Prophetic Art and the Realms of God – A Word by Nathan Shaw
In my dream I was in an artist’s display studio. Directly in front of me, displayed on an easel, was a painting of a broad valley. The valley rose gradually into hills and mountains on either side and also into the distance. It was tussock country—rustic, barren and beautiful. In the exact center of the valley was a road which disappeared into the distance. The road merged perfectly with the scenery, almost as if it was suppose to be there. Under the painting the caption read, “This road doesn’t exist…yet.”
Often we think of prophecy in terms of words that declare the future. But the spirit of prophecy can also inspire artists to paint things that are yet to come. The dream highlights three important realities. Firstly, a greater prophetic anointing is coming on art and artists. Secondly, prophetic art will reveal things that will literally take place. Thirdly, prophetic art will be used to open up realms into the knowledge of God.
An Increased Anointing on Art and Artists
The first artist mentioned in the Bible is Bezalel. God says of Bezalel: “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3-5). To perform his tasks Bezalel was filled with the Spirit. Art and anointing go together! God is the greatest artist and He is specifically calling and anointing artists to prophesy a new day.
When God calls and anoints it is for a purpose. Bezalel was called and anointed to produce and oversee the artwork in the tabernacle of Moses. The tabernacle was the place God chose to dwell on the earth. It existed because God wanted to reveal Himself to the Israelites. Everything about the tabernacle revealed a different aspect of God. God used artists to reveal Himself! God’s presence in the tabernacle gave the artwork an even greater power. Bezalel’s work impacted not only his generation, but also many generations to come (2 Chronicles 1:5).
Declaring Things Past, Present and Future
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The Bible is full of imagery. Many times Biblical prophets described scenes that were yet to happen. Their descriptions were so vivid that they evoked works of art seen only in the minds of their listeners or readers. You get the impression that if the prophets had paint, paintbrushes, and canvases, they would have simply painted the scenes and presented them with the caption, “This is yet to happen.” But prophets were not limited to seeing things in the future. When Ezekiel was in Babylon he saw what was happening back in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8), and some passages of scripture (for example Genesis 1) could only be written by prophets seeing things that were in the past.
God lives outside of time. For Him the past, the present, and the future, are all equally accessible. “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'” (Revelation 1:8). Through the Spirit, we are also able to access the past, the present and the future (Revelation 1:10). There is a greater anointing coming on artists that will bring profound revelation and insight into the past, the present and the future. Sometimes artists will know they are moving in the spirit of prophecy, other times they won’t. Mostly when I prophesy over people I know that I am doing it. But other times I have been prophetic without even knowing it.
The Realms of God
The tabernacle is an example of artwork that caused people to grow in the knowledge of God and His heavenly realms. The tabernacle was only a shadow and a copy of a far greater reality in the heavenly realms (Hebrews 8:5, 9:23-24). Bezalel and his fellow artisans were used to reveal the heavenly realms through their artwork. The greatest work of art is creation itself. Creation has a voice and reveals God in simple and profound ways (Psalm 19:1-4, Jeremiah 10:12, Romans 1:20). Since the fall, creation’s ability to reveal God has been seriously hindered. When we walk in the full destiny of sonship, creation wakes up (Romans 8:14-22). This liberates creation to speak with greater and greater prophetic authority.
The painting in my dream had two main elements: Scenic beauty and a road. The scenic beauty speaks of the knowledge of God. Paul lived in continual pursuit of the knowledge of God and prayed that others would do the same (Colossians 1:10). Scenery declares the beauty and majesty of God. Often the most beautiful scenery is also the most inaccessible. Roads give access, but they have to be built. A greater anointing is coming to “build roads” that give access to the knowledge of God. Isaiah saw a highway in the wilderness: “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8). This highway would lead multitudes of people into deeper realms of encounter with God. Trails and tracks can carry a limited number of people, but highways are designed for many people.
In my dream the caption under the painting read, “This road doesn’t exist…yet.” The artist had prophetically seen the road and knew that it would come into existence in the future, but even more than that, by painting the road, the artist was calling it forth. I believe it was a literal road, but it also spoke of a spiritual highway into God’s presence. “This road doesn’t exist…yet,” creates anticipation and excitement about things yet to come. The painting with its caption carried a powerful anointing and a clear message. It imparted hope to the hearts of discouraged dreamers and ignited curiosity in the hearts of lovesick adventurers. Art and artistic expression will play a strategic role in “preparing highways” and bringing us into greater dimensions of the knowledge of God.
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