THE PROPHETIC SENSE

THE PROPHETIC SENSE Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Every true saint has the prophetic sense. The difference between the members of the Christian religion and the true saints is that the members of the Christian religion often do not have the prophetic sense, the continual awareness of the Spirit of Christ in them. Of the many believers I have met during over fifty years as a Christian, it seems to me that most experience little if any of the moment by moment interaction with Jesus that characterizes the disciple.

THE PROPHETIC SENSE

At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10)

Every true saint has the prophetic sense. The difference between the members of the Christian religion and the true saints is that the members of the Christian religion often do not have the prophetic sense, the continual awareness of the Spirit of Christ in them. Of the many believers I have met during over fifty years as a Christian, it seems to me that most experience little if any of the moment by moment interaction with Jesus that characterizes the disciple.

I could have termed the experience I am attempting to describe "an inner awareness of Jesus," or "a one-on-one experience," or "abiding in Christ." Any one of these expressions would be satisfactory. But I chose "the prophetic sense" because when we really are abiding in Christ we have a sense, an awareness, of what He is doing. This is why those who truly are living in Jesus will not be overtaken as a thief by the coming of the Lord.

The average American church member will be overtaken as a thief along with the rest of the world because he or she is not living in Christ and will not die in Christ. His religion primarily is in his mind, not in his or her total personality as the Life of Christ must be if we are to be actually walking in the light.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. (I Thessalonians 5:4,5)

I started on the concept of the prophetic sense because of the subject of last night’s Bible study. We were considering the return of Christ and the end of the age; and in conjunction with this, the concept of one being taken and the other left, and the warning concerning the foolish virgins.

Let’s think first about one being taken and the other left.

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36)

The "day or hour" mentioned above is speaking of the return of Christ in power and glory, and also the end of the Adamic Age. I am referring to the present age as the Adamic Age; the age we are approaching I refer to as the Kingdom Age; and the age that begins with the new sky and new earth as the Eternal Age.

The return of Christ, the coming of the Lord, is the great and terrible Day of the Lord, the Day of Wrath. It is for this event that we must prepare ourselves by pressing into Jesus at all times.

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)

As we think back to the flood of Noah we can imagine the magnitude of that terrifying event. The flood of Noah gives us an idea of what the return of Christ will be like.

God’s people have been taught incorrectly that the return of Christ will be a gala happening. This is not so. It will be so catastrophic that the prophet Habakkuk trembled at the vision.

I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. (Habakkuk 3;16)

Amos pointed toward the coming terror:

Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (Amos 5:18-20)

Because of the unscriptural teaching of the pre-tribulation rapture, Christian people are thinking of the coming of Christ as a time of joy and peace. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only people who will survive His coming are those who are living by His body and blood, who are pressing into Him each day with all their might. Even these scarcely will be saved.

One time I told the Lord I would be glad to share my "oil" with others, in that Day. The Lord said, "You will have only enough for yourself.’

We need to sound the alarm in Zion at this time. The great and terrible Day of the Lord is at hand and most of the believers, at least in America, appear to be lukewarm. The lukewarm will be spit from the Lord's mouth. Spit to where? Spit into the outer darkness.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalms 2:11,12)

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; (Matthew 24:38)

The above verse is of the greatest significance. The Lord could have said the people of Noah’s time were murdering each other, engaging in sexual perversions, covetous, drunken, unforgiving, malicious gossips who spent their days slandering one another and stealing from one another.

Instead He commented that they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. These actions are not sinful.

What is Christ saying? He is saying His return and the end of the Adamic Age will come as a surprise to the people on the earth, just as in the days of Noah.

Are there any members of mankind who will not be surprised?

Yes, there are. They are the Christians who have the prophetic sense. They are children of light. The Lord does nothing without warning them in advance so they may prepare themselves.

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

The issue is not one of obvious sin, it is that of not living in the immediate awareness of Christ.

Eating is not sinful. Drinking is not sinful. Marrying is not sinful and certainly to be preferred over the antics of today. Giving in marriage is not sinful.

What, then, is the problem?

We Americans are rich compared with many other nations of people. Therefore we have a difficult time entering the Kingdom of God.

Why do we have a difficult time entering the Kingdom? Because we have so many distractions; so many opportunities to engage in activities other than seeking the face of Christ every moment.

