When the reality of life appears to contradict what God has said and promised; how do we respond? Do we hold God’s word, reject His word, seek clarification, or blame the prophets for being ‘wrong’?
2020 has tested all of society — including the Church. It has been a ‘perfect storm’ to test and purify our hearts in ways we have not experienced before.
“In the same way that gold and silver are refined by fire,
the Lord purifies your heart by the tests and trials of life.”
~ Proverbs 17:3 TPT
Everything is being shaken — Church structures, political structures, financial structures, and social structures. Priorities have been tested. Relationships have been tested. Vision has been tested. Hearts have been tested, and many unresolved issues have been triggered. Words from the prophets and many promises from the Lord are being ‘tested’. Some words have appeared to ‘die’, waiting for resurrection life.
God speaks in many different ways.
February 2020 was the first Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast to be held in Canberra, Australia. As we all waited to go inside the Old Parliament House, a rainbow, then a double rainbow formed above us. It stretched between the old and new Parliament Houses. Everyone was in awe.
God spoke loudly, reminding us of His covenant promise to Abraham; His blessing upon Israel, and blessing on nations who stand with Israel. (Genesis 12)
God speaks in many different ways. Sometimes it is through the written word, or a prophet, a booming thunderous voice, a still small voice, a sunrise a sunset, a rainbow, a cloud. Regardless of the way He speaks to us; when His Word penetrates our ears and resonates in our spirit, those words are vital keepsakes — for life, hope and faith.
So when we believe we have heard Him speak, but realities of life pressure us with contradiction; what do we do?
Do we still believe and hold onto His word? Do we seek Him to understand His ways and bigger picture? Do we waiver in the face of confusion? Do we agree with the adversary who also asked Adam and Eve; ‘did God really say?’ Do we get disappointed and angry with God? Or do we shoot the messenger? ‘Stone the prophets.’
When twelve spies went to check out the Promised Land, they all saw giants. Two came back with the word of the Lord still resonating in their hearts. Ten returned with a bad report, based on what their natural eyes had seen. Israel agreed with the judgment of the majority! Caleb and Joshua were not false prophets. Fear quashed faith and rejected the word of the Lord. And so the promise skipped a generation! Eventually, the Word came to pass. But many were destroyed for agreeing with fear.
What reports are we listening to in this challenging season? The media? Scripture? What Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart? Do we judge by what we see with our eyes? Or do we seek His understanding?
We all like to think we hold fast to trust God’s word implicitly. If we are honest, when reality confronts God’s Word, we do wrestle through the confusion. ‘Did I hear wrong?’ ‘Did God say?’ ‘Did I pray enough?’ ‘Did I miss something?’ ‘Is God really reliable?’ ‘God might answer others but He won’t answer me.’ ‘Did the prophets get it wrong?’ ‘Lord, what are You doing?’
Where we finally settle will depend on our walk with the Lord and our maturity in God. Right now, it is apparent the Church needs to observe Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 to ‘put away childish things’. Perception and reasoning of a child is very different to an adult. And even in maturity, our understanding in this life is incomplete –“we see in a mirror, dimly…”
2020 — a year of notoriety!
The Church in the West is increasingly being challenged. War is raging in the heavenlies. Even non-believers have spoken about a ‘spiritual war’! Four years ago I spoke of the Lord preparing us as per the 1930’s. I saw Donald Trump akin to Churchill — not a leader for a time of peace, but perfect in a time of war! In recent months, PM Morrison spoke of the feel of the 1930’s atmosphere in regards to China.
The spiritual war is exhibiting the dragon rising to control the world — including the South Pacific, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The foundation of the spiritual war is to eradicate the Judeo-Christian foundation of the west, and instil communism and socialism.
The reset being orchestrated by globalist elites is antichrist agendas impacting economics, politics, climate and gender agendas and population control through the killing of the unborn — right up to birth. The 2020 pandemic, lockdowns and US election go way beyond ‘science’ and ‘politics’.
For the Church in the West, it is a shock to our mindset to have to consider decisions we thought only the persecuted church had to make. Suddenly religious freedoms are under threat. We are faced with challenging questions. How strong is our faith? What are our priorities? How far are we willing to go to defend our faith?
