Thursday, July 09, 2020

Prophet and Ruler (4) Explaining the Situation

Explaining what is happening in the spiritual realms and how it is affecting events on earth is probably the main role of prophets speaking to rulers of any type. (See political authority and spiritual power in a subsequent post).

In the Old Testament, prophets did not fully understand the working of the spiritual realms. They saw God and humans as the main actors on earth. They lived in a two-agent universe. So when warning of bad things coming, prophets said that God was sending judgement against rebellious people. This is how they saw the world, but their vision was incomplete. (What they said is true, because ultimately God is responsible for everything and he does not shirk responsibility for what he has done).

Since the coming of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have a fuller understanding of the relationship between the spiritual and physical realms. We understand that we live in a three-agent universe. The three actors on earth are God, humans and the spiritual powers of evil.

When modern prophets warn about bad stuff that is coming, they should not usually be declaring God’s judgment. Instead, they will mostly be describing what the spiritual powers of evil are planning to do because the people have lost God’s protection.

  • The OT prophets explained what was going on to pagan kings.

    • Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel all prophesied to the nations surrounding Israel and explained to them what was going to happen to them in the future. Of course, there is no evidence that they listened.

  • The Old Testament prophets explained to covenant kings what was going on in their world.

    • All the Old Testament prophets spoke to the kings of Israel and Judah and warned them about what would happen when they displeased God and lost his protection.

  • Modern Christian prophets will sometimes explain to non-Christian rulers what is going on in their nation. They will explain what the spiritual powers of evil are attempting to do.

    • Many of these rulers will not be interested in the prophet’s understanding of what is happening in the nation. They might not believe that the spiritual realm is real. Even if they do, they might not welcome the prophet’s wisdom.

    • Most modern rulers will prefer their own explanation of what is happening, especially if it was the basis for their political campaigns. They might prefer to blame all the problems in their nation on the previous government, or on a bogeyman nation, so they will not be interested in spiritual causes of their nations problem.

    • If their understanding of what is happening will not be welcome, the prophet might have to remain silent, and speak to intercessors who will receive it. They should wait for the prompting of the Holy Spirit before sharing the insights he has given them with unbelieving rulers. Prophets should not cast their pearls before swine.

    • Messages explaining what is going on will be more for the people than the rulers. Every citizen needs to understand what is happening in their nations so they can make good decisions.

    • A nation usually gets the rulers it deserves. If a nation has a non-Christian ruler, that probably reflects the character of their nation. This situation requires a change of heart amongst the people, not just the ruler. The ruler will not be able to change things until the people of the nation change to. The gospel of Jesus is the best way to make that happen.

    In this situation, evangelists will be more important than prophets. Of course, as they share the gospel of Jesus, they will explain what the prophets have revealed what is going on in their nation. They will proclaim that Jesus can rescue the people from the troubles that the spiritual powers of evil are wanting to bring if they put their trust in him. This will allow God to change the nation from the bottom up.

  • Christian prophets should share their understanding of what is happening in the spiritual realms with any Christian rulers.

    • This understanding will usually come prophets who belong to the same body of believers as the ruler, or prophets who have a close relationship with the ruler.

    • Christian rulers might be wise to establish relationships with several independent prophets, so they can sure of getting a clear word in every situation.

Christian prophets who are explaining the spiritual situation on earth will need to understand discerning seasons and the role of prophetic events.

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