If you are like me, by now you've received several emails from various ministers containing 'prophetic' words for 2012. Here are a few I've received via email for 2012:
There will be...transitions in kingdom leadership, the sound of evangelism must be amplified, supernatural provision will be released, persecution will increase in the US, nuclear arms race will continue to escalate, martyrdom will continue to escalate, countries will continue to yield to immigrants to keep their sovereignty, baptism with the Holy Spirit will continue to be relegated to the back room.
These may or may not be 'prophetic', for as I see the above, there isn't a single one that isn't already known by natural means. They are conclusions drawn from headlines, statistics, or common sense and slapped with a 'prophetic word for 2012' label.
As a result, for me at least, these ring hollow, shallow, and irrelevant. Is there anyone reading this that doesn't think there will be transitions in leadership in the body this year? Does anyone know what he means by 'the sounds of evangelism must be amplified'? (Turn the sound up at conferences and rallies?)
Does any one think news of nuclear weapons talks is hot off the heavenly press? Is there anyone not aware of the birthrates of Muslims compared to most of the world, or that martyrdom around the globe has been increasing? I'm not sure in whose world the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is relegated to the back room, but not mine.
A Word for My World Please!
I needed to say what I said above, and how I said it as a means to highlight what is out there in order to bring balance and help define predictive prophecy and where we should be looking.
Peter said in II Peter 1:12 "I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of these things, though you know them, that you may be established in the present truth." The present truth. What God is doing today.
Then he spoke of his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, where he saw Jesus glorified, and saw and heard Moses and Elijah, who represent the Law and Prophets, speaking to Jesus about His soon coming death - Moses speaking of types and shadows from the tabernacle of how He must fulfill the sacrifices, Elijah speaking to Him of the prophecies He must fulfill. Peter also saw the glory cloud of heaven and heard the Father speak audibly. (Luke 9: 31)
"And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him on the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy, and you would do well to take heed...knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any man's idea..." (II Peter 1:19-20)
Peter is saying that in spite of that amazing experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, "we have a more sure word of prophecy..the prophecy of scripture..."
Making a Sandwich
Just before Peter wrote of being established in 'the present truth', he wrote of character building - add to your faith moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, consistency, Godliness, brotherly love, unconditional love, and diligently develop these so you won't be lacking in Christ.
THEN he spoke of being established in present truth, followed by instructions to look more to scripture than spiritual experiences and words. So he made a sandwich. Being established in the present truth is the meat. The bread on one side is developing the above nature of God in us, and the other slice is balancing the Word and Spirit in scripture. Together they make of us, a complete 'sandwich'.
What is God Doing Today?
Allow me a little humor, though true, a prophetic word based on what Peter said: Whatever you will go through in 2012, the Lord will ask that you diligently develop moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, consistency, Godliness and love in the midst of it, so you will be complete and lack nothing (in the divine character).
I can't recall ever seeing that emailed to me at the turn of a new year about what is coming in the next 12 months, yet a person builds or destroys their life by either growing in these things or not.
While some chase spiritual butterflies through the fields of life, hoping to net a prophetic word for themselves at this meeting or chase glory experiences at that meeting, others heed a more sure word of prophecy, the scripture, which instructs us to give ourselves to growing in Christ's nature, though it be through birth pain-like contractions. (Galatians 4:19)
World Events Working Backwards
So now I come to world events. The Spirit and the Word agree, so we can look at things that seem to indicate what God is doing around the world, and then check those events against Scripture. What agrees with the Word we can keep, what doesn't, we throw out or at least set aside.
Working backwards, let me start with Jesus is one day going to return to set up His earthly kingdom. That will not happen until a battle takes place in Megiddo in Israel, in Hebrew, Armageddon. The army that fights against Israel will number in the millions from the 'kings of the east'. (Revelation 9:16; 16:12, 16)
Because of the massive numbers of people in the army, it has long been assumed China would be one of those kings of the east. So we need to look to see if China is putting itself in a position to be a world military super power.
Headlines are showing exactly that of course, so this is a prophetic happening before our eyes - so watch China as it will continue to militarize and try to dominate and intimidate the world.
I remember back in 1990-92 I had several visitations with the Lord about upcoming political events and natural disasters. One of the things He said was; "The world is watching the wall come down and (the) collapse of the Soviet Union, but they should be watching China. For in the coming years she will grow economically and become a world power, even trying to gobble up as much of Asia, Africa and elsewhere economically, as much as she can. And this she must do to fulfill her role in the end times."
But Before Armageddon
Did you know the book of Revelation tells us the earth will be hit by 2 asteroids/comets? That is true. One appears to land on earth, the other in the ocean, and the resulting dust and vapor cloud blots out 1/3 of the light from the sun, moon, and stars, and poisons salt and fresh water. Sickness and famine follow, with skin sores mentioned. Did you also know before Armageddon the sun will shoot out solar flares that will scorch the earth (probably following the meteor/comet strikes)? (Revelation 8:6-13; 16:8)
(If interested in the natural and economic disasters of the Revelation, my series 'Disasters of the Revelation' may be of interest)
OK, Closer to My Time Frame Please, You're Scaring Me
I've run out of space for this week, so we'll pick it up here next week. But know this; whatever God is going to do in your life this year, He will always lead you to become more Christ-like, and that is a sure word of prophecy. More on what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church and about world events, next week.