Tag Archives: Bible study

God’s Model for Prophecy

Spirit of truthIn our last post, I listed steps I use in meditating on Scripture. Today, I’m sharing something the Lord showed me as I meditated on a particular verse. Let’s start with the verse, John 16:13:

… When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.”

The NIV renders “He shall not speak of Himself, as, “He will not speak on His own.” The NASB puts it, “He will not speak on His own initiative.”

In this verse, God has given us the Holy Spirit as our role model for how prophecy is supposed to be carried out. And should it not be that way? The Spirit is our teacher (John 14:26).

Furthermore, Jesus followed this same model while on earth. He said, “He Who sent Me is true, and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him” and, “I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught me, I speak these things” (John 8: 26, 28).

A true prophet parallels the Holy Spirit (and Jesus) by not speaking on his own initiative. He speaks only what he hears from the Lord. This is what is meant by speaking as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11). The prophet does not get ahead of God or speak presumptuously. He does not speak what he thinks is right, and then expect God to back him up. He waits to hear God first, and then he speaks.

Unfortunately, some modern-day prophets are not following the model given to us in John 16:13. A popular teaching in prophetic circles says we can “step into” prophecy at will: merely decide to prophesy and just start speaking in faith. God then supposedly backs up the prophet by filling his mouth with the word of the Lord. As a result, we are seeing far too much presumptuous prophecy coming from natural understanding or wishful thinking. Inner anxieties, faulty theological mindsets, and a desire for personal recognition can also contribute to inaccurate prophecy.

In addition, some prophets start out with a genuine, kernel word from the Lord, but then add in their own interpretations as part of their “word” without clearly explaining to their listeners, “This part is what I heard God say, and this part is what I think He might mean by that.”

In the next verse, John 16:14, Jesus adds this about the Holy Spirit: “He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive what is Mine, and shall show it to you.” Continuing with the Spirit as our model, any true prophetic revelation must in some way glorify Jesus. If a word or vision is genuine, it will always point back to Jesus, for He is the absolute Center of all. He never gives His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8). The word might not speak of Jesus directly, but it will ultimately cause us to turn our hearts to Him in greater reverence.

I have majored on just part of what John 16:13 has for us. It also promises that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will guide us into all truth. I had been pondering this verse in response to a prophetic word I had come across. Some of the things said by the prophet troubled me, and I used this verse as my prayer to know the truth: Spirit of truth, please guide me into all truth. Is this prophet speaking rightly or not? I want to align myself with You. By the end of the day, I had my answer. The Holy Spirit enlightened me with His perspective by recalling to mind some Scriptures which refuted what was being claimed by the prophet.

John 16:13 also promises, “He will show you things to come.” The Lord is eager to share with His people what is yet ahead, so that we are not blindsided. He doesn’t tell us everything, but a good many times He desires to give us glimpses into the future, if we are willing to listen.

Such a rich verse! The Word of God brings life and strength to us. I will not be the same, since seeing these things. I hope sharing what I have learned will be a blessing to you, too.

Personal Prophecy

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy

 

 

Dance with Me

LeeAnnRubsam.com

“Dance with me, O Lover of my soul, to the song of all songs.”  It’s a worship song that I am fond of.  Recently, I got to thinking about dancing. 

Christians are natural-born dancers.  You may be thinking, “Not me.  I have two left feet.”  But let me explain.  Those of us who read the Bible dance through God’s Word, and there are distinctly different ways we do it. 

There are the steady, methodical dancers, who read each verse carefully.  They don’t want to miss anything.  You never know, God might have a nugget hidden in the middle of those genealogies!  (I’m one of these, by the way.)  But methodical dancers just about go into cardiac arrest if the Holy Spirit whispers to skip over a few hundred pages and read something out of sequence for a time.

