There are prophets in the land, always. God has ordained that. For anyone leaning towards cessationism (believing that the supernatural ceased when the canon of scripture was complete) – Paul in 1 Cor 13:8 is telling us that prophecy will cease when perfect-Jesus returns to earth, not before that. Hey – knowledge hasn’t ceased. Who would be so naïve as circumcise that one verse to cut off prophecy and leave knowledge? Ans: Cessationists.
And meanwhile the saints accurately believing in both:
A. the office and ministry of the prophet, and even
B. prophetic words brought forth by virtually any other saint as they might be moved upon by the Holy Spirit at any ordained moment,
have often witnessed and heard silliness, exaggeration, inaccuracy, and worse.
So what to do? What is happening?
In reality, what is happening is the spirit of man, whether by ignorance but good intent or otherwise, will often show up within the prophetic utterance, and that will lead to inaccuracy and eventually to trouble. I will not go so far as to say that everyone who has operated in the prophetic office or ministry and perhaps died before what we might consider “their time” was being judged by God (some in fact may have been taken home to their reward!), but I am personally inclined to think that some of the stuff we hear has, unfortunately, contained a confusing mix of accuracy and then also inaccuracy – and there can be accountability attached to that. Meanwhile let’s not blame God.
I recently heard (youtube) a prophetic word pertaining to Donald Trump that calls him a man of few words. Really? I have no trouble recognizing the call of God on our President’s life, and his position in his critical office as being on time, and of God. But a man of few words?
So what is the issue? Why the flies in the holy ointment? Is God not able to maintain completely accurate prophecy? Of course He is. Both testaments illustrate the accurate and inaccurate. The potential and the peril, in fact. Ask Hananiah re the latter.
What is the issue? It’s important to understand this, so that as things heat up, as the lost look more desperately for a supernatural message of truth, and as the saints look to the words of a prophet as a true word from the Lord, we have to expect a battle for not only the souls of men, but for the tongues of men (and women).
I humbly put forth that to measurable degree there’s a lack of sufficient biblical study and therefore a lack of clear understanding of the scripturally revealed times in which we live, and would go so far to say that many men and women with truly prophetic gifts might be tainting their prophetic words (adding a fly to the ointment, if you will) by adding to what the Lord has spoken to them additional prophecy, from their own hearts (read Jer 23).
Because eschatology (the study of end-times/end-of-age events) is sometimes considered as either:
A. Unable to be understood by the “average” believer and therefore never sufficiently personally studied; OR
B. A fanciful distraction or an extra-curricular option to our daily Christian-life theology,
I am concerned that some and perhaps many prophets skew or embellish what they have truly received from the Lord, couching those accurate words with phrases like: “and there will be great blessings of prosperity and world peace” (prior to our Lord’s return), in fact contradicting and ignoring words like those of our Savior who tells us:
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The greatest days of trouble will precede the days of the return of our Lord, to redeem His people. What is there to NOT understand about these verses? “IMMEDIATELY” is “Eutheos”. It really means immediately. Those verses were not fully filled in 70AD when the temple was destroyed. Nor was Daniel pointing to the AD 70 temple destruction when he said functionally the same exact thing:
1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel clearly was not speaking of AD 70, since the Jewish people were anything but delivered at that time. Nor were many sleeping in the dust risen up to the final judgment. Daniel was speaking to the return of the Lord (which is why Jesus in Matt 24 also told us to go back and read Daniel when the abomination was in the temple in those final days).
What has to occur in these upcoming days is the saints obtaining a sober understanding that our great God has a great plan that includes contradictions and contrasts, divine dichotomies, if you will.
Isa 30:27-32 – The towers will fall, Assyria will come with tambourines (prophetic worship). In apparent contradiction to such violent activity the saints will have an anointing as if they were attending a festival with flutes. Meanwhile the wicked, increasing in numbers and in wickedness, will be invoking His wrath:
27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
Burning with His anger,
And His burden is heavy;
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing stream,
Which reaches up to the neck,
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err.
29 You shall have a song
As in the night when a holy festival is kept,
And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute,
To come into the mountain of the Lord,
To the Mighty One of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard,
And show the descent of His arm,
With the indignation of His anger
And the flame of a devouring fire,
With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.
31 For through the voice of the Lord
Assyria will be beaten down,
As He strikes with the rod.
32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the Lord lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.
Isaiah 60:1-2 – Darkness will cover the earth and simultaneously (and in apparent contradiction) the saints are told to arise and shine because glory will be upon us:
1 Arise, shine; For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
We’re told that if we faint in the day of adversity our strength is small – these verses are eternal and apply to all times including the end times – the times our Lord (and Daniel) told us of the greatest adversity:
10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.
11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
And meanwhile David offers us this eternal truth:
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
See what’s being revealed to us? Contradictions and dichotomies so that light is distinguished from darkness. We’re not to speak, teach, prophecy, ignore, or in any manner try to adjust the fullness of the word and plans of God to fit something we’ve been taught by men, hoping an “easier word” will work more effectively than the word of God.
The saints in fact are warned to not mess with what is written. And we are called to know what is written and to proclaim it, in and out of season.
We need not and better not dial-down the prophesied troubles in some futile (even if well-intended) effort to motivate others to continue expanding the Kingdom and doing good works (that has to happen at all times, btw), nor does the word tell us to hunker down and preach only angry warnings. The whole word is sufficient for its purposes. It is perfect. It is Echad.
God’s promised end-times shaking work (can you feel it beginning? I can) as spoken of in Haggai and reiterated in Hebrews tells us the troubling is purposed and intended by God to draw people to Him.
We are called to understanding and to accuracy, to prayerfulness and carefulness, not to add, detract, nor to imply God’s plan is too tough or too difficult to understand, or impossible to fulfill.
Here’s the famous verse in the famous Psalm:
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
That means the table is set for us, by God – WHILE the battle rages, WHILE the enemy is at war.
Double negative here: We are not advised to not enjoy our God’s feast in the midst of the battle.
Peter tells us our not being terrified by our enemy is to them a sign of perdition. That is bible-speak for the enemies of God being warned they are toast.
David (Ps 23) even put forth that the anointing of the Lord is upon us, right smack IN the battle. That’s the overflowing oil in our cups.
Today’s prophets, like all prophets, do well to pray into deep understanding of the word of God. It will keep them from ruin, from accountability of avoidable error. In some cases it might keep some from death.
God is not fooling around these days. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell the dream (Jer 23 – read the whole chapter – good stuff).
28 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.
29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
For God’s sake (and for our own sake), let’s work to get this right. There is grace for that. The world is relying on saints who will speak the work in truth, in accuracy, and in the fear of the Lord. In fact, that’s one of many reason why I believe the saints, mature ones to guide the new ones and to assist in the great final harvest of unsaved folks getting saved, will be here through the troubles, though of course not through the wrath.
All scriptures NKJV