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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : What is Prophecy? By B. Sorokovsky

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Jeremy221
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 What is Prophecy? By B. Sorokovsky


WHAT IS PROPHECY?
 

 

'A Call to the Churches of America' is a foundation for this particular message that is specifically dedicated for my dear brothers and friends from the Anabaptist background.

We have been acquainted with Anabaptists people on and off since 1975.  We have visited their homes and their churches, and we have had many discussions, sharing with each other.

I found out two things which were common with all the different churches and groups of Anabaptists that is of great interest to me and also of some concern:

1) I discovered that their background (or their forefathers background), their practices, their approach to the word of God, their life-style and their interest in the Word of God is the same as with the Ukrainian/Russian people after the revival in Russia of 1921.

The Anabaptist forefathers wanted to fulfill the pure word of God and live a holy life, just like God taught our people in Russia.  God has brought the Anabaptist people to fulfill and practice in life all the ordinances which are written Word of God.

These same ordinances were taught by God to the Russian and Ukrainian people in Russia.  The ordinance of baptism, the ordinance of feet washing, the ordinance of the lady's headcoverings, the ordinance of the holy kiss, and the ordinance of anointing with oil; plus a much more practical approach to a holy life, a life of separation from the world, modesty in appearance, and in their garments.

I find these things in common between the Anabaptist people and their forefathers from what I have read and also from what the brethren have shared with me of the men and woman of old; how they lived, how they behaved and what they did in their everyday life.

These same things God taught our people in Russia and in China; the way of godliness, a practical way of godliness, a fear of God and walking in separation from the world, being dead to the flesh and to the lusts of the flesh.  All Anabaptist people share, even today, this vision, desiring to fulfill the will of God which is written and commanded in the Word of God.

The one specific thing that I noticed which was common among the many groups that I have visited, is their desire to live according to the Word of God.  That is the same thing that the Lord taught our people in Russia and in China.  Live according to the Will of God.

2) The second common thing I have noticed among the Anabaptist people is their very big concern and very cautious approach and even some kind of a fear in relation to some spiritual manifestations in other churches of America.

Therefore, the Lord laid upon my heart to learn from the scriptures and clarify some spiritual things which are written in the Bible; to clear the fog of American experiences so that the people of God all across the land will see from the Word of God what is real and what is not real; what is for the people of God and what is not for the people of God.

So therefore, in the light of the first message how our people were led from Russia into China, from China to Australia, and from Australia to Canada; how God led our people through divine intervention, through divine speaking, leading, guiding, saving, and protecting, this second message will clarify in detail how this was done.  That brings us to the theme of this message, 'What is Prophecy?'

God used prophecy as the means of communication between Himself and the humble, simple farmers of Russia and the Ukraine.  To talk to them, to reveal to them the things to come, to warn them of the danger, and to lead them out from the area of danger into the area of safety.  God used different means of communication in our experience and in the experience of our people.  Sometimes the Lord used angels; sometimes the Lord used a vision; the Lord sometimes used a dream; sometimes the Lord used a Voice.  The most frequent and most common way of communication the Lord used among our people was the word of prophecy and therefore this is our subject today.  'What is prophecy?'

We have to go back to the Bible.  I don't have to add anything or subtract anything from the Bible.  It is strictly sharing from the Bible to clarify how this took place over many years, in many different places and countries; how this same or similar thing took place in the Bible and see if there is a clear example and pattern for God's people all over the world; for all those hungry souls who want to walk close to God and who want to be led by God; those who want to be led by the Holy Spirit as the men of old were led, guided, directed, and protected by the Holy Spirit through the word of prophecy.

So therefore, we are coming to the reading of the Word of God, and I'll briefly mention their places and passages of Scripture and you can read them in detail if you wish.

There are chapters and chapters of prophecies recorded in the Bible and, as a matter of fact, if you take out all the prophesies which were spoken in Bible, then there would hardly be any Bible left.  It would be just an empty, fragmented, dead book because the Holy Spirit is the one who was using the holy men of God to prophesy in many different dispensations, ages, nations, and different eras, to prophesy about different things.

We are going to go now into the Word of God and see what the Word of God has to say in order to get a clear picture of what prophecy is all about.

So then we start with Isaiah, chapter thirteen verse one.  In our Russian bible the heading of this first verse says, "Prophesy about Babylon".  And then, of course, further on it gives the details, the contents of the prophecy about Babylon.  Isaiah 15:1 it says in our Russian Bible, "Prophesy about Moab"  and then the details follow.  Then Isaiah 17:1, it says, "Prophesy about Damascus"  and Isaiah chapter 19:1 it says, "Prophesy about Egypt".  Isaiah chapter 21 verse 1 says, "Prophesy about desert of the sea", chapter 21, verse 11 says "Prophesy about Dumah", chapter 22, verse 1 says, "Prophesy about valley of vision", chapter 23, verse one says, "Prophesy about Tyre"  and so on.  Those are just a few chapters.  As I mentioned before there are many, many more in different books of the prophets.  Starting way back from even before Abraham right through the law and through Moses.  Through different smaller prophets, there are many, many prophets in the Bible.  I just gave a few examples and the rest you can find if you wish to study about prophecy.

We see that Isaiah the prophet was commanded by the Lord to prophesy either about Babylon, Moab, and others we mentioned briefly.  There were different details given of the existing conditions, the devices, plans, events, and then the future things that were going to happen to Babylon or to Moab or Egypt and so on.

I noticed a little difference here between my Russian Bible and the English Bible in regards to the heading of the these verses which we read briefly.  In the English Bible it says, "The burden of the Lord."  I'm not sure why that is but in my Bible it says, "Prophesy about Babylon"  and "Prophesy about Moab", "Prophesy about Damascus"  Every place that is in the English Bible it seems to say "the burden of the Lord".

In Jeremiah chapter 23 it says, "And when this people or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD?  Thou shalt then say unto them, What burden?  I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.  And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, the burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.  And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our LORD.  Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee?  and, What hath the LORD spoken?"  (Jeremiah chapter 23 verses 33 and 34, 36 and 37)

According to the Word of God people should not use the word, "burden of the Lord"  and if they use it God's going to punish them.  The Lord says if you want to talk to the prophet then you simply say, "What has the Lord said to you?"  or "What did the Lord say?"  So here is the proper approach as instructed by the Lord to people, to prophets and to priests.  If anyone talks to the prophet then they should know how to approach him, they should even know what wording they should use.

