On Wednesday night, our small group at church started a series called “Letters to the Church“ by Francis Chan. We started by watching a video clip of Francis Chan talking about the book he wrote by the same title. He talked about how he went through a process of basically getting rid of all of his preconceived ideas of what church was supposed to look like. He even left a church that he had started, which was doing well, by most people’s standards, and began studying the Bible to see what the early church was like and then proceeded to start a Bible study, which led to founding a church based on these principles. He shared the scripture from I Corinthians 8:1 which says “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” and he stated that we live in a time when many people are “in love with their own opinions”. I thought to myself, that is so true, as I remembered reading comments a few days before that were in response to a dream and a prophetic word that was shared by a man that has been recognized in the body of Christ as a prophet named Jeremiah Johnson.
The dream the prophet shared was concerning Donald Trump and the spiritual attacks he was going through in trying to “drain the swamp”. In the dream, Jeremiah was in the boat with Donald Trump that was being attacked by alligators that were trying to sink the boat. He stated that the President kept running into the boats of others, saying he was going to drain the swamp, but did not realize that the swamp was in effect draining him, until it was too late. The boat began to sink down into a pit where Prophet Jeremiah Johnson said there was a horde of demons and he felt great fear. After awaking, it took him a few minutes to get himself free and then the Lord gave him a word saying basically that the church (to a large degree) was slumbering and not realizing that we needed to have a greater prayer covering to meet the attacks that were coming against the President as he is trying to protect our country. He stated that just as our country is in need of a wall to protect it’s borders, that we, as the body of Christ need to build a spiritual wall of protection around the President (through our prayers) to protect him from the demonic attacks being waged against him. As I read the comments on messenger, I was amazed at how many critical remarks there were, a few criticizing the President, but many were criticizing the prophet and his dream. It seems like everyone has become an expert and is to busy criticizing to be concerned with actually praying or if they are praying, they are probably defeating their own prayers with all the strife, division and negativity. One of the remarks was saying that this particular person followed the prophecies of (gave a list of prophets). It reminded me of what the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 1:12 “Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,”or “I follow Peter” or “I follow only Christ” (NLT). Paul goes on to say in verse 13 “Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? (The Amplified Bible).
One of the criticisms given was that the dream was promoting fear. I just want to say, as someone who went through nine years of encountering some very intense spiritual warfare, that when you encounter very strong demons, you often do feel fear, but you rise up and use the weapons of warfare that God has given us to do battle with and you get the victory anyway. These types of warning/spiritual warfare dreams show us the enemy’s intent and the potential of what can happen, if we do not pray against it. Also, in a spiritual warfare dream, the person having the dream often feels a demonic presence or attack of the enemy. I have had many dreams like this, often as a sign that the Lord was calling me to fast or prior to getting the breakthrough, but as I persevered until I got the breakthrough, God’s anointing would come on me when I began to pray against it and the enemy would be put to flight.
I think that we need to remember that a prophecy declares God’s will or intention, but a lot of things are conditional upon our obedience and cooperation with what the Lord is trying to accomplish. We are His hands and feet and He uses intercessors to pray His will into the earth (See Ezekiel 22:30) and there are spiritual battles going on to try to prevent God’s plan from being carried out. He gave the church His authority, and weapons of warfare, but we have to use them; it doesn’t just happen automatically
I know the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:18-22 that if a prophet speaks a word and it does not come to pass that they are a false prophet, but there are also many instances in the Old Testament where a prophet was told to speak a word and depending on the response of those the word was given to, the Lord, in many instances, changed His mind. One example is the word Jonah gave to the Ninevites: “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” (Jonah 3:4). To someone looking from the outside who may have only heard the word given and saw that it did not come to pass, Jonah might have appeared to be a false prophet. Another example is found in 1 Samuel 2:30 where the Lord says through the prophet to Eli that because his sons had dishonored the Lord and Eli had preferred his sons over the Lord and not restrained them, that the Lord was withdrawing the previous word that had been spoken over his family line: “I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever, but now the Lord says: Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”
I am not saying that we should blindly follow every person who calls their self a prophet. We need to use discernment and make sure the words given line up with scripture, but prophets are not God and they are not perfect people. If someone is 98% accurate and maybe missed it a couple of times (while they are still learning to hear the voice of God), or didn’t properly interpret what the Lord showed them; I’m just saying, we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to show others the same grace and benefit of the doubt that we would like to be given to us.
