Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 07 September 2017


BY Jim Jordal

Surely the Lord Yahweh does nothing; unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 WEB

 He said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" He said to me, "These are true words of God." I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me, "Look! Don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy." Rev. 19:9-10 WEB

 We have the more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21 WEB

 Do you wince when you hear the word “prophecy” mentioned in a sermon or written account? Do you think prophets do nothing but predict the future? Or are they merely weirdos sitting atop some mountain calling down the vengeance of God upon an apostate world? Whatever you think about prophets, there is some cause for serious consideration, not so much of their personal lives, but of their continuous calling upon people to wake up to God’s call and to follow the Lord’s directions made clear in Scripture.

 I have my doubts concerning what many modern-day prophets proclaim, mostly because I see much of it, not urging us toward a sincere following of the Lord, but in reflecting the many alternate belief systems representing more the dictates of some national church organization than the clear word of God.

Does the danger of being seduced by false prophets (which really do exist) mean we should discount prophecy entirely?  No, for the same reason we don’t abandon politics because there are some bad and perhaps false politicians. There is still value in hearing them if we run their beliefs and comments through some sort of filter. In the case of religious prophets, that filter is mainly the word of God and the likelihood that what they say either has, or will, happen.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines a prophet as “one who is divinely inspired to communicate God’s will to his people, and to disclose the future to them.” In other words, they connect the presently known will of God with the future in a cause and effect manner. For example, is there any connection between the multitude of planetary disasters in the form of storms, floods, fires, earthquakes, wars, revolutions, the rise of oppressive political, economic, and social systems, and the general chaos now shaking the earth?

If you doubt that connection, read Deuteronomy 28, a lengthy chapter devoted to pointing out clearly the benefits accruing to nations heeding God’s word and way, and the many troubles and human disasters awaiting those ignoring and breaking God’s law. In scores of references Scripture clearly makes the cause-and-effect relationship between national obedience to God’s law producing peace and tranquility, or disobedience followed by destructive adverse consequences.

If this cause-and-effect connection really exists, why don’t religious institutions teach it more thoroughly? Partly, it’s the so-called “feel good gospel” that pictures God as an eternally tolerant old man with long white hair who mostly smiles at the questionable antics of his people. This viewpoint often smothers and even denies what Scripture so clearly says. We envision religion to be, not a warning of Divine displeasure or anger, but a comfortable place where we can fellowship around the more pleasing aspects of faith, like friendship, companionship, helping others, sharing our communal lives, and in general feel good about our spirituality and how it is pleasing to God.

Somewhere in the religious literature there is a good quote that fits well here: “A good sermon should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted.” Both truths are necessary, and, as I've said before, time is on our side because the world situation is very obviously heading toward calamity and disruption, during which our cold, hard hearts will much more readily hear and heed what God says.

Developing events plus God’s grace will make the difference.