I should apologize right off the bat if the content of the article I will link below is offensive to some of you. I have been troubled by some posts (on various sites, not just RITAN) that almost seem to say that God uses your feelings and your thoughts to provide guidance, even of a prophetic nature. I just cannot reconcile that with the fact that the Lord gave us the Scripture for our learning, for correction, for prophecy - is His Word not sufficient? The other thing that I find unsettling is how those who say they have been led, or have received messages for the body of Christ through dreams, visions, nudgings, numbers, and various coincidences are promoting the idea that some Christians are more in tune with God because they are seeking to hear from Him, and are pursuing Him. In other words, they receive more because they have a closer walk with Him which is confirmed by all the experiences they have on a regular basis. We are told that the heart is deceitful. I think we would do well to trust Scriptures instead of thoughts contaminated by our own hearts. does anyone believe that the Lord will use one of us believers to deliver the date of a disaster or of the rapture? I see no evidence in Scriptures. Does anyone believe that the Lord will use one of us to deliver a message to the body that is already found in Scriptures? Or not found in Scriptures?
Here is the link I referred to earlier:
Fair use for discussion purposes.
While I understand and agree with most of what you say, I also think your criticism leaves out the work of the Holy Spirit. How then does the Holy Spirit manifest Himself in the life of a believer if you aren't subject to nudging or the like? Perhaps the "being led" is just a way to describe the work being done in a believers life. I find it a little hard to believe that the Holy and Living Spirit of God resides in me and I get nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling from it. Please don't misunderstand, I don't believe that I am privy to extra biblical secrets or words of knowledge, but I certainly believe that I can be lead to take the job, feed that man or don't get on that airplane.
Just my 2 cents.
I think this is one of those things that, depends on the person and circumstance. Yes the Bible is the ultimate source, but it is not like it's impossible for God to guide people based on feelings, thoughts, dreams, etc. I suppose it's smart to be more skeptical than not, because most people seem to think they've got the "real deal," compared to others, which is not true. I still think God can and does sometimes move us though through other means. Think of a remote tribe (yes some do still exist) that has no access to the Bible, but through reasoning and logic they have the sense that there is a God, creator of the universe. What about when someone is about to sin and they just feel like it's wrong?
From my experience when I am closest to truth (and all truth is of God) I am at peace, and that is how I know I am hearing from God or maybe He is moving me to act. The scriptures/Bible give us the way to live (which is only 100% on Jesus for salvation and change) but each of our daily lives is different and we all have to live it out differently. Many times we will not have a Bible on hand to decide what to do and that is when God is willing and totally able to step in, guiding our thoughts and emotions.
Dreams are another matter, I see where you're coming from. It is easy to interpret a dream to be from God, when in reality, you may have just dreamt about the rapture and the end times because you visit RITA every day ;), but even then I believe God still uses dreams to speak to people.
Everything in this life is either from God, or a similar but twisted version of it from Satan. God gave us the Mazzaroth (Zodiak) to tell the world his plan for redemption, and satan used it to promote astrology. God gave us sex to be enjoyed within a life long marriage to one person, and look at all the ways Satan has distorted sex. God gave us thoughts and feelings, and the new age movement and humanistic movement relies only on feelings as a barometer of what's right and wrong. God gave us morals, a right a wrong, but look at all the people that are hell bent on adhering to the Law, being righteous enough to get into heaven, when God says even our best acts and intentions are as filthy rags (I would add) because of our motives.
So feelings, thoughts, and even dreams, are either from God or aren't. But I don't think it's fair to ignore them entirely.
I agree with Lavoie and Make It Count. There IS a leading of the Spirit, and there are the "feelings" of the heart. All too often, however, those who are feeling feelings usually believe they're being led by the Spirit.
I do agree that a more mature believer is more apt to know the leading of the Spirit verses fickle feelings. Our "feelings" can lead us astray. If we're in a group, we "feed" off the feelings of others. So if you have one boisterous guy jumping around yelling, "Praise God!" it's assumed the Spirit is moving and others jump around too. But is the Spirit *actually* moving? Or is it more of a "mob mentality"? This is the problem I have with ministries like Benny Hinn and the like, with people being "slain in the Spirit" by the truckload.
However, personally, I have FELT the leading of the Spirit - not by my FEELINGS, however, but more like... a cat that's being stroked the wrong way. There's an upset in my soul, a weird anxiety I cannot explain until I do/say the action/word upon my heart.
It's hard separating the feeling from the leading. But I do believe the full revelation of God is in the Bible and nowhere else. There's nothing "new" God must tell us that's extra Biblical. Canon is closed. Anyone who's trying to be a modern-day Isaiah needs to seriously test the spirits. Not every supernatural happening is of God.
Lavoi, I am in full agreement with this assesment, also with Becka Becks comments 100% There is so much deception going on in the church and we are to beware because it can be very subtle and sound very enticing. Becka said it best. Stick to Scripture and see of these things are so.
I made it clickable.
the way I see it is God is talking to us all the time; through people, through nature, by giving us inspirations ...putting people our way...
nothing happens in God,s world by accident.
Every day is a learning day, with trials and testings.
every tree, every breath is miraculous, but just because it,s ordinary we overlook the fact that it is truly a wonder.
