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Robert Morris - Passing the Prophetic Test


Robert Morris - Passing the Prophetic Test
TOPICS: Dream to Destiny, Prophecy

Okay, so we're in a ten-week series. This is the sixth week of it. So let me get that right, called Dream to Destiny. We've been talking about Joseph. This message will be a little bit different in that the first five we were taking these tests in chronological order. The four after this will also be chronological order. The five that we've already done were from the time Joseph was 17 to 30, in that 13 years. The four that we'll do after this message are from 30 on when he begin to fulfill his destiny. So, you still take tests even after you've stepped into fulfilling your destiny, while you're fulfilling your destiny.

This is one that's right in the middle that kind of sums up the five he's already taken and the four he's about to take, and everybody takes this. It's called Passing the Prophetic Test. "Prophetic" means to speak under divine inspiration. So it simply means that God has spoken a word to you, maybe through a dream, like Joseph, maybe in your quiet time, maybe through your friends and those who know you well, maybe through a prophet. But it's nearly always confirmed. It wouldn't be just one person. Obviously, if it was one and that person was God, that's enough. But God will even send others to confirm the word. But you're going to go through this. And so, I've been going, chronological order again, but there's this verse in Psalms that just speaks about Joseph and speaks about this prophetic test. All right?

I want to just also say that that prophetic word, that dream from God, We talk about Dream to Destiny. Let me help you a little bit because, you know, I absolutely love words. I love words and the meaning. But you might not ever have related this, but the word "destiny", we get another word from that word, and it's destination. So God has a destination for you, but you need to know that some of God's words are dependent upon you. Some are not. In other words, all the words God gave about the Messiah coming and the second coming, that's not dependent on you. The Messiah came, and He's coming back no matter what you do, okay? But whether you end up at your destination or not depends on how well you do through these tests. And again, God is so gracious that if you fail one, He'll just let you keep taking it over and over again because He wants you to wind up that destination.

Here's the other thing. If you make a wrong turn, the Holy Spirit says, "Recalculating," kind of like your GPS does, okay? All right, so let me show you this scripture in Psalm 105:17, "He sent a man before them (Joseph) who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters..". In other words, it wasn't easy for him. Sometimes we don't think about how horrible this was. "...he was laid in irons". Now, verse 19, I've underlined one word twice. It's the word, "word", So, I hope that wasn't confusing. But I have to come back to it because in English it's the same word, but in Hebrew it's not the same word. And that's what we're going to base the whole message on. "Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him". "Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him".

This first occurrence of "word" is the Hebrew word dabar. 1439 times in the Old testament. It means, "to speak". The second word is only in the Old Testament 37 times, and it's the Hebrew word imrah, and it means the literal Word of God. So here's what we just read that you might have missed. Until the time that the spoken word over Joseph's life came to pass, the literal Word of God tested him. Let me say another way. Until his dream came to pass, the Bible tested him. This is the literal Word of God. It would be similar to the two Greek words, logos and rhema. A spoken word, God speaks a word; but the Logos, which is where we got our word "logic," is the literal Word of God. So, if you've got a prophetic word, or a dream from God, until that comes to pass, this Word is going to test you. So, this is the prophetic test. All right?

Let me show you just two places where the word imrah is used. All right? Which means the literal word of God. Psalm 12:6 "The words of the Lord are pure words [the literal Words of God are pure], like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times". This word "tried" means, "tested, refined, or proven". So, I just want to say that because I want you to watch this other verse, Psalm 18:30. "As for God, His way", which we could say "His word", "is perfect. The word [the imrah, the literal Word of God] of the Lord is proven". This is the same word as "tried in the furnace" that we just read in Psalm 12. It is refined. It is tested. It is proven. It is solid. So, I have a question for you. Do you test the Bible, or does the Bible test you? Here's a good question. Do you judge the Bible, or does the Bible judge you?

Now, I study commentaries. I love commentaries. But here's what I don't like about the way some pastors study commentaries. They read something in the Bible, and then they go to a commentary to see if what the Bible said is true. I personally believe that when I read something in a commentary, I go to the Bible to see if what the commentator said is true, because the Bible is my standard. You have to have a standard. Do you know how we know murder is wrong? The Bible tells us it's wrong. Paul said it this way speaking of another commandment. "Thou shalt not murder," is one of the commandments. I used some Old King James there. But anyway, Paul said, I would not have known that coveting was wrong had the Bible not told me, had the Law not told me. That's the only way you know.

