THE SPECTACULAR AND THE SUPERNATURAL
God’s workings in our lives are always supernatural, though not usually spectacular.
Many Christians do not appreciate the dealings of God in their lives, because they are not spectacular. In fact, many Christians miss out on God’s supernatural dealings in their lives, because many times such dealings are not spectacular.
We need to understand that the majority of God’s dealings in our lives will be supernatural without being spectacular. When we do not appreciate such supernatural dealings, we tend to ignore them and so go seeking for something more spectacular. This usually opens us up to satanic deception. This is why we must learn how to discern the supernatural workings of God in our lives. We will do this by looking at and contrasting some scriptural and contemporary examples of the supernatural workings of God that were not so spectacular and yet had greater spiritual impact than other workings of God that were more spectacular.
Visions, Personal Prophecy and the Written Word
One major area that Satan has been using and will continue to use to deceive many Christians in this end time is the area of visions and personal prophecy, through false or if originally genuine, corrupted prophetic ministry.
Matthew 24:11 (KJV): And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Observe here the scripture says many false prophets will arise and deceive many; in fact the original Greek uses the Word majority for many.
Even though we have seen a large number of false and corrupted prophets in the church, many more are still to arise. This is because as the Zion, perfect church, arises and begins to manifest the ministry gifts, in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Satan will try to oppose them by the rise of false prophets who will also manifest mighty and spectacular gifts.
Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV): Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 24:24 (KJV): For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
This will be similar to how Satan opposed Moses by duplicating every miracle Moses performed until the plague of lice when they now admitted that the power behind Moses’ miracles was the finger of God and so greater than the power of Satan that they were using.
Exodus 8:16-19 (KJV): And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
In the same way, in this end-time, the true prophetic and apostolic ministries will demonstrate the power of God in such a way that will be greater than the power demonstrated by the false prophets and apostles.
In spite of these false prophets, because of a lack of knowledge, will still deceive many. This is why to avoid deception you must put the integrity of God’s Word and character above spectacular manifestations of power.
We must understand the highest and most accurate form of revelation comes through the written Word and not through visions, dreams or personal prophecies. Revelation through visions, dreams and personal prophecies are more spectacular than that through the written Word, but they not more supernatural or accurate. In fact the scripture declares that revelation through the written Word is a ‘more sure Word of prophecy’ than that through the vision of the mount of transfiguration that Jesus, Peter, James and John had.
2 Peter 1:17-21 (KJV): For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
We must understand that all scripture is prophetic: hidden in the scripture are prophetic revelations concerning, all wisdom and knowledge, of all things past, present and future.
Colossians 2:2-3 (KJV): That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Now, the written Word unveils to us the living Word the Lord Jesus Christ, so what is hidden in Christ is hidden in His Word. This is why Jesus is called the Word:
John 1:1 (KJV): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Revelation 19:13 (KJV):
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
God’s plan and expectation for every individual human being that has ever been or will be born.
Colossians 3:3 (KJV): For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Revelation 22:19 (KJV): And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The highest form of prophetic operation, is prophetic preaching and teaching from the written Word, that God will use to confirm, clarify and amplify what Holy Spirit is already saying or witnessing in the hearts of the saints (for more details see our articles on Seeing Things to Come). The saints are not to be led by prophets but by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:14 &16 (KJV): For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
However, we all need prophets to make clear enough to us what the Holy Spirit is leading us into or saying so that we can intelligently, and in faith, act upon it to grow and prosper. Without the prophetic ministry we will not grow, prosper and be victorious, as we should.
2 Chronicles 20:20 (KJV): And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
God resorts to using visions, dreams and personal prophecies when we are not as spiritually knowledgeable, sensitive or strong as we should be, to receive revelation through prophetic preaching and teaching of the Word.
Some times, we are in a weak or very difficult situation and a vision or dream that is spectacular would strengthen and encourage us, but even then, many times, though not always, it is because we’ve not been in prayer and the Word as we should be.
For instance, when Paul was in the storm God gave him a vision of an angel to let him know that though they would lose the ship everybody on board would be saved.
Acts 27:21-25 (KJV): But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Notice, that Paul, by supernatural, though not spectacular, perception was warned by God of the impending danger. However it took the affliction of the storm and the spectacular appearing of an angel to Paul to convince, and thus save the lives of, the people in ship of the truthfulness of Paul’s perception.
Also when there is a lack of knowledge, or availability, of the scriptures, like it was under the Old Testament, or where people are not literate, God uses visions, dreams and prophecies to bring revelation rather than the written Word. This why we see more revelation coming through visions, prophecies and dreams in the Old Testament than in the New Testament. Remember that the Bible was not complete until the New Testament books were written and added to the canon of scripture, so there was a limit to how much revelation could come through the Word in the Old Testament.
However, it must be said that God, in His sovereignty, can and does speak through visions, dreams and prophecies on occasion as He wills, for variety, clarity or for opening new insights into the written Word. For instance in our generation Jesus appeared to Kenneth E. Hagin in a series of visions from September 1950 to bring fresh revelation concerning faith, prayer, spiritual warfare, deliverance and the prophets’ ministry to the church. All these revelations were solidly based upon the written Word and gave deeper insight and revelation into the Word. Interestingly and in contrast, about the same time, in 1951, the Lord gave revelation, through, the written Word, rather than visions, to George H. Warnock, on the feast of Tabernacles and God’s end-time purpose for the church.
This why the scripture says in the book of Joel that young men will have visions and old men will have dreams and servants and handmaidens will prophesy.
Joel 2:28 (KJV): And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
In fact, it is because the majority of the church is carnal, lazy and prayerless, and so lack the knowledge of the Word, that the prophetic preaching and teaching ministry is not as appreciated and used, as it should be. This is why most Christians will flock to the spectacular rather than the ministry of Word and so are so easily deceived.
To ignore personal daily prayer and study of the Word and continue to seek only after the spectacular is to open up one’s self to deceptive spirits that are so rampant in this time and to risk losing the fullness of one’s destiny in God.
In our next article, we will be looking further at the Spectacular and the Supernatural.