Spirit-led dancers follow where He leads.  They read in Daniel one day and Deuteronomy the next.  But some spend the next two years reading Psalms and nothing else, and their biblical balance is a little tipsy as a result.  (Maybe we aren’t all as Spirit-led as we think!)

Some of us, when we read, dance through the words laid out before us as if we’re on hot coals.  We become very uncomfortable as God puts His finger on areas of our lives that aren’t in line with Him, so we take a quick hop over the verse that bothers us and move on to safer territory.  It may even be a giant leap: “You know, I’m just not getting much out of James today.  I think I’ll go read Isaiah for awhile.  Isaiah always builds me up.”  After awhile, the hot coals dancer figures out where he’s most likely to get his feet burned and avoids that chapter or book altogether!  (After all, who ever said we had to read the whole book from Genesis to Revelation?)

Then there are the Christians who know how to do the victory dance.  They’re intensely serious about their dance moves.   They stand on the Word part of the time and swing it the rest of the time to accomplish the purposes of heaven.  They do “mighty exploits” like Daniel spoke of (Daniel 11:32). 

So, how do you dance through the Word?  Do you even read it?  And, are you dancing lightly to avoid the hot coals, or are you planting your feet firmly in a victory step?  Are you letting Holy Spirit lead — really lead — in the dance, or are you doing your own thing, all by yourself, and finding it’s kind of a drudge? 

Dance with Him through His Word.  Whatever method of steady reading you use, if you’re listening to Him and applying what He says, the dance will be awesome.  

LeeAnnRubsam.com

Character Building Bible Study for Adults

River Life Student EditionToday, I’d like to talk about one of the books I have written.  I’ve been authoring and publishing for thirteen years now, under the name Full Gospel Family Publications.  We started with one book, a family devotional Bible study for parents and children, called Character Building for Families, Volume 1.  The book really caught on, especially among home school families, and we published a Volume 2 as well.  The  Character Building for Families web site is still our main site today. I’ve since written eight more books and booklets, mostly on the subjects of character and prayer, with a ninth currently in production.

A few years ago, our pastor suggested that I write a character building Bible study geared toward adults.  River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus is the result of that suggestion.  It is an outline-based study covering nine main units, spread over 36 weeks:

  1. Obedience to the King
2. The Law of Kindness
3. Truthful Living
4. Unswerving Loyalty
5. The Servant Lifestyle
6. The Might of Mercy
7. The Humble Heart
8. Patience — Mark of Maturity
9. Joyful Generosity

There is a Teacher’s Guide, scripted with everything needed to teach and bring about group discussion, and also a Student Workbook, with an answer key in the back.

I like Bible studies that are simple to follow, easy for a group leader to use without gobs of prep time, that speak to where the newer believer is, and yet are meaty enough to provoke thought in the seasoned Christian.  Because that is what I want for myself, that is what I have put together in River Life.

I like to build a great deal of flexibility into how my books can be used.  River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus works well within the adult Sunday School or Christian education class, or as a home Bible study.  The student workbook is also a complete, stand-alone manual, so that those who cannot attend a group gathering can still use the book for individual study.  River Life is written with the intent to allow about one hour, once a week, for each lesson.  Besides covering nine major topics, the 36 weeks are further divided into twelve week sections (which works well for many adult education courses).

Probably the best part of the River Life study is that it hits Christians where they live.  The goal is to transform each of us into the image of Jesus.  It is not just head knowledge. It teaches solid biblical principles, but goes beyond that to bringing deep heart conviction and real-life application.  I had to live through each of the character topics personally while writing about them — either through God working on my own attitudes or through having to deal with other people’s attitude issues pastorally.  (My husband and I are elders in our local church, which amounts to being lay pastors.)  I tell people that writing this book took the “stuffin’s” out of me!

If you need a character study, whether for your personal life, your church’s Christian ed. program, or for home Bible study use, please take a look at River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus.  There are sample pages on the web site to give you a good feel for what the book is like.  There are also discounts available for multiple copy purchases.

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus