Prophetic-School: A training environment

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A training environment (Jim Wies)

Originally from: jim wies

Originally dated: Thu, 28 Aug 97 00:58:03 -0500

Hi gang!

In reading the last few days of posts I have begun to feel some additional imput is needed from the leadership core to possibly help "set the mood" for what we are trying to accomplish. The purpose of this list is to be a prophetic forum but also a safe training environment for all of us to venture out into our "growing edge", knowing mistakes will be made and trusting we all have the maturity and decernment to sort it out with an attitude of love and acceptance.

One of the delima's every pastor or leader faces is the tension between "quality control" versus an "equipping" environment. We can error in either extreem. But if we are to be equippers, (Eph. 4:11,12) the only way that can happen is for there to be a safe but open environment for people to venture out and even make mistakes accasionally. If we hold the reigns too tightly in our concern for "quality control" we will automatically quench those who have good words but are insecure, or those who have words that are 70% God and 30% "filler", or other varying percentages of accuracy, (as most of us are when we start out - oh come on and admit it! ha ha ha).

In light of the nature of this list being a "school", My feelings are that we can tolerate a whole lot more inacurate and fumbling attempts at "hearing" than we would in other settings. A very critical issue, though, is a willingness on the part of the participants to be correctable. (after all, we ALL have blind spots)

Scripture states:

And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.1 Cor 14:29

For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 1 Cor 14:31, 32

So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual {gifts,} seek to abound for the edification of the church. 1 Cor 14:12

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Heb 5:14

In my experience, one of the best means of growing in decernment and "practicing" is by being exposed to accurate and inaccurate words. The best defence against counterfeit or sub-par ministry of the prophetic is to have the genuine to compare it with. The trouble is, most of the time, a valid budding prophetic ministry will give words that are not either perfectly accurate or dramaticly off. ( most often it is something like 80% beef and 20% "hamburger helper", ie. our own added commentary and opinions.)

As a prophetic equipper myself, and a pastor of a very propheticly gifted congregation, I have encouraged the folks to "risk" and move out (according to the proportion of faith) and at the same time they all know it is an equipping environment. Meaning, most people can decern for themselves if the word was right on or not, and they have a commitment from me that if a word is to far out - such as doctrinally in error or wrongly directive I will kindly but very definately bring correction to it. (A parenthetical word about directive prophecy since some one brought it up. God does sometimes bring directive prophecy through proven prophets. My experience though, is that immature prophetic ministers can often fall into the trap of attempting to control things through directive prophecy that are way beyond their sphere of authority to direct. God HIMSELF has established other offices as well as the prophetic that have responsiblity to govern and direct. For example the case cited about Jesus driving out the money changers from the temple. That, to me, was Jesus the apostle in action, not Jesus the prophet)

One last comment. As one called as a prophet, who has been used in the gift of prophecy locally and translocally for a number of years, has had the responsibility to pastor prophets, have had plenty of spiritually significant dreams myself, and have been used of the Lord to bring interpretations to dreams on a number of ocasions, (wheww sounds a bit arrogant doesn't it) I simply want to appeal to all the dreamers and interpreters here. My "judgement" (note I Cor.14:29) is that about 60% of the stuff we've seen across the list in the last 2 to 3 months have been propheticly significant dreams. So where did the rest come from? The incredable ability of the brain to come up with highly imaginative fantasys during our sleep, plain and simple.(well yes, sometimes demonic inspiration as well)

We might be better off to not strain so hard to makes something spiritual out of every little thing lest we begin to prophecy out of our own imagination even as Ezek warned...

Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: 'Hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Ezek 13:2,3

Oh yea, aren't you glad we are not under the Old Testament prophetic invironment? We would have all been stoned to death by now. :-)

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