I have been given four prophetic utterances in my decades-long walk with Jesus. The first ended up revealing a sin, unknown to me and everyone else, that resulted in the total upheaval and dispersal of a fellowship which my wife and I were thoroughly enjoying and thankful for. The second ended up being a warning of a difficult time for two missionaries headed to Indonesia. The third was positive and concerned the assurance for a couple that they would get the two young orphans they were trying to adopt and bring to the United States. The fourth and last was a warning about God’s judgment to come about which you may have read here previously. Unlike prophets in Scripture, I have not been persecuted for these prophesies. I do not consider myself a prophet. I would never compare myself to those we read about in Scripture. It is difficult for me to imagine the experiences they had as they wrote down what the Lord was revealing to them.

The prophet Jeremiah had warned Judah repeatedly that unless they stopped worshiping idols and disobeying God, they would be destroyed. He even told them what nation would destroy them: Babylon. The people and leaders ignored him completely. When Jeremiah encouraged the inhabitants to go over to the Babylonian army in order to save their lives, they accused him of treason and threw him into a muddy well.

Prophets are sometimes rejected. Jesus prophesied, too. His prophecies were often warnings about judgments to come. One of them in particular was the last straw for the legalistic religious leaders who hated Him and wanted to kill Him. When they demanded that He tell them if He was the Christ, the Son of God, He responded,

“‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death’” (Matthew 26:64–66).

Prophecies are troublesome. Controversial. Messy. Despite this, Peter stood up on the Day of Pentecost and said,

“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17–18).1

Since that Pentecost was in the last days as was evidenced by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and if we are still in the last days, the prophecy from Joel is still in force. No biblical evidence suggests otherwise. Those who reject prophecies should wonder why Paul would write these two following verses.

“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

“Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20–21).

As troubling and controversial as prophecies can be, the Lord Himself commands them to continue. We are told how to deal with them during the gathering (1 Corinthians 14:29). I can only deduce that the Lord wants things a bit messy in His Church and is unconcerned about it. However, ignoring this, large swaths of the Church have rejected prophecies entirely. Yes, false prophets abound, but they did in the Old Testament, too. Thus, there is no excuse to reject the gift entirely. Let’s be honest and admit that it is easier and “safer” to follow the service program without interruption. Ricky ticky, ricky ticky. Everything must be nice and everyone must be happy.

What, then, shall we do with this from the prophet Amos?

“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secrets to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7–8).

It appears that the Church would rather leave prophets in the mud. We do so to our peril.

Lord, please continue to reveal your secrets to Your servants the prophets, as You told Amos. Please give us the discernment to know the false prophets from those that are true.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Edge images.