Recently, there have been many "prophetic" words spoken about the future of America. Knowing that we are in the middle of a pandemic and social upheaval, one can find it difficult to see any brightness in the future. We view our Facebook feeds and there seems to be nothing but bad news. We even find self-proclaimed "prophets" online who take sides on political spectrums and somehow invoke the name of God to justify their stances. They predict dreadful futures and seemingly sensationalize fear for Christians. The irony is within these circles, they seem to charge a lot of money for their "spiritual packages" and books. Often much self-promotion and fleshly endeavours are employed to make the so-called prophet look good. Their faces plastered over their websites, the front cover of their books....faces that will, in the end, be decomposed in the grave. For no flesh shall glory in the sight of the Eternal.
Prophetic ministry is not simply predicting the future. There is something much higher with such a ministry than to take sides. Prophetic ministry transcends the carnal mind of egoic divisions because it points back to the Vision of Him who Reigns - Christ. I'm often baffled at what we have done to this ministry. So much so that we have made a mockery of His Holy Spirit as we are doing this, and the world laughs whenever these "prophecies" don't come true. These prophets who say that God's judgment comes against us because liberals are against Donald Trump and people who are politically against Israel. It's sad to see that prophecy is reduced down to ideologies, worldly pursuits, political factions, and using these as a means to call down God's judgment. We've sullied this ministry into defending ungodly men in positions of power. Have we not seen this with the Jeffrey Epstein case? The prolific pedophile who has connections to people both left and right? It does not matter whether it was Donald Trump or Bill Clinton, both are mired in deep wickedness that does not seem to bear the fruit of righteousness. To say that God is using Donald Trump to save America from spiritual disaster is glorifying a man rather than the true Heavenly Man - Christ Jesus our Lord. One can make the comparison that God used Nebuchadnezzar, isn't that a wicked king? Sure, but within the process, He also humbled Nebuchadnezzar by making him eat grass. Humility is the forgotten character of the called in our generation and currently does not seem to be a trait that Trump expresses.
The genuine prophet, the true prophet...is one who is under the governance of Life. The governance of Life is the focal point of the prophet. He is one whom Christ reveals Himself IN (Galatians 1:15-16). Christ is the prophet's sole vision because the Holy Spirit's governance him with the Eternal Purpose - mainly that God's original intention was the gain a corporate man through His Life so that we may have dominion or heavenly expression on the earth. The main concern is the Whole Christ - Head and Body, and what the prophetic call is to the Church in relation to this revelation alone. The concern for His Son. One who bears the Holy Spirit in his heart is one who has the expression of His fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Centrality of Christ is the prophet’s sole purpose. And in seeing this Christ, he becomes a fool among people because he wishes to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified. That’s all he brings to God’s people. That revelation alone is the true expression of God’s heart through a man to His Bride and sets us free. And in knowing this Crucified Christ, he is humbled into dust and ashes because he sees the Mystery Who is beyond comprehension.
Many “prophets” of today have forgotten the Way of the Cross. The Way of the Cross is the way of breaking down fleshly visions of what an earthly nation should be politically because the Cross sees no boundaries. The boundaries that we have set up – “These leftists are terrible people with their immoral agendas, they will fry. These right-wing people are hypocrites, judgmental, legalistic, they will fry.” This is what we have reduced prophetic ministry down to. We invoke the name of God to justify our hatred of the other, instead of allowing the Cross to break us down and unite us into resurrection as the Ascended One New (corporate) Man. The Corporate Christ! The call of the prophet is a call to the Cross. Christ Crucified! Did not our Lord say, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me…”? All men meaning Left, Right, Black, Brown, Asian, Latino, Jewish, Mongolian, Mexican….ALL MEN! There is no put down of the other. This concept is even applied to churches – Calvary Baptist Church, The People’s Church, Chinese Baptist Church, New York Pentecostal – when in reality God only sees One Church – His Universal Bride. He doesn’t see the labels, but only His corporate Body. The prophet has a genuine revelation of the Cross and he calls God’s people back to this dynamic revelation. The greater the Vision of Christ, the greater the Vision of His Body – The Church. Therefore, the genuine prophet transcends all boundaries because he has the Vision of the One who transcends all and in all. In beholding this Vision, the prophet is characterized by divine love and humility.
Men like Art Katz, Watchman Nee, T. Austin-Sparks, Paul Washer, Leonard Ravenhill….these are/were men who seem to be genuine prophets in their own right because in experiencing the Cross, they were humbled. There isn’t an ounce of self-promotion in their ministry, but they spoke with such truth, love, boldness, and humility that their words bear the fruit of eternity. Because they only sought the glory of Christ. All they did was lift up Christ and men were drawn regardless of status or political factions. Jesus doesn’t go around shaming liberals for their problems. Neither does he do that with conservatives. What have we done when we have reduced Jesus down to conservative political ideologies, when the true Christ transcends all?
Think about our Brother Sparks who gives away his books and teachings for free. Because in receiving a deep revelation of Christ, he believed that what was freely given to him, he gave away for free. Not wanting to make a penny off the Gospel….that’s a man who has been dealt with by the Cross. Brother Art Katz talks about how he never lifted a finger to promote his books, and God in His Sovereignty allowed his works to be translated into many different languages. But, not today’s “prophets.” “Get this book on the future of America for $40, and you’ll also get this spiritual package as a bonus. Call right now! And for an extra $20, you can get a soaking kit where you can soak in God’s presence.” What have we done when we defile the Gospel this way by using the Holy Spirit for financial gain? Or worse, if these “prophecies” do not even come true, was it even the Holy Spirit to begin with….or some other spirit? If not the Holy Spirit, then we’ve made a mockery out of Him, and that is not something to be trifled with.
