The prophet Amos – a simple man who was a farmer-shepherd from an insignificant village and an insignificant family. He speaks for God and reveals the very heart of God during a time when many were following their own ways. And, when others were following what they considered to be ‘prophetic voices’ but who were not speaking for the Almighty God, our heavenly Father.
Gee, sounds like today in my nation.
God had been leading them for decades, even centuries through the voice of the prophets. And the prophet Amos was declaring a true Word of the Lord. It was a warning of coming disaster and punishment for the sins of the people. The words were very specific and near the end of the short book named after the prophet there was some good news prophesied as well.
Amos 3:7 NET states: “Certainly the sovereign LORD does nothing without first revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.”
Very true then as it still is now.
And yet, later the prophet states:
Amos 8:11-12 NET states: “‘Be certain of this, the time is coming,”’ says the sovereign LORD,
‘when I will send a famine through the land – not a shortage of food or water but an end to divine revelation! People will stagger from sea to sea, and from the north around to the east.
They will wander about looking for a revelation from the LORD, but they will not find any.’”
In other words, even if there was someone in the office of the prophet there would be no revelation through the prophet of what God was currently doing. No matter how hard one might look the Lord would simply not be revealing His plan and purpose for that time. It does not mean that the Lord is not active and involved. He has simply chosen not to inform His people what He is about to do and why.
With that as background let me comment on the current situation both in my nation and elsewhere in this amazing world in which we live.
1> There are times when the Lord does not speak. It is not because He is mad although we often assume He is when He is quiet. Maybe we don’t need another prophetic direction or correction at the present time. Maybe we are still working through – or should be working through – the last Word we received. Maybe we should simply live by His written Word and watch as our lives are transformed through the written Word.
2> The void – the quietness of God – leads some to feel insecure and so they either go looking for a prophetic word from some source, any source. They are not hard to find as the internet is full of what many call prophetic insights. However, the words are not tested and often are not even biblical. However, many are not familiar enough with the Scriptures to correct judge right from wrong, true from false. There is no discernment and so many are deceived.
Jesus did warn us that false prophets and apostles will rise and deceive even the very elect (Matthew 24:24).
3> We have many who have the gift of prophecy who are not called into the role of the prophet. And yet they are prophesying over the nation or nations. This is outside of the authority of anyone functioning within the gift of prophecy. Thus “prophetic words” are being spoken and published which are simply utter nonsense no matter how well-meaning someone may be. Words over the nations much come from tried, tested, and recognized men and women who are functioning in the role of apostle or prophet and recognized as such.
4> There are many self-proclaimed prophets and apostles who are issuing “prophetic words” when, in reality, they are not called to those offices and have not been recognized as true apostles and prophets. They are not in healthy relationships with others with the same calling they are functioning in (accountability). They have not been approved by the leadership of the Body of Christ and not recognized by (and often not a part of) a local assembly or church. Their words should not be received or acted upon.
5> Many people state “prophetic words” that line up and approve of their current lifestyle, behaviour, or what they are thinking and believing. So experience is then backed up with “prophetic words” to justify what is being accomplished or spoken in the Name of the Lord. This means experience and the “prophetic” is leading and Scripture is being used to justify behaviour and beliefs. We are proof-texting how we are living and what we are believing. This is backwards. Scripture is always the standard by which a word spoken as prophetic and any chosen lifestyle is judged as accurate or inaccurate, right or wrong. Experience and feelings are subjective where the Word of God, the Bible, is objective and our standard to which a word and a lifestyle is compared and judged.
So today many are declaring ‘the word of the Lord’ when there is no word. They are speaking from the soul and not the spirit. They are prophesying in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Oh, it sounds spiritual. But it is not. There are seriously few true prophetic words being spoken today. Yes, God is still revealing His heart through the prophets. But, true prophets who know the heart of God are hard to find. So, people run here and there looking for a word and buy into what is not from the Lord and thus are deceived.
Very true today as we continue to face the Trucker’s Convoys and the multitude of false prophesies and misquoted and out of context Scripture passages that people are using to justify non-Biblical behaviour as they cause serious and long-lasting division and strife in my nation and now other nations. All done, so they say, “in the Name of the Lord” with is simply a blatant lie.