September 17th – Les Kovacs
Last week, Rev. Kim stated that it was the Lord who raised up the prophets of old and anointed them to carry out His work in calling the people of Israel back into a righteous relationship with Himself as they struggled with the temptations of the pagan cultures around them. Rev Kim pointedly affirmed that these select individuals were not self-appointed prophets. In my sermon from this past Sunday, I asked a rhetorical question about who the modern-day prophets were that could speak to God’s people in today’s culture, and I indicated that we as Christians, we can all be prophets. Notice that I was careful to say that we can all be prophets, not that we are all prophets. These two assertions, that the Biblical prophets of old were not self-appointed but anointed by God, and that we (modern Christians) can be prophets, are both correct.
In the Old Testament, God would send His Holy Spirit on specific individuals whom He had called to prophecy to His people. They would communicate His will, His warnings, and His promises to His people. We are familiar with these prophets through the various recorded writings in Scripture attributed to them and about them. The Old Testament also mentions numerous false prophets who were not anointed by God and did not speak for Him, such as Noadiah found in Nehemiah 6:14, or Hananiah found in Jeremiah 28, and several others. They were proven wrong by the actual anointed prophets of God.
In the Gospel according to John, we read about Jesus telling His disciples that He after He left, He would ask the Father to send them another advocate. He would send the Spirit of truth, which is the Holy Spirit who would dwell with them and in them (John 14:16-17). All those who know and love the Lord Jesus have the Holy Spirit within them. The Holy Spirit is a direct connection to the Father, and He can speak to you just as He did with the prophets of old, except now He doesn’t need to “come upon” you as He did in the Old Testament, he is already within you. And being God, He will always speak the truth – always.
I also said that just because someone says they have a word from the Lord, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are right, or that they are being prophetic. Sometimes our thoughts are just that, our thoughts. Just as in days gone by, if you or someone else thinks they have a word from the Lord, it must be tested. All the prophecies from the Biblical prophets listed in the Old Testament were proved correct and were scripturally sound. If you believe you have a message from God, you must test it thoroughly (1 Thessalonians 5). Pray for confirmation; ensure it aligns with scripture; seek advice from mature Christians. The Holy Spirit who lives within you will not lead you into sin; He will not contradict Scripture; He will not promote division; He will not glorify Himself; and He will not lead to confusion. If the message fails any of these tests, it is not from God, and we are not being prophetic in that instance. However, just because one message might prove to be not from God, doesn’t mean that the next one might not be either. Any message you believe is from God must be tested and if it passes, it may be prophetic, and you could share it with your Pastor or with whomever God leads you.
Questions: Have you ever felt a message from God that proved to be prophetic? How did you prove it? Did you act on it? What was the result?
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.