Yes, He speaks to us through the word too. and even if we don't physically open the bible, He will find a way to speak to us. like He does to thousands of muslims/ non christians.
it,s a bit like a baby in the womb realizing, hey, i am only here because of my mother.
Before i used to see things as coincidence, but i was just blind and deaf. Now I hear Him everywhere. everyday.
as the poem goes, I saw His face in every flower...
everything around us, even the chair you are sitting on, is from a tree that God designed and nurtured from seed to fully fledged oak. all materials, that we would craft into beautiful things. and ugly things too. because we have free will. we can ignore His hand in our lives. or we can embrace it.
maybe if i hadn't experienced certain extraordinary events myself, i would say God stopped talking when the scriptures were finished. but He is constantly trying to talk to us, His creation. i remember opening a bible and seeing a ladder coming out of it kind of in a flash of light. that reminded me this was truly the way to follow His instructions. But surely we must use its wisdom to bear each other's loads in this world? be salt and light. not just hide in a monk's cell. just my 2 cents ! how could any of us have heard the word without someone telling us the truth? we are part of His story, continuing to spread the message of salvation. the gospel according to us all....
"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. . . " John 8:12
"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day. . . " Proverbs 4:18
Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post. The replies gave me food for thought. I totally agree that the Lord speaks through His creation in the sense that it reflects His design. I do know that He placed a conscience within us to guide us; humans do have a sense of right and wrong. I know He can impart knowledge, give a dream or a vision to a person for a specific purpose like a warning. However, I just don't see why He would give christians what I'd call 'spiritual downloads' meant for the body of Christ. He''s given us all we need in Scriptures, no? We are to live by faith, not by revelation. That would be a contradiction. I believe that the next believers to speak for God will be the two witnesses ( and I don't plan on being here).
I think people become defensive because they are jumping the gun and don't really understand what Lavoietheway is saying. Can a person be guided by the Holy Spirit and have a vision? Of course and yes, God is in all of His creation. The Holy Spirit dwells within all believers and guides us, but I don't believe in order to lead my life that I need a revelation from another person, or a sign. God reveals things to me through His written Word.
What I DO think is dangerous is when a person believes they are the only ones that hear directly from God and put everything out there for the body as in "a word for the body". Then, we better test, test, test. I'm not saying people don't have beautiful visions of Jesus or feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit many times. What bothers me though is when people want to put someone they found on youtube that claims to be a prophet or prophetess because they think it follows or insists it is scriptural and it isn't. No wonder people think they're kooks. I can't tell you how many I have seen (until I quit watching them quite awhile back) how ridiculous they were and was able to go through every sentence and go, "Okay, that's scriptural, non-scriptural, non-scriptural, have to check that one," etc. But if ONE thing is unscriptural, I throw the entire thing out.
Satan knows the Bible better than we do. What harm are these people doing to others who don't know Scripture or don't study it in order to determine who these prophets and prophetesses are really receiving this from? People seem to want to jump on the bandwagon without even testing it. If someone says something is scriptural, then show me. I want proof. A personal word is one thing but to put it out there for all is quite another. We need to be very discerning before we do that. Personally, I have found everything I need to guide my steps in the Word. I know the Rapture is near. We have the signs. They were given to us in the Word. I don't need to see numbers or planetary alignments or license plates or birds to know we are in the season.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not knowing the signs of the times. Shouldn't we know them all the more?
The gift of prophecy is a spiritual gift, however, it is not what people think it is. There is no more to "reveal" through the prophets, as in "future revelation". What more could we possibly add if the Apostle John saw the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven at the end of all things?!
The gift of prophecy for our day and age is a Spirit-given gift of interpretation of Scripture, a strong love for the Word of God, and an almost driven need to protect it and keep it holy. Someone with the gift of prophecy is a staunch defender of the truth, someone like John MacArthur or Charles Stanley, and they're usually very blunt about it. Or, if you're so inclined, the Apostle Peter. He prophesied the true meaning of the prophet Joel's words in Acts 2.
Unfortunately, we have too many Christians who believe that "prophesying" and "prophecy" is foretelling the future. We are not diviners. We are not fortune tellers. God has given us the entire future in Scripture. Prophets nowadays are those who have a FIRM grasp of Scripture, and you really can point them out in a crowd. Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer... They preach with power and a certain authority you just don't hear from preachers who don't have this gift.
But it no longer sees "into the future", as it were. Prophecy is the Holy Spirit giving you an interpretation of Scripture that no one else has seen before. Spurgeon was a master at it.
I'd like us to look at this article and compare it to Scripture if you would please.
In the third paragraph down the author speaks of binding satan and rebuking satan, praying the blood of Christ and the hedge of thorns around people and denouncing generational
curses.He then proceeds to state this is not Scriptura.
I don't understand why he states this as we see Yeshua say in Matthew 16:19, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." So the question is-what do keys do? They let in or keep out. So binding satan is keeping/locking satan out. Yeshua said it- what we bind on earth will be bound in heaven. That to me means anywhere above earth. Eph 2:2: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. So who is the prince of power of the air? Satan. So if be bind satan here, he will also be bound in heaven/spiritual realm. Eph 2:4-6: 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Believers share a position of authority with Yeshua, above satan.
