Prophecy–Key to Awakening

Is “revival” here, or not? Michael W. Smith is in Vietnam with Franklin Graham. Smith says “revival” is there. I’m looking for indicators.

It may be a wild thought: I think God desires to visit His people, send an awakening, revival. For me, the word prophecy holds a key. That word has been overused, bloodied, mis-used and misunderstood. I suggest using descriptive synonyms with biblical weight. Dispensationalists claim the office and gift of prophet ended with the culmination of the canon or when the Apostles died. Much evidence disagrees. I will not use this space to discuss it. Whether or not Prophets and Apostles are out of date or valid gifts, what they do or provide is necessary for revival or evangelism. Do these synonyms help?

A prophet can be a foreteller like Agabus in Antioch who prophesied a famine was coming and the churches should prepare. (Acts 11). Joseph (guy with multi-colored coat who moved to Egypt) also foretold of a famine and gave Pharoah a strategy to fortify the land for incoming 7-years of lack.

Biblical prophets foretold the future that God wanted for His plan and for His People using kyros and chronos measurements. God still speaks! Secular, governmental, economists, political systems are projecting their preferred vision of the future. I don’t think we are out of line by asserting that God chooses to state His plan for nations and individuals. He claims the space to warn and promise specifics of the future. He uses people who have calling or a unique gifting to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers in a variety of communication.

Somewhere in this inadequate diversification, anyone who declares the gospel of Jesus Christ for personal salvation or preaching about injustice would be prophesying.

Some prophets are forthtellers.

Everyone who prophesies speaks to men and women for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3).

Undoubtedly you have read authors who remember a teacher, pastor, leader who “prophesied” over them with, “You must write more,” or more specifically, “You’ll write widely one day.” That encouragement motivated the writer. Not just writers, but excelling athletes, mothers, entrepreneurs, in fact, just about every line of work or calling. Not all would call what they do a spiritual gift but would lean into their gift.

There is a uniquely gifted group. Perhaps they have always been known as futurists. Probably there is a specific Yiddish name for them.

“Of the children of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do… (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Lyle E. Schaller had an office on campus when I was in seminary. He was a United Methodist but many denominations used his knowledge and wisdom. He was guest speaker/lecturer in 30 seminaries, published 96 books. He first worked as a city planner.

Author Warren Bird pulled together a dozen leaders from several disciplines to talk about Schaller’s “…understanding of the times…” for a book. Schaller would laugh if anyone would call him a prophet in the design of Isaiah or John, but he had the ability to scrape all the indicators together and mold suggestions and strategies to reach people.

Apostle Paul says, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Jan Jensen, the assistant women’s basketball coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes has an interesting description of Iowa star Caitlin Clark:

“She can score it, but Caitlin’s passing is, I think, extraordinary,” Jensen said. “And I think that’s what we really needed to be extraordinary. She really was looking for it because they spread that zone so wide. It was just hard for a lot of different passing angles, and it was hard to get our normal looks. But when she really settled in that second half, she got around one of those guys, she could really either look for Gabby or look to hit Mon[ika]. She has a pro-level IQ. And I think when she settles, she can just see things a lot of kids can’t.” (Emphasis—Dean’s)

The ability to “see things a lot of others cannot” astounds me. And is desperately needed today.

We need all the men and women of integrity who hear God talking about incoming famines, empty grocery shelves, failing banks, destructive worldviews aimed as sexual and economic propaganda, toward families, children and people of faith. The Church that Jesus called, “My ecclesia” needs more than diagnosis and whining. We need to possess and disseminate strategies and solutions otherwise known as discipling nations. To enable us to live each day efficiently, effectively, and to prepare for our futures.


  • Futurists

Of the children of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do… (1 Chronicles 12:32).

No matter what we call that special group, we (the West) need to know what our nation should do. Knowing what is going on in backrooms and in the decision-centers is necessary to “understand the times.” Add revelation. God reveals to the godly futurists what needs to be done to reverse national deterioration. During noonday news, I listened to the passionate pleading of financial journalist Charles Payne describe the outcome of following a certain economic road. He is a financial futurist.

Christians believe there is a spiritual element to everything that happens in every segment of society. I listen carefully to biblical futurists who have an ability to see what others miss or neglect. It is plain in basketball. Just look at players who contribute assists. For Iowa men this year it has been Connor McCaffery. For Iowa women it is Caitlyn Clark. It is beautiful to watch players know where a lane is going to open and fire the basketball before it opens. And hockey. Wayne Gretzky famously said, “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

God is speaking to “His prophets” what He is doing and going to do. He equips some of us to catch the vibes and share it. I hugely admire men and women who can see where things are headed and tell us what we can begin to do to benefit a generation or a region. Dr. Tim Elmore, Dr. Ed Stetzer, George Barna are futurists to whom I pay attention—they see what others can’t.

  • Foretellers

A prophet of what is going to happen is not saying, “I’ve got an idea.” He or she is saying, “Thus saith the Lord!” Or “I sense God is saying….” Since Holy Spirit is the agent of creation and new life, one would expect He would have blueprints in mind for construction and/or reconstruction.

The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Messiah. Nothing is required of us for this to happen.

The writer of 2 Chronicles 7:14 directly quotes God. The prophet relates God’s requirements if we are to experience God’s healing and blessing.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

  • Forth tellers

In the mid-1990s, I discovered a biblically-oriented writer named Laurie Beth Jones. The first of her books I read was Jesus CEO, (Hyperion, 1995). I have eight of her books. They have influenced me. I was surprised that her books were listed or located in the bookstore business section and not with the religion books.

As I was thinking about forth-tellers and where the teaching came from, I ran across Laurie Beth Jones’ book Power of Positive Prophecy, (Hyperion, 1999). I haven’t touched that book for several years. It had taught me about forth-tellers. Ms. Jones tells an interesting story about how she learned. She was in her Texas home on the phone with her company administrator discussing the future of their company.

“I told her that I wanted us to be like a beehive—with lots of bees going out, dancing around flowers gathering pollen, and then returning to the hive to help make honey.”

After the discussion and running errands, Ms. Jones returned home to find a few bees gathered around a lampshade. Puzzled, she gathered the bees in jars. The next morning, she heard a buzzing sound. In the living room were thousands of bees swarming on windows, the sofa, the coffee table, the fireplace. A beekeeper came the next day. He had never seen anything like it. “They must have thought the queen bee had moved in.”

The impact of this experience was, “We are all prophesying the future by the very words we use. …the power of words to attract and create.” (Page 6) “We live according to the words which have been declared for us, either consciously or subconsciously. Words are the prophecies which pull us, guide us, shape us into who we are to become.” (Page 11)

Think of the ROI if we commit to speaking strengthening,  encouragement, God’s acceptance, comfort.

No wonder Apostle Paul said, “I wish you all prophesied” (1 Corinthians 14:5b).

No wonder Moses said, “I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29)

Now! He puts His Spirit in us.

©2023 D. Dean Benton—wonderer, ponderer

God’s People have been praying for an outpouring of Holy Spirit. It’s Beginning to Rain

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