To Break Down and to Plant

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Beware of the love of money and fame

Before we look at some of the roles of the prophet, let us remember that the prophetic ministry begins in the presence of the Lord. This aspect of the ministry is well described in Jeremiah’s challenge to the false prophets. Which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? If they had stood in his council they would have proclaimed his words to his people and they would have turned from their evil ways and from their evil deeds (Jeremiah 23:18,22).

When the prophet knows the heart and mind of the Lord, he speaks the word of the Lord. He stands before the person as one who has stood before God. Because his words come from the heart of God they are powerful and effective. Let us visit Jeremiah 1 v 10: See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

This was a very specific mandate on the life of Jeremiah, but if one studies the prophets and knows how the prophetic works, then one realises that the mandate of Jeremiah is very much the broader scope of functionality upon any prophet’s life. Consider for example the mandate to Ezekiel in chapter 2: And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day … 7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel were called to declare the Truth of the Lord, and ultimately to a stiff-necked people, thus those who were rebellious. Ultimately, both of them confronted the counterfeit and declared the will of God. You can therefore say among the manifested purposes of a prophet are the following: To pull down, to destroy, to throw down, to build, and to plant.

Let us look at the roles of pulling down, destroying, and throwing down.

To pull down is to bring whatever has set itself up against God down. A prophet pulls down what is not godly, thus the prophet will address anything that establishes itself against the order of God. The prophet can therefore speak out and address demonic principalities, or issues of pride, sin, corruption, or evil. To pull down also means to depress spirits. Depressing is lowering or reducing the activity of spirits.

Elijah pulled down Baal prophets and their god before the children of Israel on Mount Carmel even mocking them. 1 Kings 18:26-27: And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he slept, and must be awakened.

In the Old Testament, the false altars were often broken down, because they represented idolatry, rebellion, and defiance against God. Altars were places where the divine and human worlds interacted. Altars were places of exchange, communication, and influence. God responded actively to altar activity. The contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal involving an altar demonstrated an interaction between Yahweh and Baal. Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice to Yahweh. God smelled the aroma and found it pleasing. He responded to Noah’s action by declaring that he would never again destroy all living things through a flood. In the patriarchal period, altars were markers of place, commemorating an encounter with God (Genesis 12:7), or physical signs of habitation. Abraham built an altar where he pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai. Presumably at that altar he “called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 12:8).

See also
Slavery That Deafens the Prophetic Spiritually

We see numerous times where the false altars were destroyed, meaning a meeting place or a place of activity that does not involve the one and true living God. In 1 Kings 13 we find how a prophet prophesy against a false altar, while Gideon was told to tear down the altar to Baal and then in its place erect a true altar to the glory of God. Thus, a prophet by nature will confront anything and everything that has exalted itself against God, or which is a place of false meeting or divine activity. A prophet after all is called to decree and declare God’s Word, to counter the counterfeit, and to tear down and destroy all that stands against God’s Truth and His Kingdom.

To destroy means to demolish, make useless, spoil, or kill. After taking on the Baal prophets, pulling down their vain imaginations, we read in 1 Kings 18:40: And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

To throw down is to cause something one is holding to drop. The children of Israel and Baal prophets were holding the opinion that Baal was a true god but Elijah threw down that opinion and proved that Baal is an idol and the true God is the God of Abraham. 1 Kings 18:39: And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

The Lord Himself made the following declaration in Jeremiah 31: 28 It will be that as I have watched over them to uproot and to break down, to overthrow, destroy, and afflict with disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant [with good],” says the Lord. The Lord through the declarations of the prophetic, uprooted and overthrew the idolatrous ways of the people, yet God’s intention was clear – to eventually build and to replant. This was achieved when Judah returned from captivity, and today Israel is again a flourishing nation.

