Unlocking the Mysteries of Prophecy with Joseph Z

10 min read
Jun 4, 2024 10:56:32 AM

Can you share with us the inspiration behind writing Demystifying the Prophetic and what motivated you to delve into this topic?
From a very young age, I have had highly prophetic and supernatural encounters. As a result, I began to study and search for answers to these occurrences. What started at the age of 9, hearing my name called by an audible Voice led to training people in the prophetic and holding prophetic meetings for the past 25 years worldwide. In 2020, when the prophetic experienced a great deal of confusion, it became clear that helpful clarification was needed. Much of the controversy from 2020 and after was another catalyst for writing Demystifying the Prophetic . This book was not written to criticize but rather to be constructive, to build the prophetic in a healthy way while still addressing some of the issues that have caused confusion.

This book is not a typical book on prophecy. It was important to me that various less-covered yet vital topics be explored for clarity within the scope of prophetic operation. These include trances to déjà vu, strange happenings, angelic encounters, sensory and empathetic experiences, visions, and better prediction protocols. All this is to make the prophetic less sensationalized, more results-based with humility, and something the body of Christ should embrace rather than reject, but through biblical order and on a good foundation.

Many Christians have differing views on the role of prophecy in contemporary times. How does Scripture guide your understanding of prophecy for today?
I believe Scripture shows us at least four different types of prophecy, and it is still active today both in the office of the prophet and for every believer developing the gift of prophecy. Roeh , Nabi , Chazah , and Chozeh are the four types of prophecy that I unpack in the book. New Testament scripture opens prophecy up to every believer in a magnificent way. However, there is a biblical foundation on which prophecy must operate. The Bible should be the final authority on all things experiential and prophetic. First Corinthians 4:6 Paul says, “Learn from us to not go beyond what is written…” New Testament prophecy is unique from the Old Testament because the Holy Spirit is present for all believers especially with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, prophecy is a gift that all God’s people can access.

First Thessalonians 5:20 tells us, “Do not despise prophecies.” Paul’s writing this to the Thessalonians means there was behavior in the prophetic that raised the potential of despising prophetic ministry altogether. Today’s prophetic ministry is no different, with a wide variety of strange behaviors, even off-balance predictions. Results-based prophecy in any prophetic spectrum operation will always result from a sound Bible-based operation. All prophetic operations must also point to Jesus, as Revelation 19:10 states.

End-Time prophecy often sparks curiosity and speculation. What approach do you take to navigate this complex topic while staying grounded in biblical truth?
End-time prophecy is a very serious subject, yet I consider that all the scholars of Jesus’ day didn’t properly interpret His coming the first time. It is possible no one has the complete interpretation down perfectly regarding His second coming, either. My approach is to stand on the things I understand and can grasp in the Word of God. I often draw out a helpful eschatological timeline on a whiteboard explaining how I believe the Bible speaks regarding end-time events that are going to happen.

We should trust the Lord and keep doing what we do firmly know rather than putting trust in the things we do not understand that are hotly debated.

When it comes to predictions regarding the return of Jesus or any end-time event, it is essential to stand on the written Word of God and stay far away from date predictions.

What are some common misconceptions about prophecy that you often hear, and how would you respond to them?
If a prophetic word spoken by a prophet doesn’t happen, some automatically label that individual a false prophet. In the Old Testament, this was true. However, in the New Testament, we see an instance of the Prophet Agabus telling Paul that he would be bound by the Jews, but instead, the Romans bound him. Under strict examination, that would be considered an inaccuracy. This prophetic word may not have been called out in the New Testament because we all have the Holy Spirit, and prophetic words today are an interpretation, not a direct translation. We interpret what we hear from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

Another common misconception is that some treat prophecy as if it is mainly for telling the future or prediction when there is a wider spectrum to prophecy than only prediction. Sometimes, interpretation involves time and realizing that two prophetic voices can speak. They seem at odds, but given time and interpretation, they may be seeing an issue from two different vantage points.

An example is found with Ezekiel and Jeremiah, who both prophesied regarding the fate of King Zedekiah. The two prophetic words differed so much that the historian Josephus said he would not believe either. Yet, when reading the final account in 2 Kings, we see they were both accurate in what happened.

In Ezekiel 12:13, the Prophet Ezekiel prophesied that King Zedekiah would not see Babylon.In Jeremiah 21:7, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied that King Zedekiah would die within Babylon! (Maybe by the sword) In the following scripture, we see that both prophets were right. They saw the same event from different points of view. In 2 Kings 25:7, King Zedekiah was taken before the king of Babylon, where his eyes were put out! They then took him to Babylon, where he eventually died. The point is both prophecies were true, although they differ at face value.

There has often been confusion surrounding the office of Prophet and the gift of prophecy. How would you explain the difference between these two?
The gift of prophecy is available to all believers. Any believer who wants to develop in the gift of prophecy can grow tremendously by desiring it and practicing it. The office of the prophet is simply a responsibility God gives to a person. According to Ephesians 4:11-13, it is for the edifying and equipping of the saints. A prophet has an office of responsibility to edify and equip through training and teaching while working powerfully in the prophetic. Prophets are also assigned to a segment of the body of Christ. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:1, “I am not an apostle to others, but I am to you.” Meaning there are jurisdictions to five-fold ministers. Prophets are responsible to a segment or have jurisdiction over a part of the body or even the world based on their anointing or what they are graced to do.

