Healing Line

Healing Line

The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Prophetic Word

by Robin Morrison
Nov/Dec 2011 & Jan/Feb/Mar 2012

This article was originally in 3 parts, the first two of which were published in separate issues. It has been combined in its entirety here for our readers’ convenience.

Discerning the Message

We hear prophetic words given on television and at conferences; we read them in articles and on websites. How do we, as the church and as individual believers, respond to prophetic announcements regarding future events, divine judgments or directions and prophetic comments and perspectives of God that are delivered by high profile figures in the church? My italics indicate that I do not believe that all of these messages are from the Lord. Some of them are, but many of them, I believe, are not. How then do we handle unfulfilled words or competing words that appear in opposition to each other? How do we negotiate the geography of prophetic terminology, coded language, claims of authenticity and validity? The scope of this article is not to debate or denigrate the prophetic gifts or to belittle certain prophetic personalities or their ministries. Let us take a look at the Bible, the Holy Spirit, common sense, and church history.

People often ask whose side is God on or endorsing when there seems to be a struggle or “sides” to take. The following verses give credence to the fact that if we are blessed by God, it is for a larger purpose.

  • James 4:6 — “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore [it] says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
  • Isaiah 66:2 — “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
  • Joshua 5:13–153 — “Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now [as] captain of the host of the Lord.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’ The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

If we are truly blessed it is to be a blessing to all nations.

The Holy Spirit's Operating Function in Prophecy

In order to understand the gift of prophecy or any of the gifts, we need to understand the nature, role and operation of the Holy Spirit. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4, NAS). The Holy Spirit manifests himself through us. “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7, NAS). “God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Heb 2:4, NAS). The Holy Spirit is a relational being to us and is relational within the Trinity to the Father and the Son.

He is the Helper/Comforter (John 14:16). He is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17). He teaches and reminds us of Jesus’ words (John 14:26). He searches and reveals (I Corinthians 2:10,12). He is grace (Hebrews 10:29). He is the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Ephesians 1:17). He gives orders/direction (Acts 1:2). He leads us (Romans 8:14). He fills us (Acts 4:8,31). He falls on people while hearing the Word (Acts 10:44; 11:15). He is a Baptism of Power and Fire (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8, 2:2–4). He testifies (Romans 9:1; Hebrews 10:15). He appoints offices for the church (Acts 20:28). He is the Spirit of Holiness (Romans 1:4). He gives us the Love of God (Romans 5:5). He sets us free to serve (Romans 8:8). He gives us life and peace (Romans 8:6,11). He helps us put to death the flesh (Romans 8:13). He tells us that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). He helps us pray and intercedes (Ephesians 6:18). He is righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). He gives hope (Romans 15:13). He sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Peter 1:2). He demonstrates the power of God (1 Thessalonians 1:5). He gives boldness to speak God’s word (Acts 4:31). He dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). He is the seal, pledge and promise (2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). He gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). He is liberty and freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). He fellowships with us (Philipians 2:1). We can be in the Spirit (Revelation1:10; 4:2). We can be “snatched away” in the Spirit (Acts 8:39; Revelation 17:3; 21:10). We can have visions and dreams (Acts 16:9; Numbers 12:6; Joel 2:28). We are built together and are a dwelling for Him (Ephesians 2:22). He strengthens us with power (Ephesians 3:16). He gives unity (Ephesians 4:3). We worship in the Spirit (Philipinasn 3:3). He speaks and warns ( 1 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 3:7). The Spirit regenerates and renews us (Titus 3:5). He preaches the gospel through us (1 Peter 1:12). He Speaks to the Churches (Revelation 2:7). He is the Spirit of Glory (1 Peter 4:14). Jesus abides in us by the Spirit (1 John 3:24).

How Does That Involve Us?

We can receive the Spirit through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 9:6,17). He is the Spirit of Jesus that cries out to the Father (Galatians 4:6). He grows and shows forth His fruit through us. “. . .The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self–control” (Galatians 5:22). He is invitational (Revelation 22:17). We live and walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:5). We can sow to the Spirit (Galatians 6:8). In our pride, sin and rebellion, we can resist Him (Acts 7:51), lie to Him (Acts 5:3), test Him (Acts 5:9), grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30), quench Him(1 Thessalonians 5:19); insult Him (Hebrews 10:29). We can be devoid of His Spirit and cause divisions (1 Sam 28:6; Jude 1:19). Biblical and historical symbols of the Holy Spirit are Wind (John 3:8, Acts 2:2), Oil (Revelation 3:18; Hebrews 1:9; Isaiah 61:1), Rain/Dew/Water (John 3:5; 7:38; 4:14), Dove ( Matthew 3:16) Fire (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8, 2:2–4), Voice (Revelation1:10; 4:1) and Sword (Ephesians 6:17). These functions, expressions, characteristics, roles and operations of the Holy Spirit are important to understand and live in since the gifts will be imbued and hued with these characteristics as well!

Communicating Prophetic Words

There is a process regarding how prophetic words are communicated both from the Holy Spirit and through us.

  1. Revelation: The manner in which we receive and the content that we receive as a word/insight/revelation from God.
  2. Interpretation: With the revelation of the word, we use the written revealed word, the spirit of wisdom and discernment, our own experiences and the safety of the counsel of the godly and righteous to understand what is being communicated to us and an interpretation of the word is formed.
  3. Application: To whom we say it, how we say it, when we say it and what we actually say becomes the application of the prophetic word.
    The gift operates through jars of clay with personalities. Therefore, you may find an element of the deliverer’s own flavor in the process. Here is where the possibility of a polluting arises. If the deliverer is not in alignment with God, his own desires, agendas, biases, emotional needs and immaturity level can be contained in the process. As earthly vessels, we are in the process of transforming and conforming to Jesus as the Word. My warning is to be merciful to those who, in compassion and care, are trying out their gifts in the local body. Those operating in the gifts need be willing to submit to local leadership and grow through correction, trial and error in a “family” where correction is carried out in love. In the prophetic realm, make offerings, not pronouncements.

