Being Prophetic-Blessing People (Lane)
Being Prophetic-Blessing People
by Lonnie Lane
Israel, it has been said, is God’s timepiece for knowing what time it is on God’s prophetic calendar. More is being fulfilled in Scripture regarding Israel today than ever before. We are living in prophetic times and we who are alive today are called by God to be a prophetic people. How can each of us fulfill our prophetic destiny?
Just about everything we know of God from the Bible is related in one way or another to Israel. So it would make sense that if it’s important to God, it should be important to us, right? If you want to be right with God, align with Israel. That sounds simple, doesn’t it? But what if the world really turns against her? Golda Meier, Israel’s second Prime Minister said, “Israel is easy to love from afar.” Scripture indicates that Israel and accordingly those who are identified as God’s people, will be confronted with disfavor by the rest of the world. And didn’t Paul say, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted?” (2 Tim. 3:12). He certainly spoke from his own experience, didn’t he?
Most of us have lived rather free from persecution, at least in the United States. But what if that changes? Is there a way that we can prepare ourselves for such a time, should it come to that? Yeshua asked if He will find faith when He returns? (Luke 18:8). I believe the answer to that is a resounding yes! But sadly, not everyone will have faith to see them through. We must prepare ourselves. How can we do that?
As prophetic people we are not to be ‘reactors’, but rather ‘preparers’, those who are not in the dark as to what is coming but have spiritual eyes to see, those who know the signs of the times in which we live and are aware of God’s ways. And as prophetic people we are not just concerned with ourselves but we are instruments for God to prepare others, to bring others into godliness and faith. As we know, Yeshua is being retained in heaven “until the restoration of all things” What would those “things” be? Those “spoken through the Jewish prophets from the beginning of time” (Acts 3:20, 21). Which prophets would that be? Well, to begin with, Moses who wrote the first five books of our Bible. Let’s see what we can learn of what is being restored from what took place “in the beginning.”
Going back to creation when God created Adam and Eve, we see three things: He created, He Commanded and He blessed (Gen 1:27, 28). He gives oversight and blesses what He creates and in the blessings there is always increase – of power, protection, ability, authority, enabling, and fruitfulness. We see from the very beginning that it is God’s nature to bless and to extend favor to His creation. As we read further on we see those qualities as a pattern throughout Scripture.
As blessings always mean increase, His words to Adam and Eve when He blessed them were, “Be fruitful…Multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” Subdue it? But wasn’t it all perfect before the Fall, you may ask. Well, evidently there was something to subdue. The whole earth was not like the garden. As the story unfolds, we find out that life outside the garden was quite different than inside the garden. And it had to do with having lost the state of living in God’s blessings. Now they are confronted with a cursed ground and no longer is all perfection and provision, beauty and abundance, security and ease as it was in the Garden. Blessings have an opposite, or more to the point, an absence of what constitutes a blessings. Curses are indicated by lack, decrease, disfavor, inability, harm and vulnerability to destruction. We live in a fallen world where these things are constant. But not for everyone. For those whom God has brought to Himself by His Great Grace, there is another way of life – HalleluYah! Let’s look at how God blessed some of His significant people in the past:
Abraham: Blessings were an integral part of God’s relationship with Abraham and his children; they were to fill the earth, God told Abraham, so that “All the earth will receive blessings through your children. You and your children will pass on the Blessings I give to you to the rest of the world” (Gen 12:1, 2, 3 paraphrased).
Moses: At the end of Moses’ life he sums up all that God has told them: “Blessed shall you be…” and he recounts the manifold blessings that would permeate their lives as individuals and as a nation” (Deut. 28:1-15). But then the warning: “But if you do not obey the Lord your God…these curses shall come upon you….” (Deut 28:16ff). God wasn’t telling them He would put the curses upon them. God knew more than He had revealed to Israel at that time. He knew they had an enemy who was just waiting for a reason to pounce on them with curses. So He warned them what would happen if they disregarded His voice. Receiving blessings is linked to our obedience. Obedience is a matter of honoring God and God honors those who honor Him.
Aaron: Aaron was told by God through Moses to pray blessings on the people of Israel. When Aaron would speak the blessing over the people, God’s name would be upon them and invoked on their behalf and God Himself would bless them.
What God told Abraham, Moses and Aaron applies to us as Believers today. His name on us means we have His protection, His care, provision, increase, and His help (Numbers 6:22-27). No other people in the entire world were so blessed as Israel as no other nation distinctly was blessed by God. The Old Testament accounts reveal blessings after blessings, increase after increase, so long as they obeyed God. This state of blessings is extended in manifold measure to those who follow the Messiah of Israel, taking up our cross daily (Luke 9:23), and following His commandment to love one another.
Yeshua said that the greatest commandment, to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself sums up all of Torah (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). The best commentary on Torah is the Beatitudes. “Blessed are….” These are the folks who are blessed by God: the meek, the merciful, those who long for righteousness….. (See Matt 5). He further admonished us, “If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Sounds like the same God to me as the One Who gave the Torah to Israel. Keeping His commandments leads to being among the “blessed are” folks. From the beginning it was always God’s intention that those whom He blesses would go and bless others. So to be blessed by God is to be a blesser.
We know that it is in believing who He is and what He has done for us that we are saved. He took our sins upon Himself so that they are no longer charged to us, and consequently we are no longer under the curse of the Fall, as well as the curse that came from not keeping Torah. When we accept that Yeshua has in effect cancelled the Fall for whosoever will accept His forgiveness, we come into a place of being as He is, not just a blesser, but a forgiver! Since He forgives, so must we. How often are we to forgive? 70 times 7! (Matt 18:22) Since seven is God’s perfect number, that translates into forgiving perfectly. We may hate the sin but we must love the sinner.
If indeed we hold unforgiveness against anyone, then we are believing a different Gospel (see 2 Cor. 11:4). Therefore, it is a false Yeshua that we are believing in – if we believe we have justification to hold unforgiveness against someone. Should that be the case, we are then in the relationship with God of that of an unbeliever. Yeshua made it clear: “If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:15; Mark 11:26). Though they may not yet have repented, if you hold someone in unforgiveness, you see that person’s sins as beyond what Yeshua’s atoning death could pay for. (Jn 1:29). This does not mean that you necessarily have to tell them you forgive them, because we do not want people to think God winks at their sin, but in our own hearts before the Lord, we must be free of unforgiveness. For more on this subject click here to go to: “Letting Go of Being Right.”
You can see how critical it is to forgive. It puts you in agreement with God. Since to forgive is to bless, when we forgive we come out of agreement with the devil who would prefer we curse each other rather than bless each other. We must always remember that we are never each other’s enemies; we have a common enemy who would like us to curse each other rather than bless each other. If love is the greatest commandment, then how are we to make that our highest goal? If God is a blesser, we are to be also. Does that just mean being nice? How significant is this love? How deep is it to go into the core of our personalities? It’s a good idea every once in a while to read pensively through “the love chapter” to allow the Holy Spirit to write this word on our hearts:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails….But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:4-8a, 13).
So no matter what someone has done that’s unloving, God would have us believe and hope that He will bring this person to His goodness. He would want us to believe for blessings to overtake that person. He wants us to be in agreement with Him that He is able to bless, no matter what it looks like presently. After all, we only receive from God by faith, right? So having faith for blessings will bring blessings! I have found that praying blessings upon someone repeatedly somehow does more than praying for them to conform to what I might think might need fixing in their lives. Try it and see what happens. To hear a great many stories of how the direction of people’s lives, including wayward children, was changed for good through speaking blessings, click here to go to the TV interview with Pastor Bill Ligon.
When Yeshua was ascending into heaven, “He led them out as far as Bethany and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.” (Luke 24:50). He left them with the same command basically that God had given Adam – to multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it. What He essentially said was, “Preach the Gospel to all the earth…subdue the evil; increase the righteousness and truth. Fill the earth with the Gospel message that your sins are forgiven. Spread the Kingdom message that provision cancels lack, wholeness replaces sickness and healing and deliverance do away with oppression. Tell the world there is available in God abundant blessings of Kingdom acceptance, of unity and community instead of separation, isolation, or abandonment. And show them how the church is to be a family to all who wish to be a part.”
The Fall didn’t change that we are created in His image, that we are to be like Him. As prophetic people, through whom and for whom God is actually restoring all things, that means we are becoming as He originally intended. Isn’t that an incredible thought? We are called, just as Adam and Eve, to fill the world and to subdue it. Yeshua imparted the calling to His followers to go into all the world and share His goodness, subduing what is contrary to His goodness by casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers (or today we might say those with AIDS). How do we do that? By the power of the Holy Spirit, blessing just as He enabled Yeshua to bless people when He walked the earth, and which we are now to do as His Body. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to have the power to bless by imparting the power of His blessings.
As prophetic people we are to be aware of what God is doing in the earth, of what is coming upon the earth so as to be ready for it. As prophetic people we know our dependence upon God is absolute – that’s what it means to be “poor in spirit.” As prophetic people we will not react – which is what it means to be “gentle” or “meek.” In our quest for “righteousness” and a “pure heart” so that we “shall see God” (see Matthew 5: 3-9), our armor will include a commitment “to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15). This part of the armor of God says we are to prepare it ahead of when we will need it. Prepare for peace! In other words, make the decision now that, “so far as it depends on you, (you will) be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18).
We believe that we are close to the end times, right? Judging from the signs Yeshua spoke of, it might indeed be very close. What did He say were some of the signs of the end times?
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another…. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved” (Matt 24:9,10, 12, 13 my emphases).
If “most” people’s love will be cold, what will we do when we are surrounded by unloving persons? Unloving persons are without compassion. They are not people of blessings. Are there cold-hearted people in increasing numbers today? Would the fact that people blow themselves up, or fly airplanes into buildings in order to destroy other people be considered cold hearted? But those are not Americans, we may say. What about the fact that we have to monitor gun control in our schools, that our children sometimes blow each other up? What about the fact that we entertain ourselves by watching others be blown up or hurt or deceive one another. Aren’t all those symptoms of our American culture that would qualify for being cold-hearted? We are being desensitized to compassion little by little, unless you are monitoring your “coldness of heart” input and thinking God’s thoughts.
The “lawlessness” Yeshua is referring to in the verse above is Torahlessness – those who have no input from Torah. Civil laws don’t teach us to be loving to God or each other, or to take care of one another. Torah does that. It teaches the community of God how to live in the love of God in all the various aspects of life. A case can be made that the violence in our schools and in our society can be linked to taking Scripture and prayer out of our schools and elsewhere degrading Judeo-Christian values.
When Yeshua said those words which Matthew recorded above, there was no New Testament. His entire life and message was Torah consistent. He was the embodiment of all that Torah defined as to how to life a godly and loving life. So to be without it, is to be lawless or Torahless which can mean by extension the entire Old Testament, Psalms, etc. Not having that input from the mind of God serves to increases lovelessness, or love growing cold. Our insurance against a cold heart is to hide the whole Word of God in our hearts and have regard for Torah as much as we do the Gospels.
Coldness of heart is not to be the case for the followers of Yeshua. He left us with these words: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). Evidently this isn’t just a suggestion to be nice to one another. His love meant laying down His life for His friends (John 15:13). That seems to be the way the early followers of Yeshua lived out their lives. They knew there was a new kind of life to be lived that was above ordinary life. They knew that life on this earth isn’t all there is.
We pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). Do we really intend to do our part in bringing it to pass in the here and now? Or do we really expect that is a ‘someday somehow’ prayer? In heaven there’s unity and oneness and honoring one another as you would honor the Lord. In heaven there’s great joy because of that love and there is complete freedom because obedience is the only way of life in heaven. So shouldn’t we be committed by the power of the Spirit and the grace of God to be people of blessings here on earth now?
There is an “eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Cor 4:17) awaiting us in heaven and nothing is worth forfeiting it. Whatever the cost may be, however we may be challenged, we are to be people of blessings no less than our Master was. Did He sometimes speak hard words? Are we not sometimes exhorted Scripturally to bring correction to one another in love? Yes, but always to get people to rethink their positions so they might not do what would lock them out of God’s blessings, even eternally.
Abba is committed to making us into His image. I wonder just what glorious work He will do in His end-time people to bring us into that reality. No doubt, being people of blessings is a part of it. Who will be in line for His life-changing blessings but those of us who pray and speak blessings upon others, especially those who need it the most. “God so loves the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16) and in doing so, “the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you” (Deut. 23:5b & Nehemiah 13:2b).
There is no situation or person that is beyond God bringing blessings, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. God will always be with those who “believe all things and hope all things” about anyone and any situation into which we can inject faith in God to turn the curses into blessings. It may not look like it from the outside, but what God does in the hearts of people only He knows. Our job is to believe and bless. It will always be too soon to quit trusting God for His goodness to manifest.
Reprints of this article is permitted but must include: Reprinted by permission of Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2008.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.