Now that we have the vision for moderation, and being a moderate person, we need to deal with the many prophecies that we’ll be given which will be anything but that. If we speak the true word of God, we are likely to make a lot of people mad. We will likely be called false prophets as well as other colorful adjectives. Then, when your prophecies come true, it will seem like no one noticed. You don’t get into this job for the approval rating.
Most people, and probably most present-day Christian leaders, do not think it is safe to call anyone a prophet until they are dead and no longer a threat. That’s what the Israelites did too. They honored the graves of the prophets who were dead while resisting the ones who were speaking to them in their time. This is because much of the church is actually controlled more by a religious spirit than by the Holy Spirit. A religious spirit often parades its honor of what the Lord has done in order to justify resisting what He is doing. It was the religious in Israel who were the most deadly enemies of the Lord when He walked the earth, and it is still those who are in the grips of the religious spirit who will most vehemently persecute those who are really following the Lord.
Certainly many courageous Christian leaders have not only embraced the prophetic but embraced it in its weakness and immaturity. I think many who are still rejecting the prophetic should get a pass because it is still so messy and immature. However, it will be those who pay the price of embracing it when it is immature and messy who will also get the full reward of receiving a prophet in the name of a prophet. So we do need to be thankful for any who will receive the prophetic and try to be understanding toward any who do not.
However, many prophetic people are rejecting the church for the same reason they are now rejected by the church—the church does not yet meet up to their standards. Prophetic people who do not grow up in a local church life, with all of its frustrations and irritations, are not able to mature as they should, and therefore be trusted with the authority they could otherwise have. Likewise, the church that is in such need of maturing could use all of the frustrations, irritations, and problems maturing prophetic people have to mature. Both need the other to have the extreme edges knocked off of them, but given the choice, I would take a church without the prophetic rather than the prophetic that is not part of a vital, local church life.
We see in Acts 2:17-18 that “in the last days” the Lord is going to pour out His Spirit and the result will be prophetic revelation—dreams, visions, and prophecy. These are given to the young and old, male and female, which should cover just about everyone. This is because as we enter into these times, we will need this kind of prophetic guidance to make it. Though I say above that I would rather be connected to a church that rejects the prophetic than to prophetic people who reject the church, I do not have much faith in churches that reject the prophetic making it through the coming times either.
Even so, the church is the Lord’s bride; our gifts were given for the church, and we need to do all that we can to serve the church whether she receives us as we would like to be received or not. At the same time, I will not follow prophetic people who are not devoted to serving the Lord’s bride that He is coming back for. To depart from serving His bride is to depart from something very basic to our calling and purpose. I have even less hope for prophetic people, or any Christians, who get severed from a basic purpose like being functioning members of the body of Christ.
Of course, I’ve shared this before, and you will certainly hear it from me often. I do not believe that one can mature as they should as a Christian, much less in the prophetic, without a vital, local church life. Prophets that get severed from local church life can have very real and impressive gifts, but so do false prophets. Every false prophet I have met had a calling to be a prophet of the Lord, but in almost every case, they were severed from the body and then poisoned by bitterness and rejection. The more powerful your gift or calling is, the more of a target you will be. For this reason, we must have as our main focus in life to be growing in love, which is probably most demonstrated by forgiveness.
BY RICK JOYNER