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The most successful and perfect application of prophecy for a disciple of Jesus Christ is the practice of His words, with the result of proving that they are the truth just as Jesus said it is.  That removes all the mystique, innuendoes and misinterpretation of prophecy, especially prophecies that are generated by vain imaginations to tickle the ears of an audience and to lighten their purse.

When you finally realise that it is these four words of Jesus, “But I tell you,” that hold the keys to all that is said; prophesied by anyone else, it is these four words that will prove and make all men liars and God alone be true, then the application of prophecy for a disciple is simple and easy.

Because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy and that which He said is the truth, then any disciple of Christ who has listened and heard, and then put into practice what He said, has applied prophecy in the most practical way.  When you can see this simple truth, then you will realise that every baptised believer who lays hands on a sick person in His Name has applied prophecy to the sick, for Jesus said,  “They will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”[1]  And the practice of this simple instruction by baptised believers proves Jesus’ words to be the truth every time it happens, and because Jesus’ words are truth, it will always happen.  What does not happen is that we are not always there to observe it, and the person who receives it does not always appreciate it when it manifests.

Often we put the words of Jesus into practice, wanting to have the result so that those who are observing or seeking might be convinced, convinced enough to change their minds and believe.  That is where we make our mistake in practising the words of Jesus to convince people to change their minds.  The practice of the words of Jesus is not for the changing of the minds or the hearts of those we are trying to preach or witness to, as much as it is for the changing of our hearts and minds.  The lack of result or the success of our practice is not so that unbelievers might believe first, but rather, that we might have our hearts tested so that God will know what is in our hearts.

You see, in Hezekiah’s case, the sign of the shadow going backwards did not convince the Babylonians to repent of their idol worship and accept Hezekiah’s God as their God.  Rather they sent envoys to Jerusalem to find out about the sign.  That was all.  It was not in their heart to repent, but rather, they came to enquire to see what the source of Jerusalem’s power was and what the reason for this sign was.  Hezekiah stupidly showed them all the treasures of the temple, inciting them on two counts.  Firstly, greed for gold and conquest.  And secondly, on a religious note, fervour to destroy the temple at Jerusalem so that the Jewish God would not threaten their Babylonian gods.  That is why it is time to really understand what it is to be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.  God gave Hezekiah this prophecy:  “The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.  Nothing will be left.  And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”[2]  And then it is written about Hezekiah:  God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.[3]  The test for Hezekiah was to see how he applied that prophecy, and as it turned out, he proved to be foolish and selfish.

Now the practice of the words of the Lord, with or without the desired result, is to test the hearts of all who have heard the word and actually put it into practice as well.  God does not need to test the heart of those who have heard the word but did not practise, did not apply the word correctly, for they already proved themselves to be foolish and selfish like Hezekiah.  For the practice of the words of Jesus allows the ones who practise to test themselves and reveal their own hearts to themselves, whether they have a heart of stony ground with thorns, that is, they rejoice early, but when it gets hard, they give up, especially if they are more concerned with the cares of the world.  It is the one whose heart is good soil who accepts the word, understands it and perseveres with it who produces the crop.  Likewise, it is the one who accepts the failure, the need to persist and persevere before the result is given, and sees that the failures are designed to push you, the disciple, to give up.  It is when we know our heart as God knows our heart and mind, then we will change or hopefully want to change.  Thus, the practice of the words of Jesus, like all prophetic words of God, is to test the heart of the hearer so that it can be known to God.  And since you are co-heirs of Christ and that which belongs to God belongs to Christ and so belongs to you, then God’s knowledge of your heart also belongs to you.  Whereas God tested Hezekiah to know his heart —in Christ, the words of Jesus in practice is to test you that you may know your heart.  And if you know your heart, you can judge yourself, and if you judge yourself, you will not be judged.  For Jesus came to save the world, He did not come as Judge, as He Himself testified; and a man who has judged himself correctly will not be judged by God.

So then, when you see that the steadfast practice of the words of Jesus is the beginning of the prescribed practice of prophecy, for even the mother said, “Do whatever He tells you,”[4] in order that your heart can be changed by judgement and correction, you will find equal, yes, equal delight in the failure and success of the practice.  Indeed, you should not find equal delight, but a correct appreciation of what the practice of the words of Jesus will do to you —that is, you delight in the failures more, for in the failures you develop perseverance, and patience as well as humility are formed, and any impatience, ingratitude, blame seeking and pride is exposed so that it can be destroyed by your own judgement.  It is as it were, “Physician, heal yourself.”[5] 

In the forming of your patience and perseverance, love is formed.  It is when love is formed that success can begin, for it is love that never fails.  It is love that eliminates the failures and gives rise to success.  Early and easy success is like the seed on stony ground with no root; early joy, but withers when success is followed by failures.

