Chosen for Revelation
Proclamation against Egypt
In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt; speak, and say, Thus says the Lord God:
I am against you,
Pharaoh king of Egypt,
the great dragon sprawling
in the midst of its channels,
saying, “My Nile is my own;
I made it for myself.”
I will put hooks in your jaws,
and make the fish of your channels stick to your scales.
I will draw you up from your channels,
with all the fish of your channels
sticking to your scales.
I will fling you into the wilderness,
you and all the fish of your channels;
you shall fall in the open field,
and not be gathered and buried.
To the animals of the earth and to the birds of the air
I have given you as food.
Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know
that I am the Lord
because you were a staff of reed
to the house of Israel;
when they grasped you with the hand, you broke,
and tore all their shoulders;
and when they leaned on you, you broke,
and made all their legs unsteady.
When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
A Warning against Hypocrisy
Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops
One of the most prized gifts of the Spirit throughout history has been the gift of prophecy. Through this gift, we receive revelation from God as knowledge we could not discover on our own. It is related to the preaching of the prophets in the Old Testament, as well as the preaching of the Apostle’s in the New Testament, and the witness of those persecuted for their faith throughout history. Because it is such a powerful and necessary gift, it is a very desired gift. Because it is such a desired gift, it has been sought after and sometimes imitated out of jealousy and ambition. The abuse of it has caused schisms and destruction in faith communities, which has led large numbers of Christians to avoid anything “prophetic” altogether. However, this reaction, the neglect of this gift, has also brought about stagnation and the slow decay in many of these churches as well.
Look at this list of Global megachurches and their US counterparts. Researchers have noted the rise of the Pentecostal churches across the world. Certainly, the gift of prophecy is not the only factor here, but it is an important aspect of this movement.
When we compare our present world with the early New Testament period, it is important to get some facts before jumping to name-calling. For example, the Pharisees often get a bad reputation in the bible and we have lots of examples to show this. It would be easy for us to assume they would be opposed to the gift of prophecy, therefore anyone today who was opposed to prophecy could be called a Pharisee and given their reputation as a stumbling block for the work of God. However, actual digging in the scripture and historical research shows that the Pharisees had a high regard for the Old Testament prophets and if they questioned the contemporary use of prophecy it was with good reason. Scripture shows us that there was 500 years of silence between the last prophet and John the Baptist – and remember, the Pharisees were there at the Jordan River getting baptized like everyone else too. AIso, you may recall that some of Jesus’s dis ciples were Pharisees. The Pharisees believed in the gift of prophecy but were cautious, wanting to be sure it was legitimate.
The Sadducees on the other hand guarded the ritual of worship and sacrifice and focused primarily on the Torah , or Law of Moses found in the first five books of the bible. Of all the Jewish sects, they would have been most threatened by the gift of prophecy and quickest to silence it. For then, the threat was not doctrinal, but political… which leads us to today.
I believe most of our struggles with the gift of prophecy has to do with the political and social power that we see coming along with it. There is an underlying assumption that whoever God is revealing heavenly information to, should be the person calling the shots. We sometimes excuse this power play by saying “It’s not me, it is what God wants.” Some of the world’s most heinous atrocities have been committed with this excuse. Notice what Jesus says though. All secrets will be revealed. Having the gift of prophecy does not grant yon holy authority. It simply makes you a messenger for God. A vital role, to be sure, but one that can be held by anyone. The Pharisees were hypocrites, not because the dismissed prophecy, but because they wanted to keep it for themselves instead of serving God and giving it away.
Where have you experienced the gift of prophecy?
What is the most important message God wants you to share and who does He want you to share it with?