One morning early in the re-do of this website, Bible teacher Chuck Missler was speaking on the radio. My ears perked up and I grabbed pen and paper as he gave a description of two models of prophecy. It further illumined my discipline-turned-habit to look for patterns. And, why the other model has been so prevalent in some streams of the faith, including the one in which I was raised.
Primed to see and hear more of the Word through the lens of the seven portions of our human spirit, I set my brief note aside until the time I could begin writing about Prophet. On the Prophet checklist, Arthur Burk made the important distinction that the redemptive gift of Prophet does not necessarily have the manifestation gift of prophecy (I Cor 12) or office of prophet (Ephesians 4).
That morning, Chuck Missler added another piece of understanding to the Prophet portion of the redemptive living puzzle I’d embarked upon.
Two Models of Prophecy
A serious student of the Bible and its “66 books by 40 authors”1, Chuck Missler shared the following:
The Greek model of prophecy: (someone) prophesies → (then) fulfillment of the prophecy
The Hebrew model of prophecy: Pattern is prophecy (both redemptive and non-redemptive)
The Greek Model
As for the Greek model, it made perfect sense. My spouse and I were raised in a stream of the faith familiar with and versed in the manifestation gift of prophecy, as well as those in the office of prophet. Solid biblical preaching covered topics such as false prophets and prophecy from the mind of man – with the clear admonition that you could tell if a prophecy was from God – if it was, it would come to pass.
The first year we were married, my husband and I were ministered to in a Presbytery; a sacred time of placing ourselves before three individuals affirmed in the prophetic office. The secondary blessing after that evening was receiving a cassette tape of the prophetic words given, along with a typed copy.
It was twenty years before those prophecies began to see the light of day. Many times, we listened to the cassette or re-read the typed transcription and breathed in hope, filtering our circumstances through the lens of what was prophesied. In the years between our marriage covenant before God and the Presbytery prophecies coming to life, we passed through waters and raging rivers; the fire would come later. But we were God’s ‘kids’ and Isaiah 43:2, amid the whole of Isaiah 43, was applicable to our lives. After all, He did say when:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
Discovery of Patterns
We had no idea Holy Spirit had also set about to teach us the model of Hebrew prophecy.
It all started thirteen years into our marriage with – What on earth happened? How did we get here? We don’t like ‘here’! And ultimately, Why? Thus the discovery of patterns began.
At the twenty-year mark, it would be another seven years of transition before we were initially acquainted with this scriptural teaching about the seven portions of our human spirit. Now 2020, another sixteen years have passed, filled with ongoing fulfilling of the prophecies from forty-three years ago.
The Hebrew Model
Pattern is prophecy. By the time I caught Dr. Missler’s radio comment in early 2019, we had three decades in the trenches. Identifying negative patterns2; excavating down to the roots (ongoing as life is lived); being re-taught by Holy Spirit as Author of the Word, communion with Him, and through vessels used according to the will of our Father; and the equally difficult but far more rewarding labor of building and rebuilding redemptive patterns in life, work, and relationship with the Lord and others.
For those who love to study Greek and Hebrew, or the debate of doctrine and theology – this post was not written to assist with that (which you can undertake on your own if you wish). There is, however, a handful of takeaways I’d like to share. They underlie the theme of embracing your design for redemptive living and the graces of discovering and fulfilling your birthright.
- One model does not cancel out the other. Old Testament Hebrew prophets spoke of things to come. Most of them saw by faith, but not in their lifetime, fulfillment of the prophecies I Am had given them to speak. When Jesus came, He fulfilled the prophecies spoken of Him in ages past.
- Both models are needful and in operation – in scripture and today. In our backstory above, the Greek model delivered a course-setting word for our lives but came to pass through our engaging the Hebrew model of pattern is prophecy. Thankfully, we grasped that if we continued in the negative patterns, the fulfilling of God’s will for our lives would suffer great forfeiture. What will be will be did not apply. The fact we didn’t try to force the prophecies on our own was God’s grace.
- Self-fulfilling prophecy is one of the Enemy’s oldest and favorite tricks – because it works. Abram did it up royal, writing history with the handmaiden in order to see God’s prophecy fulfilled. He nor his wife could see otherwise, not given the circumstances – so Plan B made sense. We live amid consequences of their decision; just as generations gone before. Pattern is prophecy. We are not innocent either of preempting or doubting God. Learning to stay our hand and hold a posture of trust tests us all to the core.
- The study of the redemptive gifts is not for knowledge only. That would be like receiving the Greek model of prophecy for one’s life, without giving oneself in the waiting to the preparation Holy Spirit longs to work within. His purpose is that what He has been allowed to work in will be worked out in a manner fitting our birthright from God. Our part is developing a cooperative relationship with Holy Spirit.
Because beloved, birthrights are at stake. Yours and your generations.
Postscript: This was our story and timing. Yours is unique to you. We share the same Holy Spirit who listens to the Father and works accordingly. The unfolding study of the Person of the Holy Spirit aims to help deepen your relationship with the One who lives within you.
1“66 books by 40 authors and we now find that it (the Bible) is an integrated message system from outside our time domain.” – Chuck Missler quote and opening tagline on his radio program
2“Prophet stands at the head for a reason. Though it may not be your dominant redemptive gift…, Prophet’s weaknesses must be addressed in order that Wisdom be able to firmly establish this essential first pillar in the foundation of who you are in Christ.” ncb – (from Prophet & the Principle of Design – Friendship with God)