God Told Me! ... Really?
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

In our congregations, where we believe in the active gifts of the Holy Spirit, we often hear people say with great enthusiasm, "God told me ... !"

What do we mean by such a statement? Can it be true?

It is possible through faith in Yeshua to receive the Holy Spirit living inside of us: "... the Spirit of God dwelling in you ..." "Spirit dwells inside of you ..." "His Spirit dwelling in you ..." (Romans 8:9, 11)

With the spiritual presence of God on the inside, we can be led by that Spirit. "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14). This sense of inner leading can be a daily, if not moment-by-moment experience.

This "leading" is a continuation of the experience of the prophets of Israel (I Samuel 10:10-13, Joel 2:28-29) and a fulfillment of the prayer of Moses that all God's people would receive the Holy Spirit and prophesy (Numbers 11:29). Yet the New Covenant experience of "indwelling" is more delicate, intuitive, internal, subjective and normative than the prophetic interventions of God described in the Law and Prophets.

Discerning Thoughts

There is a steady stream of thoughts inside the heart of human beings. Some of those thoughts have spiritual origin and some carnal: "The thoughts of the flesh are death but thoughts of the spirit are life and peace" (Romans 8:6). There is one stream of thoughts that comes to our soul from our spirit, which is connected to the Spirit of God. The other stream comes into our consciousness from the flesh, which is connected to the world, which is influenced by evil spirits (Ephesians 2:2).

When someone says, "God told me," he usually means: "I had a sudden clear and pure thought that popped into my mind from my spirit, and I am confident that thought is from the Spirit of the Lord." Since it is awkward to say all that, people will simply say, "God told me." However, it is imperative that we clarify ourselves often enough to avoid misunderstanding. If not, it can sound to others that we are making an exaggerated claim that God just intervened and dictated a message to us.

It was not that the voice of God spoke to you aloud, but that you had an "impression" in your heart. "For the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit ..." (Romans 8:16) Aha! So it is probably more accurate to say: "I perceive that the Spirit of God is bearing witness with my spirit ..." Saying something like this periodically might be less confusing than just saying, "God told me ..."

The occasional clarifying of that point would add a touch of humility to our statements. It would also help those who are new-comers. Perhaps it could even help those who have seen mistakes and exaggerations in the name of prophecy not to be offended to the point of rejecting the gifts of the Spirit altogether.

The stream of thoughts inside us comes in the form of

     1. Words
     2. Pictures
     3. Moral Conscience

Conscience Bearing Witness

This third type of message is an intuitive affirmation or warning, like a traffic light showing: green - "go", yellow - "careful", or red - "stop". "Their conscience bearing witness within them; their thoughts either accusing or acquitting them ..." (Romans 2:15) Most people recognize a flow of internal thoughts. The issue is to perceive if God is saying something, and if so, how to interpret it.

The conscience is the part of our spirit which God primarily "bears witness with". Therefore, messages of God always have a pure, moral aspect to them. "My conscience is bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 9:1). You may indeed perceive a message from God's Spirit, but don't forget it is being filtered through your own spirit and conscience.

Whatever is influencing your heart will influence what you receive and how you perceive it. In discerning the truthfulness of a prophetic message, we must take that personal influence into account. We still prophesy in part, not in perfection (I Corinthians 13:9).

Let us humbly ask forgiveness from those who have been "turned off" by excesses and exaggerations, let alone outright lies and hypocrisy. Let us go on to seek a purer and more accurate expression of prophetic gifts.

God Told Me! ... Really?
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

By Asher Intrater

Unity is the end product of love. If I love you and you love me, and we all love one another - then the totality of our love makes us united. Being "One" is a divinely-inspired, spiritual union (Ephesians 5:31-32); becoming united is the human process or outworking of being one. We are "one" in the Lord, but we have to do a bit of work to be united.

Yeshua prayed for us to be "one" in John 17; in John 18, He entered the Garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. John records the prayer for unity, while the other gospels record the Gethsemane prayer of "Not My will but Yours be done" (Matthew 26:39). Let's put the two together.

The Gethsemane prayer of obedience unto death was the price that would be required in order to bring us into the oneness of John 17. After the Gethsemane prayer, Yeshua was arrested and led off to be crucified. On the cross, He paid the price for sinners to be saved, and for believers to be one. The cross is the price to make our "oneness with God" possible.

Forgiving Your Betrayer

As Yeshua was crucified on His cross, we too have to take up our cross daily to bring ourselves into unity. On the cross, Yeshua prayed this crucial prayer: "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). There are many different levels of forgiveness and many different types of people to forgive. But the most difficult situation to forgive is when someone close to you betrays you.

No one goes through life without feeling betrayed, or at least abandoned, by another person. Perhaps you were betrayed by someone who did it on purpose; or perhaps he did not realize what he was doing. Maybe he didn't actually betray you, but the circumstances of life simply brought distance into what once was a close relationship, and so you feel betrayed. To whatever degree it was intended or perceived, it is still the most painful experience in life. Someone cannot betray you unless he has a level of intimacy with you. Intimacy demands vulnerability; betrayal touches that sensitive area of intimate vulnerability. That is why betrayal is so painful.

Yet this is the price of unity: to forgive those who have betrayed you. This is how we "carry our own cross". The only way to reconciliation and unity is to forgive those who have hurt us. Each one of us has to do it within the sphere of his own life and relationships, whether in family, friendship or congregation.

God Told Me! ... Really?
by , ,

This year we experienced new levels of anointing, logistics and unity. Local participation more than doubled from last year. Fourteen different Israeli congregational leaders prayed here with us throughout the day. Including internet intercessors, over a thousand participated.

One highlight was having Bassam, a Muslim background believer and Pastor of the Alliance Evangelical Church in East Jerusalem leading us in prayer for the Middle East. He gave a powerful prophetic word and explained how he is hearing that ISIS has changed their focus from making Mecca the capital city of their caliphate to Jerusalem. This insight led into focused and timely intercession.

Other highlights were a guest worship team from Gateways Cyprus who joined us, along with a number of their students. We also had our first worship team from Yad Hashmona, half of which were teenagers. We are excited about what God is doing among the young people in this strategic Messianic village.

We have been encouraged by the positive feedback from people who joined us literally from all around the world through the live web-stream. Some technical issues connected to the internet and sound levels challenged our media team, but overall it was a big step forward from previous years.

A big thank you to everyone who prayed with us!

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