Luke 10:19-20: Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions [symbolic of Satan and demon powers], and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
So Yeshua gave us the keys to bind and
loosen and through our belief we also have the authority and power.
Mat 12:25-30:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
In other words-tie up or bind -the strongman-out of you-lock him out and away from you so he can't spoil your body/your house/mind/finances/etc.
Yeshua and satan can't dwell in the same house so
Kick him out and
Lock him out.
We see that Yeshuas blood-of the new covenant- is for the remission of sins ( Mat 26:28), redemption and forgiveness ( Eph 1:7), makes us near to Yeshua rather than far off ( Eph 2:13), and it makes atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11).
When Yeshua died and rose again He defeated Satan. (Heb 2:14,Col 1:13,2:15,
John 3:8, Rev 12:11).
Pleading the blood of Yeshua is asking that the power of 'Yeshuas ' blood be used to destroy the enemy coming against someone. We know what His blood has already done.
Hosea 2:6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
God blocked the path of Gomer through a spiritual wall of protection. When people pray for a hedge of thorns around someone they are just praying for Gods protection around them-from sin, from being a prodigal, from the enemy.
Regarding generational curses Deut 28 says:45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you AND your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.
People renouncing generational curses are simple saying they are repenting of the sins of their ancestors and saying they don't want those sins on them.
I see all of these things mentioned as ways of praying. The only things I recall Yeshua saying NOT to do regarding praying is not to pray repetitive prayers and in front of everyone so they could think of you as being pious, but rather to go pray alone in secret, and to pray LIKE THIS ( the Lords prayer). He did not say pray these words.
He said to pray for the sick and anoint them with oil. (James 5:14-15). He also said in Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Binding is a way of casting out devils.
Since I disagree with all of this authors third paragraph and his interpretation that these ways of praying are not Biblical, I probably won't agree on the rest
of his article. :)
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Now there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost after our Lord and Savior died and rose again. The book of 1Corinthians was written approximately 25 years later and at the time Paul wrote:
12 Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand about spiritual gifts. 2 You know the way you lived before you were believers. You let yourselves be influenced and led away to worship idols—things that could not speak. 3 So I want you to understand that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “Jesus be cursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” without the help of the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. 6 And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do. 7 Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good. 8 The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak with wisdom, and the same Spirit gives another the ability to speak with knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives faith to one person. And, to another, that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 The Spirit gives to another person the power to do miracles, to another the ability to prophesy. And he gives to another the ability to know the difference between good and evil spirits. The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak in different kinds of languages and to another the ability to interpret those languages. 11 One Spirit, the same Spirit, does all these things, and the Spirit decides what to give each person.
So the manifestations were available/evident at that time.
I don't believe the Holy Spirit ever left us nor did the manifestations ever stop. I do think the evil one has tried hard to suppress and delude people in to thinking the gift is not for today.
In the words of Yeshua: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you." (Jn 14:16-17)
"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning." (Jn 15:26-27)
Everyone always needs to use discernment and if we feel uncomfortable with people's dreams, visions, words or impressions then avoid them. No-one here is forced to read them.
I leave with this prayer of Yeshua:
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
May we , as the body, unite as one in these last days that we may be a light upon the hill to this lost and dying generation, that the world may know He has sent us.
The Word is unfailingly true. The heart is often false, and our flesh is bent towards wickedness. So we can only trust the Word comfortably. But to say that there is no divine direction except the Word seems to say that God is removed from His people and no longer interacts with them, which is a sad thing to hear. On the other hand, we at Ritan should know by now that feelings that His return is bound to occur within certain expectations is more likely false than true. We KNOW He is returning. We're pretty sure it's rather soon. We hope it's this week. Those of us who have walked with Him for sufficient time also know that He will sometimes intervene directly, perhaps in a vision, perhaps in an encouraging dream, perhaps in a prompt to pray for a particular person at a particular time for no discernible reason. If it serves to bring us closer to Him and the Word, praise God.
There is a good reason why Ritan doesn't allow "Thus says the Lord" and we are sensitive to much use of "The Lord led me to..." or "I have an impression from the Lord". It is that if what is "led", "impressed", or "said" turns out not to be true then a babe in Christ or unbeliever could (and I have seen them fall from the faith as a consequence) believe that God is a liar and unreliable, when in truth it is a failure of the human component. God cannot lie. But humans can certainly hear what we want, or imagine we do at the least.
So if you feel you have an impression or leading from the Lord, first compare it to the Bible. It will never contradict the Word of God if it comes from Him. Then subject it to the discretion of those who are mature in the faith and see if it "agrees" with their born again spirit. I think the most common leading of the Holy Spirit isn't something like a date, but a warning that something is amiss. And that the more we have put the Word into our head and heart, and the longer and more intimate our walk is with our Betrothed, the more likely it is that we will be sensitive to that leading of the Holy Spirit when He tells us, "hey, that isn't Me".
Or to put it differently, we're only human. That's why the Holy Spirit was given to us to remain with us forever. Our comforter / advocate / helper who will lead us in all truth. (John 14:16-17) "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." John 16:13
Gosh, I guess the Bible does say that He will tell us what is to come. And Whom.