In order to maintain the prophetic sense, the immediate awareness of the thinking of Christ, we have to deny ourselves, take up our cross of personal pain and denial, and follow Christ with the greatest intensity and diligence.

The American way of life prevents this. It offers numerous opportunities for personal advancement and pleasure. As a result, our nation and its churches are apostate. We are living far below the demands and expectations of Jesus Christ.

We say we believe in the separation of church and state. This is a thinly disguised excuse for driving God from the consciousness of the nation.

The god of us Americans is money, along with violence, lust, the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment, and witchcraft. Judgment will come upon us soon enough.

But the problem I am addressing in this essay is that of not understanding the difference between the Christian religion, whether Catholic or Protestant, and what it means to actually be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

A disciple is one who turns away from the ordinary pursuits of our culture and watches the Lord Jesus very carefully at all times. This does not means he ceases to work and take care of his family, or does not pursue higher education. It means whatever he does, he does it in the immediate Presence of Christ.

When we are living at each moment in the immediate awareness of the Presence and will of Christ, we are not caught off guard by the events that take place.

Not everyone experiences the immediate Presence of Christ in the same manner, and there are seasons when it seems Christ is far away. Yet we keep on pressing in, pressing in, pressing in. We keep on praying and meditating in the Word of God. We keep on serving and doing what we know to do. After a while He returns and His Presence is richer and fuller than ever.

We are so backslidden in America it is difficult for us to remember that every true Christian is a disciple. The remainder of the members of the congregations are religious people and they believe the tenets of the Christian faith. Most of them are faithful, decent people of integrity. But they have never denied themselves. They are not carrying their cross and following the Lord. By definition they are not Christians. This may shock you, but it is the truth. Such good church members will be caught by surprise by the coming events. They do not have the prophetic sense because they are not living in Jesus.

And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:39)

They are faithful church members but they are spiritually blind. They do not have the spirit of prophecy in them. Their religion consists of beliefs and the practices that are part of their particular denomination or sect. But they are not living in Jesus. They do not understand the enormity of the disasters that are at hand.

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. (Matthew 24:40)

The above verse tells us that being near Christians, even though this is much safer than trying to serve Christ alone, is not the basis for being caught up to the Lord in His Day. The Lord might have said, "Two will sit next to each other on the same pew. One will be taken and the other left."

This is important to remember, because church members often feel that as long as they associate with other believers they will go to meet the Lord when He comes.

Jesus said, "One will be taken and the other left."

The question is, where will the one be taken.

The answer is found as follows:

Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. "Where, Lord?" they asked. He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather." (Luke 17:35,37)

When the slain Lamb appears in the sky, the "vultures" (eagles), those who live by His body and blood, will be caught up to be with Him forever.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54)

What will raise us to the Lord when He appears? Not our doctrine no matter how fundamental. Not our church membership. Not our religious practices.

The only thing that will raise us up to the Lord when He appears is His flesh and blood that are in us. These are our eternal life and our marriage to the Lamb.

As Eve was made from Adam, so are we being made from the body and blood of the Lamb.

Living in the immediate Presence of Jesus, possessing the prophetic sense, are the same as living by the body and blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do we eat of His flesh and drink of His blood?

We do so by choosing at every point of decision to reject our sinful nature and choose to do what the Bible tells us is right or what we know in our heart is the Lord’s will for us.

The body and blood of Christ are the hidden manna that is found and eaten only by the victorious saints.

Some of our sinful impulses are so strong we scarcely can find the will or the strength to give them up. But as we resolutely determine to lay hold on the body and blood of Christ we gain the Divine Virtue to such an extent that we can overcome even the most powerful lust, the deepest desires of our personality.

The Christians who choose to eat and drink the Life of Christ rather than to obey their fallen nature have the prophetic sense. They experience the immediate Presence, will, and knowledge of Christ.

Most believers it appears, now and throughout history, make a firm commitment to Christian doctrine but they do not live and have not lived in the immediate Presence of Christ. They have not chosen to live by His body and blood.

Think of the multitudes of Christians who have been tortured and slain by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Perhaps the doctrine of the Catholics was correct in the main. But it is certain that in spite of the celebration of the Mass, they were not living by the body and blood of Christ.

