The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Prophecy

Understanding 1 Kings 13: Why Yahweh Fed His Prophet to a Lion

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If you record the phrase, “Always check with God before you accept a message as being from Him,” and then play that recording out loud on a continual loop, you’ll get a good sense of what we teach you in our material.  God is the Supreme Authority.  God is the One you’re supposed to be serving, obeying, and following, not humans. Humans lie—both intentionally and unintentionally. Humans don’t begin to have a complete grasp of truth.  Humans are very limited, foolish creatures who possess no spiritual wisdom of their own.  This means that when a human says to you “I have a message from God for you,” your immediate response should be to say to God in the privacy of your own soul, “Hey, God, this person is claiming to have a message from You.  Are they legit or not?”  You always need to ask God.  Always, always, always.  It doesn’t matter if the person talking has given you 1,000 messages before that were all legitimate.  For all you know, their next message could be pure hooey.  Humans will never be reliable sources of truth, which is why giving them your blind trust is guaranteed to lead you spiritually astray.  So no matter who is talking, no matter what titles they’re using, what degrees they’re waving, or how nice their website looks, you must check with God.  Read more of this post

A Mouthy Messiah: Why the Jews in Nazareth Tried to Kill Jesus

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In Luke 4, we find an interesting sequence of events. Jesus stands up in a synagogue, reads a portion of Isaiah 61, and when He sits down, everyone’s staring at Him like He just said something shocking.  What’s that about?

Well, first realize that there wasn’t an “Isaiah 61” to the Jews because their Scriptures weren’t divided into chapters.  Isaiah’s entire book would have been one long scroll for them.  Chapters were not added to the Bible until the 13th century A.D., and verses were then added in the mid-16th century.  All of the stuff you read about in the New Testament happened during the 1st century.

Now even though there weren’t chapters, Isaiah’s book is a series of visions and speeches which are stand alone thoughts.  To understand the context of a single verse, you need to find the start of the speech that it’s a part of, and read the whole speech.  Chapter headings can actually get in the way because they make you feel like a new speech is starting when sometimes the chapter break happens in the middle of the speech.  Either way, in the case of Jesus, He didn’t come anywhere close to reading a whole speech.  He just read a few lines from the middle of a long speech.  He really wasn’t modeling a good use of context—but then again, that wasn’t His purpose.  Read more of this post

Christian Prophets Explain the Mechanics of Prophecy: Don’t Just Believe What We Say

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Whenever a human declares what’s going to happen in the future, they’re prophesying.  But how exactly does prophecy work?  Is it really true that certain humans have gained the ability to peer into the future?  No, this is not true, and any human who claims to have such an ability has become deluded by his own ego.  To understand how prophecy works, let’s pretend you have a buddy named Mark who has been away for a month.  Mark claims that he spent that month in a country that neither of you have ever been to before.  Mark then shows you a bunch of photographs that he says he took while he was on his vacation. They’re nice photographs, but how do you know that Mark actually took them?  How do you know he didn’t just pull them off of the internet?  How do you know that Mark really went to the places that he claims he went to?  You don’t know, because you weren’t there.  As you go through Mark’s photographs, you’re deciding in your mind whether you should believe Mark’s stories or not.  When you see a photo of a café that Mark claims to have had lunch at, it seems like a plausible story.  But when you come to a photo of the blue elephant that Mark claims to have seen, then you start to have your doubts.  And when you see the treasure chest full of pirate’s gold that Mark claims to have discovered on a scuba diving trip, you find yourself suspecting that Mark never really went anywhere at all.  You see, the pictures by themselves don’t prove anything.  It’s really Mark’s character that you’re using to assess the accuracy of his story. You also have to take into account the fact that Mark has his own problems in life, and he might have a very good reason for wanting people to believe he left the country for four weeks.  Before you just take Mark’s story at face value, you need to step back and look at the big picture.  Things are never as simple as they first appear, and people lie to each other for both good and bad reasons. Read more of this post

Ezekiel 13-14: Yahweh Condemns False Prophets

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In Ezekiel 13-14 we find a very intense speech from Yahweh which gives us some fabulous insights into how He views false prophets.  Since most of the prophets you come across in the Church today are complete phonies, this passage of Scripture is very relevant to you.  It’s very dangerous business to go around speaking messages for God which He hasn’t authorized you to speak.  Even when you’re spreading sunshine and cheer by promising everyone that brighter days are coming, you are personally heading towards some very dark days if you’re speaking without God’s Authorization.  God’s Name isn’t some toy that we get to play with.  When referring to Him is just some clever marketing strategy we’re using in order to boost sales and gather customers, we’re getting in line for some very nasty discipline.  When you’re messing with God, you’re messing with the Originator of concepts like vengeance and wrath.  You’re dealing with the Creator of both Heaven and Hell—a Being who has no qualms about torturing you forever if you get too attitudinal with Him.  Given the fact that God controls your quality of life, your location, and your capacity for suffering, how stupid is it for you to intentionally provoke Him?  You can’t war against God and win.  Read more of this post

Amos 2-4: Yahweh’s Wrath in Context

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The prophet Amos lived and preached during the lifetimes of the prophets Hosea and Isaiah.  While Isaiah was hanging out in the southern part of Israel (aka Judah), Amos and Hosea were in the north.  Amos was a shepherd, and in his short little book Yahweh prophesies disaster for eight different nations: Israel, Judah, and their surrounding neighbors.  It’s bad news in the book of Amos, and in Chapter 2, Yahweh stops talking about neighboring kingdoms and focuses in on His chosen people.  As usual, they’re wallowing in spiritual rebellion. Read more of this post

The Prophetic Books of the Bible: Who’s Talking?

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When you’re taught to view every word in the Bible as falling from the lips of God, you don’t notice that a vast amount of verbiage in the Bible isn’t being spoken by God at all, but rather by human beings.  Speaking for God is an entirely different thing than speaking about God.  Once God Himself confirms to your soul that a prophet has spoken directly for Him, then you need to treat what was said as a direct message from God, because that’s what it was.  But if a prophet is only speaking about God, or interjecting his own thoughts in the middle of messages from God, well, that needs to be handled quite differently. Read more of this post

Metaphors from Yahweh: Rebellious Underwear (Jeremiah 13)

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Christians like to pretend that their Gods are classy, polite, and delicate in speech.  They get quite offended at the suggestion that their Gods can be quite crude and rude.  Well, this is what happens when we try to view the Bible as our God controlling book of incantations instead of viewing it as the educational tool that it is.  There is only one right reason to read the Bible, and that is to know your Gods better.  Of course you can’t get anywhere unless They are willing to work with you as you read, and this is why slogging through daily devotions without Them is an utter waste of time.  But when we wait for Them to prompt us, and then we read, wow.  The biblical records are filled with some very shocking and helpful insights about who our Gods are, how They operate, and just how wild They can be.  Read more of this post

Understanding Yahweh: Why Moses & Aaron Were Banned From The Promised Land

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We have three glorious Gods and everything about Them is endlessly fascinating. The more we know about Them, the more we want to know. But it’s also easy to feel totally overwhelmed by Them. They are so vast, so infinitely complex. When it comes to getting even the most basic understanding of who They are, where do we start? Surely there must be some facts about Themselves that They want us to learn about sooner rather than later. If only They would give us a short list of a few characteristics which They consider to be particularly important, that would give us a great place to begin. Happily, the magnificent Yahweh does exactly this for us in the Old Testament. Read more of this post

Elijah & Ahaziah: Death from Heaven

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Whenever someone dies, we usually say things like, “He died in a car wreck last year. He was shot last month. He died of leukemia yesterday.” Yet no matter what the earthly circumstances are, there’s one succinct description that always applies: “God killed him.” At some point, God will kill every one of us. How He kills us isn’t important. What matters is why. God will either kill us because He is pleased with our service on earth and eager to bring us to a better place, or He will strike us down in anger because He is fed up. We really want to go out the first way, but most people do not. King Ahaziah of Israel was an example of God striking someone dead in anger. Read more of this post

Learning to Serve God Well: Guidance for Prophets

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The prophetic calling is a lot tougher than it looks at first glance. Yell at people for God—what’s hard, right? And yet pitfalls of arrogance and rebellion abound. Receiving the call is just the first step. To please God in the prophetic role, you need to fully submit to the Holy Spirit’s training program.

Now because God primarily uses His prophets to point out rebellion, it’s easy to develop a very warped view of the Church. Yes, there are a ton of rebels, but there are also many who are sincerely trying. If you go flying off the handle at every preacher who is putting out wrong teaching from the pulpit, you’re going to end up beating on a lot of the good guys. God doesn’t yell at His obedient kids. He doesn’t jump down our throats for making honest mistakes. On the contrary, the most deluded preacher in the world who is sincerely trying to please God will be very commended by Him. Read more of this post