The Prophetic Witness

“See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To pluck up and to break down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant.” -Jer. 1.10

We need to be reminded that the Kingdom of God is not a wisp of spiritual air, or an ethereal idea that is beyond the real stuff of life. The Kingdom of God is a real governmental entity, and it’s King is the Man Christ Jesus, who is alive at the right hand of Majesty. His Kingdom is meant to be experienced and expressed in a vital way through the Church in this age, and He will establish it manifestly and permanently when He returns physically at the end of this age. The Kingdom of God is not a theory. It is a concrete reality. It is not a matter of words, but a matter of heavenly power.

When we know of the Kingdom on verbal grounds only, our religion is like the proverbial deck of cards. Terms and phrases cannot meet the moral crisis of the hour, and may even do more harm than good if they lack the corresponding reality of the Kingdom. The prophetic witness is not effectual because of it’s accuracy, but because of it’s authority over the principalities and powers of darkness.

The prophet Jeremiah was marked for a remarkable kind of witness, and it is not unlike the calling of the Church:

The initial calling and the reception of the first two oracles come on one momentous day, and Jeremiah’s entire mission is summed up in this single verse. Though the prophet is young and inexperienced, he is now given international authority. In an extremely literal sense, life and death will now be in the power of his tongue, since the destruction and restoration of nations and peoples will be set in motion through his prophetic utterances. God will not only speak through this human vessel; the Lord will release his divine acts through a flesh-and-blood messenger as well.

(The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 7: Jeremiah-Ezekiel, Dr. Michael L. Brown, Zondervan; 2010, p. 76)

The presence of Jeremiah in the land was the mark of God’s own presence, and the message he set forth was the setting forth of God’s own governmental demands, as well as His Fatherly promises. Hence, he was given “international authority” to speak into the nations the very heart and perspective of God Himself. This international authority was not merely a platform of popularity, but a supremacy over principalities and powers.

Many believers wish for a platform. They itch for international recognition. They want their books to be number one and their conferences to be the most heralded. But prophetic authority is of an entirely different order. It is a dominion over the spirits of this age, and a calling to set forth the word of the Lord with power from on high. Most usually a true witness eventuates in opposition from the world, and this will be the case until all things have been summed up in Christ. But amid persecution, remarkable fruit always springs from the ground.

Our presence in the earth should “pluck up and break down” the arrogant opinions of humanism, “destroy and overthrow” the lies and lusts of the age, and “build and plant” the government of God in the earth, which is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The prophetic witness is not primarily a dramatic proclamation from a platform, but rather a union with God profound enough to face lost men with the love, courage, and truth of God. Are your family members, neighbors, and co-workers getting this witness from your life?

Have you become the “nice guy” who never offends and never affects anything? I’m not advocating a snobbish attitude or anything of that sort. But if we are not plucking up and breaking down lies, destroying and overthrowing false ideologies, and planting truth in the minds of men, we have quenched the prophetic witness, and fallen short of the glory of God’s intentions for our salvation. In most cases, we will not need to search out opportunities for a true witness. They will emerge in the realm of real life, but how consistent is our abiding in the Lord? Do the inquiries and opinions of men paralyze us, or do we have authority over the powers? God will give it graciously, but we must let the walls down and surrender our hearts to him, forsaking the praise of men and pouring out our lives unto Him.

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