For those who believe that prophecy ended with the apostles, I ask you simply, would the God who loves us enough to allow his only begotten son to be crucified to save us from sin and hell, stop speaking to His children as they go through what His own Word on earth says is the worst times that ever have been or ever will be again? Would that not be contrary to His very nature and character? Agape does not include abandonment. Agape is all fulfilling love in all things.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
~ John 3:16-21
Does this sound like a God who would abandon the people He has given so much for, to save them? I believe He is here, He is with us and He is in control. He IS still speaking.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ “Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them— Those who contended with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
The Isaiah passage was written to the Israelites, but we as gentile believers, grafted into the family of the Israelites, as the wild olive is grafted into the branches of the cultivated olive, enjoy the same promises and blessings.
And Yeshua spoke with them and he said to them, “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and in the earth; in the manner in which my Father has sent me, I am sending you.” “Therefore go disciple all the nations and baptize them in the name of The Father and The Son and The Spirit of Holiness.” “And instruct them to keep everything whatever I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you every day, even unto the end of time. Amen”
~ Matthew 28:18-20
In Matthew 28, yes Jesus was speaking to His 12 disciples, but he specifies even to the end of time. They did not live to the end of time. We, as disciples of Christ are the disciples who will see the end of time, the second coming of Christ in His Glory and yes, we are his disciples. According to https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/disciple/
Disciple a scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist ( Matthew 9:14 ), and of the Pharisees ( 22:16 ), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example ( Matthew 10:24 ; Luke 14:26 Luke 14:27 Luke 14:33 ; John 6:69 ). So, as Christ following disciples, we also are partakers of this promise. “to the end of time.” We are not alone, He is with us, loving us, caring for us, providing for us and never leaving us and yes, through His Holy Spirit, speaking to us as we overcome what is to come, holding fast to Him in faith, for He is faithful and we (the body of Christ) His followers are His Beloved.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
If you read this entire passage, its easy to tell we are in the times just before this coming tribulation. This is the beginning of sorrows. How long this will last we don’t know. But we are called to be prepared, and not be deceived. This passage by Matthew the Apostle of Christ, also says that false prophets will emerge publicly to deceive , if able, even God’s own people.
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
~ Matthew 24:4-14
I believe its pretty clear we are in the time of sorrows. I think this very strait forwardly makes the point I am about to elaborate upon. Believers, Saints, Beloved of Christ, we need to know what a prophet is, what the purpose of prophecy is and how to tell it comes from God or not, so that as much as possible, you will know truth, be able to discern it from lies, and heed the Spirit of Christ in all things and all matters. So here goes…
The 7 P’s of Prophecy
(7 is the number of completion and perfection. I found that interesting as I was prompted to write them out.)
Prophecy – Simply, the words of God, prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit, through man, for the purpose of God, to His people. Can be in written form or oral. This position (Prophet) is assigned by God, not bestowed by men.
Purpose – Word of God for now, for immediate action (ie. repentance and return to Him) or for later, to know what is to come and what to secure or avoid. (ie. His coming for those who have secured salvation and avoid eternity in hell.)
Power – Ultimate power lies within God. Man is His beloved creation into which He breathed life. He gives and He takes away. He has the power to do all He says He will do.
Proxy – God choses to work through men and women to achieve His goals, to bring forth His word, to affect the hearts of mankind, to turn them to Him, to seek His face, and His presence. There are many true prophets mentioned in the Bible in the Old Testament and the New Testament for reference to this fact. These prophets all exhibited the 7 P’s.
Performance – As the almighty God speaks through His prophets, there is or will be a performance of the promised actions of God, for blessing and for reproach, direction, teaching and discipline of His people, His children and discipline or punishment may be avoided by repentance.
Proof – He shows Himself to a believing and unbelieving world through His Work and His Word. Performance is Proof, irrefutable proof of the existence, power, love, jealousy, anger, long-suffering patience of an almighty God.
Plan – His plan becomes evident as His Word and Work, foretold, play out for the world to see, experience and relate to Him. Prophecy never contradicts the Word He has already set forth. The Spirit does not contradict Himself. If it does not match the Word of God, its not of the Spirit of God. Do not be afraid to test the spirit of any prophecy. If the spirit of a prophecy does not confess Jesus Christ as Messiah, born of flesh, of a virgin, crucified, risen by the Father to sit at His right hand in Glory, for the death of sin and the salvation of sinners, then it is of an AntiChrist. True Godly prophecy will always agree with the salvation plan of God and His written word.
Peace – Peace, now and to come, is the result of all His words to us, His work in the world and in us, and the coming of His Kingdom for His children, for believers who hear, and overcome all these tribulations and trials to follow Him, love Him and choose Him always. Prophecy will not always make you feel peaceful. But when you are in the Will of God, you will be at peace, no matter what is happening around you. Peace comes from being in the Will of God, repentant, humbled and obedient to His Spirit.
(Jesus) “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”
(Angel to John) “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Prophecy MUST have all of these components to be true, Godly prophecy. As of right now, not all of the prophecy written or spoken has been fulfilled. We have much end days prophecy to come. But, by the time Christ appears, you will know it has been fulfilled, all that is written in the books of the prophets from long ago, ancient days from the Ancient of Days, the Lord our God.
Look for His plan as it has been written down and performed to this time, for our salvation. Even though you may not have seen performance yet, you can look to His plan for confirmation. Nothing will contradict the Word of God or His plan for humanity. Hold fast to Him in faith. He comes and He is faithful, His Word is unfailing and will not return to Him void. It will perform all He has purposed it for.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
~ Isaiah 55:11
Know the truth, don’t be fooled and follow Him. Prophets will come and He will speak. But not all who speak will be sent of Christ. Know Him, know the difference, live in His peace and seek always His face, His presence, His Love, His truth, His Word, His testimony. Hold fast and tight to Him so that when He comes in His Glory, you may greet Him with gladness, praise, joy and rejoicing!