[anzac] RAVENHILL ON 'PROPHETS'

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 20:58:54 +1300
"Picture of a Prophet"
-by Leonard Ravenhill.
 
The prophet in his day is fully accepted of God and totally 
rejected by men. 

Years back, Dr. Gregory Mantle was right when he said, "No 
man can be fully accepted until he is totally rejected." The 
prophet of the Lord is aware of both these experiences. They 
are his "brand name." 

The group, challenged by the prophet because they are 
smug and comfortably insulated from a perishing world in 
their warm but untested theology, is not likely to vote him 
"Man of the year" when he refers to them as habituates of 
the synagogue of Satan! 

The prophet comes to set up that which is upset. His work 
is to call into line those who are out of line! He is unpopular 
because he opposes the popular in morality and spirituality. 
In a day of faceless politicians and voiceless preachers, 
there is not a more urgent national need than that we cry 
to God for a prophet! The function of the prophet, as Austin-
Sparks once said, "has almost always been that of recovery." 

The prophet is God's detective seeking for a lost treasure. 
The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his 
measure of unpopularity.

Compromise is not known to him. 
      He has no price tags. 
      He is totally "otherworldly." 
      He is unquestionably controversial and unpardonably 
      hostile. 
      He marches to another drummer! 
      He breathes the rarefied air of inspiration. 
      He is a "seer" who comes to lead the blind. 
      He lives in the heights of God and comes into the valley 
      with a "thus saith the Lord." 
      He shares some of the foreknowledge of God and so is 
      aware of  impending judgment. 
      He lives in "splendid isolation." 
      He is forthright and outright, but he claims no birthright. 
      His message is "repent, be reconciled to God or else...!" 
      His prophecies are parried. 
      His truth brings torment, but his voice is never void. 
      He is the villain of today and the hero of tomorrow. 
      He is excommunicated while alive and exalted when 
      dead! 
      He is dishonored with epithets when breathing and 
      honored with epitaphs when dead. 
      He is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but few 
      "make the grade" in his class. 
      He is friendless while living and famous when dead. 
      He is against the establishment in ministry; then he is 
      established as a saint  by posterity. 
      He eats daily the bread of affliction while he ministers, 
      but he feeds the Bread of Life to those who listen. 
      He walks before men for days but has walked before 
      God for years. 
      He is a scourge to the nation before he is scourged by 
      the nation. 
      He announces, pronounces, and denounces! 
      He has a heart like a volcano and his words are as fire. 
      He talks to men about God. 
      He carries the lamp of truth amongst heretics while he is 
      lampooned by men. 
      He faces God before he faces men, but he is self-effacing. 
      He hides with God in the secret place, but he has 
      nothing to hide in the marketplace. 
      He is naturally sensitive but supernaturally spiritual. 
      He has passion, purpose and pugnacity. 
      He is ordained of God but disdained by men. 

Our national need at this hour is not that the dollar recover 
its strength, or that we save face over the Watergate affair, 
or that we find the answer to the ecology problem. We need 
a God-sent prophet! 

I am bombarded with talk or letters about the coming 
shortages in our national life: bread, fuel, energy. I read 
between the lines from people not practiced in scaring folk. 
They feel that the "seven years of plenty" are over for us. 
The "seven years of famine" are ahead. But the greatest
famine of all in this nation at this given moment is a 
FAMINE OF THE HEARING OF THE WORDS OF GOD. 
(Amos 8:11). 

Millions have been spent on evangelism in the last 
twenty-five years. Hundreds of gospel messages streak 
through the air over the nation every day. Crusades have 
been held; healing meetings have made a vital contribution. 
"Come-outers" have "come out" and settled, too, without a
nation-shaking revival. Organizers we have. Skilled 
preachers abound.

Multi-million dollar Christian organizations straddle the 
nation. BUT where, oh where, is the prophet? Where are 
the incandescent men fresh from the holy place? Where is 
the Moses to plead in fasting before the holiness of the 
Lord for our moldy morality, our political perfidy, and sour 
and sick spirituality? 

GOD'S MEN ARE IN HIDING UNTIL THE DAY OF THEIR 
SHOWING FORTH. They will come. The prophet is violated 
during his ministry, but he is vindicated by history. 

There is a terrible vacuum in evangelical Christianity today. 
The missing person in our ranks is the prophet. The man 
with a terrible earnestness. The man totally otherworldly. 
The man rejected by other men, even other good men, 
because they consider him too austere, too severely
committed, too negative and unsociable. 

      Let him be as plain as John the Baptist. 
      Let him for a season be a voice crying in the wilderness 
      of modern theology and stagnant "churchianity." 
      Let him be as selfless as Paul the apostle. 
      Let him, too, say and live, "This ONE thing I do." 
      Let him reject ecclesiastical favors. 
      Let him be self-abasing, nonself-seeking, nonself-
      projecting, nonself- righteous, nonself-glorying, 
      nonself-promoting. 
      Let him say nothing that will draw men to himself but 
      only that which will move men to God. 
      Let him come daily from the throne room of a holy God, 
      the place where he has received the order of the day. 
      Let him, under God, unstop the ears of the millions who 
      are deaf through the clatter of shekels milked from this 
      hour of material mesmerism. 
      Let him cry with a voice this century has not heard 
      because he has seen a vision no man in this century 
      has seen. God send us this Moses to lead us from the
      wilderness of crass materialism, where the rattlesnakes 
      of lust bite us and where enlightened men, totally blind 
      spiritually, lead us to an ever-nearing Armageddon.

God have mercy! Send us PROPHETS! 

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Copyright (C) 1994 by Leonard Ravenhill, Lindale Texas -
http://www.ravenhill.org/ 
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