The prophet deals with the counterfeit and thus, a prophet is called to overthrow and destroy the counterfeit. A prophet is called to expose what is false, what is deceitful, and what is not from the Lord. We find for example the following account in 1 Kings 1: Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. 7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

This story of Adonijah’s rebellion is at the time of David’s imminent death. David’s intention was for Solomon to become king, but Adonijah rebelled against the king’s wishes, and therefore against the Lord. And so we note, he did not fellowship with the true priest at the time – Zadok – or with the prophet Nathan. Adonijah’s rebellion and this claim to the throne is very much an example of the counterfeit movement in the Body of Christ for a long time now. It speaks of those who are setting up their own rule, building their own kingdoms, and declaring their intentions from their own heart and mind (yes in the church), yet all of this is done not by the approval of the true King of kings – Jesus. The counterfeit movement has been with us since the ascension of our Lord Jesus, where man has introduced all kinds of false theology and systems in the church, promoting religion above the true way of the Kingdom and seeking to serve his own needs and wants. After all, it says in 1 Timothy 4: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils …

See also
Beware Deceived Prophets of God-like Mentalities

We read the following account in Exodus 7: Aaron’s Rod Becomes a Serpent

8 Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Work a miracle [to prove your authority],’ then you say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, so that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and did just as the Lord had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh called for the wise men [skilled in magic and omens] and the sorcerers [skilled in witchcraft], and they also, these magicians (soothsayer-priests) of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts and enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his staff and they turned into serpents; but Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

The serpent reminds us of the devil himself, the one that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. What we find here is a prophetic action, thus a declaration of God’s power over the counterfeit when the staff of Aaron swallowed the staff of the magicians. Take note, it is never God’s intention for the rod of the serpent – the occult, the counterfeit, the wicked – to swallow the rod of the Lord – the prophetic and the truth. God’s authority is final, and nothing stands above the authority of God. In Mark 16 it speaks of signs that will accompany those who have believed, which includes picking up serpents. Again, this alludes to the authority that every believer, thus disciples thus also the prophet, has over the counterfeit. The prophet is specifically tasked to deal with counterfeits, thus the actions of the snake and the actions of the devil.

Speaking of the snake, it is well known that today that the counterfeit movement comes in the form of the Kundalini spirit. This spirit replicates the Holy Spirit. A yoga scholar will tell you that in order to practice yoga to the fullest, one must experience what is called the ‘kundalini’ effect within meditation. It is said kundalini energy rests like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. When this dormant energy flows freely upward through the seven chakras (energy centers) and leads to an expanded state of consciousness, it’s known as a kundalini awakening. Therefore, some will say yoga’s real goal is to awaken Kundalini power. An Esoteric description describes Kundalini as a serpent goddess who lies asleep at the base of the human spine, coiled around the first Chakra, 3½ times. Therefore, the purpose of such an awakening is demonic, just as the devil is seen as a snake.

It has been a well-discussed topic how the Kundalini spirit (thus demonic presence) acts as a counterfeit to the move of the Holy Spirit. It is reckoned that occultists are in touch with, or try to be in touch with this demonic awakening. When we, therefore, get to the occult, the demon’s name is Kundalini Shakti, and ‘she’ represents the unfolding of the divine Shakti energy or Serpent Fire. Kundalini is supposedly the energizing potential of life itself, a living goddess who enlivens all things. It is said that Kundalini, not YHVH, created the universe and is known as Creator. After being awakened, Kundalini will be able to remove the knots of the major chakras, cleanse, open, and develop the chakras until they are in fully blooming lotus forms – this is to attain Yoga.

See also
The Counterfeit Prophetic Movement

Notice how this demon is also connected with fire, but this is not the fire or the move of the Holy Spirit, for it is profane, unholy, and impure. Therefore, great discernment is needed within churches, to determine when God is moving and when it is an unholy presence. This demonic entity will mimic the Lord, and the work of the Holy Spirit, and will come with a different fire, also coming with signs, wonders, and miracles to deceive and to fool. The arousing of kundalini is said by some to be the one and only way of attaining Divine Wisdom, yet true wisdom comes only from serving and submitting to the one and true Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This search for wisdom, knowledge, and self-realization is the foundation of Gnosticism, which proved to be a counterfeit movement that diligently opposed the growth of Christianity, and it is still prevalent today. The devil is after all the mastermind behind all the deception and trickery, leading people away from the Lord down a murky and dark path of seeking power, knowledge, and self-exaltation. Yet such a path is one of the occult and the demonic.