So here then in our Bible it says "The Prophecy about Babylon."  The prophecy was spoken by the prophet Isaiah to different nations, people, conditions or situations.  So here now we have come to the next phase or next question about prophecy.  How is prophecy manifested?

Let's read Ezekiel 20 verse 46-49, it says there "prophesy against the forests of the south field and say"  and then of course it gives the details of what to say.  Now in Ezekiel 21, verses 2 and 3 it says, "prophesy against the land of Israel, and say"  and then it says further what to say.  Verse 20, of chapter 21, it says, "prophesy and say".  Ezekiel chapter 28 verse 21 says, "prophesy against Zidon and say".  Chapter 34, verse 2, "It says prophesy against shepherds and say".  Chapter 35, verse 2 of the same prophet Ezekiel, "Prophesy against Mt.  Seir".  Chapter 36, verse 6 , Chapter 37 and verse 4, "Prophesy upon these bones."  Then it says chapter 37, verse 7, "So I prophesied as I was commanded and there was noise".  Chapter 37, verse 9 says, "Prophesy unto the wind".  verse 10, "I prophesied, breath came into them and they became alive."  That's speaking about noise in the bones and things like that.  So here we read every time that God told Ezekiel what to prophesy.  It was the spoken word.  So what is prophecy?  How is prophecy manifested?

Prophecy is manifested through the spoken word.  It is literally, audibly spoken by the tongue.  We read here how Ezekiel prophesied.  He said I prophesied as I was commanded.  So then he said exactly what Lord told him to say.  Now that brings us the next phase of the subject of prophecy.

How is prophecy initiated?  How does it start?  Where does it come from?  Zechariah chapter 9 verse 1 says, "Prophetic word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach."  Chapter 12 verse 1 "Prophetic word of the Lord about Israel."  Malachi 1:1, "Prophetic word of the Lord to Israel."  Now in II Kings chapter 9 verses 25 and 26 it says that the Lord uttereth a prophetic word about him.  About whom?  The person was Joram.  Here we see that Lord uttered prophetic word about Joram.  How did that take place?  It says the Lord God uttereth a prophetic word about Joram.  How could He do that if God is a spirit and God abides in an unattainable light and no man has seen God and cannot see Him.

All of a sudden we read that the Lord uttered a prophetic word about Joram.  Now, how did He do that?  There is no other way as we read in hundreds and hundreds of different places in the Bible, God used a vessel, a person, which was the prophet.  (Except in the case of Balaam when God used a donkey!)

The Lord used a person's lips and his vocal chords.  That is how the Lord uttereth the prophetic word about a particular person, nation, events, or people, or country or whatever else.  So here we see that God actually is the one who initiates prophecy.

The prophecy actually belongs to the Lord.  If we can say that the 'Lord uttereth a prophetic word' about this or that because the word, the content, the message belongs to the Lord.  It has nothing to do with prophet.  Nothing to do with his devising or with his dreaming or with his thoughts or with his plans, with his idea.

We read in the Word of the Lord, that the 'Lord uttereth prophetic word', or as we read in other places 'the word of the Lord came to' such and such prophet.  'The word of the Lord came to' such and such prophet.  That means it was and is and will be the word of the Lord.  The Lord uttereth the prophetic word.  That is how prophecy is initiated.

Prophecy, then, is not a decision of man.  When to start, what to start, what to do, what to say, and things like that.  So let us read now how this has been initiated, how this takes place.

Read Numbers 11:25 through 29.  Here it says the 'Spirit of God resteth upon Eldad and Medad.' We read that they started to prophesy.  A young man came to Moses.  He was very alarmed, very shaken up, and very agitated, and he said to Moses "this time there is very strange spiritual manifestation, forbid them."  That agitation could be today without understanding how the Lord works.

It is possible to get into confusion and misunderstanding about spiritual things.  So here we have a scriptural example.  The prophesying of Eldad and Medad brought on a concern, a confusion in young man's mind and he wanted Moses to forbid.  What was Moses answer?  He said, 'I wish that all God's people were prophets when the Lord would put His spirit upon them.' I Samuel chapter 10 verse 6 says, 'and the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee and you shall prophesy'.

So then, here we see how prophecy is initiated, how it starts, where it comes from.  We see that it comes directly from God Himself, that God is the one who starts it.  And how does it start?

We see in the Word that people like Eldad and Medad were just simple, regular men; as all of us are.  Just men of flesh.  We see in Numbers 11:25 that seventy elders received the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit fell upon them.  God put His Spirit upon them and they started to prophesy.  The young man was very excited and concerned.  He was very emotional.  That's not God.

Moses, being a prophet, said, "I wish that all God's people were prophets."  Why did he say that?  Why did he say he wished all God's people were prophets when the Lord would pour His Spirit upon them?  There is a reason for that and we'll come to that later.

What is the will of God concerning God's people?  Here we see in second example about Saul.

Samuel told to Saul, "and the Spirit of the God will come upon you and you shall prophesy."  (1 Samuel 10:6) That's exactly what happened.  That's exactly what Saul did when the Holy Spirit came upon him.  He prophesied!

In verse 7 of 1 Samuel chapter 10 Samuel said that Saul would receive a new heart and would become a new man, a different man, when the Holy Spirit came upon him.  So here we see how prophecy is initiated.  It is specifically by the will of God.  It is specifically by the Spirit of the Lord coming upon God's people that prophecy is initiated, prophecy is started, prophecy is spoken.

So then, we have to ask ourselves a question from these particular instances which just we shared.  Who was actually speaking?  Who actually initiated the prophecy?  We can only have one answer from the Word of God.  One answer and that is Holy Spirit.  The Holy Ghost was the one who was actually speaking.

How?  Through men who were under the power of the Holy Spirit.  We read that Eldad and Medad, Saul and all the prophets of old, they did not of themselves devise something to speak, or decide to speak, or will themselves to speak.  They were moved by the Holy Ghost.

When?  When the Lord would put His Spirit upon them, as we have read.  Then shall they prophesy, they shall be prophets.  So Samuel spoke and said to Saul, "and the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee and you shall prophesy."  That's how prophecy is initiated.

