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Why Prophetic Pictures Are Given

I have often been asked concerning what I experience when bringing a prophetic picture to an individual; a prophetic picture that describes God’s intention to them at that moment.

What Do I See Prophetically?

Often what I see is some symbolic scene, activity, or substance, such as a rose bush, or a sailing yacht, a thing that is not necessarily literal, but immediately communicates to the individual the spiritual truth that God is trying to get them to see.

I might see a fishing boat run aground on the reef, and discover that the person loves fishing, and their life has felt like it was shipwrecked. It is personal, it is unique, and it tells them that Father knows them and cares.

Several times I have been shown the picture of a person changing their walking shoes for running shoes; meaning that it is time for them to accelerate in their calling. Other times, it is a glimpse of what Father has for them in a future time. So why are prophetic pictures given?

Prophetic pictures are given to convey a spiritual reality or a divine intention.

With these thoughts in mind, let us look at how the Apostle John experienced this prophetic grace:

(Authors notes in brackets in the following scriptures)

Revelation 4:1 (NKJV) After these things I looked, (literally: “to stare intently as one that has been given the capacity to perceive”) and behold, a door… (literally: “a portal or entrance, an opening”) standing open in heaven… (Greek word ’ouranos’ – means “air or sky” – by implication heaven, eternity) And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

Literally, a portal opened between John and eternity, between the world of the tangible in which he lived and the spirit world of God’s presence. And once able to see in that realm, John was given the ability to see into an aspect of the future because past, present and future all co-exist in the spirit world of God’s presence. It was a prophetic glimpse.

Revelation 4:2 (NKJV) Immediately I was in (the) Spirit; (’the’ is not in the original)

and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

John, now with his spiritual eyes opened to see, was able to see through a portal into eternity, into the spirit world of God’s existence, and saw the throne of God! He had suddenly become compatible with that other dimension. He was ‘in spirit’!

The significance is this: Holy Spirit gave him eyes to see what was already there in the realm of the spirit but invisible to the natural eye.

God is Spirit. So, whatever it was that John saw, it was not physical, it was not tangible… but it was communicated to him in a manner that would have been meaningful to him in his human understanding. He saw a throne. That immediately communicated to John a king and his royal, undisputed right to rule.

God doesn’t have a physical throne anywhere in the entire universe! It was an impression in John’s spirit imagination which Holy Spirit used to communicate the awesome power and authority of God’s person and presence. But did he ‘see’ it? Yes, he did!

Revelation 1:10-11 (NKJV) I was in (the) Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Please note that the voice was not from the sky or from some distant place or even somewhere in front of him, it was from behind him. Which clearly indicates that he was already there! He was already in the throne room! But suddenly became aware of that reality!

As he stepped ‘into spirit’, no longer blinded by the natural world of his human surroundings, he was able to see what God already saw… and wanted to communicate to him! And because God’s sight is not confined to the present, he was able to see the future as well as the present. That’s all the prophetic gift really is. It is a moment in which, being ‘in spirit’, we catch glimpses of tomorrow! That’s why prophetic pictures are given.

The Miracles Of Jesus

John 5:19-21 (NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He (the Father) does (in the spirit world, the world of Father’s reality), the Son also does in like manner (in the world of His reality, the world of the tangible). For the Father loves the Son and shows Him (gives Him the ability to see through the portal) all things that He Himself does (in the Spirit world); and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. (ie. as He executes in the tangible that which He has first seen in the Spirit) For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them (in spirit), even so the Son gives life (in the physical) to whom He will. 

Verse 20 makes it clear that, in order for Jesus to demonstrate miracles that would cause people to marvel, Father had to first show Jesus that miracle in the world of His intention and purpose, the spirit world.

Jesus would see it ‘in spirit’ and outwork it in an act of obedience so that others could see tangibly! In other words, Father will do greater works in the spirit world so that Jesus, seeing those works by also being ‘in spirit’, is able to accomplish those greater works on earth.

All of this brings clarity to verses such as the following:

Matthew 16:19 (AMP) I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven (that spirit-world in which God rules); and whatever you bind (forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose (permit, declare lawful) on earth will have (already) been loosed in heaven.”

When you are able to see what God has bound in the world of His reality, the spirit world, you will have the authority, boldness, and initiative to bind it also in the world of your reality, the world of the tangible. Because we see it being bound in heaven, we can then bind it on earth. Your authority in the tangible is determined by your obedience to that which you’ve seen Father do in the intangible.

We are simply making manifest in the world of our reality that which we have seen Father accomplish in the world of His reality, the spirit world, which we call ‘Heaven’.

My friends, true spiritual authority is not found in how loud we shout nor in some dramatic gesture. It is found by the humble of heart that have a deep cry for intimacy with Father’s heart and the unconditional surrender of their will to His. It is a person’s unqualified availability to do what they see Him first do, that makes demons cringe and angels celebrate!

The quest for greater, authentic miracles must be preceded by a greater cry of hunger, dependency, and surrender.

In my next blog I will build on this foundation and share with you the wonder of ‘Living Beyond the Veil’.

David.

Watch a 3-minute video – Imagination and Prophetic Pictures.

Discipleship

Discipleship is an essential part of being a follower of Christ. But what does it really look like to be a disciple – or to make disciples?

Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV) As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

There is a call to be a disciple of Jesus before we are commissioned to make disciples.

  • “Come” – leave your position.
  • “Follow” – let me lead.
  • “Me” – shift your focus.

“Come follow me” is a calling out. “And I will send you out” is a calling out that results in a sending out. “To fish for people” is a calling out that results in a sending out on a spiritual mission.

To be a disciple is to be a student, a pupil, and a learner. You can’t be a disciple if you are not teachable. And you won’t be teachable if you think you know best. A disciple is marked by humility, surrender and discipline. Discipleship is not about life skills – it is about spiritual growth. So, how closely do you follow Jesus? How completely do you follow Jesus?

The call to be a disciple precedes the commission to make disciples. We must follow before we lead; and we must follow as we lead. The commission to make disciples will always be the result of the call to be a disciple. There comes a point in our spiritual journey that if we are not making disciples, then we are not being a disciple.

MAKING FRIENDS OR MAKING DISCIPLES?

God created us for relationship, and friendships are important. Yet within the Church, and within groups of believers, friendship can easily rise to the forefront of our focus and intention, and discipleship can get neglected or ignored. One of the main reasons that we may not be making disciples is that we focus too much on being liked.

If we are doing what God has commissioned us to do, not everyone will like us. We need to settle this issue. Have you read about the life of Jesus and the early apostles?! The world won’t always like us.

John 15:18-19 (NIV) If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

But Jesus likes you, and Jesus calls you friend! Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, and He chose us to go and bear fruit that will last. There are certain things that you won’t say or do if your primary focus is on making friends rather than making disciples. The moment we make it more about making friends than making disciples, we lose our way.

WHAT DOES MAKING DISCIPLES LOOK LIKE?

Making disciples is walking with people towards God. Making disciples involves corporate learning and private learning. Making disciples involves baptising people into the fullness of who God is.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Discipleship should explore the question, “Who do you say God is?” Discipleship involves talking about the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Making disciples includes teaching people to obey everything God has commanded.

  • Explore questions such as, “What has God said about…salvation, righteousness, sanctification, justification, atonement, forgiveness, grace, faith, love, purity, spiritual gifts, eternal life, etc.”
  • Look together at truth that matters from the Word of God, and look at present issues through the lens of what the Bible says, not through what other people are saying.

The primary commission of a godly leader is to make disciples, not to lead a department or to make decisions.

Discipleship means that every believer is:

  • Equipped to have a deepening relationship with the Father
  • Equipped to be a more accurate reflection of Jesus
  • Equipped to have a greater dependence on the Holy Spirit

WHO ARE YOU BEING DISCIPLED BY?

  • Being discipled is not vague, it is intentional and relational.
  • Discipleship means giving someone authority to speak into your life.
  • A disciple submits to their teacher’s authority, and receives insight, training, and correction from them. Submitting to authority is God’s protection in our lives – it helps us to see our blind spots, and therefore, helps us to walk in greater freedom. Submitting to authority guards against pride and helps us to walk in humility.

WHO ARE YOU DISCIPLING?

  • Discipling others takes time and intentionality.
  • Discipling others involves living a life worth following.
  • Discipling others involves speaking prophetically into God’s intention for them.
  • Discipling others involves direction and correction when necessary.
  • Discipling others is always fueled by love and by a holy sense of divine commission.

Imagine what the church globally would look like if every believer picked up the commission of discipleship! The Church is Jesus’ bride. We want to be prepared for the return of Jesus – and our role as believers and disciple makers is to prepare as many others as possible to live in the divine power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in spiritual authority.

REFLECTION:

What is the next step that Father wants you to take on your journey of being a disciple?

What is the next step that Father wants you to take on your journey of being a disciple maker?


HEAR STEVE SPEAK ON DISCIPLESHIP HERE.

The Birthplace of Your Miracle

The Birthplace of Your Miracle

Easter is all about a cross, a cave and a resurrection. Easter is all about the birthplace of a miracle.

When Jesus triumphantly emerged from the tomb that was a cave, He was the ultimate declaration of a Biblical principle that touches the life of us all. Jesus is the resurrection and the life! (John 11:25)

As the sun was darkened and the cruel reality of the cross seemed to annihilate His ministry and His call, it seemed like it was all over. And then came the darkness of the cave.

  • For Elijah, the cross was the persecution of a woman named Jezebel. It drove him into a cave. (Read the story in 1 Kings 19)
  • For David, the cross was the murderous pursuit of Saul. It drove him into a cave. (1 Samuel 22)
  • For Lazarus, the cross was a fatal illness. It drove him into a cave. (John 11)

But, my friends, it was not final! When you serve the God of resurrection, your cave becomes the birthplace of your miracle.

  • Elijah emerged from the cave as one who appointed kings.
  • David emerged from the cave as a man ready to rule as king.
  • Lazarus emerged from the cave as a man who had conquered death because of the command of the King.
  • Jesus emerged from the cave as the King of Kings!

Let me encourage you: the next time you find yourself in a dark place or a cave, look up with anticipation. It is the place where kings are forged! Why? Because it is not final!

As you respond to Father with a fully surrendered heart, the darkness of that cave becomes the birthplace of an infinitely greater season. For many of you reading this, this is resurrection morning. This is the birthplace of your miracle! It is never too late for God!