Robert Morris — I'm a Prophet
Turn to two passages of scripture and if you only want to do one, you can choose one. Either one is fine with me. Numbers 11, or 1 Corinthians 14. So, if you want to put a marker, we'll start at Numbers 11 and then we'll get over to 1 Corinthians in a moment and again, the title of this series is "Frequency to Men Hear God", and the title of the message this week is, "I'm a Prophet", and I'm going to show you the scripture in a moment that you can all prophesy and that's what the Bible says. So, let's go back here, Numbers 11. This is right after Moses said to God the prayer, what I call the prayer of ever burned out pastor, if you love me, kill me. That's what was his prayer. And God said, "You need help. You need some elders".
So, this is the first time we have elders coming in to play in the congregation of Israel and so that happens and then here's what he says, Numbers 11:24. "So, Moses wen out and told the people the words of the Lord. 'I was to set in elders.' And he gathered the 70 men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him". Again, I just want you to notice, God speaks to people. It's all through scripture. "And God, again, is the subject of this sentence, took of the spirit that was upon him, Moses, and placed the same upon the 70 elders". By the way, that's when you have problems in the church, is when an elder has a different spirit than the pastor. That's a problem. But God came and put the same spirit on the elders. "And it happened when the Spirit rested upon them that the prophesied although they never did so again".
It's very important, when the Spirit rested, the word rested, on them, they prophesied, although they never did so again. So, we'll come back to that. "But two men had remained in the camp. The name of the one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad", and they had a brother named Yodad. I just could not resist. Okay, "and the spirit rested upon them". That's the two in the camp. Now, they were among those listed, they were among the 70, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle, yet they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp". So, Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses's assistant, one of his choice men answered and said, "Moses, my lord, forbid them". So, Joshua says, "Forbid them to prophesy". Then Moses said, "Are you zealous for my sake"? Now, watch this statement. "Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them".
Okay, three points about us being prophets. Here's number one: All can prophesy. All can prophesy. Look at verse 29 again, of Numbers 11. Moses said, "Oh, that all, I wish, I pray that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them". All of them. All of God's people. Wouldn't it be great if God put His spirit on all of His people? Because when God's spirit came on them, what did they do? They prophesied. Acts 2:16. This is what was spoken by the prophet, Joel. This is Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came, "and it shall come to past in the last days, says God that I will pour out My spirit on," what's that word? "...all flesh. You sons and your daughters".
Okay, that's everybody. You're one or the other. You're either a son or you're a daughter, shall prophesy. "Your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams and on My men servants," servants who are men, "and My maid servants," servants who are women. Again, let me explain, that's everybody. "I will pour out My spirit in those days and they shall prophesy". And then in 1 Corinthians 14, if you're over there or save that as a place, verse 31, "For you can all prophesy". There it is right there in the Bible. "You can all prophesy, one by one, that all may learn and that all may be encouraged". All. All can prophesy.
And look at the words you can. You can. So, God says, "You can prophesy". Now, here's what you can think about. We're talking about hearing God. So, prophecy is giving a message from God to someone. So, doesn't it make sense that if you can all prophesy, then you can all hear God? Right? If prophecy is a message from God and you can do it, according to the Bible, you can do it, then you can hear God. That's the point of our whole series. Can we hear God today and how do we hear God? So, we can hear. Acts 2, Pentecost is the fulfillment of Moses's prayer. Oh, that God would put His Spirit on all of His children. And that all of God's people are prophets.
Now, notice something about the 70. It said, "The spirit rested upon them and they prophesied but they never prophesied again". Here's why: Because the Holy Spirit came on them, but He didn't remain. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is when the Holy Spirit comes on you and remains. And the first person to ever experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit was Jesus, Himself. John 1:33, John the Baptist is speaking. He said, "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the spirit,'" watch, "'descending and remaining.'" Not just descending. See, in the Old Testament, He descended on Saul, Saul prophesied, but then the spirit was taken from Saul. Descending and remaining on him, this is he who baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Now, when I saw the Holy Spirit remains, it doesn't mean you always yield to Him. But it does mean He's always there. The Holy Spirit walks beside you. I've told you before in the previous series, "parakletos". "Para" means alongside. "Kletos" means to come. The Holy Spirit wants to come alongside you. Jesus said it clearly, "When He comes, He will speak". He will tell you things. He wants to speak to you.
