“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Muzzled, Muted & Diluted, by Randall D. Kittle


As I was praying the Lord said to me, “I am going to show you the enemy’s strategy to silence and nullify the prophetic in these days.” With that I saw a large trumpet. The finger buttons were inlaid with mother-of-pearl and its brass finish glistened like gold, but there was something beyond its appearance that made it captivating and beautiful. As beautiful as it was, there was no sound coming forth from this trumpet. Then I noticed that it didn’t have a mouthpiece. Its beauty testified to the fact that it had been meticulously created by a true craftsman. I was certain that it could produce a rich, full, beautiful sound. But without the mouthpiece it was silenced — unable to do that for which it was created.

The vision suddenly changed, but again I saw a large, captivating trumpet. I quickly noticed that this time it had a mouthpiece. But I also observed that placed into the bell of the trumpet was a large black mute. I saw the horn vibrate as if it was being played, and listening intently I faintly heard some sounds, but it was indistinct. I could not make out the notes being played nor recognize what song it was.

The scene changed again and for the third time I saw the large trumpet. This time the mouthpiece was in place and there was no mute inserted into its bell. The trumpet’s valves began to move but just as I was expecting to hear it play there was a downpour. I soon noticed that it was not raining drops of water, but small trumpets. In a short time the large trumpet was not even visible. It had been engulfed in a sea of tiny trumpets. Then I saw the hand of the Lord reach down and pull the glorious trumpet out of the sea of tiny trumpets.

Satan’s First Strategy: The Muzzle
As I prayed about what the vision meant, the Lord told me that the trumpets represent the prophetic gifts in the Church. In Isaiah 58:1 God likens the prophet’s prophetic gift to that of a trumpet: “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet. Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Satan’s first strategy to silence the prophetic was to remove its mouthpiece — to muzzle it in order to keep it silent. Across the land this has been going on at a rampant pace. There has been a rapid increase in churches whose services are “seeker friendly.” While they say they are not opposed to the gifts of the Spirit, prophetic words, messages in tongues, words of knowledge, etc. are not allowed in their services. These “unusual” movings of the Spirit might make seekers uncomfortable, and so their position is “That won’t happen here.” In order to foster growth, these churches have become so seeker-sensitive that they are no longer “Spirit sensitive.”

The Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 14:4
“Where there is no oxen in the stall, the stall is clean.” In biblical times it was the power of the oxen that plowed the fields so they could be planted. The oxen not only brought in the harvest; they were used in threshing it. No farmer in his right mind would choose a clean barn over the ability to harness the strength and power of the oxen.

What is the oxen that provides the power to produce the harvest in the Church? It is the Holy Spirit! He is the power that God designed to energize and drive the Church. Remember, the disciples were instructed to wait in Jerusalem until they were indued with power, and the Church wasn’t birthed until the Holy Spirit’s outpouring. PowerPoint presentations, dramatic skits, special effect lighting, cafés, and all the other trappings many find essential in these days do not truly do the work of God. You can gather people with these, but you cannot truly do God’s work with just these. As Christian author Dudley Hall puts it,
“You cannot do the works of God in the power of natural talents; it takes supernatural gifts, and they are all necessary.”

It would be truly disappointing if all these seeker-sensitive churches didn’t have any oxen — any prophetically gifted people in their midst. But what is devastating is that most of them have numbers of them who are not allowed to bring forth the things of God. The oxen of God have been muzzled, and therefore the power of God is all but absent. As the vision revealed, there are beautiful trumpets in their midst, but their mouthpieces have been removed!

Satan’s Second Strategy: The Mute
In the vision, Satan’s second strategy to silence the prophetic was to mute it. 1 Corinthians 14:8 tells us that “if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” Those prophetically gifted are the buglers of God, charged with sounding the warning blast and declaring the call to battle. If they are muted, we will not be warned of the enemy’s attack or know when or how to go to battle.

Many charismatic churches, having seen the increasing membership in seeker-sensitive churches, have decided to shift in that direction. And so, they have issued a “gag order.” Churches once known for being places where the Spirit of God moved freely have shifted from embracing the gifts of the Spirit to tolerating them. They now believe that the gifts are good as long as they are “hidden gifts,” perhaps used in a small group or special meetings, but extremely limited (if not prohibited) in the larger, corporate gatherings. How sad that Satan has been able to silence the prophetic in churches once known for the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

But the Bible tells us to desire the spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, not hide them in the cellar because we are embarrassed by them. In the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians the Holy Spirit instructs us on spiritual gifts. This is what He tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:31,
“But eagerly desire the greater gifts.” This verse doesn’t say to tolerate spiritual gifts. It says to “eagerly desire” them. There are few things we are instructed in God’s Word to eagerly desire and seek after, but spiritual gifts are one of them. And the spiritual gifts we are encouraged to desire the most are the greater gifts like prophecy. In case this was not made clear in the above verse, 1 Corinthians 14:1 clarifies it, “Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy.”

Satan’s Third Strategy: Dilution
In the vision, Satan’s third strategy to silence the prophetic was to dilute it. There are many churches across the land that allow and encourage the prophetic giftings to move in their services. How could Satan silence the prophetic in churches such as these? The answer is dilution. Think of it, wouldn’t it be difficult to hear a bugler sound a call to arms if he were standing in the middle of a marching band?

One of the principles that the Holy Spirit has been reestablishing in the Church in our day is the priesthood of the believer. As believers we are called to be
“… a holy priesthood … a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Satan has caused some churches to exaggerate this precept to the place where all believers are seen as the same. While God can speak through any part of His body of believers (after all He can talk through a donkey, see Numbers 22), that does not make everyone a prophet. Instructing on the diversity of gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:29 asks rhetorically, “Are all prophets?”

When we gather together for larger, corporate gatherings, it is a time for the Lord to share His heart with His people. Those with prophetic gifts have been specially empowered by God to do this. God delights to reveal Himself to all of His children, but even if the Lord prophetically reveals something to you, that doesn’t mean it is meant to be shared with all the church. If every person shared what the Lord has been revealing to them, the voice of the true prophets would be lost amongst the multitude. This was Satan’s strategy in the early church at Corinth, and it is his battleplan to silence the prophetic today in churches that are open to the prophetic in their services. Many churches who think they are empowering the body do not realize that they are cooperating with Satan’s plan to silence the prophetic. God’s instructions to the Corinthian church can be found in 1 Corinthians 14:29,
“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.” We too must heed this instruction if we want the trumpet call of the prophetic to be heard in our corporate services.

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