May 9, 2016

Unfortunately, there are many believers who are prophesying as if they are still under the Old Testament system.

(Matthew 5:43-45) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Old Covenant Prophets

Have you ever noticed that God is the One who said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy”? That’s right! Under the Old Covenant, it was God who actually sent the children of Israel into the Promised Land and commanded Joshua to kill everybody in the land…it was the genocide of Gentiles. In the Old Covenant, your love for God was measured by your hatred for those who hated God. Even some of the familiar stories we tell in Sunday school, at their core, reflect this hatred toward the enemies of God. Why did David kill Goliath? Because the Philistines were enemies of God. It reads like a good story until you consider what David was doing—killing people who didn’t love God. Goliath and the Philistines were the bad guys because they didn’t love God. In fact, Israel’s first king, Saul, was removed from his kingship because he extended mercy to a king who was condemned to death. Sometimes we try to skip over these realities, but it is very important for us to deal with them in a healthy way in order to make a proper comparison of Old and New Covenant realities.

New Covenant Prophecy

The way we understand the New Covenant will determine our concept of New Testament prophecy. The Old Covenant taught, “love your neighbor, hate your enemy.” On the other hand, the New Testament mandate is to love everybody, even the people who don’t love us and who don’t love God.

Remember, the prophetic communicates the love of God to people. If we are prophesying out of an Old Covenant perspective, we are going to release words of condemnation and judgment. Old Covenant prophets judged cities and nations. This was the prophetic mandate under the previous system. The moral of the Old Testament was that we couldn’t be good enough to get into Heaven. We need a Savior. This is why everything we see under the Old Covenant is often so severe. The severity of the law confronts us with the severity of sin, and again, how desperately humankind needed a Savior. Sin is so severe that it deserves judgment; hence the reason why the prophetic voices under the Old Testament often released words of judgment. Time after time, the people of God were reminded through the prophets of God that they were in dire need of a Savior.

Find Treasure in the Dirt

That was the Old Covenant but now we have a Savior and everything has shifted. Jesus came and fulfilled the words of the Law and the prophets (see Matthew 5:17). Here is where we see the contrast between the two Testaments and how they give us different definitions of the prophetic. The goal of New Testament prophecy is that we would find treasure in the dirt of people’s lives. Jesus bore our sins. He carried our shame. He was condemned so we would never have to be. Things have changed now; and as a result, how we approach prophetic ministry is very different under the New Covenant.

For more on this subject, check out my book Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry.

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Have you experienced the difference between Old and New Covenant prophecy?

Topics: All TopicsProphetic


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