I was in a restaurant one time having lunch. This guy walked in, it was a cafeteria and he came in and when he came with his tray, he was just huge. I found out later, after talking with him, he was either, and I can't remember which, either Mr. America, previous Mr. America, former Mr. America or Mr. Universe. So, obviously, when he walked in the room, everybody noticed him. But when I walked in the room, the Lord spoke something to me and, so I went over to him. I just walked over. He and his wife are having lunch and I walked over to the table and I said, "Hey, I don't want to interrupt your lunch, but I just wanted to ask you a question". I said, "I'm a pretty perceptive guy. Have you ever lifted weights"? And of course, he did what you did. He laughed a little bit.
See, if you have a word for someone be a human when you deliver it. Don't go over in a restaurant, "Thus sayeth the Lord". Don't do that. It kind of ruins the whole thing, you know? So, I just said to him, I made that little joke and he said, "Yeah, I've lifted weights a few times," you know. And so, I said, "Well, I could tell you did and," I said, "but the reason I came over is because I feel like the Lord spoke something to me to tell you". And he looked over at his wife and he looked back at me and I said to him, "Would you mind if I told you"? And he said, "Please tell us". I'll tell you why in a moment he looked at his wife. But, he said, "Would you sit down and tell us"? I said, "Yes".
So, I sat down at the table and I said, "I saw you as a little boy, you were sitting in your grandmother's lap and you were crying and your grandmother had a Bible and she read to you the story of Sampson and she told you that if you would commit your life to Christ, he would make you strong like Sampson". And I said, "And the Lord told me to tell you that He's kept up His end of the deal, but you haven't kept up your end of the deal". And when you tell Mr. Universe that, you want to make you're right, you know?
But here's what happened: His eyes swelled up with pools of tears. And he said to me, "When I was a little boy, I was raised by a single mother and my grandmother raised me a lot and one day I was walking home, and some boys threw rocks at me. One hit me in the head and I went crying to my grandmother and she put me in her lap and she read to me the story of Sampson and she told me that if I would give my life to God, He would make me strong like Sampson". And he said to me, "I told my wife that story for the first time on the way to the restaurant today". And he reached over, and he took his wife's hand he said, "We need to commit our lives to Jesus Christ". And I led them in a prayer right there at the table. God speaks. God speaks, and I want you to know that God can speak through you.
So, all, all can prophesy. Here's number two. Prophesy is not manipulative. Prophesy is not manipulative. In other words, prophecy is not to get people to do what you want them to do. You don't just feel something for someone and want them to do something and add, "the Lord said," on it. Let me read you some verses. Jeremiah 23:25-25, "I've heard", this is God's speaking. "I've heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed.' How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart". Jeremiah 23:30-31, "'Therefore, behold, I'm against the prophet,' says the Lord, 'who steal My words, everyone from his neighbor'". In other words, someone else said it, now they're going to say it as if they heard it from the Lord. "'Behold, I'm against the prophet,' says the Lord, 'who use their tongues and say, 'He says.''"
Ezekiel 22:28, "Her prophets plaster them with untampered mortar seeing false visions and divining lies for them saying, 'Thus says the Lord God,' when the Lord had not spoken". Please be careful. You can prophesy. But be careful saying, "Thus says the Lord". I think it's actually better to say something like, "I was praying for you and I felt like that the Lord impressed me with this". And I just want to submit this to you. By the way, I said, notice, "I was praying for you". I'm taking it for granted that you actually pray for people, not about people or against people, but that we pray for them. And so, you just submit it to them.
And I think, by the way, that I'm going to give you maybe a little new understanding of the third commandment. I think it does mean what we think it means, but I think that it could mean even more. It says that we're not to take the name of the Lord in vain. The word "vain" there, means selfishness. Now, think about this, don't take or don't use the name of the Lord for selfish reasons. I do think it means not to use His name as a profane word, but I also wonder if it means that you say His name and then say what your desire is or a vain desire, which is simply a selfish desire and I think when someone comes to give you a word, you need to have an antenna up and not a critical antenna, but a discerning antenna. I think you need to discern. Does this bear witness? Is this what God's been saying?
I literally said to a guy one time, he said, he told me this word and I said, "Brother, that's not a word from God". And he said, "Well, how do you know that"? I said, "'Cause I was just talking to Him". I know Him very well. That's how I know that and doesn't agree. I said, "But that's okay. That's okay". Because scripture says, "We can all prophesy," listen to this one, "so that we can all learn". We're all learning to hear God's voice. It's okay.
So, it's never manipulative or to get our own way and here's number three. Prophecy is encouraging. It's encouraging. I Corinthians 14:1 says, "Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy". Now, notice three actions out of this verse. "Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially," desire, would be the implication from grammar here, "that you may prophesy". Desire, especially that you may prophesy. Okay. So, I'd like to ask you to raise your hands on this. Every campus, every affiliate church.
