Do I Have to War Over My Prophecy?
There is a trend among some present-day prophets to teach that for a prophecy (foretelling of a future event) to come to pass the recipient of the word spoken by the prophet must war over the prophecy. This demand places responsibility in no small part on the person receiving ministry. If they fail to fight the good fight the things foretold do not happen. To understand the truth of this matter will require a modicum (I hope) of deductive reasoning. By that I mean we must link some premises with conclusions.
Our first premise is that God knows the future. In Isaiah 46:9-11 God says he does with the words “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Our second premise is that when God says a thing will happen it happens. Verse 11 above indicates once God has spoken a thing it will be brought to pass.
Our third premise is that what God has spoken concerning the future He will make happen. He tells Isaiah “yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
The verse used to support warring over one’s prophecy is 1 Timothy 1:18 “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;”
In this letter Paul was writing to Timothy to instruct him on how to deal with a growing problem of false teachers besetting the church at Ephesus. Paul is encouraging Timothy to be bold and stand up to these false teachers and confront them with the truth of scripture. To help combat Timothy’s timidity Paul reminded him of former prophesies he had received. Paul was essentially saying “according to what God has told you fight the good fight knowing that you will win in this situation.” Basically, Paul was telling Timothy “Man up son. Don’t you remember what God said?” Paul told Timothy in accordance with and by the prophecies concerning him, he should fight the good fight. He did not say on or over the prophecies fight the good fight. There is nothing in the chapter suggesting Paul was worried that the prophecies would not be fulfilled.
To say that a lack of faith on Timothy’s part would alter the future said to come by God labels the words of the prophet a lie in Isaiah 46. It would take willful ignorance to not understand that God told Isaiah if He has spoken a thing to occur nothing could stop it from happening.
As I was discussing this issue at the PMT office with Eric this past week I found myself telling him that the future is as fix in time as the past. In other words, in the same way we cannot change what happened yesterday we are unable to change what God says will happen. I realized with a jolt in my mind that what I had just said came not from me but from God. Later on my hour commute home I started thinking that maybe God did not really tell me that and I shouldn’t say that to people with such conviction.
Two days later as I left the house I felt compelled to take with me a thirty-year-old notebook gathering dust on a shelf. When I got to the PMT office and looked through it I found a couple verses that I had read before but never paid any attention to.
Ecclesiastes 3 14-15 reads “I know that everything that God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed away.”
Thanks be to God for confirming His word!
It is not logical to say that a future that can be changed is actually the future at all. With our finite human minds we deal with only possible outcomes as a natural consequence of actions. When Gods tells us what is coming there is only one possible outcome.
I understand the temptation to deflect accountability for speaking on behalf of God as a prophet to His people. I am even sympathetic to the prophet’s plight. They strive for perfection in operating in their gifts knowing there was and will only ever be one perfect prophet.
Jesus operated in every office and every gift and will never be matched in his power or ability. Still though, imperfect as we are we must all carry on in our callings. I am of the opinion though that relying on contortions of scripture to shield oneself from criticism if something one says is going to happen does not will ultimately dull one’s hearing even more. The onus will seem to have been lifted and hearing God accurately may not be as imperative as it once was.
Let us all, prophet or not have faith in God remembering His words “yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Written by Wes Arnold, PMT ElderReturn to the Newsletter Archives