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lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
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 The Forthteller

The Forthteller
By Lars Widerberg

1. God is never intimidated, nor silenced by Babylonian dizziness, drunkenness or delusion. God is not perplexed, nor is his ability to take action curtailed when encountering the maelstrom of confusion which gets rougher and tougher in the endtime. A relevant, heavenly plan is set in motion within any given Babylonian society to bring salvation to the afflicted as well as judgment on perpetrators.

The plan is a man. The plan is a person, a prophet. The plan is a prophet who reflects the very obedience of the Lord, Jesus Christ himself. He may be a Jeremiah, a man of tears, about whom the Lord said: ”Before conception there was a concept.” - Jer 1:5. He may be an Ezekiel, whom God asked ”Will you judge the city?” - Ez 22.2.

Before man is, there is a concept. Long before salvation is brought about, there is a plan.
Before there is a prophet in making, there is a royal command. Most likely the things and the men that are not, are chosen for the task to nullify the things that are, 1Cor 1:28.

Prophets are commissioned, sent by royal command. Prophets are ambassadors - speaking and acting on behalf of a peculiar nation not belonging to this world. They are seldom welcomed, at least not by the undisciplined, disobedient crowd. He is certainly recognised, but rarely accepted. To label him a recognised prophet is to disarm him and lock him into the system which he is sent to confront. A true prophet is not an attraction in crowded auditoriums.

See also:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=627&forum=35&7]
The Seer[/url]



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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/8 6:21Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller



2. Paul describes a delicate aspect of the prophetic office in his first letter to Timothy. His own role was founded on a royal command, 1 Tim 1:1. The young man, Timothy, receiving the letter was set apart for no easy task. His allotted part of in the work was to ”stay behind”, to bring order through instruction. He was divinely commissioned through prophesy to preach a moulding, formative message - 1 Tim 1:3, 18. The two letters to the young brother belong to a small group of letters labelled pastoral letters. The pastoral words and colours used are anything but picked from a pastel palette.
Two of the keys to the first letter to Timothy are the Greek verb paraggellein, and the great words of the Holy Spirit - parakletos and parakalein. These words are indeed provocative. The Parakletos is the Spirit of truth, the teacher, the interpreter and the one reminding the obedient listener. Usually, the word is taken to mean to comfort, but it is by far the rarest meaning of the word. Even if it is to be taken in that sense, it still has the background of a comfort that makes a man able to stand on his two feet facing life. Parakalein is used of exhorting troops who are about to go into battle; it is the word of the rallying-call. Paul said: ”I urge you to remain… to confront false doctrine”, 1 Tim 1:3. ”I urge you first of all to pray…”, 1 Tim 2:1.


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/8 14:46Profile
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 Re:

Hi Lars
Our English language is constantly being diluted and the word 'comfort' is one such example. You can still see the word for 'fortify' in it if you look closely but most people now think of comfort in terms of consolation and solace. There is a great phrase used to express Jonathan's support of David. It says 'Jonathan strengthened David's hands in God'. I think that captures the old meaning of the English word 'comfort'.

I sometimes think the best all-purpose English word to express 'parakaleO' would be the word 'encourage'.

BTW are you indicating that you believe Timothy's role was that of a Prophet? I wonder why you say that. As far as I know there are only 3 named Prophets in the NT (although we might deduce others) and Timothy is not among them. I think it is difficult to put a label to Timothy's role; he was some kind of apostolic delegate. The old KJV adds a little explanation at the end of 2 Timothy which describes him as "ordained first bishop of the church of the Ephesians", but this is our Anglican friends rewriting history.

Both Timothy and Titus are 'apostolic delegates' and Paul's placing of them in their roles was obviously important. I don't read of Prophets being subject to that kind of delegated authority. I think the whole issue of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors/teachers is one which will repay some careful thought. I suspect that their 21st successors fulfil a somewhat different role. Perhaps we can consider it in another thread sometime.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/11/8 15:59Profile
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 Re:



The roles and functions of prophets are perhaps as many as the men chosen for the task. Their personalities colour their work –
Jeremiah with his tears,
Isaiah – the royal touch,
Ezekiel – the systematic mind.

I say that Timothy was sent to do what prophets do, to deliver a formative, even a confrontative message.
These men had the function, but did not care much for the title as they went to do the work.

We care very much for, we are very impressed by titles but do not rehearse and practice to be able to get a grip on the reality, on what we are supposed to do.
Too many believe that a weekend seminar together with some Name highlighted by laying on of hands and the impartation of something that looks and feels spiritual will do the trick.
Lars


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/9 3:53Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller


3. The other word, paraggellein, is repeated again and again in the pastoral letters. The mildest and most soothing word found in the English would be to instruct. First and foremost it is a military word - a command issued to soldiers. It does not relate to harsh judgmentalism. Holiness is never harsh. Paul says, ”Prescribe these things…”, 1 Tim 5:7. Prescribe, instruct, teach, charge, urge, command, demand. These are words used of doctrine relative to right, godly living. These are words calling for adherence and summoning responsibility.
The prophet brings the people of the Lord to obedience. Prophecy allows us to look into what the Lord is planning to do, but the greater part of the work of the prophet is related to what the people is supposed to do. His work is to put the people to work. Christianity is not an exciting and thrilling experience, it is blue collar work. Christianity offers lessons in the art of godly and righteous living according to heavenly pattern and protocol. There is no finality to Christian faith and living this side of eternity.