I just read you a verse that said pursue love, desire spiritual gifts, especially desire to prophesy. So, let's do them one at a time. How many of you, to the best of your ability will pursue love? Can I see your hands? How many of you, to the best of your ability, will desire spiritual gifts? Can I see your hands? 'Cause we just read this in the Bible, okay? Alright. So, how many of you, we just read it, will desire especially that you may prophesy? Can I see your hands? See? And we just read it. Look at verse 3, "For he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to man". So, I summed it up with one word, encouragement. And I'll show you in a moment the Bible actually uses the same word. I'll show you that, alright? But here, exhortation, or edification, that means you built up, exhortation, that's a strengthening for you and an encouragement and comfort.
I had a couple come meet years ago, and they said, "Pastor, we got this prophesy. We haven't slept since then, it's really bothering us. We don't understand it. We don't think it's right. We're in turmoil over it". And I said to them, "Well, then it's not from God". I can tell you right now it's not from God. And they were like, "Well, how do you know"? I said, "Well, let me put it to the scriptural test. Did it edify you"? They said, "No". I said, "Did it exhort you"? They said, "No". I said, "Did it comfort you"? They said, "No". I said, "Then it's not from God". Now, see, I can feel some of you are thinking, "Yeah, but". No, there ain't no yeah buts to it. We just read the Bible. He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort. That's what the word.
You said, "Well, wouldn't God correct us sometime"? Sure, He would. But that's not prophecy. Not according to the Bible. God corrects us all the time. And God might correct us through spiritual authority and God might correct us through a brother or a sister, but don't call it prophecy. Prophecy edifies, and it exhorts and comforts you. So, the summary word is encouragement. Let me show you a verse we already read but show it to you again. Look at verse 31. "For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn, and all may be," what? Encouraged. It's encouragement.
By the way, a couple things to tune in on this again. You can all prophesy. It says you can. Listen, why would God say you could if you couldn't? He wouldn't. You're right. Wouldn't that be a cruel Father? And He's not a cruel father. Why would God say, why would a father say, "Hey, desire a basketball for Christmas", if He wasn't going to give you a basketball and never give you one. Why would God, think about it. Why would God say, "Desire that you can prophesy, and you can, you can all prophesy..."? Why would God say that if you couldn't? And remember, if He says you can prophesy, which is give someone a message from God, then you'd have to be able to hear God to be able to do it. Are you all following me?
Everyone's heard of Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Barnabas, the most famous missionary team ever. Paul and Barnabas. Did you know though, that Barnabas was not named Barnabas by his mother or his father? That was not his birth name. Acts 4:36, "And Joses," by the way, Joses means exalted. "Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles. Which is translated son of encouragement". So, he's named exalted by his mother and father, but he is such an encourager that the apostle said, "If encouragement had a son, it'd be you".
Okay, this is kind of a touch question for all of us: What name would your friends give you? Son of anger? Son of criticism? Would you be named son or daughter of encouragement? That's what prophecy is. Encouraging people. By the way, encouragement, just to remind you, the "en" comes from the Latin. In English we say I-N to put something in. Encourage means to put courage in someone. To put courage in. Discourage means to take courage out. So, are you putting courage in your children or are you taking courage out of your children or your friends or your family?
I'll show you one more verse on encouragement. Acts 15:32. "Now, Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also exhorted and strengthened," edified, built up, "the brethren with many words". It doesn't say that they rebuked, corrected, and tore down the brethren. It says since they were prophets, they built up, strengthened and exhorted the brethren. And by the way, we know they're preachers because it said with many words. Is it possible that you've already moved in prophecy and you don't even know it? I think it is. Have you ever felt led to send someone a card to encourage them? You ever felt led to send someone a note? You ever felt led to give someone a scripture?
I just was reading this the other day and I just felt like the Lord wanted me to give you this scripture and then you hear back the person says, "I can't believe you gave me that scripture. It's the same scripture the Lord gave me two days ago in my quiet time". Out of 31.103 verses, you are smart enough to pick out the same one? You're not. Where did this come from, this desire to encourage someone? Well, it didn't come from the devil and it didn't come from you. It came from God. And if prophecy is encouragement and prophecy is a word from God, what does that tell you about God? He wants to encourage you. He wants to. He wants to put courage in you. But what He wants is a whole bunch of field agents who will go around putting courage in people. But in order to give someone a message from God, you have to hear God. You can all prophesy. You really can. Just start encouraging people and let God take it from there.
God wants to speak to you today. And He might want to speak to you to speak to someone else. He might want you to send a scripture or send a card or call someone and encourage that person in the Lord. I want to encourage you, listen for God's voice and listen for His voice not only for yourself but so you can encourage someone else.