The Value of Prophecy
While angels desire to look into what in the world is happening, God sends prophets to clearly inform humanity.
God gave prophets to strengthen, mature, equip and develop the Body of Christ, but are we using them? Over a quarter of the entire Bible is prophecy and one-third of the Old Testament falls into that category. One out of every 25 verses in the New Testament is prophetic, so if we pay little attention to prophecy we are discounting one-third of the Bible. The Apostle Paul said, “I did not shun to declare unto you the entire counsel of God.” Acts 20:27. How could we ever get the whole counsel of God if we avoid the prophetic word? Speaking of the prophetic, Jesus states in Rev. 22:16, “I have sent my messenger to testify unto you these things in the churches.” Jesus said that the churches need to hear Bible prophecy!
Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Keep means to understand guard and watch for. How can you understand, hold fast to and watch for something that you haven’t read and studied and see as important?
This will blow your mind. Prophecy is so important that God says He does nothing in the earth without telling his servants the prophets in Amos 3:7. In one place God says, “Behold I do a new thing and even now it is springing forth and why don’t you know it?” Think of this, maybe you don’t know it, perhaps it seems like nobody could know because it’s so new, but God has revealed it to someone, some prophet, to announce it to God’s people.
The concept of a church where the pastor either does or designates all activity is totally foreign to the New Testament. There, the church, which is the body of Christ, is built up by that which every joint of that body supplies. That means all the members are to function, and ultimately the many members are to be equipped to do the work of ministry. To accomplish this the book of Ephesians tells us in chapter 4 verses 11-13: “God gave some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the believers for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a complete mature and perfect new humanity unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” If we exclude prophets from that five-fold ministry we have greatly reduced our opportunity of achieving God’s stated goal in those verses. Why would we limit God and stunt our spiritual growth by excluding His prophets?
There are many false prophets. For example there is a man in Florida who claims to be both the Christ and anti-christ, both God and the devil. Jim Jones, the one who killed all of those people with poisoned kool-aid, at one point told his followers, “From now on I’m all the damned bible you need.” Anyone with just part of a brain should have been smart enough to flee at that point but as God said, “My own people perish for a lack of knowledge.” What they should have known in this case was Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony (the scriptures): if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Light means divine revelation or true enlightenment.) If we profess to be a prophet then we would speak according to God’s written word and not contradict it. Someone like Jones, who came to reject the scriptures and refer to the Bible as “damned” has either lost his own soul or gone mad.
Jesus warned us to beware of these false prophets and He also gave true prophets to the church. Some Christians claim that our message about the rights of animals and their cry to be set free into the same Kingdom of Heaven on earth as we are being offered by God is a “new age deception.” Jesus said that the generation when he comes again would be like the days of Noah. In Noah’s day, while he was saving animals, even every species of creature, the world all around him was being destroyed. As we are doing the same it will be during a time of trouble like the world has never seen since man was on the earth, and what a more necessary time to give sanctuary and protection to all creatures than during the end of the world as we know it.
Martin Luther discovered by enlightenment through the word, “By grace we are saved through faith and even that faith is a gift of God.” At that time, the Roman Catholic Church was selling indulgences and often at great expense to the believers performing masses to shorten the time of their deceased loved ones in purgatory. Luther was proclaiming a new thing (actually he was bringing light to the dark ages). But the Bible says, “The thing that was is the thing that shall be and there is no new thing under the sun.” While Luther’s bringing this light to the church caused his expulsion, that new thing he spoke into existence was something that our beloved Apostle Paul, the one who emphasized animal rights and the restoration of creation, spoke of abundantly, far more than a thousand years prior to Luther. Likewise, when we speak of animal rights and the restoration of all things, those who ignorantly condemn such preaching have obviously never studied the writings of many of the great prophets and particularly one of the greatest of all the apostles: Paul.
1 Corinthians 12:28 informs us, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Apostles are those wise master builders who start new churches based on the biblical paradigm. Prophets are second in importance to the building up of the church right after apostles. Today there are two kinds of prophets we may encounter. One sort is those who give personal prophecy. All I will say here is that those persons must be evaluated by their fruit. If in fact they are speaking into individuals in such a way as to help them along their journey to more deeply knowing God and walking in His ways, I bless them. If not, I avoid them. The other types of prophets are those who speak to the church or to the nations (speaking truth to power) and if I be a prophet it would fall into the latter category. We must speak and persuade according to the scriptures. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you will be my disciples indeed and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” We must be careful to address those who have replaced transformational biblical realities with politicized views contrary to the heavenly vision. Another way of saying this is that we must speak using God’s words, scripture, to communicate our accurate conclusions and world view: one where God answers that prayer of bringing heaven to earth. We all can and all must prophesy one by one: “For the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 19:10c.
I prophesy and testify that we will be relatively ineffective if we go forward with just the choir. We will be successful beyond our wildest dreams if we take the time and make the effort to speak the word of God concerning the critical issues of animal rights and earth restoration with love and authority using the word of God. Here is His guarantee: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11