Who starts it?  Who is the author of prophecy?  Who decides the prophecy?  Who decides the content of the prophecy?  Who decides the message of the prophecy?  The Holy Spirit.  The Holy Ghost.  God Himself.  We read: 'And Lord uttereth prophetic word about this and that.' Or 'The word of the Lord came to the prophet.' So then we see that the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, was actually speaking through obedient men of God.

Now to confirm this, exactly how this took place, we read II Peter chapter 1, verse 21, "that no prophecy was spoken by the will of man, but the holy men of God spake prophecy as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."  It could not be clearer than that.  No prophecy was spoken in the days of old, by the will of man.  Man just did not decide to speak.  He did not decide the content of the message.  It was not in his will, it was not in his mind.

We read that the holy men who spoke the prophesies were moved by the Holy Ghost.  That is the God method of prophecy coming forth.  He's the initiator, He's the deciding factor, He's the master, He decides whom to use, what to say, when to say it, what would be the content of the message.

So the prophet of old, the true prophet of old, they could not, and they did not, know the things, events, states, names, people, and happenings.  Yet they prophesied the things the Spirit of God gave them to utter.

Our theme of the message is, What is prophecy?  We briefly discussed, and briefly looked at some scriptures.  There are hundreds and hundreds of scriptures on the subject of prophecy.  We do not want to burden you with the multitude of scriptures which you can find in the Bible yourselves about prophecy.  How it took place, and what was said in prophecy and things like that.

Our subject is clarified.  What is prophecy?  How it is manifested, how it is initiated, and who is actually speaking at the time the prophecy comes forth.  Who is actually speaking?  Is it a man?  No!  The Bible says man was just a vessel.  It is the word of the Lord coming out through the lips of the obedient vessel who is the prophet.  Prophecy is one of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We see that the New Testament also has very much to say about prophecy.  Complete chapters were dedicated to the subject of prophecy in the New Testament.  We are not left in the darkness about the manifestations of God.  About prophecy, about what is prophecy.  So our next question then could be in the following manner.

Can a person prophesy without the Bible-type experience of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost?  That's the next question then, the logical question.  So to answer that I cannot do anything else but refer us again to the scriptures.

Back to Moses experience with seventy elders.  Back to the experience with Eldad and Medad.  Back to the experience of Saul and to the experience of Ezekiel 11:4 and 5.  The Holy Spirit fell upon them.

Then we read here also in Joel 2:28, the promise about the last days, what will be happening to God's people.  Then in Acts chapter 2, verses 16 and 17, the apostle Peter confirmed the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy about the last days.

So we see here that people will be puzzled, confused, and troubled and really bothered by this kind of manifestation.  This was the same thing in the apostolic days when the apostles finally received the fulfillment that Joel, the prophet, prophesied by the Holy Spirit.  That in the last days young men shall prophesy and see visions and old men shall dream dreams.

The apostle, Peter, started to explain to this puzzled crowd which surrounded them.  The people in Jerusalem ran from different directions when they heard noise and commotion.  When they came, we read that they heard them manifesting the gifts of the Spirit.

Peter stood up and explained that this is the fulfillment of what Joel, the prophet, prophesied.  Yes!  That was the will of God uttered by God Himself through the prophet Joel, and was fulfilled in the last days.  The people confirmed that this is what the prophet Joel had spoken about the last days.

Of course, the apostle Peter recognized that this was the beginning of last days.  The apostle John says in his epistle, 'children this is the last days.' (1 John 2:18 Paraphrased) That was the beginning of the last days.

There is such a thing as the end of the last days and the end of time, the end of an age.  The Lord has allowed a period, a dispensation, which is called the last days.  A certain number of years which God calls a great dispensation or the last days.

So we read that this was spoken by God through the prophet Joel and was fulfilled not only with the apostles but with all the other believers following.

In Acts chapter 8 we read what happened when Philip preached mightily in Samaria.  The apostles were sent there and they knew that the people were coming to the Lord.  People believed, and people got converted.  The apostles laid their hands on people and the Holy Spirit fell upon them.  The Holy Spirit came upon them like in the days of old.  As He did on Moses, on Eldad, on Saul, and all the prophets of old.  They were baptized in the Holy Spirit.  They were able to prophesy by supernatural ability.  By the gift of prophecy which is one of the nine supernatural gifts mentioned in I Corinthians chapter 12.

In Acts chapter 19 verse 1-6 we read about the Ephesians.  They were already baptized in water.  They were believers.  They were all converted.  They had repented of their sins.  So it appears that they did not need anything else.  BUT here we read that when the apostles came, when the workers of the Lord came, they asked the believers, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"

They said they had never even heard of such a thing as the Holy Spirit.  You know the end result.  The men of God prayed for them and they received the Holy Ghost.  They were prophesying.

We can see that right through the Bible runs the clear, beautiful, promise of God for God's people.  When the Holy Spirit falls upon people they will prophesy.

Now we have to pause for another question just for meditation and discussion.  Could the men of old, in their own mind and wisdom, know past, present, future.  Personal, secret events, names, dates, places and happenings without the baptism of the Holy Spirit?  Without the Holy Spirit indwelling them?  Could they do that?  From their own mind, from their own wisdom, from their own ideas?  Could they say what they said in many hundreds and hundreds of different prophesies about countries, kingdoms, nations, names, and kings.  Their secret doings, their secrets sins, their secret thoughts of heart.  Could they know those things?  Could they prophesy without the indwelling Holy Spirit?  That's the question.  Could they do that?  Could they prophesy about those things which nobody else knew.  Be it present or future, or personal, or secret events.

There are many, many examples in Scripture.  The Bible is full of examples of the acts of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament days and in the New Testament days.

So, just very briefly, let us look at Samuel.  The prophet Samuel.  We are now reading 1 Samuel chapter 9 and a small portion of chapter 10.  Kish, the father of Saul lost his asses so he sent Saul and a servant to find them.  After searching for a while Saul became concerned that his father would be worried about his son, thinking that Saul, his son, was lost.

How did Samuel know from far away about the situation with the lost asses?  That now (the present time) they are found?  How did he know that Kish was sorrowing after Saul thinking he was lost?  Now, how did he know about future things, the very immediate future, what will be taking place when he told Saul, 'when you leave the village and you will see such and such a man coming with such and such things in their hand.  They will say so and so to you and then further on such and such things will be happening to you with the Philistines?' (1 Samuel 10, verses 2 through 5)

How would Samuel know those things?  Could he know those things with his own mind, with his own wisdom, with his own understanding.  With his own ability, with his own capabilities and his regular senses.  Could he know those things?  The past, the present, the future?  How could he know these things would happen in the immediate future?  Within two or three days.  How could he know those things?