Do you know how we know the difference between murder and manslaughter? The Bible tells us. The Bible actually uses that word and says, this would be murder, and this would be manslaughter. How do we know lying is wrong? The Bible tells us. How do we know stealing is wrong? The Bible tells us. How do we know rape is wrong? The Bible tells us. How do we know adultery is wrong? The Bible tells us. Do you know? And here's what some people say, "Well, but truth is ever-growing". No, it's not. Maybe your understanding of it is, but we're just idiots. I mean, we used to think the world was flat. So, the world was always round, no matter what the scientists at that time said. So, the scientists are not my God, and they are not my standard. This book is my standard. Here's another thing people say. They say, "Well, the laws of the land set the standard". No, because the laws can be wrong, because there was a law that human life before birth could be murdered, and that was wrong.

And at the same time... Let me just show you how foolish the law was. The very same time we had that law, we had another law that if a person killed a pregnant woman, he could be prosecuted for double-murder, double-homicide. How can you say, "It's a human life," and yet "It's not a human life"? So, the laws of the land don't set the standard. This book sets the standard, and it never changes. This is our standard. So, let me show you Psalm 105:19 in the New Living Translation. And this sums up, what I've been telling you is that every person has a dream; every person has a destiny. But God is taking you through tests to build your character so your character can support your destiny.

Let me show you the same verse now in the New Living Translation. Psalm 105:19. "Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character". Now, I know you all didn't go, "Hmm," but I want to go, "Hmm," because that's what I've been telling you now for, this is the sixth week. Until the time that his dreams were fulfilled, or came to pass, the Lord tested his character. Why did He test it? Remember what testing means. I just told you a moment ago: to refine, to prove, to purify. So, He's not testing you so you'll fail. He's testing you to help you get stronger in your conviction and in your character. So, when we talk about a prophetic word, let me tell you three things about it. And I went back to three points this week. And when I say that, I really don't, I don't go to three or four, God just kind of tells me what to do. So, if you don't like it, talk to my boss.

All right. Here's number one. Here's what I do with the prophetic word. Here's how you pass the prophetic test. I submit my word. And here's what I mean by that. All words from God are submitted to the God of the Word. I submit my word to the Bible. If it doesn't line up with the Bible. I submit my word to godly counsel. We come in, we'll have an elders meeting on Tuesday. This is what we do. We'll say, for instance, pray about something and see what God is telling you. And we'll go around the room, and elders will say, each elder will say, this is what the Lord told me. But you need to understand that none of us think that that's the whole word. Look at this. 1 Corinthians 13:9 says, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part". What that means, the way my parents would have said it, is no one has the full loaf. Everybody's just got one piece of bread. So, we don't feel that way as elders, that one guy... We’ll say, "This is what the Lord is telling me, but I submit it to the group now".

Let me say the other way. It says, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part". Is there anyone that knows in full? Let me say a different way. Is there anyone besides God that knows everything? So, since you don't know everything, your prophetic word isn't everything, it's just part. So, I submit my word. Prophetic words are like pieces of a puzzle. Here's the problem with prophetic words, all right? I'm not despising prophecy because we believe in prophecy. But let me tell you the problem with prophetic words, all right? There's a human element. That's the only problem with a prophetic word. So, let me say it another way. It's really not the word; It's your understanding of the word that could cause the problem. Or another way to say it is, your interpretation of the word.

By the way, people say, "Well, Joseph had this word, this dream about his brothers bowing down to him". No, he didn't. We can all go back and read it. He had a word that his brother's sheaves bowed down to his sheath. Nothing wrong with the dream, but there was something wrong with his interpretation of it. He had a word that the sun, the moon, and the stars bowed down to him. He didn't have a word his father and mother and his brothers would bow down to him. That wasn't the dream. The dream, I already told you this, was just to get him started on his test.

Another way to say it is, the dream was to reveal the pride that was already in his heart that God had to deal with. So that's the problem. That's why we need to submit our word. This guy said to me one time, he told me this word. He told me this thing that he said he felt like it was a word from God. The only problem was I had about ten scriptures that showed it wouldn't be a word from God. And so, he said, "But Pastor, I have a word". And I picked up the Bible, said, "I have one, too. And your word doesn't line up with this Word, so it can't be a word from God". All right, so I want to show you something else now about Psalm 105:19 that we might have missed a moment ago, and I'm underlining two different words. All right?