See also:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=627&forum=35&7] The Seer[/url]



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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/9 14:38Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller



4. Our prophet is a forthteller. This aspect of the prophetic office deals with royal commands and heavenly demands. His words are distinct, ”It has to be said of you…”. His words are sobering and humbling. They bring you back to the Cross. They call for repentance. They are confrontative, they hold admonition and bring warnings. Our prophet is a forthteller. He dares to be labelled as offensive. He certainly rocks the boat. He creates disruption and disunity for the sake of unity built on righteousness.

Our prophet is a man who, like Jeremiah, is told to keep quiet for the sake of unity. Bringing unity at the cost of holiness will open for antinomianism, lawlessness, and will in the end lead parts of the Church to bow down to an antichrist. The community of churches, denominations and religious multi-structures are all too eager to display a unity belonging to this inferior category. Their efforts prophesy the spiritual disunity existing as a provocative force before the Lord. He is not perplexed by the Babylonian confusion. He knows how to divide between right and wrong, between holy and profane. Amazingly, Jezebel rules among those who profess the gift of discernment. Amazingly, too much prophecy stems from a gnostic/spiritistic source at the so called schools of prophets of today. Forthtellers, speak up. Forthtellers admonish and charge the straying sheep and their leaders.


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/10 11:10Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller


5. The prophetic office has not changed its design or function as it moved from the older dispensation to the newer. There is no new dimension or pattern to be taken on by prophets of today. God is moving along the same paths as in the olden times. God is, and was, and is to come. He is light, never changing, no shades.

There is no present day truth - what is has always been. What is available to the Church of today has always been at hand - holiness and godly living. The gnostic prophet believes in a ”new thing-ism” - new truths and experiences gushing forth. His reformation is a reinterpretation of the Book, reducing the message of the Cross, allowing Flesh to stay alive. There is no truth but everlasting truth. The present day truth offer excitement to itching ears. The Old prophets spoke perfectly true about our days. The true prophets of our days bring the people in line with the message of old.

A prophetic message demands response. A message heard today to be forgotten tomorrow, allowing the listener to run for new revelations tomorrow holds no prophetic quality. Prophetic forthtelling captures hearts and touches consciences. Prophetic forthtelling enlightens souls and reinstructs minds. Forthtelling reintroduces the Cross and installs it as the focal point it is meant to be. Prayer puts God to work. Forthtelling puts the people to work in right and honourable praying. The forthteller is commanded to speak out - Ez 20:46. He is instructed to prophecy against - Ez 21:2. He is even there to judge - Ez 22:2. The Lord gives words to the forthteller; ”Say to her” - Ez 22:24-25.


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/11 6:05Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller



6. The prophet knows what time it is, knows what kind of time it is. He holds prophetic understanding of the mentality and mood of this present time. He identifies and knows the trends of a society by looking at its roots. He is able to analyse trends and upcoming events by judging foundations. His words are a force against the mentality of the day. His words are purifying words, never playing the game of soothsaying, numerology and gnosticism. He rather cuts off the spiritistic influence and shortcuts the flow of falsehood.

The forthteller is the cupbearer of the people. Probing and testing belong to his office. Food and wine was to pass the mouth of the cupbearer before reaching the king’s table. Food and drink must undergo complex scrutiny before served to the people. Certain men must be hindered from preaching strange doctrine, 1 Tim 1:3.
Some careless and unloving ”prophetic leadership” dare leave the testing of the food to those who have no ability to discern. The poor and needy are the first to be sacrificed as always. Romantic prophecy, promising that God is going to increase, prosper and protect at all times, robs the people of a proper relation to reality. Prosperity prophets pacify the people.


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/11 13:37Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller



7. Genuine comfort makes a man able to stand on his feet - literally - facing reality. The Holy Spirit lifts you up form any fallen state to stand before the Lord. A prophet instils courage to take a stand. The forthteller leads the people step by step to come to her senses. The forthteller puts man in a position in which he will properly use any and all God-given faculties. He rules out passivity as an option.
He never invites man to abandon thinking and probing. He never gives in to the cry for encouragement in a time when most of the people are heading in the wrong direction. Encouragement can never replace instruction in a situation of straying. Disobedience leaves no room for blessing. Blessed disobedience is counterfeit Christianity. Hananiah predicts prosperity within reach whenever he shows up, Jer 28: 3. Hananiah has no place among the forthtellers, he who makes the people trust a lie, v. 15. His fortune telling will mobilise a forthteller because he counsels rebellion against the Lord, verse 16. Obedience is the central theme of a forthteller.


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/12 2:04Profile
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 Re: The Forthteller



7. Genuine comfort makes a man able to stand on his feet - literally - facing reality. The Holy Spirit lifts you up form any fallen state to stand before the Lord. A prophet instils courage to take a stand. The forthteller leads the people step by step to come to her senses. The forthteller puts man in a position in which he will properly use any and all God-given faculties. He rules out passivity as an option.
He never invites man to abandon thinking and probing. He never gives in to the cry for encouragement in a time when most of the people are heading in the wrong direction. Encouragement can never replace instruction in a situation of straying. Disobedience leaves no room for blessing. Blessed disobedience is counterfeit Christianity. Hananiah predicts prosperity within reach whenever he shows up, Jer 28: 3. Hananiah has no place among the forthtellers, he who makes the people trust a lie, v. 15. His fortune telling will mobilise a forthteller because he counsels rebellion against the Lord, verse 16. Obedience is the central theme of a forthteller.


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Lars Widerberg

 2003/11/12 13:58Profile





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