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Destiny Image Books by James W. Goll
Intercession: ThePower and Passion to ShapeHistory
James W. Goll 365-DayPersonal Prayer Guide
Prayer Storm: TheHour That Changes theWorld
Prayer Storm StudyGuide
Shifting Shadows of Supernatural Experiences
TheCall of theElijah Revolution
byJames W. Goll and Lou Engle
TheSeer Devotional Journal
TheLost Art of Intercession
TheLost Art of Practicing His Presence
Destiny Image Books by
James W. Goll andMichal AnnGoll
Compassion: ACall to TakeAction
Dream Language: ThePropheticPower of Dreams, Revelations, and
theSpirit of Wisdom
God Encounters : ThePropheticPower of theSupernatural to Change
ACall to theSecret Place
This book and all other Destiny Image, Revival Press, MercyPlace,
Fresh Bread, Destiny ImageFiction, and TreasureHousebooks are
availableat Christian bookstores and distributors worldwide.
For aU.S. bookstorenearest you, call 1-800-722-6774.
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ISBN 13 TP: 978-0-7684-4110-9
ISBN 13 Ebook: 978-0-7684-8856-2
For WorldwideDistribution, Printed in theU.S.A.
With agrateful heart I wish to acknowledgetheteamefforts of the
excellent staff at Destiny Image, our wonderful staff at Encounters
Network, theintercessory forceof our prayer shield, and thesupport
of my dear family. Blessings upon blessings to all of you.
Havingmoved in and out of various circles of theprophetic
movement for thepast 35 plus years, I havehad theopportunity of
tastingand participatingin awidevariety of propheticexpression. I
amgrateful to theLord for this diverseexposureand trust that the
reader will benefit fromthoseyears of preparation and cross-
pollination to composethis book.
With aheart of honor to whomhonor is due, I wish to dedicate
this book to threefathers who haveimmensely impacted my journey.
They areeach uniqueseers, each with 80 plus years of lifeexperience
—John Sandford, Bob Jones, and Paul Cain. Thank you, Lord, for
thesefatherly seers who havepioneered away for thenext generation
of eagles to ariseand fly!
James W. Goll
James Goll is oneof themost respected propheticpatriarchs of our
time. Hehas incrediblepropheticinsight and amazingforesight that
mergein away that I havenever experienced in anybody else. This
gives James theextraordinary ability to understand thespirit world
and articulateit in amanner that launches believers into their divine
Beforemy friend James Goll wroteTheSeer, I taught peoplethat
therewas no differencebetween aprophet and aseer. Then I bought
James’ book and read it in onenight! I was stunned by his revelation
on theseer and theway hedescribed thedistinctions between
different propheticpeople. I haverecommended this book to literally
thousands of Christians all over theworld. Wealso haveabi annual
school of theprophets at Bethel Church, and weuseTheSeer as part
of our curriculum.
Every person who wants to grow in thepropheticministry needs
to read this book. This book unearths mysteries hidden sincethedays
of KingDavid’s seer named Gad. A decadefromnow, TheSeer will
bereferenced as oneof thefundamental, reformational resources of
our time. James lays afoundation with this book that will bebuilt
upon for generations. Thank you, James, for beingaprophet to this
generation, but even more, for beingafather to multiplethousands of
Co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry
Author of seven books, includingTheSupernatural Ways of
Senior associateleader of Bethel Church, Redding, California
In his book, TheSeer, James Goll takes you on ajourney through
timeback to thebeginnings and endings of theseer and demonstrates
how in modern times wearestill seeingand needingtheseer ministry
to berelevant. James gives accounts of his own lifeas aseer and
shows thereader theups and downs through teachinghow theseer in
himhas matured. I highly recommend this book to all thosewho are
prophetically seeing, so they can develop their anointing.
Dr. Jeremy Lopez
Founder of IdentityNetwork.net
Few can broach thebiblically real, yet spiritually ethereal roleof
theseer likeJames Goll. Theseer’s lifeis itself ametaphor, and
James captures this distinction with both theseasoned skill of a
propheticveteran and theinsight of onewith heightened spiritual
acuity honed by years spent walkingwith God. For thosewho havea
revelatory gift, this book may makeyour entirelifemakesense.
John Paul Jackson
When I first entered theworld of spirit-filled believers, I had been
apastor for 14 years. Thefirst prophet I met was very eccentric; I
didn’t understand his symboliclanguage, and I was confused. In the
years to come, I met many propheticpeople. I can still remember the
night I sat across thetablefromJames Goll and began askinghim
questions about thepropheticrealmand thevarious ways God
reveals things through both hearingand seeing.
James was very helpful in helpingmeunderstand theways wecan
hear and seetheactivity of God in our lives. I havehad James over
theyears speak at my church and at my conferences on the
prophetic. Hehas theuniquegift of beingableto explain therealmof
mystery in ways that arecomprehensibleto thosewho havenot yet
experienced thoserealms. Hegives to theuninitiated in theprophetic
realmclarity of understandingand thehopethat even theuninitiated
can beapprehended by thegraceof God and theSpirit of God and
enter into thepropheticseer realmthemselves. I highly recommend
James’ book, TheSeer.
Founder, Global Awakening
James Goll is apersonal friend and aco-minister in theKingdom. I
loveit when our paths coincideat events and happenings. Whatever
timeI spend with James is always interesting, funny, and insightful.
This book is afascinatingmixof biblically based research and
inspiringrevelation. It is full of principles, guidelines, and values
regardinghow thepropheticperson should operate. A trueprophetic
voicehas both foresight and insight regardingfutureevents and the
ways of theLord. This is abook that will enableand empower
peopleto seemorein theSpirit and develop thecapacity to interpret
what they seemoreeffectively.
James is agreat storyteller and understands lifeas ajourney. The
Seer follows that perspectivefaithfully, as James helps us to navigate
thepathways that arecommon in thedevelopment of prophetic
people. This book is rich with experienceand revelatory insights. It
provides us with places to stand, ponder, and betransformed. Do not
usethis book in asuperficial manner. This material has been hard
fought for and gained through much struggle, pain, and sacrifice. Great
things never comeeasy. This book will saveyou fromthepitfalls,
dead ends, and wrongturns that you would havemadeby yourself.
James is atraveler, apioneer and atrailblazer. Follow his footsteps;
drink fromtheimprints that hemakes as hewalks you through into a
placeof passionatepursuit of God’s intimacy and presence.
This book is morethan amanual, though it blends themystical
with thepractical in apowerful way. This book is not astudy guide;
it’s amap that takes you into uncharted territory and tells you where
all thenecessities for livingthis lifearelocated. Thereareclues in the
manuscript that tell you how to travel. You will need to keep this
book close. On your own journey you will refer to it often. In my
meditation suiteat home, I haveasmall bookcasenear my writing
desk. Theseareall thebooks that I would saveif therewereafire.
They areall thereferencetools that I both loveand need for my own
journey. TheSeer is on that bookcase; it’s that important.
Chapter OneSEERAND PROPHET: TWO PROPHETIC
Chapter Two DIMENSIONSOF THEPROPHETICANOINTING
Chapter ThreeVISION: THEPOWERTHAT SUSTAINS
Chapter Four THEDIVERSITYOF VISIONARYSTATES
Section Two SPIRITUALDISCERNMENT
Chapter FiveWISELYJUDGING REVELATORYENCOUNTERS
Chapter SixDISCERNING OF SPIRITS
Section ThreeDREAMS, VISIONS, AND OTHERHEAVENLY
Chapter Seven DREAM LANGUAGE
Chapter Eight LEVELSOF SUPERNATURALVISIONS
Chapter NineTHEECSTATICREALMSOF THESPIRIT
Section Four INTIMACY: THEGOALOFALLTHINGS
Chapter Ten STANDING IN THECOUNCILOF GOD
Chapter Eleven HIDDEN STREAMSOF THEPROPHETIC
Chapter TwelveTHEKEYOF INTIMACYTO OPEN HEAVENS
Day 1 SEERAND PROPHET: TWO PROPHETICSTREAMS
Day 2 THESEERREALM
Day 3 TWO PROPHETICSTREAMS: CONTRASTSAND
Day 4 DIMENSIONSOF THEPROPHETICANOINTING
Day 5 UNDERSTANDING THEPROPHETICANOINTING
Day 6 POISON AND ANTIDOTE
Day 7 VISION: THEPOWERTHAT SUSTAINS
Day 8 THEVISION THAT SUSTAINED ZECHARIAH
Day 9 SEEKING THEVISION THAT SUSTAINSUS
Day 10 THEDIVERSITYOF VISIONARYSTATES—PART 1
Day 11 THEDIVERSITYOF VISIONARYSTATES—PART 2
Day 12 THEDIVERSITYOF VISIONARYSTATES—PART 3
Day 13 WISELYJUDGING REVELATORYENCOUNTERS
Day 14 SOURCESOF REVELATION
Day 15 FIFTEEN WISDOM ISSUES
Day 16 DISCERNING OF SPIRITS
Day 17 DISCERNING THEHOLYSPIRIT, ANGELS, HUMAN
SPIRITS, AND EVILSPIRITS
Day 18 THEPURPOSEOF THEGIFT OF DISCERNMENT
Day 19 GUIDELINESFOROPERATING IN THEGIFT OF
Day 20 DREAM LANGUAGE
Day 21 THESYMBOLICLANGUAGEOF DREAMS
Day 22 WISDOM POINTSTO REMEMBER
Day 23 LEVELSOF SUPERNATURALVISIONS
Day 24 VISIONS, DREAMS, AND MESSAGES
Day 25 OPEN HEAVEN
Day 26 HEAVENLYVISITATION
Day 27 THEECSTATICREALMSOF THESPIRIT
Day 28 CAUGHT UP IN THESPIRIT
Day 29 EXAMPLESOF VISIONARYREVELATION
Day 30 STANDING IN THECOUNCILOF GOD
Day 31 IN CLOSEDELIBERATION
Day 32 GOD SPEAKSBEFOREHEACTS
Day 33 BEING THERE
Day 34 GIVING OURSELVESTO THEPROCESS
Day 35 HIDDEN STREAMSOF THEPROPHETIC
Day 36 LISTEN, WATCH, WAIT
Day 37 THEGOALOF OURJOURNEY
Day 38 THEKEYOF INTIMACYTO OPEN HEAVENS
Day 39 A DOORIN HEAVEN
Day 40 OPEN THEDOOR
Welivein aday when all too many “scholars”and even believers
havereduced theWord of God to apurely rational and logical
explanation. Granted, theWord of God appeals as reasonableand
logical in its unfoldingto thehuman mind, provided that mind is
surrendered, yielded, and in theprocess of beingtransformed by the
Spirit! Thenatural mind is not capableof receivinganything
whatsoever fromtheSpirit of God. TheScriptures areGod-breathed,
and thebreath of God is theSpirit of God. In fact, thebreath of God
was experienced by all thosewho penned thesacred writings. In order
for that to occur, theindividuals who wrotehad to haveexperienced
theexperienceof beingmoved by thebreath, thewind, and theSpirit
In thebeginning, thewind and breath of God, theSpirit of God,
brooded, hovered, and vibrated over chaos and brought about order.
TheSpirit of God manifests thepresenceof God. You cannot know
thepresenceof God purely by logicand reason. Thepresenceof God
can only beknown by experience, and that experienceis tantamount
to revelation. Your eyes haveto beopened, your heart has to become
vibrant and alive, and your ear has to beattuned to alevel beyond the
normal octaves that thehuman ear can hear. Jesus Himself quotes the
prophet Isaiah in Mark’s Gospel whileexplainingtheparableof the
soils, and says that theproblemwith thehuman condition in its fallen
stateis that it has affected theeyes, theears, and theheart.
Theactual words of Isaiah areas follows:
Render thehearts of this peopleinsensitive, their ears dull, and
their eyes dim. Otherwisetheymight seewith their eyes, hear with
their ears, understand [actually theword implies “to discern”] with
their hearts, and return and behealed (Isaiah 6:10).
When theSpirit is released both upon and within people, their
eyes, ears, and hearts areopened to aworld beyond their limited
seeing, hearing, feeling, and discerning. That world is themorereal yet
invisibleworld. It is theworld fromwhich thevisibleworld derives
its existence. When peoplearebrought out of therealmof darkness
and ignorance, therealmof thefallen natureand therealmof the
powers of darkness, and translated into theKingdomof God’s
beloved Son, theSpirit reveals Himto their hungry hearts, minds, and
Thetestimony of Jesus is thespirit of prophecy (seeRev. 19:10).
Thereis aMan in theglory, and Heis orderingour lives anew by His
Spirit broodingdeep within us and openingup to us worlds beyond
our natural ways of knowing. What makes us uniquely thepeopleof
God is that wearecalled to bepeopleof theSpirit. Immersed in that
Spirit, our speech changes, becauseour eyes, ears, and hearts have
been opened to seebeyond theworld in front of our eyes to the
world that lies behind what our eyes can see.
In theOld Covenant, Jeremiah tells us that theearmark of true
prophets was that they stood in thedivinecouncil and conclave(see
Jer. 23:18). In theNew Covenant, theDay of Pentecost caught the
entireChurch up into thedivinecouncil. Potentially, every believer
has access to that which exists beforethevery throneof God. The
reason I say “potentially”is becausemany of God’s children fail to
yield themselves to theexperienceof theSpirit of God and reduce
everythingto alogical explanation. They areeven “taught”by so-
called enlightened theologians that certain experiences areno longer
valid for today sincethey supposedly ceased when thelast of the
original apostles of thefirst-century died.
Liberal theology isn’t theonly dangerous thingtheChurch needs
to watch out for. Fundamental theology that takes away the
experienceof theSpirit in its fullness is just as damagingto thesaints
of God. Over 49 percent of thebook wecall theScriptures is
visionary experience, ecstaticexperience, and propheticexperience—
even in theNew Testament! How can weexpect to experiencethe
truths of almost half of theScriptures by logicand reason alone?It is
Thecomingof theSpirit at Pentecost was thebeginningof an
ongoingevent for theChurch throughout theages. Weneed to be
continually immersed in theworld of theSpirit if weareto see, hear,
feel, and discern thethings that theSpirit of God intends for us to
know and understand. Without that immersion and direct experience,
wewill fail to fulfill our destiny, fail to honor God’s eternal purpose,
and fail to know theFather as Christ intends for us to know Him.
James Goll, aseasoned, powerful, inspiringpropheticvoiceto the
nations, has had alonghistory of seeing, hearing, discerning, and
speakingof thethings that “eyehas not seen, and ear has not heard,
and which havenot entered theheart of [natural] man” (1 Cor. 2:9).
TheSpirit has found in James Goll ayielded vessel who loves the
Father and has theheart of theFather. His reach extends far and wide,
and his depth can only beappreciated by gettingto know theman in
his person and his ministry.
James has doneus agreat serviceby takingthetimeto clarify the
natureof what it means to see, hear, and discern by and in theHoly
Spirit. In theselast great days of visitation, God is growingup a
peoplewho can beeffectivein bringingthethings of theinvisible
world to bear on thevisibleworld. Thereis agreat ingatheringtaking
place, and it is on theincrease, but not becauseof purehuman logic
and reason. Theharvest is beinggathered, becausetheSpirit is moving
again over thechaos of people’s lives and givingthemdirect
experiences with God through His Son theLord Jesus.
It is imperativethat weknow what it means to see, to hear, and to
discern thethings of theworld to which wetruly belong. Theworld
of theSpirit is aworld whereChrist is seen in all His glory, seated on
thethroneat thevery center of theuniverse, and orderingall things
after thecounsel of His will.
Step by step, James will carefully explain to you thenatureof the
propheticexperienceat every level: to hear fromGod, speak for God,
to experienceseeingsomethingthat relates to thenatureof God and
His purpose, and to discern thegenuineexperienceof God in the
Spirit fromthefalseexperiences that arecounterfeited by thepowers
of darkness. His research is biblical and thorough, and his experience
testifies to thetruths of theWord heteaches and upholds. Takeyour
timeas you embark on this study, for it is morethan abook; it is
indeed astudy. It will preparetheway in your heart and lifefor an
eye-opening, ear-opening, heart-opening, and Heaven-opening
experienceof real lifein theSpirit.
Thanks, James, for caringenough to sharetheFather’s heart by
sharingyour heart. Weareageneration in need of hearingwhat the
Spirit is saying, and wewant to thank you for helpingus to do just
Mark J. Chironna, PhD
TheMaster’s Touch International Church
In order to understand theseer realm, onemust first understand the
differencebetween theseer and theprophet. Most peoplein the
Body of Christ seeno difference. I believeit is critical that we
understand thesedistinctions. What is thedifferencebetween a
prophet and aseer?Thedistinction will becomeclearer, I hope, in the
pages that follow, but for now let us say that all trueseers are
prophets, but not all prophets areseers.
Another way to look at this is to turn it around and think of a
great propheticriver flowingfromthethroneof God that breaks into
two streams—theprophet and theseer—which then givedifferent
degrees or dimensions or facets of propheticimpartation. Either way,
it should beclear that both streams areimportant for thefull
expression of theLord’s propheticword to His peoplein our day.
Thereis anew anointingfor anew generation, an enablement and a
gracingto unveil God’s purposes and desire, both verbally and
visually. This propheticanointingis manifested in avariety of
dimensions that express thediversity of God’s approach to working
in our world.
Propheticministry is established on propheticvision, and it is this
vision that sustains that ministry. Thepropheticlight of vision
introduces us to theprocess of change, achangewhich is thekey to
growth and understanding.
TheHoly Spirit is thesourceof vision. Though thereis only one
Holy Spirit, Heworks in avariety of ways. As Paul said to the
church at Corinth, therearevarieties of gifts and varieties of effects.
This diversity applies to visionary states and experiences. Oncewe
understand different visionary states, wewill haveabetter ideaof
how thepropheticseer anointingworks.
TheNileis truly oneof thegreat rivers of theworld. Includingits
tributaries, theNileis also thelongest river in theworld, runningover
4,100 miles fromits beginningin theheart of theAfrican continent to
its mouth in Egypt, whereit flows into theMediterranean Sea. For
thousands of years, thewaters of theNilehavesustained thelives of
thosewho dwell alongits banks and on its flood plain. Few other
rivers havebeen as vital to theriseor fall of human cultureand
civilization alongtheir banks as has theNile.
As mighty as theNileis, however, it begins its lifeas two rivers,
rather than one. TheWhiteNileflows fromLakeVictoriain
Tanzania, and theBlueNilefromLakeTanain Ethiopia. Thesetwo
watercourses cometogether in Khartoum, in theSudan, to formthe
Egyptian Nile, which then runs over 1,600 miles northward on its
way to thesea. Two separatestreams, each strongand significant in
its own right, join together, with each addingits strength to theother
to formonemighty river that nurtures and sustains lifealongits entire
In thespiritual realm, theflow of thepropheticfromHeaven to
earth resembles theNileRiver. Just as theWhiteNileand theBlue
Nilejoin to createthegreater river called theEgyptian Nile, two
streams of propheticanointingcometogether to feed thegreater
concourseof themighty propheticriver of God on earth. Wecan call
thesetwo streams thestreamof theprophet and thestreamof the
Another way to look at this, as I mentioned in theintroduction to
this section, is to turn it around and think of agreat propheticriver
flowingfromthethroneof God that breaks into two streams—the
prophet and theseer—which then givedifferent degrees or
dimensions or facets of propheticimpartation. Either way, it should
beclear that both streams areimportant for thefull expression of the
Lord’s propheticword to His peoplein our day.
Prophecy andProphet Defined
In order to understand thedifferencebetween theprophet and the
seer better, weneed to definesomefoundational terms. Many
Christians today areconfused about theprophetic—what it is and
how it operates. First of all, then, what do wemean by theword
Kenneth Hagin, thelatefather of themodern faith movement,
Prophecy is supernatural utterancein aknown tongue. The
Hebrew word “to prophesy”means “to flow forth.”It also carries
with it thethought “to bubbleforth likeafountain, to let drop, to lift
up, to tumbleforth, and to springforth.”TheGreek word that is
translated “prophesy”means “to speak for another.”It means to
speak for God or to beHis spokesman.1
Accordingto Dick Iverson, former senior pastor of BibleTemple
in Portland, Oregon:
Thegift of prophecy is speakingunder thedirect supernatural
influenceof theHoly Spirit. It is becomingGod’s mouthpiece, to
verbalizeHis words as theSpirit directs. TheGreek word propheteia
means “speakingforth themind and counsel of God.”It is inseparable
in its New Testament usagewith theconcept of direct inspiration of
theSpirit. Prophecy is thevery voiceof Christ speakingin the
Iverson’s last statement is oneof thebest definitions of prophecy
I haveever heard: prophecy is theveryvoiceof Christ speakingin the
Thelateinternational Bibleteacher Derek Prince, thespiritual
father who impacted my lifemorethan any other leader, defined
prophecy in thefollowingway:
Thegift of prophecy is thesupernaturally imparted ability to hear
thevoiceof theHoly Spirit and speak God’s mind or counsel.
Prophecy ministers not only to theassembled group of believers, but
also to individuals. Its threemain purposes are:
To edify = to build up, strengthen, to makemoreeffective.
To exhort = to stimulate, to encourage, to admonish.
To comfort = to cheer up.
Thus prophecy overcomes two of satan’s most common attacks:
condemnation and discouragement.3
David Pytches, arespected author and former Spirit-filled
Anglican bishop, says:
Thegift of prophecy is thespecial ability that God gives to
members of thebody of Christ to receiveand to communicatean
immediatemessageof God to His gathered people, agroup among
them, or any oneof His peopleindividually, through adivinely
I assimilateall theseunderstandings by statingthat prophecy
means theexpressed thoughts of God spoken in alanguagethat no
people, in their natural gifts of speech, could articulateon their own.
Thesubstanceand natureof prophecy exceed thelimits that the
human mind is capableof thinkingor imagining. Its purposeis to
edify, exhort, and comfort either individuals or thecorporateBody of
Christ. Although prophecy comes through themouth or pen of
people, it comes from themind of God.
A prophet or prophetess then, is aspokesperson for God, one
who hears thevoiceof theHoly Spirit and speaks or pens God’s
mind or counsel through a“divinely anointed manner.”