The prophet of the Lord thus needs to be able to discern and know what is real and what is false. He should be able to expose for example the manifestation of the Kundalini spirit, and then at the same time expose when the manifested work of the Holy Spirit is wrongly labeled or branded as Kundalini. And yes, this does happen where the work of the Holy Spirit is deemed demonic out of ignorance, thus we quench the fire of the Lord, and so we grieve the Holy Spirit. A prophet must know what is right and wrong. What is holy and unholy? Common and uncommon. Of the priests in Leviticus 10 it is said in verse 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean. Still today, a prophet must know what truth is and false, what is holy fire and profane fire, what is true wisdom and false wisdom, and what is clean and unclean. All of this deals with the counterfeit opposing the Kingdom of God, and such counterfeit ways need to be addressed, exposed, pulled down, and destroyed.

All the prophets in the Old Testament dealt with the counterfeit and the apostasy in the land. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel for example spoke volumes of the people’s idolatry, their backslidden ways, and how far they had fallen in their depravity. Jeremiah wrote in chapter 2: 4 Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the Lord, “What injustice or unrighteousness did your fathers find in Me, That they have wandered far from Me And [habitually] walked after emptiness and futility and became empty?

Isaiah wrote for example in Chapter 1: Why should you be stricken and punished again [since no change results from it]? You [only] continue to rebel. The whole head is sick And the whole heart is faint and sick.

From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing healthy in the nation’s body, Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil [as a remedy]. 7 Your land lies desolate [because of your disobedience], Your cities are burned with fire, Your fields—strangers are devouring them in your very presence; It is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

See also
Fine Line Between Imagination and Discernment

Indeed, as in the days of Isaiah, today the church is also besieged by winds of apostasy as warned about by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Isaiah warned of Israel being sick, just as a body would be ill. Today, the Church, which is the Body of Christ, is also sick. I fear the church itself is suffering great affliction, as the whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint and sick. Yes, from the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing healthy. The Body of Christ is racked with the pain and fever of apostasy, of idolatry, backslidden ways, and sin. The church has also wandered off course, seeking its own way, its own path, and will.

Jeremiah continues in chapter 2 by saying in verse 13: “For My people have committed two evils: They have abandoned (rejected) Me, The fountain of living water, And they have carved out their own cisterns, broken cisterns That cannot hold water.” Thus the people have resorted to their own plans, to their own ways of survival yet their way holds no water.

Haggai the prophet also spoke on the fallen ways of Israel: 1 In the second year of [a]Darius the king [of Persia], on the first day of the sixth month (Aug 29, 520 b.c.), the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘These people say, “The time has not come that the Lord’s house (temple) should be [b]rebuilt.”’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to live in your [expensive] paneled houses while this house [of the Lord] lies in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! 6 You have planted much, but you harvest little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have enough to be intoxicated; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns wages earns them just to put them in a bag with holes in it [because God has withheld His blessing].” 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! 8 Go up to the hill country, bring lumber and rebuild My house (temple), that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord [accepting it as done for My glory]. 9 You look for much [harvest], but it comes to little; and even when you bring that home, I blow it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house, which lies in ruins while each of you runs to his own house [eager to enjoy it]. 10 Therefore, because of you [that is, your sin and disobedience] the heavens withhold the dew and the earth withholds its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land and the hill country, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”

Haggai called the people back to repentance, back to the ways of God so that they be blessed and may be fruitful. This was the crux of the message of all the prophets, speaking judgment (pulling down) but also giving a word of restoration and blessing if they obeyed the Lord. Amos spoke many such words of warning, but also said in chapter 5 verse 4: “Seek Me [search diligently for Me and regard Me as more essential than food] so that you may live.” This was also the message of Ezekiel in chapter 18: 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live!”

See also
Life of the Prophet

In Isaiah 5, the prophet speaks woes over Israel from verse 18: Woe (judgment is coming) to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood, And sin as if with cart ropes [towing their own punishment]; 19 Who say, “Let Him move speedily, let Him expedite His work [His promised vengeance], so that we may see it; And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel approach And come to pass, so that we may know it!” 20 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever and shrewd in their own sight! 22 Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are heroes at drinking wine And men of strength in mixing intoxicating drinks, 23 Who justify the wicked and acquit the guilty for a bribe, And take away the rights of those who are in the right! 24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble [from straw] And the dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away like fine dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts And despised and discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25 Therefore the anger of the Lord has burned against His people, And He has stretched out His hand against them and has struck them down.

The woes of judgment remind one of the woes of judgment that Jesus spoke in Matthew 23 against the religious leaders. Indeed, as in the days of Isaiah, the Pharisees, and Sadducees had continued to walk in their fallen ways, resisting God and His Kingdom. The prophet of God, therefore, needs to be able to identify the counterfeit, the fallen ways, the backslidden ways, the idolatry, and apostasy and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit expose, address and uproot. Again, this must all be done in love, with a pure heart, and in the right spirit.

It is important to understand Psalm 91 which says the following: Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler. The image of the fowler and also of the snare is also mentioned in Psalm 124:7, Proverbs 6:5, Jeremiah 5:26, Hosea 9:8, Ezekiel 17:20, and Ecclesiastes 9:12. We read how the Lord shall deliver us NOT from the fowler, but the snare of the fowler. According to the Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, a fowler is a professional birdcatcher. In the days previous to firearms, birds were captured with nets spread on the ground, in traps and snares. There was a method of taking young birds from a nest, raising them by hand, and when they had become very tame, they were confined in hidden cages so that their voices would call others of their kind to the spot and they could be killed by arrows of concealed bowmen or the use of the throw-stick.

The devil will be with us like a roaring lion, seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8) until God finally seals his fate according to the Book of Revelations. What we, therefore, need to discern and take note of is the “snare” of the fowler, meaning we need to discern the work of the enemy, and how such work operates, functions, and manifest in order to steal, kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). After all, the WAGES (thus the work – thus the snare) of the sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin, like the fowler, will always be with us, but we need to realize and discern the work of sin, which creates death and separation from God. We cannot eradicate the existence of sin, but we can counter the wages of sin by not stepping into its entrapments.

See also
Conditions of Prophetic Words

A fowler would for example use a net or a trap to catch the bird, and will even use other birds to draw the prey to the trap. This is how the enemy operates – he is sly, devious, and cunning. He constantly lures us into traps, snares, and nets, trying to entrap, enslave, and cage us. We are therefore reminded that while the fowler remains the enemy, our concern should be the “work” of the fowler, thus the snare and how he tries to entrap us. We need to identify it, discern it, and then by the leading of the Holy Spirit address it and overcome it.

The enemy wants us to make the wrong decisions and choices, and he wants to entrap us in fear, pride, false covenants (such as wrong relationships that even lead to unyoked marriages), financial crises, and general life situations that become a trap and a cage. After all, how many people are not entrapped by substance abuse and addictions of all kinds? Think about it … addiction to celebrities, gambling, pornography, drugs, alcohol, money and so much more. Yes, the devil wants to cage our minds, our hearts, and our will for he wants to break down our faith, hope, joy, truth, and certainty in the Lord.

It has become easy for the devil – the fowler – to distract us from the “snare”. So often we are led to a point that we are fighting the fowler instead of trying to avoid the snare, or when snared, how to overcome and to be set free. Psalm 91 speaks about how the Lord shall “deliver” us from the snare, meaning once we have stepped into it, by the Lord’s wisdom, guidance, and discernment we shall be able to be set free from it. Our problem is so often we will scream and shout at the “fowler”, instead of turning our eyes upon the Lord to seek His guidance on how to be liberated, but also how to continue stepping into the snare.

When a person steps into a dark room, he doesn’t shout at the darkness, but puts on the light or lights a candle. Jesus is the light of the world and in Him, there is no darkness. So we need the Lord’s discernment firstly on how to avoid the traps, snares, and cages of the enemy, but also His wisdom and counsel when we have been entrapped. The Good News is that the Lord still sets the captives free, yet this will require humility, submission to Him, and seeking His face in order to be liberated and to be set free.

