Did you know the word "heart" is mentioned in the Bible over 800 times? Have you ever stopped to think how this word is used, when it is clearly not referring to the physical heart?
Almost every time "heart" is used, the author is not referring to the muscle that beats in our chest and pumps blood throughout the body. The word is being used as a means of communicating to us something more spiritual than physical.
Even today, thousands of years later, we speak of the heart often, but it's not always in the context of the life-giving organ. For example, before a woman makes her mind up to stand at the altar and say her "I dos," she wants to know what is in the man's heart. She wants to know what is behind his exterior, what his true feelings are about her, his strengths, weaknesses, temperament, loyalty...and the list goes on. It is safe to say that the word "heart" can be defined as more than a physical organ; it is something much deeper.
Some years ago a close friend of mine, who is a minister, made a statement that set me on course to seek out the author's meaning when using the word "heart" while speaking of being born again. My friend was grumbling about what he heard people saying in regard to being born again; he didn't like that they would claim they gave their heart to Jesus.
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-10
My quest was to seek and find out from the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Holy Scriptures, what the word "heart" meant when used in this context. Little did I know that the answer would open a window to my soul that continues to this day to reveal many other secrets that have been sealed within the Bible. The more you see how the Bible flows from Genesis to Revelation, the more you will begin to build a systematic theology that works.
...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.2 Peter 1:20-21
When you see the word "heart" in your Bible, you need to fully understand what the Author, the Holy Spirit, is revealing to you. The explanation the Holy Spirit gave me regarding the word "heart" is this: When used in this context, it signifies the soul and spirit have come into agreement, unifying a spiritual force that has come from Heaven to earth.
Our soul is our mind, will, and emotion – our personality, if you will. The spirit is the life force that we draw from when we are in need of revelation or help that is hidden within us. When the word "heart" is used in the verse mentioned above, it is revealing that the man was given a new heart or a new spirit and also a new way of thinking. In this verse, Jesus is saying this person's soul and spirit are united as one when his spirit is quickened by the Holy Spirit, and the renewing process begins. This tells us more has changed than just the man's personality or his words.
However, renewing the mind (soul) takes time; therefore, each of us must continue to study, to show ourselves approved, so that we may continue to be more like Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It is our newborn spirit which we draw from that makes our minds (souls) as students of the Holy Spirit, for He is our Teacher and will reveal all that we need to know.
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 1 John 2:27
The Heart and the Prophetic
When we want to know the deeper things about a person, we must have the ability to see into their soul and spirit (i.e. their heart). When counseling prophetically or giving a prophetic word from the Holy Spirit, we are, in effect, making contact with their heart (soul and spirit).
The Soul: It is from the soul we gain recorded information that activates the word of knowledge, a gift from the Holy Spirit that reveals what has happened or is presently happening in the lives of those to whom we are prophetically speaking. One of the main purposes for this is to make them aware that God knows who they are and what is going on within their lives. This makes it much easier for people to believe when they receive their prophetic word. Knowing what the minister said about their past through the word of knowledge was correct, they should believe the things prophesied regarding their future are correct as well and will come to pass.
The Spirit: When you are ministering in the gift of prophecy, you will find yourself making a connection with that person's spirit. It may help if you can envision this: Let's say your spirit is talking with the person's spirit to whom you are ministering, and you are receiving information about that person's future. Once you have the revelatory information about the person, you must begin to put into words what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you in a way that might make some sense to him or her. This is where training in the prophetic really helps. We are not training ministers so much on how to hear the Holy Spirit but rather teaching them how to know His ways and His thoughts.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13
When you are ministering in the prophetic gifts, you do not always know whether it is the word of knowledge you are receiving, i.e. something that has already happened in the person's life, or if you are giving a word of prophecy, i.e. a message about what is to come. The person receiving the prophetic word can easily think that the minister is missing the mark when a word of prophecy is spoken, because it has not happened or does not fit what they are presently doing in life.
It takes time to truly know if a prophecy is a true word from God. Some prophecies do not come to pass, because the word is conditional, meaning the receiver of the prophecy was required to do something before the promise in the word will come to pass. A word of knowledge, however, can be judged on the spot.
There is evidence that is easily found just by asking the person to whom the word was imparted if the things spoken have happened in his or her life. Sometimes it takes more courage to speak a word of knowledge than a word of prophecy, for the proof of your accuracy is weighed quickly, whereas prophecy takes time to establish a solid track record.
Therefore, when you're seeking the Holy Spirit for spiritual gifts, ask for all the prophetic gifts, so that when you are called upon to deliver a prophetic word, you can look into thewhole heart of the person: soul and spirit.
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs20:27
Kent Simpson is a prophetic pastor and is the founder and senior pastor of Prophetic Ministries Tabernacle – a gathering place for the prophetic people of God to unite for the sole purpose of being used as vessels for the Holy Spirit to speak through. Prophetic Ministries Today is devoted to the truth that Jesus is not dead but alive and He speaks if you have an ear to hear the Spirit. His website is filled with prophetic teachings which will help you understand the process of "hearing" God for yourself as well as others. The Lord wants you to pray, hear, and obey Him because the Holy Spirit is the only One who can truthfully lead you into the abundant life Jesus promised us.
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