Who would but prophecy? A call to the true prophetic voice
Amongst other things the Holy Spirit tells us that…A great revival will come (and His light shine brightly), but so too great darkness. God’s church is being prepared for Christ’s return, and will be most beautiful, and yet many structures in man’s church will be destroyed and false leaders cast aside, as He prepares the Bride for the Bridegroom. He desires all to be saved, and by His Spirit draws us to His Son, and yet knows the ones who do not (and will not) know Him. Nations will be judged for their sins, and the iron sceptre of the Son of God will be felt by those who choose to not kiss Him. New alliances and kingdoms are being formed, some great ones for God, and others that prefer darkness, and old falls away. There will be wars and rumours of wars, and great natural disasters, and yet proclamations of “peace” will also prevail. A one billion souls harvest is to come, and yet much more is to occur as tens of millions are born in to darkness every year. God will bring justice and mercy, and implores us to be His agents for this…but is not limited by us. All creation cries out for Him, and bows its knee to His will. It is good to prophesy that which builds up His kingdom, and also destroys the work of the enemy and man.
And yet, often the “prophetic” words we hear today seem to only speak of ‘good’ things, and mostly about us, and without a revelation of the fuller character of God’s way (and little balance in the understanding of God’s kingdom, Christian life, and the Bible). It is no wonder that in these latter days we were warned in the Bible by Jesus, Peter and Paul about the rise of those who would deceive with false prophecy, perhaps due to evil intent, personal gain, or more simply incomplete teaching. And yet, in the Bible this problem is shown to be not new, and the extract from Jeremiah below reveals just one example of this challenge.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace”’; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’”
For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbour, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
“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. “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:16-32)
When considering these verses from the Prophet Jeremiah, speaking on false prophecy, we are reminded clearly of God’s view on those who claim to prophesy in His name, where in fact it is most clear that He knows this is not the case. What you may also realise is that what seems to sadden the Lord so much is the deceit these “prophets” bring by leading His people astray, and denying the very impact true prophecy can have, e.g. “then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings”, and “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”.
The key here is to not dismiss prophecy, on the contrary it is to seek true prophetic insight by gathering to His heavenly counsel (in His throne room) by seeking and being in His presence, knowing Him and His character, and hearing what He says from His heart..not ours. We are in fact exhorted to prophecy; it is one of the principle tools God has given us for the partnering with Him on the extension of His kingdom.
While this may seem to be obvious to many, there appears to be a growing desire to “prophesy”, and yet when considering their messages there seem to be some consistent themes with above verses from Jeremiah, such as ‘They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace”’; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’ Many perhaps innocently walking in to this as they have been honoured and blessed as they share “words” that speak only of blessings, and because they have been told that no one should judge, God only does good things, and we should not speak negatively, only positively…and perhaps worst of all…’all sin has been paid for so how dare you speak out against sin (even if they do not know Jesus)’.
While at one glance these reasons for such “nice words” might seem appropriate, in the light of God’s counsel, and the fullness of Scripture, they at least lack balance, and in some cases are used for personal gain or notoriety. Meanwhile the true word is not spoken, its power not released, and many continue to walk in darkness. Sadly, even well meaning words meant to build up, but spoken from our own heart not God’s, lack enduring power. For the Word of the Lord will be framed and underpin with the fundamentals of His kingdom…Mercy, Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Love, Judgement, and Forgiveness.
The shallowness, or in-balance, in not expressing the words and actions according to His Father’s character, is something Jesus Christ railed against….
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23)
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Luke 11:42)
You see, our Lord Jesus Christ understood so well that our Father in heaven, God, He, has the very foundations of His throne made of righteousness and justice, and established in mercy. He knows that He is love, is alone good, is the God of truth and justice, abounds in grace, and implores us to walk in His ways.
Consider these verses as just examples of the beautiful balance of grace and truth, justice and mercy.
In mercy the throne will be established; And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. (Isaiah 16:5)
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. (Psalm 89:14)
“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.” (Hosea 2:19,20)
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’ “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 7:9-12)
Perhaps even more understandable is the passion of Christ for this revelation when we consider the simple fact that this is why He came…to manifest grace and truth, and with the understanding that mercy does triumph over judgement.