Let us be honest, many of us step into the snare or the net or the trap eyes wide open, and the devil does not need a lot of cunning or trickery. Many of us give the “fowler” way too much legal ground to enslave and to entrap, and so we end up in a cage, be it spiritual, emotional, or even physical. In others, the devil uses great cunning, and he uses thousands of years of manipulation, deception, and trickery to get us to step into the snare. Yet God still delivers and He still sets free according to Isaiah 61. So often we need to first repent for our enslavement, and then we need to seek the Lord’s help to be set free.

See also
Prophets and the Biblical Language of Symbols

Again, take note, the “fowler” will always be around until God says otherwise, until then, the “fowler” will keep laying traps and nets and snares. Paul said in Galatians 5: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. This reminds me of Ephesians 6: 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Yes, we must stand our ground, listen to the Lord, and beware of the pitfalls posed by the enemy.

We need to discern the work and purpose of the snares, meaning we must become more mindful, aware, and alert to the dangers posed by sin, iniquity, rebellion, idolatry, and so on. We must counter and identify and address the “snares” instead of trying to destroy the “fowler”, be it the devil himself, or the world or servants of the “fowler”. So often we are our worse enemy, allowing ourselves to be so easily entrapped and fooled, yet God is still the God of deliverance and hope. We need to pray to God to open our eyes, to grant us discernment, and to realize we are facing the constant dangers of being entrapped and enslaved.

The enemy is on the prowl and he will devour those who slumber and who fall for his traps and snares. So be vigilant says the Lord. Pray. Be awake. Discern at all times. Test all things. Yes, test. Be led by the Spirit. Be prepared. 2 Thessalonians 3: But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. May the Lord help us to guard our hearts, our minds, and our very nature, for our Lord will deliver us.

A true prophet who walks in humility and by the Spirit should be able to discern these snares and entrapments, not only for his own life but for others in the Body of Christ. He should be keenly aware of the traps and snares that the “fowler” has set for the world, and the prophet should by the discernment of the Spirit declare the function and operation, and purpose of the snares and entrapments. And yes, the prophet should be able to tear down and destroy such traps, thus the work of the enemy, if he has stepped into it himself or when others have stepped into the trap. This is because a prophet can see, discern and know the ways of the devil.

A prophet must therefore be able to tear down and uproot such snares, by first exposing it and then declaring the Lord’s will on how to be liberated and to be set free. This requires great discernment on behalf of the prophet, in order to walk in God’s understanding and strength. Indeed, the counterfeit, the deceptive, and the false, which is so evident in churches these days, will ultimately always oppose the ways of God and will remain like a snare or trap. Peter warns in 2 Peter 2: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. Therefore, such ways not be pulled down, and needs to be addressed and even destroyed. For Paul, this was not mere duty, but an act of war, as described in 2 Corinthians 10: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

See also
Standing In the Gap In Perilous Times

Take note of the world “casting down”, which speaks of pulling down every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, while Paul also made it clear that our spiritual warfare is about bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And yes, this is what a prophetic does – a prophet can see, discern and know by the wisdom of God what is false, deceitful, and what has exalted itself up against the Kingdom of God. And the prophet will therefore act, and the prophet will therefore expose and speak out against it.

In the story of Adonijah, we find that the pretender king had no wish to be in the company of the prophet Nathan. This is because the true prophet of God will expose and will reveal what is false and what is counterfeit. We then read in the same chapter of the actions of the prophet of God: 23 And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. 26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him? 28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30 Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever. 32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.

The instructions of David were carried out by the prophet, for a prophet will always obey his true King. Under the New Covenant, the prophet’s true and only master is Jesus. And so Nathan anointed Solomon to be king, establishing the true order of God, and exposing what is the counterfeit and what is not the will of God. Similarly, the prophet Samuel anointed David as the true king of Israel, for by the prophetic anointing the fallen rule of King Saul was therefore declared null in void and was deemed to be a pretender to the throne.

See also
Establishing Prophets of Identity

Let us read what it says in 2 Chronicles 16: Hanani’s Message to Asa: 7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. 8 Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.

