Elijah Among Us: Understanding and Responding to God's Prophets Today
Twenty-five years after the release of his ground-breaking book The Elijah Task, co-authored with his wife, Paula, a sequel comes from the powerful pen of John Sandford. In Elijah Among Us, he outlines a biblically rooted discussion of prophetic history and functioning, both how to instruct prophets and commission their office and how to inform the church about prophetic ministry. Sandford wrote this follow-up book because he sees a strong and even dangerous overemphasis in the church on the "giving of personal words," which is only one role of the prophetic office.
The first section of this book develops a history of the prophetic office, how the office metamorphosed from one of warning into proclaiming God's gentle and merciful side, and becoming burden-bearers. Second, Sandford sets forth the working functions of prophets, explaining how they serve in twelve major roles, including bringing blessings, healing, warning of impending judgment, giving protection from tragedies, and offering direction, guidance, or confirmation.
Readers will gain crucial knowledge of a widely misunderstood topic, helping them be discerning in these strategic end times. Authoritative and compelling, Elijah Among Us is a timely and vital work for the Body of Christ.
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I love John Sandford and appreciate his deep and thorough contribution to the tools the church can work with by using his prophetic listening to God ability to find answers to the problems faced by persons in counselling.
The insights of John and Paula Sandford have been deep, precise and both psychologically and biblically sound. Just to understand their insights took careful study. The true power of the insights only fully revealed themselves to me when I began both teaching and counseling using these tools.
I challenge anyone to produce a more marked up and underlined copy of Restoring the Christian Family, Transformation of the Inner Man or Healing of the Wounded Spirit than I possess. These tools of understanding character patterns and life patterns have stood the test of time. For these alone I would commend John Sandford the the Templeton prize for contribution to religion.
The concern / correction I would like to offer to John comes in his introduction. There, to my dismay, he commends Cindy Jacobs and Peter Wagner as examples of using prophetic insights for spiritual warfare. Wrong. John Dawson has a godly approach to spiritual warfare, not Peter Wagner.
Any teaching that encourages direct attack on territorial spirits is misguided and off base. It is more than misguided, it is likely demonically inspired. It is not slightly off base, it is deadly dangerous.
I expect John would know this. John you commend John Paul Jackson but seemed to have missed his most important peice of prophetic discernment in "Needless Casualites of War." If you have not read it, then do so. If you have read it, then why did you commend those leading the Bride into deep danger?
Jackson is not the only one to warn about arrogant spiritual warfare. Leanne Payne has done so in her teaching weeks, her newsletter and her books.
Judson Cornwall was rebuked by the Lord for binding demons that were interfering with a worship service. Even this much focus on demons in one's own territory attracted more demons who enjoy the 'worship.' See Let us Praise, page 71 and following.
It is not that Peter Wagner is not well intentionned. John you may have come to realize that Performance Orientation fuels hidden anger at God and that this anger at God manifests by giving undue attention to Satan and not allowing full glory to God. That is what manifests in Wagner.
The introduction to Elijah Among Us introduces a huge error in prophetic judgment - a failure to discern and a failure to warn.
This is not a time to 'keep the peace' around unhealthy and dangerous practices being taught as 'spiritual warfare.'
To those who read this review I suggest reading John Paul Jackson's Needless Casualties of War. Do not continue to think that 'binding' Satan is healthy or effective spiritual warfare. Focus on "Draw near to God" and draw away from engaging the enemy in direct confrontation. To focus on or bind higher levels of darkness is not just "arrogant" - as Leanne Payne observes - it brings harm to congregations, lives and nations. It empowers the enemy in the life of the congregation, nation and will do so in your life. We lose being hidden in Christ.
I have experienced being on the naive and wrong side of 'spiritual warfare' and the loss of job and finances that followed was not pretty. I have observed financial difficulties, ill health, marriage breakdown and increasing isolation in those that persist in this practice in their prayers.
Losing hiddeness in Christ feels exactly like being cursed. It never brings a blessing because it is always in rebellion against the limits on our authority. Let God be God and worship the Lord of Hosts. He commands the angels. We do not.
I am confident in the rest of the content in Elijah Among Us and commend it to the reader. Spit out the seeds and keep the fruit. In particular spit out some of the Introduction comments.
TEN PERSONAL WORDS AND DARK SPEECH
ELEVEN RECEIVING PERSONAL WORDS
TWELVE DREAMS AND VISIONS
PART 3PURPOSES AND TASKS OF PROPHETSTODAY
THIRTEEN INTERCESSORY PRAYER
FIFTEEN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
SIXTEEN OTHER PROPHETIC PURPOSES AND TASKS