Practical Steps in Responding to Prophetic Words

  1. Witness: Is there a quickening or yes in the Spirit and your spirit? Do trusted friends and leaders echo it?
  2. Wait: Wait and see what happens. The Lord’s timing (fullness of time) is perfect. Perhaps God will give you or someone else more revelation, more confirmation/counsel
  3. Watch: If the word is good, watch expectantly and with eyes of hope. In watching, there is a process of plowing, planting, flowering and fruiting which allows a refocus, releases faith and renews desires.
  4. Water: In faith, water the message, pray into it, remind God, remember His faithfulness.
  5. Worship: Worship God for who He is, what He promises, His mysterious ways, his wonderful works.
  6. War: Resist fear and unbelief. Did God really say that? When oh God?
  7. Wrestle: Wrestle against your flesh, your fears/fantasies, striving, desperation, deep desires/dreams.
  8. Wisdom: Wisdom applies and guides, using discretion and discernment for understanding and application.
  9. Willing: Be willing relinquish, release and acknowledge imperfect knowledge/understanding/fears and fantasies in both the giving/receiving of the gift.

Additional Discerning Questions When Filtering a Prophetic Word

Sometimes a word given does not sit well, but we do not know why or what to do with it. Discussing it with someone who knows you and you are accountable to is a great idea, and the following list can be helpful too.

(I will use “word” to indicate a word, message or picture delivered.)

  1. Is the word scriptural, beneficial, timely/orderly, or appropriate? Does it confirm what the Spirit has already revealed to you and other godly leaders?
  2. What is the delivering person conveying with their motive, attitude, body–language, tone, words and general message? Is it a word about me/for me or is it a word that affirms their message/promise/ministry?
  3. Does the word call me to closer intimacy with Jesus and unity with the Body?
  4. Does the word release renewed faith and submission to God’s will or am I filled with fear and confusion? (Some words will highlight our own fears for God to heal and for us to repent of unbelief. Our own emotions are not the sole measure of whether a word is valid.)
  5. Does the declarer have a track record of accuracy which includes acknowledging when the words were not fulfilled or wrong?
  6. Is the declarer under authority and submitted to a local body or board of elders?
  7. Does that person walk in their humanity? Is he or she a fellow believer, broken and open with their journey of redemption and transformation or are there constant appeals to affirmation of their personhood/ministry via spiritual experiences that no one else has had? Do they present as “weird” and without grace and without giving life to others?
  8. Does the ministry practice mercy and compassion in word and deed or is it solely focused on being a “trumpet of judgment and warning?” Even in the Old Testament words of judgment always started with Israel (the house of God for their sins; 1 Peter 4:17 “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.”) but also declared hope, healing and restoration. Israel always came under God’s judgment for leaving their first love (which God considered idolatry) and miscarriage of justice (crushing, depriving and discriminating against the widow, orphan and alien). “. . . For you who judge practice the same things” (Romans 2:1). “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within [the church?] But those who are outside, God judges . ..” (1 Corinthians 5:12–13).
  9. Does the word foster humility, servant–hood and hunger for obedience of God’s will and ways in God’s people or does it identify a select group/demographic as having God’s sole affection/blessing or vindictive wrath?
  10. Are words timed to coincide with appeals for money, faith gifts, support, headlines/news already announced via media outlets? (Titus1:11 talks about. . . “teaching things they should not [teach] for the sake of sordid gain.”)
  11. Is it an attempt to get you to obtain a “religious product” to avoid some declared disastrous outcome or obtain the “promise” and blessing of the prophetic word?
  12. Are the words clear and concise? Can they be measured by Biblical language, imagery, symbolism and doctrine? If predictive is it clear on times, dates, outcomes and meaning?

These filters are not all inclusive, but as we learn more about prophetic words, they are helpful in the discernment process.

Biblical Understanding and Discerning Personal Prophetic Words

The gift of prophecy in the New Testament is defined and operates in I Corinthians 14:1, 3: “Pursue/Press Forward/Suffer love, yet desire earnestly spiritual [gifts], but especially that you may prophesy. But one who prophesies speaks to men for:

  • edification: (the Bible uses the feminine verb)building–up, a dwelling, family, home, house/temple;
  • exhortation: encouragement, to call near, invite, implore, console, pray;
  • consolation: comfort, to relate near, encourage, to come alongside;
  • maturing (katartismos relates to a complete furnishing) empower/equip for service, instruction, learning, maturing (1 Corinthians 14:31) to teach/instruct with tenderness;
  • conviction (upon unbeliever/unlearned) sign of God among us (1 Corinthians 14:22–25)

(Referenced using Vine’s New Testament Words).

Remember that operations of prophetic gifts are:

  1. Partial (we do not fully know or understand, and we prophesy in part; 1 Corinthians 13:9);
  2. Progressive (God frequently adds understanding, insight, counsel and wisdom as time goes on);
  3. Provisional (invite us to faith, action, a response and prayer as God takes action and intervenes.)

We, as the church, are to be a people who respond first and foremost with mercy and acts of kindness, not scales of simplified spiritual formulas that always set us as Westerners apart as the exception with superior spiritual insights and exclusive blessing and protection from God.

The Holy Spirit is very “sensory” and “emotive.” Our culture is also very sense–oriented. Often a cultural addiction to stimulation and the“new and now” (including eschatology end times signs/wonders) as well as intensity toward the “spiritual experience” sets up both the deliverer and receiver of prophetic words to seek and speak that which lacks wisdom, fruit, “unction and authoring” of the Spirit. We as broken people of God can actually check out emotionally and pollute the word that is prophetically given — the deliverer reads the room, “I sense unbelief,” reads our desire, “You are struggling with something,” responds with recycled clichés, “The Lord says it’s a season of new beginnings.” Our own spirits are capable of reading and generalizing another’s emotions and general thoughts. It is what allows us to empathize and intuit with one another.

Hebrews 13:9 “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace . . .”

We need to understand that certain mentalities and worldviews frame the operation and interpretation of scripture, the Holy Spirit and prophetic words. We process these words through our own cultural and spiritual filters. This is not to say these are wrong or not profitable, but they are the context in which we live. The cultural and spiritual filters to keep in mind when hearing a prophecy or operating in this gifting are related in the following questions:

  • How do we see God’s operation in the larger world? Redeeming, judging, inviting, resisting, restoring, condemning?
  • What do we see as the role of church in the world at large both as a culture unto itself and as influencing, interacting with, redeeming, denying culture? (where we live and function on a daily basis) and spiritual reality (the world, the flesh, the Devil 1 John 2:15–17).
  • In what church, spiritual climate, theological branch did we come to know Jesus? Where were we Biblically trained, where did we fellowship and participate as well as what are our personality affinities toward certain characteristics of the Holy Spirit?
  • What is our view of the “end–times” or eschatology?

I Kings 22:13–15 says “Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably. But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak. When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth–gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give [it] into the hand of the king.” Verses 19–23 describe a scene in heaven where an evil spirit steps forward, volunteering to entice the king via a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets. 2 Chronicles 18 repeats this narrative.

As Westerners, we have a cultural need to always be “in the know” with information and the “future.” The “foretelling” (future events) eclipses the “forth–telling” (the Father's heart revealed now). We make our hearts known in the safe intimacy of fellowship and thus develop a relationship of growth and grace with our Heavenly Father and each other within a caring community. A lack of connection and commitment in a caring community disposes us to seek out recognition “from the front” and identification with certain personalities, para–church ministries and platforms where we will be noticed or spoken to in a prophetic avenue. We want “special” blessings, easy steps to freedom and fulfillment and secret heavenly experiences that set us apart from the “crowd” of Christianity. However, as we grow secure in our sonship with the Father, our affirmation grows deeply from Him. The balance of Words of Knowledge and Words of Wisdom is then cultured in a healthy manner. Our need to garner discretion, discernment, God’s counsel, direction, and divine perspective (Words of Wisdom) will outweigh the need for information given by the Holy Spirit that our natural senses could not know (Words of Knowledge).

The Challenge

Just as Hollywood seeks to appeal to the inner desires of our human nature, other filters to consider can include those found in our natural human desires. These desires can included but are not limited to emotional catharsis, individualism, escapism, desire for an alternate reality, immediacy, performance, power, unique label, health, wealth, happiness, independence, rebellion, and a lack of submission to authority.

The Cure

Continue to seek the Lord for His love and truth, asking Him for His interpretation and submitting all wants to Him in order to hear what He is saying.

If you read and listen to Christian mainstream media, there is an identifiable prophetic dichotomy of “bad news” (judgment, wrath, horrific natural disasters, wars, the church under assault, diabolically organized anti–Christian schemes, etc.) and “abundant blessings” (end time revival, power, increased outpouring, miracles, wealth, prosperity, glory) and somewhere in this is a fusion of coming signs and wonders or prophetic interpretation of present events. Sometimes the deliverer of such words identifies with and appeals to apostolic mantles and Old Testament prophetic offices or secret, divinely revealed keys of third heaven experiences. Just as an aside, it always amazes me that there is one verse ( 2 Corinthians 12:2) where Paul references this experience ( 2 Corinthians 12:1–10). He did not seek it out — it happened sovereignly. His comment (versus 4 & 5): “and heard things too sacred to be put into words, things that a person is not permitted to speak.” And he then concludes with, “but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.” John was invited up to Heaven. He did not seek to fly there, be transported or regularly make visitations. “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things (Revelation 4:1).

Prophets did get words about natural events/disasters in the New Testament. Acts 11:27–29 reads “Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and [began] to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the [reign] of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send [a contribution] for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.” However, there is no prophetic ascription to its symbolism (my people are refusing the food of my word), no time frame given (when the famine will start, how long it will endure or when it will end), no judgment or retribution or secret blessing assigned to a specific people group or region.

There is currently a dangerous trend towards ministers and ministries that lack true relational and biblical accountability, avenues to discern/correct the words and mutual submission to the Body at large (or even a local body where they are not in charge or the source of revenue). We seem to operate in a prophetic system that makes public declarations, but never public retractions nor apologies. Those who speak have a higher level of accountability than those sitting in the pews & parishes. James 3:1 “Let not many {of you} become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” Overuse of the prophetic “escape” clause has abounded: “God changed his mind or everyone prayed enough so this won't happen now.” Or, they utilize words so nebulous and unclear that they leave no avenue to discern or discuss the content nor hold the declarer of such content accountable. When one tries to dialogue about the content or the speaker it is now fashionable to label such a person asking these questions as critical, judgmental, lacking faith and “heavenly experiences,” having a spirit of offense or unbelief.

There is a mentality that God always reveals all He plans and does to prophets or people with certain levels of prophetic gifting. Amos 3:7 says “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” The question still remains — to whom does he reveal it — only prophets and only a certain type of person who has access to the public eye? Also, what and how much does He reveal? Does He tell every detail of every plan He has for every people group, time period, national and natural event? I ask you these questions so that you are thoughtful when you hear prophetic words not to assume they are always correct and correctly delivered. There is another verse that puts this verse in Amos in creative tension. 2 Kings 4:25–27 says “So she went and came to the man of God [Elisha] to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. Please run now to meet her and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ “ And she answered, “It is well.” When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for her soul is troubled within her; and the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.” Not every plan of the Lord is revealed or even for revealing.

Old Testament prophetic offices ended with Jesus, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church and the closing of the Canon. We are under New Testament grace and all believers are urged to operate in the gifts especially the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1). The Bible clearly states that we “know in part and prophecy in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9) — it is not at the same level as Old Testament prophets who were God’s mouthpieces and scribes of His Word. The Old Testament prophetic was The Word of God. The New Testament prophetic is a word from God (note the use of upper case “W” and lower case “w.” Moses himself said: “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29). The Hebrew words for “prophetic” (oracle) and “burden” are homonyms. Sharing of the burdens that were on God’s heart would be given to lift up in prayer/petition the burdens of the people of God. This is an intercessory position. This is where the prophetic gifts intersect with the healing ministry. When we are able to use our God–given prophetic gifts well, the sick, hurt and demonized can receive comfort, exhortation, and eventually healing. Lord, please bless the understanding, use and delivery of your words as given through prayer ministers today.

There are faceless servants who are humbly offering their prophetic gifts in order to assist the local church in growing towards grace and truth. Moreover, they are assisting in fulfilling the Father's commission to seek and save the lost, and make us one as He is One. God bless you faithful ones! God honors the hungry and the humble! There is a lot of rattling and background noise being designated as “profound” and “prophetic”… Let us be wise and discerning. Let us grow in grace and community as we build up the local body of believers and be mission minded with our gifts and talents so as to further His Kingdom! Jesus is the One who is to receive all glory and to whom we must give account on how we steward our gifts and talents.

Please do not read this thinking I am against the prophetic gifting for today. I see lives transformed by the prophetic word. I am all in favor of it, I practice it and I am well aware of the benefits and blessings that it gives to people today. As I hear from God, I am also aware of how the prophetic word is used in a way that not only distresses its hearers, but also leads people astray. May God bless you and give you His wisdom as you discern His word for you today.

Warnings Against False Prophets

The prophetic mantles of the Old Testament (such as the mantle if Isaiah) are no longer in operation within the gift of prophecy today. If we claim Old Testament mantles then we need to claim Old Testament standards as their repercussions. I make the distinction of capital “P” for prophets of the Old Testament versus the gift of prophecy today resting as a gift, but not seen as the same as the office of the prophet. Deuteronomy 18: 20–22 says 'But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the message about which he speaks does not come about or come true, that is the thing “which the LORD has not spoken.” The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Read Jeremiah 28 about Hananiah. The story is a powerful reminder not to claim an office that has not been given. If people claim to have an “Elijah” ministry then they should be “restoring the hearts of the fathers to [their] children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that [the Lord] will not come and smite the land with a curse (Malachi 4:6). Nobody seems to claim Amos’ calling or mantle — “Then Amos replied to Amaziah, "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs (Amos 7:14) — He prophesies for nine chapters and then he goes back to the fields and farm! There were also “unnamed” prophets in the Old Testament: “the sons of the prophets who [were at] Bethel (2 Kings 2:3) and the sons of the prophets who [were] at Jericho (2 Kings 2:5).”

The “code” for prophetic words and messages are very clear in God’s word. We are not to throw stones at the Bride and we are not to stone the Servants of the King! The history of the church is unfortunately full of stoning and being stoned. Israel had to constantly deal with false prophets and prophets with presumption. Isaiah 29:10 says “For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.” Jeremiah 5:13, 31 says “The prophets are [as wind], and the word is not in them. . . .The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their [own] authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?” Isaiah 30:9,10 says “For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, "You must not see [visions]"; and to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions.” Jeremiah 14:14 says “Then the LORD said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.’” Jeremiah 23:16, 21, 25, 26 says “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD... I did not send [these] prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. . . I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, 'I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long? Is there [anything] in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even [these] prophets of the deception of their own heart?” False prophesy was rampant in Biblical times just as much as it is today.

Jesus mentions earthquakes, wars, rumors, famines, terrible signs, pestilence/plagues as precursors to his return (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11) — birth pangs of the beginning of the Final End of the consummation of the Kingdom . The scriptures include types of prophetic words identifying suffering and martyrdom and exhorting us to hope, patient endurance and kingdom commission. We veer into Christian “magic” and “magical thinking” when we over emphasize external events, signs, symbols and power. This dynamic plays out in two ways. One way is in our thinking and framing of faith and God. We explain things in a formulaic way. ‘This sign always means this.’ We explain things as though God has a hidden code that we must decipher. We start thinking (and people start teaching that there is a secret level I need to attain and pass through in order to receive God’s blessing and gain biblical understanding. An example of this incorrect thinking: If I just recite the right passage in a ritualistic rite of faith God will grant me xy & z. The second way this dynamic plays out is the subtle and incorrect thinking which comes as a seduction to be comic book super heroes with super powers on a secret mission that no one can possibly comprehend nor can anyone explain nor do I need anyone’s assistance. It’s just me and Jesus. All things are moving toward that final day when Jesus returns. NO man knows when that is! People become prophetically fixated on the end and their ministry/anointing/gifting without walking in present peace and grace and commissioning within the Body of Christ. We are not meant to live without the body of Christ, both for their sake and for our own sake.

The following represents some condensed biblical information. This information is not meant to be an exhaustive or detailed explanation, but references in which to frame and root our understanding of the New Testament prophetic gift.

Biblical Forms of Delivery of Prophetic Messages

  • Oracle (Acts 13:1–3)
  • Exhortation (Acts 15:30–35)
  • Prayer (Luke 1:67–69, Ezra 9:6–15, Nehemiah 9:6–37)
  • Song (Deuteronomy 32:1–43, 2 Peter 1:21)
  • Visions (Revelation 4:1–3)
  • Action (Jeremiah 27:2–3)

The Operation of the Prophetic

  • Simple (all)
  • Gifting (public action)
  • Ministry (commissioned by church)
  • Office (God elected)

There are lists of prophets in the New Testament (Acts 13:1, 15:32, 21:10). Prophets in the Book of Acts foretell certain events and even some false prophets are noted (Acts 13:6). There are numerous warnings against False Prophets, Apostles & Dreams: Deuteronomy 13:1–5; 2 Chronicles 18:18–21; Jeremiah 14:14; Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 13:3,6,7; Nehemiah 6:14; Ecclesiastes 5:7, Zechariah 10:2,3; Matthew 7:15–23; Matthew 24:5–14, 24; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15; Colossians 2: 18,19; 2 Peter 2; Jude 1:8; 1 John 4:1–3. Acts 20:29–30.

The implication of these warnings is that the operation and expression of this gift was so “abundant” in the church via the Holy Spirit through His unnamed servants that Paul had to warn the Church to use discernment because not every prophet, prophecy, dream or vision was from God even if they spoke in Jesus’ name. The heart of the Father is to communicate with His children and share His heart with us. John 15:15 says “I am no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” [The Message]

Danger “Keep Out” Warnings

Certain ministers/ministries have “prophetic words” (I use parentheses because I disagree) generically identifying disasters that are quite common to certain regions of the country/world (earthquakes — think California, hurricanes — think Florida), yet do not give dates/times or sequences/significance of these events (let alone words about disasters that have occurred in their own area of residence). There have been a number of publicly released words that were completely wrong! There have also been a serious and significant lack of words regarding certain national and natural events! Prophetic words are not just a description of events, they are to include a prescription of hope, and a response including God’s perspective.

