BECOMING A VOICE - THE CALL OF THE FORERUNNER
Haavard Sand

I AM REVEALED
B. Childress
Apr 25 2011

    ...I am the voice of the one calling in the desert...(John 1:23).

We believe God is raising up forerunners from this arising bridal generation that God will use as a voice to see this
generation come to maturity as the Bride.  In the Philippines, there is now a special call going out for these forerunners
to come forth.  According to a prophetic word given by Cindy Jacobs, "There is a forerunner anointing coming upon the
youth of the Philippines that will prepare the way of the Lord even into the Middle East."  God is raising up forerunners
who will not only stay in the Philippines, but who will go out, even to the Middle East.  All over the world God is calling
and raising up forerunners.

WHAT IS A FORERUNNER?

John the Baptist is our ultimate model of a forerunner.  Mark chapter 1 contains a description of him:

    It is written in Isaiah the prophet:  "I will send My messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way" - "a voice
    of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him'"   (Mark 1:2-3).

The quotes in these verses are from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3.  God said that He would send a messenger or a
forerunner before Him to prepare and proclaim that the Lord is coming.

In ancient times, when a king was coming to visit, he would send heralds before hand to announce his arrival.  This
would require necessary preparations - roads had to be fixed, buildings painted, among other things.  This duty
belonged to the forerunner.  He was sent from the king with a message, to prepare people for the king's coming.

John was the forerunner for Jesus' first coming (see Luke 1:17).  As we study John's life, we can gain a better
understanding about the forerunner's calling.  In Matthew chapter 3, we find John out in the desert, eating locusts and
honey, clothed in camel's hair (see Matthew 3:1-6).  There was nothing attractive about him, so why did crowds go to
the desert to see him?  Not only did they have to walk for hours, they probably also had to carry their own food.  Why
was it that they were willing to endure those hassles to listen to John?  The answer is that he was someone who had
become
a voice.

People did not go there to hear just another sermon.  They had enough of those in the synagogues - many sermons
but no voice.  What they heard in the synagogues were only echoes, people echoing what they had heard others say
before.  So when they heard that someone had become a voice, they all went out to the desert to hear.

Even today we have enough echoes in the Church, with people just echoing the latest fads like "G-12" or a "purpose
driven life," etc.  I am not saying there is something wrong with those methods.  They are tools that God has given us,
but we have to make sure that all our sermons are not just echoes of somebody else.

If you become a voice, people will come since they are longing for the real thing.  They are longing to listen to someone
who has heard from Heaven, and who speaks what he has heard instead of only echoing what he has heard from
others.  So if the Lord is calling you to become a forerunner (not all have that calling), your first question should be,
"How do I become a voice?"

BECOMING A VOICE IN THE DESERT

You become a voice in the desert.  When John was asked, "Who are you?" he answered, "I am the voice of one calling
in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord'" (John 1:23).  In Luke, we read, "And the child grew and became
strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel" (Luke 1:80).

You will not become a voice in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  You don't become a voice on the run.  The only
place you become a voice is in the desert.  It was not only John who went to the desert; Jesus did too.  After Jesus'
baptism, He was led out to the desert (see Luke 4:1-3).  Moses spent many years in the desert.  David was one who
went to the desert (see Psalm 63:1-5).  There are no shortcuts, no easy solutions.  You can't just have a famous
preacher, like Benny Hinn, come and pray for you and then become a voice.  There is only one thing that will make you
a voice - the experience in the desert.

Many churches are too focused on trying to get out of their wilderness and rush into their promised land.  But I believe
there are young people who are being awakened to go against the stream; instead of trying to get out of the desert,
they seek and embrace it.  They know that their promised land, which is the eternal city of God, awaits them at the end
of the desert.

This is the
nameless and faceless generation.  They have not spent their time and energy using the latest principles
on how to build a large and more influential ministry, or networking with the right people so they can become somebody
- a famous face.  No!  They do the opposite: they spend their time and energy in the desert.  They may never become a
name or a face, but they are instead becoming something the other group will never be: a voice!

The desert is the place where you are alone with God.  In the desert, there is barrenness - no comfort, no
entertainment, no churches, no people, and no food.  It is just the raw, hard reality of you and God Himself, nothing
else.  Being alone with God will help you to become a voice.  But it does not happen overnight.  
There is a long, difficult journey ahead.  But if you yield to it, the reward is even greater.

It is in the desert alone with God that you first have to go through the painful process of letting go of all your crutches,
or all the things in which you seek to find comfort.  I am not talking about grave sin.  I am talking about food, shopping,
television, entertainment, and so on.  Embracing a fasted lifestyle is radical.  We have seen this is Matthew 11, where it
says: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful
men lay hold of it" (Matthew 11:12).

It takes a forceful man or woman to live a fasted lifestyle.  It takes strength to find your desert.  In a world where we are
bombarded by everything that competes for our attention, it takes a forceful person to say no to it all and to find that
place where we can be alone with God.  When all our crutches are gone - when we are willing to lay everything aside -
we are there in the desert alone, naked, and silent before God.

At that point comes our first test.  Let's now look at the lessons we can learn from Jesus' desert experience.  His first test
was related to getting His physical appetite satisfied.  How did He respond?  He said, "It is written: 'Man does not live on
bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4).  We pass this test by declaring that
our hunger for God is greater than our physical hunger.

The second challenge Jesus faced was to not put God to a test (see Matthew 4:5-7).  If God calls us to the desert, we
should stay there until He calls us out.  Sometimes we give God a timetable and say in effect, "You have to meet me and
make me a voice by this date.  If not, I am out of here."  Do not test Him like that. Trust fully that in His time He will take
you out of the desert.

The third test involved worship (see Matthew 4:8-9).  When all is gone, will you still worship God?  It is easy to worship
the Lord when everything is well - our family is intact, our body is healthy, our business is successful, and our job is
stable.  But when all of that is gone, do we still worship?

As we learn this important lesson about the desert, we are ready to become a voice.  John became a voice because he
cultivated his spiritual ability to see and hear (see John 1:29-34).  He was voicing what he had seen and heard.  The
same process has to happen with us.

We are called to see and hear about the "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8).  This is what awaits us in
the desert.  It is in the desert where we can see and hear clearly with our spiritual senses.  Because outside of the
desert, we are easily distracted by too many things that cry for our attention and drown our spiritual sensitivity.

In Galatians chapter 1, Paul speaks of how God called him.  We find that after his conversion, Paul went immediately to
Arabia (see Galatians 1:15-17).  What is Arabia other than a desert?  And I believe it was there - away from everyone -
that God started to reveal to Paul what "no eye has seen, no ear has heard" (I Corinthians 2:9).

I am aware that not all are called to be an apostle, but we are all called to be an apostolic people, or at least the
forerunners are.  True apostolic ministry means to be a voice, to share what is seen and heard.  In Acts 22, Paul speaks
of how Ananias expressed that the apostolic ministry is a voice.  Paul says:

    Then he [Ananias] said: "The God of our fathers has chosen you to know His will and to see the Righteous One
    and to hear words from His mouth.  You will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard"  (Acts 22:
    14-15).

You may remember that I mentioned earlier about becoming beauty seekers, I said that the problem in our pursuit of
gazing upon God's beauty is the distraction of lesser beauties.  Thus, the desert experience is needed and important.  
It's where we can get away from all distracting beauties so that our spiritual eyes - or the eyes of our heart - can focus
on gazing at the One of ultimate beauty.  When the eyes of our hearts start to be captured by Him, then the attraction of
lesser beauties loses its appeal on us.

We need to ask for the eyes of our hearts to be opened to see and to be captured by the beauty of God.  And we need
to pray that our ears be opened so we can hear messages from His lips.  Thus, we become a voice and come out of the
desert carrying a message straight from Heaven.

The ultimate call of a forerunner is to prepare the way for the Lord.  I believe God will again raise up forerunners - not
just one, but a multitude - to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus.  In Luke chapter 1, we read about John the
Baptist:

    And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their
    children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord
    (Luke 1:17).

This is the ultimate call: to prepare a people for the Lord.  Another aspect of the forerunner ministry is to be friends of
the Bridegroom.

