Pastors and self-proclaimed prophets recently came under fire for their wild predictions that President Donald J. Trump would serve a 2nd term and remain the president of the United States. Some apologised for getting it wrong, while others say that the elections are not over yet and they stand by what they originally prophesied.
In light of all this, I thought it a good idea to shed some light on the nature of prophecies, from a biblical perspective.
Different Types Of Prophecies
First we need to recognise that, by nature, not all prophecies are the same. In essence, there are 2 types of prophecies. The first type is what I like to call prophecies that are “set in stone.” The second type is what I like to call prophecies that you “need to lay hold of.”
Examples of prophecies that are set in stone, are prophecies like the one found in Genesis 3:15 where God declared that a Messiah would ultimately defeat Satan. No one could stop this prophecy, as God ordained it to be so even before the foundation of the world (see 1 Peter 1:19-20 and Revelation 13:8).
Prophecies that we need to lay hold of, are different from prophecies that are set in stone in the sense that there is a part that we have to play in order for the prophecy to come into fulfilment.
This is explained in Jeremiah 18:7-10, where God explains that He is at liberty to reverse a decision which He had made regarding a nation. In verses 9-10 God said to Jeremiah, “I might [suddenly] speak about a nation or kingdom that I will build up or establish; and if they do evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will reverse My decision concerning the good with which I had promised to bless them.”
Not All Unfulfilled Prophecies Are False
It is also important to understand that not all unfulfilled prophecies are necessarily false. In Jonah 3:1-10 we see a great example of a prophecy that did not come into fulfilment, even though the prophecy was true.
In this passage we read how God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh, and to proclaim a prophecy of judgment against the city. In Jonah 3:4 we read that Jonah cried to the people and said, “Forty days more [remain] and [then] Nineveh will be overthrown!”
However, when the people of the city heard the word from the Lord, they repented. God, who is sovereign above all, was at liberty to reverse the decision to destroy the city, and the city was spared instead. This did not make the prophecy a false prophecy. Rather, we need to understand that some prophecies are meant to serve as a warning, while others need to be taken hold of.
As God explained in Jeremiah 18:7-10, He is at liberty to change His decision regarding a blessing or a curse, depending on how the people respond to the word.
How To Receive A Prophetic Word
When we hear a prophecy, it is up to us to lay hold of it or reject it. It requires that we consider what was said, and then activate the prophecy, depending on whether we agree with it or not.
A great example of how to activate a prophetic word that has been spoken over us, can be found in Luke 1:28-38. An angel from the Lord visited Mary and told her that even as a virgin she was going to have a son, who was going to be the Messiah. She took hold of the prophecy by agreeing with the word when she said in verse 38, “May it be done to me according to your word.”
This was not the only thing Mary had to do. She actively had to guard the prophecy by being obedient to God every step of the way. When King Herod wanted to kill the child, an angel from the Lord appeared to them and warned them in Matthew 2:13-15. They heeded the warning and fled to Egypt until it was safe to return.
How To Lose A Prophetic Word
The best chance Satan has to nullify a prophetic word in your life, is to get you to disagree with the prophetic word and to agree with a negative report instead.
When God took the Israelites out of Egypt, He also said that He would take them to a Promised Land where they would flourish. Nevertheless, when the time came for them to take hold of the promise, there was a big negative report that caused fear in the hearts of the people.
In Numbers 13:25-33 we read that the land was good. However, there were giants in the land, and only Caleb and Joshua agreed with the prophetic word that God would give the land over to them. The rest of the people were afraid, as they said the giants were too big for them and believed the negative report instead.
None of the people who agreed with the negative report were able to enter the Promised Land, except for Caleb and Joshua.
The reason why they entered the Promised Land was because they never lost their faith, and they kept on agreeing with the prophetic word of God. This is important to understand, as there is power when we agree with the word of God (also see Why The Words You Speak Matter).
So, did the prophets get it wrong when they claimed God said that President Donald J. Trump would serve a 2nd term? This is not an endorsement for President Trump, but as I am writing this the US election is not over yet.
The question we have to ask is, what is the Holy Spirit saying to you in your spirit, and which report are you agreeing with?
What about your own personal life? Are you missing out on what God wants for you because you are agreeing with the enemy instead of agreeing with God?