A Call To The Remnant

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What is a Prophet? The Prophetic Function———Art Katz

Posted by appolus on August 3, 2011

This is a fairly lengthy piece by Art Katz, but in this day of false prophets and confusion, it is well worth the read. …….brother Frank

The Prophetic Function

The quintessential definition of the prophetic call is given to Jeremiah at the inception of his ministry:

Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:9,10).

The first expression of the prophetic calling is judgment. Unless we have a stomach for that, then we will not be allowed the privilege of the word that builds and plants. Note the order of the words: the hardest thing first. Everything that is painful to the flesh and that will earn for us the displeasure of men must first be addressed.

The prophet is called to pluck up and break down the things that are dear to men, namely, their religious tradition, the false things that they have celebrated for generations, the things that they want to cling to because it has to do with their identity and their dignity and the way in which they even see themselves.

Men will kill for this and yet the prophet has got to tear down and destroy. The things that are false will be contended for fiercely! He has got therefore to be painful and a destroyer. His word then is destructive before it is benevolent. Unless we are willing to speak the destructive word, we will never be used for benevolence. Only the prophets who were faithful to speak the word of exile and judgment were also the prophets who spoke the word of restoration and return. They were given the privilege of speaking the creative word of restoration.

It would be a much simpler task if we just had to establish fresh principles where it falls on virginal consciousness. When you first have to deal with and penetrate a whole existent medley of opinions and traditions that have become dear (if not sacrosanct), you will ironically be accused of being opposed to God!

A prophet not only identifies falsity, but he ruthlessly destroys it. There is something about his word that is like a fire. It is plucking up, rooting out and destroying before it is planting and rebuilding. Who wants to hear men like that? They not only just bring things into question, but they absolutely reduce it to rubble before your eyes. For you to pick it up after that is to touch the unclean thing. They have identified it and now you are stuck with that word. It is little wonder that such men are not welcome in places where people want to continue their lifestyle unchallenged.

A prophet critiques and unsparingly lays bare, without fear and regard of man, the lie or even ‘conventional’ truth, that is to say, the assumed, mindless, uncontested premises that constitute death in the midst of life. It is to reveal the lie, to expose it and to ‘blow the whistle.’ That lie may well be the lies of the false prophets. The whole world is predicated on lies, but how shall it know unless a word of truth comes. If that word is to come, then it is to come from one who is totally without fear of man.

We all know that the fear of man is the most powerful and crippling factor that works in the lives of God’s ministers. To be free of that and to speak without regard to the fear of man is an ultimate statement that implies such a history of dealing with that servant. We are all born with the fear of man. We live for the regard of man, for their acknowledgment and for their applause.

Men love the acknowledgments of men, particularly prestigious men, but we have got to be weaned away from that necessity. It is a process; it does not take place in a day. Every time that God brings us to that place of weaning, we have got to submit to it, until we come to the place where we do not need it. We need to come to the place where we are not only indifferent to the applause of men, but also to their criticisms and reproaches.

A prophet requires, therefore, an extraordinary discernment to critique and an analytical ability honed by the Spirit. It is not a ‘taking of pot shots’, but an apprehending of God’s own view of something, and expressing that.

The prophet’s own lifestyle must itself, therefore, be a repudiation of the lie. We cannot ‘blow the whistle’ on false values if we ourselves are subscribing to them. There is something about poverty that is more than an accident or happenstance. It is appropriate to the authenticity of our union with God. Camel’s hair garments and the eating of locusts are symbolically intrinsic to the prophetic life.

There is a reason why John the Baptist was in the wilderness and not in Jerusalem, though he was the son of a priest. He could not be where the Establishment was. He could not enjoy its benefits and at the same time ‘blow the whistle’ on the falsity of it. We cannot in our own lifestyle indulge in the very thing that we are condemning before others. Lifestyle is, therefore, remarkably important with regard to the word that is to be proclaimed and probably nothing more betrays whether you are a true or false prophet than this.

The false prophets ate from Jezebel’s table. Elijah had to be fed by ravens and live by the side of a brook. It is not that one seeks to wear a camel’s hair garment because it is romantic or that you have to dress in such a way that marks you as being distinctive and different. The values that are false cannot have a place in us.

A prophet is called to reveal the lie, the underlying premises that need to be examined in the light of God about value, about life and its purposes, and therefore your own lifestyle must be a repudiation of that lie, however much society and even the church legitimates it. A prophet’s speaking not only reveals the lie but condemns and judges it. His word as is his life itself is a divine destruct.