    The bride belongs to the bridegroom.  The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for Him, and is full
    of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice.  That joy is mine, and now it is complete.  He must become greater;
    I must become less (John 3:29-30).

John defines himself as a friend of the Bridegroom, Jesus.  One of the various calls of the forerunner ministry is to be a
friend of the Bridegroom.  This ministry helps the Bride to get ready for her wedding day.  The forerunner is sent from
the Lord with a message to the Bride.  The forerunner tells the Church about the beauty of her coming Bridegroom and
the importance of having her heart captured.  God awakens the heart of His Bride by sending a message through the
forerunner, and she starts to prepare herself.

FORERUNNERS AT THE END OF THE AGE

Another important purpose of the forerunners at the end of the age is to be prepared as one of the voices of the seven
thunders that John referred to in Revelation (see Revelation 10:3-4).  The forerunners will be a voice or messengers of
the messages that have been concealed in the past, which will be revealed for the end-time generation.  These are the
messages mentioned in Daniel and Revelation that are "closed up and sealed until the time of the end" and about which
John was instructed "do not write it down" (see Daniel 12:4,9; Revelation 10:4).

Why did these messages have to be closed up and sealed?  Paul Keith Davis provides an answer in his book,
Book of
Destiny - Secrets of God Revealed
:

    If Daniel or John had written everything they had seen and heard, the precious and mysterious plan of God would
    have been misunderstood in a storm of confusion.  Instead God planned to give a spirit of revelation to a specific
    generation.  This discernment would allow those believers to understand these mysteries and apply them on
    earth.

Revelation chapter 10 says that John saw an angel holding an open scroll in his hand (see Revelation 10:2).  Could it
be that the messages John heard from the voices of the seven thunders came from that open scroll?  And if that is so,
could there be a connection between that open scroll and the sealed scroll described in Revelation chapter 5?  It says,
"Then I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven
seals" (Revelation 5:1).  If there is a connection, then this means that at one point forerunners who have been prepared
as voices will stand and speak some of the messages found in the scroll mentioned in Revelation chapter 5.

What is it about this scroll that is so special?  What does it contain?  No one knows what the message in the scroll is.  
We can understand from the context that it is a document, a message that is very close to the heart of God.  The things
that are close to the heart of God are the deep things of His heart.  They are described as a "mystery," the secret
wisdom "that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began" (Romans 16:25; I Corinthians 2:
7).  In other words, it is His plan, which He had before history started its course.

This plan is definitely an eternal plan, which mostly pertains to our glorious future and the end of the age, but it is at
present sealed up.  However, as this present age comes to an end, we are told that the seals will start to break so that
what is inside of the scroll will be revealed and manifest (see Revelation 6).

As the forerunners proclaim the messages from the scroll, their voices will start to thunder just as the voice of the Lord
thunders (see Job 37:5).

    And he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion.  When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.  And
    when the seven thunders spoke,  I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the
    seven thunders have said and do not write it down" (Revelation 10:3-4).

The understanding is that the seven thunders represent ministries or people - or forerunners if you will - that have
developed and become voices.  At one point, they will stand as voices bringing messages from that opened scroll, as its
seals are broken.  At that time - after the scroll has been opened and His servants the prophets (these forerunners with
a voice like thunder) have heralded the messages on the scroll - the mysteries pertaining to this age will come to
fruition.  As it says in Revelation:

    But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished,
    just as He announced to His servants the prophets (Revelation 10:7).

I believe the ultimate calling of the forerunners is to be prepared to become a voice.  Some might even be given insight
into some of the messages contained in the scroll that is mentioned in Revelation chapter 5!  As the scroll is being
opened, they can broadcast some of its messages.  In so doing, the mysteries of God regarding this age will be fully
revealed and come to completion, just as Revelation 10:7 says.

Being a forerunner is a great privilege.  But it will also require a great sacrifice to enter that place of becoming a voice.  
Nevertheless, it is an honor to be among those who will bring to the Church some of the glorious messages written on
the scroll, which at present we believe is still sealed.






Source:

BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IN THE LAST DAYS, by Haavard Sand, Copyright 2009, Destiny Image - Europe.
2010 - HIS GLORY REIGNS
LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES