knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20,21)
When considering the recent Presidential elections in the USA, with Biden successful over Trump despite a wide chorus of well-known prophetic voices ‘prophesying’ a certain Trump victory, even as the recounts and legal challenges failed, it is a cause for great reflection. Indeed, some of these same voices suggested COVID-19 was only going to be a three- or four-month interruption! Much reflection and repenting are needed at the moment. However, we also need to be careful when pointing fingers not ignoring the plank in our eyes, while those making mistakes need to make amends. We only see in part, so crucifying erring prophetic voices is not appropriate, but accountability should occur. We can all make mistakes, and only the One (Christ) is perfect, so we need to be balanced in how we view recent events. Ultimately, we all need to first revisit our hearts before casting stones. But we need not be afraid, for God will have His way, and He is purifying the prophetic voice.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23,24)
It is good to see some such as Jeremiah Johnson, Sean Feucht, and R. Loren Sandford publicly seek forgiveness and repent regarding their prophecies about Trump, but many others have not, with the inference from some that this is our problem not theirs, while others suggest we need not touch the ‘anointed’. Some are shifting their goals of their prophetic words, but still sticking to their Trump victory message…perhaps out of heart felt conviction, but others out of pride, supporter numbers, and poor understanding of prophecy. The continuing group think, and unrepentant attitudes, of a considerable number in the Pentecostal and prophetic leadership, who simply got it wrong, is a problem that should not be ignored. We all make mistakes, and God is quick to forgive when we seek His forgiveness, and by repenting and walking in a new way, we continue our journey of sanctification.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
The Bible encourages us to test prophecy, 1 John 4:1 comes to mind. Much soul searching is needed by many of those in leadership positions across the Charismatic/Pentecostal church to understand how so many got it so wrong, and others just followed them. Time to review the culture that led to this outcome. The spirits of the world, particularly the political spirit and idolatry, have become too influential in parts of the leadership and prophetic networks of the Pentecostal churches. There are many who prophesy, but fewer are prophets or operate in the prophetic gift. While all are encouraged to prophesy, and rightly so, it is important not to join the pop culture to fit in, or to gain public acclaim, by singing from the same song book of the who’s who. Rather we need to be humble, teachable, seek the Lord for ourselves, inspired by the Holy Spirit, test words as per the Bible, and be faithful messengers of the Lord, by dying to self, and living only for Christ. The good news, God can even cause the rocks to cry out and tell His truth if we fail Him. His word will prevail, and nothing we can do will stop that.
And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. (Jeremiah 14:14)
However, here in Australia at least (and beyond) traditional and evangelical churches are not spared the challenge. With just as many of its leaders operating out of religion, tradition, and compromise, all of which nullifies the word of God. The preaching from the pulpit today often reflecting this problem. Rather than false prophecy, they preach false doctrine. One could argue that their declaration of the written Word of God should be a form of prophecy, but due to false prophetic spirits, and compromise, their interpretation of scripture results in a message that is no less problematic. False prophecy can come from incorrect interpretation and preaching of Scripture, and through prophesying incorrectly the inspired word of God as some understand it.
Prophets and leaders are accountable before God, and their brethren, and cannot be untouchable. That is what has created problems in the past, and has been the reason false doctrine, and abuse have continued for too long. The Bride of Christ is to become spotless, and all will be touched by this work of God as He prepares her for Christ’s return. He will call us all to account before His seat of mercy for how we lived out His call, and the comfort our Lord Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth, will be standing with us in intercession, and as the Judge.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Let all listen
However, those not in leadership also need to reflect. That is all of us. Are we listening to God first, seeking Him for ourselves, searching the word, do we have a teachable heart, testing the spirits as commanded, extending mercy and grace as required, and moving beyond Old Testament priest hood models to being royal priests (including hearing from God rather than leaving that to the priest)? Why do so many simply follow along, almost blindly, believing the words spoken by the famous, and those with some social platforms, rather than going to God themselves, and testing these words. Many thousands have been deceived, or perhaps had their expectations so cemented about Trump, that they now cannot accept any result other than a Trump win, which is adding to the tinderbox environment now in the USA. And yet, if those same thousands had stopped to listen from God first, maybe they would not be in such a hurt state now. God’s desire for all who believe in His Son, is that they be His sons and daughters, co-heirs with Jesus. This is our high calling, and one He will bring to pass by His grace. Our work by the Spirit, to believe on Jesus Christ, walk the walk of faith, and live the life of grace and truth.