The Church has been pressured into prayer like never before. And that is a good thing — a blessing out of it all. To meet these challenges we need a fresh revelation of God — He is the Lord of Hosts! And we need a fresh revelation of His ways.
In this decade of ‘pey’ (mouth) the enemy wants to silence the voices of praise, the voice of the prophets and voices of righteousness. Enforced mask-wearing is quite the metaphor!
The enemy has used government regulations, fear, and now wants to divide us from within. The pressures have caused some cracks between believers. Some feel churches should quietly comply with government, and others believe they should rebel, protest, and speak loudly. And the prophets are copping it. Some suggest they should only speak a word of comfort and encouragement while others call for words of rebuke, warning and repentance.
Some believers are upset by prophetic words about the eradication of the virus, and the re-election of Donald Trump (which at the time of writing, is still being counted, re-counted and litigated for alleged fraud). We need to pray for the truth to be told. We might not know the final result until January 2021.
Many other words have also been spoken and confirmed about a particular vision or direction. Yet right now, the reality of the prophesied breakthrough hasn’t happened. Expectations and hopes dashed.
Some have demanded prophets to apologise — calling them ‘false prophets’. Why? The reality on the ground is contradictory and it ‘appears’ they got it wrong. But have they?
I want to address two questions within the context of the volatile worldwide spiritual war. The first is the definition of a false prophet. And the second is about a true word not being fulfilled when and how we think.
How we view and discern the word of the Lord in the midst of this volatile season is really critical. When His Word contradicts our reality we must be careful. His Word releases faith and hold us in trials. Discerning the Word is right and proper, but stoning God’s prophets in this season is not!
1. What is the nature of a real false prophet?
Biblically false prophets were the prophets of Baal, who ‘cut themselves’ to hear their god, and appeased their god with child sacrifices. They would also be those who ‘made up’ words or dreams that God had not given.
We have significant clues as to what the Lord is saying in the 2020 spiritual war, by considering events that occurred during the Feasts. God speaks through His Feasts.
During Passover 2020, Israel and much of the West were in lockdown. So like the first ever Passover where God was in process of delivering Israel out of Egypt — through a series of plagues and pestilences! Conflict with, and deliverance from, an anti-Christ system is a good reference point.
On the Feast of Trumpets, Israel was again in lockdown and simultaneously, Justice Ruth Ginsberg died. Just prior to the US election, on October 27, 2020, Judge Amy Coney Barrett began to serve on the Supreme Court — a Bible-believing constitutionalist.
The Feast of Trumpets is a time to hear the trumpet of the Lord. He was sounding the alarm. Justice and righteousness is the foundation of His throne. The Lord wants these as the basis of the Supreme Court on earth. Those to particularly benefit will be the unborn. Amongst the many issues in the US election and the globalist agenda — is abortion.
Right now the present day false prophets of Baal are media, big tech, and big pharma who ‘speak’ lying words to spin, deceive and seduce so the elites can rule. The elites believe that President Trump is the major obstacle to their one-world domination — hence the ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ identified by Lance Wallnau in his book, God’s Chaos Candidate.
If a ‘Christian’ were to prophesy against the Word of God, including the acceptance of idolatry, immorality, and killing of unborn, then yes, they would be a false prophet.
But prophets of God who make an ‘error’ of timing, are not necessarily ‘false prophets’ in the true sense of the word. They are likely to be immature, a loner without accountability, or speaking from a wounded, orphan heart. (A big subject currently being addressed by Loren Sandford and Jeremiah Johnson re the purifying of the prophetic.)
In this season of intense spiritual war, true prophets of God are actually confronting the prophets of Baal in our society. We are witnessing intense confrontation reminiscent of Elijah confronting the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel! Courage and perseverance is needed!
2. Are God’s prophets ‘false’ when it ‘appears’ the word is not fulfilled?
Consider God’s timings, ways, His testings & conditions.
Timing! Isaiah gave us a powerful word of wisdom; God sees things differently from us!
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts…
~ Isaiah 55:8-9
Isaiah prophesied the birth and death of Messiah Yeshua — around 700 years before the event. Isaiah’s peers could have judged it false because they didn’t see it! The word did come to pass — in the right time.
