Purifying the Prophetic – Sanctified Psychic Reading

I am presently reading Purifying the Prophetic: Breaking Free from the Spirit of Self-Fulfillment by Loren Sandford, son of prophetic and healing ministry pioneers John and Paula Sandford.

Loren is a pastor who has had a great deal of experience in prophetic ministry himself, and in equiping, administering and protecting others in such ministry. While affirming the value of prophetic words, and still advocating the kind of training we are engaged in to enable people to hear the voice of God, at the same time he sees certain dangers in the way people often operate in this ministry.

The first one I want to address here is what he calls “sanctified psychic reading”.
We recently had an email from someone seeking advice about whether she is a burden bearer, and how this would affect her feelings towards a man to whom she is strongly attracted. In the course of answering her questions I revisited something that Loren wrote in Purifying the Prophetic. Let me quote him from pp27-28:

“Prophetic ministry is the word from God through men to men. It is not primarily a reading by men of what is in the hearts of men. Ability to sense and even define what is in the hearts of others does not make us prophetic. It makes us human. To learn to do it better does not make us more prophetic, but rather more fully human. We are created in the image of God as spiritual beings. Every human being, therefore, possesses the capacity – tapped or untapped – to sense the feelings and inner condition of others. Because God is Spirit, we each have a personal spirit as part of bearing His image. This is our human birthright and constitutes an essential component of our ability to exercise compassion.

Com = ‘with’
Passion = ‘feeling’
Compassion means ‘to feel with’.

So ‘reading people’s mail’ (their hearts) does not make us prophetic. It just makes us more fully human.

“In less than half an hour, almost anyone can be taught to use the burden-bearing gift resident in every believer (see Galatians 6:2) to sense the heart of another person deeply enough to give a reasonably accurate description of what might be going on inside him. Streams Ministries under John Paul Jackson, a ministry I respect very much, does this effectively in their seminars. It is beneficial training, an awakening of the spirit, but it is not prophetic ministry. At worst it is that sanctified psychic reading flowing from the flesh of those who do it. At best it can serve the purpose of ministry in wonderfully revelatory ways, but it is not fully prophetic until it is coupled with other functions that truly reveal the plans and purposes of God and release the power to accomplish those plans and purposes. We see too little of that kind of release in prophetic ministry today.

“We need to move from mere sanctified psychic reading into the genuine spirit of prophecy that, according to Jeremiah 1:10, tears down and builds up, uproots and plants. It is the word of God to accomplish His purposes.”

Loren has much more to say on this, as do his parents John and Paula Sandford in their writings. But on re-reading this I was caused to reflect on what we have been teaching in our courses and seminars. We do teach about checking what we hear in this way, and that a seminar is a learning experience, and that life-changing decisions should not be made on the basis of such exercises. And we do go on to look at how to test prophecies.

During a seminar I recently attended, in one of the exercises we were arranged in two parallel lines, facing outwards. Then we were asked to first hear or see what the Lord wanted us to give to the person behind us, before turning round to give it. I clearly saw a picture of a large country house. When I turned I found myself with a peson who I knew had just had to sell their house because of debt, and is desperately seeking another place. Now, I know I wanted to hear from God, and I am used to listening to him, but as a previous (now recovering) burden bearer, I could equally well have heard what is in her heart and given it back to her as if from the Lord. Because it was an exercise and a bit of fun I probably was not as careful as usual, so I am not sure which happened without going to the Lord about it afterwards. No instruction was given about the different voices that might be heard, the assumption being that it would only be God! Do you see the danger?

I’m not saying that we should stop teaching it this way – I don’t know a better way myself to get people started. However, I wonder if a bit more explanation might be necessary? Such exercises don’t specifically teach us how to hear God. They teach us how to hear another consciousness apart from our own. This might be God, or a demon, or another human spirit. Sometimes we might even be hearing our own dissociative parts. We need then to teach how to tell which it is we are hearing – or, given the lack of time in a short seminar, at least alert the participants to the different possibilities when they leave the protected environment of the seminar and try it out on their friends.

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12 Comments

  • Donna says:

    Malcolm,
    Today is the first time I have been on your site. I am still in the testing stage of reading your material but I have printed off the Introduction and Lesson I of “Listening to God.” Background: My husband and I have been in the ministry for over 36 years. We live in the US and have traveled internationally. Personally, I have had prophetic dreams since the age of nine. Your writings are the first I have read that distinguishes between human ability and prophetic utterances while recognizing the validity of our human abilities that come from our spirit made in God’s image. I have taught on this for years because of my own experiences and educational background. I look forward to reading your work and, perhaps, commenting again. God bless you and your love for the Almighty-I love Him so-Donna

  • Archie says:

    I love this blog site! It helps me a lot. Just like KimClement. Please visit KimClement.com because there's a lot information about prophecy, prophet, and etc.

    Archie

  • Jaden Flores says:

    What i know is that there are real pyschics and bogus pyschics that just wants your money.,.’

  • i have a friend who is a psychic, she is great in prediction and also in remote viewing.`;

  • i can only wish that i were a psychic too which can tell the future and have the power of remote viewing.”.

  • i do admire psychics for their ability to sense some weird stuffs like predict the future or something ,~.

  • I like the compassion here. This gonna be a site that explains and clarify unconscious things that most of humans had a mistake of understanding on it. From now on count me as one of your thousand followers.

  • As a psychic reader, this gonna be important to us. Sometimes unconsciousness misleading us to various things. This gives us better understanding on how to handle things out, how to convert negative elements or feelings into a fruitful things. I’m gonna check your updates from now on…

  • andrea says:

    Hi I down loaded this site at least a year ago,and have now read it….I have been told by many when ever i visited churches and by my present pastor ,that God has anointed me to be a prophet-ss?? .I have had dreams about each job that I had before I got there,and sometimmes ,well from a child I was able to pick up the intentions of people.My mum would say that I was negative,or that I was being silly,until afterwords. One failed marriage later( i CHOSE WITH MY HEART,BUT DID GET A DREAM ABOUT HIS HEART),heart broken,lonley and aged 40,I feel hopeless,and quite like checking out.but I don’t suspect that people know this by looking at me.I love Jesus, and there is obviously no other way to go,but I want to die.at this stage what could possibly be the use of being a prophet??.To go home to an empty house after church is becoming daunting.I no longer like to go out.ONLY WHEN THE SPIRIT OF gOD STARTS TO PUT FIRE IN MY BELLEY DO i EVEN HAVE THE ENERGY OR BOLDNESS TO SPEAK,OR SING OR TESTIFY.WHEN THAT STOPS,I WANT TO HIDE AGAIN .IS THAT BEHAVIOR OF ONE CALLED

  • Annie says:

    I don’t think you need to worry about the prophecy thing. Doubt just makes things more cloudy and more difficult for God to talk to you. The Holy Spirit is smart. If you are supposed to prophecy to someone, and ask God to give you a word, then He will. He won’t make it complicated, or make you second guess yourself. After all, we are supposed to have childlike faith, right?

    To quote one of my favorite authors, Heidi Baker, “God is God and I’m not. Hurray!” Leave all the complicated stuff to Him.

  • Curtis Brown says:

    Am I close to encounter with God, for miracles and blessings? How and when will the Lord Jesus begin to use me, in these lasr days/

  • Readings says:

    Readings…

    […]Listening 2 God Blog » Blog Archive » Purifying the Prophetic – Sanctified Psychic Reading[…]…

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