Information can bring knowledge. Knowledge can be the basis for understanding. Understanding can assemble wisdom. The beginning point of wisdom is communication.
“God Who spoke in different ways and times throughout history has spoken in these last days through His Son.” The Word became flesh. God communicated in and through Jesus in new, unique, and infinite ways.
“When He is come He will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” Holy Spirit comes alongside. “He shall be with you but shall also be in you.” So, the Alongside One also communicates in an even more intimate and direct way that the fleshly manifestation of the Word. Jesus let us know that Holy Spirit being with and in us was an improvement to His Incarnation!
For prophetic people, especially prophets, communication is a first step, not an end point. Hearing and seeing, tasting and smelling, and experiencing spiritually is a starting point for knowing things in a spiritual way. The understanding of spiritually revealed knowing is another step, and sometimes prophetic people and prophets are better at hearing and seeing than they are at understanding. The understanding of things known spiritual should be equally spiritual in terms of source and process; we can sometimes hear, see, experience revelation as a way of knowing spiritual things and process that knowledge naturally. Processing spiritual knowing by natural means can produce limited, errant, even odd understanding of spiritual knowledge.
We need a context for spiritual knowledge that is spiritual. Proverbs 24:3-4 says that wisdom is the architectural plan and purpose; understanding is the foundation upon which it is firmly set in place and established; and, knowledge provides the furnishings for walls and windows. So, the particulars of knowledge must have a house to set in, a framework in which to be fitted. And, understanding must have a worldview and strategy that brings the purpose and plan to the information makes us aware.
When I hear a good, clear, even pure revelation that has no house or foundation, I sometimes think that we should keep it in a warehouse until we have a proper place for it. Sometimes prophetic people have information and don’t know where to set it into place so that it brings understanding as part of purpose.
It can be dangerous to receive knowledge without a house to put it in and a purpose that defines it. Some people who are called “false prophets” are often people hearing and seeing who just don’t have the proper placement and position within the kingdom for their information flow. They provide a natural setting and purpose for the revelation information that turns their valid knowledge into something odd, like a leather couch and silk curtain sitting in a parking lot.
Revelation needs judging. We often tend to see judging merely as “that’s God” or “that’s not God.” We do err. The judging has more to do with the wisdom or purpose by which the house was built, set in place by understanding, so when the furniture gets delivered it fits the decor. Some people try to fit waiting room furniture into their bedrooms, kitchen tables into their clothes closets, or workbenches into their dressing rooms.
Judging is the function of a company or group of prophets so the information flow has accountability and the knowledge can be framed by understanding that contributes to the overall purpose of the structure. Certainly, decorating is a different skill set from laying foundation or the architect and master builder.
I observe the prophetic ministries of some wonderful people who really do love God, and say, “They really need to stop functioning in a vacuum.” Or, “they really need to be fitted into an apostolic and prophetic foundation.” I’m really not criticizing their information flow as much as I am concerned about the furniture being put into the wrong house. They are not “false prophets” as much as they are like a van full of furniture roving around the countryside, stopping occasionally to see if anyone likes the furniture they have for sale. Prophetic ministries that are traveling furniture stores will often sell people a table that doesn’t fit the house, the decor, or the purpose. Beautiful table, for sure, and one that people may say, “I’ve wanted one like that since I was a child.” Oh my! We may be doing more to prove we can produce furniture than serving the Body with furnishing that are the fulfillment of an ordered plan. The house isn’t built to fit the furniture; the furniture is delivered to the house.
I was speaking recently of a prophet’s ministry in these terms. Someone asked me about their ministry and whether or not they should have them minister, whether or not I thought their ministry was “false.” I said, “No, I wouldn’t say they were a ‘false prophet,’ but I would caution you that the information they receive has been fitted into the wrong house of understanding and leaves something to be desired in terms of fulfilling God’s purpose.”
Some prophets assume that their ability to hear and see is the end point. This leads to some form of dysfunction and even malpractice. This discredits the prophetic ministry as a whole by bringing confusion. While prophetic ministry does reveal mysteries, the goal is to reveal the mysteries, not just communicate mysteries that remain mysterious. A prophet who does this seems more intent upon creating the need for themselves than accomplishing a purpose.
Leaving the impression that you can see and hear things “other people can’t” for the purpose of validating your gifts and anointing leave something to be finished. Your revelations are not given to confirm you and your ability to hear and see. That is why apostles and prophets are foundational leaders; the information fits into understanding so the master builders can keep the entire project on track and complete the assignment.
Fitted into the Picture
Some people have fallen into a habit of furniture shopping. Sometimes they are looking at a word they like, take it home, and immediately start planning to remodel the house so the furniture will fit. While this could be valid way of learning there is something wrong – you are living in the wrong house, for example, or you need to move or build a new one – prophetic information needs to fit into the prophetic understanding of a prophetic purpose. The picture and frame are a set.
Some information we receive from God is pure and valid but doesn’t seem to fit our understanding. This puts us on a crash course of seeking His understanding, having our mind renewed, and becoming better acquainted with His written Word. Prophetic words may be dismissed because our understanding framework needs to be changed! Prophetic information may challenged our own plan s and purposes because they fit a house plan or original purpose we have forgotten all about. We need an apostle and prophet with understanding and revelation purpose to help us put that furniture into place.