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
What purpose the Trumpet?
For what it is worth (please take this to the Lord) my understanding is that God did place Trump, despite (or maybe because of) his character traits, in the presidential seat of the USA as a sledgehammer, or wrecking ball, to many of the forces seeking to shift that nation from being ‘One nation under God’ which declares “In God we trust”, and to come against the edifices of world order and global systems who end is man’s rule not God’s. Perhaps, even slowing up the advances of dark forces and waking up His church. However, God was seeking new beginnings this year, and those who speak with the Father’s voice. Among other things, He was concerned about the idolatry that was forming around Trump, something the man and others seemed to encourage, and the deception in the church. There is also a sense the Lord was troubled by the President’s version of ‘America First’ that ultimately created a void in the world which is being filled by others and positioned the USA further away from its call to be a Defender of Righteousness in the nations. In the Bible, King Nebuchadnezzar would teach us that humbling at the hand of God can come to global leaders, and if they respond correctly, so to restoration. Could this occur now, only God knows the hearts of those in leadership? Our Lord Jesus Christ grieves at the pain in the USA but does not despair. He continues to move in the nation to fulfil its calling.
I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ” (Zechariah 13:9)
Purifying His Bride
Regardless, the purifying of His Bride continues. The baptism of fire will fall on all of us. And recent events should cause us to pause, and humbling ourselves before Jesus Christ, seek His help to reveal our own inadequacies, including blind spots, looking first at the log in our eye, rather than the speck in others. The worst outcome for this would be a further shutting down of the true prophetic voice. This is a gift from God and meant to speak truth in to an otherwise darkened or lost world. Ironically here in Australia the prophetic is not heard as much as it is perhaps elsewhere. This is partly because it is not honoured in the way it is in the US, and other countries; has been asked to comply or leave; or has been replaced by leaders who either do not understand the gift or prefer not to share the church platform. Such public prophetic errors as have occurred regarding Trump could mistakenly be used to further limit the voice of God through prophecy. Let us not continue to hinder the Truth of God, and the move of the Holy Spirit, in the church.
The fires of God will continue to move, exposing and cleansing us all, bringing greater integrity to the prophetic voice, and restore Christ as the head of the church (not man or woman). These issues are not one for the leaders or the parishioners, but for all of us. Let our prayer be that of the psalmist…
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
Let there be hope
And yet, despite all the challenges that seem to lie within the church, we should not be disheartened. Our Heavenly Father will not forsake His children, and His love is revealed in the grace and mercy we receive from Him, and the correction He sends to us all. We have entered a season of great testing of the church, where the hearts of the believer are tested and refined, as He washes away the dross hindering our walk with Him. The good work of Christ through this COVID-19 season is the great reset of the church, and our relationships with Him, especially as we allow this in our lives. He is pulling away the edifices of man that are hindering the move of the Holy Spirit and His truth within the church (ecclesia), exposing the foundations and structures that need to be dealt with. Those close to Him will see what is revealed and walk in a new way. Out of this His ecclesia is in many ways reborn in us all. There are those who have been on this journey for a while, forerunners for the remnant church of God. Growing closer to God through the trials, and deeper in their faith, their eyes have been blessed to see the hope of His return, and the state of the church. The light they carry is Christ in them, and as they continue to die to self, His brightness exposes what is hidden in the shadows around them, causing darkness to flee, and bringing home His followers as they are drawn to the life of Christ.
that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)