By Lars Widerberg
And Elijah went up by a windstorm to heaven. And Elisha saw it and cried out: ”My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen.” 2 Kings 2:11-12.
Prophets sent by God are sent forth into the world, heavenly commissioned to represent and reflect the fatherheart of God. A prophet’s mandate lies in his willingness and eagerness to reflect and personify the fatherhood of God Almighty. Prophetic ministry stands for the principle of fatherhood. Prophets personify the identity of the God they serve.
Prophets, their stature and dignity, is recognised by the peculiar people which is marked by a desire for true spiritual growth. The twice-born are made able to discern the shepherd’s voice and to reject any counterfeit. Growth unto maturity, becoming a man, is by all means a matter of fatherhood.
Elisha was taught the most difficult lesson on earth to be learned, trusting the future into the hands of the only true Father amidst the loss of the object of identification -an earthly father. The mixed and doubleminded multitude of vanity prophets are never able to produce the fruit of true fatherhood, which is hope for the future, through their voluminous and at times deceptively accurate predictions and forecasts.
When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said: ”My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” 2 Kings 13:14.
Prophets are recognised as fathers, as trustworthy, protecting father-figures even by kings and men in authority positions. Fathers are welcomed into action on the arena of governing by men whose desire is to see dignity to be restored. Dignity restored – salvation – is a matter of fatherhood. Becoming what one was meant to become requires fatherhood, both on personal level and on national. National identity and safety is a matter of fatherhood, of a reliable source, of solid origin and of sound belonging. Prophets are men of the Covenant, who understand the principles of covenanting which rules and regulates any social structure.
Fatherhood is basically and foundationally the ability to provide covering. The key elements constituting fatherhood are protection, peace and provision. What man is, he is according to his strength and according to his source of strength. What a prophet is, he is according to his ability to establish peace and bring protection.
A true fatherheart is much weaker and vulnerable than a weakling’s and it is much stronger and than any manifestation of an antichrist. A prophet’s heart never bows to emotionalism or sensationalism. Prophets cry salty tears. Prophets stand and stand still when common trend tries to get the crowd to bow down, fall down and to stray.
The prophetic voice, echoing the fatherheart, invites to and offers rest – Hebrews, chapters 3 and 4. The prophetic voice calls any and every ear to return to true listening. The prophetic voice directs any and every heart back to its purpose of existence – restful worship. The prophetic voice has to be as sharp as the best sword to bring about a turning back to the Father.
Prophets are sent to establish obedience. But most voices pretending to be prophetic causes the people of God to run about like wild horses, run away from proper protocol and intended route as if whipped and pinched by the ugliest demon.
Prophetic presence brings peace and obedience. Prophetic presence brings purpose and direction, quite contrary to the show at the Ephesian theatre – confusion, many voices shouting, the majority not knowing for what cause and under what banner they had gathered, Acts 19:29-32. Prophets bring peace and calm the crowd. Prophets never involve themselves in ”prophetic prayer warfare”, instructed by, and adapting methods, mode and mood belonging to, the enemy they want to conquer.
The great falling away, the final apostasy of the end times is caused by the absence of genuine fatherhood, by the lack of true prophetic ministry. A major mark of the great falling away is the crowds of prophets in the Church ready and able to deceive the many, Matt 24:11, 24.
Samuel provides a pattern for the true prophetic office: ”Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you,” 1 Sam 12:23, ”but I will instruct you in the good and right way” He prayed like a father and he had a father’s courage to stir a little unrest – conscience touched – for the sake of returning to true rest. The presence of God, the Father, causes fear and trembling. God is awesome. One dares to follow the crowd these days on its way into apostasy because no voice is to be heard on the subject of veracity and obedience.
Fatherhood brings rest. Fatherhood teaches waiting. Prophets are watchmen. ”I will stand on my guard post, and station myself on the rampart”. ”Though the vision, the fulfilment of it tarries, wait for it.” Haggai 2:1, 3. Fatherhood teaches the art of waiting on God. Prophets are men of the Covenant and God has made a covenant with time for the sake of finally reaching goals which seems to have been lost. He is able to redeem time for the sake of catching up in situations where so much has been wasted. Fatherhood goes against the modus operandi of this present age. Instant and overwhelming results are requested. Instant and thrilling experiences are demanded. Fathers never heal the brokenness of the people superficially, saying peace, peace without any tie to the spiritual reality behind the word.
Sheep recognise the shepherd. A child recognises its father. Sheep, twice-born men and women, recognise the Holy Spirit who gave them life. Sheep practice discernment – the mixed multitude following any vanity prophet digs into any stew pot just like their brother Esau. Flip the coin – true shepherds and prophets divide between sheep and goats.
If you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, 1 Cor 4:15. Fathers give birth. Prophets give birth through prayer, Gal 4:19. Tutors, teachers, educators bring discipline according to outer patterns of behaviour. Prophets bring obedience through life. Some ”eminent” apostles build their own kingdoms and take others by force. True fatherhood give away any item owned just to save one single sheep. The ones always learning, yet never truly learning, prefer kingdombuilders. Sheep, on the other hand, like shepherds.
Fatherhood establishes ability to live. Fatherhood brings ability to cope. The Father qualifies us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light, Col 1:12. Fatherhood strengthens any saint and son for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience, Col 1:11. Prophets speak practical instruction, not generalisations. Prophets who offer glorious descriptions of God’s new moves and outpourings without including any practical program for participation prophesies vanity. God is not religious, he is relevant. Spiritual growth towards manhood must be founded on a solid and sober work description.