Psalm 105:19. "Until the time that his word [that's Joseph's] came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him". Those are some big words. "Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested Him". Let me say another way. Until the time that your prophetic word comes to pass, this book is going to test you. We are all going through testing. So, just a couple of questions. How well do you know this book? How many scriptures have you memorized? How much time do you meditate on this book? Because without this book, you'll get all confused about your word and your dream and your destiny. But your dream is not going to come to pass until it lines up with this Word.

So, the first thing I do is I submit my word. Now, I'm going to use an illustration. I haven't preached on The Blessed Life since 2015, except I was going to preach again in 2020, and when COVID came, I got three messages into a six-message series and felt like, that's not what people need right now. They need a now word from God, because we're in a global pandemic. So, I haven't taught on tithing a long time. So, you may have a different belief about tithing. You may think, "Well, it's just the Old Testament". It's not true. It's in the New Testament. By the way, not only is it in the New Testament, but Jesus Himself said you ought to tithe.

Now, I don't know about you, but that's enough for me. If that was the only verse on it, the one who saved me from drugs and immorality in a motel room said I ought to give the first 10% of my income to God, so that's enough for me right there. My savior said it, and it's in red, by the way. If you have... it's in red. Okay? So, I understand you may have a different view on it, and I don't want to argue with you about it, but I'm just telling you there are things in the Bible, and I'm simply using this as an example.

Okay. So, you have a dream from God, but the Bible says that you honor the Lord with the first 10% of your income. I'm just going to give you a fact. Your dream is never, your destiny is never going to come to pass if you don't honor God with your finances. It's just not going to happen. And you can interpret or look at it, and maybe you don't have the understanding I have. I've been studying tithing 40 years. So, maybe we have a difference of opinion, but I'm telling you, this fact remains for sure. You better honor God with your finances. And if you don't, your dream is not going to come to pass because that's what this Word says. Is that okay? I know that was short... Well, I was going to say "short and sweet". It wasn't really sweet, but it was short.

All right, so number one, I submit my word. Number two, I test my word. I test it, my dream, my prophetic word. 1 Thessalonians 5:19, "Do not quench the Spirit". Verse 20, "Do not despise prophecies". And then right after it says, "Do not despise prophecies. Test all things", all things, "hold fast what is good". The next point we’ll be talking about holding. Alright, test all things. 1 Corinthians 14:29 "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge". God's Word is how we judge. That's the only way we can test. This is the standard, so that's the only way we can test.

If you read something in the Word of God that's different than your belief, do you change your belief or do you try to change the Word? Because this doesn't change. Matter of fact, I got a straight-out scripture on that if you get a prophecy that doesn't line up with the Word of God, you better go with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 13:1. "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, [so here's his word from God, here's his prophecy] ‘Let us go after other gods...’"

See, that goes against the written Word of God, the literal Word of God. "...which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams", watch, "for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul". In other words, if you get a prophecy that doesn’t line up with this book, don't go after the prophecy because this is the way we test words. I can give you two instances of two true prophets, true prophets. Each of them had a book in the Bible named after them, and they’re true prophets. We know it, and yet their prophecies did not happen, because all words from God are submitted to the God of the Word. And I'll explain that to you. All right?

So, in Jeremiah 35... Jeremiah was a true prophet. In Jeremiah 35, God told him to go tell the Rechabites, I'm sure you all were reading about the Rechabites this last week, but He told him, "Go tell the Rechabites to drink wine". The Rechabites said, "That word does not agree with the word that God gave our fathers". Then God told Jeremiah, "Now you go tell Judah that the Rechabites are obeying the word that I gave their fathers, but the children of Israel are not obeying the word that I gave to their fathers". So, God gives, tells a true prophet to go say something, and yet He used it as an example. All right, here's another true prophet, true word from God. God told Jonah to go preach to the Ninevites, right? Here's what his prophecy was. I don't know if you ever read it, but here's what he said. "40 days, and Nineveh will be destroyed". "In 40 days, Nineveh will be destroyed".

