I'm sharing about how to understand modern prophecy, sharing last week how the Lord is the I AM, the ever-present One, which means when He tells us something it feels like NOW and imminent. That is because in His realm of being ever-present, it is NOW, so when He speaks to us it feels like it will happen immediately.
And I shared how prophecy is linear. When things are held within the Father's knowledge and not revealed to mankind, prophecy skips over whatever is not revealed, and we have no idea where those mysteries fit.
Next - a prophecy doesn't have to happen to have been real
One of the guidelines in ancient Israel of a prophecy being from the Lord is that whatever was prophesied did indeed happen as foretold, but that is not the only guideline.
Moses - In Exodus 3:16-17 the Lord told Moses at the burning bush to return to Egypt, gather the elders and tell them He will take them to the Promised Land, "...to a land flowing with milk and honey."
That was spoken directly by the Lord to Moses, and then to the elders of Israel and then to the people - and it never happened. Everyone who heard that prophecy died in the wilderness, never reaching the land the Lord promised. (Only Joshua and Caleb saw the word fulfilled.)
Jonah - In Jonah 3:40 Jonah prophesies that Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days, but you know the story. They repented and when the Lord saw their repentance, He changed His mind, which made Jonah angry.
Isaiah - In Isaiah 38:1 King Hezekiah is sick and Isaiah prophesies to him: "This is what the Lord says; Set your house in order for you will die." But the king turns his face to the wall and pleads his case to live, and by verse 5 the Lord changes His mind and tells Isaiah to tell him He will add 15 years to his life.
(In an ironic twist, II Kings 21:1 tells us Hezekiah's son Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king of Judah at Hezekiah's death, meaning he was born in the last 15 years of Hezekiah's life. Though he repented at the end of his *life, he was an evil king and had Isaiah sawn in half*, meaning the one who prophesied his father's extension of life so Manasseh could even be born, became the victim of that word. Such is life in the Lord folks, those we are sent to often are at the least ungrateful and sometimes even see us as enemies though they are the recipients of God's grace through us.) *II Chronicles 33:11-19, *Hebrews 11: 37
Were these prophecies from the Lord? Yes. But notice why they never came to pass - because of how the people reacted to those words. In the first case, the people failed to see the promises given to them because they left following the Lord. In the other 2 cases people repented when they heard the words to them.
And add this to the mix...
In Acts 27:10 Paul is a prisoner about to board a ship on its way to Rome. He perceives in his spirit that if they set sail they will lose the ship, the cargo, and their lives, and he tells them not to set sail. They ignore him and indeed a horrible storm hits the ship, and just when all hope is gone...
Paul tells them in verses 22-31 that an angel stood by him in the night and told him though they would lose the ship and cargo as revealed, but the Father had spared the lives of all 276 aboard. This means that what Paul originally perceived about losing their lves was actually a revelation from the Father of what the devil had planned for them, and by the Father's intervention that plan was stopped.
For modern words from the Lord
On a personal level, many well meaning Christians have had an experience like Paul's, where the Father revealed something to them the devil had planned, and then they go tell someone 'God told me' (Inaccurate; They just perceived something in their spirit). Then it doesn't happen and they wonder if they heard wrong.
Many believers aren't experienced enough in the ways of the Father to know when it is the Holy Spirit trying to show them a plan of the enemy, or if it is the enemy himself trying to scare them. Because what they perceive is a negative, they think it must be from the devil, and they rebuke the Holy Spirit - not realizing it is the Father trying to reveal the enemy's plan and is trying to get them to ask Him to intervene.
Modern day prophecy and world events
When I hear some of the prophecies of world events being published today, I recognize some of the people making these things known to the public are actually sharing information the Father gave for the purpose of asking Him to intervene that those events NOT come to pass, but neither they nor their hearers understand.
The first job of anyone who receives a word about a future event is to pray. They are to determine if that event is set in stone and cannot be changed, or if it will happen but can be altered in how it happens, or if it can be stopped altogether.
In Matthew 24:15 Jesus confirms something Daniel* prophesied about, the man identified as anti-Christ will enter into a temple in Jerusalem at the half way mark of a 7 year peace treaty, and turn against Israel. Jesus said that when people see that they are to get out of Jerusalem and head for the hills in the wilderness. In verse 20 He says: "And pray that your journey does not happen in winter, nor on the Sabbath..." *Dan 9:27
Notice that event, anti-Christ coming into the temple, is set in stone - it will happen! But Jesus said to pray that event doesn't happen in winter nor on a Sabbath day - prayer can be made to change the season of the year to a favorable one for travel, and changed to a day other than the Sabbath, when there are travel restrictions in Israel.
Thus far I've shared how the Lord is the I AM, so everything He reveals or speaks to us feels like it will happen immediately. I've shared how when things are held within the Father's knowledge, prophecy will skip over what is hidden, making things appear to us to be all in one unbroken line of events prophesied, when in fact there can be years or events inserted by Him along the way.
I've shared how a prophecy might be of God but never happen because of how people react to the word. Both a hardness of heart and repentance might mean the Lord changes His mind and that which was foretold might never happen.
We've seen how oftentimes the plan of the enemy is revealed to people because the Father wants to intervene and will if asked, but some don't understand and cause fear in the body of Christ by sharing these events, saying these things will definitely happen.
And we've seen how things that definitely will happen can be altered as to the timing just by prayer.
What is a believer to do? Whom to believe?
How do we know if what we hear or someone else says they heard or saw is from God? How do we know if it is set in stone, or if can be changed? Is it a revelation from the Father of what the devil has planned?
That is next week - how to know whether something prophesied is from God, and then what kind of revelation is it? Until then, blessings,