Spiritual growth touches the emotional compartment of human existence, but spiritual growth is not an automatic inner evolvement into Christlikeness. It develops out of a full mobilisation of every sanctified human effort in close companionship with the instructor, the Holy Spirit. Love completely with all heart, all soul, all mind, all motivation an all strength, Mark 12:30. This experience towards a fully sanctified character cannot be transferred by a touch. Holiness cannot be transferred by any human vessel – it takes fatherhood to bring about development unto holiness.
Above all, fatherhood teaches the noble art of waiting on God. Waiting is the mark of a truly spiritual character. Waiting equals worship. Worship equals rest. Rest equals availability. Availability allows God to act as God Almighty. Availability does not take a passive stance – it is defined as uninterrupted active attention. Waiting brings obedience. Obedience, which is surrender at any cost, brings fruit in the form of God’s own presence. Obedience establishes the presence fatherhood just as fatherhood brings about obedience.
The prophetic office manifests in Covenant consciousness and waiting on God. The Covenant reality manifests in spiritual maturity. Fatherhood provides covering on Covenant basis. Tampering with the terms of the Covenant takes away the covering promised and guaranteed. Breaking the Covenant disrupts the protection. Cutting covenants besides the Covenant is a direct invitation to spiritual forces which pretend fatherhood to enter the scene.
What spiritual force blesses disobedience with all sorts of strange experiences allegedly purporting God’s presence? Who offers protection and emotional bliss to a Church that has left its Covenant obligations behind? Who is pretending to be benevolent father in a Church who has made a decision against obedience unto holiness? Is it possible to pretend spiritual experiences as if God is present, yet hiding the heart from a real touch of the Father? The prophetic answers to these questions are horrifying and would turn any sensible heart to intercession on behalf of the straying Church for the rest of its time on earth.
Men are God’s method. Dignity restored; character is God’s goal. Perfecting human character and manly virtue is God’s aim for the sake of Heaven on earth. Prophets are sent to the Church of our day – a Church who reflects the absence of Fatherhood. This present age is indeed antichristian in its character and inclination. It is a grand statement against fatherhood, brotherhood and friendship. It despises weakness. Its holds on to authority and bravado at the expense of love, humility and servanthood. Its attitude aims at rulership at the cost of dignity. The poor and needy pay the bill, as usual.
Man robbed of dignity becomes cruel and authoritarian. Man robbed of dignity tries to take any kingdom by force, even the Kingdom of God. Christians have to fight against many categories of principalities and powers, but they are never meant to be warriors – the warrior spirit contradicts humility. The most militant activity in the Kingdom of God is to allow oneself to fall into the ground, like a grain of wheat. The most militant virtue in the Kingdom is expressed in humility and at all points practiced by a 180-degree turnabout to reach out to friends and foes.
The spiritual dynamics of the Antichrist is caused by the absence of fatherhood. The core of the spiritual dynamics of the Antichrist is the denial of Fatherhood, 1 Joh 2:22. It is fully possible to ”confess Christ” motivated by antichristian prospects of gain, even to the point of concluding that gain is godliness. The prosperity prophet operates in the antichristian spirit of denial, yet reaching out for the benefits of the Gospel.
Prophets pray; fathers try to avoid the sin of prayelessness at any cost. Prophets put the confounder to shame by true modesty. A father brings in an alternative solution into the rat race for survival and prosperity. Fatherhood is ready to die. Fatherhood states: ”I do not have to survive, live and come out on top. I have a valid alternative. I can die. I can die, waiting on God, waiting for his intervention.”
An antichrist, a false prophet, a father denying genuine fatherhood lacks the ability to love and show affection. He is proud and stubborn. He does not take correction. He never listens, 1 John 4:6. He does not allow himself to partake, he never shares his heart. He cannot cry; he sulks in self-pity. He fights to have his own way. He plays a game of mutual recognition in which a true prophet always loses. His mentality is that of a Nordic Viking, a Mongolian warlord or a modern terrorist. Prayer warriors adopting such imagery and reaching out for such a spirit brings disaster to the House of Prayer.
The emotional mix produced when fatherhood is absent consists of anger, jealousy, scornfulness, strife and hatred. Spiritual retardation and the neglect of true duty are but two results. A pastor without a fatherheart lashes out at and beats up the sheep he cannot control.
Fatherhood expresses itself in terms of a Covenant. Fatherhood brings rest. Fathers protect and provide. Prophets generate and plant Covenant consciousness. Prophets can be trusted. Prophets do not need a track record or formal recognition. The reflection of the Fatherheart of God speaks louder and in a different language than does precise predictions. Prophets bring in a willingness to obey, and an eagerness to practice waiting and listening.
Prophets are fathers. Prophets are fathers for the young and inexperienced to look up to. Prophets are fathers who inspire and initiate a pursuit unto maturity and holiness. Prophets produce fatherhood. Their legacy is hope for the future. Sons are left with a rich and abundant inheritance from the prophets. Sons inherit the ability to handle life from a prophet.
Pursue the prophetic dimension for the sake of holiness. Pursue the prophetic dimension for the sake of the presence of the Lord. Pursue fatherhood for the sake dignity restored. Follow hard after the Lord. Learn the art of waiting on God. Do this for the sake of a common return to true worship.
PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 17, 2009 AT 6:00 PM