And when the success begins to flow, you will be the witness that His words are true, not those who are watching or observing you.  Indeed, your audience may be long gone by the time you succeed.  Your witness that the word is true, prophetically true that you will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed, will move you, not the audience, from faith to knowledge so that you will then change from one who ministers because you believe, to one who ministers because you know.

The one who ministers because he knows what he knows is Jesus Christ, and anyone who has learned to minister on the basis of what he knows has begun to manifest the stature of Christ and is starting to be like Jesus, the Son of God who knows His Father’s words are truth.  You see, Jesus did not say, “I believe that His command leads to eternal life,” but rather, He said, “For I did not speak on My own accord, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say and how to say it.”[6]  And again He said, “My Father … Though you do not know Him, I know Him.  If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.”[7]

When the words of Jesus are proved to be prophetically true for your life through your practice, you have become the beneficiary of the will of the Father, “that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life … now this is eternal life: that they may know …the only true God…”[8]  Out of the heart that is tested by failure so that love is formed, that success will not breed an illegitimate bastard, but will birth a son of God in the Image and Stature of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, who will also minister and serve the God and Father he knows —not the God and Father he believes.

The false prophet and his brood are those whose breeding comes from half-hearted practice that is stoked by easy success and avoidance of failure, and worse still, feigned success with stories cleverly made up so that they can tickle the ears of their followers and lighten their purse.

For Christ is not only the Apostle of our faith, but He is the Prophet of our knowledge.  All that we will know of God, He has already made known to us, as He said, “I have revealed You to those whom You gave Me out of the world.”[9]  Although Hebrews 3:1 calls Him our Apostle, and indeed He is, He is however our Prophet before He is our Apostle.  For through Moses, God promised, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put My words in His mouth, and He will tell them everything I command Him.”[10]  A Prophet superior to even Moses, for God did not put His words in Moses’ mouth, but wrote them on tablets so that Moses could read them, and all prophets that came after Moses could only say, “Thus sayeth the Lord,” as they repeated what they heard.

But in Jesus the words were not placed in Him by hearing or writing, but in His mouth so that when Jesus said, “For I gave them the words You gave Me…”[11] these were words that He had not read nor heard as a man hears, but were in His mouth because they came from the overflow of His heart, as the Lord said, “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”[12]

A Prophet, yes, but a Prophet so superior to any other, for He received His message not by a written code or an angel’s voice saying, “This is what God says,” but His message is in His mouth already, for He has the Father’s heart.  And how is the law written in our hearts and put in our minds?  Is it not by persistent constant meditation and reminder by practice as well as listening?

And what inspires practice, failure or success?  It is failure.  What inspires innovation?  It is success.  Early success will lead to premature innovation and disaster.  Failure will teach you the wisdom and understanding so that success will produce innovation that is not based on presumption or postulation, but knowledge, surefooted knowledge, the knowledge of Habakkuk:  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.[13]

For the knowledge of God that comes from the prophetic words of Jesus is what changed Jesus from the Prophet to the Apostle of our faith.  For prophets come to bring the message, but apostles are the ones who know what to do with the message.

Thus, Christ the Prophet came to make God known to us by His message so that as our Apostle, He would show us what to do with the faith that is birthed from that knowledge.  He became the Apostle of our faith because He is the One who has shown us what to do with our faith.

“Trust in God; trust also in Me.”[14]  The man who trusts in God and His Son is the man who is ready to apply the laws of God in the fullness of their true application.  So, whom do you trust in your heart, for love always trusts?

[1] Mark 16:18

[2] 2 Kings 20:16-18

[3] 2 Chronicles 32:31

[4] John 2:5

[5] Luke 4:23

[6] John 12:49

[7] John 8:54, 55

[8] John 6:40/17:3

[9] John 17:6

[10] Deuteronomy 18:18

[11] John 17:8

[12] Jeremiah 31:33

[13] Habakkuk 3:19

[14] John 14:1


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