YOUR VOICE ~ A PROPHETIC TRUMPET!
By Rodney W. Francis
Throughout the Bible we read of trumpets playing and being used to gather the people, sound alarms, etc. In this article I would like to present to you the trumpet as the prophetic voice of Holy Spirit-filled Christians who are responding to the voice of their Master, Jesus Christ. As we will see there is much more to Christianity than attending fellowship gatherings, singing songs, praying, etc. We are called of God to be His ambassadors, His representatives here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:20 ). There is a specific way by which we fulfil that calling and how we should be functioning to represent the King of Heaven here on earth.
In 1 Corinthians 14:1-16 (NKJV) we read: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy (from the Greek “propheteuo” meaning “to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office” – Strong’s). For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages (“voices”) in the world, and none of them is without significance. Therefore if I do not know the meaning of the language (“voice”), I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. Even so you, since you are zealous f or spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?”
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PROPHESYING
In this passage of Scripture we are being exhorted to use our voice to prophesy.Prophesying is the speaking forth of an anointed “now word” from the heart of Jesus to His people. True prophecy is Jesus speaking to His people through His people, so we can be informed and know what His purposes are for our ongoing walk and journey with Him. Because of the importance that the Bible places on the New Testament gift of prophecy, we are instructed to make very sure that we are clearly speaking forth that which is of the Spirit of God. People respond to sounds. If the sound has no impact or meaning, it produces no response. If the sound is uncertain and carries no sense of the truth and accuracy of that which is spoken, it yields no fruit.
The purpose of our prophesying is that the church may be “edified, exhorted and comforted” (1 Corinthians 14:3 ). This ministry is so needed today when many Christians are discouraged, disillusioned and wondering what to do next! The Church always pays a price when she fails to give heed to the teachings of Scripture. The tragedy is that in many sections of Christendom today the gift of prophecy is not encouraged, and therefore the people are not desirous enough to break through to be able to encourage and build the Church up! Ask yourself:
Three musical instruments are mentioned in the passage: flute, harp and trumpet. The three instruments all present a very different sound and produce a very different result. Just a thought, but maybe the flute represents “edification,” the trumpet “exhortation,” and the harp “comfort”?? The challenge of this message is that we Christians should be discerning the differences in the sounds that come forth from the mouths of God’s people.
For if it is not of God it will not be very helpful at all in our building up the Church. And even if it is from God, but is presented in an unclear, muffled kind of way, then it also will not produce the intended results. Our message must be very clear, simple and pulsating with the love and truth of Jesus! Otherwise we are not fulfilling our calling as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. An ambassador is one who has been “invested with power and authority to speak and act on behalf of the King of the Kingdom he/she represents” ~ in our case, Jesus Christ!
Christians respond according to their ability to discern the sound they hear. If they know not the meaning of the voice, there is no response. And whenever there is no response time is being wasted in the all-important task of preparing each other for battle!
I am writing this in Italy, and it has been a very good experience to be amongst a majority of people who cannot speak the English language. And I cannot speak Italian. When I listen to them speaking, their words carry no meaning to me. I am mostly unable to discern what they are speaking about. Then, when I think that I do understand, I often find they are talking about something else. As a result I am unable to converse, respond or correctly take to heart anything they say. And it is the same for them when I speak. But once we introduce an interpreter into the situation, then things change. I begin to understand what they are talking about, and through an interpreter I can convey my heart and words to them. That way people are able to respond accordingly. If I stood and preached here in Italy without an interpreter, unless they got a direct revelation from God, it would be a complete waste of time! Nothing would be accomplished. No one would understand the sense of my message and therefore nothing could be produced that would “prepare people for battle.” Yet, with an interpreter I can speak my heart to them and actually see some huge response from the people! It is all a matter of clear communication in an understanding way, so the people can grasp what is being spoken.
The Book of Nehemiah is about the rebuilding of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah got a burden to return there and to rebuild the walls again. He was faced with a lot of opposition and persecution, all trying to make him cease in the fulfilling of his vision. So they had a way of helping and protecting one another when the battle raged strong against them. It was a trumpet sound. Those builders had to recognize the sound of the trumpet, and when they heard it, they had to immediately respond to help and protect their brothers. This was their instructions: “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20 ).
DISCERNMENT IS VITAL
If our spiritual senses are not clearly discerning “the source of the voice,” we will never grow to maturity in Christ. Because we have (generally speaking) been somewhat ignorant of these things, we have failed to develop as quickly as we should have in our Christian walk: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled (“inexperienced, ignorant” – Strong’s) in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised(“practiced, trained”) to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14 ).
God wants to speak through us to impact others for His purposes! But unless we are discerning in our recognizing the voices we hear, we will not convey a very clear or convincing message. He wants to speak clearly to others through the gift of prophecy (and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit ~ 1 Corinthians 12 ) operating out of our lives . . . that is, our speaking and acting on behalf of the King of the Kingdom we represent.