There are many, many such beautiful, wonderful examples of how God by His mercy and love, deals, and has dealt, with God's people right through the ages, even up to the apostolic days and past the apostolic days.

Right through the centuries, right through the remnant who were there all along during the ages.  The remnant who had the same experiences even in our last days.  Could man know such things without God's Holy Spirit being upon them?

We read about Elijah and the things that he spoke about, the things that he revealed about Ahab.  For instance Ahab killed by other hands.  With the help of his wife he killed the man, Naboth, and took his vineyard. (1 Kings chapter 21)

How did Elijah know?  When Elijah met with Ahab in the vineyard he said, 'Ahab, hast thou killed?".  Now, how did Elijah know?

Pressing on, let us take Elisha for example.  Look at how many wonderful things happened during his lifetime, during his ministry.  A mighty ministry of the double portion of the Holy Spirit which he asked God for.

Now, just take the case of the servant.  How did Elisha know what his servant went after Naaman for and what he said to Naaman?  What he did and what he took?  (2 Kings chapter 5) Now how did he know those things?

Could he know them with his own mind and his own ability?  Without the Holy Spirit abiding in him, moving him, and telling him what is taking place?

What about Isaiah?  How many wonderful things Isaiah prophesied!  There are so many things that Isaiah prophesied about Christ.  How did he know what would be taking place, when Christ was going to come?  That He will be betrayed and this and that and what will be taking place with Him?  How did he know?  Could he know in his own will, in his own mind, with his own capability, without the Holy Spirit being in him?

Then we have Jeremiah.  His prophesies of many, many years.  Dozens and dozens of years of prophesies of different details, different happenings.  The prophesies of destructions which will come upon Israel if they do not repent.  What will happen literally, in much detail.  What will happen to each king, to the elders, to the false prophets.  What will happen to priests, what will happen to the regular, normal people.  Now, how did he know those things without Holy Spirit being in him?

So many examples!

Let us look at some New Testament examples.  Here is Agabus.  We recall we read that he was a prophet.  How did Agabus know that there would be a famine in the land?  How did he know that prison was waiting for Paul?  He was moved by the Holy Ghost and proclaimed the thing which had not happened yet.  How did he know where to find Paul?

So many questions!  Now, could a man by the name Agabus in the book of Acts, during the times of the apostles, know in his normal capabilities, his normal reasoning and mind that there will be famine in the land?

Now, could he know those things without the Holy Spirit being in him and moving him to prophesy about the famine?  How could he know about prison awaiting Paul?  How did he know?

In Acts chapter 21 verse 11, we read that Agabus took Paul's belt and tied his own hands and feet with it and prophesied that bonds were awaiting the owner of the belt.  Now how did he know that unless the Holy Spirit was in him?  To move him to prophesy certain things, events and happenings as in the days of old?  Could he, without the Holy Spirit, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was a regular, common, normal thing in the days of the apostles?

Everybody who believed was baptized with the Holy Ghost because that's the second thing after conversion, after water baptism.  The disciples preached about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  They called people to pray for the Holy Spirit and people received the Holy Spirit.  They prophesied and manifested other gifts of the Holy Spirit.

So then, could Peter know anything about what Ananias and Sapphira did?  The man and wife who lied to the Holy Spirit and hid some of the money from the property they sold. (Acts chapter 5) Could Peter have known that if it wasn't the Holy Spirit in him?  Think about this.  Could that same Peter have known the same thing before Christ's death?  Why did Peter not manifest such a knowledge before Pentecost?

We are still with Peter.  How did he know that three men were coming for him from a distance away and he should go down to them?  Acts 10:19.  There are numerous examples in both the Old and New Testament about the Holy Spirit which was in people.  How He moved, how He spoke, how He revealed, and how He led them.

Coming back to the last days and the end of the age.  This is the 19th century.  How did people from the Ukraine know what to do?  Which town to go to when the Lord led them from one town to another and took them over two thousand kilometers from the Ukraine to the border of China in a southeast direction?

How did they know when they had never traveled more than a hundred kilometers from village to village in their lifetime?  How did they know where to go and what to do?  How did they know how to come to China?  Now, how did the man from the Ural mountains know where to go in the direction of China?  He traveled several months on the cow, on the horse cart, how did he know?  If there was no Holy Spirit in him the same as it was in days of old?

In Moses, in Elijah, in Elisha, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all the minor prophets.  How would he know what to do?  Could he, in his own wisdom, do the things that he did and save his life?

How could our family come from China to Canada if God didn't tell our mother that we will be in Canada fifteen years before it happened?  How could we know where to go if God didn't tell our people what to do and where to move?

There are many, many other examples too numerous to tell.  It would take many hours to relate the different miraculous instances, leadings, guidings and protection of the Holy Spirit and how He worked among God's people.

We continue on about our subject, 'What is Prophecy?' Let us look into the following question.  How does prophecy happen?  How does prophecy take place?  What is it?  What is prophecy?

We now read Jeremiah 20 verses 7 through 9, "Thou are stronger than I, and hast prevailed.  His word was as a burning fire shut up in my bones and I tried to hold it and I could not."

So we here read that Jeremiah, who had the Holy Spirit in him, says that God has prevailed.  God is found to be stronger.  Why?  Because His word was with a burning fire inside of him, shut up in his bones.  He tried to hold that Word of the Lord and he could not.  He had to prophesy.

Jeremiah, if you remember, was called by the Lord early in life.  We read the following, "Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Then said I, ah Lord GOD!  behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak."

You see how it is?  How the prophecy happens?  How does it happen?  We see here that God says that even in the belly, the Lord knew him.  The Lord sanctified him while he was yet in the womb of his mother.  From the womb of his mother the Lord ordained him a prophet.  So Jeremiah was under the mighty anointing of the Spirit of God.  Just like John the Baptist.  We read that he was filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of his mother.  And there was no greater prophet, Christ said, than John the Baptist.  John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit in him from the womb of his mother.