I want to say, with regards to the prophetic words given about the President that he has fulfilled much of what what has been prophesied about him and I believe he will continue to do so, but there is always spiritual warfare involved. The enemy tries to drain us, to weaken our resolve to get us to give up without completing our mission. II Kings 13:14-19 tells the story of how King Joash was concerned about the future welfare of the nation of Israel, since the prophet Elisha was near death. In verse 15, Elisha tells the king to “take a bow and some arrows.” Then the prophet tells the king to put his hand on the bow and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. He then told him to open the east window and shoot and he did so. Elisha then said “The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” (The King James Version says thou shalt strike the Syrians in Aphek till thou have consumed them). In verse 18, the prophet instructs the king to take the arrows and strike the ground, so the king did so three times and stopped. Then, the prophet was angry with the king and said “you should have struck the ground five or six times and then you would have totally destroyed Syria, but now, you will strike Syria only three times.” What this scripture tells me is that Elisha prophesied what the will of the Lord was, but the king’s lack of resolve and determination meant that he would not fully carry out what God’s will was at that time and it would be left for someone else to do.
I personally do not always agree with everything the President has done (but it is in his past and hopefully he has repented for those things) or the manner in which he says things at times. He is not a perfect man, but he has done a lot of great things for the church and the country and I believe the Lord has allowed him to be in office at this time, because He is what our country needs. Regardless or whether you agree or disagree with him, the scripture tells us in I Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for those in authority over us that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives. Also, Romans 13:1 says “For all authority comes from God and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God” (NLT).
The Bible also tells us to honor those who preach and teach the Gospel. “Elders (an Elder in the church is not necessarily someone who is old, but someone who is spiritually mature and called to teach and preach or be an overseer) who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching” (the King James says they are worthy of “double honor”). (I Timothy 5:17, NLT). It seems that many in the body of Christ have become cynical, critical and ready to find fault and judge others, especially those in leadership. I’m sure we have all been disappointed, at times, by people in Christian leadership, but we’re not supposed to have our eyes on them, we’re supposed to have them on Jesus. If you don’t agree with someone, pray for them.
I think maybe we’ve got “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” in the body of Christ. A little humility can go along way. Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that God gave the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all attain the unity of the faith and arrive at mature manhood. I was raised and taught to respect authority, especially those that God places in authority in the body of Christ.
Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17:21 that we would all be one, …”Just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.” John 13:35 says “By this everyone will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV). The enemy is trying to destroy our unity, because he knows if we are full of strife and division, we will not be able to accomplish what God wants us to, as the body of Christ.
I think we should look to the book of Acts 2:42-47 as our example of what the church is supposed to look like: 42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together and had all things in, common; 45 and sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart. 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added daily those who were being saved. ” (NKJV).
The word for fellowship in verse 42 in the original Greek language is koinonia (Strongs #2842), it means: sharing, unity, close association, partnership, participation, a society, a communion, a fellowship, contributory, help, the brotherhood. It is a unity brought about by the Holy Spirit. Koinonia cements the believers to the Lord Jesus and to each other. It denotes a deep sense of spiritual unity–of spiritual communion with the Lord and with each other. (New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Word Wealth). This is what the church looked like after the Day of Pentecost, when the believers first received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings unity and love. Spiritual gifts are wonderful, but I Corinthians 13 teaches us that we can have great spiritual gifts, but if we don’t have love, it doesn’t mean anything. Again, knowledge puffs up (with pride), but love builds up (encourages). ” Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening).” (I Corinthians 13:7, The Amplified Bible). May the Lord pour out His Spirit on us again and baptize us with His love and a spirit of unity. God bless you all,