Supernatural Biblical Guidance 10
When the Holy Spirit Prophesies Your Future in the Past Tense

Part One
by Pastor John Hamel

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

This is an extremely profound statement concerning the ability of the all-knowing God of Creation to reveal the future before it happens and to speak of the future as if it had already come to pass.

Based upon this principle we will now study when supernatural prophecy declares the future in the past tense.  

It is possible for individuals, churches or geographic areas to have a prophetic word spoken over them as if it was already fulfilled at the time of it being spoken.  

I find no less than four examples of this in the Bible.  We will look at each of them in order to better understand how the Holy Spirit can prophesy your future in the past tense.

God Prophesied Abraham's Future in the Past Tense

This first example is found in the book of Genesis.  When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to him for the purpose of establishing an eternal Covenant with his physical and spiritual descendants.  

What is interesting about the prophetic word spoken over Abram is that it was spoken as if his future had already come to pass.

“And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.  Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; FOR A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE THEE.” (Genesis 17:3-5)

God spoke to Abram about his future as if it were in the now.  When God determines to do something in the future, it immediately becomes an established fact as far as He is concerned and He can speak of it in the past or present tense if He wants to.  As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul said that God has developed quite a reputation for calling things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17)  God not only spoke of Abram’s future in the present tense that day, He also changed his name from Abram to Abraham.  Abram means “Exalted Father.”  Abraham means “Father of a Multitude.”  Every time someone used Abraham’s name from that day on, they were verbally decreeing the fact that God had already made him a father of many nations even though he was childless at the time. 

Christians who criticize other Christians for being a “name it and claim it” or a “blab it and grab it” just because they speak their faith would be strongly advised to put a lid on it.  They are criticizing an eternal Kingdom principle set in motion by Almighty God Himself.  A principle for which Jesus gave His very life.  They will not be shooting their mouths off when it comes time to answer for it at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10; 2Corinthians 5:9,10)  The principle worked for Abraham and it still works today, according to Jesus and the written Word of God. (Mark 11:23; Proverbs 18:21)

God Prophesied Cyrus' Future in the Past Tense

Another Scriptural example of a prophetic word going forth over someone as if it had already come to pass is Cyrus.  The Holy Spirit, through the Prophet Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus was already a defender of Israel over one hundred and fifty years before he was even born.  What is particularly unique about Isaiah’s prophecy is that he actually spoke of Cyrus’ future in the past tense before the man even lived.  Let us look at Isaiah’s prophecy to gain a better understanding of this. 

“Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.  WHO RAISED UP THE RIGHTEOUS MAN from the east, called him to his foot, GAVE THE NATIONS BEFORE HIM, and MADE HIM RULE OVER KINGS? he GAVE THEM AS THE DUST TO HIS SWORD, and as driven stubble to his bow.  HE PURSUED THEM, AND PASSED SAFELY; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.” (Isaiah 41:1-3)

I will place in quotes certain clauses from the above verses for you to clearly see how Isaiah prophesied Cyrus’ future in the past tense over one hundred and fifty years before he was born.  The actual events occurred approximately two hundred years after Isaiah’s prophecy. 

Isaiah said that God “raised up” Cyrus.  God “gave” the nations to him.  God “made” him to rule over other kings.  God “gave” him his enemies as dust.  Cyrus “pursued” his enemies and “passed” them safely.  This prophecy reads as if it were fulfilled at the time it was being spoken.  Isaiah’s vision of Cyrus was so clear to him it seemed as if it had already happened. 

A modern-day Prophet speaking over you could easily have the same experience.  The Prophet could see into your future so clearly that to him it is as if it were happening now, causing him to speak in the present or past tense.  Isaiah did this more than once concerning Cyrus.

“THAT SAITH OF CYRUS, HE IS MY SHEPHERD, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” (Isaiah 44:28)

Here again, one hundred and fifty years before Cyrus was even born, the Holy Spirit said, in the present tense, “He IS my shepherd.”  Approximately two hundred years before Cyrus punished Israel’s enemies, allowing the Jews to return to and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, his actions are spoken of as if they had already occurred.  (See 2Chronicles 36:22,23; Ezra 1:1-8; 3:7; 4:3-5; 5:13-17; 6:3,14; Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 10:1.) 

There are two other examples of Cyrus’ future accomplishments being spoken of in the past tense.

“Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, WHOSE RIGHT HAND I HAVE HOLDEN, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;” (Isaiah 45:1)

Here again, the Holy Spirit said, “I have” held Cyrus’ hand two hundred years before He actually helped Cyrus as Israel’s defender. 

“I HAVE RAISED HIM UP IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 45:13)

Here the Holy Spirit said “I have” raised Cyrus up to do a righteous work in liberating the Jews, two hundred years before it actually occurred.  Of course, Isaiah’s reference to “righteousness” could only be a reference to Cyrus’ righteous work.  Cyrus was not in position to have true righteousness (right standing with God) imparted to him as a human being at that time because Christ had not yet come to die for his sins.  Christ had not yet exchanged humanity’s sin for His righteousness. (2Corinthians 5:17-21)

God Prophesied Babylon's Future Destruction in the Past Tense

The Holy Spirit gave the Prophet Isaiah a vision of the future destruction of Babylon that was so clear to him, it was as if it had already occurred.  This is why he spoke of it in the past tense. 

“Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I HAVE SENT TO BABYLON, AND HAVE BROUGHT DOWN ALL THEIR NOBLES, AND THE CHALDEANS, WHOSE CRY IS IN THE SHIPS.” (Isaiah 43:14)

Isaiah spoke in his writing as if God had already done this but the actual fulfillment will not be until a future date.  (Revelation 16:19; 18:1-24) 

There are those who teach that Isaiah was referring to the time when Cyrus overtook Babylon, but this could not be true for the following reasons.  When Cyrus overtook Babylon there were no armies (nobles and Chaldeans) destroyed by God.  When future Babylon is destroyed, armies will be overtaken by fire, and many other means, at what is often referred to as the Battle of Armageddon.  Then and only then will nobles and Chaldeans be destroyed by God. (Isaiah 43:17; Ezekiel 38:17-21; 2Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 19) 

When Cyrus overtook Babylon, there was no cry that went up from men in ships, but there will be when future Babylon is destroyed.  Merchant ships, military ships, cruise ships and private yachts laden with people will witness this event.  They will literally cry out in fear as they watch the city of Babylon actually being destroyed in only one hour’s time.  This will be on a scale a hundred thousand times greater than that which occurred in America on September 11, 2001

Of course, God did not cause those terrible events in New York City.  Sin did that.  But God will cause the events that will occur in future Babylon. (Revelation 18:15-19) 

Again, Isaiah spoke of those future events as if they had already occurred.  A modern-day Prophet could possibly speak to you of future events as if they had already occurred.  Stay open. 

We will continue this study in our next lesson.

Be blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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