Remember, Asa was at one time regarded as a king who did right in the eyes of God. Of this we read in 2 Chronicles 15: The Reforms of Asa: 15 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7 But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” 8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord. 9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they gathered together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 And they offered to the Lord [d]at that time seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep from the spoil they had brought. 12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 Then they took an oath before the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting and trumpets and rams’ horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around. 16 Also he removed Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah; and Asa cut down her obscene image, then crushed and burned it by the Brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was loyal all his days. 18 He also brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated: silver and gold and utensils. 7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your

See also
The Spirit of Truth And the Spirit Of Error

Asa was therefore a king who sought the ways of God, but alas, he placed his hope and trust in another kind. And so a “seer”, thus a prophet (for the prophet can see and discern), was sent to correct and expose the fallen ways of Asa. Sadly, the king did not wish to be rebuked or corrected, thereby throwing the prophet in the prison. Still today, many spiritual leaders are like Asa, refusing to be corrected and to be rebuked. To correct and rebuke is against addressing what has been established as a stronghold of defiance and rebellion. Take note, the prophet only confirm and declare what God had spoken to the person already. Many times, God speaks to us, but because of our pride, arrogance, spiritual confusion, or the deception clouding our own judgment, we do not listen and we cannot see the truth or acknowledge such a truth. And so God will send His prophets to declare. Remember, a rebuke or a correction is done to bless. After all, if we are not in the will of the Lord, we are not walking in life. God wants to bring us back into His will, and sometimes this requires correction in the form of reproofing or being rebuked.

In 2 Kings 22, at the time of the great reformation introduced by King Josiah, we read about how the Book of Law was found. The king realized how far the people had drifted away from the Truth of the Lord. 11 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” 14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her. 15 Then she said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me, 16 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read— 17 because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’ ” ’ 18 But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard— 19 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. 20 “Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall [d]be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.” ’ ” So they brought back word to the king.

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Conditions of Prophetic Words

Based on the words of the prophetess we then read the following: 2 Kings 23: Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to him. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant. 4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the articles that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 Then he removed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places all around Jerusalem, and those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. 6 And he brought out the wooden[d] image from the house of the Lord, to the Brook Kidron outside Jerusalem, burned it at the Brook Kidron and ground it to ashes, and threw its ashes on the graves of the common people. 7 Then he tore down the ritual booths of the perverted persons that were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the wooden image. 8 And he brought all the priests from the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; also he broke down the high places at the gates which were at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were to the left of the city gate.

The prophet was called to give a word to the king to pull and tear down and to destroy everything that had exalted itself against the Lord. 2 Kings 23 continues to explain in detail how the king ordered all the high places to be destroyed. We read from verse 24: Moreover Josiah put away those who consulted mediums and spiritists, the household gods and idols, all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.

In 2 Kings 18, the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. Facing great calamity and defeat, the king called for Isaiah the prophet for a word. And so we read in 2 Kings 19 … 6 And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” ’ When then read from verse 35: And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 37 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat.

See also
Life of the Prophet

Here we, therefore, find the King of Assyria rising up against God, taunting and mocking the Lord (his mockery can be read in 2 Kings 18). Subsequently, his entire army was pulled down and destroyed, all by the word of Isaiah. Even the King of Assyria died.

Daniel was also a prophet, and the Lord used him mightily to interpret dreams and visions. And so in Daniel 4, the king had a dream of his own fall into humility. Daniel interpreted the dream, and what he spoke came to pass. 28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” 31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules times shall in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” 33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

This so-called mighty king’s arrogance and pride were pulled down and he was humbled. Such is the action of the prophet, for the prophet deals with God’s glory, and the prophet contends strictly with God’s honor.

Throughout the Old Testament, we thus see this constant struggle between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness playing out, as God’s servants erected altars in honor of the true King while the worshippers of the ‘false gods’ also erected their altars and idols. There are also at times instances when altars are broken down as a declaration of war. Prophets were often called to speak out against such false altars, thus opposing the counterfeit that stood against the Kingdom of God.

