Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Musings on prophecy for today (pray more and fast some and you may change your opinion on this)

Just a note inspired by the second to last post:

I know that some Christians are adamantly against the idea of prophecy in today's church, and since there is a lot of false prophecy, especially in the charismatic movement, that's a prudent view to take these days.

But think about the fact that David Wilkerson's church had been expecting some sort of disaster and the leaders called them to prayer over it for weeks before 9/11 occurred (see the video in the previous post). That's true prophecy isn't it? And you can't deny it. They were seeking God about something the leaders of the church felt was coming, for quite a while before 9/11 hit. David Wilkerson years ago wrote about a prophetic word he'd received about the destruction of New York city mostly through social breakdown, and that has not yet occurred. If it was really from God then it will eventually occur.

Believers who are deeply and consistently in prayer, in touch with God, reading the Bible, spending much time at it, DO experience God's speakings. At the very least we hear from Him on a personal level. God has spoken to me personally about my own spiritual life many times, often in correction or rebuke, alas, but very direct and personal (no, not audibly, but by a vivid impression on my spirit). I know I've had at least two dreams in my life that came from God, also about my personal situation. When it comes to external things, such as this blog is about, God does sometimes lead me and I know He is leading me, and the more I pray and seek Him the more I am likely to receive such leadings but this doesn't come in the form of visions or dreams or prophetic words, just the promptings of the Spirit. ALL Christians experience something of this leading of God, which often comes through the Bible, a particular passage just "jumping out" as you read, that has such a specific connection to something you've been experiencing or thinking about you know it was from Him.

We also sometimes have experiences of being hindered in some way, kept from doing something we fully intended to do, or on the other hand made to feel some urgency to get someplace we are going, then to find out that the hindering or urgency put us in a position we needed to be in, often to be of help to another Christian. I know many of us have had this sort of experience, and what is that but God intervening PERSONALLY in our lives? This isn't exactly prophecy but along with His leading us through His word it doesn't seem all that different from His actually making us aware of a direct message from Him. And all that COULD be said to be prophecy in a sense because it comes from God Himself. But certainly receiving a direct message must be called prophecy. It's not just "forthtelling the word" as some claim is the only form of prophecy we have today, it's a specific message for our time NOW, if only for oneself concerning something in your own very limited circle. OF COURSE IT MUST NOT CONTRADICT THE BIBLE. And again, those who spend much time seeking the Lord are the ones who are most likely to have such experiences-- and conversely, perhaps it's those who don't spend a lot of time in prayer and Bible reading who are the critics of such experiences.

The REAL problem with claims of hearing from God is when they contradict His word or are provably false. And that happens an awful lot in charismatic churches, particularly when a "prophet" comes and gives a "word" over a brother or sister in the church that doesn't pan out. The devil CAN give messages into people's minds too, and discerning the difference isn't always easy.

I'm saying all this because I know some object to Jonathan Cahn's message as a personal prophecy and I hate to see this obviously true message being dismissed out of hand on such a basis without giving it a fair hearing. It's really not a prophecy at all, it's his observations of connections between a Bible verse and real public events that anyone can check out for himself. But the Jewish Messianic movement of which he is a part does support prophecy for today and at the end of the talk he gave in 2005 which I've linked many times, including in the previous post, he describes some other experiences only tangentially related to the 9/11 message that are prophetic in nature, that I too have some doubts about.

But the "harbinger" message remains intact no matter what you think about such spiritual gifts for today or this branch of the church or Jonathan Cahn himself. I think of him as a dedicated Christian brother myself.

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