Theword prophet appears morethan 300 times in theOld
Testament and morethan 100 times in theNew Testament. In the
Old Testament, theHebrew word used most often for “prophet”is
theword nabiy’ (nahbi). Hereareafew examples.
Accordingto Genesis, Abrahamwas aprophet:
Nowtherefore, restoretheman’s [Abraham’s] wife, for heis a
prophet [nabiy’], and hewill prayfor you and you will live. But if you
do not restoreher, knowthat you shall surelydie, you and all who are
yours (Genesis 20:7).
Thesamewas said about Moses:
Sincethat timeno prophet [nabiy’] has risen in Israel likeMoses,
whom theLord knewfaceto face(Deuteronomy 34:10).
As spokesman for his brother, Aaron was also aprophet:
Then theLord said to Moses, “See, I makeyou as God to
Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall beyour prophet” [nabiy’]
God called Jeremiah as aprophet even beforehewas born:
BeforeI formed you in thewomb I knewyou, and beforeyou were
born I consecrated you; I haveappointed you a prophet [nabiy’] to
thenations (Jeremiah 1:5).
Malachi spokeof aprophet who would appear in thelast days:
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah theprophet [nabiy’] before
thecoming of thegreat and terribledayof theLord (Malachi 4:5).
FromJesus’ own words in Matthew 11:14, weknow that this
Scripturein Malachi refers to John theBaptist.
In aversethat many peoplebelieverefers to Jesus, theMessiah,
God promised to raiseup another prophet as aspiritual successor to
I will raiseup a prophet [nabiy’] from among their countrymen
likeyou, and I will put Mywords in his mouth, and heshall speak to
them all that I command him (Deuteronomy 18:18).
Theword nabiy’ has to do with hearingand speaking, with beinga
“mouthpiece”for God, declaringthat which onehas heard. A nabiy’
prophet is aperson who speaks on behalf of asuperior. In Aaron’s
case, this was Moses and, ultimately, God. In thecaseof every
biblical prophet, in fact, God was thesuperior for whomthey spoke.
Their words originated with Him. Heplanted His word in their hearts
and mouths, and they in turn declared it to thepeople. In short,
nabiy’ prophets arespeakers who declaretheword that God has
given to them.
Imparting the Prophetic
God imparts this propheticword in anumber of ways. All
prophecy comes fromGod through theHoly Spirit, but it operates
differently in different people. TheOld Testament uses several
different Hebrew terms to describethevarious modes of impartation.
First, accordingto Strong’s Concordance, thereis nataf, which
means “to let drop likerain.”This describes aslow, gentleprocess
wherethepropheticword comes upon us littleby littleand
accumulates in our spirits over aperiod of time. It is likebeingin a
certain placeand havingthemist of God descend around us and
slowly permeateour spirits. Somehavedescribed it as beinglikea
spongethat gradually soaks up and absorbs the“raindrops”of the
propheticpresenceof theLord until they fill up and overflow.
Thesecond Hebrew word listed in Strong’s Concordancefor
propheticimpartation is massa, which refers to the“hand of the
Lord”that releases the“burden of theLord.”When God’s hand
comes upon us, Heimparts somethingto us—aprophetic
“burden”—and when His hand lifts, that burden remains. TheLord
deposits somethingin our spirits that was not therebefore; and even
after Helifts His hand, wecarry that burden as aword or commission
fromHim. Helays on us a“burden”for aparticular situation, and we
may carry that impartation for days, weeks, months, or even years.
For example, it might beaburden over theabortion situation in the
United States. God’s hand comes upon us and then departs, leaving
behind asupernatural enablement of grace, aHoly Spirit endowment
to prophesy and intercedein away wenever could before. I have
addressed this themethoroughly in my book Kneeling on the
Promises: Birthing God’s Purposes Through PropheticIntercession.
Another word found in Strong’s Concordancefor prophetic
impartation is nabiy’, which as wehavealready seen, is theaction of
“flowingforth,”or “bubblingforth likeafountain.”This perfectly
describes theinspirational gift of prophecy weseeso often in
meetings, particularly in asettingof aplurality of elders and
seasoned, gifted individuals workingtogether as acoordinated team—
the“propheticpresbytery”(see1 Tim. 4:14).
Within theoverall realmof theprophet lies theparticular and
distinctiverealmof theseer. Remember that I said all trueseers are
prophets, but not all prophets areseers. Theword seer describes a
particular typeof prophet who receives aparticular typeof
propheticrevelation or impartation.
Accordingto Strong’s Concordance, theOld Testament uses two
words primarily to refer to aseer: ra’ah and chozeh. Ra’ah literally
means “to see,”particularly in thesenseof seeingvisions. Other
meanings include“to gaze,”“to look upon,”and “to perceive.”
Chozeh literally means “abeholder in vision”and can also be
translated as “gazer”or “stargazer.”
With thesedefinitions now in place, thedistinction between a
prophet (nabiy’) and aseer (ra’ah or chozeh) becomes alittleclearer.
When it comes to propheticrevelation, aprophet is primarily an
inspired hearer and then speaker, whileaseer is primarily visual. In
other words, theprophet is thecommunicativedimension, and the
seer is thereceptivedimension. Whereas nabiy’ emphasizes theactive
work of theprophet in speakingforth amessagefromGod, ra’ah and
chozeh focus on theexperienceor means by which theprophet “sees
or perceives”that message. Thefirst places emphasis on aprophet’s
relationship with thepeople; thesecond places emphasis on a
prophet’s revelatory relationship with God.
Apparently, seers werecommonly employed in theroyal court to
offer counsel to theking. Asaph and Gad wereboth seers in King
Moreover, King Hezekiah and theofficials ordered theLevites to
sing praises to theLord with thewords of David and Asaph theseer.
So theysang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped (2
When David arosein themorning, theword of theLord cameto
theprophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and speak to David,
‘Thus theLord says, “I am offering you threethings; choosefor
yourself oneof them, which I will do to you” ’ ” (2 Samuel 24:11-12).
In contrast, Nathan also served KingDavid, but theBiblecalls him
Theking said to Nathan theprophet, “Seenow, I dwell in a house
of cedar, but theark of God dwells within thetent curtains.” And
Nathan said to theking, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for theLord
is with you.” But in thesamenight theword of theLord cameto
Nathan, saying, “Go and sayto Myservant David, ‘Thus says the
Lord, “Areyou theonewho should build Mea houseto dwell in?”’”
(2 Samuel 7:2-5)
Asaph was aseer and Gad was aseer, but Nathan was aprophet.
Noticealso that Second Samuel 24:11 refers to Gad as both aprophet
and aseer. Oneinterestingversethat contains all threeHebrew words
is First Chronicles 29:29:
Nowtheacts of King David, from first to last, arewritten in the
chronicles of Samuel theseer [ra’ah], in thechronicles of Nathan the
prophet [nabiy’] and in thechronicles of Gad theseer [chozeh].
Another Scriptureclearly reveals theinfluenceof prophets and
seers in ancient Israel and their position as spokespeoplefor God:
He[Hezekiah] then stationed theLevites in thehouseof theLord
with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to thecommand of
David and of Gad theking’s seer [chozeh], and of Nathan theprophet
[nabiy’]; for thecommand was from theLord through His prophets
(2 Chronicles 29:25).
Nabiy’ prophets and ra’ah and chozeh seers areall legitimate
expressions of God’s propheticstream. As far as propheticgiftingis
concerned, prophets and seers areequally valid. First Samuel 9:9
Formerlyin Israel, when a man went to inquireof God, heused to
say, “Come, and let us go to theseer” [ra’ah]; for hewho is called a
prophet [nabiy’] nowwas formerlycalled a seer [ra’ah].
All trueseers areprophets, but not all prophets areseers. A
prophet may havetheparticular graceto hear and proclaimtheword
of theLord and yet not necessarily function as profusely in the
revelatory visionary capacity as aseer does. Theseer, on theother
hand, may movequiteremarkably in this visionary dreamcapacity,
yet not beas deep in theinspirational audiblegraces of hearingand
speaking. Nevertheless, both moveand operatein theprophetic
realm, but in different capacities or dimensions.
Theseer realmdescribes awholeother aspect of theway the
propheticoperation occurs. Generally speaking, seers arepeoplewho
seevisions in aconsistent and regular manner. For themost part, their
propheticanointingis morevisionarythan auditory. Rather than
receivingwords that they attempt to repeat or flow with, they often
seepictures that they then describe. Thesepictures may bein the
formof wakingvisions, or as dreams whilesleeping.
I know many propheticnabiy’ peoplewho arenot seers at all and
who do not movein dreamrealms, but arenonetheless strong
propheticvessels. At thesametime, I know other peoplewho are
profoundly gifted in “seeing”—they seeangels, demons, lights and
colors, dreams and visions—but who do not manifest as much in the
inspirational capacity to encouragepeoplespontaneously and
Oneof thedifferences is that, whereas thepropheticword of a
nabiy’ is often spontaneous and activated by faith, that of ara’ah or
chozeh seer is moredependent upon themanifested presenceof God.
Many seers will seesomethingbeforehand. For example, beforegoing
to ameetingor strategicappointment, aseer may receiveapictureof
acertain person at that meetingsittingin acertain placedressed in a
certain color. Theseer may even begiven theperson’s name. Later, in
themeeting, theseer will begin scanningthecrowd lookingfor that
particular person. If that person is actually there, this becomes a
“green light”for theseer to moveforward. For seers, seeingin the
natural what they had already seen in thespirit activates their faith
and calls forth couragewithin them.
This kind of propheticanointinghas alot to do with quietly
waitingon God. Therearetimes, as observed frommy own
experienceand that of others, when onewaits on God for what seems
to bean extended period of time, only to haveHimcomeat thelast
minute. Quiteoften, impartation in theseer realmcomes only after a
timeof patient waitingand contemplativemeditation upon theLord. I
haveoften heard it stated: God is slow but Heis always on time! But
thank theLord, if wewait, Hewill come!
Latter-Day Prophetic Streams
In recent years, wehavewitnessed there-emergenceof two
distinct propheticstreams that first appeared over 50 years ago: the
seer visionary streamand thenabiy’ verbal stream. As spiritual
fathers, Bob Jones perhaps represents thefirst, whileBishop Bill
Hamon exemplifies thesecond. Founder and director of Christian
International Ministries in Florida, Dr. Hamon described themid-
twentieth-century emergenceof thesetwo propheticstreams that
havereappeared in recent years:
Two streams of restoration cameforth in 1947-48. Onewas the
Latter Rain Movement, which restored thepracticeof…thelayingon
of hands…as well as extensivecongregational prophesying….They
emphasized movinginto thepropheticrealmby faith, graceand
gifting. Theother restoration streamwas what was termed “The
Healingand DeliveranceMovement.”Their restorational emphasis
was layingon of hands for healing, deliveranceand world evangelism
by preachingwith signs and wonders. Both groups wereof God and
Oneof thefather figures in theLatter Rain Movement was aman
named David Shoch, whileWilliamBranhamwas astrongly anointed
leader in theHealingand DeliveranceMovement. Onewas anabiy’
prophet, whiletheother was achozeh seer. Each movement had
different manifestations and operations.