The story of King Ahab and Jezebel, which is a name synonymous with evil, who confronted Elijah is an illustration of how the true prophetic move of God shall always confront and oppose what is counterfeit, wicked, and not real. In spite of God’s laws forbidding idolatry and the worship of any god but the Lord, Ahab married this princess who brought to Israel with her hundreds of priests of Baal worship. One of her first acts was to order the extermination of the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:4,13) and set up altars to Baal. So pervasive was her idolatrous influence in Israel that Jesus later used her name to refer to a woman who led the church at Thyatira into immorality and the worship of false gods (Revelation 2:20). Jezebel’s strongest enemy was the great prophet Elijah, who defied her and opposed her evil rule. First, he pronounced the punishment of God upon Israel in the form of a drought that lasted three years (James 5:17). This culminated in a contest on Mount Carmel between the powers of Israel’s true God and the Baals.

See also
The Spirit of Truth And the Spirit Of Error

In the end, Jezebel shouted her defiance to Jehu, the next king of Israel who came to take his throne (2 Kings 9:30-37). Jehu commanded her to be thrown out the window to her death, where she was trampled by the horses’ hooves and almost entirely consumed by dogs. Her thirty years of tyranny over Israel had ended. The terror visited upon Jezebel was a testimony to the Israelites, and to us, that God shall not be mocked.

The confrontation on Mount Carmel as to be found in 1 Kings 18 will serve as a reminder of the struggle between light and dark in this world. Yet God is with those who serve Him, and who had laid themselves on the ‘altar’ as living sacrifices unto the Lord. In the confrontation, Elijah challenged 850 false prophets. These prophets build a false altar, and even bled and danced and chanted, but God did not honor their offering. Only when Elijah erected a true altar to the Lord, even one soaked in water, did God answer by fire. Truly, God’s holy fire burns in the believers who seek to follow Him alone as the Kings of kings, yet for those who defy the Lord they burn with the profane fire of this world and of the devil.

Throughout the ages, there has always been an open rebellion against God, just as the devil rebelled openly against God. And we see such rebellion manifest in many different ways, through the setting up of pseudo-religions and false centers of worship and altars. Today, false altars of knowledge and wisdom are also erected. This world is being led further away from the Lord and His Truth, down a path of open idolatry, heresy, apostasy, lawlessness, depravity, and rebellion. God’s laws and truths are being openly defied, denied, and opposed. There is no more shame, just wickedness and evil abound. In the midst of all this chaos and anarchy, God’s prophets will continue to see, discern, and speak out in the authority of God for the purpose to expose, tearing down, and destroying. After all, a prophet will only stand by the truth of God, and will not allow God’s Word, or His Name, or His Kingdom to be mocked.

When therefore speaking on tearing down and destroying, consider that a prophet only walks in the Truth of God, and so his life is grounded in the Word and is led by the Spirit who comes to lead us in all truth.

Consider Deuteronomy 18: 9 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire [as a sacrifice], one who uses divination and fortune-telling, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a charm or spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or a necromancer [who seeks the dead]. 12 For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord; and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless (complete, perfect) before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you shall dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners and fortune-tellers, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.

A prophet will speak out and stand against all things immoral, which are an abomination as recorded in Deuteronomy 18 and which act as open rebellion against God. Consider also, speaking of false altars, how a place where a séance (forbidden according to Deuteronomy 18) or a reading is done is also a false altar because the table where the sorcery is done becomes the altar of spiritual activity. Remember that by definition an altar is also seen as a communion table (a place of divine encounter and interaction), and also a raised structure on which gifts or sacrifices to a god are made. And this is exactly what a table where the séance or the reading is – an altar. Except for the table of interaction, those who sacrifice to demons do so at an altar, or they will cast spells at an altar. Either way, these practices a prophet must address and counter by pulling down such abominations by exposing it and speaking the Truth of God.

See also
Establishing Prophets of Identity

We, therefore, see that a prophet’s function is to correct and admonish. God often has to uproot and tear down, destroy, and overthrow, before he can begin to plant and build. Prophets cooperate with God in breaking down all that is not built on the true foundation. They do this by announcing his judgment. At the same time, they watch over all that God is building to see that it is built according to his Word. This is an awesome task but God cannot complete the restoration work until the prophetic ministry is restored.

Consider the life of prophetess Deborah, who was the fourth of the judges who ruled over the Jewish people after the death of Joshua. She stood against all things immoral and by her leading as judge oppression was overthrown and victory planted. Before her were Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar, the latter only for a short time. After Ehud’s death, the Jews forsook the ways of the Torah and adopted many of the idols of the people about them. As a consequence, God delivered them into the hands of the King of Canaan, Jabin, whose royal residence was the city of Hazor. His cruel general Sisera oppressed the Jews for twenty years. Sisera possessed a well-trained army of cavalry.