No individual who is living by the body and blood of Christ, who is experiencing the immediate Presence of Jesus Christ, who has the prophetic sense, would ever, ever, ever torture and kill another individual because of his or her beliefs.

Here we see the difference between the Christian religion and the true saints.

Two are together in the work place or in church. The great signs appear in the sky. The trumpet of God is blown. The angels come to gather His elect to Himself.

One is taken. The other left. Why? Because one has had Christ formed in him by living by the body and blood of the Lamb. The other makes a profession of the Christian faith and attends church regularly. But that individual’s life is lived just like an unsaved person. There is not the continual sharing of the Life of Christ that is essential if we are to have the prophetic sense.

Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (Matthew 24:41,42)

Notice that the Lord does not command us to go out and perform some outstanding feat. He asks merely that we keep watch.

How do we "keep watch"? By praying without ceasing. By never permitting any thing, relationship, or situation to so occupy our attention that we lose sight of the Lord. We must pray each day and meditate in God’s Word, as possible. We must assemble with fervent disciples, as possible. We must give, serve, and do all else associated with wholesome Christian living.

We must be careful to keep the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles. As we pray and study the Bible the Holy Spirit will guide us and empower us so we are able to do what the New Testament commands us to do.

We do not try to obey the New Testament in our own strength. We keep looking to the Lord to guide and strengthen us as we grow in the ability to judge what is good and what is evil, and to embrace the good and reject the evil.

The Christian salvation is a program that begins as we are bound by Satan and progresses until we have been freed from the bondages of sin and are dwelling in untroubled rest in the center of God’s Person and will. In addition, the moral Nature of Jesus Christ has been formed in us.

This is how we "keep watch."

But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:43,44)

The Lord is speaking here of His return in power and glory. But it also is true that the Lord may come to us at any point of our life or death and demand an accounting of our life. If we are living in His immediate Presence we have nothing to fear. In fact, we welcome His coming because we have served him with all our might.

But if we are not living in His immediate Presence but are living half in the world and half in the Kingdom of God, then we have reason to be apprehensive concerning His coming to us. Because of the lawless-grace of our day the believers are abiding in a false security concerning their standing with God. The fear of God has been removed from them. Their teachers will be held responsible for this.

When the Lord comes to them and requires an accounting they will be totally dismayed. They expect to be caught up to glorious mansions in Heaven. Instead they will be placed with others who have the same degree of fervency.

Are you desirous of being placed with others who have the same degree of fervency and diligence as yourself? You will be gathered to your people, that is, to those who are like yourself. You will not be brought from a careless, self-centered existence to a position on one of the thrones that control the universe. You will not govern with Christ then if you are not governing with Christ now.

You can count on this.

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins continues with the same thought of preparation for the sudden appearing of the Lord.

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1)

Some commentators have protested that the five foolish virgins represent those who refuse to accept Christ while the five wise virgins portray all who have accepted Christ.

This explanation is faulty, I believe.

All ten were virgins. All ten had their lamps, their Bible. All at one time had the "oil," the Life of Christ in them. All ten went out to meet the Bridegroom.

This hardly is representative of five Christians and five non-Christians. The truth is, the Lord was speaking of His servants, the Christian believers.

Five of them were foolish and five were wise. (Matthew 25:2)

Jesus did not say five of them had accepted Him and five had refused to accept Him.

Jesus did not say five were sinners and five were saved.

The Lord said five were foolish and five were wise.

Can foolishness and carelessness keep an individual from going with the Lord when He appears?

Apparently so.

The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. (Matthew 25:3)

As we see it, the lamps represent the Bible, the written Word of God. The oil speaks of the Life of Christ that is in us. In Him is Life, and the Life is the light of men.

The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. (Matthew 25:4)

It is not enough to have subscribed to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures. The Scriptures must lead us to Him who is the Life from God. There is no eternal life in the Scriptures. The eternal life is in Christ.

The Pharisees were masters of the Scripture. But they murdered the eternal Life from God. So it is true that if we hope to be caught up to meet Him in the air we must have the Life of Christ dwelling in us, not just a profession of belief in doctrine.

The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. (Matthew 25:5)

The Lord promised He would come quickly. Two thousand years have transpired. Apparently His idea of quickly and our idea of quickly differ somewhat.

