Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Timing and Prophecy

There are two situations in the scriptures.

  1. Some prophecies are conditional, so there is no time attached to them.
  2. In other situations God is very precise about time.
Therefore we cannot just give up on timing. We actually need to do better at it.

When a revelation comes, the prophetic should ask four questions.
  1. When is the revelation to be communicated?
  2. How is to be communicated?
  3. Is it conditional or does it have a specific timing?
  4. What is the timing?
The need for question 4 depends on the answer to question 3.

The reality is that we do not have a full revelation until we have the answers to all these questions. People get so excited about getting a revelation that they forget to press in and get the rest. They stop before they have the lot.

If Christian prophets want to be taken seriously, they will have to do much better on timing. Being vague about timing is really just a “cop out”. God can do better than that.

3 comments:

Gene Redlin said...

I guess you would have to ask the question of those prophets who have over and over and over again picked a time and a date and had it fall on the floor. I still have the 1988 Jesus is coming for SURE book. Whole denominations are formed on this. You know all that.

And, if you study the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel carefully you will find very little TIME orientation.

And, as I am right now dealing prophetically with a woman with Cancer. I can tell her what, not when.

You are barking up the wrong tree insisting that time is the essence.

To be clear, occasionally, only occasionally, I am given time boundaries. Not often. Usually it is personal. About an individual.

Seldom about nations.

God is in the business of keeping things hidden. At least that's what he says.

I'm past the point of worrying about if they do or do not take me or any prophet seriously. That's between them and God. I do what I am called to do and if people receive it great, if not, I don't worry much about it any more.

Good news is, Mostly they do.

Timing or NOT.

Blessed Economist said...

Gene
I have no respect for those who continually predict the second coming. They should have been held to account. I do not understand why many of them are still respected. In my book, they are just plain wrong.

I fully understand that the timing of some prophecies is not given (my option 1). I have no problem, if the prophet seeks the Lord and then says that they do not know the timing, that fulfilment might be a long way away (this rarely happens). My problem is that most prophets do not bother to ask the question.

This is slightly dishonest, because prophecies are usually given with a veiled implication that what is prophesied will happen soon. Maybe the listener is wrong to just assume that, but most prophets do not attempt to correct this false impression, because it makes the prophecy more impressive.

A sense of the timing will often be important for the response. Consider a prophecy that a person with cancer will be healed. This raises a serious timing issue. Will they be healed before they die, or will healing be a resurrection body. Both would be a fulfilment a prophecy of healing, but the response to it should be totally different. If the former, there is an implied message that the prophecy will be fulfilled soon (faster than the cancer can spread). If the latter, the person should be getting their life sorted, but know they have hope for life beyond death.

Timing is usually relevant to our response to prophecies. Those who claim to give God’s guidance cannot just ignore it.

I think that many prophets prefer to leave timing issues aside, because it means they will never be proved wrong. If a prophecy is not fulfilled, it can always be pushed into the future. This is safe for the prophet, but not so helpful to the listener.

Many prophecies have been left on the shelf for many years, but have never come near being fulfilled. Some of these should have been thrown out as wrong years ago, but there is still some vague hope that they might be fulfilled.

Other prophecies that have been on the shelf a long time are still true, but disppointment causes them to be ignored. If the prophet had indicated that the prophecy might not be fulfilled for a long time, it might be taken more seriously, despite the elapse of time.

Instead of providing guidance, people are left in confusion, uncertain whether to keep hoping, ot to get on with life. This is not the purpose of prophecy.

Gene Redlin said...

You said:
If the latter, the person should be getting their life sorted, but know they have hope for life beyond death.

I have seen this in NEGATIVE spades. Had a dear pastor friend with colon cancer who DIDN'T sort out things and died expecting that he would live. It wasn't a prophecy from ME. I don't know if he received a word. He sure didn't prepare.

In the people with cancer I prophesy over right now my pattern is to remind them of what God says. Psalm 103, Is 53, it's Always God's will to heal (or more important, God didn't do this to you), death and sickness are a result of the fall in the garden (God's intention was for you to live forever and you WILL not have cancer in Heaven.... Now, let's call on the on earth as it is in heaven part of the Lords Prayer. Start believing for that manifestation.

Once I get that settled. Then I look to the Spirit of God in THEM. Jesus did not many Miracles....etc.

I wait for the Spirit of God to show me something. By that Spirit I have announced in advance that they would NOT die. They didn't. But being careful and accurate is important.

Timing is not a cop out for me. I just won't give a time unless GOD gives ME a timetable. I have. Often the word of the Lord is timetable.

But, I appreciate your nudge. I'll see what Father has to say. If he chooses to give me time and times I'll report it.

I see my ministry as a seer and as a reporter of what I see.

The economic word for instance.... still true and becoming truer.

It is funny to me however how people apply a timetable I didn't give to that word. They say things like, "Isn't it about time as you said that this or that should happen?"

I correct them. Look at it again. I gave sequences, but not timetables.

Conditionality.

Not a cop out, man can stretch out and hold back but the inevitable happens.

Thanks for being an iron that sharpens this old sword.

God has really been good.