"What we have here is - failure to communicate."
Great points one and all. To be sure I have also vascilated between both extremes. I know all things are possible with the Lord, but may not always be probable. Indeed, much discernment is needed. I also am weary of many promises that have been made that have fallen short. I also am guilty of believing that I have heard from the Lord, and haven't, and having felt the Lord let me down. Although a consistently spirit controlled life is impossible, when manifested it is truly glorious. I try really hard not to throw out the baby with bath water, but am also mindful that the baby doesn't live in the tub. The prophetic is truly a gift of God. I also guard my heart against SELF - DECEPTION. I can be deceived on occasion, by many things, people, and by the enemy, but truly guard against being constantly self-deceived. Lastly, I believe that our God given emotions are legitimate, but have limits. Love, compassion, empathy, etc. and like emotions are valid but can also be mis-placed, when it violates the heart of God. I find that generally emotions are 180 degrees in conflict with and tear down un-conditional love. Either His towards us, or ours towards him and others. For those that are led by their emotions only always vascilate. Point being, there is a time for emotions, and time to set them aside. This also is the biggest problem with psycology. A multi billion dollar industry which strives on but one all important question, How does that make you feel? Who cares. How many marriages have been broken by this false remedy! Emotions and un-conditional love are diametrically opposed. So too, when sprinkled with prophecy, it is so deceiving.
Love & blessings...Tender Reed
Well said, TR. I agree with you on all points.
Lavoitheway, Shiloh, Becka Becks, very well said, as we well know, The Holy Spirit is not dormant in us and continues to work in each and everyone of us
in teaching and guiding us through the Word. He imparts to each of us Gifts of the Spirit which differs in each individual believer, and in instances it is for personal edification, at times for the body of Christ, but never delineating from the Word of God. Does He give some of us Dreams? Yes He does as I have experienced, but 95% of my dreams I disregard as they are confusing and have no biblical soundness to them, and most are just for me personally. Is the Lord quickening our spirits of His soon return? Yes He is and I'm sure this is one thing we can all agree on because we know this in our spirits as we read God's signs of the end times in His Word and seeing evil growing worse and worse. One thing I have learned if I've learned anything, is one of the Rules of learning the scriptures is
"Let scripture speak to you, do not speak your own words into scripture."
Dear God is Love and Ritans, I just want to say something about the praying in private admonition of Jesus.
First, let God be true and every man a liar. This brings me to my question because Jesus also told Peter that if he loved Him, to feed His sheep. There are so many needs in the body of Christ, and needs for the lost. These come up on message boards, which I think is a positive thing because then more prayer gets offered to God than if the need is kept to the one in distress, seeking God alone. I've written prayer out sometimes, as a way to let the person in need know I've prayed, or in trying to lead who ever would to pray with me as two or more gathered together, to feed the body of Christ.
Mods, what do you think? Is it a disobedience to the Lord to actually write prayer out? Should we be open to requesting prayer but not posting prayers?
We are so far geographically apart, there is no way that I can meet you and pray in person with you privately. If obedience to the Lord means not praying "openly" aka writing prayer on posts, then just know my prayers are in private. I love the Lord and want to "feed the sheep" in the ways that I am able to.
Come quickly Lord Jesus
I find myself in full agreement with almost everything in this thread so far.
I think if I were to try to encapsulate in just a few words what I've personally been struggling with lately, both here and on RITAN (when it was up!), it's the subjective nature of so much of what is written and talked about in Rapture watching circles.
I have no doubt that the Lord speaks to us all, in many and various ways. There have been times even in the past 24 hours where things have happened in my life that I can't possibly understand outside of a spiritual context. It could be something simple, like a beautiful sunrise that strikes me in an unusual way, or something that one of my daughters says that resonates in a deep way - an unnaturally deep way... God is everywhere in these moments.
...however, with that said, it's important - SO important - to understand that our feelings aren't being viewed through a clear glass window. Scripture says to us "the heart of man is desperately wicked, and deceitful beyond all things". What that means is that we can be deceived even by our own hearts; the things that we feel aren't always an accurate reflection of the things that are. ...it is for precisely this reason that John commends us to "test the spirits, to see if these things are from God", and again, for this reason that Paul commended the Bereans for "resting the Scriptures to see if these things were so."
Ultimately this is the litmus test for every Christian. Do our experiences and feelings line up with Scripture?
If not, as difficult as it may be, anything that doesn't cohesively mesh with the Word of God simply MUST be rejected.
Perhaps of greater concern here is the fact that many of the posts that have been cropping up on RITA lately aren't explicitly in disagreement with the Word of God - but are far more subtle. Testing the subjective feelings and experiences of those who earnestly long for the coming of the Lord is a difficult thing; and obviously nobody wants to hurt or discourage anybody else here. We're all in the same, horribly frustrating boat. We long for the return of our Lord, and that places us in the difficult position of looking, earnestly looking for His return until our eyeballs bleed.
