Friday, April 17, 2020

Covid19 and the Prophetic Movement

Having written a book about the Prophetic ministry, I monitor the Elijah List and other prophetic bulletin boards to get an understanding of what is happening. I sense that the Covid19 virus has exposed the weakness of the prophetic movement. There have been some really encouraging words, but on the whole, I have been disappointed by some of what I have read.

No warning
Around the new year, people with prophetic gifts give their prognostications for the coming years. As far as I can see, none of them predicted the trauma of the coronavirus. Many spoke about 2020 being a year for 20/20 vision, which ironically means the vision of an average person) and a time of increased blessing on God’s people. If they were unable to give a warning of the most dramatic event to strike the world since the GFC, then something is not right with the movement.

A couple of prophetic ministers seems to have given warning of a severe virus several years ago, but these references were quite oblique. They must have been uncertain about what they were describing, because the did not make a big deal of it.

The clearest warning seems to have been given by David Wilkerson back in 1986.

I see a plague coming on the world, and the bars and churches and government will shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless Believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles, and repentance will be the cry from the man of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world.
Unfortunately, this warning has been forgotten, if it was ever heard.

Once the virus began spreading, the dominant message from prophetic people was that the virus would disappear quickly and things would return to normal. A common message was that the virus would be “past by Passover”, which is odd, because it implies that God is governed by a religious timetable. Jesus victory over sin and evil was achieved on the cross 2000 years ago, so there was nothing extra that he could do at Easter this year. Two thousand people died of the virus in the US on one day during Easter, so it was clearly wrong to say that the impact of the disease would be over by Passover.

Sadly, I have noted a bit of racial bias creeping into some of the messages. In particular, some prophetic people have joined into the increasingly common hatred of China.

The prophetic can easily get mixed with the patriotic. I have also noted a touch of national hubris amongst some of the “American Prophets”. One declared that God would quickly restore America to a place of economic dominance in the world, so that other contenders for that role would be put back in their place. Some are picking a quick recovery of the US share market, which would be a pyrrhic victory, because if it happens, the markets will have been artificially pumped up by the loose money policies of the Federal Reserve.

Many prophetic voices have focussed on 2 Chron 7:14.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
However, there has been more emphasis on praying and seeking his face, than on turning from wicked ways. There have been very few suggestions of what wicked ways that nations need to turn from, which suggests that this verse does not fit our context.

Quantity over Quality
During the last few decades, we have seen a massive increase in the quantity of prophecy, especially personal prophecy, which has been marvellous.

We are now at a stage, where we need to see an equally massive lift in quality, especially for prophecy about nations. That is a much bigger challenge, because it needs prophetic character.

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