Friday, November 09, 2007

I believe I was in the presence of a true prophet of God last night. Full of power, wisdom and humility, Dr. Henry Blackaby spoke to our state convention with such undeniable authority that there was little doubt a man of God was in our midst.

So to answer the question we’ve started dealing with last time…yes…there are prophets in the world today….just no more Prophets….errrr…most likely…

What do I mean? Well, in order to keep things plain we need to have a solid grasp of the terms. What is (or was) a Prophet? The Hebrew term used mostly in the Old Testament is the word nabi` and it simply means “spokesman” or “speaker”. Other words sometimes used in the Old Testament which can be translated into our language as “prophet” are hozeh and ro`eh, both meaning “seer”. And there are instances where Prophets were called mal`ak or “messengers”. The New Testament was written in Greek and the word prophetes ("prophet") is the only word the New Testament uses to translate the Hebrew nabi`. Related New Testament words are propheteuo ("to prophesy"), prophetis ("prophetess"), and propheteia ("prophetic saying, gift, or activity").

Do you feel smarter now? Good.

There is a difference between Benny Hinn and Dr. Henry Blackaby. You see, people in the hyper charismatic circles have a complete misunderstanding of what a New Testament prophet is. A New Testament prophet, bottom line, does the same thing an Old Testament prophet would do…declare “thus says the Lord”…and both ultimately point towards the cross. The distinction was that in the Old Testament a prophet would declare what was going to happen…in the future. In the New Testament a prophet (a prophet operating after the last book of the Bible was written) declares what has already been declared in the past. The message of a New Testament prophet is very old. It’s not new, it’s ancient. A Prophet (capital P) brought Revelations. A prophet (lower case p) brings illuminations.

Are there any Prophets (capital P) running around anymore? I doubt it. I highly doubt it. I don’t want to get too far off track at this point…but I do not believe there is any more Revelation to be given and so therefore the need for a Prophet has ceased. I’m almost sure…the problem is that the Bible never gives us a list of books and so while it is considered highly, highly HIGHLY unlikely…many who study these things would not utterly rule such a thing out. We do after all simply have a fallible list of infallible books in our Bible. Any alleged Prophet would be held to the same standard as the known Prophets of the Bible and would be forced to provide the same type of evidence as those Prophets of old (the working of true signs and wonders in addition to doctrinal Orthodoxy). I’m really not holding my breathe…I don’t believe “logically” that God would allow His Church to flounder around for 20 centuries without such Revelation. I can map that conclusion out “logically”…I just can’t point to a Scripture to ultimately prove it.

So, anywho, given these definitions of the word prophet I am completely comfortable explaining to you that I sat just a few feet away from a true prophet of God last night. There is truly little doubt that Dr. Henry Blackaby is a messenger of God. His words felt like punches at times last night…punches to the gut of my flesh. So powerful was what God did through him last night that I found myself completely prostrated on the ground with my face buried in the carpet for what seemed to me to be hours and hours. God manifested Himself in that room in a way that I have not experienced in many years.

I was with several hundred Southern Baptists…almost every single leader in our state convention was there…men thoroughly conservative and utterly “Baptist”…yet I was not alone on that carpet. Men and women were repenting, weeping, raising hands, kneeling and singing till after 10pm. Even after most people returned to their seats the Spirit continued to carry us along and a lovely sister in Christ was asked to come forward and close us in prayer and her prayer was so obviously led by the Spirit it shook me…her voice at times trembled as she “closed in prayer” for about ten minutes I’d guess. She, I’m sure, was asked to close the meeting in prayer several weeks ago, she must have had a very nice prayer all planned out. I don’t think she planned on praying like that before the night began. I’ve seen hyped up alter calls…many of them…in my life. I have never seen that before, certainly never anything like that given the context (the annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio!)

What did Dr. Blackaby do? What did he say? Did he have a new vision that swept us into a state of altered consciousness? Did he heal anybody of chronic migraine headaches? Did he scream “fire!” and mesmerize and knock people over? Did we sing the same three lines over and over and over for several hours before he got up there?

No.

I was actually surprised at how uncharismatic the old man was. He really lacks in the pizzazz department. He really didn’t make anybody laugh and to be completely honest…there were points where he got a bit dry, frankly. I’ve heard more articulate and entertaining speakers and preachers before. He didn’t have any high impact videos and no comedic dramas. He didn’t have any magic tricks and he didn’t bust out any puppets. No…he didn’t stun anybody with his style. I don’t think he spoke for more than thirty or thirty five minutes. It was his message and the anointing with which it was delivered that floored so many. He stood up there and with angelic like power calmly commanded us all to repent. He told us that if our state convention ever hoped to accomplish the vision we believe God has given us it will not come from new programming, campaigns or better marketing. He repeatedly told us that we must not do one more thing until we have been “endowed with power from on high” and that we must wait till it comes. He literally said we should just stop everything…period...until we are empowered by God. And I’m pretty sure that old timer meant it! He systematically showed us these things in the Bible. You could have heard a pin drop. And before any “alter call” was given or even before the man was off the platform, people where hitting their knees and then faces all over the place. I think we forgot Baptists don’t act like that. Christ’s sheep know His voice and we follow Him…God was speaking in a truly unique way last night through His servant, Dr. Henry Blackaby…and as is the case with a true prophet…his message…shook us, hurt us and changed us.

He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:10-16 niv

1 comment:

Zac said...

I remember being fond of Dr. Blackaby's writings and going through one of them as part of an "inductive Bible study." I think the book was called Knowing God or something like that.

It sounds like you had a powerful experience with him.