Prophetic lessons for a world that refuses to submit to the Will of the Lord.
What? Are there prophets in our times? For those who were reached by a religious gospel emerged from the Reformed movements, talking about the possibility of prophets in our time is almost absurd and ridiculous.
A prophet is not a symbol of an era, of a region, or of a religion. The prophets have always existed, at all times, and in all places.
And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. Ezekiel 2:5
A prophet is a man, or a woman, chosen by the Almighty God to establish in their time, and in their region, an operation for the establishment of the Kingdom. A prophet is a person raised by God to establish the Truth of the mystery of the Gospel.
It is not about preaching, or teaching, because in many cases, the participation of a prophet does not consist in the message he bring up, but in the spiritual executions that he establishes.
The prophet is the result of a divine convocation on the person, and it is concretized when he accepts the call, in submission to the Lordship of the Lord,
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” and I said “Here I am, send me!” Isaiah 6:8
It is a spiritual convocation, of course, a call that is revealed to the spirit of the chosen person. Nobody else can understand the election, only the designated person; that is the reason a prophet it is formed thru the experience lived daily. We recognize the importance of the centers for ministerial trainings, but the foundation of the prophet formation it is based on the daily revelation that God deposit directly to his spirit.
When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst. 3I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.” 4The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. 5The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. Isaiah 50:2-5
Each prophet is formed directly by the Lord. He has a particular process to which each candidate is subjected, with the purpose that he learns, not to speak, but to behave according to the Truth to which he is called to establish.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Genesis 17:1
There are three basic areas of formation of a prophet.
The prophet is subjected to processes of character formation until he develops the ability for discernment.
Discernment is learned, nobody is born knowing how to discern. Discernment is the virtue of distinguishing between two or more situations and selecting the best option according to the Truth of God for the moment in which we live. The best example to illustrate this is the decision the apostle Paul makes regarding his concern about whether the time has come to depart and be with Christ.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, Philippians 1:20-25
The ability to discern is the spiritual basis of a prophet. The prophet is not a title, it is obedience to the Lord to establish and give testimony of His will.
The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? Jeremiah 5:31
The prophet needs to discern the voice of the Lord, and when he has done so, discern the time and space established to act. It is not only about hearing, because by his spiritual sensitivity, the prophet can be deceived by darkness forces,
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1st. John 4:1
The formation of discernment in a prophet is based on the ability to confront and resist, maintaining the conviction in Jesus that the trial, anguish, pain, suffering, adds a weight of glory to the renewal of the spirit. This is the part of character formation where many reject, and flee.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2nd. Corinthians 4:17
Why is it a requirement to confront and be under trials, anguish, grief, pain, suffering, to be formed in discernment?
He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, Isaiah 7:15
The prophet is subject to processes of confrontation so that he loses his natural ability to decide for knowledge or for experiences. It is imperative that the prophet choose and decide, not for convenience but for a purpose.
The processes of confrontation and submission to the trials, to anguish, to sorrow, to pain, to suffering, enable the person to ear not according to his egocentric desire, but because of the revelation of God inside him.
Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Acts 14:22
In the parable of the sower, it is emphasized that the inability to tolerate suffering and to flee from it, causes the Word to be spoiled. Of the four seeds planted in that field, three were superficial; and this, for the processes of suffering that could not be assimilated.
The superficial seed is the one that,
- The one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
- The one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.
- The one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
Being able to confront adverse situations and remain in faith produces spiritual fruits, not only discernment.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Romans 5:3
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1st. Peter 1:7
Let us see the spiritual value and the need for discernment, and all the areas to which it is directed.
- As for good and evil: the need to establish good over evil.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
- As for the holy and the profane, and the clean and the unclean: we must establish the same selection as if we were priests and the environment in which we move is the Temple.
So that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, Leviticus 10:10
You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’” Leviticus 11:47
To determine when something is clean or unclean. These are the regulations for defiling skin diseases and defiling molds. Leviticus 14:57
- As for what is lawful and what is not convenient: we must seek what edifies and not subject ourselves to power outside of Jesus.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1st. Corinthians 6:12
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 1st. Corinthians 10:23
- As for life and death: we must seek life and flee from death.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:15-19
- As for mercy and judgment: mercy triumphs over judgment, we must make judgment and love mercy because that is what He wants.
Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13
But let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:24
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
- As for Law and Grace: the perfect Law is that of freedom, so that by Grace we may live by faith.
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:23-25
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. Romans 4:16
- As for the priority: our priority should be to seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
The prophet is formed in the ability to renounce, to hand over, to get rid of everything, for the sake of Jesus Christ.
The prophet is formed by God to learn to live in direct dependence on Him.
Understanding this principle is very simple, how can someone say that it depends on God if he has what he needs to live?
When the person gets rid of everything, and is left without recourse to live, and does not reproach, it is when he is ready to depend on God.
In the Bible we have three cases that establish the value of learning not to depend on things, and living as if you had lost everything.
The first case: The call of Elisha.
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” 21So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:19-21
Material things are anchors, ballast, they prevent us from paying attention to the voice of God. Holding something becomes a temptation, it is a resource for when we see ourselves in need and scarcity.
The second case: The call of Apostle Paul.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Philippians 3:7-9
The time of greatest revelation for the apostle began from when he gave up all the things that for him had a degree of reputation. In the next chapter of his epistle, he highlights how his formation process was:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:11,12
The third case: The case of the rich young man:
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:20,21
Faith is not a human product, it is a spiritual virtue. God himself submits us to situations designed by Him to produce in us the revelation of His Essence, and for us to believe in Him. It is not the logical, rational belief, product of the acquired knowledge, it is the revelation of His Power, of His Sovereignty, of His Lordship; in that revelation the necessary Faith is activated to move us in His Grace.
He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. Deuteronomy 8:15,16
The proclamation of the contemporary Gospel highlights the result: so that in the end it might go well with you, but does not highlight the way God uses to achieve it.
The prophet is formed, and perfectioned, in the ability to be incommunicado.
Instead, the king commanded Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them. Jeremiah 36:26
This is the hardest, most painful part. It is real, a total isolation. In many cases being incommunicado is equivalent to being despised, to being disowned, to being ignored.
The prophet is formed in his emotional area, and the Lord works in this way. It is like the clay in the potter’s hands, literal.
While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.) 1 Kings 18:4
How would you react if time passes and nobody looks for you, or nobody calls you, and if someone finds you by chance, ignores you? That is the process of forming the ability to be isolated or incommunicado. If you do not react, if it does not bother you, people act that way with you, then you’re ready.
“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 5So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. I Kings I Reyes 17:3-5
Elijah was completely alone, incommunicado. God hid it.
As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. 1 Kings 18:10
There is a case that is necessary to present here, the case of David. David is a prophet,
“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Acts 2:29,30
As such, as a prophet, David was formed in the midst of the critical situations that God allowed over him. As soon as David entered the prophet’s formation, the Lord left him alone, incommunicado.
The first thing that God took away from him was his friend and brother, Jonathan,
Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” … 41After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. 42Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town. 1 Samuel 20:1-42
David seeks refuge with the priests, in Nob. Also, this resource is removed,
The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep. I Samuel 22:18,19
He takes refuge in Achis, among the Philistines, and they denigrate him,
That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?” 12David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. 14Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?” I Samuel 21:10-15
He takes refuge in the cave of Adullam, and the Lord sends him a prophet to leave the cave,
David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. … 5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth. I Samuel 22:1-5
The training process had begun. Saul reigned forty years, most of those years David was persecuted. David was not a refugee, he was a prophet in formation.
In what training process are we?
Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the New International Version,