When Elijah said, “There shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word (1 Kings 17:1b),” it was not just saying that there will be a little difference in your weather pattern. It meant that they were not going to have crops. They were not going to eat. They were going to experience a famine.

It was going to be a judgment from God and it was to come through the speaking of Elijah’s word. His word was not just a piece of information or an interpretation, however much it may be that, but rather it was a statement of judgment. It would actually affect the whole nation. That kind of word needs to be revived and restored. It is a trembling proposition to bear, and I can think of a few minor instances in my own experience where my word was a word of judgment, and God acted according to what I spoke. The church to whom it was spoken no longer exists because that was the word of judgment itself.

The prophet’s task is to establish an alternative, powerful and valid enough to utterly displace the lie. He presents a view of reality not yet existent and that is contrary in most points and particulars to that which is thought to be ‘real’ and for which there is no precedent or model in the experience of the hearer.

He brings a heavenly and an eternal sense that obliterates the kind of validation and endorsement that the world’s values have had upon his hearers up to that time. If he had not come, they would have thought that what they were celebrating was real. When the prophet comes, however, he is not only blowing the whistle on what is false, but he brings a sense of what is true and what is eternally true. He brings the sense of eternity itself and inducts the hearer into it.

By his speaking, he sets in motion and brings his audience to a place where the false becomes true. The word becomes creative and establishes the resonance of something not understood before—something that is ultimate and eternal. To pierce through the false and raise another kind of a standard and make that the foundation of life is, and must be, an extraordinary kind of speaking.

Those who embrace this model that the prophet is setting forth as the alternative to the lie, and that is a heavenly alternative, condemn themselves to being pilgrims and sojourners in the earth, and therefore able to die ‘not having received the promise.’ If they are going to receive a prophetic word like this that calls them to the heavenly vision in which Abraham walked, then this is going to be the consequence for their life. The word, therefore, that comes to the hearers has got to come with such a power, authority and credibility that the person who hears says, “If I say ‘Yes’ to this, then I am signing my death warrant.” No-one is going to sign that lightly who has not been persuaded by the word that invites that kind of consecration.

Only a prophet, a foundational man, can bring a word of that kind. He calls for something of ultimate consecration on the part of the hearer— unto death. That is why false prophets are more invited and listened to than the true. The false prophet affirms the hearer in his present condition and tells him that in that he is already ‘well-pleasing’.

The prophet’s purpose is singly and jealously the Father’s will. He restores lost vision of a kind that energizes the people of God, especially in crisis times when despair needs to be turned to hope—having initially been stripped of false hopes by the prophet himself. He does not balk at having to be cruel before he can be kind.

A man who can bring the necessary but painful, cruel word that must come in order to build is not unloving but very love itself. In a word the prophet brings the ‘moment of truth’. Standing in the counsel of the Lord he is able to perceive error and state boldly and unequivocally the requisite truth though it be utterly at variance with the consensus being demonstrated.

The prophetic task is to restore to men who have lost it, the biblical mentality and the biblical view of things that are unchanging in God’s sight. He conveys the view of God particularly to a people who are unwilling to hear it. If the prophetic word is critical to bringing an alignment of God’s people with His own view, then the kind of word that is brought by the prophets is the ultimate issue. Where there are authentic prophets who are willing to bring the unwelcome word, so will there also be a plenitude of popular false prophets who bring the false word of comfort and who say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace.

A prophet does not major in minors. Out of a consummate jealousy for the glory of God, he sets forth the ultimate purposes of God in such a way as to obtain the sacrifices of his hearers to fulfill it. It is not enough just to set forth what God’s program is, but to set it forth in such a way that he has won the willingness of the hearers to be participant in obtaining the ultimate and eternal purposes of God— as sacrifice.

That is where the prophetic word is more than the word of explanation. It does not just explain what the eternal purposes of God are, but he communicates it in such a way as to win the commitment of his hearers to the sacrifice necessary to fulfill them. That takes more than explanation. The prophet epitomizes the suffering that such an adherence evokes. In other words, those who are going to embrace the view that he is presenting are opening themselves to suffering.

The prophet, therefore, who is inviting them to that suffering has himself in some sense to exhibit it and give the evidence that this is God’s way and that the cross is central to the faith. He makes clear to his hearers that persecution, if not martyrdom, is intrinsic to a faith of this kind—and wins their willingness. It is one thing to establish that the cross, persecution and martyrdom are intrinsic to the faith, but to win the hearer’s consecration to that call is an extraordinary stroke that requires the authority and anointing of those who bear His word. That is the prophetic task.

We are not bringing information, but rather calling men to ultimate, sacrificial things and that is why that kind of a word will always be resisted.

The prophet announces and projects the impending end of this world in apocalyptic fury and judgment, sufficient to birth the longing for a new heaven and a new earth in which there is righteousness. He not only brings to the awareness of the hearer that the world that they have celebrated is under judgment and is intended for destruction, which means it will destroy a lot of where their own heart is, but he also births a longing for the thing that comes down from above and which will replace this present age.

A prophet is a man of the word who abhors lightness while deeply respecting and guarding the sanctity of language and its meaning from abuse and cheapening. He is not, therefore, always your enjoyable household guest and is not good for easy conversation and small talk. He guards his mouth because he knows the sanctity of words and will not, therefore, give himself to frequent speaking as it debases the currency of words. There is with him a history of waiting and silences.

A prophet shuns the distinctions and honors that men confer. These things bring a certain aura of prestige and eminence and weight, but the prophetic man, in order to be true to God is the ‘wilderness’ prophet. Wilderness does not just mean physical isolation, but a conscious and willful separation from the kinds of things that are calculated to compromise.

He does not effect any kind of prophetic outward ‘appearance’ to indicate his office. He is unprepossessing in appearance and demeanor and despises what is showy, sensational or bizarre. A prophet is intent on turning men to God and not to himself.

This calling is given and is not something that we ourselves summon or take for ourselves, but if we have it, then we need to know that God is going to work us over, again and again, in order to ensure that it is His word that comes forth and not our own.

 

8 Responses to “What is a Prophet? The Prophetic Function———Art Katz”

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  2. W.E. Smith said

    Thank you my brother for sharing this; I was truly blessed by this word by brother Katz. Oh how great in this hour is the need for true, authentic, unafraid, uncompromised prophets of the Lord. It reminded me of a word the Spirit gave me a while back, found here –

    http://livingwalk.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/the-heart-of-a-prophet/

    The genuine prophetic ministry is to prepare a vessel to receive the Lord, to cleanse His house, to make ready for His coming, which portends judgment and accountability. Judgment always must begin in the house of God, among His own, among those who are His.

    Where today are the Ravenhills, the Tozers, the Austin-Sparks among us? Oh Lord help us!

    Wayne

    • appolus said

      “Where today are the Ravenhills, the Tozers, the Austin-Sparks among us? Oh Lord help us!

      Amen Wayne………..brother Frank

  3. W.E. Smith said

    Interesting, this topic, as I picked up a little booklet by Austin-sparks just yesterday. It speaks of the Lord’s vessels (read -“prophets”) of recovery, in a time when all is fallen, when strongholds have turned the Lord’s things into the world’s and the devil’s things. I will insert it here, it is called the Ministry of Elijah. May it be a blessing to you all –

    The Ministry of Elijah
    by T. Austin-Sparks

    Reading: 1 Kings 17.

    What we have in view, of course, in the first place, is the servant of the Lord. Once more God is found reacting to a state of things amongst His Own people, rising up in Divine discontent, and, as always, laying His hand upon an instrument for recovery.

    So Elijah stands before us to represent such an instrument, and, in God’s dealings with him, we see the ways and the principles by which a servant of the Lord is made an effectual servant, in relation to the purpose of God.

    The Sovereign Choice Of God

    The first thing related to any such instrument is the sovereignty of God. There is never any adequate, natural explanation for the choice and appointment by God of His servants. There may be things in the chosen instrument which will be turned to account, when they are wholly sanctified and brought under the government of God’s Spirit, but when all has been said, we have to recognise that God’s choice of His instruments is always a sovereign choice, and not because there is anything naturally in the instrument to warrant His choosing that instrument and selecting it from others. He acts sovereignly in choosing and appointing for His purpose. But, although that may be true, and although God may go beyond choosing and may endue that instrument with spiritual power, yet the instrument must be controlled and disciplined continually by the hand of God. Otherwise that servant of the Lord, or that instrument, will be found following in the direction of his own soul, following his own judgments, being influenced by his own feelings. The intent and motive may be very good, it may be very godly, but that does not dispense with the necessity of that instrument being continuously under the hand of God, for government and for discipline.

    That is what comes very clearly before us at the outset in the case of Elijah. There is no doubt about God’s sovereign choice, and there is no question as to God having endued Elijah with Divine power. Nevertheless, we see him at every step under the hand of God, and those steps are all steps which are a disciplining of the man himself. God is dealing with His servant all the time, and bringing him, all the way along, under His hand, so that he never becomes something in himself, but has everything in the Lord, and only in the Lord. We make a great mistake if we think that it is enough to have the Divine thought as to Divine purpose, that is, to have the knowledge of what God desires to do. That is not enough, that knowledge of the thought of God is not sufficient. There has to be a dealing with us in relation to that Divine thought, and that dealing with us is usually in a way which is altogether beyond our understanding.

    If God were dealing with us as sinners, that is, if He were dealing with us because of certain personal sins and personal faults, we could quite clearly understand that; but when He is dealing with us in relation to Divine purpose, as His servants, His dealings with us go far beyond our understanding. We are taken out into a realm where we do not understand what the Lord is doing with us, and why the Lord takes certain courses with us. We are out of our depth, we are altogether baffled, and we are compelled – that is, if we are going on with God – to believe that God knows what He is doing: we have just to move with Him according to whatever light we may have, and believe that these dealings with us, so far beyond our understanding, are somehow related to that purpose with which we are called, and that the explanation waits some distance ahead, and we will find it when we get there. God does not explain Himself when He takes a step with us. God never comes to a servant of His and says, ‘Now I am going to take you through a certain experience which will be of this particular character, and the reason for this is so-and-so.’ Without any intimation from the Lord, we find ourselves in a difficult situation, which altogether confounds us, puts us beyond the power of explaining that experience, and God takes us through without any explanation whatever until we are free, until the purpose for which that experience was given is reached, and then we have the explanation.

    The point is, that even an instrument, sovereignly taken up by God in relation to His purpose, while knowing His main thought as to His purpose, still needs to be kept every moment, at every step, under God’s hand, to be disciplined in relation to that thought, to be governed entirely by God.

    Elijah, great man as he was, outstanding in the history of God’s movements, was brought to that very point where, although he knew that God had laid hold of him, and although he knew what God’s intention was, he could not, by his own initiative and by his own energy, freely go on to fulfil his mission. He could not move more than one step at a time, and even so that step had to be definitely governed by God. He could only take that step under the Divine direction. You see it here in this chapter to begin with. He had to take just one step, and then the next, and that by Divine direction, nothing beyond that. The Lord does not turn even His greatest servants loose with an idea. He does not liberate His most mightily used instruments to take a free course, even though they may know what God is after.

    Divine Authority

    Some of the reasons for that are clear. Elijah’s ministry was one of Divine authority. There were powers at work which were more than human powers. The case with Israel was not simply one of spiritual declension. It was not merely that the people had lost a measure of spiritual life and were on a lower level than they should be, so that they had to have a deepening of the spiritual life. That was not the position at all. Baal had a mighty footing in Israel, and the evil powers, the forces of darkness, were back of this state of things. The situation demanded more than merely spiritual help to Israel. Something more than a ministry of exhortation and of spiritual food, something more than a convention for the deepening of spiritual life was called for. A ministry of Divine authority was needed, to deal with a spiritual situation back of the condition in which the people were found. There were mightier forces at work than merely human faults and failings. The mighty power of Satan was there represented by Israel’s state. Elijah, therefore, must needs fulfil a ministry of Divine authority, and the very first public utterance indicates that that is what his ministry was:

    As the Lord, the God of Israel, liveth, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word (1 Kings 17:1).

    There is a position, and there is an authority by reason of that position. James says that by Elijah’s prayer the heavens were closed. That is going beyond the merely earthly, human situation. And again, by his prayer the heavens were opened. That is authority in heaven.

    Secret Preparation

    Now that ministry of authority was born in secret preparation before it came out in public expression. The Apostle James tells us quite definitely that “Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently (you have no mention of that in the historic record in the Book of Kings) that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again; and the heaven gave rain…”

    There is a secret history with God. He came into his public ministry with abrupt announcement. He simply stood there upon the platform of the universe, as it were, and made his declaration. But that is not all. There is a secret history with God behind that. All such ministry of Divine authority has its beginning hidden from the public eye, has its roots in a secret history with God. That kind of ministry, born out from that secret history with God, needs very special government by God to preserve its safety, to safeguard it from all those forces which can destroy it, and that is why Elijah, having such a ministry, needed to be governed in every step by God. There must be no generalization of movement in his case, there must be specific movement, God dictating every step. So God preserves that authority as He produces it, that is, by a hidden life. Such a life and such a ministry must not be exposed, otherwise it will be destroyed.

    Separation From The Self-life

    So the Lord said to Elijah, “Get thee hence…” Hence? Where from? From this exposure, this publicity, this open place with all its dangers. “Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.” Hide thyself. Geography may have little to do with it. What is here spiritually is “hide thyself”. Cherith means separation or cutting off, and that is linked with Jordan. Cherith is a tributary of the Jordan. We know what Jordan stands for, the death of the self-life. In the major sense, the Lord’s servants have been to Jordan; that is, the self-life has been set aside; but they have to keep near Jordan, and Jordan has to govern them at every step. The most paralysing thing to a ministry of Divine authority is “thyself”. It is, in other words, the strength of our own souls. Elijah was a strong-minded man, a strong-willed man, a man capable of very strong and drastic actions, of pouring out a great deal of his own soul-life with great heat, and the self-life of a servant of God is a great peril to the spirit. Paul makes it perfectly clear that, at an advanced point in his ministry and in his spiritual life, when God had entrusted him with visions and revelations unspeakable, which it was not lawful for a man to utter, the main and most immediate peril and menace to the ministry of that revelation was himself. ‘Lest I should be exalted above measure….” Then the self-life had not been eradicated from Paul! Paul was not clear of the peril of doing great damage to purely spiritual ministry, and God had to take a special precaution against the self-life of His own servant, not the sinful life in its old sense, but the self-life. ‘Lest I should be exalted…” I… exalted! What is that? That is the exaltation of the ego, the self. What dangers are in that “I”, and how truly it stands in peril of getting into an exalted place, a place of power, a place of influence, a place of authority. It is in this sense that the Lord has to say, “Hide thyself”: ‘get to the place of cutting off, of separation.’

    This was so different from what you might expect. You see, here is a man, having had this deep, secret preparation with God in much prayer, who finds himself brought out in Divine authority to make a great announcement which represents a crisis in the purpose of God. You would expect that, from that point, he would go straight on from strength to strength, from place to place, would at once become a recognised authority, a recognised servant of God, and be very much before the public eye. But God would guard against any servant of His taking up a Divine purpose and a Divine commission in himself, taking it up in his own energy. That will destroy it, and there must be a hiding, a very real hiding. If a geographical hiding is God’s way of getting a spiritual hiding, well, be it so. If God chooses to send us out of the realm of public life and ministry into some remote and hidden place, in order to take us away from the imminent peril of our becoming something, of our being taken up to be made something of, our going on in the strength of our own self-life, that is all well and good; but whether it be geographical or not, the word of the Lord to all His servants would always be, “Hide thyself!”

    Adjustableness

    Then you see, connected with that, as a part of it, the servant of the Lord must be found always in the place where he is pliable, where the Lord can get a ready and immediate response. The servant has no programme, therefore there is nothing to upset. He has no set course, therefore the Lord has nothing to break. He is moving with God, or staying with God, just as the Lord directs. He must be mobile in the hands of the Lord, that is, capable of being moved at any time, in any way, without feeling that everything is being broken up and torn to pieces.

    “Get thee hence… and hide thyself by the brook Cherith… and it came to pass… that the brook dried up.” The Lord did not say that it would not dry up, and the fact that the Lord told Elijah to go to the brook Cherith did not mean that the Lord was going to preserve the brook forever. It was a step, and the Lord said, in effect: ‘That is the next step. I do not promise you that you will stay there always. I am not saying that that is your last abiding place, and that you can settle down there forever. That is your next step: go there and be ready for anything else that I want.’

    This is a spiritual condition, of course. No one is going to take this literally. If we were to begin to apply this literally, as to our business here on earth, we might get into confusion; but we have to be ready in spirit for the Lord to do anything that He likes, and never to feel that there is any contradiction when the Lord, having directed us in one way, now directs us in another. It is a matter of being in the hands of the Lord, without a mind of our own made up, though the way be hidden from our own reasoning, from our own will, from our own feelings, hidden from all our soul-life, so that the Lord has a clear way with us.

    The brook dried up! Well, are you dependent on the brook? If so, you are in a state of utter confusion when the brook dries up. Are you dependent upon the Lord? Very well, let all the brooks dry up and it is quite all right. Dependence on the Lord is a governing and an abiding law of true spiritual power. Elijah has been spoken of and written of as the prophet of power. If that is true in any special way, he was very certainly the prophet of dependence.

    That relationship to the Lord made it possible for the Lord to do other things, and to lead him on into new realms of revelation and experience. Oh, what a thing adjustableness is! If we are not adjustable, how we prevent the Lord from bringing us into His full revelation and purpose.

    Those disciples of John the Baptist were adjustable, and because of that they came to know the Lord Jesus. You will remember those disciples of John who followed Jesus, and said, “Master, where dwellest Thou?” He said, “Come and see.” Now had they been fixed and settled, saying, ‘We are John’s disciples and we must stand by him; we must stay with John, and move with him; let Jesus have His Own disciples, but we stand by John,’ they would have lost a great deal. But they were open and adjustable, and moved beyond John.

    Those other disciples of John whom Paul found at Ephesus many years afterward, to whom he said, “Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed?” were adjustable. When they heard what Paul said, they were baptized into the Name of the Lord Jesus. They were ready to go on from John to Christ, and so they came into the greater fullness (Acts 19).

    Unless we are adjustable we shall miss a great deal. Elijah was adjustable, and so God could lead him on. The Lord allowed the brook to dry up because He had something more for His servant to learn, and something more to do through him, and so He said, “Arise, get thee to Zarephath… I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” He went to Zarephath, and was made a blessing by his obedience.

    Experience Of Resurrection

    Then he was brought by his new movement of obedience and faith into a new exercise, a new perplexity, a new trial; for the woman’s son died. The woman was a widow with one son. The death of the son meant for her the loss of everything. It happened while Elijah was there, being looked after by this woman, and he was there in his obedience to the Lord. He had done this in obedience to the Lord, and now in the line of obedience to, and of faith in the Lord, the Lord allowed this catastrophe to come into the very home to which he had been sent. It clearly raised a big question in Elijah’s heart. ‘God sent me here, I know that! God raised me up and commissioned me, and in the course of the fulfilling of my commission He brought me into this situation! There is no doubt about the Lord having led this way, and now here I am, having done what the Lord told me, having taken the course that He indicated, and everything has come into death and confusion; there is a terrible contradiction here!’ All sorts of questions can arise when you get in a position like that, and you can begin to go back on your guidance, begin to raise questions as to whether, after all, you were led, or whether you made a mistake in your guidance. Do that, and you only get more and more into the mire. What is all this about? God has a revelation for Elijah beyond anything that he had yet received. He was going to bring him into something more than he had yet known. He was going to show His servant that He is the God of resurrection; and that has to be wrought, in a deep way, into the very being of His servant, through trial, through perplexity, through bewilderment. Thus the Lord allows the widow’s son to die, and the house to be filled with consternation, and all concerned to ask big questions.

    The prophet goes up to his chamber and brings the thing before the Lord, and lays hold of God, and so relates himself to this situation that he and the situation are one, and the boy’s resurrection is the prophet’s resurrection. There is identification of the prophet with the situation in death, and then in resurrection. The mighty meaning of the power of His resurrection, with new experience of that for the servant of God, was an essential lesson, if this authority was to be maintained, and this ministry to work out to its ultimate meaning in the overthrow of the power of death, which were working destruction. The servant of God must go through it all in his own heart.

    This discipline of Zarephath was relative to the whole ministry of the prophet. Zarephath means testing and refining, and it was indeed a refining fire. But Elijah came out, and everybody else concerned came out, into a new place in resurrection.

    The Lord write these things in our hearts, and show us how they still remain as spiritual values connected with the reaching of God’s end, the fulfilling of His purpose.

  4. Barbara said

    I normally have a hard time sitting and reading long posts online. Since finding this site, I have been devouring some of these lengthy articles. They are filled with golden nuggets. I had not heard of T. Austin Sparks until today. His expounding of 1 Kings 17 has helped me to better understand what has been going on in my own spiritual life. I appreciate you posting it, and the original post of “What is a Prophet? The Prophetic Function.” Blessings…

  5. Onno Vocks said

    Some of the best photos of Onno Vocks.

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