The Awesome Power of the Prophetic Community
Paul L. Garlington
 
“‘Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. THEN the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. And it shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires; for God is with you.’...Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.” (1 Sam 10:5-7,9)

It is an established geometric theorem that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. This same principle will be in operation when two or more people come together who love the One God, besides whom, there is none else. They will automatically experience the emergence of the beloved community. The inevitable joy and peace that occurs when we return to the One God with our whole heart always produces the Prophetic Community (i.e., those who continually celebrate God/good as all in all). For, you see, it is impossible to have heartsight (i.e., “The Vision” of God as the glory that fills the whole earth) and not prophesy. “The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8b)

The true prophet is always a “seer” first. “Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, ‘Come, and let us go to the seer’; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.” (1 Sam 9:9) “These things Isaiah said (prophesied as a seer), because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him (God).” “...Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev 19:10) Jesus summarized His entire life focus when He said, “I glorified Thee on the earth.” Therefore, the spirit and burden of prophecy (celebration of reality) is to glorify God. To this end, when King Uzziah sought the Lord and prospered, he did so, “In the days of Zechariah, who had understanding (heartsight) through the vision of God.” (2 Chron 26:5)

Why does it seem that “seers” have almost become an extinct breed? Or as scripture says, “Word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.” (1 Sam 3:1) Isaiah, the seer, explains it thusly. “For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, ‘You must not see visions’; and to the prophets (i.e., those who celebrate God, it’s all good), ‘You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusion...Let us hear no more about the Holy ONE of Israel.’” (Is 30: 9-11)

Since God is all in all, then you can rest assured that any would-be prophet or psychic whose “word” does not glorify the One God exclusively is speaking, “...False vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds (heart).” (Jer 14:14) In other words, they are totally devoid of heartsight. Furthermore, the prophets and psychics of today focus their attention solely upon the past and the future. In fact, the strength of one’s confidence in their prediction about the future, good or bad, is due entirely to the alleged accuracy of what has been said about one’s past. Do you see it? The “prophets” of today begin with man, and not God; with a non-existent past and future, rather than the glorious present where God alone dwells. How can the infinite God, who has no beginning or end, be a “was” (past) or a “will be” (future)? God is always being all that God is, doing all that God does, to the glory, praise and honor of His great name. If the prophets do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. (Read 2 Kngs 6:8-23)

Given this critical frame of reference, let’s examine in depth the awesome influence of an authentic prophetic community.

First of all, Samuel the seer tells Saul, “You will meet a group of prophets (celebrants) coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.” Why is MUSIC such an indispensable part of the prophetic community? “Music is harmony, harmony is perfection, perfection is our dream, and our dream is heaven.” (Amiel) Or as Aldus Huxley said, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” In other words, God is the absolute, and music is the only thing in nature that approximates the absolute reality. The long beneficent effects of music was most eloquently described by William Wordsworth when he said, “I listened, motionless and still; and, as I mounted up the hill, the music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more.

Secondly, Saul is specifically told that when he meets this group of prophets, “They will be prophesying.” In fact, that is how he will recognize them from everyone else. After David brought back the ark (the consciousness of God’s omnipresent goodness) with joy, “[He] set apart for the service some...who were to prophesy with lyres, harps, and cymbals...in giving thanks and in praising the Lord.” (1 Chron 25:1-3) Why did David do this? He declared, “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound (mg., blast of the trumpet, shout of joy)! O Lord, they walk in the light of Thy countenance (presence). In Thy name they rejoice all the day.” (Ps 89:15,16) Consequently, the singers, musicians and dancers that continuously celebrate God as the goodness that fills the whole earth, the only eternal, unchangeable reality, were called prophets. Did not the Lord say to Abimelech concerning Abraham, “He is a prophet, and he will pray for you (i.e., decree the truth that God Is concerning you ) and you will live”? Moreover, Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see (mg., in order that he might see) My day (i.e., when God alone is glorified); and he saw it and was glad.” “And Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing. And Miriam answered them, ‘Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted (has triumphed gloriously); the horse and his rider (enemies, the lack of all things) He has hurled into the sea.’” (Ex 15:20,21) “The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim (prophesy) the good tidings are a great host: Kings of armies flee; they flee, and she who remains at home (abiding in the consciousness of “it’s all good”, celebrating reality) will divide the spoil!” (Ps 68:11,12)

Thirdly, “THEN (i.e., after you have come under the influence of the prophetic community) the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily and you will prophesy with them.” Is it not written, “And it will come about after this (i.e., you experience the true prophetic community) that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions”? (Joel 2:28) Remember, since God is all in all and omniaction is the only action, the vision of God is the only authentic revelation that makes up for the wasted years and turns one’s captivity. Having seen the vision (heartsight), you will say along with Peter and John, “We cannot stop speaking (prophesying) what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) Hence, the true meaning of Pentecost is the ability to speak, in the language of the people, the mighty deeds of God, ascribing greatness to God alone as evidence that the Spirit has descended upon us mightily. This awesome influence of the prophetic community is beautifully illustrated in 1 Sam 19:18-24

“Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. And it was told Saul, saying, ‘Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.’ Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel (the seer) standing and presiding over them (keeping everyone’s attention focused on the One God that they were celebrating with great joy), the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. Then he himself went to Ramah, and came as far as the large well that is in Secu (Note what happens to Saul, David’s would-be enemy, when he approaches the general vicinity of the prophetic community.); and he asked and said, ‘Where are Samuel and David?’ And someone said, ‘Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.’ And he proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he also stripped off his clothes (he has become, with joy, one of the celebrants), and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’”

David, referring to himself as the, “Sweet psalmist (i.e., singer, musician, dancer, and prophet) of Israel,” declared, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.” (2 Sam 23:1d,2) Hence, whenever he took the harp and played it for King Saul, he would be refreshed and be well and the evil spirit (i.e., consciousness of separation from God, good) would depart from him.

Fourth, “And [you will] be changed into another man.” When Moses requested to see God’s glory, God replied after this manner, “No man can see me and live.” Where God is all in all, where can ego, personality, false self, or anything that is not omnipresent goodness be found? Is there any place that God is not the only presence, power, and mind? Hence, when the veil is removed and our hearts are ravished by the vision of the altogether lovely ONE, we are changed into another man. “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18) Clearly, since we become like that which we behold, it is easily understood why David said, “I have set the Lord continually before me.” In the glorious experience of heartsight, we discover the fact that divinity is our identity. As one is required to establish his identity at a bank before a demand can be made on his account, so also must we in the kingdom of God establish our identity before we can claim our inheritance. Fear not! When you, by beholding the glory of God, are changed into another man, your former identity based upon separation from God will pass away and no place will be found for it. From now on, you will be found celebrating the fact that God lives His life as all that you are. Knowing that I live and move and have my being in God, the One, I luxuriate in the truth that all that the Father has is mine. With great exultation, I joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.

Fifth, after all these things have occurred, “Do for yourself what the occasion requires; for God is with you.” Do you see it? Realizing that we live in an infinite ocean of good, we now understand, not only that it’s all good, but all things are working together for our good. Omniaction is the only action. Because God is all in all, I now understand that I am the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, the abundant supply to every need, the presence of the power and the power of the presence. Having glorified God on the earth, God now glorifies me with the same glory I had with Him before the world (belief, dream of separation from God) began. From this vantage point, you can now do all that is in your heart, whatever the occasion requires, knowing that God is with you, because God is present as you.

God is living His life as you, thinking His thoughts as you, desiring His desires as you, fulfilling instantly every decree as you. Rejoice, the human drama, rooted in the belief in good and evil, is over! You have seen your oppressors for the last time. From now on, you’ll always be exactly where you should be, doing precisely the thing you are required to do, saying the perfect thing to the very person to whom it was to be said. Arise now and go for yourself for the Lord has already gone ahead of you preparing the way for Himself as you. “Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then (in order that) the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Is 40:4,5)

And finally, “Then it happened, when he (Saul) turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart and all these signs came about on that day.” Jesus said, “These signs shall follow (not precede) them that believe.” However, in Saul’s case, the end result of being changed into another man occurred before all the signs came to pass. All too often, we demand signs, evidence, that it’s all good before we are willing to concede all glory, honor, credit, and praise to the One God, besides whom, there is none other. Nevertheless, as this narrative so beautifully illustrates, whenever there is 100% intent to glorify God in glad obedience from the heart, it is equivalent to performance, and produces, without fail, the desired result. The secret is always 100% intent. Remember, it is never nice to fool Mother Nature. “God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7) Man is always impressed by what he says and does, not realizing that God weighs thoughts and actions, and tries our words to determine if our intent is to glorify Him in all things. Therefore, if the heavens seem like brass and the drought continues unabated, just remember, the encouraging words of Jeremiah, the seer, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Of you, it will then be said, “I have found a man after My own heart who will do all of My will.”

When Joshua asked Moses to restrain the people who were prophesying in the camp of Israel, Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets; that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” (Num 11:27-29) In fact the Apostle Paul declared, “That if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters (the prophetic community), he is [convinced] by all, he is called to account by all (i.e., he realizes his failure to concede all glory to the One God); the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” (1 Cor 14:24,25) The prophetic community is the manifestation of the good word of God spoken by the prophet Amos, “‘In that day, I will raise up the fallen booth of David (the tent that housed the ark of the covenant with its joyful celebrants), and I will wall up its breaches; and I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,’ declares the Lord who does this.” (Amos 9:11,12)

Having established this tabernacle, David said to the prophets (celebrants), “Let all who seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; and let those who love Thy salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified.’” (Ps 70:4) When we have seen the Lord, because of our pure-hearted intent to glorify God as all in all, we are a beloved community and a prophetic community whose ripple effect will extend to the ends of the earth. Selah!

 
 

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