My honest, heartfelt commendation to us all is to adhere more closely to the Word of God, in looking after the signs promised to us regarding His return. Despite the pain of the wait, despite the sense in which we may feel that the Lord's return tarries, He *IS* coming soon, and the signs, the CONCRETE signs that He has given us, are all around us.
We don't need to depend on fallible feelings or experiences in order to prove that the Lord's return is near. Ultimately, those things will be tested, and will fail, because we ALL fail, we ALL fall short... but those things which are given out of the Word of God will stand, and cannot possibly fail - because they are dependent on the very character of God Himself.
Remember - there is no light in this world except that which has proceded from the mouth of God Himself.
In the beginning, God said "let there be light"; and there was light.
Jesus said "I am the Light of the World".
Likewise, all light, all inspiration, all truth is irrevocably tied up in Him - tied up in the Word (Scripture, which proceeds from the Holy Spirit), tied up in the Word (Christ), and the One who spoke that Word (the Father).
This is the one and only thing we can rely on - this truth, this Word, spoken of the Father, made incarnate in the Son and breathed out by the Spirit (1 Timothy 3:16). If we adhere to and base our hope for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Scriptures, we cannot possibly fail. All else, ALL else... is subjective, and open to human error.
"Behold", Jesus says, "I am coming soon".
I *AM* coming soon, He says. Maranatha!
A lot of really good points here!
Just my 2 cents - I do feel nudgings and knowings from the spirit. We were given the Holy Spirit. Jesus asked God for us to be given this and I earnestly seek to better understand what the Holy Spirit tries to impart on my heart.
The key word though is discernment. Usually time reveals where those nudgings and knowings came from (if it's a word for me alone). There have been times I will feel something in my heart...at the time I struggle in knowing is this my fears talking, is this my imagination, is this from God or is this from satan. There have been a few times that I knew immediately that God's hands were all over that. I love feeling God acting in my life that way. Other times, I may not know until later that it was God acting in a great way.
I have also had 3 dreams that I know were spiritual. The vividness and the message was VERY clear. So I have to go in the camp that God does speak to us through the Holy Sprit - that's scriptural, but we have to discern WHERE it comes from and WHO the message is for. I think most of the time it's for personal guidance.
Lavoietheway- I was kind of surprised to see your post. If I remember correctly, you posted your testimony a while back which included a vision. (my memory may be wrong but I think it was you) I was so impressed by your testimony that I have shared it with others. That was a beautiful word from God showing you how he battled for you in a time that you almost took your own life - what a confirmation of what you mean to him! That's the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit speaking to us.
Amen NFJF I couldn't have said it more simply or better thanks Sis.
I, too, have had revelations from the Spirit, but so far, they have been for me personally with dreams and words from the Lord. But there's a line between a word FROM the Lord and speaking FOR the Lord. I think that's what the difference is in this discussion.
An impression or a dream can be taken far, far off base and twisted to fit whatever agenda we think it does and then it grows its own legs and suddenly we're speaking FOR God (Charity's 5,6,7 Jesus dream comes to mind). It *must* be from the Lord so we're going to pretzel this dream into Scripture until it makes sense!
But sometimes, we just have spicy food before dinner. In all the dreams/impressions I got from God, they were *all* obviously from Him. But like I said above, they were for me personally.
Lavoietheway - I just reread what I wrote and it didn't sound like I meant it - I meant to say that was a beautiful testimony that I like to share
Thanks Becka. You said it well. I think we all know that the Lord speaks tu us in many different ways - He knows how to get our attention. It is when we think his message to us is suddenly prophetic and meant for all that we err.
Thanks for your reply, JustFaithNoFear. You must be getting me mixed up with someone else re. testimony you mention.
I look at it this way. Ezekiel 3:17-19 says:
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
To me, if someone believes that God has given them a message, dream, word of knowledge or a vision and shares it, it may be because they are trying to be obedient to Gods will. If the Holy Spirit instructs me personally to "Write this down" what good does it do to write it down if it is not shared? So a spider in my house can read it? I would rather you,or anyone else speak against me and what I post than have God chastise me for not sharing and being obedient to what He tells me to do. And surely I don't want the blood of someone I didn't warn on my hands.
Are there questionable words,dreams,visions etc out there? Indeed I myself have questioned a number of things people have posted in various places. Everything is filtered though our human body, which is fallible. God isnt making a mistake but mans interpretation can be. Everyone of us. We all make mistakes, even in interpreting the Word of God.
1Cor 14:5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.6 Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. 7 Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody. 8 And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle?
Paul clearly supports prophesying-be it some revelation,knowledge,prophecy or a teaching.
People have the ability to read,listen, watch or follow such messages. No-one is making anyone do so, just as Abba doesn't make
anyone follow His Word.
I appreciate it when I have posted something when someone says it was helpful to them. Does it make me proud or self-righteous? No. Actually it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable and I don't know what to say. Do I get excited when I think something I have been shown may be happening? Yes it does, as it shows me and others that God is still revealing His Truths to the people of today. It's a great deception by the enemy to make people believe the Holy Spirit is not for today.
We are also told that if we see a brother or sister sinning we should
bring it up to them
in private. So if you "feel" that someone is being self-righteous or proudful (which is subjective) then IN LOVE, discuss it with them in private. This process is discussed in the Word.
Amen Godislove. Personally I enjoy reading what God is showing some of the saints. I can use discernment and sometimes I do feel it's a bit out there.
Sometimes it bears witness with my spirit and gives me joy.
We are all at different stages in our walk with God and I agree with you we can choose not to read if we do not agree with dreams or visions, or an impression from the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good.” This Scripture warns us to prove and judge prophecy, NOT THE PROPET, if some elements may not seem to relate at the present time.
If a person does not understand a portion of a prophetic utterance they should be careful not to reject it immediately as false. It may be that the word refers to something that is yet to come in the person's life and they do not yet have knowledge of it. Instead, the person should put the word "on the shelf" for prayerful consideration at a later time.
I agree with everything that my dear sister God is Love has stated here on her response to your post and I echo her sentiments.
Lavoietheway, my dear sister in Christ, It disappoints me that many here are not giving those of us that post dreams and visions the benefit of the doubt that discernment was used and that the Holy Spirit was present prior to posting a dream or vision. It is a given, that discernment needs to be used regarding ALL GIFTS of the Holy Spirit not just for dreams and visions.
Yes, I agree with you that at times perhaps, the dream or vision someone has received might be going by their feelings and not the Holy Spirit and we have to be so careful not to go that route or to even post it. Every message should be from the Lord and match up with the word of God.
In 2011, like many of my brothers and sisters here in Christ, is when the Lord began to give me dreams and visions and I consider this gift a privilege and I am humbly honored and grateful that the Lord would choose me. It was a gift the Lord graciously gave me since 2011 when the Lord started pouring out his spirit on the flesh and waking many of us up to be watchers and faithful servants. All the Glory goes to God!
There have been many times, where I have had a dream and I wait for instructions from the Lord as to what to do with the information He has given me. We should always be cautious and not be impulsive. There have also been instances where I have not posted a dream or vision that I have received because it was not from the Lord.
Also, I feel that we all have different gifts of the Holy Spirit and they should be respected and embraced. If one does not feel comfortable reading dreams and visions you are not obligated to read them. There are posts on RITAN that I gravitate to and led in my spirit to read and respond to and others I do not and that is okay. I have always enjoyed reading my brothers and sister's visions and dreams and I have gained insight from the Lord through their warnings or encouraging message. We can all learn something from each other through Christ working in us.
Everyone is given a gift from the Holy Spirit and we are responsible to share it with the Body of Christ when the Lord gives you instructions to share it, even though it might be personal in nature, the message could benefit the Body of Christ as a whole and the Lord instructs you to share it and we need to be obedient. Ezequiel 3:17-19.
I have noticed here on RITAN that dreams and visions have always been an issue that has been brought up and I know this is important that discernment should always be used and not going by one's feelings. I am totally aware that there could be many false prophets out there and we need to be extra careful not to mislead anyone.
Thankfully, our dreams and visions are forwarded to the MODS for review and I feel better about them checking every dream and vision and taking that extra step is a good idea. So far, up to this date, I have yet to have one of my dreams or visions rejected by the MODS and that is a good thing and further confirmation that the vision or dream was from the Lord.
I will always have my heart open for correction and I have no problem with a fellow brother or sister in Christ taking me aside to correct me if I have done something wrong that does not line up to scripture or if I have offended them here on this site with one of my posts. Keep in mind, we are all not perfect and will make mistakes from time to time.
I have noticed here on RITANl that there are times, that those that have the gift of dreams and visions are held to a higher standard and underestimated more so than those that have other gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need to embrace and respect ALL GIFTS of the Holy Spirit that the Lord has blessed each and everyone of us with and be united in the Body of Christ.
Love you all,
I agree that this "being led" mentality is tenuous at best. This is so, because we constantly overlay our feelings/emotions upon everything we consider. And though emotions are as legitimate as belly buttons, as everyone has them, we undermine the principle of decision and commitment based on how we feel. Dream, visions, words from the Lord, etc are no exception. Sadly though, this does violate the principle of unconditional love. His unconditional love for us, and ours for Him. Even the unconditional love between man & wife, which is a covenant relationship, not a contract. As this principle is not based on emotions, but rather decision. As stated on another thread, sorry ladies there is a time for emotions, and a time to set them aside. For to apply emotions as a standard to accept or implement tenants of a covenant relationship destroys the function of grace! As we are commanded to love the Lord with our whole being; body, soul and spirit, so too, we must also apprehend this same spirit within fleshly marriage, and imitate God's love of us, towards our spouse's. And embrace the things of God likewise. So as we approach the giftings and callings of God, we realize that the gifts of the spirit, are simply tools. They are not the ultimate goal. Sadly, much theology has catered to itchy ears and hearts, to teach such things. As we receive His grace and demonstrate that towards others, we operate in the spirit of God, saying that it's all about Him. When we dismiss God's grace in our relationship with Him or others, we are stating that it is all about ourselves! Big difference! And the Lord knows that difference.
Love & blessings...Tender Reed
As some one who has been led by God in different ways, I must disagree with you. I haven't gotten to read every response here and have only skimmed the reading you posted. However, I can respond directly to your thoughts.