Things to Avoid

There is a trend to politically infuse these “prophetic words” as “God’s agenda, endorsement or judgment.” The call of the prophetic is to reveal God’s heart, his passion for his people and His desire to connect afresh with renewed vigor in order to reveal our hearts. He sees our wounds, weaknesses, fears, bondages and desperate need for Jesus (and His long–suffering compassion toward us). He has set His affection upon us and named us as His own. James 2:13 says “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” (NAS) Being prophetic means actively and daily being Jesus to a dying world rather than a call to weirdness and rudeness.

Mistakes Churches Make

We have skewed the administrative government of the church, resulting in isolation and rejection of those with prophetic gifting or platforming and promoting them to positions outside the grace of their gifting. We need to collaborate and coordinate the healthy shepherding of them as they grow in their gift. Otherwise we set them up to be the sole leaders and voices of the local church, if they haven’t already started their own worldwide ministry. (This is not to say all para–church ministries or worldwide focused ministries are bad or a–biblical.) If we choose not to correct or edit that which is at least immature, or say “no” to that which is at its worst a fleshly fabrication, then we can’t clarify and clearly hear what is authentic. God’s heart and purposes are revealed through the Church. He speaks into who we are as a redeemed, transformed, loving people and what we do related to acts of compassion, kindness, mercy and justice. Ephesians 3:10 speaks about the purpose: “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” God wants to express Himself through redeemed people’s actions.

I believe God does warn His people and is involved in the “natural sphere” of life. I also believe God wants us focused on Him rather than prophetic words, personalities and platforms. It takes much more faith, power and humility to declare life and call God’s people to community and consecrated commitment than it does to declare spiritual warfare, judgment and death over the culture at large. We are to be the salt and light in the world — and if you don’t like the way the world is heading, get out into the world and be His hands and feet! Battle for these changes on your knees, not wrestling against flesh & blood!

May God bless the gift of prophecy in each and every one of you — so that you “eagerly desire it” — and may He also bless you in the discernment process of what you hear from others.

Robin Morrison Robin Morrison is a teacher and prophetic minister in Orange, California. Nov/Dec 2011

The Blessing of Persistence

by Francis MacNutt
Nov/Dec 2011

When you are in the midst of a struggle, it is often hard to last long enough to see that it has all been worthwhile. Like many of you, I worked for years to bring the need for power of the Spirit to the attention of Christians. Like many of you, our (Judith’s and my) struggles have been to bring the practice of healing prayer into common use. For me, it has been forty years from the time since I first learned that many of the sick really did get well if and when we prayed. It has not always been an encouraging path and, at times, church leaders who were considered authorities gave me orders to cease and desist — for example, “Stop slaying people in the Spirit.” At times the orders came in such a way that healing prayer as a whole was discouraged. For example, have you ever heard the objection that when you get the sick to hope for healing when you pray, you are only setting people up to lose whatever faith they may have if they are not cured? This, of course, is a valid question that we must deal with every day as we lead a ministry that emphasizes faith in healing. All of us who pray for the sick must answer this question in some way. Many of our friends have suffered from cancer and we have been the first to admit they have not all been healed.

What drives us on is the experience, the knowledge that not just a few, but many are cured or at least improved. For me one of the best comparisons for our prayer ministry is the practice of medicine. We go to the doctor when we are sick, full of the human faith that we may be cured through the physician’s treatment. If a fourth stage of cancer has even a 10% chance of being cured because of medical treatment we accept that 10% chance with gratitude, hope, and we include prayer. Even if the curative treatment is painful and has harsh side–effects (e.g. chemo) we are willing to undergo great pain hoping for a cure. No one criticizes you for taking even a slim chance if a cure is faintly possible.

It’s very important for us to recognize that skepticism is a normal and common response to proposing prayer as a solution. So many times we have been unbalanced in our presentation and promises that change will take place, but it will take time — maybe a lot of time.

In this road where persistence pays off, Judith and I have a good example of patience. It was about 40 years ago when I first heard about Christians who prayed to heal the sick. Because this was unheard of in most of the Christian groups to which I spoke 40 years ago, I had to make a choice. I was President of the Catholic Homiletic Society (CHS), made up of about a thousand Catholic priests. Our Board of Directors told me that I had a choice to make. If I continued to talk about praying for the sick with the laying on of hands, the Board said they would bless me in this new direction — but if I continued to encourage people to pray for the sick, I should resign as Executive Secretary of CHS because I was moving in a questionable direction. I recognized the Board was right but I also decided that bringing the healing ministry back to the Church was more important than working for an organization aimed at improving preaching. In fact, I was teaching, based on Matthew 10, that the best way to improve preaching was by connecting it with the power of the Holy Spirit, by healing the sick. This was the way Jesus himself encouraged his followers to proclaim and demonstrate that the Kingdom of God was “at hand.”

Without any hard feelings I resigned from my job as Executive Secretary of CHS, and began to speak about the power of the Holy Spirit, combined with healing and deliverance. After my own baptism of the Spirit in 1967 I began to speak about this exciting new topic to any church that would invite me.

These 40 years have passed by quickly and have brought a whole new life. In those 40 years, there has been a remarkable change — perhaps we could call it a revolution. A gentle revolution, but a revolution nevertheless.

Our friend Father Richard Rohr put it very well in his recent book: “I put this down as an encouragement to any of you who have been faithfully working — perhaps for years — to bring in some measure of change in the Church. It is not probably impossible, but it does take Faith and TIME.”

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Nov/Dec 2011

Tidings of Comfort & Joy

by Linda Strickland
Nov/Dec 2011

When our son Shon was a student at Florida State University, he lived in a condominium with two roommates. He called one day and asked if he could come by that night because he had something he wanted to discuss with his dad and me. Although he came over multiple times a month to eat, get haircuts, and do laundry, I could tell by his voice that he was not asking for a social visit. The fact that he asked permission to come over should have been my first clue that something was wrong. He had never before called ahead.

Shon has always been the joy of my life. It makes me smile just to see him walk in the room. When he walked into our house that night, however, I did not feel like smiling. He looked terrible! As we all sat down in the living room, I could feel my stomach tensing up…What in the world was wrong?