One of the major problems of the Christian life is the long, long periods of time in which nothing unusual takes place in our life. We just keep plodding along, plodding along, plodding along, remaining faithful in prayer, Bible reading, and gathering with the saints.

When the Lord is using us in some sort of ministry it is relatively easy to stay in close contact with the Lord. But when we are not being used, our character is tested as we wait patiently for the invisible God.

It is in the time period between the vision given to us and the fulfillment that the saints are formed.

We imagine that Abraham, Isaiah, Elijah, were always hearing from the Lord. This may or may not be true. There may have been many years between some of their experiences.

We must watch and pray! Watch and pray! Watch and pray!

When the Lord delays His coming to us, we tend to become drowsy and to fall asleep. There is a great danger in this.

After we break through into victory in the Lord and some of our problems have been solved, it is so easy to relax just a bit. Consequently, we lose the prophetic touch, the immediate sense of His Presence.

I think retirement is a worldly concept, not a Divine concept. I cannot see how it is possible for an older person to just stop serving Christ and do nothing but breathe for the rest of his or her life.

It seems to me that we must remain intensely vigilant each day we live. We must be serving, serving, serving. The older we get the more we have to give to the younger generation.

As for me, I hope to keep preaching and writing until I go to the Lord. I do not want to miss one day, one hour of service. As someone said, "I will take my vacation in Heaven. "

This does not mean the Lord does not from time to time call us to come aside and rest. Also, it is conceivable to me that the Lord would tell someone to retire and rest for the remainder of his days.

But barring such an announcement from the Lord, I think we should forget about how young or how old we are and begin to seek the Lord with all the strength we have.

How do you feel about this?

At midnight the cry rang out: "Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!" (Matthew 25:6)

Did you ever get caught in a situation in which you did not have the ability to respond appropriately?

At midnight, at the time least expected, the Lord will call you to come out to meet Him. There will be no way in which you can at that time prepare yourself. Either you will have it in you to respond to the summons of the Lord, or else you will not. You will know within yourself whether you are able to go.

This is why we must live in the immediate Presence of the Lord. We must always be prepared for the summons, whether to die and go to be with the Lord or whether to be transformed when He appears.

Once the moment arrives there will not be time to prepare. Others will not be able to help you. Families will be separated. Friends will be separated. Co-workers will be separated.

In that day we will know who truly is serving God and who is not.

And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. (Malachi 3:18)

Sometimes we are slandered when we are serving God to the best of our ability. How wonderful will be the time when it becomes apparent who is serving God and who is not serving God.

We see therefore that the return of Jesus Christ will result in clear lines of demarcation between those who are really serving Him and those who are playing religious games. Lord, hasten the day!

Suddenly the announcement will come. The whole world including those Christian believers who are not living in Christ will be caught off guard. How people will mourn and tremble when the universe is shaken and the giant cross appears in the sky! They know even today that they are not behaving as they should, but their pastors are telling them there is nothing to fear because at any moment they will be caught up to Heaven.

But this is not true. If they are not living in the body and blood of Christ such that they are aware of His immediate Presence,  having in them the prophetic sense that prepares the way of the Lord in their personality, they will be screaming in terror because of the destruction of their environment.

And then to witness the hated saints coming from Heaven with the Lord Jesus! Terror beyond all terror! Yet, this precisely is what is on the horizon. Are you prepared for the great and terrible Day of the Lord?

Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. (Matthew 25:7)

The trumpet of God sounds. All the Christians take their stand concerning the promises of the Bible. They want to go to the Bridegroom, to the Lord Jesus.

The foolish ones said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out." (Matthew 25:8)

How often it is true that our family members or friends look to us to save them, to make them acceptable to the Lord. As we grow older, much or most of the pain we suffer results from the disobediences of other people. They lean on us. They depend on us. We help them as much as we are able.

But in the Day of Christ we no longer will be able to assist them. They did not prepare themselves, counting on the fact that we could share our "oil" with them when the Lord comes or whenever the need arises.

"No," they replied, "there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves." Matthew 25:9)

This is exactly what the Lord told me on one occasion. He said, "You will not be able to share your oil with others in that Day because you will have only enough for yourself."

