Discerning Spiritual Revelation by Paul Keith Davis
by Paul Keith Davis
Our Prophetic Promise
The Scriptures underscore the end-time generation as one flowing in the prophetic ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most exciting aspects of God to be discovered in our day. The very nature of the revelatory ministry involves communication and fellowship with the Lord in its proper functioning. It is the sharing of the mind of Christ through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Just as it is written,
"THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (1 Cor 2:9-10)
In recent days, I have found myself using the term "prophetic" ministry less and "revelatory" more. We are promised in Scripture, access to the mind of Christ through the Spirit of revelation. The very essence of prophetic ministry is gaining understanding and articulation of His mind. It allows entrance to the depths of God. This distinguished gift grants access to His thoughts and ways and will always remain consistent with His Word. When our messages have come fresh from the heart of God, they are saturated with Spirit and Life and impossible to be returned to Him void.
There are many benefits to the revelatory gifts in God. It is by the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that we begin to understand our inheritance in Christ— the hope of our calling and the unfathomable riches of His glory. It also provides strategic insight and guidance to the Saints of God. Furthermore, the epistles of Paul teach us the proper functioning of the revelatory ministry in the Church can also produce conviction, repentance and restoration. The prophetic inspiration of the Holy Spirit will guide us into all Truth and unveil the mysteries of the Kingdom set apart and reserved for this generation.
According to the prophetic promise recorded through Isaiah, "All your sons will be taught of the LORD; and the well-being of your sons will be great. In righteousness you will be established; you will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not come near you. (Isa 54:13-14)
The prophetic anointing will also provide supernatural insight into the dilemmas of life encountered by many and break the bonds of confusion and oppression. All of these and more are attributes associated with the prophetic mantle of the Spirit. The needs and demands of this present generation, requires that our wisdom come from above. Even the noblest of men's abilities, pales in comparison to the words of wisdom that come from God. This form of counsel is essential for our spiritual and natural well-being and prosperity.
Sources of Revelation
Even so, it is imperative to recognize, there are other sources of revelation that can substantially hinder our ability to be effective— if not properly discerned. Our adversary will oftentimes release deluding revelation from the heavenly places in which the forces of darkness dwell. This is done in an effort to circumvent the purposes of God through His Church. Naturally, there are those who are not Christians who set themselves against the Church and the work of the Holy Spirit. These would include but are not limited to, the occult, new age and others.
However, for the sake of this brief article, we are focusing attention on revelation released in and through the body of Christ. We need to be attentive to the fact that our adversary will attempt to cloud and disrupt the flow of insight we desperately need. That is not a feature to fear...only to identify and discern. We need not have a spirit of timidity as it relates to the revelatory ministry. Nonetheless, we must also embrace wisdom and knowledge when discerning the source of revelation.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (I Jn 4:1)
Presently, the Lord is allowing many in the Church to see things taking place in the “second heaven” as well as portions of His perfect plan in the Third Heaven. The enemy would have people believe all is well, by calling evil what God maintains is good and emphasizing things which are good as though they were base or foolish. There is presently a deceptive voice that is attempting to find an outlet to hinder the preparation of God's people for the end-time battle.
From this place, spirits of divination and sorcery attempt to masquerade as the Holy Spirit creating disillusionment and discouragement in our camp. When people continue to unknowingly entertain revelation that comes from the second heaven, hopelessness is produced in their hearts. In reality, it is the impartation of the plans of Satan. It is imperative for the Church to understand this reality and be prepared for it.
Rightly Discerning the Word
There is a provision of Heaven for this generation, unprecedented in its power and Glory. However, it requires the refining work of recognizing seeds of corruption in our soul that can hinder our ability to fully appropriate His Heavenly resource. Spirits of deception will endeavor to make people believe they are spiritually rich and increased in goods, having need of nothing. When in reality, we are in desperate need of God and His garments of salvation and righteousness.
We have an open invitation to boldly come before the Throne of grace; yet, it remains a sacred and holy journey, requiring clean hands and a pure heart. The fruit of those who genuinely experience God this way will be evident. Revelations and expressions birthed in the imagination of man are likewise apparent. When people are moved by the inclinations of the soul, it opens the way for the imagination to formulate images and mental pictures that clearly do not carry the authenticity of “Third Heaven” revelation.
Misleading messages can manifest through prophetic words of flattery and self-promotion. That is not to say that a word coming from the Lord is always correctional or chastening...quite to the contrary. His plans for us are for our welfare and not calamity. His design for us is to give us a noble future and hope. He is however, pointing out areas needing grace and extraction, but always with a spirit of reassurance and expectancy. His admonitions are galvanized in charity and comfort to our spirit- not necessarily to our flesh.
It is our endeavor to live above the realm of worldly influences that imprison people in doubt, discouragement, fear, rejection and all the other attributes of the fallen nature. Our aspiration is to ascend above that place, into the Spirit, where our blessings of peace, hope, faith and charity can be accessed. The anointing of the Holy Spirit helps us to do so. There are those in leadership, who carry an anointing that can be imparted, to help individuals learn to walk in the Spirit.
Even so, that does not constitute a "third Heaven" revelatory experience where the visions and manifestations of the Lord are obtained. Isaiah, Paul and John record the virtue of that dimension and the awesomeness and awareness of God we desperately need. The Lord ardently desires for us to experience Him in this way. He is calling us to “come up here” as overcomers who share in His nature.
Deceiving forms of false prophetic ministry will also attempt to persuade people that it is useless to serve God in radical purity and faithfulness or to earnestly keep His word. As it states in Malachi 3:15, "So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape." This will not be done with open words of rebellion, but with subtle patterns of justification and blame shifting that would inhibit the ability of the people to stand righteously before God and share in His highest provision.
Greater Measures of Revelation
There is coming a dangerous form of false prophetic ministry in the order of Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus. Even though some accurate information is conferred in the revelation, it must be grounded in God's Word and acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit through the grace of God.
Paul dealt with this in his day when it was recorded, “a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation." (Acts 16:16-17)
In this passage, we discover the apostle Paul rebuking the spirit of divination resident in the young slave girl, who had been accurately prophesying who they were and their Apostolic mandate. Apparently, the insight provided through this young girl must have been genuine and impacting, as it brought much profit to her masters. Deliverance of this girl actually initiated persecution against Paul and Silas from the beneficiaries of her false anointing.
In 1987, Bob Jones had a revelation concerning a second shuttle disaster that was to indicate a timing factor with God and pointed to this very subject. Naturally, that is not to say that the Lord initiated the disaster, only that when this occurred, it would mark a signpost for the Church. We have attempted to locate documentation of this prophetic word but have been unsuccessful. I did however, speak with another highly regarded brother with an international ministry, who clearly recalls the prophetic word and confirmed the essence of it.
The heart of the message is that the second shuttle disaster will mark a timing in which God will open the door of Heaven to grant access to the Third Heaven and His Throne room. This will be conferred for the purpose of releasing substantial insight with understanding. There will be "Throne room" prophets who receive their revelation from that lofty place. This is an invitation.
A Prophetic Warning
However, there is a warning that attended the word. With the accompanying increase of authority in Godly revelation, there will be a corresponding counterfeit anointing released as well. These will be, in large part, people with genuine gifts of revelation who allow it to be polluted and wrongfully administered. Baalam would be a further example of this form of prophetic presentation. Although possessing a clear prophetic gift, he unfortunately used his gift and authority for selfish gain. This obstacle is realized by employing true spiritual gifts through the soul rather than the spirit. Normally this occurs through wounds or when ambition and/or greed are present.
Careful examination of the Scriptures will disclose that Balaam possessed a genuine gift and was recognized as a prophet. He actually worshiped God with the proper method of sacrifice necessary for approaching God, as did Israel.
He said to them, "Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the LORD may speak to me." And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam. Then God came to Balaam and said, "Who are these men with you?" (Num 22:8-9)
When the princes of Moab attempted to employ Balaam, he persuaded them to lodge for the evening while he inquired of the Lord (Jehovah). The Bible declares that God (elohiym) came to him and spoke with him concerning the request of Balak.
Unfortunately, as recorded in 2 Peter 2:15, Balaam "loved the wages of unrighteousness."...the sin of covetousness, which God declares to be idolatry. The adversary had gained an advantage by appealing to ambition and greed. The precious prophetic gift imparted to Balaam had become corrupted and he is forever remembered as a stumbling block before the covenant people of God. The book of revelations depicts this scenario as one that must be overcome to enjoy the blessings of the "victorious ones."
While the Scriptures clearly admonish us to "earnestly desire" spiritual gifts, it is the spirit within a person utilizing the gifts that is the distinguishing factor. The question must be asked, “is it our heart to truly build the kingdom of Heaven or to establish our name and individual ministry?” It is surprising how easily those two lines of demarcation can be blurred. History has proven that. We need the Holy Spirit to guard and protect our hearts from every form of corruption that would prostitute or merchandise the priceless gifts of God.
Functioning as Spies
Another of the profitable aspects of revelatory ministry is enlightenment to the plans and strategies of the adversary set against the Church. As the apostle Paul openly announced, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Our contention is with principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. From that domain, plans and strategies are formulated against the work of God and His people. There are numerous prophetic people being endowed with insight and understanding into this realm to discover and disclose the schemes of the adversary. This is important to mobilize the troops for prayer/ intercession to overcome his attempts to inject his poison.
Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?" One of his servants said, "No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." (II Ki 6:11-12)
I have often been intrigued by the many creative ways utilized by military forces to spy on their enemies. Oftentimes, the victory in a battle hinged on the validity and accuracy of intelligence information provided by spies. When an opposing force had insight into the plans and strategy of its enemy, the victory was generally sure.
This is also true in the spiritual battle presently taking place in our generation. Our God is all knowing and He is willing to share His insight with us when we become trustworthy. He is willing to enlighten us to the plans of the enemy set against specific individual lives, churches, cities or conferences. By having this "intelligence" our forces can be mobilized to counterattack through prayer and intercession and also identify the enemy's spies who attempt to come into our camp for the purpose of disruption and division.
Elisha would torment the king of their enemies by relating to the king of Israel plans and strategies formulated in their private chambers. This spiritual principle is not only valid but immensely valuable in its application.
Dawning of a New Day
The Lord is preparing a people who will witness the dawning of the day highlighting the return of God's Glory. The coming days will provide greater dimensions of darkness in the world, yet our hope is for the appearing of God's weighty Presence. As emphasized in Revelations 3:20, the Lord stands at the door and knocks and to HIM who hears and opens the door to his heart, the Lord will dine with him. This is an individual commission and requires an individual response.
It is imperative that we guard against doing so much FOR God, when our invitation is to do things WITH Him. There is great value in learning from the mistakes of the past. Many distinguished leaders found themselves captured by doing things for God and unknowingly lost their sensitivity to the voice of His Spirit.
Our highest purpose is to have relationship with Him. Intimacy with the Lord is the essence of our design in creation and the highest purpose in the restoration of all things. To walk with God in the cool of the evening, is still our foremost aspiration.
The earth is entering into a season of travail. The world systems will be powerless in responding to the needs that are about to be present in the earth. Even those obtaining revelation through spirits of divination are prophesying essentially the same thing. Only when anointed with the Holy Spirit, can the Church impart wisdom and revelation that will provide genuine light in this dark generation.
Unless the true prophetic ministry brings revelation from the Third Heaven, from the presence of the Father, then hopelessness would prevail. However, with true communications from Him, there is always the hope of restoration, repentance and relationship with Him. The Spirit of Truth will render the false spirits of revelation as powerless, as He did through Paul. Instead of their prophecies bringing numbness to us, the true revelatory mantle will precipitate immobility and disarray in the camp of the enemy. Light dispels darkness. Amen