Many trying and difficult events have happened recently. The pace of the world is speeding up quickly (see Daniel 12:4). The spiritual and moral implications are complicated.
This has caused a certain degree of confusion for believers around the world; and resulted in an array of “prophetic words” that seem to be mistaken. We need to “clean up our act.” The elections in the United States, the Corona virus, and economic upheavals all sound like the “beginning of tribulations” as Yeshua said in Matthew 24:7-8.
The first step is always to repent. Daniel repented of his own sins and repented on behalf of the people of Israel in his prayer found in Daniel 9. The result was an astounding revelation of true prophecy that described the coming of the Messiah, His crucifixion, the exile and restoration of Jerusalem, all the way to the end times and finally a time of perfect peace (Daniel 9:24-27)!
Let’s repent together of many current so-called prophetic words having been incorrect.
Any prophetic message should always be secondary to the basic teaching of the gospel. Salvation is the top priority. Revelation 19:10 says that the witness of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy. Declaring forgiveness of sins and eternal life through Yeshua’s death and resurrection is the most important kind of prophecy.
Let’s keep sharing the gospel, and not be side-tracked by secondary mystical revelations.
New Covenant Prophecy
There is no doubt that prophecy is part of the experience of the New Covenant ekklesia. We are promised that all of us can prophesy (Acts 2:17, 18, I Corinthians 14:31). In fact, we should desire to do so (I Corinthians 14:1). It is one of the functions of the Holy Spirit in our lives (I Corinthians 12:10).
The New Covenant scriptures could be divided in half, starting at Acts 13, not only in number of pages, but in basic theme and content. Here we see the beginning of the spread of the gospel mission outside of Israel, with an apostolic base at Antioch. Acts 13:1-4 tells us that there were “prophets and teachers” in the congregation there.
These were not the same as the Israelite Prophets who wrote the Bible. They were normative believers, serving in the congregation. From Antioch they were “sent” out on the first “apostolic” mission to the nations.
Apostolic Team Cooperation
As they began to plant congregations, this group of prophets and teachers matured into a fuller apostolic team (Acts 14:14). They were the beginning of a new generation of apostles. They were not the same as the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:14), but a group of people involved in extending the kingdom in their territory and their generation.
Prophetic ministry should be done in teamwork with accountability. Ephesians 4:11 describes five types of servant leaders (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers). These different types of functions balance one another. The teacher checks scriptural accuracy; the pastor checks the health of the flock; the evangelist checks that the gospel is emphasized first; the apostle provides team leadership, authority and kingdom strategy.
Prophets who are “doing it alone because God told me” can fall into danger. Prophets working in teams with checks and balances are less likely to go off into error.
Humility and Love
Along with the great spiritual power and authority in prophecy, we must always maintain a humble heart. 1 Corinthians 13:2 tells us that even the best prophecy without love is not worth anything. 1 Corinthians 13:9 tells us that even the best prophets only have partial knowledge.
A good dose of humility and love will help prevent false prophecies. Humility and love do not lessen the power or authority; they increase it.
Politics and Kingdom
We are told to pray for those in government (1 Timothy 2:1-4) and submit to them (1 Peter 2:13), seeing them as fulfilling a God-given function in society (Romans 13:1-7). Much of the prophetic content in Scripture deals with messages to government leaders.
However, we must remember that we have our own King, who is above the government leaders. Politics and government are important, but they are secondary and subservient to the kingdom of Messiah. Yeshua is our leader. He is over the governments of this world (Ephesians 1:20-22).
Our prayer and mission is first of all for God’s kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). The political situation is a symptom; the source of the solution is spiritual. Yeshua said His kingdom is not from this world but from above (John 18:33-36). But the moral and spiritual presence of the kingdom in the world affects it for good. This is what we call being salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14).
Please stay tuned for Part 2.