The Word is God--Scripture is God's breath(John 1:1,2 Tim 3:16-17). God is also "Spirit". I agree with "Make it count" in that you seem to leave out the importance of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. But the Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit does several things. These scriptures I will post, regardless of the surrounding context, teach what is true for all believers, simply because it tells what the Holy Spirit does, which does not change with us.
"When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 12:12
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:16
The Holy Spirit teaches us. Jesus knows the scripture do as well, but if he is only talking about the scriptures, why bring up the Spirit?
God does not have to speak us but he DOES. Why? Simply because he isn't a walking text book, rather he is a living, breathing God. He has a personality, he has a plan, he has a great love. He want to talk to us, he wants to interact us, not just through reading the bible, but through his Spirit. For example, I'm a college student. I can be sitting in the library, writing a paper, be far away from my bible, yet feel a nice warmth on my back. Other times, I can stop and think. "I love you God", then get back to work only to have something flash through my mind so quickly, I couldn't have even thought it. "I love you too sweetheart". That's just one example of a living , breathing God.
Moreover, there are believers in the world who don't even have access to the Word, some who can't even read. As for us who do have it, it is the Holy Spirit that will teach us how to apply scripture. For all believers, its the Holy Spirit that will allow us to be intimate with God.
"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:24
Don't get me wrong, I agree that scripture is supreme. I don't believe there will be any new revelation given in this life but the revelation we do have is neither easy to apply nor study. Anyone who reads the bible can tell you its DEEP, full of riches. There are mysteries of theology that need to be explained. The Holy Spirit will allow you to go deeper in the scripture, not your own mind. "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:10
Therefore God can lead us in a variety of ways, whether it be just through reading the bible or a combination of his Spirit confirming or illuminating a principle in the bible. Each of the ways will compliment and be confirmed by Scripture, not contradict or depart from it. You and this article are proposing that the believer be limited when God want us to have both his Spirit and his Word.
Finally, I will leave you with these thoughts. If the we are not to be "led" why is there so much emphasis in scripture on testing the spirits? After all, what's to test? Can't we just read the bible and figure out what's in it or not? Secondly, what about Paul's mention of the Lord opening "doors" ( 2 Corinthians 2:12, Colossians 4:2)? Why does the Psalmist proclaim "Delight in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart?" (37:4). That psalm can literally be interpreted as God will give you the desires you feel if you focus on him. Many believers, including myself, have attested to having a dream, a strong desire to do something, from our own feelings, and found it later to be God's plan for us ( I personally had someone confirm and tell me what I already "felt" was where God called me, without me telling that person anything at all about it).
God is the maker of our feelings. He can use them. He can lead a person by planting thoughts and even "feelings" in that person. I don't think its wise to dismiss them. The key is not to ignore your feelings but rather discern if your feelings are from God, the devil--or most naturally, yourself. Basically, use the gift of discernment and compare your findings with scripture. Other believers can help with this discernment as well.
***I will also add that those who receive the more "special" experiences can be prone to pride. I fully confess of falling into that sin myself. But the Lord has shown me more and more "not to think of myself more highly than I aught", that no matter our gift we are all equal in his eyes. And our gifts should be used to edify the body, not show off.
Stick to The Word ! ~~ I believe that for all times .
>>But what happens when what you say or see is in The Word , and it is still not accepted ?
Some Christians say : " that is not for TOday ! "
there is my frustration sometimes ....a lotta the time. .
I think we need to take a step back here and clarify what we're talking about.
The question here is NOT:
1) does God still speak?
2) does God lead us?
3) does God give us things that we can or should share with one another?
Nobody is arguing that these things can, and do happen. Yes, our God is a living God. Yes, God still speaks. To deny that is to close ourselves off to hearing the voice of the Lord, in our daily lives, and in our lives together as His church. I don't want to put words in anyone else's mouth, but I don't see anyone in this thread denying that the Lord still speaks.
What IS being said:
1) The Word has primacy. Always, over all things.
2) We must "test the spirits, to see if these things are of God".
What this means for us is that while yes, the Lord speaks, we must test that which we have heard. We have to test those things that we "feel led" to share, against God's Word. Why do we do this? ...because if the message is truly of the Lord, it will be consistent with the revelation the Lord has handed down in His Word, because the origin is the same - Jesus Christ!
This is the point of this thread.
Now, what I think is being stressed, and what I wholeheartedly agree NEEDS to be stressed, and particularly now, as we see the Lord's return approaching, is that we need to be ever more vigilant in terms of sorting out our own thoughts and feelings from divine revelation; and particularly in a community such as this, where we have Christians "old" and "new", some of whom know Scripture inside out, and some of whom may be coming to it with new eyes. We have a responsibility, as a community, to be discerning, to be careful, and to be immersed in God's Word to the point where we can spot the difference. This is why the moderation process here is so important.
...but with that said, there is an increasing concern among many members here (and it's a concern that yes, I share), that our conversations are more and more often relating to things that aren't Scriptural and don't have that Biblical basis. Now, I think we have fair reasons for this - as I've said before, I think we're all longing so much for the Lord's return, and spending so much time looking up, that it's beginning to make our eyeballs bleed. That's completely understandable. However, it does stress just how important it is that we get back to the basics of adhering to God's Word, and testing everything we hear against that. ...and while for many of us, we can sit down and discern these things for ourselves, there are those among us who are newer to the faith who simply may not have the tools yet to do so - and they need to be a) protected, and b) given the example of a community that is willing to "test the spirits" in all things.
So... my point?
don't be discouraged here. If you feel the Lord is leading you to speak, nobody, by any means, wishes to discourage you from doing so...
Biblically, Scripturally, and even according to the rules of our little community here, we should, we MUST, test these things FIRST. Prayerfully, earnestly seeking the Lord to find out whether this is for one, or for all - and testing by His Word to see if it is consistent with what He has shown us to be true.
Now, I know that many here DO these things.
If that's you, then the exhortation of this thread doesn't apply to you as a criticism, but of course serves as a reminder to us all.
Either way, it's a timely reminder of just how important it is that we stick closely to the Word of God, especially as we see the Day approaching. There is so much confusion out there, and so many different theories, ideas and conflicting arguments. We need to be detracting from that noise with a single, coherent message: The Lord is coming soon, and the signs He has given are all around us... and not adding to that noise.
Thank you, Benjamin. You layed that out well.
No one is saying that people don't hear from the Lord. People seemed to get a little defensive about that. If someone says, "I have a word for the body.", wouldn't it would be foolish of us not to test the spirits and to just take anything we read or hear at face value? God speaks through His Word. A word for someone or the body will never contradict God's written Word. That's all anyone is trying to say here. If someone wants to chide me for testing the spirits, then there is a serious problem. I would tell anyone, "TEST THIS" after I gave them something that I thought was a word from the Lord.
Lovoietheway, sorry your thread got hi-jacked.
Keeping a balanced perspective ~~ to deny dreams and visions are for today needs discernment as well ~~~
In the New Testament, we read how Ananias had a vision instructing him to go and pray for a man named Saul from Taurus (who became Paul)
Cornelius had a vision of an angelical visitor and was told to send for Peter.
Noticeably, Ananias and Cornelius were not the original 12 apostles ~~ hence, dreams and visions are for today's church ~~
discernment?, yes, ~~ defensive, no . . ~~
There you are Shiloh - I was about to do a shout out for you! Everything OK? Kevin OK?
Oh, and right on Benjamin (so this shows it's not a thread highjacking
Everything is going well. Kev is on the mend. Still a ways to go but God is so good. Doing better than expected. Thankyou for asking. Just tired and trying to keep up with everything.
This is me on RITA right now...lol
Thank you Benjamin, for clearing up any misconceptions it seemed to have gotten off track a bit. No one is denying that there are no Dreams/Vision for today because there are and I think you clarified that well. There have been Dreams/Visions posted on this site that were truly wonderful which I believe Glorified the Lord. All in All...if it does not Glorify the Lord then that Dream or Vision should be examined and tested, especially now as we are getting closer to the Lords Return for the Powers & Principalities of the air seem to be increasing their activity also, which means that deception is also on the rise even in the Church.
I initially responded to this when I posted.
"I have been troubled by some posts (on various sites, not just RITAN) that almost seem to say that God uses your feelings and your thoughts to provide guidance, even of a prophetic nature. I just cannot reconcile that with the fact that the Lord gave us the Scripture for our learning, for correction, for prophecy - is His Word not sufficient?"
At first I thought Lavoietheway was saying God cannot even do this for an individual believer. However upon doing a more careful reading of the entire thread I see the question really is if God will speak through a "prophet" to the church at large, since we already have scripture. As the thread developed, there was more and more explanation on the need to test the spirit. I apologize for being hasty and missing the overall message.
As some have already explained, I do believe he can speak through prophets today.
Prophecy is speaking words of comfort, exhortation and edification to another person. I believe in addition to "forth telling" prophecy can also "foretell". For example, tell a future event for someone's personal life or something that God would like to do in the church at large . It can also remind or alert us of an event already prophesied by the bible. It must always line up with what scripture say and what scripture reveals about the character of God.
Because, God is relational ( he longs for us and is himself a "Trinity") I suspect he still uses prophecy, even though scripture is complete, so that we can learn to depend on one another, be humbled and relate to each other.
"two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said." 1 Corinthians 4:32
It takes humility to recieve a prophecy from God and humility to have a prophecy you gave be tested and scrutinized.
Also, hearing a prophecy from another believer can confirm to you think God is telling you.
In my other post I wanted to stress balance, that we should neither throw away prophetic revelations nor trust them above scripture. Too often once some people get off balance and begin to trust their experiences over scriptures, there will be a cry to "stick with scriptures" as in don't even consider experience anymore. I believe this also wrong. You can easily become pharisaic if you are overly skeptical of dreams, visions, instruction or moves that actually come from the Holy Spirit. This is equally as dangerous as relying only on your experience. You still resist God and can even grieve him by rejecting a prophecy without even testing it.
Of course I'm 100% for testing the spirits. But because it common for us to go from one extreme to the other, I believe this is why Paul said these words " Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. " 1 Thess. 5:19-20
So, we can have the word and spiritual experience as long as we remember to test all things against the word of God and consult with other mature believers.
"Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?
Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes"