Spiritual Seismology and a Warning from Heaven

Greg Austin │15 August, 2007

For some time now, I have watched and listened to an increasing divergence in both doctrine and practice of some among the Body of Christ who have become either “popular” or notable as “prophets” and/or as “apostles.” Let me be quick to say that I affirm the biblical ministries of both prophets and apostles, but I also don't accept one's credentials without any kind of spiritual discernment or common, old fashioned, God-given horse-sense.

Much of the divergent teaching and prophesying I have observed is labeled as part of the progressive revelation of God. Certainly, God reveals Himself and His plans to the people of God progressively. The best we can believe Him for is to establish us in the present truth (1 Peter 2:12), and it is God Who determines where any generation is on the continuum of His revelation.

Yet any teaching, doctrine, practice or word that departs from the spirit and the existing revelation of the Word of God must be addressed and dealt with by God and by those He has set in leadership within the church at large.

Recently I was contacted by Robert Ricciardelli of Visionary Advancement Strategies with a request to examine and comment on a word brought to the church by Rev. Mel C. Montgomery, entitled “A Time of Correction" http://brothermel.com 

The timing of Mel’s word seems considerably appropriate to me. I have sensed (which can lead us far a field of truth if "sense" is not rooted in the Word of God), and have observed the need for a "course correction" from the Spirit for some time now. It is as though I saw a building cauldron - much like the internal and unseen forces that eventuated in the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980: Seismologists and Volcanists were aware of the building forces, and attempted to warn people living in the vicinity of the mountain of an impending eruption, but their warnings were largely ignored until Sunday, May 8, when the mountain could be ignored no longer, and loss of life ensued that might have been averted had people listened and believed.

I have watched and listened with growing discomfort as some well-known "prophets" have gone beyond what I believe is God's revelation to man. On numerous occasions I have said something like "I have a slight problem with prophecy; I believe that all prophecy must align itself and agree fully with the Word of God. If the principle or truth being prophesied is counter to the clear teaching of Scripture, that principle must be summarily rejected.”

While we cannot and must not judge any man, the Bible is clear that we must judge all prophecy. This is an obligation of those who are "spiritual."

I have watched and listened with growing discomfort as some "Christian leaders" have sought to move the church in what I believe to be an extra-biblical concept of ekklesia. I believe strongly that when Jesus declared, "I will build My church" He meant precisely that: "He," as opposed to "we" would be the builder. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1).

The face of the church is obviously changing. Many of our “old ways” were neither biblical nor spiritual. God is sorting out our practices and our beliefs in order to replace our “religion” with His life. There is a true, Spirit-led and Spirit-enabled "emerging church." But this emerging church will be the planting of the Lord and the building of our Maker, and not the product of our hands, hearts and minds.

Our task is not to invent, but to implement that which the Holy Spirit leads us to become. We are called to be followers of Jesus, which implies that He is leading.

Perhaps you have read or heard some prophetic word that seemed to sound a dissonant chord within your spirit. You may have rebuked yourself for not moving along with the crowd. In fact, that dissonance you experienced may well have been the Holy Spirit causing the conflict between what you heard and what you have known from the Scriptures.

For some who are in error, the motive for excess and exaggeration can be a hoped-for entrance into fame and notoriety. For others, the lure of money encourages them to become more and more sensational. No doubt there are some who have not studied "to show themselves approved of God" and have made innocent, but potentially damaging mistakes with prophecy and with God's revelation. I am no man's judge. I don't know the heart or the intent of the heart of any man, but what I know from God's word and by His Spirit runs counter to much of what I hear these days.

I have purposely distanced myself from certain ministries. I have sought to find a hiding place in the bosom of the Father and in the counsel of His Word. Some may think I am an isolationist: I hope I am not, but maybe I am. This I know - I tremble at the thought of speaking or writing or otherwise conveying to God's people a supposed truth that is not His truth, or a word that is my word or the word of the "spirit of the age" and not His Word.

As with the eruption of Mount St. Helens, I believe that God's TRUE "Seismologists", His true Prophets, are hearing the Spirit and are alerting us all to a correction from the Father. I only hope that unlike the deceased former residents of Spirit Lake, Washington in 1980, the Body of Christ listens and heeds the warning.

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