Theseparallel streams appeared in themid-1940s and began to
wanein theearly 1950s, but both havere-emerged over thepast 20
years or so. As amatter of fact, thecurrent expression of themodern
propheticmovement in Americaappeared in thelate1980s, centered
in multiplelocations: yet was distinctly at that timein Kansas City
Fellowship (later Metro Vineyard Fellowship, then Metro Christian
Fellowship, and today IHOP-KC) in Kansas City, Missouri. Its then
lead pastor was, MikeBickle, alongwith prophets such as Bob
Jones, John Paul Jackson, Paul Cain, and others. At that time, I also,
was recognized as oneof the“Kansas City Prophets.”
Central to this new emphasis on prophecy werethreecore
convictions: “that thepropheticgift should berestored in theChurch,
that prophecy is anatural, biblical means for God to speak to his
people, and that…this increased propheticactivity is asign of the
emergenceof thelast-days victorious Church.”6
Modern-day prophecy in theChurch consists of threeparts—
revelation, interpretation, and application. Great caremust always be
exercised becauseof thedanger of falliblehuman instruments
misconstruingeither theinterpretation or theapplication or both,
which happened fairly often in theearly days. Themovement has
grown to encompass multiplestreams and locations and has matured
greatly sincethat time, as haveits practitioners.
Clearly, thecentral propheticfigures in theearly portion of the
Kansas City propheticmovement wereBob Jones and Paul Cain.
Both haveamazingstories of their own.
Paul was born to amother who was miraculously healed of
terminal tuberculosis, heart disease, and cancer shortly beforehis
birth. Hereceived his first visit fromtheLord when hewas eight.
Even as ateenager, hewas on thehealingcircuit, prophesyingto
peopleby tellingthemtheir names, their ailments, and that God was
healingthem. By the1950s hehad afull-timetravelingministry and a
television program. Then, likeso many revivalists of that period, he
seemed to go into an eclipse. Heceased his travelingministry, gaveup
his television show, and retreated out of thepubliceyeto rekindlehis
lovefor God and devotion to holiness. Paul was released by theLord
in later years with asurgeof impact. Sincethen, hehas been to the
mountaintop of global ministry, to thepits of failure, and then again
in amodeof restoration.
Bob Jones, on theother hand, had an angelicvisitation in his youth
by an angel of theLord when residingin rural Arkansas. It was years
later, after beingin themilitary, that Bob truly surrendered his heart
to Jesus and responded to thecallingon his lifeas aseer prophet.
Bob was brought back fromanear-death experienceto be
commissioned by theLord to anoint leaders who would participatein
theend-timeharvest of onebillion souls cominginto theKingdom.7
In addition to thesetwo streams, I believetherearemany other
smaller streams of propheticanointingthat arevariations of the
others. TheChristian Church today is experiencingher greatest period
of propheticimpartation sincethefirst-century. Theriver is
widening, deepeningand growing. Let theriver flow!
Two Prophetic Streams: Contrasts and
By contrastingand comparingtheprophet and seer streams, we
can gain abetter understandingof how thetwo work together and
complement each other in bringingout thefullest expression of God’s
In general, as wesaw before, thenabiy’ propheticanointingtends
toward theaudibleand verbal and is moreacommunicative
dimension. Prophets in this streamoften work in aplurality of
leadership. Seasoned and gifted individuals, both men and women,
minister through thelayingon of hands, relatingprophecy to
individuals or to thecorporateBody as it is revealed to them. This
ministry often utilizes thespiritual gifts of tongues and the
interpretation of tongues, prophecy, and words of knowledge. Nabiy’
prophets “hear”aword in their spirits and begin by releasingthis
unction. This kind of prophecy tends to bemorespontaneous and
with afaster flow than “seer”prophecy, with inspiration as the
Ra’ah or chozeh seers, on theother hand, tend moretoward single-
person ministry versus theplurality of ateam. Theseer anointing
emphasizes visions and therevelatory gifts mingled with thegift of
discerningof spirits rather than theaudible, speakinggifts. Within the
visionary dimension therearetwo basiclevels of “seeing”: visual and
Visual “seeing”involves insights, revelations, warnings, and
prophecies fromtheSpirit of God that may comein supernatural
visual dreams. In such instances, peopleseeGod’s revelation while
their spirits simply observeand receivethemessage. Even though
asleep, thesepeoplemay seetheheavens opened as Ezekiel did in
Ezekiel 1:1 or as John did in Revelation 4:1. Thespecial characteristic
of an open-Heaven typeof vision is that thehigher celestial realms
aredisclosed, and views, patterns, and heavenly sights of God
In contrast, actual “seeing”involves supernatural dreams in which
God’s tangiblepresenceis evident or manifested. To seetheLord in a
dreamis visual, but for Himto manifest Himself to theperson
Becauseseers prophesy primarily by sharingwhat they haveseen,
they often operateat aslower pacethan nabiy’ prophets dueto the
fact that they aretryingto describesupernatural pictures in their own
words. Unlikethegenerally spontaneous natureof nabiy’ prophecy,
seers often receiveinformation ahead of timeto shareat alater date.
Seers often aredependent upon angelicvisitations and the
manifested presenceof God. Consequently, thesepropheticvessels
may appear to havecertain limitations until they sensetheanointing.
This was supposedly thecasewith WilliamBranham, oneof the
leaders of theHealingand DeliveranceMovement in the’40s and
’50s. Oneday in thelate1940s, hehad an angelicencounter that
brought with it gifts of healingand aword of knowledge. Fromthat
day on, WilliamBranhammoved in avery high level of specifics, but
with somelimitations. Sometimes hewould not beableto do
anythinguntil his angels showed up. When theangels came, he
received releasebecauserevelation began to flow.
Prophets and seers represent diversities in thepropheticanointing.
As stableand consistent Dr. Bill Hamon said, both arevalid
ministries, and both areneeded in theChurch today. God never does
anythingby accident or without purpose. It is important for all of us
to nurtureappreciation and respect for all who carry genuine
propheticgiftings, no matter how thosegiftings manifest.
After all, both prophet and seer areservants of thesameLord and
havethesamegoal: to speak that which God has given to themin
order to exhort, edify, and comfort theBody of Christ. In adreamI
had once, Paul Cain cameto meand said, “Theseer hears as much as
hesees; it’s just adifferent deep touch fromthesamedear Jesus.”
Whether nabiy’ or ra’ah, audibleor visual, all prophecy comes
fromthesamesource: God theFather through Jesus Christ by the
present-day ministry of theHoly Spirit. Thepurposeof both the
prophet and theseer is to reveal theglorious wonders of Jesus Christ
and God’s purposein each generation, as well as to bringan
awareness of eternity, Heaven and hell, and theFather’s great
presenceamongHis people—whether by audibleor visual means, and
whether by spontaneous inspiration or by reflectivecontemplation.
Therearetwo scriptural prayers that I haveprayed regularly, even
daily, for over 25 years. I haveprayed themover myself, over my
family and, through theyears, over countless other people. Both
prayers haveto do with theseer anointing—thecapacity to “see”in
Thefirst of theseis Paul’s great prayer in thefirst chapter of
[I pray] that theGod of our Lord Jesus Christ, theFather of glory,
maygiveto you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in theknowledge
of Him. I praythat theeyes of your heart maybeenlightened, so that
you will knowwhat is thehopeof His calling, what aretheriches of
thegloryof His inheritancein thesaints, and what is thesurpassing
greatness of His power toward us who believe. Thesearein
accordancewith theworking of thestrength of His might which He
brought about in Christ, when Heraised Him from thedead and
seated Him at His right hand in theheavenlyplaces, far aboveall rule
and authorityand power and dominion, and everynamethat is
named, not onlyin this agebut also in theoneto come(Ephesians
Every born-again believer has two sets of eyes. Wehaveour
physical eyes, with which weview thephysical, created world
around us. Paul also talks about asecond set of eyes—theeyes of our
hearts, or our inner self—which can beenlightened to perceive
Paul said, “I praythat theeyes of your heart maybe
enlightened….” I pray theprayer somethinglikethis: “Lord, giveme
that spirit of wisdom; grant methat spirit of revelation so that I will
becaptured by Jesus Christ.”Then I pray over theeyes of my heart:
“Releaseshafts of revelation light into them, that I might know the
hopeof Your calling, that I might know theglorious inheritancethat
lives insideof me, and that I might know thesurpassinggreatness of
Your power that works in me.”
I pray this way and encourageyou to do thesamebecauseI am
convinced that any believer can develop theseer capacity. All
prophecy, includingtheseer dimension, is asovereign gift of God, but
I do not believeit is an exclusivegift. Paul’s prayer makes it clear that
if you pray over theeyes of your heart, God will giveyou thespirit
of wisdomand revelation in theknowledgeof Him. This means you
will cometo know theLord in away you never could on your own or
in your own wisdom.
Theother ScriptureI haveprayed constantly for years is found in
Second Kings chapter 6. Hereis thesituation: Thekingof Aram
wants to capturetheprophet Elishaand has sent his army to
surround thecity of Dothan, whereElishais living. Elisha’s servant
sees thegreat army and is terrified:
Nowwhen theattendant of theman of God had risen earlyand
goneout, behold, an armywith horses and chariots was circling the
city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, mymaster! What shall we
do?” So heanswered, “Do not fear, for thosewho arewith us are
morethan thosewho arewith them.” Then Elisha prayed and said,
“O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that hemaysee.” And theLord opened
theservant’s eyes and hesaw; and behold, themountain was full of
horses and chariots of fireall around Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).
This Scriptureshows that wecan pray for someoneelseto be
enlightened. Elishawas aseer; hesaw somethinghis servant could not
see, and heprayed, “O Lord…open his eyes that hemaysee.” It was
such asimpleprayer, and yet theLord answered it. Heenabled the
servant to seeinto thespiritual realm. Through theprayer of aseer
camean impartation to another of thecapacity to see.
Nabiy’ and ra’ah, prophet and seer—both carry theprophetic
anointing, and both haveasignificant ministry fromtheLord. Much
has been written and taught about thenabiy’ propheticstream, but
less has been composed about thera’ah and chozeh streamof more
visionary prophecy. To understand better, wefirst need to takea
closer look at thedifferent varieties of thepropheticanointing. So
comeon thejourney with me, and let’s learn to bless and receivefrom
both streams of thepropheticmovement in our day that together
compriseonegreat river of God.
They called it “thestormof thecentury.”
