Prophets proclaim and predict, with both being conditional without apology. The conditional phenomena can be related to God’s grace or to the prophet being more of a spaghetti thrower. Things that God has already been offering are not good subjects of prophesy. A good example is “God will open a door of blessing/correction for you and you family…” and its reception accompanied with a query such as “When?” “How much”, “To what extent”, or “Where?” Typically prophets cannot answer these questions. They are only mouthpieces and often do not know what they are talking about.
Prophetic certainties are numbers, dates, and statistic such as death, or rescue, loss or gain. Any of these pieces of data (number, date, statistic) is likely to come to pass, and when they do, if prophets are our primary source of exhortation, encouragement, correction, or education, we might be tempted to
- look to the prophet with greater confidence
- want to help people the way the prophet does
- seek God’s guidance on what we have experienced
Authority and Accuracy
Most of us expect that someone speaking for God would not be shy about keeping God priorities and his unique identifying codes in view. For example, salvation by God in the Exodus was a function (a) lamb’s blood, (b) a way through the waters of the Red Sea and (c) the aborted journey to Canaan. Let us not pretend that Exodus salvation was successful and constitutes a template for Messianic salvation. We can only do harm by skipping the death of Christ and our dying with him, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the life of service that follows. The prophet who dares to skip the death of Christ is leading you to another god.
The fact that events can be predicted without any direct transmission from God the believer’s safety depends on ascertaining that the prophet loses sight of Christ and/or tries to put the spotlight on someone other than Christ.
Do not be convinced because a prophet or a dreamer of dreams
- arises among you
- and gives you a sign or a wonder, Deuteronomy 13:1
- and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, (13:2a)
- [entices you to]- go after other gods,’ which you have not known,
- [entices you to]- serve other gods Deuteronomy 13:2
“Take control of your ears”, says God.
Do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams for it is a testing (Deuteronomy 13:3
You shall remember
Creation is an involuntary experience. It brings entities into existence. Salvation on the other hand takes living entities out their helpless dilemmas. Therefore the only God we have known is the one that saves us. This is why Moses rewrites the fourth commandment with the experiential context of “you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Deu. 5:15a). Keeping the sabbath day because of creation is a hollow claim because no-one remembers being created and God’s business with the present generation is not about a beginning but a restart from above (even though it is called a “new creation”).
Avoiding a suicidal approach. Paul says, “Do not quench the Spirit”. Stop treating prophecies as meaningless, but test everything and hang on to what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 A pandemic is a ripe time for dreamers and seers. The toll of fact-checking dreams and visions is massive compared with having access to the Bible, with its numerous clues to solid foundations.
Noah could only say “Ya gonna need to get into this thing I am building”