It was then that God sent them Deborah. She was one of the seven women prophetesses whose prophecies are recorded in the Bible. In the midst of sin and idolatry, Deborah remained true to God. She was wise and God-fearing, and the people flocked to her for advice and help. Deborah held court beneath a palm-tree, in the open air. There, where everyone could hear her, she warned the Jewish people and urged them to leave their evil ways and return to God. It was fortunate that Deborah had such a tremendous influence. For even the strongest and noblest of the men of those days had given up hope of turning the tide against the Canaanites’ oppression and idolatry.

When Deborah felt that she had helped the people to return to God, she sent for Barak, the son of Abinoam. Barak was the most influential man in Israel then, and Deborah asked him to raise an army of ten thousand troops from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun and gather them at the foot of Mount Tabor, in the Plains of Esdrealon. With this army, he was to attack the Canaanite oppressors. Barak refused to undertake this task by himself, knowing well that only the help of God and the inspiration of the prophetess Deborah could succeed in the hopeless odds against the iron chariots and cavalry of Sisera. Deborah agreed to accompany him, but she warned him that although he would gain victory, the glory would not be his, but a woman’s.

Sisera learned of Barak’s approach and led his huge army against the Jews. They were aided when God threw confusion into their ranks. Rains turned the battlefield into mud, and the chariots were stuck. Terrified by the sudden turn of events, the mighty warriors of Sisera fled in all directions. The overjoyed Jewish troops pursued them to the very hometown of Sisera, Charosheth, and not a single soldier of the Canaanites escaped. When Sisera realized his defeat, he quickly descended from his chariot and fled on foot. Seeking a place to hide, he chanced upon the tent of Heber the Kenite, who was a descendant of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. Heber had been on good terms with Jabin, the king of Hazor, the ruler of the Canaanites, and Sisera was only too happy to accept the invitation of Jael, Heber’s wife, to bide him in the house until the Jewish army would have passed.

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Standing In the Gap In Perilous Times

Jael gave him food and drink and, exhausted from the battle, Sisera soon fell into a heavy slumber. Seeing this, the brave Jael decided to make Sisera pay for all the cruelties he had committed against the Jewish people. Cautiously approaching the sleeping warrior, she drove a long nail, a tent pin, through his temple, thus putting an end to the hated oppressor. Thus Deborah’s predictions came true: the highest glory of the victory belonged to a woman, not to Barak, and Deborah herself glorified the brave Jael in the immortal “Song of Deborah.”

Paul described a prophetic ministry that cut to the hearts of the people. But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” (1 Corinthians 14:24,25). Amos was a prophet who understood the condition of his nation and knew the issues in Israel with which God took exception. It is not the worldly society, but God’s people with whom God is primarily concerned and with whom he will first enter into judgment. Like most prophets, Amos was not welcomed in his own society. When a genuine prophet arrives on the scene, he tends to make people uncomfortable. The people of Amos’ day were affluent and religiously devout- as well as being militarily secure and governmentally sound.

Judgment begins in the house of God. We read of the warnings of 2 Peter 2 and in the Book of Jude about the false teachers, while Jesus Himself warned of false Messiahs in Matthew 24 The reality is that the church today is plagued with apostasy, erroneous doctrine, false teachings, false prophecy, and rotten leadership which has done terrible damage in the church. It has imparted sin (and perhaps evil spirits) to hundreds and thousands of ordinary people who trusted their leaders and were vulnerable because they submitted to them. The Lord calls the prophets to deal with all of the issues of apostasy, for apostasy is rife in the church. The church needs to be made aware of idolatry, iniquity, and all things that stand against God’s Truth and His Kingdom.

Yet, these days in the churches, when true prophets speak, many times they are ignored. Even worse, some leaders are already so puffed up in pride and arrogance; they will ignore the words of judgment or correction. This again is very dangerous.

Riaan Engelbrecht

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Prophetic Building and planting

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