Chapter 7 - What is Prophetic Church?

If apostles and the prophets are the foundation of the church, it would not be wrong to conclude that the superstructure itself must be made of the same substance and kind; that the church in its entirety is itself a prophetic and apostolic phenomenon. It itself is the interpretive agency in the locality where it is, and in the nation where it is, to give meaning and understanding to the nation of its own events and its own history. The heart of what is prophetic and apostolic is an absoluteness toward God in the jealousy for His glory and consequently an utter obedience without regard to the consequence to oneself. When we say, therefore, that the church has got to be prophetic, then this is what we are talking about. A fellowship that lives for God with an utterness toward God, without any regard for itself and consequences to itself, that has at its heart a jealousy for God, His glory, the fulfillment of His will and particularly His eternal purposes—then that church is prophetic. Anything that we are saying about prophetic and the prophetic word is not only appropriate to the individuals that have such a calling, but to the church itself of the last days in its prophetic constituency. If the church of the last days is not prophetic in its character, make-up and use, in the locality where it is and the nations where they are, then God's program cannot be effected. A prophetic church is a church that understands these things and can bear these things. It can have men of a prophetic kind in their bosom and be able to sustain them and not be offended by them. It can understand the peculiarity of their calling and why they are required to function as they do, and not give itself to the criticism and the negative speaking or thinking about them that would discredit both itself and them. Prophets see more than others the continuing influences that issue from the past and profoundly affect the present and the ultimate future. They see the continuum, the unbroken span of past, present and future as few see it. They know who they are in God. Whatever therefore the issues of the immediate future, however uncertain, a prophet can bear them. They can encourage others to bear them and communicate the sense both of the things that were past and the things that are future as being integral and related. This is also the distinctive privilege of the church. Regrettably, the church more or less does not have this context. It does not see itself in the broad perspective of God, nor in the eternal purposes of God, and therefore everything suffers loss. The Lord Himself has said that He will not return until Elijah first comes and restores all things. The

ministry of restoration must precede the Lord's coming. Part of that restoration is the apostolic and the prophetic view of the faith, which view has been itself been lost.