Sample Modern-Day Christian Prophecy
August 2013, by Norman Edwards
The following is my personal experience visiting an independent church that taught and practiced the gift of prophecy. A friend took myself and long-time friend Bill Buckman this congregation in the Detroit area on March 9, 2008. Once a month the congregation would take the time in their service to allow anyone attending to come forward to have their prophets prophesy over them. They had about 5 teams of two prophets each. They recorded their prophecies on two cassette records, one cassette given to the person, the other retained by the church group. They reviewed the prophecies and if they found prophets who were saying things that did not come to pass, they discontinued using them.
Nobody knew that I was coming to that church beforehand. The friend who brought us had visited before, but did not attend regularly. I had never been to the church previously or since. The the people requesting a prophecy lined up in a single queue and were directed to the next available team-neither the person nor the team would know who would come to who. I did not know anybody there except the two friends that came with me that day. We arrived as the service was starting and did not talk to anybody about the current ministry in which I was involved. There were about 200 hundred people in attendance.
The prophetesses were humble and very respectful of God and the brethren there. This was completely differenent than a previous experience when a fellow Sabbath-keeper invited me to hear a person who "channeled" a spirit that prophecied the future. I went so I could authoritatively urge her to discontinue the practice. After going, I concluded it was demonic (see Shelter in the Word, July/Aug 2002, p. 16: ServantsNews.com/sn0207/sw0207.pdf)
But I believe these two women at the Detroit church had the biblical gift of prophecy. I cannot such conclusions about the other prophets there are the congregation as a whole, but I offer this exact transcript of the cassette tape which they made for me. You can listen to the original cassette recording here. Both of the prophetesses had name tags, but I only remember the name of the first one. The footnotes show how most parts of the prophecy were eventually fulfilled. As the scriptures teach, brethren should not despise prophesying, but should judge if it is of God (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; 1 Corinthians 14:29; 1 John 4:1-3). We will be glad to print the brethrens judgments in "Ask Norm".
Ministering to Norman Edwards, thank you Jesus,
I heard the Lord saying, as you are standing before me, I heard God say "faithfulness", The Lord says that "I am going to reward you because of your faithfulness. I am going to reward you because of your diligence." [i] The Lord is speaking that He is going to cause you to even begin to run the race even at a greater pace. And the Lord is speaking that, that He is going to begin to cause you to have sound wisdom in this hour. The Lord said, "You made some mistakes along the pathway." But God said He is not holding those mistakes over your head. And that it is the Enemy that would want to taunt you." But God says, "I am going cause you to be able to cast out those high and wicked imaginations." [ii]
And the Lord says, "Yes, I am beginning to break off those uh." I see chains and I see weights and I even see the spirit of shame-shame that was upon you even as a child. And the Lord said that, "I am going to break those things off of you that you will begin to understand and know who you are forthright." Because the Lord says that, "this is the season that I am calling you up and calling you out", says the Lord. [iii]
And the Lord said,, "there have been many things that have, have come to-kind of like-hold you back." And the Lord said, "It has not been by me, but its been by the Enemy." And the Lord said, "I am going to begin to do a work even in your thinking." "I am going to begin to do some things even in your heart", says the Lord.
