By Lars Widerberg
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 Babylonian maelstrom of
confusion. 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?"
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.
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 is 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.
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.
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 or
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 multistructures are all too eager to display a unity
belonging to this inferior category. Their efforts prophecy the
spiritual disunity existing as a provocative force before the Lord. He
is not perplexed by the Babylonian confusion. He know 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.
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 the 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.
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.
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 godgiven faculties. He rules out passivity as an option.
He never invites man to abandon thinking and probing. He never give 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, verse 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.
Mature men bring maturity. Leaving the sheep to find their own way
displays lack of love and insight into the laws of spiritual growth.
"What you have heard from me, entrust it to faithful men." - 2 Tim 2: 2.
Hype generates hype. Immaturity never produces maturity. You become like
the ones you befriend. You become like the one you worship, Ps 115: 8, 2
Cor 3: 18.
Prosperity prophets dare to offend the little ones. Forthtellers speak
up for the sake of healing and comfort. Forthtellers come to the defence
of the weak. Forthtellers shut the mouth of a soothsayer.
There is a prophetic war going on. The Babylonian hype and confusion is
to be judged in the end time. The vanity prophets even dare to
reinterpret the book of Revelation, trying to overrule and overcome the
very prophesies of Jesus for the sake of securing a greater and brighter
future ruled by themselves. A true prophet heals, prophets bring safety
and dignity by speaking up amidst the Babylonian golden hype.
The doctrines of a vanity prophet is to be split in three main sections.
He stands for infallibility. As he is commissioned, a man of God, he
cannot and need not be corrected. He has chosen not to listen. Romans 8:
2 is one of his favourite words, and he uses it as a shield. There is no
condemnation for the ones in Christ - do not touch the anointed. Made
righteous in his spirit, his outer actions can be taken lightly. He is a
holy spirit living in a body. As he is holy he cannot be touched. The
ones speaking up against him must belong to the enemy camp.
This brings us to the next section. Because the vanity prophet is a
righteous spirit - a super human - having become like God, he also holds
authority similar to God's. Certainly, a Christian holds authority, but
never on his own. The true Christian never act on his own - he is safely
and obediently positioned under authority.
Thirdly, these supermen, belonging to a new breed, holds power over all
things by faith, by christianised mind over matter techniques. They hold
on to a devastating, a very unchristian power doctrine which places them
among spiritists and new agers. This is the gnostic prophet.
One writer has the following to say about the Greek word hubris: "Its
root is the violent overstepping of the mark, the insolence of triumph,
and the pride of life that tramples under foot the unwritten laws of God
and men. Hubris is the closest Greek equivalent for "sin". Its most
characteristic application was to the insatiable thirst for power which
drives a man or a nation headlong, as though possessed by a demon, on
the path of unbridled self-assertion. This blinding passion, outraging
alike personal liberty and public law, lures the victim in a frenzy of
self-confidence towards destruction."
The basic evil of hubris is that when it enters into a man's heart, that
man forgets that he is a creature and that God is the Creator. Hubris is
the sin whereby a man forgets his humanity and makes himself equal with
God. Hubris is that insolent arrogance which forgets the essential
creatureliness of the condition of being a man. Hubris and hype walk
hand in hand in these our modern societies.
The forthteller makes a man able to stand with his two feet on the
ground facing life. The forthteller brings proper perspective. The
forthteller calls the people of God back to the Covenant. He brings them
back the sobriety. Christians do not take sides with worldrulers, Eph 6:
12. Forthtellers gather Christian soldiers to fight against the
Vanity prophets present and represent corrupted optimism. Their message
is always one of God's mercy even if the nation exposes and displays
utter depravity. They always find something good about the nation,
bringing it forth as a solemn sacrifice, as a peace offering to silence
the anger of God. Theirs is a message of peace and prosperity amidst
depravity and spiritual blindness.
Gnostic prophecy produces empty speculations, 1 Tim 1: 3-7. It is
intellectually snobbish - dare to test it and the whip of slander will
do its dance on your reputation. The union of the recognised issues a
ban and you will be left out in the cold - count it as a true blessing.
Prophets were never meant to form an upper class, out of reach, never
listening. It is, by the way a signature of the antichristian nature, I
Joh 4: 6 - not willing to listen. The idea of a prophetic, intellectual
aristocracy is falsehood.
The young Timothy was called to a tough task, left behind to instruct
and command the vanity prophets of Ephesus not to teach strange
doctrine. The Spirit explicitly declares that in later times there will
be a falling away, an apostasy led by spiritistically inclined vanity
prophets who pay attention to doctrines of demons, 1 Tim 4: 1. The young
men of today who have been found faithful - 2 Tim 2: 2 - will by the
grace and help of the Paracletos find courage and wisdom to speak up,
paraggellein, and to act as forthtellers.
It is the young men who are called to the task of forthtelling in the
end time. Jeremiah was a young man with eyes full of tears. It is the
young men daring to live uncorrupted lives who will be able to confront
the mind of a heretic. It is the young men who will move in with
bravery, speaking up on issues on truth versus falsehood.
The young men who have not accepted the mind and nature of a heretic,
who have said a firm "no" to the desire for novelty will bring the final
uncorrupted testimony of the Living God into the Babylonian society. The
forthteller carries a rod of discipline and a staff of comfort. The
forthtellers do not use swords, they read the Book. They are extremely
careful as to symbols and idioms, never allowing Jezebel to put her mark
of compromise on their belongings and work. They know what God plans to
do and are able to mobilise the people to co-operation. A people lead by
forthtellers never sit idly watching, allowing Christianity to
entertain. Forthtellers stand on holy ground together with a people
longing for holiness.