Saturday soapbox, sorry, I’m about to step on some “prophetic” toes.
(sorry, unedited, but wanted to just put it out here. I will fix it later.)
So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. Hebrews 6:1 MSG
Dr. Bill Hamon defines prophecy as:
…simply God communicating His thoughts and intents to mankind. When a true prophecy is given, the Holy Spirit inspires someone to communicate God’s pure and exact words to the individual or group for whom they are intended. It is delivered without any additions or subtractions by the one prophesying, including any applications or interpretations suggested by the one speaking. To be most effective, it must also be delivered in God’s timing and with the proper spirit or attitude.
Prov 30:5-6 says: Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
The gift of prophecy edifies, exhorts, and comforts (I Corinthians 14:3); there is no mention of the word prediction here. It helps us build up or strengthen; and should lead us to the Word of God. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come (John 16:8-11).
Prophecy is divinely inspired and anointed utterance; a supernatural proclamation in a known language. It is the manifestation of the Spirit of God – not of intellect (I Corinthians 12:7), and it may be possessed and operated by all who have the infilling of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 14:31)
Intellect, faith, and will are operative in this gift, but its exercise is not intellectually based. It is calling forth words from the Spirit of God. The gift of prophecy operates when there is high worship (I Samuel 10:5-6), when others prophets are present (I Samuel 10:9-10), and when hands are laid on you by ministers (Acts 19:1-6).
The word prophecy means to “bubble up, to flow forth, or to cause to drop like rain.”
To prophesy means to be able to communicate with God, to hear Him speak, or see something, like a dream or vision, and then share what he gave you, so that other people can know the will of God.
So when you claim to be prophesying then you better be saying something God told you to.
It should also be clear so others can understand it.
So, if you’re not doing that…then you are not being prophetic, right? You might be a teacher, inspiring, or a worshiper…but you are not prophetic.
If someone is claiming to be prophetic, then they should ONLY speak what they hear God saying. I prophesy to a lot of people and I can tell the moment, I step out of what God is saying and I have to backtrack and strike that word. I see, hear, smell, know and feel things in the spirit…all by the Spirit of God and all from God. Not by my imagination, not what I want to say, and not without purpose.
God is direct, when He speaks, it always has a purpose. The word God sends forth will accomplish what God is sending it forth to do.
Prophesying is for edification, building others up, giving direction, confirmation…etc. Sometimes it is for exposing secret motives of the heart, so that things can be torn down and rebuilt. It can be a word of wisdom or knowledge, a dream or a vision, but It always lines up with scripture and leads people to it. It should also glorify Jesus, not the giver…or their gift.
Prophesying should be concise, it is like shooting an arrow, or cutting with a knife, so you can’t just throw words out there without careful precision. It is dangerous and reckless. Not to mention dishonoring to God. Sometimes words are sent to guide someone into their right position in Christ, to direct them where they need to go (Acts 13:1-3). You must get the “directions” from God, not your soul. You MUST not be a blind guide, you must have eyes to see, to help others know the way.
The Bible tells us that we are to “Despise not prophesying, because it is important in the church.
It brings life, like it did to the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-4). It gives spiritual vision, which brings hope. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ (Proverbs 29:13,18). It edifies, exhorts, and comforts (I Corinthians 14:3) and brings revival and restoration (Acts 2:16-18). It also can guide you to your right position in Christ go (Acts 13:1-3).
Prophesy should be judged. We are called to “Prove all things.” I Thessalonians 5:20-21. When a prophecy is given, we are to test it and hold on to what is good in it.
Seven Ways to Judge Prophecy
1) Judge them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16-18,20).
2) Who does it glorify? The person giving the word, another person, or Jesus? (John 16:14; I Corinthians 12:3; I John 4:1-2)
3) Does it line up with Scriptures? (Isaiah 8:20)
4) Does it come true? (Deuteronomy 18:22) Some prophecies are not of God even though they may come to pass. The benchmark remains that all prophecies should exalt the Lord Jesus.
5) Is the word direct and concise, or disjointed or confused? True prophecy is line upon line and precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:13).
6) Does it release people into liberty, or put them into bondage? (Romans 8:15)
7) Does it bear witness with your spirit? (I John 2:20,27)
In the light of this, what is prophetic art then?
1) It should come from God. Therefore, the person that painted it should be able to tell you how God gave it to them, what they heard or saw, and EXACTLY what He was saying. Some people think they can just step into a calling and say “I’m a prophetic artist” when God never called them. When they cannot even hear or see anything in the spirit. They should not say, “what is the Spirit saying to you?” That is also not biblical. The prophet bore the responsibility of declaring the word EXACTLY how God gave it to them. It was not up to, nor should it be open for another’s interpretation. That is not God. If I just handed somebody a prophetic portrait that was nothing but swirls and colors, and asked them what they thought it meant, that would be contrary to the Word of God.
