[anzac] "ICONOCLASTS" - An Insightful Word

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 21:49:26 +1300
"ICONOCLASTS" - An Insightful Word
-extracts by Robert I Holmes.

"Where, O where is the prophet? Where are the incandescent 
ones fresh from the holy place? Where is Moses to plead in fasting 
before the holiness of the Lord?...  the one with a terrible 
earnestness, the one totally otherworldly." - Leonard Ravenhill.

Ravenhill's words are reminiscent of a podcast I was listening to 
on my way to Sydney... It was a communication from the Banff 
Leadership Centre in Toronto Canada titled "Iconoclasts" outlining 
the role of men and women in organisations who shake things up. 
They gave this definition of iconoclast: The breaker or destroyer of 
images or idols set up for veneration. A person who attacks 
cherished beliefs, traditions, institutions and error. You might be 
familiar with its synonym: Curmudgeon.

This idea, this concept of shaking the house, shattering the idols, 
attacking cherished beliefs is very much the life blood of 
Christianity, of early Christians and indeed, draws from their long 
heritage as recipients of faith from Israel. Peter, in describing his 
fellow believers said they were "sons of the prophets" (Acts 3:25) - 
for Peter faith meant being like the prophets of old.

Enter Moses

There are many iconoclasts in church history, some as far back 
as Moses in the Old Testament. He, looking forward as far as 
Peter was looking back, said he wished "that all God's people 
were prophets and that the Lord would pour his spirit upon them!" 
(Numbers 11:29). Remember that Scripture defines Moses himself 
as a prophet (Deut. 34:10, Luke 24:27), and Moses prophesied of 
a time when one "likened unto Moses" would arise - Jesus 
himself (Acts 7:37).

So who is this man - this prophet after whom we are sons? Moses 
was the man: - who confronted Pharaoh - who split the Red Sea - 
whose enemies were swallowed by the sand - who saw God and 
lived - of whom God said, "Moses is my friend"!

This is the iconoclast. This is the prophet. This is Jesus all the 
way through his ministry. And where is the spirit of Moses in the 
church today? Where is the nature and character of Christ 
amongst Christian today? There are a number of facets to the 
prophetic that should be reflected in our lives including: being a
forerunner; dealing with isolation; holding God's opinion above 
men's; going against the flow; dealing with rejection; being a 
recoverer and; driving for balance by being out of balance.

1. Forerunning

Prophetic people are forerunners. They come into things first. God 
deals with the church before he deals with the world (ref) and he 
deals with natural things before spiritual things (ref). Prophetic 
people in the church are even further ahead and as a result are 
quite out of step with the mainstream. They are often in the 
opposite phase. Happy when everyone else is sad, sad when 
everyone else is happy.

2. Dealing with isolation

Bring prophetic very often means having an unpopular message, 
and results in fierce isolation. You have to have a thick skin to say 
the unpopular thing. You might be a solitary figure rebuking a 
corrupt king. The one who rats out sin in the camp. The one who 
cares about what God cares about. However just because we are 
isolated does not mean we isolate ourselves. We seek out the 
brethren, we want companions. We resist being a loose canon or 
a law unto ourselves.

3. Holding God's opinion above men's

If we face heaven, and we care about heaven's opinion and 
perspective on things we will care more about God's opinion that 
peoples. We will seek to experience heaven's favour and not curry 
the favour of men. We will desire heaven's stamp of approval even 
at the expense of men's favouritism.

4. Going against the flow

Have you noticed that God has a very different set of priorities to 
us? He values integrity whilst the world pushes for sensuality; he 
desires honesty when the world wants duplicity; he aims for 
longevity when the world demands expediency. Prophetic people 
even find themselves going against the flow in church - and sadly 
sometimes even going against the prophetic flow!...

5. Dealing with rejection

Being out of step, being isolated, being a lone voice comes with 
rejection too. People do not just take kindly to your obstinate 
passion for truth and purpose, they buck against it. The donkey 
kicks against the goad, the horse bolts when spurred. So too 
people rebuke and rail against those who are prophetic... 

However, we do not imbue the spirit of rejection. We do not walk 
around with a sour face, expectant of rejection - wishing it upon 
ourselves and provoking it from others. Rather we understand it is 
part of the call, a necessary companion on the journey. After all 
we are followers of Jesus: a man despised and rejected, a man of 
sorrows, acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).

Instead, Jesus came into situations expectant of finding the 
Kingdom at work, and his Father at work, with work for him to do 
there (John 5:17).

6. Being a recoverer

"The function of the prophet has almost always been that of 
recovery." - T Austin Sparks

The prophetic person is not a maintainer, they come in to repair 
what is broken. Recovery is required after an accident or injury - 
people need rescue and decisive action is needed for triage.  
Recovery is needed after a loss or fall - lost things need to be 
found, people adrift at sea need to be rescued. Recovery is needed 
after a mop up campaign. The troops have gone through and the 
land needs to be restored. As a result, when all is well, prophetic 
people are quiet.

7. Driving for balance

"Prophets were not made for the status quo, they were made to 
bring things back to the middle. This means they stand for the 
extreme, to bring the church back to where she should be."
-Brian Medway.

If the church gets imbalanced, or has forgotten a truth the prophet 
pushes back to recover it. They take an extreme view of stance, to 
bring the church back to centre. Which is why it seems that their 
message is unbalanced, because of necessity it is. But this 
contains a dilemma for us.

Once an issue has been championed, and accepted the church 
must move on, lest she camp in that imbalanced position. Nothing 
gets done when things stay the same. Movement is required - 
things grow by getting out of balance - but nothing remains if it 
stays unstable.

We quickly become false if we camp at and insist on an extreme.


This is the church, as sons of the prophets. This is the Christian 
following Jesus the prophet. They are...

-An iconoclast: standing for truth; standing against tradition.
-A forerunner: out of step and out of season.
-Solitary: but not a loner or a loose canon.
-Rejected: but without a spirit of rejection.
-A recoverer: to bring things back to wholeness.
-Unbalanced: extreme but not staying out there.

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