – I have to wonder whether the Church receives and approaches these missives with a right understanding. If they don't, that is not primarily their fault but ours, as Prophetic ministers, because we haven't taught them how to discern, receive and apply them.

So I ask the question, "How do we receive and approach New Covenant Prophetic input like these bulletins?"

This is not an exhaustive look at the subject, but it is a start to get us thinking…

There is no doubt that the prophetic gift is still a gift valued by the Lord today. After all, he says that as part of the New Covenant Body he gave some to be Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors or Evangelists (1 Cor 12:28). If that is so, then we can expect to hear from those prophetic voices giving us current words from him and understanding on what the Lord is doing or going to do.

But what is the primary role of the New Covenant Prophet? Is it just to hear and share, expecting people to base their walk on what they share? I don't believe so. I think their function is first and foremost to train the church to hear from God for themselves so that they can minister rightly to those around them (Eph 4:11,12). It is also to hear and share.

Yes, we need the Prophets and what they hear from the Lord – it gives us a big picture view of what he is doing, and that is needed. The problem comes, though, when people begin to base their lives on those prophetic words without first going to the Lord and asking him how it applies to their life. To base our life on what someone else says they heard from God without going to him ourself and asking him how it applies to our life is at best ill-advised, and at worst monumentally stupid and will have consequences for our walk.

What are some of those possible consequences…

  • We may not make time to hear God for ourselves – this could cause us to become an 'easily swayed' person.
  • We may open ourselves, and possibly others, to deception (if we pass these things on to others).
    We may put our faith in what the person says, not in what God has said to us personally.
  • If God does say something different to us we may question whether what we are hearing is right or not, and may possibly even disbelieve God.
  • The church will end up with people who do not think for themselves but just blindly follow. So while there is nothing wrong with prophetic people putting out insights regarding the coming year or the present season, do read them with a right understanding…
  • That we prophetic people are learning to hear from God just as you are.
  • We are not experts who have it all sussed, we are people just like you.
  • At best we see partly and dimly (1 Cor 13:12).
  • The interpretation and conclusions we come to from what we have heard are subjective and we may or may not be correct.

But has that ever stopped God speaking through human vessels? No! And He will continue to do so.

Don't just blindly dismiss those prophetic words as having no value now under the New Covenant, God does still use Prophets and prophetic people in the New Covenant. Too many Christians are rubbishing other believers because they don't understand why they do what they do. If you don't understand, ask! – that's the path of wisdom. Don't just dismiss them or label them – that is just playing into the enemy's hands.

Just make sure that when you read what we publish that you take it to the Lord and pray about it and ask how or if it relates to your life. Don't just blindly believe everything you read and certainly don't base your life and walk on it without checking it out with the Lord.

Will I be doing a Prophetic Insights for 2012 like I have the last few years? Yes, but I do so submitting them to you to weigh up before the Lord. They are what I have heard the Lord speak to me and while I do believe that they have application for all of us, you must take them to the Lord and ask him about how, or even if, they apply to your life. They will be up here on our blogsite, facebook and also our website in the next couple of days. I hope that they do give you some insight into what the Lord is doing in this time.

Some of you may be asking why do I do them at this time of year. Simply, I do it because for me the end of the year is a good time to do a stock-take on this year, and to seek God for the next one. There's nothing particularly spiritual in that reasoning, sorry.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. May the Lord bless you with wisdom from above (James 1:5, 3:15-17) so that you know how to walk through this coming year.