"But it is a time now that even I am going to begin to cause closure to come. There are some loose ends and some issues out there that, that you have-you come in contact with different people and.." And the Lord said that, "This is the time, son, that I am going to begin to close those doors." "And, I'm opening new doors to you", says the Lord. I am going to open up doors to you of opportunity." [iv]
The Lord says, "you will. you are well gifted." And the Lord says, "I'm going to begin to show you really son what's on the inside of you." The Lord says, "You've seen glimpses of what you are able to do." "But now if you let Me, I'm going to show, begin to show you exactly what I have for you and how I've made you", says the Lord. [v]
And the Lord said, "I made you to be a deep thinker, and I'm going to cause you to begin to think." "And you are going to think My thoughts", says the Lord. "But did not I say that My thoughts were higher than your thoughts?" But the Lord says, "Even in that, I, I have given you My mind", says the Lord. The Lord says, "The more that you come before me, and the more you say, 'Lord I want to get rid of this and I want to get rid of that,' the more you are transparent before me, I am going to cause you to understand Me in a new way", says the Lord. [vi]
So the Lord says, "This is a season that I am pulling you into." "A place of coming before me and that we may be one", says the Lord. The Lord says, "You have had many relationships, but you will never have a relationship like the relationship that you and I will have." [vii]
And the Lord says, "Even as you are going on this relationship, know there are things that I am going to cause, uh, to begin to manifest in your life, such as even the prophetic dimension[viii] that's on your life, that grace is on your life. I am going to show you how, how to flow in and out of the Spirit. And even the Apostolic dimension that is on your life. For surely I will send you, man of God, I will send you to places where you will have a platform that you will begin to speak, and.." And the Lord said, "I'll give you a door of utterance", says the Lord. And I even see the Lord saying that there are going to be times where you minister here in the United States, and there will be times where you ministry-minister abroad ",says the Lord. [ix]
So God says, "Come close son. Come closer to Me. And even as you come closer to Me, know that I will begin to dis. I'll begin to show you the plan that I have for you, in this season." And God says that you are going to know times and seasons. And you are going to know the, the, the, uh, prophetic dimension on your life as well as others says the Lord. You will speak into other's lives says the Lord. [x]
And brother Norm, even as sister Joanne was ministering you concerning shame, I literally saw you walking from under a cloud of shame that had been over you from past circumstances, past decisions and past mistakes. [xi] But I even hear the Lord saying He is using these as-it's going to be like a diving board, to take you to that next place in Him, so that you will understand that there is now coming a new compassion for men.[xii] "For men, for the very thing that ensnared you", I heard the Lord say. "The very thing that ensnared you will be a strip-it will be diving board for you." Because now He is now going to equip and prepare and mature you that he will send you out to other men. And you are going to have a word for them. Is going to be a right now word. Its going to be a word seasoned with grace. Its going to be a love and its going to be a word of power and authority. And they will know for a surety that you have heard from the Lord. [xiii]
Because there is a grace that God has given you that when you speak, men's hearts will be healed. They will regain trust. He's. God even wants to use you as the mantle of a father. There is a fathering anointing on you, because of the absence of the things that you have lacked. And God said he is going to use you to father many. Many! It will be like a, a, a spiritual Abraham, but there will be a love. There will be a caressing. There will be a healing-God says, "I'm placing a healing anointing on you for those men." And even I hear the word "derelict". There are men out there that are derelicts. And, and, and because of the love and anointing and the grace of God on you, they are going to be restored to their sound mind and their stability.[xiv]
So father God, we pray, we thank you for this word that have gone forth for the man of God. Oh God, we thank you father God for having the privilege to minister to him, oh God, and that he-this word falls on good ground and it not, Father God, be stolen by the enemy. We pray, Father God that You will seal it in his heart, he will meditate on it, he will pray on it, he will decree and declare that which you have decreed and declared, oh God. And we thank you for Divine appointments, Oh God, that will take him to the next place in You, and that will give him the privilege and the opportunity, Father God, to show the manifestation of Your word in his life. We pray in Jesus' name, amen. [xv]
We also ask God to give you the financial resources. I just heard the Lord say you have some things before Him and you need the resources. So God says, "Yes, I am going to cause that money to be gathered up and to come into you." But I hear God also saying that, "Son, you are in need of patience." So the Lord says, "Wait patiently upon Me and watch Me do the, uh, work, and watch me, uh, work it out for you." Amen. [xvi]
Footnotes on Prophecy Fulfilled
[i] At that time, I had been working as an independent minister for 13 years. I have not received a salary or had a part time job since 1994. I had been busy publishing Servants' News, sponsoring independent Feast Sites, helping free churches form, and other projects which I felt God wanted me to do. My wife and I raised four children in this work environment-in spite of opposition from relatives and many fellow-believers.
[ii] There were a few projects I started without good guidance from God and they proved a waste of time and money. There were times when I did not take time for my family and I should have. Even so, there were others who devoted a big portion of their lives to try to stop our homeless ministry at Port Austin (portaustin.net/pabc). As this prophecy indicates, most of them moved away and gave up on the project, and now in 2016, the last one with any major effect passed away.