Most Western believers today do not like the word wait! We want it yesterday. The world of instant coffee, microwave meals, and instant worldwide communications via Internet does not help us with patience. We no longer tolerate ‘snail mail’ or other delays. We think we are patient if we’ve waited ‘2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years.’
Don’t stone the prophets because the prophetic word didn’t happen when, or the way we perceived it would have occurred. We are seeing people upset with God or turning on each other because we do not consider His ways. We should remember:
- God did not destroy the Egyptians until dawn! (Exodus 14:24)
- Jesus didn’t raise Lazarus from the dead until ‘he stinketh’
- Father didn’t raise Jesus from the dead until the disciples had left in disappointment and grief.
Not only does Isaiah reveal that God’s ways and thoughts are above ours, he also encourages us:
“My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
~ Isaiah 55:11
Every Word from God’s mouth will be fulfilled! We may not know when or how, but He says it will be. When He gives us a Word, presuming how and when is dangerous. Keep seeking Him for His timing, strategy and protocols.
- The word of the Lord tested Joseph. (Psalm 105:19)
He was ‘tested’ by betrayal, false accusations and prison.
- Job was tested as God allowed Satan to touch him.
Job’s response to losing everything was:
‘Though He (God) slays me, yet will I trust Him.’
~ Job 13:15
- Abraham was tested with an impossible word! But…
“Abraham believed that God can raise the dead and call into being things that don’t even exist yet… and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”
~ Romans 4:13-21
Jonah went to Nineveh with a word. He was miffed when God didn’t judge Nineveh as was told. Jonah’s preaching was so effective, the city repented. Sometimes God releases a warning word. The outcome is conditional upon the response of repentance or prayer. God would have shown mercy to Sodom and Gomorrah if He had found 10 righteous people in the cities.
Many words being released about the US election and the virus are strong calls to the Church to pray. In a time of intense spiritual war, God is calling His army to be in position to fight. Many people hear a prophetic word and want to sit back, do nothing, and wait for it to ‘just’ happen.
Paul instructed Timothy to war over the prophetic words he had been given. (1 Timothy 1:19)
Apathy and passivity can destroy a word.
But there is a good ‘wait’ that is active and partners with God’s word.
It’s a Ephesians 6:13 moment, ‘having done all, stand”.
I believe for much of the Church we are in a Red Sea moment, which required an engaging ‘wait’.
(Maybe a good time to re-read Exodus 14)
As Israel left Egypt, God told Moses exactly where to camp. God actually put Israel in a position to trick the Egyptians into thinking the Israelites were trapped, and could destroy them in the Red Sea.
Though the Lord kept Israel separated from the Egyptians by the cloud and fire,
He did not destroy the Egyptians until dawn! (Exodus 14:24)
When Israel saw the reality of the Egyptians chasing them, they began to panic, even grumble.
The Lord told them to “stand still”. The word in Hebrew is a command to hold your position. This ‘stand still’ was not a do nothing command. It was to hold their position. Think of an athletic race, (or swimming, car or horse race). Each have to hold their position until the starters gun. Yes, it’s tense. And some break prematurely. The pregnant pause is a WAIT. And the Lord said to Israel, wait for the salvation of the Lord. Don’t move until God does.
Again as Israel was to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they had to wait until the Lord’s Presence (the Ark) intervened to shift the waters.
What is the ‘word’ you are holding onto that seems to be a contradiction with your reality?
Which report do you believe? God’s Word or what you see with your eyes? Let’s align our hearts with His Word.
“I consider Your prophecies to be my greatest treasure, and I memorise them and write them on my heart to keep me from committing sin’s treason against You.”
~ Psalm 119:11
Have you prayed and warfared over the word? (1 Timothy 1:19)
Have you submitted to God’s testing and growth in the word? Is He cleansing perceptions, presumptions or ways of the flesh? Have you sought Him or waited for His timing and way to do it?
Having done all — stand! Wait for God! His ways are not ours, neither in timing, or strategy. Hold your position and wait for His salvation.
While you wait — give thanks. Rejoice because His Word will not “return void”.
Rejoice, His Word will “accomplish and prosper” the very thing God sent the Word to do.
[Photo by Ben White