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. (Matthew 25:10)

The foolish virgins tried to prepare themselves at the last minute, but they were too late. Sometimes I think this parable is taking place today, at least in a measure. The Lord is calling us into the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. The Christians who are people of prayer and consecration hear the blowing of the trumpets and follow the Lord into the cleansing of the Day of Atonement and then into the fullness of the indwelling of the Father and the Son.

When we attempt to share this with some of the believers it is as though we are speaking in a strange language. They have no idea what we are talking about, and they may accuse us of trying to save ourselves by works because we stress the importance of godly behavior.

"And the door was shut."

I do not know how it is in other countries, but in America we tend to be softhearted. We say to our children, "If you do that once more you won’t get any presents from Santa." We know we do not have enough strength of character to follow through with such a threat, and our children understand this.

Also in America a person may murder a number of people. Yet there are some who claim if this individual is put to death for his crimes it is a "cruel and unusual punishment" and therefore contrary to the Constitution.

It seems to me that cruel and unusual crimes ought to be punished accordingly.

But I am not an expert in criminal law and am not aware of extenuating circumstances. I realize sometimes mercy is indicated. God alone knows!

Of one fact I am certain: when God says the door is shut, there are no screams of terror that will open it. There is nothing a lawyer can do to open the door. The door is shut and those on the outside are left to face an angry Satan who has been forced down to the earth. We might consider this a "cruel and unusual punishment," but there is nothing anyone can do about it.

An eternity of darkness and despair is difficult to visualize. But that is what we are courting when we do not take God seriously.

We do not understand such a fate in America because current preaching has removed the fear of God from us.

Later the others also came. "Sir! Sir!" they said. "Open the door for us!" But he replied, "I tell you the truth, I don’t know you." (Matthew 24:11,12)

"Dear, kind, merciful Jesus please, please, please open the door. We don’t want to live in the darkness and oppression of Satan. We want to be where You are with the little children and all that is beautiful and peaceful in the land of love and light."

"I don’t know you!"

I’m not sure if that frightens you but it certainly panics me!

Notice it is not a case of our knowing Christ but of Christ knowing us. What does it take to make certain Christ knows us? It requires a lifetime of pressing into Jesus so we are aware of His thinking concerning us.

We are never to take anything for granted or accept the inevitable. Salvation always is an opportunity—each moment it is an opportunity. We either press into it or we amuse ourselves with the business of living.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 24:13)

We are to possess the prophetic sense. We are to live in the immediate Presence of the Lord, continually feeding on His body and blood as we seek His wisdom and power so we may be able to turn away from our worldly, lustful, self-centered passions and desires.

How wonderful it is to walk with the Lord Jesus. It is so much more pleasant than running the American race of consumerism, being bound with numerous material devices and comforts. Americans have a great need for antacid medicines because of the frantic efforts required to survive in our cash-driven culture. We are surrounded with homeless people who have given up trying to live in such tension and demands.

As destructive as it is, our culture is contagious. Hollywood pours out its moral filth and violence to every nation by way of movies and television. I think our democratic, free-enterprise materialistic way of life will finally prevail over the socialistic, totalitarian, and monarchial systems.

I was told that years ago the families of Iceland used to talk and read their Bible during the long nights of the winter months. Has the Hollywood-inspired television overcome these wholesome activities as yet? I wonder.

We will finally have a one-world government and the cry will be "peace and safety."

Suddenly the heavens and the earth will be shaken. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky.

Those who have patiently sown to the Spirit of God will be prepared and will be caught up by the angels to be forever with the Lamb whom they adore.

The remainder of mankind, including most of the religious people, will have to endure the coming of Christ and His saints as they descend and with violence establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

I think this is a true, scriptural vision of the future. It is affecting my life and perhaps it will affect yours.

But correct or not, practicing the Presence of Christ at all times makes our sojourn on earth, which is difficult and painful at best, possible to endure. We have a hope for the future. Our life has direction and purpose. It is not a meaningless existence as we are buffeted here and there by forces we cannot control or understand.

And if the Bible proves to be true! How ecstatic we will be as we realize we have taken the course that leads to an eternity of love, joy, and peace. How glad we will be that we have escaped the siren call of the world, Satan, and our sinful nature.

I choose to believe God has a better world for us. I am counting on this and so I am choosing to serve the Lord every moment as intensely as I can.

How about you?

                                                                              

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