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—  THE  GENIUS  OF  THE  PROPHETIC   PERSPECTIVE —
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In Bible prophecy, a form of dualism often occurs between the immediate focus of the words and their greater future fulfillment
while ignoring the time period between the two.
A typical
example of this is the Old Testament prophet Hosea who, when speaking of Israel's exodus from Egypt, makes a statement which the New Testament declares to be a prophecy of the child Jesus being brought back from Egypt –
Hosea 11:1 and
Matthew 2:15.
  "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son."
The
prophetic consciousness has therefore sometimes been described as having an error of parallax like the long distance lens of a camera, which gives a false impression of the proximity of two events, such as the first and second coming of Jesus.
See: The Hidden Time
 
This explanation is deficient because it does not embrace the essential character of the prophetic consciousness. Other terms of explanation have been used of this prophetic dualism with more or less success, such as 'analogic expansion', 'expatiation', etc.
 
 
To further illustrate, an example of this is the relation between the private Transfiguration of Jesus before His three disciples on the mount in Galilee and His yet future coming to the world to end this age.
 
 
Jesus' prophetic statement to His hearers in Galilee contained both these aspects:
 
 
"there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:27.
 
Allowing the Bible to interpret the Bible: both aspects are referred to by the eye-witness Peter as Christ's 'arrival' (parousia, less accurately translated as 'presence' or 'coming'), in 2 Pet.1:16 and 3:4, which affirms this relationship between the two within the prophetic consciousness of Jesus.
 
 
Thus, Peter, James and John's visual experience of the Transfiguration of Jesus was, as far as Jesus Himself was concerned, a seeing the presence of "the kingdom of God"; that is, the 'nearness' or immediacy of the kingdom which both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself had announced.
 
 
Of course, the value to these core disciples of this awesome transfiguration of their Teacher, with Moses and Elijah speaking to Him of His coming death, lay in its counterbalance to the very public and vicious future humiliation of Jesus in Jerusalem about six months later. But to the crowd who had previously heard these words with them in the valley below it was only the ultimate coming of the kingdom that was in view.
 
Dr.
Paul Hartwig writes of this –
"Because the prophet's main job was to interpret the present in the light of the future, the near and the far are not differentiated in time but often blend together." (2002:37).
 
 
This is a useful explanation, but we need to look even closer than this for an understanding of the prophetic consciousness.
 
    Preeminence of the Spirit  
Outside
the ministry of angels, the prophet's inspired consciousness only exists within a direct relationship to the Spirit of God. Without this relationship the prophet is not a prophet (Num.11:29;24:2). There is no independent psychic ability within the prophet. The Spirit of God is the key. As David said –
 
 
"The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; His word is on my tongue."
2 Samuel 23:2.
 
Various mechanisms of human consciousness have been used by God in this prophetic process, from dreams to visions, to direct awareness. But, the information communicated does not pass from the future into the prophet's mind. The prophet is not 'seeing' through some time-warp into the future. All prophetic communication is directly between the Spirit of God and the mind of the prophet, even when the communication is addressed to an audience beyond the prophet's time.
 
 
Therefore the terminology and imagery used in the communication are from the prophet's own linguistic and symbolic vocabulary. This means that Isaiah's words,
 
 
"Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows?" (60:8),
 
 
do not describe a vision of aircraft flying Jews to Palestine in the 20th century as some have sincerely but foolishly alleged.
 
 
It is symbolism of Israel coming back to their homeland like doves to their dovecote (under Messiah's rule). The prophet did not see 'aircraft' through a time-warp.
 
The
Spirit of God simply used the existing experience of Isaiah to effectively communicate precious truth to him. This is important to remember, especially when reading the book of Revelation, or serious misinterpretation will inevitably occur.
 
 
More, the Spirit is the authority factor. It is essential to remember that –
 
so-called
'schools of the prophets'
please note!
"no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
2 Peter 1:21.
Some
have dishonoured the Spirit of God by thinking of Him as just the power of God, as though He is a kind of super energy or force that God uses. This is more important than a creedal issue. A prophet under the anointing of the Spirit actually stands representatively in the presence of God on His behalf toward this world. Elijah twice characterized his prophetic calling by this –
 
  "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand" 1 Kings 17:1; 18:15.
The
presence of the Spirit of God is the Presence of God Himself. When Jonah abandoned his prophetic ministry rather than warn Israel's enemy of the judgment of God on the way to it, the words describing this are "Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD" (Jon.1:3). This 'presence' was not a locality in a temple or anywhere else. It was a relationship of responsibility to present God's mind, God's word.
 
  Appropriately therefore, the psalmist uses these terms synonymously –  
 
"Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me." (Ps.51:11)
"Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?" (Ps.139:7)
 
    Associative Convergence  
Jeremiah
spoke of Rachel weeping for her children, which the New Testament says was a prophecy about Herod's future massacre of the boy children in Bethlehem and district (Jer.31:15; Matt.2:18). To Jeremiah this prophetic word was simply of Judah's tragic deportation into exile. However, to the Spirit of God it meant much more. The position of Rachel as a mother of Israel's children and the location of her tomb near the town of Bethlehem carry this special association.
See:
Bethlehem Massacre
 
So, for those with spiritual insight therefore, Jeremiah's prophecy also carried an anticipation of the child massacre arising from the visit of the Wise Men to the Christ child in a Bethlehem house late in 5 BC..
 
 
This associative convergence is common in the prophetic consciousness because it is participation in the consciousness of the Holy Spirit Himself. But, apart from other factors, this requires that the prophet's attitude to the subject of the prophecy be in essential harmony with the attitude of God to the issue.
 
    Attitudinal Convergence  
If
one is to be trusted with the words of God, one's mind must share in God's values, God's caring, God's attitude toward others.
 
 
Thus, for a prophet, prayer will always be more than simply worship. Mystical meditation is therefore not the path to prophecy. Caring for others, enough to intercede before God on their behalf is the path!
 
Simply
put: to share in the wisdom of God's mind on any issue or concerning any person, means to share the care of God's heart concerning the same.
 
  Concerning God's concerns — love leads to wisdom.
 
  Finally:  A Necessary Warning  
 
"Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"
Ezekiel 13:3.
The
above understanding is particularly important today with the rise of so-called 'schools of the prophets' which claim to be able to teach Christians to prophesy and so give rise to much pious nonsense which takes the Lord's name in vain.
 

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