This is Chapter 3, an extract from my recent book: “Giving and Receiving Prophecy – Both Personal and General Words of Prophecy.”
“This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,” 1 Timothy 1:18.
The moment you became a child of God was when you entered into spiritual warfare. We are involved in a war with self, others, and the devil.
Actually, all of it is a spiritual war, and we don’t war against “flesh and blood” but with spiritual forces in high places. The problems that we may have with others in this life really aren’t with them, but with the spiritual forces that are connected with them.
Jesus lived His life this way. He didn’t live in a monastery, but was involved in the everyday life of everyone that He came into contact with. He met the demons head-on, as well those from the religious establishment.
The world is about “Enjoy yourself now. This is all you’ve got. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.” The world around us doesn’t see the spiritual forces that are at work.
But we must realize that “He who is inside us is greater than he that is in the world.” As has been said earlier, the enemy will pull out of his devices to try and thwart the plan of God for our lives.
We know the plan that God has for us in the form of the prophecies that have been spoken over us. We know the truth of this, and when the winds blow from life and the enemy, we can stand strong waging war against him.
As we stand believing upon Him and His word, then the doubts and fears diminish and vanish. With every battle that comes, as one stands upon those promises spoken, then victory is won at each stand.
There are weapons that we have been given as we wage war. They are effective to the pulling down of the strongholds that we face.
“Finally, be strong in the LORD and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:10-16.
We don’t know what the prophetic utterances were that were given to Timothy, but we can assume that they had to do with his future ministry.
We know that it was certainly something of great importance and encouragement to Timothy, or else it wouldn’t have been mentioned here at this portion of the Bible.
As Jacob blessed each of his sons, each one of them was given a specific word of prophecy that would be fulfilled in their lives. Then Jacob summoned his sons and said,
“Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come. Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father.
Reuben, you are my firstborn; My might and the beginning of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power. “Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it — he went up to my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are implements of violence. Let my soul not enter into their council; let not my glory be united with their assembly; because in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
He ties his foal to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; he washes his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are dull from wine, and his teeth white from milk.
Zebulun will dwell at the seashore; and he shall be a haven for ships, and his flank shall be toward Sidon.
Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds. When he saw that a resting place was good and that the land was pleasant, he bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, and became a slave at forced labor.
Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the path, that bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider falls backward. For Your salvation I wait, O LORD.
As for Gad, raiders shall raid him, but he will raid at their heels. As for Asher, his food shall be rich, And he will yield royal dainties.
Naphtali is a doe let loose, he gives beautiful words.
Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; Its branches run over a wall. The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him; but his bow remained firm, and his arms were agile, from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), from the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
The blessings of your father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he divides the spoil,” Genesis 49:1-27.
Each one of the sons was given a blessing that was appropriate for them. This is the first conscious prophecy spoken of in the Bible. We have the prophecies announced by God such as the promise of the triumph of the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15.
Very seldom do we hear of a Father giving a prophecy to the members of his family, especially to several sons like the Patriarch Jacob did for his sons. And yet what a blessing it must have been for each of the sons of Jacob to have received these words from their Father.
But now we have a heavenly Father whose words contain wisdom and power like none other. And the truth in them serves to strengthen and equip its hearers throughout the rest of their lives.
Those who serve in the military know what is like to wage war, as they are equipped with all types of machinery and artillery to fight the enemy. They serve their Commander-in-Chief and follow their duties towards him and their country.
But we have a Commander-in-Chief who is the General of the entire universe. Jeremiah was given many promises from God, and we hear the LORD himself saying that He would watch over His word to perform it.
“Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it,” Jeremiah 1:12.
This is something to grab a hold of here. God is saying here that He will actually watch over the word that was said to us, and will bring it to pass. It is His word and since it is His word, then He knows “how” to cause it to happen.
While we must remain in Him and follow after His word, He is the author and finisher of our faith. He sees the end from the beginning.
And yet all of these great men of faith had circumstances where their faith was tested. They had been given a word from God that spoke of promise to them. And just like Abraham or Jeremiah, we can not only use the word of God, but a “true” word of prophecy that has been spoken over us to “wage war” with it.
When a circumstance comes up that causes us doubt or fear, we can then bring that word of the LORD forward and say, “I decree and speak that this is the truth; I will be delivered from this situation. I will stand upon the promise that the LORD had given to me revealing His plan for me.”
Those “words” then become our sword of the spirit over those circumstances. As you stand upon that word, then the fiery darts of the enemy begin to dissipate. The enemy then flees, because he knows that you are winning the battle.
Keep those prophetic words out in front of you so that you can see them. As they are there, then pray over them. Know that they are God’s word of truth for you and your life.
Job 22:28 says: “You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways.
Walk out this word that has given to you, but don’t act on it unless you are led by the Spirit of God. But we know and we have heard, that God can’t lead a parked car. We need to be moving and to be walking our life out in faith. And as we are walking out our faith each day, then things can happen and the unfolding of each piece of that vision begins to be seen.
And yet many perhaps wage war with the wrong type of weapons. If one is building a house they can’t use a plastic hammer to nail with, nor will an old hand drill do for most of the framework that a carpenter uses today.
The same is true of our spiritual artillery. If our sword, the word of the LORD, is rusty, then its edge will not enable us to fight the enemy very well. If our helmet has holes or gaps in it, then our hope is not secure.
The same is also true of the shield that you use in combat. If it is flimsy or tattered, then how can we expect to keep the darts of the enemy from attacking us? Each of the weapons identified in Ephesians 6 outline how a spiritual warrior would fight spiritual battles adequately to be successful.
And yet a true Rhema word of prophecy can strike at the enemy in ways that would send him reeling. For he knows truth when he sees it and hears it.
But he lives in the shadows; he flees from the light. The darkness has never understood the light. He masquerades as the truth, and he is the author of confusion, and not peace.
Man has been involved in wars since the beginning of time. Wars are fought over territory, religion, and because of power. There are many atrocities that happen because of war.
The innocent die because of the fall out of war. Women and children are rapped and towns and villages are pillaged. And yet a nation needs to be protected against the insurgence of evil and violent men and organizations.
But there is also the type of war that happens even amongst believers. There is jealousy and competition. There is selfishness and bigotry. We find the Apostle James address this type of fighting that goes on amongst some of its members:
“What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions,” James 4:1-3.
There is so much violence and depravity in our world today. We see the utter evil as ISIS cuts off the heads or burns some more victims. We live in a fallen world, and the father of this fallen world, has entered into the hearts and minds of some men and women.
Jesus is coming back with a sword. He is not coming back as the peaceful shepherd, or one that would be riding upon a donkey. He comes, “He shall rule the nations with a rod of iron!” (Revelation 19:15).
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD,” Matthew 10:34-36
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?