WHAT IS THE POINT OF PROPHECY?
A well known Biblical verse, Amos 3:7, states “The Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.”
Does that seem odd to you? If the Sovereign Lord decides to do something doesn’t he just do it?
I want to draw your attention to a prophecy which is well known, but to a limited number of Christians and I want to explain why more of us should know about it. We should know about well-tested prophecies and we should believe them because that is how and why they come to pass.
God tells his prophets to tell his people what he intends to do because he works through our faith. Most prophetic messages are conditional. The very well-know passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a perfect example:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall ahumble themselves, and bpray, and seek my cface, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Here the Bible clearly states the conditions, and they are at least implied for nearly every prophetic passage. The most common theme from the major and minor prophets is a warning about impending judgement with the prophet pleading for the people to repent and do what is right so God can relent and not bring the judgement they deserve.
That is not to say that all prophecy is conditional, because some events are unconditionally predetermined. An example of this would be the prophecy that Israel would be exiled in Egypt for 400 years.
But most prophecies in the Bible, and prophetic messages today, are conditional. This is because the Sovereign Lord has made us in his image and, as such, we are very significant. We can create together with him! Or as in Nazareth (Matt 13:58 or Mark 6:5), our unbelief can be a hindrance.
God so loves us that he wants to work in partnership with us! Therefore, he tells the prophets what he wants to do, they tell his people and we pray prayers of faith, like Daniel did in Daniel 9 or like Nehemiah did in Neh. 1
So, it is clear that the Lord brings his word to us, often in the form of prophecies, so we can hear, believe and pray in faith. That is how we can co-work together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9).
That brings me to a prophecy that I think we should “lay hold of” and then pray until it happens. It came from an unusual man, but one who was a well-proven prophet of his time. God used him to bring thousands to faith, with signs and wonders accompanying his ministry over decades. Smith Wigglesworth was a plumber but became a well-known evangelist. The following prophecy and the photograph are taken from www.prophecytoday.uk.
Smith Wigglesworth was a well-known evangelist. He had humble beginnings in life, took up the trade of a plumber and was then powerfully used in a world-wide ministry of evangelism with miraculous healings and miracles accompanying the ministry of the word. He lived from 8 June 1859 to 12 March 1947.1
Shortly before he died in 1947, he delivered the following prophecy:
During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it and will be characterised by the restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches. In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is a great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.’
When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit.
When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nations, and indeed, the world have ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years.
The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.
I believe this prophecy is from God and it is for now!
There are many signs that we are about to see unprecedented numbers of people, especially young people, to come to faith in Jesus. But the “biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nations, and indeed, the wold have ever seen” is not a foregone conclusion. Let us cling onto God’s loving intention and pray it into being!