THE POWER OF PROPHETIC DECREESBy Todd Bentley

THE POWER OF PROPHETIC DECREES

The Power of Prophetic Decrees, Will help you understand why God gives us prophetic words, visions, and revelations, and examines and uncovers those things that hinder the fulfillment of God's prophetic word in our lives. Many are missing the mark of their calling, and the words that have come to us from God remain unfulfilled. Next week's Part 2 teaching will continue with the quest for success in appropriating what God has promised us. We'll learn how to war for our words, and how we can effectively shoot prophetic arrows into the heavens to "scatter the demonic cohorts."

How many prophetic promises and words spoken over your life have you yet to see birthed? Every believer has prophetic promises from heaven whether God has revealed something that we would accomplish for Him, something that we would become, or something that we would see Him do in our lifetime. Prophetic words are authoritative words that Scripture says we would "do well to pay attention to" (2 Peter 1:19).

Countless believers have waited years to realize the fulfillment of prophetic words spoken over them, or revelations from visions or dreams. Do you ever wonder what to do with them, how to act upon them, or how to ensure the fulfillment of them in your life or ministry? How do we bring the words of the Lord to pass? What hinders the fulfillment of them?

WHAT'S THE DELAY?

Some blame the delay on the prophet or the person who delivered the word, and others blame themselves. Sadly, many give up believing their promises. However, delay in the fulfillment of a heavenly word spoken over you may have everything to do with the enemy opposing, dark, spiritual forces determined to sabotage your destiny. Then the delay does have something to do with us, for the delay is in our lack of response. We give up waiting or we don't determine that "word" really was for us, and give up on the vision. We don't do what God has called us to do because our mindsets aren't in line with the potential God gives us. We're not responding by pulling from heaven "those things that be not as though they were."

SEE THE INVISIBLE BY THE EYE OF FAITH

There are things that have always been in the eternal purpose of God, it's just that they're not in our natural realm yet. But the promises of God have always been in the Father's heart, even before the foundation of the world. Everything we need in the natural to do what God has called us to do is available in the invisible realm.

We must learn how to see the promises of God in the invisible by the eye of faith, embrace it in the invisible, and bring it to the earth. Embrace, confess, and declare God's promises into the heavens!

REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR LIFE

Friends, grab hold of this truth. Prophetic decrees made into the heavens have the power to revolutionize your life! Heavenly prophetic decrees and proclamations hasten the fulfillment of God's word over your life. They're powerful! They thwart the plans of the enemy and accelerate the birth and fulfillment of every prophetic promise and revelation spoken over you!

When I learned how to make prophetic decrees and proclamations in my own life, God was able to do a whole lot a whole lot faster in me and through me. Recently, the Lord showed me that through our prophetic decrees, He also releases angels to battle the forces of the enemy to bring us what is rightfully ours! That's part of their job description!

I hope to give some insight in this teaching on how you can make prophetic decrees and proclamations into the heavens, which will hasten and bring to pass the Word of the Lord. I want you to understand your responsibility with God-given promises and visions and how you can partner with God to realize your destiny.

UNDERSTANDING HEAVENLY REVELATIONS

Let's look at a passage in the gospel of Matthew that speaks of our responsibility with the Word of the Lord:

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:13-19)

Take note of one thought in this passage: "Peter, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." Peter's revelation came from heaven. You may also have received divine inspiration like Peter a prophetic word, a vision or, perhaps, an illumined scripture from God. Maybe a prophet called you out and prophesied over you or God spoke to you through television, radio, or a dream.

THE ROCK OF REVELATION

Prophetic words and promises are personal, specific to our lives as individuals, our families, or our ministries. They may also be intended for cities, regions, peoples, and nations. They are always in line with the Word, the Bible right from Genesis through to Revelation. However, I want to focus primarily on those words that God has given to us personally, those rhema words. Rhema words and God's Word are a powerful combination that can activate our divine destiny.

Let's look again at Jesus' next words to Peter in Matt 16: "I say to you Peter, 'on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it'" (v. 18). Now what does Jesus mean by the words "on this rock"? The Catholic Church accepts that phrase to mean Peter and his ministry, while others think it refers to the apostles. However, I don't believe Peter or the apostles are the rock. I believe Jesus is saying, "Upon this rock the rock of revelation I am building... upon the rock of being able to hear what your Father in heaven is saying. Flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you. Upon that rock I shall build My church."

In the book of Jeremiah, the Bible also tells us that the purpose of the Lord is to build you and not pull you down, plant you and not pluck you up (Jer. 24:6; 42:10). So, when God gives you a heavenly revelation, it's to build you and plant you. It's to build and plant something in you and through you. It's to build, plant, loose, birth, and bring to pass His Word with the help of the Holy Ghost. Conversely, there are some things we have to tear down in the spirit—those forces opposing the fulfillment of God's Word.

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM

Later in Matthew 16 Jesus says, "Peter, I've given you the keys the keys to the kingdom" (v. 19). Do you know what the keys are? They are every prophetic word that you have, yes, every revelation you have ever received. Some of us in the Body of Christ run around with a keychain full of keys, like a janitor with keys jingling wherever we go. Maybe you have a whole lot of keys on your key chain. Perhaps you don't even know which one fits which lock! Sure, you used to know, but many of those keys have been there a long time, so long that you don't even know what they're for anymore. Why have fifty keys on your keychain if you only use a few?

PROPHETIC KEYS UNLOCK HEAVEN

Every time we receive a prophetic word, we add a key to our ring it's a key to the kingdom, your kingdom. It's a key to a destiny. It's a key for you to open up the heavens and loose things in heaven so what God said about you in heaven can come to pass on the earth. With that destiny word, you can build or pull down, plant or pluck up and bring the destiny to its fulfillment. That is what we're supposed to be using the keys for. How many keys are you carrying?

IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BIRTH HIS WORD

Properly learn how to use the keys handed to you through visions, dreams, or words from the Lord. That's what Jesus taught Peter. The Lord's message was: "Peter these are keys. I just gave you a key called "revelation." With that key, you have a responsibility to open up the Kingdom of Heaven so that revelation can come to pass."

Rest assured that God usually only shows you something He wants you to have now, not fifty years from now. Yes, He has a timetable, but I don't believe His intention is to dangle a carrot on a string in front of your nose! I don't believe He works that way. Delays often happen not because of the prophet, or because of "God's timing," or the devil, but because of ourselves. When God speaks to us, He's not asking us to believe that we can. He's trying to change our identity so that we will. When He gives us a prophetic word, it becomes potential. It becomes a desire that He plants in us. It's a key to bring our destiny to pass.

We have a responsibility to birth God's prophetic Word and promises. When God speaks something for us, He is releasing potential in us; He's giving us a key to unlock that possibility. But we must posture ourselves to realize that potential.

The fulfillment of prophetic words is conditional, in as much as we are required to respond and take certain steps of obedience. I believe that once we get to heaven, we'll discover how much more God had for us in this life that we never realized or saw to fruition. Many Christians wonder why their dreams are not yet fulfilled. They have good intentions, but never walk out what God has for them. God's reason for giving us these revelatory keys is to excite, edify, and encourage us to press on toward the mark; they are filled with possibility.

DANIEL BIRTHED HIS PROPHETIC WORD

Consider Daniel. He had a revelation while he was reading the book of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2). As he read, God came along, breathed on the Scripture and said, "Daniel, what Jeremiah prophesied about the Babylonian captivity that's your generation. You are about to come out of Babylonian captivity after 70 years."

Daniel didn't just proclaim the news; he birthed it through fasting and prayer (Daniel 10).He grabbed hold of it, responded, and became involved in God's Word. God said it and so now, he needed to lay hold of what He said.

As Daniel, we must also birth these prophetic words of God. It's not a matter of, "Well, God said it, so He's going to do it . . . His sovereignty will bring it to pass . . . I'm just going to wait and see." The prophet delivers God's potential for us, why stone the prophet if things don't happen? The purpose of the prophetic is to stir and cause destiny to come alive in you so you'll become passionate about the potential God planted in you.

Daniel hears God's promise of release from Babylonian captivity and he says, "Ok. Now I need to do my part. It's not just good enough that God spoke. I need to pray and fast it through." What if he'd said, "Well, perhaps God didn't really mean anything by this . . . I'm not sure it's going to happen. It's not happening! If it was God, it should have happened already! I mean, God said it!" No, Daniel didn't give up he kept praying and after twenty-one days Michael the archangel appeared and (in effect) said, "Daniel, come over here for a minute. Let me tell you something. God heard you on the first day. But you see... we ran into some opposition in heaven called the Prince of Persia. The enemy didn't want you to receive what God wanted you to have twenty-one days ago, so there was a delay in the spirit."

DELAYS IN THE SPIRIT -- THE DEVIL'S TACTICS

It's not that the Word wasn't of God. It's not that the prophet was wrong. But there was a delay in the spirit. Think about your prophetic promises there might be some devils today holding back what is rightfully yours. There is a Prince of Persia in the spiritual realm. I want you to know that God heard you the first day. You should have seen the fulfillment five years ago, but it hasn't come yet. It's not God. It's not you. It's the devil resisting your destiny, tying it up in the spirit. If it happened to Daniel, it can happen to us. God had to send Michael to battle through that Prince of the enemy. Let me tell you something if the devil came against Jesus and against Moses, he is warring against all of God's people. The devil wants to kill every move of God in its infancy. He wants to discourage you right when you get saved or right when you get healed. He wants to try taking God's blessings from you.

Back when God's people were captive in Egypt, Satan knew something was going on—he knew the prophetic words of Joseph, and that they would return to the land of which God swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Gen. 50:24). So when Moses was born Satan said, "We need to issue a decree. We need to kill all the male children under two-years old. We are going to kill him." That's when God had to orchestrate the deliverance of the baby Moses. After that attempt on Moses' life, the devil tried the same tactic on Jesus (Matt. 2:16) and according to Revelation 12:17, "The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." That's you and I! Satan knows that God has a plan for us. Satan has a plan of destruction—he is not just going to lie down, roll over, and let you be what God wants you to be. He is working overtime to distract you and to delay the fulfillment of your promises. He is working overtime to sideline you or to kill, steal and destroy in your life.

Satan has assigned demonic cohorts in the spiritual realm to keep you from finding the revelation of God's will. And when you do find it, he stirs up a whole lot of mess to get you so distracted that you can't really press on "toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). He is trying to get you into debt and into immoral relationships he'll try any way he can to mess up your life.

RESPOND TO THE WORD

You have a place of destiny which is fully released as you respond, build, and plant. How you respond; what you do or don't do with what God gives you, can determine your destiny.

God does not change; however, He will adjust His decrees to fit our response. There are decrees and promises He has made that do not change, such as the covenant with Israel and His new covenant with us (John 6:37-40, 44). There are others that He has adjusted, such as Abraham's plea for Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18), and the sparing of Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-10). God will adjust His responses to ours just as we adjust our responses to God's.

Abraham changed God's mind, and so did Jonah. Remember the story of Abraham. God said something like this: "Get out of my way Abraham; I'm coming down to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah." Then Abraham replied: "No way, God c'mon, if there is just fifty righteous... forty righteous... twenty righteous... how about ten righteous?" (Genesis 18). There is a place where you can barter with God, friends. What God said about you is not a guarantee.

Consider the life of Jonah. If it was true that what God says will happen and that we have nothing to do with it, then Jonah would have just rolled over and said, "Well, if God says He's coming down and bringing destruction and judgment to Nineveh, that's it too bad for them. God said it so what can I do about it. God said it; it's got to happen!" Actually, Jonah ran from God because He knew that God would restrain His judgment if the people repented and Jonah didn't want that. Eventually Jonah did deliver the word of God in Nineveh and the people repented. God did change His mind. Therefore, the Word must have been dependent on the actions of the people.

THE RELEASE OF THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

There are Princes of Persia in the spiritual realm working to prevent you coming into the revelation and reality of your destiny. Something that God wanted to give you twenty one days ago may be tied up we need to release spiritual warfare and pray: "My God, I ask for the angelic host to resist the enemy's assignments that are keeping back what you promised me in the area of my finances. Now Father I ask that they would bring me my answer."

Scripture tells us that we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but demonic powers and principalities (Ephesians 6:12). Our spiritual eyes must be open so that we can see what is going on in the heavens. There is not a devil under every bush, but there are more devils under bushes than many Christians are willing to admit. I'm not looking for demons. I don't have to look for them. They are there and I'm aware of them. I know that they want to destroy me but I'm neither afraid of them nor focused on them. I know who I am in Christ.

"LET IT BE TO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD"

Know your authority, and be vigilant. Even Mary understood this principle regarding prophetic words. After her prophetic word from the angel she responded and prophetically decreed, "Let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). She lined herself up with the Word from heaven, pulled it out of the spiritual realm into existence, and birthed it.

In Him

Todd Bentley

Fresh Fire USA

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