Prophecy has always been a part of the will of God. Even before Jesus formed the church there have been prophets sent by God. Prophets were those who gave messages from God especially about the future concerning blessings and judgements.
The Lord doesn’t want to hide prophecy. He wants people to know what he has planned out so that they can be secure in him.
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.(Amos 3:7)
Jesus said, “So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time”. (Mark 13:23)
So pay attention to true prophecy because it will give you hope.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain,and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
(2 Peter 1:19)
Biblical prophecies were always due to inspiration by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures themselves attest to this.
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
So a true prophet is to be heard and prophecy is to be acknowledged positively. Its very important to always check if the prophecy is consistent with the Bible. Otherwise it could lead to deception.
Now only a false prophet would say there’s no Judgement day at all and you realize that the Bible clearly speaks of Judgement day. So would you do then? I’d reject the false prophecy of no Judgement day and then denounce the false prophet if he persists in that perversion of truth. I will also reject any prophecy that says that pay so and so amount of money to guarantee your salvation. Because the Bible says “believe in Lord Jesus and you will be saved” but it doesn’t say pay money for salvation.
However, sometimes instead of discerning prophecy by the scriptures people use a wordly approach. They simply ignore prophecy or act like sceptics. Scepticism is not a substitute for discernment. Also labelling every prophecy as false without even checking may cause you to miss being part of a great move of God.
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)
People have got into trouble because they have either rejected or ignored prophecy. Due to legalism in certain churches, only prophecy that comes from the top leaders is considered valid while other people who gave prophecy are told to keep such things to themselves and repent of their ‘sins of pride’. By such standards of legalism, great prophets such as Daniel, Isaiah etc wouldn’t be heard if they were on earth today just because they are not ordained religious leaders. Yes that’s the logic of legalism though it always claims to ‘defend’ the faith. So even legalism is a bad way to interpret prophecy.
Sometimes there’s outright rejection of prophecy and sure enough disaster and death follows. The ancient Israelites most of the time rejected the call to quietness and trust in the Lord and instead they kept worshiping false gods. Though they sometimes did heed the prophets and repent of idolatry, they later back tracked on prophecy and they rejected it.
What followed next was the defeat of Israel by various kingdoms. Israel cried out for relief and God forgave them and did restore them. However, their heart was not fully with God. So, God again sent his prophets to them. Yet they didn’t listen to prophets who spoke of God’s sovereignity, love and mercy. They kept sacrificing not just animals but even fellow humans and kids to false deities!
Due to this, severe judgement arose from God with the result that an evil and sadistic empire known as Babylon attacked Israel like a ravenous wolf tears up its prey on a dark winter day. Empires such as it spread terror where they went and even more in Israel. Most Jews then were either killed or exiled over to far off lands, with only the poorest of the poor left to tend the land of Israel. The glory of Israel was dimmed out due to their repeated rejection of prophecy. Even to this day Israel never experiences true peace and security. Please don’t think that God has forgotten about them. There’s Biblical prophecy about them and Jesus reconciling in the future. Amen.
Now not every rejection of prophecy brings instant death. Sometimes you just miss a brilliant opportunity to improve yourself or others in the mental, physical and spiritual without much effort. You miss a time of God’s favor and then replicating the benefits yourself would otherwise take years of self discipline to achieve or even be unachievable by human standards.
If Peter wouldn’t have given heed to visions related to Cornelius the Roman and Gentile then the church today would never open its doors to people who are Gentiles. (A person who is not a Jew is called a Gentile by the Jewish people). God never intended salvation through Jesus be only limited for the Jews but rather also to everyone else who believes in the Gospel. Peter’s reaction to this prophecy changed the future for many Gentiles yet to be born. Thus we see that a positive response to genuine prophecy affects both the present and the future dramatically.
Prophecy can sometimes be very time specific, so avoid an indefinite delay tactic in discerning. Write down or make a recording of the prophecy you got. Make note of the time, place etc. Then simply pray in the Holy Spirit and remember the words of the Bible. Ask the Lord for wisdom on this. Have hope in Christ!
I remember an incident when a man in a room where people were gathered for prayers got a shocking revelation. It was that a young woman among them secretly had hidden poison in her bag and would commit suicide later. The prayers were slowed down and after some discerning he made known the prophecy to all over there. That woman started panicking and others in the room found out that she indeed had poison in her bag. After being found out, nobody started a blame game on her. Instead they prayed for her and with her. This woman with much tears repented of her desire to kill herself and is still alive today. Just imagine for a moment that the person who recieved the prophecy decided not to bother about. That woman wouldn’t be alive today.
Here are a few scriptures to reflect on which pertain to prophetic blessings, warnings, affirmation of prophecy and discernment as well :-
1) I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come,scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” (2 Peter 3:2-4)
2) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. (Revelation 1:3)
3) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
4) And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
5) You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (Matthew 24:6)