In March 1993, afriend and I weretravelingin New England,
whereI was scheduled to speak at atotal of sixmeetings in three
different cities. Our itinerary included New Haven, Connecticut;
Providence, RhodeIsland; and Kingston, Massachusetts. I believethe
very names of thesecities weresignificant, particularly in light of
what happened. New Haven is aplaceof peace, aplaceof respiteand
rest. Providencehas to do with thewill of God, and Kingston (or
Kingstown) refers to theplacewherethekinglives and fromwherehe
Wewerein New Haven, Connecticut, when theentireupper third
of theeastern seaboard of theUnited States was slammed with a
snow and icestormpropelled by 80 mile-per-hour winds. Holed up
in our littlecottagein thehills, wewatched as snow and sleet in equal
In theend, only threeof thesixscheduled meetings took place, and
attendanceat thosethreewas only about one-fourth of what it would
havebeen otherwise. Nevertheless, that trip turned out to beatrue
divineappointment for us. Becauseof thestorm, therewereno
meetings at all that Saturday, but it turned out to beareal joy for me
that they did not happen. Rather than feelingremorseor worrying
that wehad somehow missed God and ended up in thewrongplaceat
thewrongtime, weknew wewereexactly whereweweresupposed
to be. Whileweweresnowed in, watchingtheawesomepower of
natureand of nature’s God, wehad somewonderful timeof just
As wewaited and prayed together, simply meditatingbefore
God’s presence, Hebrought meinto arealmwhereI began speaking
prophetically, even though no oneelseexcept my friend was thereto
hear me. I felt at that timethat theLord was sharingpart of His heart
Whilewatchinganews broadcast, weheard thelocal story of a
pregnant woman who went into labor duringthestormand had to be
dugout of her housein order to go to thehospital. Shereached the
hospital just in timeto givebirth to ahealthy baby boy, whomshe
and her husband named Joshua. As aresult, thelocal news media
began referringto theblizzard as “theJoshuaStorm.”
As I pondered on that name, I felt thevoiceof theLord insideme
sayingquietly, “Yes, thereis anew anointingfor anew generation:
My Joshuageneration.”LikeJoshuaof old, who succeeded Moses as
leader of theIsraelites, a“Joshuageneration”receives thebaton from
thegeneration that has pioneered and gonebeforeit. It is ageneration
that takes thepromises spoken to an earlier generation and crosses
over into the“Promised Land”to possess it and to conquer the
enemies that arethere.
Today thereis anew anointingfor anew generation, aJoshua
generation of peoplewho will beborn into thethings of theSpirit in
themidst of agreat spiritual stormthat is sweepingacross our land.
Let’s takeacloser look at this anointing.
Understanding the Prophetic Anointing
Many Scriptures throughout theBiblespeak of theanointing.
Psalm92:10 says, “You haveexalted myhorn likethat of thewild ox;
I havebeen anointed with fresh oil.” Fresh anointingoil is what we
need if wearegoingto beableto fulfill that which theLord has
already spoken of so clearly.
Isaiah 10:27 speaks of thepower of theanointingto break the
yokeof bondage, evil, and oppression:
It shall cometo pass in that daythat his [thekingof Assyria’s]
burden will betaken awayfrom your shoulder, and his yokefrom
your neck, and theyokewill bedestroyed becauseof theanointing oil
Theanointingalso carries thepower to do good and bringhealing:
You knowof Jesus of Nazareth, howGod anointed Him with the
HolySpirit and with power, and howHewent about doing good and
healing all who wereoppressed bythedevil, for God was with Him
Essentially, theanointingis thesupernatural enablement or grace
—themanifested presenceof theHoly Spirit—operatingupon or
through an individual or acorporategroup to producetheworks of
Jesus. It means God with you and God in you; you aretalkingHis
talk and walkingin His shadow.
As an anointed people, weas theBody of Christ havebeen called
to carry aprophetic-typeburden that will causeus to liveon the
cuttingedgeof God’s eternal purpose. Thepropheticministry is but
oneaspect of thefivefold callingof apostles, prophets, evangelists,
pastors, and teachers. As such, it is resident to adegreein every
ministry and moreevident and activein certain ones. God’s ultimate
weapon is aman or awoman who has encountered theprophetic
anointing. God does not anoint projects; Heanoints people!
Peopleanointed with apropheticministry speak theword of the
Lord in thenameof theLord. They carry weight in theChurch by
virtueof theethical, moral, and spiritual urgency of their message.
Their credentials, credibility, and status as propheticvessels stemnot
frombirth or by official designation, but by thepower of their inner
call and by theresponseof thosewho hear them.
Thesinglemost characteristicmark of truepropheticpeopleis the
evidencethat they havestood in thecounsel of God and have
thereforefaithfully declared what they heard fromHis mouth.
Accordingto WilliamRobertson Smith, it is this divineword that
Thepossession of asingletruethought, not derived fromcurrent
religious teaching, but springingup in thesoul as aWord from
Jehovah, Himself, is enough to constituteaprophet.1
Usually, prophets makeno special claimto beheard, but are
content to speak and act and leavethematter there, confident not in
themselves, but in thefact that they haveheard fromGod and that
every word fromHimwill find fulfillment. Their primary concern is
not with thedistant future, but to tell forth thewill of God in the
crisis of their own days. Prophets, then, areessentially interpreters of
Theprophecies of theOld Testament prophets foreshadowed
Christ. Themajor task of New Testament prophets and beyond has
always been to declarethat in Christ all theprophecies of theBible
And likewise, all theprophets who havespoken, from Samuel and
his successors onward, also announced thesedays [i.e., thelife,
death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ] (Acts 3:24).
As to this salvation, theprophets who prophesied of thegracethat
would cometo you madecareful searches and inquiries, seeking to
knowwhat person or timetheSpirit of Christ within them was
indicating as Hepredicted thesufferings of Christ and theglories to
follow(1 Peter 1:10-11).
For thetestimonyof Jesus is thespirit of prophecy(Revelation
Remember that prophecy itself is theexpressed thoughts of God
spoken in alanguagethat no peoplein their natural gift of speech
could articulateon their own. Thesubstanceand natureof prophecy
exceed thelimits of what thenatural mind could conceive. Prophecy
comes through themouth of people, but from themind of God—
spiritual thoughts in spiritual words.
Thepropheticanointingof theSpirit makes itself known in awide
variety of ways. Peoplearedifferent, with different personalities,
cultures, ethnicbackgrounds, and gifts. As Rick Joyner often states,
no two snowflakes arealike! It should not besurprising, then, that
thereis agreatly divergent expression of theministry and officeof the
prophet. Although theresurely aremore, I want to look alittlemore
closely at 12 variations of this propheticgrace. Thesevarious models
represent what theSpirit is doingand desires to do in theChurch.
Together they present amorecompletepictureof thefullness of the
Obviously, thesearepropheticindividuals who moveprimarily in
therealmof dreams and visions—seers, in other words. Depending
upon theparticular sphereof ministry and authority God has given
them, they may bereleased into alargepublicplatform, or their
propheticspheremay bereserved for smaller settings such as their
local church, business, family, or homegroup. In somecases their
callingmay beprimarily privatein nature, limited to their personal
prayer closet and shared only with family members, or, as occasion
permits, afew other people. TheLord does not giveaprophetic
anointingin avoid. Largeor small, every dreamer and visionary has a
“market”or aspherethat heor shecan influence.
Themain purposeof this dream-and-vision anointingis to awaken
thepeopleof God to thespirit realm. It is amiraculous manifestation
of theSpirit that creatively illuminates truth and can confirmthe
direction of God that has been given to others. A good biblical
exampleis theprophet Zechariah (seeZech. 4.) In our own day, Bob
Jones, John Paul Jackson, Paul Cain and others exemplify this seer
prophet realmin an unusual manner.
Prophets Who ProclaimGod’s Corporate Purpose
Peoplewho display this expression of theanointing, whiletrue
propheticvessels, may rarely or never prophesy over individuals in
personal ministry. Their sphereof operation and authority is
different. Especially gifted to discern thetimes and theseasons, they
giveclarity to theoverall direction and purposeof theBody of
Christ, enablingand encouragingtheChurch to riseup into full
Paul is theperfect New Testament example. Although an apostle
and ateacher, Paul also walked under astrongpropheticanointing
that revealed itself as aprofound revelatory gift for uncoveringand
Onecontemporary examplecould beRick Joyner. Although Rick
is an authenticseer, his emphasis is not on individual, personal
prophecies. Rick is almost always found in thesphereof
prophetically declaringand interpretingthecorporatepurposes of
God for our day. Dr. Bill Hamon’s teachingand many books also
reveal God’s overall propheticpurposefor His corporateChurch,
whileFrancis Frangipane, Tommy Tenney, and others point to the
corporatedirection thewind is blowing, too.
Prophets Who ProclaimGod’s Heart
Standards forHis People
Peopleunder this anointingchallengetheChurch by callingfor
holy thoughts, intentions, motives, convictions, and methodologies in
every arenaof life. That is what it means to proclaimGod’s heart
standards for His people. Their purposeis to usher in thefruit of the
Spirit, nurturethecharacter of Christ, and promotepurity and
holiness. Biblical examples of this propheticanointingwould be
Jeremiah in theOld Testament and John theBaptist in theNew
A good contemporary exampleof this anointingwas thelateDavid
Wilkerson, who released theplumb lineof God into theChurch even
as hedeclared thestandards of holiness in apropheticmanner. Just
becausehedid not seevisions, or individually lay hands on people, or
call peopleout by namedoes not mean hewas not prophetic. On the
contrary, perhaps hewas aprophet evangelist, releasingtheWord of
God in an evangelisticmanner that changed lives. Thank God for
others likeSteveHill and Michael Brown, who call us into radical
obedienceto theWord of God.
Prophets Who Proclaim
the Church’s Social Responsibilities andActions
This expression of thepropheticanointingcalls to theChurch to
carefor thewidow, theorphan, thepoor, theoppressed, and the
prisoner—in short, all theneedy who haveno power and no
champion for their cause. Thepurposeis to establish righteousness
and justice. Amos in theOld Testament was just such aprophet. In
thefifth chapter of thebook that bears his name, hesays, “But let
justiceroll down likewaters and righteousness likean ever-flowing
stream” (Amos 5:24).
In recent years, NormStone, with Walk Americafor Life, has been
this kind of prophet. His lifestylegoes somewhat against thegrain of
theChurch and thenation. God has given himauniqueand unusual
propheticcall to prayer walk across theUnited States fromborder to
border—seven times—declaringtheatrocities of abortion and pricking
thehard hearts of theChurch and of thenation to convict us of our
social and moral responsibility. Though often athankless job, it is a
vitally needed ministry.
Another dear friend of minein Nashville, Tennessee, is Scott
MacLeod with Provision International. Though heis first aprophetic
psalmist, hehas given his lifeto theministry of thepoor in theinner-
city projects of thecity I livein. Mark Roye, who heads up our own
Compassion Acts, is such achampion, as is PatriciaKing, with her
global thrust of justiceand mercy. They aresomeof thegrowing
number of champions who call us to put feet to our faith by taking
Prophets Who Speak Forththe Administrative
of GodWitha Political Slant
Wait aminute! Prophets with an administrativegift?Isn’t that a
right brain/left brain conflict?Not at all! Moses was aprophet, and so
wereJoseph and Daniel. All threeof theseOld Testament men of
God carried astrongpropheticanointing, yet all wereextraordinarily
gifted with administrativeand leadership ability.
Moses needed quiteabit of political savvy to lead 3 million
peopleout of 400 years of slavery and get themorganized into a
coherent nation. Joseph moved in theseer realmas an interpreter of
dreams. His propheticgiftingto seewhat was comingput himin a
uniqueposition to speak thecounsel of God to thosewho werein
political authority. As second-in-command to Pharaoh, Joseph was a
powerful and ableadministrator. Daniel also moved in theseer realm
of revelatory dreams and visions, yet hewas themost capableof all
theleaders and administrators under thekingof Babylon.