Here it says that Jeremiah had no choice because he was ordained a prophet.  God said, "That to whom I shall send thee, you shall go, and whatsoever I command thee, thou shalt speak."  So that is how it is.  Jeremiah said himself, "His word was as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I tried to hold it and I could not."

Now, if you remember John the Baptist said that Christ, when He came, He would baptize His people with the Holy Ghost and fire.  That's exactly what took place in the days of the apostles if you read that very carefully.

The Holy Ghost was always connected with fire.  If you read Isaiah notice he dealt with fire in chapter six.  Look at Moses and many others like him.

See in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is always connected with fire.  So here we see that Jeremiah says that he could not stop the Word of God.  He tried to stop it but it was a burning fire shut up in his bones.  It was the Holy Spirit in him, and God said, "Whatever I shall command you, you shall speak ."

That is prophecy.  That's how prophecy happens.  It is a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit, living inside a person, who actually compels the person to speak.

Jeremiah did not want to speak, but he spoke.  As matter of fact God said, "That if you will not speak I'll smite you in their eyes.  I'll just destroy you."  We read that also.

So then Jeremiah was prophesying for many, many years.  He lived through several kings.  He prophesied and he was despised.  He was different, he was thrown into the miry pit, into the well and many other things.  He was mocked, and he was laughed at.  He was ridiculed, and he was told that he was a false prophet.  He was accused of not prophesying right things and he was all foolishness because those things would not happen.  If you remember when he spoke it was "Thus saith the Lord."

How about Ezekiel.  We read how he started his ministry as a prophet.  His ministry started with a vision.  He saw a vision of different things.

If you read the first three chapters of Ezekiel there in chapter 3, verse 24 it says, "Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake to me, and said unto me,"  That means the Spirit of God was speaking with Ezekiel, "and said unto me.  Go, shut thyself within thine house."

Prophecy is always a spoken word.  You can hear it.  It is being uttered.  You can hear what the words are.

Then God said, "And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.  But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house."  You see how prophecy happens?  This is the Word of God.

Brethren, I'm not sharing anything with you but the pure, unadulterated Word of God.  How these things are taking place in Scripture.  How it was taking place in the Old Testament.  How it was taking place in the New Testament.  How it takes place in our last days.  It was a literal, physical, right from the Word, experience among our people.  How prophecy happens.  How it took place when the Holy Spirit talked through the holy men of God when they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

So here it says, "But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord"  Can any regular man without the Bible-type experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit say, "Thus saith the Lord,"  and then say something which will comfort, which will reveal secret things of events, which will tell about the nations or people or kings or happenings, or states, or places?

Can someone say that without the Bible-type baptism of the Holy Spirit?  As the men of old experienced it in the Old Testament?  As the men of New Testament experienced it?  As people in our day have experienced it?  Can any man, in any church, just say, "I will prophesy and thus says the Lord..."?

In Amos, chapter 3 verses 7 and 8, says that the Lord does nothing before He personally revealeth the secret to His servant the prophet.  Then he says, "The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?"  So what happens here?  Amos says, "When the Lord speaks who can but prophesy?"

He cannot help but prophesy because it is coming, it is in you, it is a burning fire, it just has to come out because that Holy Spirit fire has a message for people.  To warn them, to lead them, to rebuke them, and to call them to repentance or whatever else, or to tell them of the things to come.

So here we see that when the revealing power of the Holy Spirit comes and a person is compelled to speak the revelation word and then judgment and so on.

Acts chapter 4, verse 8, says, "Peter being refilled with the Holy Spirit said,"  Now Peter was already baptized with the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2.

In the English Bible it says they were filled with the Holy Ghost and they were manifesting the supernatural gifts.  In our Bible, (Russian Bible) there is a difference between initial baptism of the Holy Spirit and then consequent refilling of the Spirit.

Reading in chapter 4, verse 8, "Peter being refilled with the Holy Spirit", then Acts, chapter 4:31 says, "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spake"  They were already baptized at the day of Pentecost with the Holy Spirit.  They were already prophesying but now here it says "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit".  In our Bible it says "they were refilled".  Once you have the initial Holy Spirit baptism, when the Holy Spirit lives in you, then whenever He wills He refills that man or woman.  Then they are filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit and they speak again.

So then here we read in Acts 13: 8 about Elymas the sorcerer.  Paul, my Bible says, "Paul refilled with the Holy Spirit", and he told him very awful things and proclaimed judgment on him, miraculous judgment upon him.

What happened?  Paul was already baptized with the Holy Spirit when Ananias laid hands on him in (Acts 9:17).  Then here it says Paul was refilled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul was a prophet because the Holy Spirit was in him.  By the Holy Spirit he could pronounce judgment, or reveal things.  The Holy Spirit could reveal to Paul different things as He revealed to men of old in the Old Testament.

We have read and learned here how prophecy happens.  It happens by the Holy Ghost indwelling a person.  Whatever the occasion or the circumstances when something is needed to be done or said by God, He uses the obedient vessel.  The prophet.  He uses their vocal chords, He uses their tongues and they utter a prophecy as we read here, "But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord."  That's how prophecy happens.  It is supernatural.  Divine.  It has nothing to do with the will of man, as we have seen.  It is not in the will of man.  The holy men of God were moved by the Holy Ghost.  They spoke prophecy.  That is clear.

We now come to the next question concerning prophecy.  We would like to go into the small details, but there is so very much written about prophecy.  We are skipping many portions of Scripture and just taking main subjects and most of them briefly.  Most of them prophesy.

What actually moved Moses, or Elijah or Elisha or Jeremiah or Isaiah, or any other prophet, to prophesy?  We read in I Peter chapter 1, verse 10 to 11, Paraphrased "...the prophets of old spoke about Christ, and through the Spirit of Christ which was in them."

It very distinctly says how the men of old spoke prophesy.  How could they speak prophecy?  Could they speak it of themselves?  Could they think up from their own mind some words or sentences they could speak?  Is that prophecy?

No!  We read here that they spoke through the Spirit of Christ which was in them.  So actually the Spirit of Christ was already in the men of old in the Old Testament, and He moved them to prophesy about different things.  About nations, and events, including about Christ.  A prophecy about Christ's ministry, and about Christ's death and resurrection.  All these details.  The Spirit of Christ was already in them.

The New Testament said so.  So therefore, without the Spirit of Christ being received as in a Bible-type baptism, there can be no real prophecy.  We have seen that this is a supernatural gift of God.  One of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit.  The word of prophecy, the manifestation of the gift of prophecy that can only happen when a person has the Bible-type baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We have read that about the seventy elders, Eldad, Saul, apostles, Ephesians, and so on, and even in our days.  When people receive the Bible described type of baptism of the Holy Spirit and only then, can they manifest the gift of prophecy.  The Holy Spirit will move them to prophesy different things, as He sees fit.

We read that Christ when He was speaking to the apostles, about the Holy Spirit said, "for He was with you and He shall be in you."  (John 14:17)

Now what does that mean?  The Holy Spirit was with them already.  Christ was with them and the Holy Spirit was with them because He was helping Christ to do a work in them.  But here we see that Christ Himself said that the Holy Spirit dwells with you now and He will be in you.  When?

As you read the fulfillment of this particular promise that 'He will be in you', that took place at the time when they were in one accord, waiting and praying in the upper room.

There was about 120 people there.  They had been waiting for 10 days for the promise of the Holy Spirit being in them.  That promise literally took place when they were baptized in the Holy Ghost.  I'm just quoting you from the Scriptures what actually moves people to prophesy.  It is the Holy Spirit.

We read in John chapter 7 verses 37 and 39 when Christ spoke during the time of the feast, "He said to them whosoever comes to me, let, whosoever thirsty come to me and drink".

He spoke of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost which was not yet given.  So at that time, when Christ was still living with them, the Holy Spirit could not have come in into their lives because everything has to be in sequence according to the plan of God.

Holy Spirit could not come until Christ departed because Christ said, "When I'll depart I'll send the Comforter and He will be in you"  (John 16:7 Paraphrased) He's with you now but He will be in you and He will not leave you or forsake you, He will be with you forever.  That is the promise of the Holy Spirit, the manifestation of the last days.

So we read here that the Holy Spirit was not yet given to them.  And that's right in line with Christ's plan and with Christ's promises.

That is how prophecy happens.  When either the men of old, the prophets of old, or the people of New Dispensation, the apostles and all other believers who were already converted, already were dedicated.  Had already forsook all, and who already forsook the world and they were cleansed by the Word.  Yet we read that the Holy Spirit was not in them.  He was with them, yes, but it took place at the time when Christ's departure took place.

In Acts chapter 1 verse 4 Jesus said, just before He departed, "You do not run around, don't go anyplace, but stay put in Jerusalem until you shall be endued with the power from on high, because after a few days, you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."  (Paraphrased) So I'm using the term which the Bible uses, that Christ uses, and that is 'baptism of the Holy Ghost'.  Some people call it blessing or second work.

Simply for the sake of avoiding confusion, I'm using the Bible term.  The apostles were baptized in the Holy Ghost and only then could people prophesy, could Peter prophesy, could the apostle Paul prophesy.  Only then Agabus could prophesy.  Prophecy about the secret things of the heart, events, places, and stuff like that.

The apostles were converted believers, dedicated, but had no Holy Spirit in them until Acts chapter 2, when Joel's prophecy was fulfilled. (Acts 2:16 and 18).  Peter himself confirmed that this is what was spoken by Joel.  So, this is not my word.

This is God's unadulterated Word.  So therefore it is, that which was promised and was being fulfilled from chapter two of Acts, and on and on through all the books of the apostles and right through centuries and right through our days.

For an example, Cornelius from Acts 10 verses 41 and 47, the same thing.  From Acts 19 verse 16 to Ephesians, they experienced the same infilling of the Holy Ghost and only then could they manifest prophesy, and not before.

You cannot find it anywhere in the Bible Scripture stating that people prophesied without the baptism of the Holy Spirit or without the Holy Spirit coming upon them and moving them.

So then, here it is.  It is very clear from the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testament.  How do we know the Spirit was in them or in the prophets?  We know that by the Word of God itself that they prophesied and the Spirit of Christ was in them.

How did they know that the Spirit of God was in the apostles?  They had the manifestations, divine manifestations which confirm that this was the fulfillment of Joel.  That young men shall see visions, young men shall prophesy, old men shall see dreams and so on.  So we see that by the spoken manifestations, people could know that the Spirit was in them.

The question then comes, is preaching the same as prophecy?  That's a logical question to ask and we should be able to really search it out from the Scriptures.

Now, we read in book of Acts, many, many different instances where men of God preached.  You take Acts 3 and 4.  Stephen in Acts 7, Acts 8:12, Philip preached to the crowd.  Now 8:35, Philip preached to the eunuch, remember.  Now chapter 9, verse 20, Saul in the synagogue.  He was preaching in synagogue.  Acts 10:42, it says they were commanded to preach.  Mark 3:14, apostle preached.  I Timothy 3:16, he was told to preach; 4:11, it speaks about preaching; II Timothy 4:2, it says preach the word.

So then what is preaching?  Let us then see from the Word of God.  We read the contents of the sermon some of them in full detail, some of them just very briefly, some of them just say that they were just preaching the Word.

That means they had the Word to preach.  Yes, they already had the written Word and they had the spoken Word of Christ who commanded them to preach.  What?  When Christ come out to meet them He was preaching the Gospel of repentance, and the Gospel message of the Kingdom of God.  He was preaching.  Christ was preaching.  The apostles were preaching.

Now, here it says "preach the Word".  So what did apostles preach?  What is preaching?  Preaching is the act of will.  When man uses the Word of God, he uses his senses, he uses his mind, he uses his will, and he wants to be obedient to the commandment of Christ to all the nations to teach them and to fulfill all the things of the commandments.  Christ commanded the apostles to go out unto all the world and preach.  What is that?

We read that they preached.  But we read that they preached from their own wills, they preached from the Word, they preached the message of repentance, the message about resurrection, the message about the judgment, they preached all those things.  But they used their own will, their own understanding of the Word, and they used their own faculties which were in their complete control.  They preached sensibly, they knew the next word they were saying.  They preached the word, which was written or the spoken Word of Christ which they heard, and which they remembered.

So then, the question is, is preaching the same as prophecy?  We read really thoroughly, comparing the preaching messages as we read them in Scripture with prophecy.  We see a vast day and night difference because the preaching was always by the will of man, by the using his own words, his own reasoning, his own approach to preaching message in whatever words he wants to lay out, in whatever sentences he wants to use.