He began to tell us about how he had been going through a hard time. He could not concentrate on much of anything and was having difficulty going to class. He admitted that he had in fact not been to classes in several weeks. I recall him telling us that most of his time was spent in bed, unable to move. Friends would bring him food and try and make him eat. He said he felt like he was falling down a dark hole with nothing to stop the fall. He didn’t know what was happening to him, but he knew he was in trouble.

What???? Was I really hearing this from my son whom I knew so well? Impossible! No way! I saw him regularly at least three or four times a week. I would have known…wouldn’t I? He had seemed very normal each time I saw him. (At least normal for a college student.)

He told me it was all an act. He would muster every bit of strength he had before coming to our house and then proceed to “act” as though everything was fine. He would even laugh and joke around with me as usual, but it was all a façade. He would then go back to his house and go straight to bed.

I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. This was my precious son, whom I adored beyond words. How could I be so unaware??

That question haunted me then, and in some ways, it still does.

I am so grateful that he chose to come to us for help, and after talking, we immediately came up with a three point plan. Number one was to immediately get him into his doctor for a full physical. The second thing was to get him an appointment with a therapist. The third was to get him an appointment with our priest. Body, mind and spirit…we wanted to cover all three areas of his life. It turned out that Shon did, in fact, have a chemical imbalance and was diagnosed as clinically depressed.

Depression is more than discouragement, which is a transient state with an obvious cause and the person is still able to function normally. The symptoms of depression can include prolonged sadness, irritability, extreme worry, sleep disorder, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in things that used to be of interest, loss of energy, hopelessness, inability to concentrate, racing mind, and even suicidal thoughts.

Although Shon had many of these symptoms, he did not have them all. His case was considered a milder one. Left untreated, however, he would likely have gotten worse. As prescribed by his medical doctor, he went on medication for a length of time and improved very rapidly. Although it is still a mystery to me how I did not see the symptoms, I have since learned that depression is far more common than I once thought.

We live in an age that that has been described as the “Age of Anxiety.” Currently, clinical depression is the leading cause of disability in North America. According to the World Health Organization, depression is expected to become the second leading cause of disability worldwide by the year 2020 (after heart disease). Current theories on the causes of depression can be classified into two categories: physiological (genetic disposition) and socio–psychological. Depression is complex, because the brain itself is so complex. As with any form of mental illness, normal brain function has been interrupted for some reason.

Depression can be defined as a medical condition caused by a depletion of certain neurotransmitters, which makes it a medical illness. Anti–depressants may be part of the necessary treatment, just as insulin is needed for diabetes, and individual treatment will vary. Research has shown that we can have a genetic predisposition to depression. (In Shon’s case, depression shows up on both sides of his family tree). Under certain conditions, the brain slows down its manufacturing process of serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are necessary for normal brain function. Depression can also be a result of severe childhood trauma. Recent researchers have discovered that the brain can actually modify its DNA and RNA composition. The good news is that through prayer, counseling and medical treatment, normal brain function can often be restored.

We recently polled a group of students on our campus asking how many of them either struggled with or knew of someone who was struggling with depression. 100% of the room (85 students) raised their hands. And we have the same result every time we ask the question.

Statistics show that just as many Christians as non–Christians suffer from depression, and sadly, the church can be guilty of suppressing or down–playing the need for treatment of what can be a very debilitating disorder. It is common for a church leader to say that medical treatment is not necessary — that one only needs to read scripture or rebuke the “spirit of depression.” We have heard this over and over again in our interviews with prayer recipients. This attitude shows a lack of understanding that can hinder healing and create shame and self–worth issues.

The good news is that depression is a very treatable illness and a disorder from which people can be restored when healing prayer, coupled with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ, is incorporated as an integral part of a doctor’s orders.

As we enter into the Christmas Season, I want to encourage you to reach out with “Comfort and Joy” to your friends and family who suffer with depression, as their feelings of anxiety can heighten during the holidays. Giving someone hope is one of the most incredible gifts you can give. And if you find yourself in a depressed place, please reach out to your loved ones and ask for help.

Merry Christmas, and in the coming year may God provide all that you have hoped for or imagined!

Taken in part from the teaching Depression in CHM’s SHP II

Linda Strickland Linda Strickland is CHM's Associate Director of Ministry and Assistant to Judith MacNutt. Nov/Dec 2011

Recollections of Empowerment

by Jay Jakub
Nov/Dec 2011

Overall Observation

I’ve never before seen such a strong and diverse move of the Holy Spirit at such an event! There were times, in fact, that my wife Eleni, and I found the power of the Holy Spirit to be so strong that it was hard to remain standing when entering the conference room. Judith MacNutt, Mike Evans, and the prophetic minister Robin Morrison even remarked at times during the three days that they were seeing moves of the Spirit occurring that were new to them. At times during the conference, all manner of Holy Spirit–inspired emotions literally swept through the room like an unseen wind across the assembled group of approximately 500. These manifestations ranged from boisterous and uncontrollable laughter to weeping; from wild Jewish–type dancing around the room to ‘resting in the Spirit’ on the floor — some slumped in chairs, and others being ‘glued’ to the floor for periods of time. From receiving supernatural inner and physical healings to obvious manifestations of the demonic in some attendees, as oppressing spirits were being driven out by the irresistible presence of the Holy Spirit. From unrestrained praise and worship to the memorable “ridiculous men of the huddle,” as Judith described us and among whom I was privileged to be numbered, packed tightly in a football–like huddle, dancing, singing, rejoicing, and surrendering completely to the will of the Holy Spirit, for what seemed like an hour of unabashed celebration of being one in the body of Jesus Christ. God was there! What a conference!!!

Physical Healing

On day 2 of the conference, Mike Evans gave a talk on physical healing that included a remarkable ‘on the spot’ demonstration. After explaining how he prays for healing, asking for the Holy Spirit to come, then just waiting until he hears something directly from the Holy Spirit about the problem before praying hands on, he got a word of knowledge about people with ankle and foot problems. Mike asked if anyone was suffering from such injuries, and six came forward for healing prayer. After praying with four of the injured — all of whom claimed some significant healing at the instant time of his prayers for them — Mike asked for a volunteer, someone who has never laid hands on anyone before in a healing prayer situation to come forward to try praying “hands on” on one of the two remaining “ankle and foot volunteers.” A man near me volunteered, went up, knelt down, prayed, waited on the Holy Spirit, then just said a few things about the physical problem in the form of a prayer and the person receiving prayer was healed! PTL!!!! How exciting and encouraging! Mike then repeated this with another volunteer. She went up, prayed, waited, prayed what she heard the Holy Spirit say in her thoughts, and there was another healing, with the subject getting up and walking around to test what just happened. We were all so encouraged to witness this, and we found it impossible to adequately capture the emotion of the moment of Supernatural healing in a written testimonial.