We have another tragic statement in Ezekiel 7:14 : “They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, but no one goes to battle . . .” Here we discover that it was possible to actually prepare people for battle, yet somehow it did not produce the necessary stimulus to launch them into the purpose for which they were made ready!! This little Scripture represents so much of what is happening in church life in many places today. Christians have some Bible knowledge, but it is not activating them into the purposes of God of trumpeting the message of the Holy Spirit to our generation. And unless this generation hears the word of the Lord through God’s people they will go to a Christless eternity. That should seriously concern every born-again believer in Jesus Christ. God has placed the message in our hearts and mouth (Romans 10 ), and commanded us to take the Message to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 ; Mark 16:15-20 ).
And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfil it” (Colossians 4:17 ).
Every Holy Spirit-filled Christian has a ministry! We must be occupied in the fulfilling of that for which Jesus Christ laid a hold of us in the first place! To fulfil a ministry we must take heed to what that ministry is. We must know the calling, direction, instructions of what it entails (see Acts 22:14-15 ). Otherwise we will wander aimlessly through life, not really recognizing the trumpet call when it comes to us. That trumpet call can often be giving us the keys for the next season of our life.
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5 ).
These instructions are so important. We ignore them to our loss ~ and the loss of others. My experience has been that when I recognize the voice of God coming to me (in whatever way He chooses to speak to me, either personally or through the prophetic), then I need to respond to it. I have to demonstrate a commitment to God by my actions that I believe it is Him Who is talking to me. Often that can happen when I am in a very busy time schedule. But I have learned that when that voice comes, I must stop whatever I am doing and give first place to God’s voice. The result of this kind of obedience has enabled me to be a trumpet to thousands of lives around the world. Often I am amazed at how quickly God can open the doors for me to minister to thousands once I have obeyed that trumpet call. It is a principle and we can all learn it. If we have a heart to see the lost won for Jesus Christ, then it is going to have to be by the supernatural revelation of the Holy Spirit speaking into our lives; then our recognizing that it is indeed Him speaking, and for us to respond accordingly. That then releases the hand of God to fulfil whatever He promised through the word He spoke to us. It works! It produces much fruit! It is the “God way”!
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the voice of God to the body of Christ ~ to us ~ and to whoever we are led to minister to. They must be discerned clearly, and revealed simply in such a way that the people (the receivers) hear the voice and heartbeat of God ministering through us to them.
Christians are called of God to clearly reveal the heart, voice, mind and will of God, so we can be effectively prepared to respond to His bidding, whatever the call. This only happens when we recognize the source of the voice.
In 2007 when a team of The GFM Ministry were in Nigeria conducting an “International Training School,” Kerry Wright, a Prophetic Musician, was leading a session on Prophetic Music. When, at a certain time in the session he asked the Holy Spirit what He wanted Kerry to do, the Holy Spirit told him to play just one note on his soprano saxophone. Just one note!Kerry obeyed and played only one note. In the next instant the Holy Spirit broke through in the lives of 3,000 people. There were people on the floor, others were screaming and/or manifesting as the Holy Spirit did a wonderful work amongst the people. The Team could have preached for hours and not got any where near the results that we saw as a result of Kerry’s simple obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit. That one note on the saxophone was like a trumpet blast that caused a major break through in the spirit realm. Those who were present that day will not forget that in a long time.
In revelation Chapter 1 we read of John being on the Isle of Patmos as a prisoner of the Lord. He chose to be “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” and he heard “behind him a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and ‘What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia . . . Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last’” (Revelation 1:10-17 ; see also Revelation 4:1-2 ).
The voice of God is like a trumpet. A trumpet is known by its clarity of sound. When John heard and then responded to the loud trumpet voice, he turned around and had a revelation of Jesus Christ! The voice of God is all about our being able to “hear” and “see” with the Spirit “those things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2 ).
In Revelation Chapters 8 to 11 we read of seven angels with seven trumpets. Each of them had to know their timing, their order of blowing their trumpets; because each of them ~ even though they all had trumpets ~ had a different function to fulfil. And they had to know that order. When they blew their trumpets they released the hand of God to fulfil the purpose for which He ordered them to be blown. "So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Revelation 8:6 ).
Finally, to walk in the Prophetic Ministry means we are continually seeking to discern the voice of God for our lives, so that out of a heart of love for Jesus we can please Him by obeying/doing what ever He asks of us. When He speaks (in whatever way He chooses to speak to us), the sooner we will obey what He asks, the sooner we will “untie His hands” to fulfil the very words He has spoken to us. Out of that comes a message for us to “trumpet” to our generation ~ a message that is full of life, liberty and truth to set the captives free.
It is not enough for us to be “hearers only,” but we must also be “doers of the word” (James 1:22-24 ). God Bless YOU abundantly!