It is perhaps because of this we see some of the first words spoken, and (by definition) prophesied by Jesus Christ, being..
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
God is good, and He alone is good. We should be very careful in trying to limit what the Lord may wish to prophecy through our narrow lens and definition of what is good. Consider the very life of the (martyred) Apostles, Joseph, Stephen, King David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and so many more in the Bible, and you perhaps have a broader understanding of is meant by the saying God is good all the time. For His ways are not our ways, and His understanding is not bound by this present age, physical realms, and temporal states of being. Our Lord looks with eternal eyes, and kingdom perspective, and with this in mind He does His good work.
You cannot have justice without a judgement being made….so know God does indeed judge in this present hour in order for justice to be made today. Surely we cannot be so cruel as to think that God in His love will allow all the widows, orphans, sons and daughters to be continually inflicted with injustice until His second coming? In doing so we are denying the very heart of God. God has even given kings the role of upholding righteous judgement that has to be informed by God’s word not man’s..surely.
We are in the latter days, and the Bible makes it clear that Christ came to judge the living and the dead…and even revealed this truth when we consider He prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem as a judgment of their lack of acceptance of Him and His prophets…and this was fulfilled after He died on the cross. We also saw the outcomes of the word decreed by the people of Herod in the books of Acts.
God does wish us to love with a radical love, forgiving many, and preaching the gospel that many may receive the saving grace of our Lord…and also the pardoning of our sins. However to put aside justice, or perhaps to simply not prophecy what the Lord speaks because it does not feel good, or seem to be nice and up-lifting, is a mistake. All prophecy should come out of knowing the Lord, and His heart of love, but also the fullness of His character. To not do sort is in effect speaking words that build up people, countries, creation and more, based on weak mortar that cannot stand (and will fall in times of storm), and does not prepare the Bride for Christ’s return..
When the prophets are silenced, or do not proclaim the full counsel of God, nations fall and do not prosper, the very systems of government and justice fail as the prophetic voices of mercy, righteousness, justice, truth, and love become or are made silent. Wickedness will prevail unless love and truth rises up, and we move according to the leading of the Spirit of God. The silencing of the lambs must end. The Shepherds voice must be heard through His children, and the nations and tribes will prospers as they give heed to all that He says. Leaders in the church should release the full beauty of His prophetic word, not seek to silence it through phrases such as “you cannot say anything negative (especially against leaders in the church)”, “God is good all the time so only prophesy good things”, “Do not judge or say anything that appears judging”, etc…rather equip them with the full understanding of God’s character and counsel, and trust in the goodness and love of God, not fearing His correction or your salvation, and having confidence in your adoption by God as sons and daughters in His family.
Prophecy out of devotion to Christ, humility, a passion for His presence and knowing Him, from His heavenly counsel, and let it being in the fullness of who God is…grace and truth, mercy and justice, love and judgement. We are indeed exhorted to prophecy to build up and edify, and this should occur in the full knowledge that it is God who is building His kingdom, and He knows the true mortar and structures that make us and His creation, and creating the eternal structures we are meant to be, and will shake apart anything not built on Him and His truth. His word is given for all, and is the very substance of creation, and as it is declared His will and plan are made manifest, and the light of Him and His way revealed. Nations and peoples will perish if God’s prophetic voices are silenced by the deceit of the enemy, man, or the politically correct ‘church’…for they shall not receive the Lord’s revelations, nor have a chance to heed His warnings and to know the path to chart in these days ahead.
 John 5:39; Acts 17:11; Colossians 3:12-17
 1 Thessalonians 5:19,20
 1 Corinthians 14:1
 Deuteronomy 32:4
 Micah 6:8; Hosea 12:6; Amos 5:15
 John 1:17
 James 2:13
 Matthew 4:17
 Romans 13:4
 John 5:22,30; 7:24; 12:31, 47, 48; 16:11; 1 Peter 1:17; 2:23; 4:5
 1 Peter 4:4-6
 Matthew 23:34-24:2
 Acts 12:1-4, 20-24
 Ezekiel 13:10-12
 Proverbs 14:34; 28:2,5; 29:18
 Proverbs 28:3
 Genesis 1:1,6; Psalm 148:8; Isaiah 55:11; 1Thessalonians 5:20; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:19-21