But prophecy is entirely different.  No prophecy was spoken by the will of men.  Prophecy was, by the holy men of God, spoken when they were moved by the Holy Ghost as we see here in Acts 8 verse 29.

You remember Philip was preaching in Samaria.  Look at what it says here when he was told to go to the desert place.  The desert road there in the wilderness.  He left the biggest revival there was.  If someone in the churches today had a mighty big revival and people were coming to the Lord.  A great revival going on, and all of a sudden God told them, drop all this and just go into the empty road in the desert.  I wonder how many evangelists would go and leave a big campaign and go to an empty road.

We read that the men of God, being baptized in the Holy Spirit, being obedient to God, went.  So Philip went to the empty road.  And what happened?  Here he is not preaching.

We read that Spirit said to Philip, "Go in into the chariot."  In my Bible it says "go into the chariot."  He saw the man driving the chariot.

Now is that preaching?  No!  That is prophecy, because the Spirit said unto Philip the same as He said unto Jeremiah, to Isaiah, or whoever else.  He spoke very much how God spoke to men of old.

So then read Acts 10:19, Peter saw a vision while he was there on the rooftop.  Then we read the Holy Spirit said, "Come down, there are three men looking for you."

Now, is that preaching?  No!  It is prophecy.  The Holy Spirit being in Peter now, told him, through prophecy, to come down the three men looking for you.  And the results were there.

And now, Acts chapter 11 verses 27 and 28, the prophet Agabus comes.  Now, did he preach?  No!  He spoke prophecy and spoke about a famine coming in the land.  So, in chapter 13 of Acts, verse 2, when they were praying and fasting were they preaching?  No!

The Holy Ghost said, "Separate Paul and Barnabus."  Is that preaching?  No!  That is prophecy by the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Acts chapter 13, verse 9, says, "Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit and said, you child of the devil.."  Now is that prophecy?  Yes!  Is that preaching?  No!  Because it says that Paul was, my Bible says, refilled with the Holy Ghost and He revealed his inner condition of the heart.

Now, chapter 16, verse 6, when they were sent already by the Holy Spirit to preach hands were laid upon them and they were complete.  They were God's anointed evangelists.  God sent them to preach.  We read in chapter 16:6, they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia.

Many evangelists might be very glad to go anyplace and every place because their tickets are paid anyhow.  Hotels are paid and TV shows are paid and all those things, so they'll be glad to go anywhere, anyplace saying that they are doing the will of God and they are being sent by God.

Here when they were sent by the Holy Ghost to preach, they were guided by the Holy Ghost where to preach and where not to preach.  That to me is prophecy, when the Holy Ghost forbade them to preach the Word in Asia, even though they were sent to preach.  Now, when they tried to move to another place, chapter 16, verse 7, the Holy Spirit suffered them not.

That is a direct guidance of the Holy Spirit in doing the work of God through the word of prophecy, because the Holy Spirit was in control.

They were obedient men, filled with the Holy Spirit, sanctified, and dedicated men of God, led by the Holy Spirit.  They were real sons of God because we read that God told them, by the Holy Spirit, they were sons of God.

So the Holy Spirit suffered them not and they obeyed.  They did not go and preach where they were told not to.  Then in chapter 16, verse 9, God guided them into the proper place and that is God showed Paul to go to Macedonia.  Do you see?

Numbers 12:6 tells us that when there is a prophet among you, God speaks to him in visions and in dreams.  Now, Acts chapter 18, verse 9, in a vision God tells Paul to preach.  Acts chapter 20, verse 23, the Holy Spirit witnessed in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions awaited Paul.

The apostle Paul testified of the Holy Ghost wherever he went.  To whatever city he went there were prophets because in those old days the people believed in the full message of God and the full message of the Gospel.  They always sought the baptism of the Holy Ghost and so there were prophets in every city.

And we read that Holy Ghost, through the prophets in every city said, about the apostle Paul, that bonds awaited him.  Paul was an apostle.  Yes!  He was prophet because the Holy Spirit was in him, He was leading him and was speaking to him.  Paul was an evangelist and he was teacher.

So we read here in Ephesians chapter 4 in verse 11, in my Russian Bible it says, "God sets in the church, first the apostles, then prophets, then evangelists, pastors, and teachers."  There are five ministries that God sets in the church.  That is God's design, God's purpose, that's God's way to do God's work.

What is an apostle?  He's just a man who is sent.  He is sent by the Holy Ghost.  That's what the word apostle means.  The apostle Peter was sent by the Holy Spirit to those three men.  He was an apostle.  So then God sets in the church, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers.  Why?  To do the work of God and to do it thoroughly, to do it properly, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

We see here that in these last days, as never before, we need this kind of a church.  I'm praying for the Lord to rise up all over the land people of God who are hungry enough, who are thirsty enough, to pray like the apostles prayed for ten days, if need be, for 20 days, or maybe for 30 days.  To pray together in one accord.  If need be to fast and pray and to ask for that power from on high which will empower them to do the work of God, to do the work of the ministry, to do the work of evangelism.  The Lord will know where the people are waiting and where the open hearts are ready to receive the message.

And so, as we read, the apostles were moved by the Holy Ghost through the word of prophecy, through visions, through dreams.  They were led supernaturally to carry on the supernatural work of God.  If it is to be a work of God, done properly, then it can only be done properly and effectively, with results by the moving, guidance, and leading of the Holy Spirit as it was in the days of the apostles.

So if I claim, or we claim, if anybody claims that we are the apostolic church then that's what we need because that's what the men of old had.  The supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit which led them, protected them, guided them, and did the work of God.  The evangelization campaign was done very effectively through the mighty work of the Holy Spirit.

From what I've read in Anabaptist literature the Anabaptist church people were very fiery evangelists.  On foot and on horses they did a mighty work, evangelistic work, in the power of the Holy Spirit that the people came and were converted in great numbers.

I read in some of those Anabaptist books that sometimes they were sent two by two, and they went and sometimes there was a church organized within a day or two.  The results were very fast, more or less immediate.  Today evangelists have to work for many months and years before someone will get converted and repent.  We see that this is the essence, the real work of God, and that is more or less, what we have very briefly covered from the Word of God.  What is prophecy, how it's done and how it's being used by God in the days of old, in the days of the apostles and in our days.