Could it be that many of these so-called "prophets" are actually beasts? Beasts that devour our vision of the Simplicity of Christ? Coming to us with language that sounds awfully Christian and seemingly prophetic in nature, attempting to prepare us for some impending disaster, only to be actually far from the Centrality of the Ascended One? We are so captivated by the smooth words of a man that his character is never in question. And the reason for this is that we ourselves are so obsessed with what the future holds. "What will happen to our nation? Are we going to survive? Who's going to be elected? Do we need to hide in a bomb shelter?" Forgetting the fact that Christ calls us to the Eternal Moment of where He is:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." –Matthew 6:25-34
In our desperate attempts to latch on to a speculative future that has yet to arise, we've forfeited the faith that grounds us in the present moment. In the Present, we find His Presence. We've forsaken the peace that has been given to us in Christ Jesus. For every spiritual blessing in the Heavenlies has been given to us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). But, in holding on to divisive and speculative "prophecies", we live as though we do not believe what has been given to us freely. Though rich internally, we live as beggars! Yes, Jesus Himself spoke prophetically about the End Times, but He also assured us of His peace - the peace of Him who has overcome the world. Perhaps in latching on to these "prophetic insights" of the future, we're actually showing how poorly prepared we are for when the Real Trial comes our way. Because it is those who are dwelling in Presence, who understand how to access all things in Christ by faith, who understand how secured they are in the Love of Christ and believe in His Provision that will stand in the Last Days against the onslaught of darkness. Not those who in the flesh constantly prepare and fret for an unknown future, listening to so-called prophecies and conspiracy theories....so much so that they forget to make breakfast or sleep with one eye open. We've forgotten what is in front of us in the name of unproven fantasies. We're even demonstrating how little we know of the prophetic when we dwell on an unknown future because in lacking Presence, we do not fully comprehend the heart and mind of God - the very foundation of what prophetic ministry is! O how little faith we have in the Present Christ! It is the element of trust that is developed in the believer by God's Holy Spirit. Trusting that God is much bigger than our problems and that our future is secure in Him - no matter how it comes about. Because "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:35-39
I'm beginning to understand how the Apostle Paul became so fearless in his walk with the Lord. It was because He knew how deeply loved he was. His value and worth was so secure in Jesus that no demon in hell could frighten him. No man could scare him away from preaching the Gospel because he knew how loved he was. No future circumstance could deter him. That even if the world didn't want him, his life was defined by Christ. "To live is Christ and to die is gain" was the core of his identity. Come what may....my life is secure in His love, and that present moment of knowing this love through the Cross is what grants us the supernatural assurance that in all things, God works together for good to those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
The Cross is the Open Window through which Time meets Eternity. Because in coming to the Cross and in eating of His flesh and blood, we access the Resurrection on the other side of the Cross, thereby uniting us with the Resurrected and Ascended One. Seated in Heavenly Places with Him (Ephesians 2:6). Waiting to become the New Jerusalem as a Bride adorned for Her Husband. Have we seen this? Do we know this about ourselves in our relationship with Him? Or are we so preoccupied with our future status on earth, our political turmoils, our constant bashing of the other side, that we've missed eternity's values in view? Brother Art Katz once said, "In missing the Cross, we have missed the power of the Resurrection." Those words of our late brother are truer of us today than ever before. Perhaps we need the Cross to deal with our earthly perceptions of who Christ is and what His Body entails. The earthly perception of reducing our Lord Jesus down to who to vote for - Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Calvinist or Arminian, Baptist or Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant, and the list just piles on. These labels warp our perception and must be dealt with at the Cross in order for a genuine corporate expression to be manifested. God is on no one's side but His Own, and His Own Side is the revelation of His Son.
May the Vision of Him who Reigns transcend our earthly ideals. Even the ideals that seem to be covered over with Evangelical terms in order to justify our sins; making certain sins respectable because of religious overtones. Idols fashioned by our egos as we attempt to "Christianize" our political leanings. As time goes on, the Church is called to greater unity among the saints. It is no wonder the enemy laughs at us because of our petty divisions over doctrine and theology. In our disunity, we are powerless. But in a full corporate expression prepared for the End Times, we will participate in the Final Consummation of God's Eternal Purpose which will put an end to the works of the enemy. Demons will tremble at the revelation of this full corporate expression of the New Jerusalem: The One New Man - which is the Whole Christ. Head (Christ) and Body (Church)! We are His dwelling place, and when Jesus comes back the second time, we're coming down with Him as the One Body with Many Members. "Christ is the Head, and He is also the Body." -Watchman Nee
God help us to see this, or we will miss what He had wanted for us from the beginning of Genesis all the way to Revelation - The Tree of Life (Christ) in us, who is our Hope of Glory! God forgive us for sullying the prophetic by substituting Christ with religious and political endeavours. May we return to the Life of Him who transcends all, and may the Vision of the Ascended One be relished with a holy jealousy. Only then will the words of our mouth and the testimony of our lives be genuinely prophetic in these Last Days because we speak and live by the Son alone. (Hebrews 1:2)
Your Servant in Jesus' Name,
- Michael Barnabas Hoy-Kuen Liao