If you read my last article you will remember I spoke about the hysteria surrounding end times prophecies and dreams. Hundreds if not thousands of YouTube video dedicated to prophecies about ‘the rapture’ and that it was imminent.
I also spoke briefly about the hundreds of preachers and ‘Christians’ who prophesied that Donald Trump would win the 2020 presidential race. As I watched some of these videos rack up millions of views, influential church leaders all over the world were joining in and saying ‘God has revealed to me, that Donald Trump will win the election.’
On YouTube channels, TV and radio Christians, high ranking ones at that, were utterly convinced, spreading what they believed God had told them about the future. In the end, they were wrong, hundreds of church leaders were wrong.
You will remember that this was all tied into my research on pre-tribulation and post tribulation rapture, and unfortunately the weird and annoying algorithms of the internet sent me on a wild adventure down the rabbit hole. Once I came to, rebuked myself for immersing myself too much in it all, I started having some fruitful conversations again.
Millions of Christians believed that 2020 would bring the draining of the political and elite swamp of America. Donald Trump was their saviour and God’s tool to do just that. It was certainly an interesting 6 weeks over the December/January holidays and with all this talk about these prophecies about eliminating the evil 1 per cent in America.
I said to a friend of mine, what if this is God’s way of draining the spiritual swamp of false prophets and teachers that have infiltrated the church?
I don’t pretend to know the will of God in this, it was a plausible thought, one that even now I am hesitant to suggest, because I do not want to speak out of turn unless I have had a clear, honest and true revelation from the Lord, and herein maybe lies the problem.
Speaking for God?
Growing up in a Baptist church in Australia, I always found that my church was excellent when it came to preaching from the word. Rightly dividing scripture, really studying it with context.
As I got older, Hillsong and Planet Shakers were becoming huge, then in my young adult years Bethel. Big name pastors, star studded worship bands, commanding millions of followers and church members and all of a sudden what felt like a spiritual revolution.
This naturally influenced the direction of my church and many other churches.
Church and bible study sessions became these places where the Lord’s tangible spirit would show up and things would happen. It was an exciting time, people speaking in tongues, words or knowledge and prophecy being spoken by many of my church family.
None of these things are bad, I really do believe the Lord was moving.
But something always stood out weirdly to me. I would receive so many words of knowledge, wisdom and prophecy from people. They would be saying ‘God wants me to tell you this’, or ‘the Lord has this for you’, or ‘the Lord has revealed to me’.
I think out of the dozens of words of knowledge people have given to me over the years, maybe two or three have ever been close to actually happening or even being correct. Fast forward 15 years later and here I am watching church leaders invoking the name of God and telling everyone that this is what is going to happen, putting dates on it, timelines, exactly what will happen then…. Nothing!
God’s name is to be revered, we are to tremble at his power and might. How often have Christians just used God’s name willy nilly? Were you positive that God gave you that word? Were you sure God gave you that dream?
I honestly believe that God can use anyone when it comes to the kingdom, but how much damage has been done by us Christians when we have used the name of God to give credibility to us sharing a dream or word? How much damage has been done by the church leaders who emphatically proclaimed Donald Trump’s victory?
This whole thing gave me pause, and I started to think, have I been guilty of this? I think I have, and at times I have cringed at some of the things I have said ‘God told me this, God showed me that, God has this for you’.
Trust and devotion
Our Almighty Creator absolutely wants to use us. Some of us will receive words of prophecy, some of us will heal, some of us will pray in tongues, some of us will have dreams.
But before we start seeking these things, we are to seek the one who sacrificed it all for us. We are to humble ourselves before the Lord in all seasons. Through blessing and through calamity, we are to recognise God as our absolute everything and we are to stop holding onto the words of those who don’t even preach from the bible.
I think what happened over December and January was that people put their trust and faith in a mortal.
Their very way of life was being threatened and instead of trusting God, they thought that a mere man could save them. Christians held onto the soothing words of false prophecy and teachings, instead of trusting the one who is in complete control of the universe.
Let us ask God for discernment when we hear from the pulpit, let us pray for understanding when we read our bibles, let us pray for wisdom when we hear from God. And let us test a word of knowledge with God’s written word and prayerfully pursue the Lord, if and when to share what God has revealed to us.
Lest we incorrectly invoke the name of God and fall into sin and cause harm.
Jarred is an HPE and Mathematics teacher on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he is married to Haley and has three beautiful children Chelsea, Nathan and Ryan.