[iii] God has been showing me how to trust Him in the most difficult of situations, and not trust in my own wisdom. He has also shown me not to try to out-think others in business deals, but to be faithful to Him.
[iv] Originally we intended to use the former Port Austin Air Force Base property that we were acquiring for a mentoring place for Sabbath observing young people. However, there was not too much interest by church parents, and we did not have the money for staff and building improvements that would have been necessary. Two years after this prophecy, we began to realize that we could help the homeless in Michigan's "Thumb", many of which had no good alternatives.
[v] For knowing nothing of me, the "well gifted" description was amazingly accurate. I have done work with computer hardware & software, project management, electrical systems, audio/video production, plumbing, construction, website design, bible study & teaching, magazine production, published millions of words of my writing, postal mailing systems, forming of churches without incorporation or 501(c)(3), feast-site organization, court self-representation, food services, and probably more. These were things that God gave me to do His various ministries.
[vi] Since having a ministry to real people, rather than the intellectual study ministry of Servants News, I have learned so much more about the real love of God. While I still seek and honor truth from the Scriptures and from His speaking through people, I realize that life is not a doctrinal course with an exhaustive quiz at the end. Those in the first resurrection will be those with faith, not those with nearly every doctrine right. Knowledge is a spiritual gift, but it is only one of them-there are many others.
[vii] I have met many thousands of people through our publications and Feasts we have sponsored. I have about 1000 facebook friends. My mind struggles to remember names and faces. But God has become the central part of my life.
[viii] The "prophetic dimension" apparently refers to the dreams that I have had that I believe are sometimes prophetic. I have written down over 100 dreams and the interpretations I understood. Many have helped me understand God's will for my life. Some of them are personal, simple and corrective: pray more, avoid sin, be more understanding toward my wife. Others are about bigger issues, but I have never been told to take a message to civil or religious leaders or even to publish it somewhere.
[ix] During the last couple of years, I have been invited to speak in a number of churches, civic clubs, etc. about ministering to the homeless. I still do Bible teaching at Feasts and Sabbaths. There have been no international trips as of yet, but I have been thinking about getting a passport. They may be in the future.
[x] After working with people in a homeless ministry for over six years, I begin to see patterns and know what is happening to certain types of people. We are able to show people their key faults, why they have contributed to their homelessness and what they will have to do in order to avoid repeating the same problems. We show them God is strong enough to do this.
[xi] My mistakes: In my hurry to start the ministry in Port Austin, I agreed to work together with some people whom I did not know well. We did not have a written plan. After I sold my house and gave the funds to the ministry, great disagreements arose, which eventually involved lawsuits, a large decline in financial support, my living for three years on credit cards, defaults on credit card payments and the filing of bankruptcy. There were times when I did not listen to God, family members and other godly advisors.
[xii] The word "men" is underlined in the transcript because it was so heavily emphasized by the prophetess. Indeed, we are the only place for homeless men to go in the three counties of Michigan's Thumb: Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties. Our ministry started with mostly men and we have served more men than women or children. This prophecy was in 2008, but the homeless ministry started in 2010-by which time I had forgotten the specifics of this prophecy.
[xiii] Giving words of grace and love, but with power and authority is what we have learned to do with our homeless guests. They need to be given godly solutions to their problems and told that nothing else will succeed. If they refuse to go along (insist on continuing substance abuse, ungodly relationships, etc.) then we have to require them to leave our facility-use authority, but we can still do that in love.
[xiv] Again, this describes our present homeless ministry extremely well, even though it was spoken 2 years beforehand.
[xv] This paragraph was a prayer of blessing, but it was appreciated, especially when my friends and family were encouraging me to quit.
[xvi] As the second prophetess was finishing, I was wondering if they were going to say anything about finances, since we were not able to pay our utility bills at that time. Indeed, we got as far as $36,000 dollars in debt to our electric company. But God obviously read my mind and had Joanne talk again to address that issue. She said what I did not want to hear: I would need patience. I thought I had already been patient and wanted to hear "help is on its way". But now, 8.5 years later, we are making our last payment on that $36,000 debt and have paid down other debts as well. There is nothing in this prophecy that appears wrong, and only a few things which have not happened, but are probably yet to be fulfilled.
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