I have a question for you. Was Nineveh destroyed? No. Why? Because they repented. And that's what Jonah got mad about, by the way. He said, "This is the reason I didn't want to come, because I knew You would do this". So, the word from God is always submitted to the God of the Word. That's what I'm trying to tell you. So, I have this dream or this vision or this prophetic word, but I have another Word that's going to test me until that dream, that destiny, comes to pass. This is the prophetic test. We bought a home one time that had had a leak over a period of time, and they didn't know about the leak, and so it caused mold. Every home we've bought, since I've known Steve Dulin for all these years, we've asked him to come see it first, just really mainly for confirmation, and he's asked us to come look at homes that he's bought, too, just as friends.

But I said to him, "I don't know. Should I be concerned about mold"? And he said, "No, because it's totally different than the way it used to be". And he said, "Now, the law is that one company remediates the mold, but another company has to come in and inspect it and sign off on it, and then it's gone". He said, "It used to be very bad because companies would do stuff, but they wouldn't really fix it, but they just charge you a lot of money. But that company is now going to be checked up on by another company". So, here's what I'm saying to you. When you have a word from God, let the Word of God come check it, and the Word of God will tell you, "This is a true word from God". So, I submit my word. I test my word. Here's number three, I hold my word. Another way to say it is, I hold on to it, but I hold my word.

Philippians 3:12 says, "Not that I've already attained [this is Paul speaking], or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me". In other words, he's simply saying, Jesus has a destination for me, so I'm going to hold on to what He's spoken to me, what He laid hold of me for, I'm going to hold on to that so that I can lay hold of it one day. I'm going to hold on to it. Do you believe? Remember, we’re going back to Psalm 105, until Joseph's spoken word came to pass, God's literal Word tested him. So, do you believe in the spoken word that God has given you? Yes, of course you do, and you should, and you should hold on to it. But do you also believe in the literal Word of God? So, let the spoken word be tested by the literal Word.

Another way to say this really plainly: until your prophecy comes to pass, the Bible is going to test you. But if you don't read it, if you don't study it, if you don't meditate on it, if you don't memorize it, if you don't get to know it, you will get all messed up in all sorts of ways, because this is what keeps your aligned. If you know any man or woman of God that is being used greatly by God, could be a school teacher, plumber, construction worker, doctor, could be someone in ministry, but most are not in vocational ministry. But if you know a person that you can say, "That's a man of God, that's a woman of God," I guarantee you they spend time in this book. I guarantee you. That's what sets them apart.

I came across a file when I was preparing this series the very first time, and I was just looking through my files and I saw this file that said, "Elaine's First Prophecy". And what had happened was, in our very first presbytery, she was about nine or ten years old. She's 32 now. And we've had Wayne Drain come nearly every year. Do y’all remember Wayne Drain? He writes, he's one of our presbyters, and now we have so many campuses, maybe some of you don't remember him, but he's come to nearly every presbytery since our first one. He writes his words on a yellow piece of paper. So, all the campuses, everyone, has anyone ever gotten a yellow piece of paper from Wayne Drain? See?

Okay. So, he wrote Elaine this word on a yellow piece of paper, a prophecy. And she said to me, because she's only like nine or ten, and back then, nine- and ten-year-olds didn't have iPads and iPhones and computers and everything they have now. So, she asked, "Can I use your computer and put this word in there in case I lose the yellow piece of paper I'll have it"? And I've gotten new computers over the years, but everything that I've ever written has been transferred over so that every sermon, every book, everything is saved. And of course, now it's saved to the cloud, which I don't know what that is or where it is. And we have several backups of all of my stuff that I've written, all right? Several of them. She wrote this 22 years ago, "Elaine's First Prophecy". Why did she do that? It's really simple. Because she wanted to hold on to it. You know what it said? "You're going to speak one day". She was ten years old. "You're going to speak to multitudes".

She's done women's conferences with Lisa Bevere, Christine Caine, Priscilla Shirer. She spoke for ten minutes her first time ever at Pink Impact and got 25 speaking invitations. She does a television program now that she's a guest on, but it's called Better Together. It's Laurie Crouch, Matt Laurie are the owners of TBN. Victoria Osteen will be on there. Christine Caine, Lisa Bevere, Priscilla. I mean, a lot of them, I can't name them all. And they want her on there as much as she can be on there. But she can only do one a week. I mean, one week a month, because she has four kids. She has four kids nine and under. By the way. She had four kids in four and a half years. I tried to talk to Ethan about it, but he didn't want to talk about it. Okay. No, she wanted them. She told us from the time she was, like, ten or eleven years old, "I'm going to have four kids. I'm going to have two daughters and two sons, in that order". That's what she had. She said, "I want my two daughters to be best friends. I want my two sons to be best friends".