So, chapter 14, verse 1 of Cor.  says, "desire spiritual gifts, but especially that ye may prophesy".  Numbers 11 verses 28 and 29, Moses said, "would God do such a thing that all people of God will be His prophets."

Why?  Just for play?  No!  It gives eyes to the church, it gives protection from destruction, it gives protection from calamity, it warns God's people, it gives notice what to do, and how to do the Lord's work effectively.

Ezekiel 14, verses 12 and 23, Lord says those three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, who were men of God, who God used, who knew God, who talked with God, and God talked with them.  If there will come famine, if there'll come beasts or some sort of pestilence, they'll be delivered, they'll be led out.

So there's such an urgent need as never before in the churches of God for the word of prophecy, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for the real work of God, for the real power of God, which is described so much in the Bible.

God is desiring to bless His people as never before and this is the need for the Anabaptist people as never before.  To go back to the faith of their fathers who were fiery evangelists, who did the Lord's work in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.

Through the ages eventually this power was lost because it was not preached, and faith comes by hearing the word of God.  So, if more pastors and evangelists preached about the power of God which Christ promised to His disciples and the divine manifestations of the Holy Spirit, there will be more churches doing the Lord's work in apostolic way.

Now to share some practical aspects of the supernatural manifestation of the gift of the Holy Spirit which is called prophecy.  Prophecy cannot happen, it cannot take place, until person has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as it is a supernatural gift.  Christ has promised in the Gospel of John, as well as in the first chapter of Acts, "John has baptized you with water, but after several days, you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was taking place after people came to the Lord.  After they had been converted.  The apostles went about laying hands on the believers and they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Before we go into practical details of how this actually happens both from the Scriptures, as well as from the practice of our people (which is comparable in reality to the Bible), let us think about a question.  What was the main mission of Jesus Christ and the main mission of His preaching?  What did He preach about?

We read in Mark 1:14 that "Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God".  What did He preach?  In verse 15 Jesus said, "the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand".  That is, it's near.

In my Russian Bible it says it's getting close, it's getting near.  I don't know what 'at hand' means in English.  I know the word 'hand', but the phrase 'at hand'?  If that means the same thing as near then that's good enough.

So Christ spoke about some mystery which is called 'the kingdom of God'.  If you read the Bible very attentively, especially in the Gospels, you would find that this term 'kingdom of God' is used very extensively.  Many, many times.  What is this 'kingdom of God' all about?  Why did He preach that the kingdom of God is getting close?  What was He talking about?  We shall find this out from the Scripture then it will be clearer in our minds.

In many of the parables and different chapters in the Word of God the term 'kingdom of God' is used.  Christ actually came preaching this message as we read, "Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God."  (Matthew 4 verse 23 Paraphrased) That was the Gospel.  That was the pivotal point of Christ's preaching.  Preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God.

What do our modern churches preach today?  Different churches preach different things.  I'm just sharing what Christ preached about.  He preached the Gospel of the kingdom of God.  He knew what He was talking about.  He knew what He was preaching about.  That was the main message that He brought to this sinful world.  That message was a message of hope.

He said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is getting very close."  That's what He said in my old fashioned Russian Bible.  It's not here yet, but it's getting close.  He was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God.  What is this 'kingdom of God' all about?  We should find out from the Word of God.

According to Luke chapter 17, verses 20 and 21 people were expecting kingdom.  Everybody was really bothered by the kingdom being delayed.  Everybody was talking about the kingdom and kingdom business.  Even the disciples were caught up with this and they were bothering Christ about the kingdom, even to the very last days.

Even after His resurrection, they asked, is this not the time when you will establish the kingdom?  He told them it was not their business and to forget about this idea of the kingdom.  They were looking for an earthly kingdom.  They were looking for an earthly kingdom where Christ would sit as the king and the apostles would be the rulers.  They expected one of them to sit on His right hand, and one of them would sit on His left hand.

The Pharisees also expected an earthly kingdom.  They thought they would be the chief generals in the kingdom when the Messiah would come.  Everybody was waiting for the kingdom.  But they did not know what they were talking about.  They did not understand the Scriptures even though much is written about this 'kingdom of God' in the Old Testament.  Their eyes were blinded.  They did not know what kingdom Christ had brought to this earth because He said, "the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand."  It's getting close.

In this particular passage of Scripture, Luke 17:20-21, we read that they were being bothered by this question.  When would this kingdom of God come?  How long do we have to wait?  How much longer?  They were very anxious to get this kingdom going.

Christ said the kingdom of God will not be visible.  It will not be a kingdom that they will say of it that it is here or it is there.  He said, "Lo, the kingdom of God is within you."  That was a shocking thing, that upset their theology.  Turned it upside down completely.  The disciples were now puzzled and they did not understand what Christ was talking about.  They were expecting the kingdom up to the very last minute.  The passage in Luke 17 was during Christ's ministry on earth.

The questions the disciples asked Him in the book of Acts, chapter 1, shows that they did not understand this 'kingdom of God'.  Not until they really experienced it.  Christ said, the kingdom of God is not external, it's not governing here or in this or that country.  Nor is it governing such and such a kingdom or army.  He said it wouldn't be that way.  They will say it is here, or it is there.  "Lo, the kingdom of God is within you."

He was talking about God being King inside of man.  When God finally gets into a man and dwells in the man.  Then He will be King of kings inside that man, in the heart of that man.  That is when the real kingdom of God will take place.  Of course the apostles did not understand, neither the Pharisees.  We are coming then to the question from Scripture.  What is the kingdom of God anyway?

Christ said, "The kingdom of God is within you."  What is it?  What is this kingdom?  What can be within man?  The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul, describes this very plainly.  If you read Romans chapter 14, verse 17, we get an answer.  A very clear one.  "The kingdom of God is not of food and drink, but the righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."  That's what the 'kingdom of God' is all about.  That's what Christ said, "Lo, the kingdom of God is within you."  This is the kingdom of God.  This is the Gospel of the kingdom of God that Christ was preaching about.  He was preaching about the soon coming opportunity that He will give to all humanity that God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, can actually come into a man, and dwell in him, ruling him, guiding him, leading him.  It is He who is King of kings within a man.  That is what Christ said when He was asked when the kingdom shall come.

He said the kingdom will not come by observation, it'll not come visually.  No!  The kingdom of God is within you.  It will be experienced wh

 2012/8/22 23:52Profile





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