Could you share practical insights or examples from the Bible that illustrate the relevance of prophecy in our everyday lives?
Hearing God is a necessity in our everyday lives. This comes from prayer and Bible time. Growing in sensitivity to God’s Voice is what prophecy is: Hearing Him internally until what you hear internally is reflected outward, toward others, or as guidance. It is God’s internal Voice turned outward.

This helps in deciding what to buy, who to marry, what to avoid, etc.

Regarding prophetic interpretation, or hearing God in your everyday life, I utilize a basic three-step process of Revelation, Interpretation , and Application . Revelation is the experiential part of hearing God speak. Interpretation is the process of making sure it lines up with the Bible and the mouth of two or three witnesses, and the application is taking action at the right time with emotional intelligence and common sense.

Prophecy is not a science. It is an art, and today, we do not operate in direct translation from God to man as the prophets did in the Old Testament. Today, it is an interpretation. We see this in Acts 15:28, which says, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us…” Working with the Lord is not called The Great Mission. It is The Great Co-Mission. God has chosen to work with us and through us.

How can Christians discern between genuine prophetic messages and misleading or false claims?
Knowing His Voice personally comes from spending time in the Bible, praying, and being calm. Additionally, it is by their fruits that you will know them. Sometimes, it is a matter of allowing time to prove what is being claimed. If prophetic stories are sensational experience after sensational experience, it is essential not to become fixated on that, as the Bible warns us about cunningly devised fables. Matthew 24 warns us about false prophets that would come and deceive many. One of the meanings of deception isn’t necessarily that they will lose their salvation but rather that the deceived will wander. Deception can simply cause believers to wander. It is important to know you are hearing accurately, or you will waste precious time that should be applied to your God assignment.

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. —2 Peter 1:16

And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. —John 10:4-5

I like this quote as it relates to ensuring that prophecy lines up with Scripture:

“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it but to lay a straight stick alongside it.” ― D.L. Moody

What role does prayer play in cultivating a prophetic sensitivity and discernment among believers?
Prayer is vital. When you don’t know what to pray, I tell people to pray the Word of God out loud. A vital and powerful activator in prophetic sensitivity is prolonged times of praying in tongues. Tongues will cause a supernatural development in sensitivity and hearing God. I draw a picture to make this understanding really clear on a white board.

Are there any specific passages or stories in the Bible that you believe are particularly instructive for understanding the prophetic? If so, could you elaborate on them?
Revelation 19:10
says, “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." This is the vital scripture relating to prophecy, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit or the driving force of all things involving prophecy.

Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” There is a powerful revelation in the word “secret,” as it differs from what some have misquoted by saying, “God does nothing unless He reveals it first to His prophets.” This points to the word “secret,” or it could be said that the Lord reveals the spiritual aspect of something coming or what His intention is for the future, regardless of the actual event.

Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” I asked the Lord once why He speaks through visions, dreams, symbolism, and other ways. Why doesn’t He give it to us plainly when He reveals something revelatory? I heard the Spirit say, “Because He likes to be pursued!” God likes to be pursued. This is why it is the glory of the Lord to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. Pursuit! The following two scriptures align with this same understanding.

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. —1 Corinthians 4:1-2

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. —1 Corinthians 2:10

And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. —1 Corinthians 14:32

Prophetic people can control their prophetic impulses.

Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

When you exercise your senses through the written Word and practice the gifts, you can develop in them. In the case of exercising senses, you can develop your gift of prophetic discernment.

But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you. —1 Corinthians 14:24-25

This Scripture points to a powerful understanding that “all” can prophesy in church, and not just prophecy, but move in the glaring word of knowledge.

What is the Lord speaking to you in this season?
We are indeed in the days of Noah, and the Lord is saying to His Church and the world, “Wake up!”

During this time, there is a massive call to the Sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32). Those who understand the times, know what to do about the times, and are with the right tribe. These know their people and operate with the jurisdiction they are anointed for. This will increase as more oaks of righteousness are leaving, graduating to heaven, and some are changing or being retrofitted—because the redwoods are coming.

Oaks represent the foundation layers and stalwarts of movements. This isn’t a word about age. It is a word about assignment. The oaks represent Isaiah 61:3, “The planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” The redwoods represent a powerful network of high and mighty trees that will stand together in a united root system, event branch system. However, without the input of the mighty originators or oaks, no redwood tree will ever reach its full potential because it will rot at the top of its monumental height. An additional warning for redwoods is to consider that when a redwood tree falls, its impact on the ground is so powerful it can be measured on the Richter scale. This means that in this new move of high and united redwoods, they must learn to avoid rotting at the top of their success and avoid an earth-shaking fall. Some Oaks are leaving for heaven, and some are transitioning to foster the redwoods. Some of these fivefold oaks are merging with the redwoods—they are red oaks. Fathers, mothers, and leaders from former movements with experience will usher in, bridge the gap, and tend to the health and well-being of the redwoods as they take their place. This is a prophetic word, and I believe it is beginning to manifest.

Finally, what do you hope readers will take away from Demystifying the Prophetic, and how do you envision it contributing to their spiritual growth and understanding of God's plans for the future?
Both Jesus and the world deserve to experience mature believers in full operation. This applies to every area and, of course, to prophecy. It is a beautiful gift designed to glorify Jesus and offer His church clarity. I desire that prophecy not be despised; rather, it should be right-sized and elevated to the place God made it to operate. This book will be a lifelong companion on this topic, opening eyes and empowering the gift of prophecy to come alive in a biblical results-based way. It is a book for every believer to walk in the fullness of their spirit-filled life with clarity!

 

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