For 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) It should say something. The work should be done with excellence, and skill, painted in a way that people can interpret what is being said. Some of the art that is being done and being labeled as prophetic art is nothing but abstract art. Honestly, it makes no sense. It’s without form, it’s without a voice, it is just a bunch of colors and swirls and different shapes. That is not prophetic art, that is immaturity. If you stood up in church and spoke in tongues, claiming to speak for God, but you did not interpret it, or no one else did, then you are out of order. That is not biblical. God says if you are going to prophesy, people should know what God said through you. If you’re called to do prophetic art you’re going to say something with your art, and you will know it came straight from God because it’s going to be Him speaking through you and you illustrating what He showed you. God doesn’t send forth his word without purpose; that is not the way God works. (Isaiah 28:13) I cannot give someone a word in tongues and say…be blessed. No, I have to make it clear if I am going to give someone a word, what I hear God saying. For the person or congregation to receive the word, it must be interpreted. Art is no different.
3) It must be concise. It should be concise and plain. Deut 12:32 says: See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. Rev 22 ends with a strong warning against adding to or subtracting from that prophetic word. Rev 22:18-19 says “Warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
From these scriptures, we see that God is serious here. He insists that we accurately represent Him when we speak for Him (or prophesy). The delivery of a prophetic word is not the place to exercise our creative skills (2 Peter 1:20). Instead, prophecy is the place to clearly and accurately reflect what God wants to communicate (2 Peter 1:21).
If I have a word for someone, I will speak it very clearly, and if it’s a vision, I share the vision to the best of my ability. I think sometimes we have to be careful when we see visions, trying to interpret it, when all were supposed to do is share the vision. And the person will know it’s God because it will mean something to them. When I give someone a prophetic portrait I can tell them exactly what I saw and what I believe God is saying but then I’m always open to hear what they believe God is saying. I tell them what I saw first though, sometimes I don’t even know the meaning of what I’m seeing even though I know, that I know, what I’ve seen…sometimes they know exactly what it means, when I do not. I am just the messenger. God is the one speaking.
4) It should have a purpose.
When a prophetic word comes forth, it should have a definite purpose. When a good pastor prepares a sermon, he studies, and seeks God, and then he develops a message that teaches, encourages, edifies…etc. He doesn’t just get up and talk about random topics that do not mean a thing. That would be confusion. God is a God of order, not chaos. It would not serve a purpose.
Prophetic art vs Worship art
Someone can be a worship leader in music, and never get one prophetic song. A prophetic song is a song where you hear it in the spirit and sing what you heard. A worshiper is just as anointed…and just as precious…and ministers too…but just in a different way. One is not better than the other.
Not being a prophetic artist is nothing to be ashamed of…it just carries a responsibility with it. One type of artist is not better than the other…but there are clearly outlined rules for something to be called “prophetic” in the bible. If you are someone that is called to prophesy, I think you will agree with this. Because, if you are going to call yourself a “prophetic” artist, then your art should be saying something others can understand, and it better come from God…not from you…otherwise…it should just be called worship art…
By claiming to be a prophetic artist, you are saying…God gave me this, and told me to paint it. If there is no clear word from your art, then that is not God speaking. True prophecy is line upon line and precept upon precept.
When I was first being invited to come and paint for conference I would pray before I went. I would seek God with all my heart, ask him what he wanted to “speak,” through my painting, at the conference…and I would get a word usually in the form of a vision. Sometimes it’s just a direction by God, but I usually know before I get to the meeting, exactly what I’m painting. Now it comes more naturally for me, the Lord has told me to paint what is in my heart. I follow my peace.
Just like if I was called to just prophesy verbally to a church, I would seek God before I got there and I would have an idea of what I was to speak. Now maybe when I started to speak, it may expound, because God may add to it, but God will always give you that seed to start you.
When I do spontaneous prophetic portraits, with someone sitting there, I have no idea what I’m going to paint, just like if I’m getting a personal prophetic word…a lot of times I don’t know until I begin to just pray and then I will hear God speak.
But if I don’t get anything from God there’s nothing I can do…if I say, this is from God, when it isn’t…then that is being a false prophet.
One thing about the prophetic, is this is important to remember is this. The FINAL purposes of God are always positive, not negative. Sometimes those that are prophetic are called to deal with sin and weakness so that it can be replaced with what is right, true, effective and positive. Just like this message, it might be necessary to “root out” and to “pull down”; but the final purpose is always to “plant”. Some of thing we are we are doing, we may need “destroy” and “throw down,” but the final purpose and plan of that is to “build”, and to build well!