Mike taught us that we are all given the authority to pray to heal the sick, but few of us are bold enough to just go up to a stranger in pain and ask if they would mind us praying for them. This point was very convicting to many of us, and a woman near the back of the room raised her hand and asked if Mike would pray for her to be free from self–consciousness and pride that might keep her from stepping out and laying on hands in healing situations with strangers. Mike used this as an opportunity to ask all of us in the room if we wanted such a prayer, warning that if we truly want this, Jesus will henceforth expect us to get out there and start praying for people. Nearly everyone (perhaps all, I couldn’t tell for sure) rose and awaited this prayer, and Mike again encouraged us saying that God will certainly begin putting people in our path who need healing and will expect us to step out; “perhaps, he will even do so today,” Mike said. This “perhaps, even today” part of what he said was ringing in my ears as Mike began to pray this prayer to be set free of self–consciousness and pride over the assembled group, and my whole body began to tremble, especially my head, in a way I have never before experienced. It was the obvious presence of the Holy Spirit. I knew without a doubt that Mike’s prayer for us had been answered supernaturally with all this shaking I was experiencing, and before I could even sit down, my eyes fixed on a man across the aisle from me. All I could focus on were the hearing aids in both his ears, and this shocked me as I instantly realized I was expected to step out right this minute; the Lord wasn’t even going to give me a day to process what just happened. “Oh, no! Please don’t make me do this right this minute, Jesus,” I called out quietly, but He did not let me off the hook. I felt this was a test I would have to pass, lest my inaction be a disappointment to the Lord.

So, with much trepidation, I got up as we were all beginning a break and approached the man with the hearing aids, explaining my belief that Jesus wanted me to pray for the restoration of his hearing and to do so right this minute. He agreed (to my relief), and I asked Eleni to join me. As we discussed his hearing problems briefly, he said he was going to now remove both hearing aids after which time he would be unable to hear what we were saying. I proceeded to lay one hand on one of his ears, while Eleni laid a hand on his other ear and we began to pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do next, just as Mike had instructed. This didn’t take long, and after a minute or so, what came in my mind were words like, “eardrum,” “perforation,” “dark passage,” and “rupture.” I immediately said these words, praying as I did that the Holy Spirit would open his ear passageways and restore his hearing. Eleni, I think, prayed in tongues and in English. After another few minutes of prayer, we began conversing quietly with the man and I realized by what he was saying to me that he was hearing every word I was saying!!! Praise the Lord! Cautiously, but with great anticipation, I asked if he could hear me, and he said he could, and that his hearing to his obvious amazement was much improved. Praise the Lord again!!! We then asked if we could pray some more, which we did, and he again said his hearing improved noticeably. Eleni tested him further by standing behind him and whispering and he confirmed he could hear every word she said! I immediately burst into tears at this extraordinary “workshop” of the Holy Spirit; encouraging us all in this way and providing a measure of real healing to this man’s hearing loss. Finally, as we rose to leave him, the man said he was going to keep the hearing aids out the rest of the day to see if he could hear the speakers, and later, during the afternoon, we saw him happily scribbling notes during each of the afternoon talks, no hearing aids in sight! How wonderful!

The only question mark for me came at the very end of the conference the next day, when this man walked into the hall late and I saw him wearing at least one of the hearing aids. He wound up taking the microphone and testifying about significant physical healing of his injured back and legs during one of Mike Evans’ sessions, but didn’t mention the hearing. I struggled against unbelief for a time at this lack of further confirmation, but still left pleased that he obviously had multiple close encounters with God and perhaps his hearing was improving, but was not entirely there yet, like many other healing situations we have seen and heard about where such healing is progressive and takes time. Maybe, one day we will know for sure; maybe not. In any case, we praise the Lord.

At the end of the conference, during testimonies, many others took the microphone to praise God for their physical healings. One testimony that stands out was of a man who spoke of a stroke he suffered in 2003 that had made it impossible for him to jog. He missed getting the runner’s “high” (endorphin release). He said that on Friday, during the ‘Empowering’ service, he actually stood up and danced the Hora all around the room!!! He had been healed of the effects of the debilitating stroke. Praise the Lord!!!

Inner Healing

We heard about many instances of inner healing during the conference, especially during the testimonials, but one situation really stood out for me personally, as Eleni and I were the prayer ministers involved and the gentleman testified before the whole group at the end of the conference about what happened, so I feel free to share it now in this document. Eleni and I were a two–person prayer team that volunteered to provide individual prayer with multiple other prayer minister teams during set times each day of the conference. A man in his fifties was brought to us at one point and he related how he and his wife and family were still grieving deeply for a son lost in a car accident just 9 months before. The grief, it seemed, was still bone crushing, and we sensed the Holy Spirit leading us to pray for Jesus to take the man back to the time of the accident in order to show him where Jesus was at the time his son was killed so tragically. Soon after, it seemed that a big weight was removed from this man’s shoulders, as he told us that he got a vision of Jesus there at his son’s accident scene, lifting his son up in his arms. This proved to be a deeply meaningful inner healing experience for the man, as he later testified before the whole group at the end of the conference. What a privilege to have been his prayer ministers when this occurred. God is so very tender and loving to show himself to this man in this way. Praise the Lord!

During the testimonies, another woman detailed how skeptical and suspicious she had been about the whole “healing thing,” and of her deep wariness of “those charismatic people,” being fearful of even attending the conference, lest her friends identify her as one of “us.” She attended very reluctantly in the end, and as she detailed her experiences, we all cheered, especially when she said how she had been overcome by the Holy Spirit at the conference, was healed from crippling fibromyalgia, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and given the gift of tongues, with Judith pointing out that she had now truly become “one of us” as we laughed. The woman described herself as having been completely transformed.