Anyway, so she's on this program, and here she is speaking to millions. And here's what was funny. Everyone on the program, they're all wonderful women. They're all wonderful. I don't even think it was any of the ones I just named, because there are a lot of ladies that are on this program that God uses. They're all wonderful, but they were all empty nesters. Now, if you don't know, and if you're not an empty nester yet, let me tell you what you have to look forward to. Okay? When you become an empty nester, you have a lot more time and you become wealthy. I'm just letting you know. You get the freeloaders out of your house. You will get a 40% to 50% raise overnight. It's wonderful. Thank you so much, Josh, for leaving. It's wonderful. And y’all know I'm joking. Y’all know we love our kids, but we're glad they support themselves.

Okay. So anyway, so they're all empty nesters. Okay? So, I'm just giving you context. They're godly women. They're wonderful women. I’m just giving you context. So, there's like four of them, and there's five on the panel. She's one of the ones. And so they said, "How much time do you spend with God every day"? And the first one said, "An hour". Second one, "An hour". Third one said, "Two hours". Fourth one said, "An hour". It got around to Elaine, camera turns on her, and this is what she does, and she'll looked around at these other ladies, and she said, "I'm sorry. I’m sorry, but I'm the least spiritual person in this room". She said, "I have four kids", at that time under five or under six. She said, "I have four kids", under seven or something like that. Anyway, she said, "I got four kids at home, and I work full time". She said, "If I get an hour to myself, I'm going to take a nap".

And the owner of the network, Matt Crouch, is a good friend. He's sitting in the green room, and he said, "I want her on every show we can get her on". But she got a prophetic word. She held on to it. She and Ethan, I was just there a few weeks ago. They dedicated their building. A little over two years old, 1400 in attendance. Ethan knows this book. We don't play Bible trivia in our family anymore because Ethan can beat me now, and I don't want to be beaten by my son-in-law, or my sons. Both my sons can beat me, too. But here's the point. Her word, her dream will not come to pass unless she obeys this book. And your dream, please hear me. I don't mean this negatively, but you will not reach your destiny without this book. I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes, and I want to say something. You know what? Look back up at me for just a minute. I'm sorry.

In 2020, we had COVID, and I used to explain about coming forward to get prayer. And I used to do like, lead the altar call. And I was meeting with our campus pastors, and we were talking about it, and I realized that I would just end with a prayer when COVID started because we were all online. And then the other thing was that when we started back, we didn't feel for social distancing, that people could come for prayer. You don't want to be 6 feet away from someone and say, "I have a problem with lust". So, we didn't do altar ministry for a while, and I just got in the habit of closing with prayer, like I was about to. But I need to explain to you why we do this, because God does something in your heart during the message. Would you agree with that? God does something, He says something to us, and you come forward, and you talk with a brother or sister in Christ, and they agree with you. "And where two or three agree, it will be done".

The other thing is that you can come for prayer for any reason. If you need a job, if you have a doctor's report that you just got, if you're going through a difficulty with one of your children at home, or a teenager, or a grown child, or in your marriage, any reason at all, you can come for prayer. I want to encourage you, every campus. When we say, "Please come for prayer," if you need prayer, you're not a big, bad sinner. Right before we walked out here today, I said to those around me, like I do every week, and I put my hand s like this, and I sit in a chair, and they gather around me, they put their hand s on me. I say, "Pray for me". I need prayer. You need prayer. We all need prayer.

So, in a moment, we're going to have a time for prayer at the altar. Don't just get your stuff up and leave. If you need prayer for any reason at all, take the time to come and agree with someone, okay? Okay. Now, you bow your heads and close your eyes. Ask the Holy Spirit, "What are you saying to me"? I understand it's a discipline to read the Word, but I promise you, it pays dividends. So let the Holy Spirit speak to you out of this message. And again, if you need prayer, at every campus, even online, say to someone in the room, call a friend, or if you're at a Gathering, say, "I just need some prayer". So, if you need prayer, please let us pray with you. All right?

Lord, I want to tell You, thank You, thank You, thank You. You are a great, great God. Thank You for the Bible. Thank You for a love letter from You. And I pray, Holy Spirit, that until the time that our dreams from You are fulfilled, that the Word of God will build character in our lives, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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