Duringmy teenageyears, theLord laid on my heart acoupleof
prayers that I began to pray regularly. Thefirst was, “Lord, raiseup
your Josephs. Raiseup your counselors to thePharaohs.”Sometimes
God puts somethingwithin you, and you don’t even fully understand
why it’s there, let alonehow it got there. All you know is that God
has dropped into your spirit adeposit of gracethat inspires you to
begin prayingfor somethingor someonespecificthat you would
never havedreamed of yourself. As ayoungman, I felt aburden to
pray for theLord to releasecounselors to thosewho werein
Theother prayer I began to pray was, “Lord, I ask that you give
meaheart of purity.”Jesus said, “Blessed arethepurein heart, for
theyshall seeGod” (Matt. 5:8). Oh, how I wanted to seetheLord! I
cried out for aheart of purity, and I still do.
As God imparts this “political savvy,”thosewho receiveit reveal
deep administrativeskills and devisestrategies that releaseand help
foster thewiseand smooth implementation of God’s purposes. This
is just what Joseph did in Egypt as heprepared thecountry to
surviveduringseven years of famine.
Today, Dr. Kingsley Fletcher exemplifies this gracein an amazing
manner. Heis both asenior pastor of achurch in North Carolinaand a
kingof thenation of Ghana, callingforth changein society. Thereare
many such statesmen and stateswomen whomGod is raisingup for
such atimeas this. What aconcept to strategically know by
revelation what to do and how to implement it! Lord, expand our
horizons and raiseup thesehistory-makers!
Prophetic WorshipLeaders Who Usherinthe
Presence of GodThroughProphetic Worship
Propheticworship leaders help releasepeopleinto theliberty of
both expressingtheir lovefor God and receivingGod’s love. Under
their propheticleadership, thegifts of theSpirit flow and operate
morefreely. Becausethey arecarriers of theSpirit, they can help lift
others into His marvelous presencewherechangeoccurs. Jesus is
truly exalted and enthroned in thepraises of His people(seePs.
Theprimebiblical exampleis David who, in addition to beinga
shepherd and aking, was also apropheticpsalmist. Half or moreof
thepsalms in theBiblewerewritten by David. As ayoungman, he
played his harp and sang, causingdemons to fleefromKingSaul.
Several examples of thepropheticpsalmist in our own generation
would beDavid Ruis, JulieMeyer, Sean Feucht, Matt Redmon,
Misty Edwards, and Jeff Deyo. A new breed of radical Salvation
Army bands arehurtlingforth on thescene. A fresh combination
mixingevangelisticand propheticgraces is emergingto impact thelost
for Jesus’ sake. But many of this new breed of holy warriors will find
their expression primarily through music.
Under this anointing, aperson receives aburden fromGod that
releases intercession that can affect individuals, communities, cities,
and even nations. Dependingon themeasureof sphereand authority
granted by theLord, apropheticintercessor may moveunder a
particular international burden.
In theOld Testament, Daniel prayed threetimes aday for the
releaseof thechildren of Israel fromBabylonian captivity. He
interceded for their return to their homeand for their restoration (see
Dan. 6:10, Dan. 9).
Thesecond chapter of Luketells of Anna, aprophetess and
widow who “never left thetemple, serving night and daywith fastings
and prayers” (Luke2:37b). Although not asinglepersonal prophecy
of hers is recorded, theBibledoes say that shedevoted her timeto
fastingand prayer. Annawas apropheticintercessor.
It takes astrongpropheticspirit to endurein prayer beforethe
Lord even when much timegoes by with nothingseemingly
happening. Without such an anointing, peoplebecomehopeless,
disappointed, and discouraged to thepoint of givingup. The
anointingfor propheticintercession imparts thegraceto endure. You
don’t just pray to God, but you learn to pray theprayers of God!
For mepersonally, my anointingseems to bedeepest in this area
of propheticintercession. God has given methefaith for it as well as
thegraceto impart it to others. It is awfully hard to giveaway
somethingyou do not have. Amongall thethings I do, this has been
thestrongest anointingupon my life. Cindy Jacobs of Generals
International, Beth Alves of IncreaseInternational, Chuck Pierceof
Global Spheres, Lou Engleof TheCall, TomHess, Dick Simmons, and
thousands of others makeup this army of revelatory prayer warriors.
Thenext fiveareexpressions of thepropheticanointingthat I
believetheHoly Spirit wants to releaseon awider scaleand has even
begun to do so.
John 3:8 says, “Thewind blows whereit wishes and you hear the
sound of it, but do not knowwhereit comes from and whereit is
going; so is everyonewho is born of theSpirit.” This is aword for
every believer. All of us who areborn-again areto catch thewind of
Therearesomepeople, however, who seemto havean anointing
to catch that wind morethan others. They wet their finger, stick it up
in theair to find out which way thewind is blowing, then set their
sails and follow that wind wherever it goes. To others they may
appear flighty or even slightly crazy, but they don’t carebecause
they arecaught up in followingthewind of theHoly Spirit in their
Through alove-walk with theLord they practicethepresenceof
Jesus. God uses thesepropheticSpirit-bearers to releaseunusual
manifestations of theHoly Spirit in themidst of acorporatepeople.
Theremay bepeoplefallingin theSpirit, quaking, shaking, ecstatic
speech, power encounters, or kingdomclashes of angelicand demonic
warfare. Sometimes they will movein therealmof theangelic
presence, even perhaps in arealmwherethey simply blow on people
and an activity of God occurs.
ThelateJill Austin, who was adear friend of mineand theleader
of Master Potter Ministries, was amodern-day Spirit-bearer. When
sheshowed up, Heshowed up! Spirit-bearers’ main purposeis to be
with Jesus and to get up in front of peopleand say, “Come, Holy
Spirit!”They areused to createaconnectingpoint between Heaven
and earth and bringHiminto theplace.
Peoplewith this anointingcombinepastoral caringand healing
understandings with theprophetic. Thereis atremendous need for
this kind of ministry today becauseso many peopleareso full of hurt
and traumaand turmoil. Propheticcounselingoften mingles thespirit
of counsel and thespirit of understandingas stated in Isaiah 11:2:
TheSpirit of theLord will rest on Him, thespirit of wisdom and
understanding, thespirit of counsel and strength, thespirit of
knowledgeand thefear of theLord.
Sometimes propheticcounselors also display gifts of healingand
discerningof spirits: yet their primary concern is not thebigpicture,
but thewholeness of theinternal affairs of men and women on a
personal or family basis.
Both compassionateand revelatory, they areableto seeinto the
hurts and wounds of individuals, and they can help releasethespirit
of understanding. With their propheticinsight and ability to listen,
they can help other peoplequiet their souls and easetheir troubled
hearts. John and PaulaSandford of theElijah HouseMinistries are
indeed afather and mother of this sphere. Joan Hunter has picked up
themantleof her parents “theHappy Hunters”and moves in a
prophetichealinggrace. Theglobal HealingRooms Ministries led by
Cal Pierceand many others areexamples of theseprophetichealers in
our day and age!
So many peopleget so excited about all theamazingthings that
happen in meetings, but so much morehappens in littlegatherings
and one-on-onecounseling, as troubled individuals comeface-to-face
with thelove, compassion, and healingpower of theLord through the
ministry of sensitiveand gifted propheticcounselors.
This is aprophet/teacher combination. All theoffices of the
fivefold ministry—apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher—
areprovided for equippingtheChurch; but somefolks seemto havea
special gracefor equippingothers. Somepropheticequippers may
performtheir ministries primarily through modeling, without
significant involvement in individual people’s lives. Others learn by
listeningto themspeak and by watchingtheir lives.
Many other propheticequippers, however, function most
effectively through direct interaction with other peoplein ateaching
setting. They possess theteachinggracewith apropheticflare, which
enables themto explain to others theways of theSpirit takingthe
bizarreand makingit practical, relatable, and understandable. Their
call and desireis for thedisciplingof other believers with aparticular
burden for multiplication through mentoring, which is much-needed
ThelateJohn Wimber, former leader of theVineyard Movement,
was oneof themost profound equippers I ever met. Whilehis
seminars wherefull of thepower and presenceof God, students were
always given detailed notes and trainingsessions to help themlearn
“to do thestuff.”
Dr. Bill Hamon, through his schools and prophetictraining, has
activated and equipped thousands of prophets and prophetic
ministers located on every continent of theworld. Hehas raised up
many men and women, such as Sharon Stone, JaneHamon and so
many others. Thank theLord for theseactivists and equippers!
Kris Vallonton and theBethel School of Supernatural Ministry, in
Redding, California, might just havethehighest level of impartation
today! Thank theLord that new leaders areemergingand coming
Prophecy is not limited to theverbal and thevisual; it may also
comeforth in written form. Although not as common, perhaps, as the
spoken forms of prophecy, propheticwritingis just as valid. People
with this anointingarejust as propheticas anyoneelse. The
differenceis that they havethegift and bent to communicatemore
powerfully and effectively through thewritten word than through the
Over theyears, I haveseen many propheticpeoplewho were
awkward in front of people, but givethemapen and paper or a
computer and watch out! On theother hand, I havealso seen many
powerful speakers with incrediblecharismaand “stagepresence”who
could hardly jot down two sentences together coherently, much less
writeabook. Thewritten word and thespoken word arequite
different, and thereis apropheticanointingfor each.
Propheticwriters writewith revelatory anointing, expressingin
printed formGod’s heart to contemporary society. GeneEdwards is
marvelously used in this manner to poetically paint pictures that
draw thereader into His Majesty’s courts.
GrahamCooke, of Vacaville, California, is probably oneof the
best examples of this convergencein recent years. His works arefilled
with wisdom, jewels of thejourney with great propheticinsight.
Another past exampleof arevelatory piercingwriter is thelate
Francis Schaeffer, founder of L’Abri Fellowship. Dr. Schaeffer was a
powerful communicator through thewritten word, atrueprophetic
writer and statesman whosebooks and other writings continueto
convict and challengetheChurch worldwide25 years after his death.
Therearemany other voices today, older and younger, who walk
in this anointing. Yes, trendsetters likeRick Joyner of MorningStar
Ministries, Dutch Sheets, JuliaLoren, Sister Gwen Shaw of theEnd-
TimeHandmaidens, and Servants and so many others. New voices
with thepen of theready writer areupon us!
Thesearetheones who taketherevelatory gifts to thestreets,
stadiums, neighborhoods, health clubs, executiveplaces—anywhere
and everywhere. How desperately our society needs peoplewho
movein theanointingof thepropheticevangelist! This anointingdoes
not necessarily mean gettingup in front of hundreds or thousands of
peopleand preaching. Somepropheticevangelists will do that, of
course, but most will operatein asmaller and moreintimatesphere.
Oneof thereal needs is for evangelists in theordinary, day-to-day
places that weall know: theelevator, thegrocery store, thebus, the
ball field, thegas station, thedoctor’s office, thecampus, the
Mahesh and BonnieChavdarattled my world. Through the
propheticand apostolicgiftings upon their lives, they haveseen
hundreds of thousands cometo faith in theLord Jesus Christ. But
other such champions arealso arisingon thescenetoday, likePatricia
King, Mickey Robinson, Jeff Jansen, Munday Martin and scores of
others who arebreakingdown theChurch’s walls and thrustinga
peopleforth to takeaction.
How eager theLord is to releaseHoly Spirit activity in the
everyday world through thelives and words of faithful prophets who
carry thepropheticevangelist anointing!
Clearly then, thepropheticanointingmanifests in many diverse
ways. All arisefromthesameHoly Spirit, who gives as Hewills.
With this in mind, awarningis in order. Thereis adeadly poison that
can kill our ministry and our ability to walk in our anointing,
whatever it may be: thepoison of covetousness. Comparingourselves
to someoneelseand wantingwhat they haveproduces death. We
should never judgeor evaluateour anointingby someoneelse’s
anointing. It is vitally important to avoid jealousy and insecurity.
God has plenty of anointingto go around. Let’s besatisfied to seek
our own callingand walk in our own anointing.
Theantidoteto this poison is to learn to walk in accountability
with others, cultivatingfaithfulness, whilegivingourselves to the
uniqueexpression of gracethat God has imparted to each of us.
Sometimes weareproneto allow ourselves to behindered by
rejection, criticism, legalistictraditions, and therestrictiveyokes and
molds of others’ unrealisticand erroneous expectations.
TheHoly Spirit will help us and liberateus to beuniqueand
varied expressions of His wonderful propheticpresenceand yet walk
circumspectly with integrity within theChurch. God has never been
in abox. Wearetheones in boxes! It is timeto let theHoly Spirit
takethelid off so that, in gratitudeto Him, wecan becomeall that we
can bein Him. Let’s let His anointingbreak theyoke. Instead of
wishingweweresomebody elseor had what somebody elsehas, let’s
befaithful and accountableto walk in theuniqueexpression of grace
that God has given to each of us.
Moses had ascended Mount Sinai to meet with God. Hehad been
goneover amonth. In thevalley below, thepeopleof Israel, newly
freed fromslavery, began to wonder about his fate. Perhaps they
believed awild animal had killed himor that hehad fallen fromacliff
and died. In any case, thepeoplecameto Aaron, Moses’ brother and
spokesman, and induced himto makefor thema“god,”agolden
imageto go beforethem. They said to Aaron, “This Moses, theman
who brought us up from theland of Egypt, wedo not knowwhat has
becomeof him” (Exod. 32:1b).
Aaron took gold fromthepeopleand fashioned fromit amolten
calf, which theIsraelites installed as their god, theonewho had
brought themout of Egypt. Then thepeoplebegan to worship the
calf and to celebratewith dancingand singing. They offered burnt
sacrifices to thecalf and indulged themselves in licentious play and
behavior, perhaps likewhat they had seen in Egypt (seeEx. 32:2-6).
On themountain, God saw what thepeopleweredoingand was
prepared to destroy them, but Moses interceded on their behalf. The
Lord relented and spared thepeople. Moses camedown fromthe
mountain, confronted thepeople, and in asymbolicgesture
illustratingtheir disobedience, brokethetablets of thelaw at thefoot
of themountain. Hethen destroyed thegolden calf.
Seeingthat thepeoplewere“out of control” (Exod. 32:25), Moses
called out, “Whoever is for theLord, cometo me!” (Exod. 32:26).
When “all thesons of Levi” gathered to Moses’ side, hesent them
out to put to death theinstigators and leaders of therebellion. In the
end, 3,000 Israelites died that day.
This incident fromtheBook of Exodus illustrates perfectly the
truth of Proverbs 29:18: “Wherethereis no vision, thepeopleare
unrestrained, but happyis hewho keeps thelaw.” This versein the
New International Version reads: “Wherethereis no revelation, the
peoplecast off restraint; but blessed is hewho keeps thelaw.” Some
other translations, such as theNew Revised Standard Version, usethe
word prophecyinstead of vision or revelation. Thepoint is clear:
without prophecy, without divinerevelation or vision, peoplewill
cast off all restraint. They will run wild becausethey haveno
guidance—no vision. TheWord of God—His law—provides vision
and guidancefor living, and thosewho follow it areblessed. All
peopleneed avision to sustain themin life.
WilliamBlake, thenoted British artist and poet of theeighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries, was also avisionary. Hefirst began
seeingvisions as achild and continued to do so throughout his life.
This visionary capacity profoundly influenced his lifeand work:
In later years Blakehabitually talked about thesupernatural
subjects of his pictures as beingactually present in his studio when
hewas drawingthem. A visitor oncesurprised himhard at work on a
pictureof an invisiblesitter. Helooked and drew, drew and looked,
apparently intent on capturingalikeness. “Do not disturb me, I have
onesittingto me,”hesaid. “But there’s no onehere,”exclaimed the
visitor. “But I seehim, sir,”replied Blakehaughtily. “Thereheis—
his nameis Lot—you may read of himin theScriptures. Heis sitting
for his portrait.”1
Someof Blake’s best work, both artistically and poetically, was
inspired by thevisions that sustained him.
In theyear AD 312, Constantineand Maxentius wererivals in the
fight over who would beemperor of theRoman Empire. Both men
and theforces under their commands drew up battlelines at the
Milvian Bridgeover theTiber River. On theday beforethebattle,
Constantinehad avision of aflamingcross outlined against thesun.
On thecross weretheGreek words En touto nika, which mean, “In
this [sign] you shall conquer.”Thenext morning, Constantinehad a
dreamin which avoicecommanded himto havehis soldiers mark on
their shields thechi ro—themonogramfor Christ. Constantine
obeyed, fought Maxentius, and won,2 becomingemperor of Rome—
and thefirst Roman emperor to embracetheChristian faith.
Constantinehad avision that sustained him, led himto victory, and
changed his life.
“Wherethereis no vision, thepeopleperish” (Prov. 29:18aKJV).
Unrestrained behavior leads eventually to destruction. Peoplewho
haveno vision also haveno goal or purpose—nothingto shoot for.
They havenowhereto go in lifeand, therefore, go nowhere.
As Christians, wearecalled to beapeopleof vision. Wemust
learn to set agoal or target in front of our eyes to gazeupon. It is
only when weaimat somethingthat wehaveany chanceof hittingit!
TheapostlePaul set his sights on knowingChrist, which he
acknowledged was alifelongprocess:
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but
onething I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to
what lies ahead, I press on toward thegoal for theprizeof theupward
call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as manyas areperfect,
havethis attitude(Philippians 3:13-15a).
LikePaul, weneed to beapeopleof vision. Let us set our sights
on theLord and aimat His goals.
The VisionThat SustainedElisha
Elisha, who succeeded Elijah in propheticministry, was aman of
vision. Even as ayoungman, Elishahungered for moreof God, and
his hunger madehimtenacious in pursuit of his goal. Hekept before
his eyes avision of theLord that sustained himthrough alifeof
ministry even greater and moremiracle-filled than Elijah’s.
When thetimedrew near for Elijah to leaveand betaken up into
Heaven, Elishawould not leavehis side. Threetimes theLord
instructed Elijah to go to aspecificplace—Bethel, Jericho, and the
Jordan. Threetimes Elijah requested that Elishastay behind, but
Elisharefused each time. At theJordan, Elijah struck thewaters with
his folded cloak, thewaters parted, and thetwo men crossed over on
Impressed and encouraged by Elisha’s tenacity, Elijah wanted to
find out what hewas really after:
When theyhad crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I
shall do for you beforeI am taken from you.” And Elisha said,
“Please, let a doubleportion of your spirit beupon me.” Hesaid,
“You haveasked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you seemewhen I am
taken from you, it shall beso for you; but if not, it shall not beso.” As
theyweregoing along and talking, behold, thereappeared a chariot of
fireand horses of firewhich separated thetwo of them. And Elijah
went up bya whirlwind to heaven. Elisha sawit and cried out, “My
father, myfather, thechariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he
sawElijah no more…(2 Kings 2:9-12a).
What exactly did Elishasee?Obviously, hesaw Elijah beingtaken
up to Heaven, becausetheverses that follow thesemakeit clear that
Elishadid receiveadoubleportion of thespirit that had been upon
Elijah. However, Elisha’s own words makeit clear that hesaw more
than this: “Myfather, myfather, thechariots of Israel and its
horsemen!” Thewords “myfather” may refer to Elijah, whomElisha
certainly regarded as amentor and father figure. It is also possiblethat
Elisha, at themoment of his anointing, caught aglimpseof God the
Father Himself—or at least of theglory that surrounds Him, since
Exodus 33:20 says that no onecan seeGod and live.
As for “thechariots of Israel and its horsemen,” this may bea
referenceto theinnumerablecompany of thearmy of theheavenly
host. Whatever Elishasaw, hewas profoundly and deeply affected
by thevision, and that vision sustained himthroughout therest of his
If you remember fromChapter One, this was not theonly time
Elishasaw aheavenly army of chariots and horsemen. When theking
of Aramsent his army to surround Dothan and captureElisha,
Elisha’s servant was terrified until Elishaprayed for his eyes to be
opened. That is when theservant saw what Elishasaw: chariots of
fireand horses surroundingthem. Oncetheservant saw thedivine
army that was invisibleto natural vision, his fear went away.
Elishawas aman of vision, aman of revelation, and henever let go
of it. What about you?I don’t know what propheticpromisethe
Lord may havespoken to you. As Christians, wehavethebiblical
promises as well as thecurrent-day revelatory words that arespoken
into each of our lives, which comein amultiplicity of manners.
Sometimes they comeby thequiet, still witness of theSpirit; at other
times, through dreams or visions. They may comefromGod directly
to you or through someonespeakingto you what they havereceived
Whatever thecase, don’t cast away your dream, for it will havea
great reward. Don’t takeoff your dreamcoat in thepresenceof your
enemy. Keep thevision God has given you beforeyour eyes. Vision
is apower that sustains apeople.
The VisionThat SustainedJacob
Jacob is another Old Testament character who was sustained by a
vision. Havingfled his hometo escapethemurderous wrath of his
brother, Esau, Jacob lay down to sleep in thewilderness.
Hehad a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on theearth with its
top reaching to heaven; and behold, theangels of God wereascending
and descending on it. And behold, theLord stood aboveit and said, “I
am theLord, theGod of your father Abraham and theGod of Isaac;
theland on which you lie, I will giveit to you and to your descendants.
Your descendants will also belikethedust of theearth, and you will
spread out to thewest and to theeast and to thenorth and to the
south; and in you and in your descendants shall all thefamilies of the
earth beblessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever
you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leaveyou
until I havedonewhat I havepromised you” (Genesis 28:12-15).
For thenext 21 years, Jacob worked for his uncleLaban, who also
becamehis father-in-law when Jacob married his daughters Leah and
Rachel. Laban was somewhat of atrickster and deceiver, just as Jacob
was. Jacob worked seven years to get Rachel as his wife, only to end
up with Leah, who was theolder. Hegot Rachel as well, but had to
work another seven years in return. Jacob labored an additional seven
years in order to build up his own flocks and herds in preparation for
returningto his homeland. In theprocess, Laban changed Jacob’s
wages ten times and tried in other ways to cheat him, but God was
always at work behind thescenes, keepingHis promiseto Jacob.
Finally, when Jacob was preparingto leave, Laban tried to get him
to stay by offeringto pay whatever Jacob asked for as wages. Jacob
replied that theonly wages hedesired wereall thestriped, speckled,
and spotted sheep and goats in Laban’s herds, as well as all theblack
lambs. Laban readily agreed, then hastened to placeall theanimals
that fit that description into thecareof his sons and sent themon a
three-days’ journey away. It seemed as though Laban had cheated
Jacob was undeterred:
Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and planetrees,
and peeled whitestripes in them, exposing thewhitewhich was in the
rods. Heset therods which hehad peeled in front of theflocks in the
gutters, even in thewatering troughs, wheretheflocks cameto drink;
and theymated when theycameto drink. So theflocks mated bythe
rods, and theflocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.
Jacob separated thelambs, and madetheflocks facetoward the
striped and all theblack in theflock of Laban; and heput his own
herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. Moreover,
whenever thestronger of theflock weremating, Jacob would placethe
rods in thesight of theflock in thegutters, so that theymight mateby
therods; but when theflock was feeble, hedid not put them in; so the
feebler wereLaban’s and thestronger Jacob’s. So theman became
exceedinglyprosperous, and had largeflocks and femaleand male
servants and camels and donkeys (Genesis 30:37-43).
Jacob took fresh rods frompoplar and almond trees (trees
symbolizeauthority), peeled whitestripes in them, and placed them
in thewateringtroughs for thesheep and thegoats. When theanimals
cameto drink, they also mated (symbolizingintimacy) in front of the
peeled rods. Theresultingoffspringwerestriped, speckled, and
spotted. Jacob did this only when thestronger animals weremating,
so heended up with thestrongest and healthiest flocks, whileLaban’s
Jacob prospered greatly becausethesheep and goats brought forth
theright kind of offspring. They produced thedesired result because
therewas avision that was put in front of their eyes, and they begat
what was put in front of them. This illustrates theprinciplethat
vision is thepower that sustains. Whatever wekeep in front of our
eyes is what will determineour outcome!
The VisionThat SustainedZechariah
LiketheBooks of Daniel and Revelation, theBook of Zechariah
contains many visions and apocalypticimages. Zechariah was a
visionary prophet whosevisions related specifically to thetimeafter
theBabylonian exileand thebeginningof theMessianicperiod in
Oneof Zechariah’s visions is thecontext for oneof themost-
quoted verses in theOld Testament:
Then theangel who was speaking with mereturned and roused
me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. Hesaid to me, “What
do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold
with its bowl on thetop of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven
spouts belonging to each of thelamps which areon thetop of it; also
two olivetrees byit, oneon theright sideof thebowl and theother on
its left side.” Then I said to theangel who was speaking with me
saying, “What arethese, mylord?” So theangel who was speaking
with meanswered and said to me, “Do you not knowwhat these
are?” And I said, “No, mylord.” Then hesaid to me, “This is the
word of theLord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not bymight nor bypower,
but byMySpirit,’ says theLord of hosts. ‘What areyou, O great
mountain? BeforeZerubbabel you will becomea plain; and hewill
bring forth thetop stonewith shouts of “Grace, graceto it!” ” ’
An angel cameand roused Zechariah as if fromadeep sleep. Have
you ever been startled or awakened in themiddleof thenight and felt
as though aspiritual presencewas in theroom?Perhaps you sensed
thepresenceof God or His holiness, or you simply had aconscious
awareness that God was there. It may havebeen exactly that way
with Zechariah. Oneof God’s “ministering spirits” (seeHeb. 1:14)
wokeZechariah in order to show himthevision and explain its
meaning. This is thesameway theLord works with many of His seer
vessels today as well.
In his vision, Zechariah saw an elaborategolden lampstand with
two olivetrees on either sideof it. His first responsewas very
intelligent. Heasked theangel, “What arethese, my lord?”Askinga
question is awisecourseof action whenever visionary revelation
occurs. That is alesson I learned fromZechariah. No matter what I
seeor how many times I think I may haveseen it before, I always
ask, “What is this, Lord?”I amconfident that thesameGod who
gives metherevelation can also interpret it for me.
Even when theangel asks himspecifically, “Do you not know
what theseare?”Zechariah answers with humility, “No, my lord.”
Had Zechariah not responded with humility and openness, he
probably would not havegained much fromthewholeexperience.
Peoplewho think they know it all already cut themselves off from
Years ago, when I was younger in theseways of God, I and afew
others would spend sometimewith theparabolicseer, Bob Jones, in
his home. Hewould tell us somepretty awesomeand unusual things
hehad “seen.”Hewould always ask us onelast question. “Did you
get that?”Wewould stay poker-faced, nod our heads and say, “Sure,
wegot that!”Then wewould get in our vehicles and chatter, “Did
you understand that?”I probably missed alot I could havelearned by
not respondingin humility. But I havesincechanged afew of my
ways! I now respond alot morelikeZechariah!
As it turns out, Zechariah’s vision had to do with amessagefor
Zerubbabel, thecivicofficial of thereturningexiles under whose
leadership thetemplein Jerusalemwould berebuilt. Theword of the
Lord to Zerubbabel was, “Not bymight nor bypower, but byMy
Spirit” (Zech. 4:6). This was meant as an encouragement to
Zerubbabel and therest of thereturningexiles that anew erawas
beginning, an eracharacterized by theworkingof God’s Spirit in
power and thecomingday of theMessiah.
A new epoch of theSpirit was at hand. This was thevision that
sustained Zechariah and, by extension, Zerubbabel and all of the
returningexiles. It encouraged and motivated themto rebuild the
templein Jerusalem, as well as thewalls of thecity and thecity itself,
which had been destroyed by theBabylonians. Vision sustains a
people, and humility is akey that releases understanding!
The VisionThat SustainedDaniel
Daniel was aprophet who regularly moved in thevisionary realm.
Essentially, visions can beclassified into two varieties: internal and
external. An internal vision is thekind that wesometimes call an
impression or amental picture. Weseethepicturewith our mind’s
eye, but thepictureitself comes fromtheLord. An external vision is
what wealso sometimes call an open vision, whereweseethevision
with our natural eyes, but it’s often superimposed over whatever is
goingon in thenatural world around us. Daniel moved in both.
In theseventh chapter of theBook of Daniel, theprophet records
his summary of agraphicand powerful vision hereceived whilein
Daniel said, “I was looking in myvision bynight, and behold, the
four winds of heaven werestirring up thegreat sea. And four great
beasts werecoming up from thesea, different from oneanother. The
first was likea lion and had thewings of an eagle. I kept looking until
its wings wereplucked, and it was lifted up from theground and made
to stand on two feet likea man; a human mind also was given to it”
Theseverses contain two important phrases that help explain
Daniel’s success as avisionary prophet: “I was looking” and “I kept
looking.” As soon as thevision began, Daniel was lookingfor its
meaningand kept lookinguntil theend. Oneof thedangers I have
becomeawareof in walkingin thepropheticseer capacity is what I
call revelation fixation: becomingso impressed with what weseethat
wequit looking. Weget hungup on theimages themselves to the
point wherewestop seeingand never press on to understand their
meaning. It is as though wethink thevision is an end in itself rather
than an instrument God wants to useto teach us something.
Daniel did not let himself get caught up in revelation fixation.
Throughout thecourseof thevision hesaid, “I kept looking.” Hewas
determined to stay alert to theend so hecould understand what God
was fully showinghim.
In his vision, Daniel saw asuccession of four beasts risefromthe
sea. Thefirst was likealion with eagle’s wings. Thewings were
plucked off, thelion stood on two feet likeaman, and ahuman mind
was given to it. Next cameabeast likeabear, which was told to
“devour much meat.” Thethird beast was likealeopard with four
bird’s wings and four heads, and which was given dominion. Daniel
“kept looking” and saw thefourth beast, “dreadful and terrifying and
extremelystrong; and it had largeiron teeth. It devoured and crushed
and trampled down theremainder with its feet…” (Dan. 7:7b). It also
had ten horns. As Daniel continued to watch, another, smaller horn
grew and ripped out threeof theother horns and took their place.
This horn “possessed eyes likea man and a mouth uttering great
boasts” (Dan. 7:8b).
What Daniel was witnessingwas avision of therevival of evil. He
did not let it rest there, however, as he“kept looking.” Becauseit is
vision that sustains apeople, Daniel wanted to look beyond the
revival of evil to seetheLord’s responseto it. Hewas not
I kept looking until thrones wereset up, and theAncient of Days
took His seat; His vesturewas likewhitesnowand thehair of His
head likepurewool. His thronewas ablazewith flames, its wheels
werea burning fire. Ariver of firewas flowing and coming out from
beforeHim; thousands upon thousands wereattending Him, and
myriads upon myriads werestanding beforeHim; thecourt sat, and
thebooks wereopened. Then I kept looking becauseof thesound of
theboastful words which thehorn was speaking; I kept looking until
thebeast was slain, and its bodywas destroyed and given to the
burning fire. As for therest of thebeasts, their dominion was taken
away, but an extension of lifewas granted to them for an appointed
period of time. I kept looking in thenight visions, and behold, with the
clouds of heaven Onelikea Son of Man was coming, and Hecameup
to theAncient of Days and was presented beforeHim. And to Him was
given dominion, gloryand a kingdom, that all thepeoples, nations
and men of everylanguagemight serveHim. His dominion is an
everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is
onewhich will not bedestroyed (Daniel 7:9-14).
Unimpressed with thevisionary revelation concerningwhat the
evil onewas goingto do, Daniel kept lookingfor somethinghigher, an
even greater revelation. Hedid not givein to revelation fixation.
Daniel did not stop lookinguntil hehad seen avision of theSon of
man and His Kingdombeingextended throughout theearth.
LikeDaniel, welivetoday in themidst of arevival of evil, so we
need avision to sustain us as apeople—avision that shows us
clearly how thepromises of God aremorethan all thepower of evil.
Let us then beapeopleof vision who will not perish, but will walk
together in hot pursuit of theLord, so that wetoo will beableto hold
beforeour eyes an all-consumingvision of theconqueringSon of Man
and theAncient of Days sittingupon His throne. Keepingour vision
of theLord clear beforeus will sustain us through themany labors of
our lives and ministries.
Seeking the VisionThat Sustains Us
Over theyears, I havebecomeconvinced that in theChristian life
at least two things arecertain: God never changes, and wearealways
changing. Our lives as Christians areacontinual transition fromone
placeto another, onelevel to another, oneunderstandingto another.
Thepurposeof spiritual light is to bringus into changeand growth.
Themorelight wehave, themorechangeweexperience; and themore
wechange(for thebetter), themorewearebrought into higher levels
of glory. Unless wearein constant transition, wewill stop
somewherealongtheway and settledown. TheChristian lifeis a
frontier. God did not call us to besettlers, but to bepilgrims and
This is thepoint of Paul’s prayer in thefirst chapter of Ephesians:
That theGod of our Lord Jesus Christ, theFather of glory, may
giveto you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in theknowledgeof
Him…that theeyes of your heart maybeenlightened, so that you will
knowwhat is thehopeof His calling, what aretheriches of theglory
of His inheritancein thesaints, and what is thesurpassing greatness
of His power toward us who believe(Ephesians 1:17-19a).