Resting in the Spirit

For many attending, the healing service Thursday evening proved to be their first experience with the phenomenon of “resting in the Spirit.” Many people being prayed over toppled over backwards onto the floor (laid down gently by the catchers), then lay motionless for some time while the Holy Spirit did whatever healing he was going to do with them. The healing service started at 7pm and went until about midnight, with dozens upon dozens experiencing the resting in the Spirit phenomenon. I was there catching many of them.

At one point, a CHM prayer minister, was laying hands on people who were subsequently “slain in the Spirit” and a rather large man toppled over directly onto her, knocking her to the floor and (according to witnesses) covering her entirely to where she could not be seen! There was much laughing about that as the man was removed without injury to either party. Soon after, she was up praying again, this time for a young woman, when the Holy Spirit decided to overcome her rather than the recipient of her prayers! She collapsed backwards onto her side this time without anyone there to catch her and lay prostrate for about 10 minutes, unable to move at all — the “glued to the floor” experience — as we (and she) roared with laughter! Of course, she was not injured, since this was all the doing of the Holy Spirit, so this just became another example of our Lord’s wonderful sense of humor. How fun!

As we got down to the last people of the night, I finally stepped forward for prayer. As a team prayed for me, I soon found myself also on the floor looking up. (It turned out that a very tall nun actually caught all 6’5” of me! Amazing! Thank you, whoever you are!) As has happened once or twice to me in the past when I’ve been overcome by the Spirit in this way, I was in an unnecessary and inadvisable rush to get up, this time frankly because it was very late (most of the other prayer ministers had already gone to bed and I wanted to meet one of the speakers who hadn’t yet left the meeting room). While I lay there pondering what to do, I kept hearing the Holy Spirit saying, “Let me minister to you,” “Let me minister to you.” This kept me there a bit longer, but my impatience and desire to meet the other speaker got the better of me, I’m sad to say (so sorry, Holy Spirit!!!), and I rose before the Lord was finished with me. The Holy Spirit would soon come back to finish the job, as I discovered the next day.

The Ridiculous Men of the Huddle

My unfinished resting in the Spirit experience on Thursday night would in fact be rectified in a very humorous way on Friday. I was a catcher again at the extraordinary Empowering Service that evening, and found everyone between me and the stage at one point having gone down to the floor. I stepped forward to the stage to receive anointing prayer, hands outstretched. Judith MacNutt and Mike Evans both came to me together after a short time and laid their hands on each of my hands. No sooner did this occur then I actually saw through closed eyes what briefly looked like a bolt of lightning, though I felt nothing, and I soon found myself looking up at the ceiling. I was awake and aware of everything going on around me, and there was an enormous hush flowing through the room for a long time as the Holy Spirit just descended on the entire place. I was later told that people were toppling over in their chairs, and Robin, Mike, and Judith could be heard over the next minutes remarking at just how powerful the Holy Spirit was moving in the room at this time of anointing! Wow! I was so very curious and eager not to miss anything, but this time the Holy Spirit had me pinned tightly to the floor. It was as if I could move the muscles inside my arms, legs, and torso, but the outside parts of my body would not or could not respond at all. The Holy Spirit wasn’t going to let me go anywhere this time until he was quite finished with me! I was absolutely stuck to the floor, unable to lift my limbs at all! As I lay there, soaking in the palpable presence of the Spirit, I could literally feel the Holy Spirit like a towel wrapped around my head, stretching from ear to ear across my forehead with a gentle heaviness. Something big was happening — I still don’t know what exactly, but can’t wait to find out — and I quickly gave up any thought of getting up while I felt the Holy Spirit on my head in this way. Wow!

Eventually, I did rise, literally staggering around for a time as I did so, catching glimpses of people having all manner of Supernatural experiences, all very quietly as though in absolute awe of the sheer power of Jesus at this time. That quietness, however, was about to change in a big way. A pastor who had touched my heart the night before was positioning himself near the stage to catch others. He was himself suddenly and abruptly overcome by the Holy Spirit and fell backwards onto the floor (I think without anyone behind him to catch him), just roaring with laughter as he did so and continuing to laugh while down on his back. Recovering my legs, I started laughing at what happened to him once I saw he was ok, as did several other men up at the front, and before long, a dozen or more of us were just roaring with laughter, experiencing the joy of the Holy Spirit without any encumbrance of self–consciousness.

When my new pastor friend arose from the floor finally, he linked arms with several other men, whom I soon joined, and we formed a tight huddle, laughing uproariously the whole time, dancing in a circle back and forth, forward and back, hugging one another unabashedly in love and fellowship, trying not to fall down in a heap, and just feeling (at least from my personal perspective) that we were actually and truly one body in Christ Jesus. One man (who had one arm around my shoulders) pronounced that the effort of this arm motion alone (I am much taller than him) just confirmed the miraculous healing of his formerly damaged shoulder! Praise the Lord! This dancing, singing, laughing, nearly falling, all in a tight huddle continued for a very long time, with other men gradually joining us, breaking into the tight circle. I was vaguely aware at this time of all sorts of wild jubilation spreading around the room, with many dancing in a Jewish type dance in a long line all around the room, while others worshiped with hands raised in the air, and others slumped over in their chairs or onto the floor. So much was happening. I think the praise and worship leaders at some point started playing their great music, which just whipped us all up even more. I could see the leaders up on the stage, their mouths agape at what was happening all around. The power and the glory of the Holy Spirit was just so amazingly evident everywhere. The next day, during her closing remarks, Judith described our little group of men as the “Ridiculous men of the huddle” that she will “never forget” as long as she lives! HA! I’m so very happy to have experienced this extraordinarily close fellowship with these other men, and when writing to Judith in the future will be sure to use this salutation — A ridiculous man of the huddle!

Thank You, Jesus, for allowing Eleni and me the opportunity to see Your glory and power on display in Vermont on the mountaintop in such a meaningful way! Thank you, CHM, for putting on these events. I can’t wait for next year’s CHM in New England!!! Praise the Lord!

Jay Jakub Jay Jakub is a CHM Prayer Minister and volunteer. He and his wife Eleni live in McLean, Virginia. Nov/Dec 2011