December 30, 2016
Let’s see if we can wrap up this discussion on prophecy today. I’d really like to get back to the Psalm 23 Adventure next week if at all possible.
We left off two weeks ago talking about the trap of false prophecy and those who speak it. Let’s recap at bit and then move on.
Consider the Word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah. “For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.”
Who indeed are these “wicked men”? Simply put, they are none other than those who prophesy falsely in the “name of the Lord.” The trap they set for God’s people is to create a scenario that stirs them to busyness and activities which keep them from really knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoying a truly intimate relationship.
The “snares” they set are rooted in Scripture verses, taken out of context, and used to make God’s people engage in fruitless endeavors in the mistaken belief that they are “preparing for events that lie ahead.” The seduction of this use of Scripture is that it causes people who heed these lying prophecies to believe they are walking in the will of God, that they are serving Him, and that there is a long-term purpose. Many are led to believe that they are fulfilling an important role in the Kingdom of God, that what they do will usher in “The Millennium.”
This use of Scripture “catches” (snares) men and women. Because their relationship with the Lord is based on the knowledge of some Scripture(s) instead of the knowledge of Jesus Christ Himself, they are caught in a trap.
False prophets do not set out to be “wicked men” in most cases, nor do they believe that they are leading men and women astray. Because they, themselves, have been led astray by their “knowledge of Scripture,” they actually believe the error they propagate; and their prophecies are all the more convincing. Because there is an element of truth in what they say – that element often being something that God has spoken in the past – it provides a foundation, and the conviction that what they speak is truth.
The Spirit of Error ALWAYS contains pieces or fragments of truth. That is how folks can be seduced and sent down the primrose path. They recognize the bits of truth, but lack the discernment to separate truth from error.
Continuing on with Jeremiah’s prophecy, he says, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means….”
Do you understand this?
Jeremiah is drawing a picture of what is happening in the Body of Christ today. We have these false prophets who dote on their favorite “end time” doctrine. They create all kinds of imaginative scenarios – based on a mistaken translation of a Scripture – that predict “an” Antichrist. They attempt to target certain emerging or existing world leaders and try to figure out their “number.”
They prophesy a 3 1/2-year period (or a seven-year period – depending on who you listen to -- of world peace, followed by persecution and chaos lasting another 3 1/2 years (or whatever number they pull out of the hat), followed by plagues, catastrophes and destruction that kill off a major portion of the world’s population.
Then you have pastors and church leaders of every ilk who are consumed by one of these scenarios and begin to teach the people they lead. The focus of attention among some Christians then becomes “the coming tribulation” and how to escape it. Others get lulled to sleep in the fantasy that when this “tribulation” begins to sweep the globe, they will be suddenly snatched up to be with Jesus Christ in Heaven while all of this takes place.
NONE of them teach an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. NONE of them focus of the heart of the Lord. NONE of them seek to bring those they lead into a place of personal victory, overcoming, and ruling in this present hour.
There is no thought given to what Jesus gets out of the whole deal. Everything is wrapped up in what they get, how their flesh will be protected, and how they will survive the cataclysmic events.
The spirit that is in control of this teaching is The Fear of Death. It wants people to be overly concerned about their personal well-being. It lies to God’s people by making Psalm 91 nonexistent.
Whatever happened to “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”?
Whatever happened to “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”?
But Jeremiah doesn’t stop there. He continues, “…and my people love to have it so.”
The Fear of Death creates a false sense of purpose in people. It deceives them with the conviction that they are in control of things. They are deceived by the lie that they know what is going to unfold.
The Fear of Death creates a false boldness that causes people to run straight into the death they fear, believing they can beat the odds. That knowledge gives them a sense of power, of self-destiny, of being able to deal with the things that are going to unfold. Human nature wants to be in control. It loves and fosters the idea that we can control the outcome. Fear demands that there be no unknown element to life that we cannot deal with.
The spiritual aspect of it is even worse! Many Christians have a mis-directed perception of “rapture” as an event that will snatch them out of harm’s way when the “Great Tribulation” comes. It gives them a false sense of security.
Thus, “my people love to have it so.”
And why not? Hey, if you can live your life being in control of the circumstances, if you think you have nothing to be afraid of (even though you are being driven by a spirit of fear), well you are one of God’s very blessed children! Why wouldn’t you love this false teaching? Believing it puts you in control. It is comfortable! It is satisfying!
But Jeremiah isn’t done. ”And what will ye do in the end thereof?” Understand?
God is clearly saying “Now what are you going to do when I direct the affairs of this age in a different way? What will you do when a day of judgment and truth arrives?” What will you do when disaster unfolds before you and you have believed you were going to be snatched out of it?
The purpose of prophecy is to fulfill the heart’s desire of the Lord Jesus Christ, to complete Him with a people who’ve been purified by fire, a people who are his counterpart, His other self – a people with whom He can fellowship with on His level. It is not to titillate the minds of people with exciting or foreboding “what if’s.” Prophecy is not intended to bring fear; its purpose is to bring change – the kind of change that increases your personal relationship with Christ Jesus.
Prophecy – that Spirit of Prophecy coming straight out of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ – has a central purpose for this era; and that purpose is to develop a Bride who is the co-equal counterpart of the Lord – one who thrives and excels in the midst of pressure, tribulation, one who is a true “overcomer.” Let’s not forget the message to each of the seven Ekklesias in Revelation, Chapters 2 & 3.
So, why am I sharing this now? Because the events that are going to unfold during 2017 are going to really mess with a lot of prophecies that have been written or spoken during the past months. Consider, for example, the prophecies and predictions that were at the heart of this past presidential race and its outcome.
Except for a very few real prophets who KNEW the heart of Father well before the votes were cast, there were a multitude of “gloom and doomers” predicting everything under the sun if Donald Trump were elected. What they failed to hear was the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ for America. What they failed to understand was that literally millions of Christians were praying, interceding and standing in the gap for this nation.
Della and I participated in the Lancaster Conference in August of this year, and we were there when Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj shared his experience of being in the prophetic counsels in Heaven and seeing Donald Trump show up when the question was asked, “Who has been appointed to be the next president of the United States.” The question was quickly answered as Moses pointed to Trump and said, “This is who has been appointed.”
It was clear that God had appointed someone to clean up the sewer that Washington, D.C. has become. As we shared together the following morning over the breakfast table with Neville Johnson and Bruce Allen (both of whom were major speakers in the conference), common theme was that we were in store for a major housecleaning in our government, its structure, its policies and its direction.
Della and I shook our heads when we saw the dismay in the faces of so many folks at that conference. Trump’s appointment was the last thing those folks wanted. There was an audible reaction from many folks – all of whom were Christians – who vehemently disagreed with God’s choice.
Will there be some chaos as that cleaning begins? You bet. I’ve heard two things in my spirit about the coming year.
1. 2017 will be the worst year that many folks have ever experienced. When I say this, I’m talking about people who are not in union with the Lord Jesus Christ. I see many natural disasters unfolding – disasters that will affect millions of people – and yet, for the overwhelming majority of Christians who might otherwise see their own lives turned upside down, they will find themselves enveloped in a cloak of protection while things go awry about them.
The changes coming within our governmental system are going to shake up a whole lot of folks who’ve made government their source of supply, their “god,” if you please. If people don’t have their trust and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, if He isn’t their “source,” if He isn’t their protection, it will be utterly traumatic.
2. 2017 will be the best and most prosperous year for an overwhelming majority of believers who walk in a place of union, intimacy and love with the Lord Jesus Christ. What God has in store for His people is something that He has covenanted in His Word – and that is their becoming “the head and not the tail.”
That has a lot of connotations, including becoming “the lenders and not the borrowers.” It represents the promise and covenant of God to place those of His people who walk according to His Word and His very heartbeat in places of governmental leadership, corporate leadership, community leadership. It represents their being the picture of the Glory of the Lord being revealed in the Earth.
I didn’t make any of this up. All you have to do is to read Isaiah 60 to get a real picture of what is unfolding in front of us. This is a time for God’s people to “Arise, Shine, for the Glory of the Lord is risen upon thee!”
There’s a whole lot more I could add to this, but I don’t want to present it as prophecy simply because I have first-hand knowledge of major-breaking events that are taking place behind the scenes that will change the landscape.
Understanding and knowing the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ are integral to understanding prophecy, its purpose, and its goal. By the grace of God, I hope that this series will help give you a better understanding of the heart of the Lord and a new perspective of prophecy in the days to come.
Della and I have been talking about this prophecy thing. It’s been a part of our lives since we were kids – both of us. The Lord began to reveal Himself to us when we were both in our very early youth and to set the stage for the ministry He has called us to.
We don’t run around calling ourselves prophets just because we don’t feel like it is the thing to do. If that calling and anointing is evident in us, we let the testimony of the Lord speak for itself on our behalf. We don’t have to justify ourselves and we don’t have to prove anything.
If we are real, the signs that follow become the proof. They are the living testimony seen and read of all. If we are fakes, the signs following us (or lack thereof) will also demonstrate that.
That’s going to do it for now for this series. There’s so much more I could share, but I really want to get back to the prophetic picture of the 23rd Psalm and the adventure that God has for everyone who will follow in the Paths of Righteousness.
See you next week.
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