Sunday am 2nd October 2016 – Richardt Hattingh
Matt. 3:2-3, 13-17; Matt. 23:29-37; Matt. 11:9-11; John 1:29; Eph. 1:18; 1 Cor. 1:30 [Mirror Bible];
John 14:9; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:9; Gal 4:6; 1 John 1:8; Heb. 10:14; Gal. 5:22-23;
2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Cor. 3:18
Prophetic prayer and proclamation opens a door in the spirit realm for the kingdom of God to invade the natural realm. This is illustrated by the ministry of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus through prophetic proclamation. He came preaching in the desert of Judea, Matt. 3:2 – Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. The prophetic always has a kingdom agenda – if there is any other agenda at work it is not the voice of a true prophet! Matt. 3:3 – This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” While “wilderness” denotes the geographical area John operated in, it is also a metaphor for the spiritual climate of his day – the spiritual dryness and religious resistance to the purposes of God among many of the religious leaders. The prophetic often operates in a hostile environment as it prepares the way for the kingdom of God to invade that environment. Often when someone gets saved in a family they become the access point for the kingdom to invade that family. Do not expect applause from your family or friends when you engage this prophetic calling – the religious spirit will always stone the prophets (Matt. 23:29-37).
Jesus testified regarding John the Baptist. Matt. 11:9-11 – Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” I tell you the truth: Among those born of woman there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Jesus recognized the unique prophetic anointing and calling on John’s life. He also made the astonishing statement that John the Baptist was the greatest man of God that ever lived in the old covenant – which means he was greater than Abraham, Moses, King David, Elijah, Isaiah etc. The reason for this is that while other prophets pointed to the coming of Jesus from a distance, John walked the earth with Jesus and through prophetic proclamation he prepared a spiritual platform for the ministry of Jesus to be launched. Looking at the events of Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:13-17) we can say that John was instrumental in activating Jesus’ ministry. Prophetic proclamation activates the purposes of God in the earth and often over people’s lives – even Jesus submitted to this principle. One of the reasons He waited till He was 30 years old to launch His ministry might be that Jesus had to wait for John to prepare the way.
We catch another glimpse of the incredible prophetic anointing and insight John carried in John 1:29 – Look the lamb of God , who takes away the sin of the world. Three aspects of this prophetic declaration are astounding:
a) Even before Jesus had done a single miracle John saw what no one else could see – that this was the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God, the one that all the old covenant prophets pointed to.
b) He saw that Jesus did not come to set up a political kingdom but to deliver people from the bondage of sin.
c) He saw that Jesus came to be the Savior not only of Israel, but of the whole world!
Jesus makes another astonishing statement in Matt. 11:11 – he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. How can Jesus say that someone who had been born again just yesterday, who had lived a life marred by the worst sin you can imagine, who is still a spiritual baby, knows very little about the Word and nothing about operating in the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who only knows that his or her sins are forgiven; be greater than John the Baptist and by implication than all of the old covenant saints? The reason is that the moment you are born again, you are positioned in Christ and in the finished work of the cross! John prophesied towards the finished work but we prophesy from the finished work! Every new covenant believer carries greater spiritual authority than John the Baptist because of who we are in Christ Jesus!
The revelation of your new identity in Christ determines every aspect of your walk with God, including your prayer life. It will be very difficult to operate in prophetic prayer without a revelation of who you are in Christ and the authority you carry in His name. Francois du Toit writes this in the Mirror Bible: The “in Christ” revelation is key to God’s dealing with man. It is the PIN code of the Bible. This is a great illustration, because even the most loaded bank account will have no value to me if I do not have the PIN code to access the funds. All believers are positioned in Christ but not all believers carry the revelation of how to operate in that positioning, how to access the glorious riches of our inheritance in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:18). 1 Cor. 1:30 [Mirror Bible] – Of God’s doing are we in Christ. He is both the genesis and the genius of our wisdom; a wisdom that reveals how righteous, sanctified and redeemed we are in him.
An accurate Christology should inform our Theology. Jesus is the Word made flesh – He is perfect theology – the perfect revelation of God, John 14:9 – Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. This gives us understanding of who Christ is and what He accomplished through His incarnation, His death on the cross (the finished work) and His resurrection from the dead, should inform every aspect of our knowledge of God. Many believers grew up in a traditional church whose very liturgy was designed to foster sin consciousness, and need a complete renewal of mind to fully grasp the revelation of who they are in Christ. For example, a statement like, “I am a sinner saved by grace” sounds correct to the religious mind, but is actually a denial of the finished work. From the perspective of an accurate Christology we should rather say, “I was a sinner, then I was saved by grace, now I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, I’m a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-21), I am a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16). I am part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God (1 Pet. 2:9). I am a son of the Most High God crying Abba Father (Gal. 4:6). If I am in Christ and Christ is in me, how dare I call myself a sinner and so insult my Savior and His finished work on the cross!
This however does not mean that we never sin. 1 John 1:8 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. So if I am a new creation in Christ and no longer a sinner, then why do I still sin? The answer lies in understanding man as a tri-part being. Even though many aspects of the interconnectedness between spirit, soul and body in us are a mystery, we understand from Scripture that our spirit man is instantaneously transformed and made completely holy and righteous the moment we are born again. The soul (will, intellect and emotions) and body still need to go through a process of sanctification by the working of the Holy Spirit and the Word. Heb. 10:14 – For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever (spirit man), those who are being made holy (soul/body). Joseph Prince says this: “Always address your behavior from your stand in Christ, not the other way – your behavior has no influence on your stand, but your stand must impact your behavior.” Sometimes our behavior lines up with who we are in Christ, we operate in the fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), but at other times we sin and miss the mark. This however does not change our position of being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). At the same time it does not remove our responsibility to submit to a process of sanctification so that we can be transformed into His likeness!
(2 Cor. 3:18).