If you subscribe to Charisma magazine, you will receive tons (and I mean tons) of prophetic-type articles. It can be quite overwhelming and confusing as you consider the various prophetic utterances and promises. I have often wondered how believers are supposed to appropriate or respond to such declarations.
This morning, another email update landed in my Inbox and the title caught my attention: “Man Sees Jesus in Vision: ‘Many Will Be Offended at My Return'”. Although it read and sounded like another one of those click-bait titles, my curiosity got the better of me (occupational hazard of being in an eleventh-hour ministry like Archippus Awakening).
The article is about Jeremiah Johnson‘s prophetic encounter with Jesus through which the Lord revealed to him that:
“…many will be offended at My return! They have created a god in their own likeness and image and will deny Me when I come with all My glory, power and splendor! You must warn the church of the scoffing spirit that will come, of the overemphasis of My goodness and never teaching on My severity, of never proclaiming and warning of My wrath and judgment that is here now and is yet to come.”
Whoa! Not exactly your typical comforting and edifying prophecy, is it? Yet, there was a certain resonance. Have we “created a god in [our] own likeness and image”? Yep. Is there an “overemphasis of My goodness” at the expense of “teaching on My severity”? Definitely. Are we really ready for the return of Jesus? Hmmm…?
In another Jeremiah Johnson’s prophetic dream about Matthew 7:21-23, he saw both ministers who moved in signs and wonders and individuals who benefited from such signs and wonders in hell (Disturbing Prophetic Dream: I Saw Many Ministers and Prophets in Hell). The Holy Spirit explained to him:
“Because those who worked miracles, prophesied and cast out demons never preached the full gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the message of repentance. They were so in love with the gifts I had given them that people became trophies and souvenirs to them. When My power would manifest in their ministries, they would tell people that I loved them, but never that they needed to repent for their sins. I tell you that a great deception will sweep over the signs and wonders movement in the earth. Beware of the ministries where miracles and prophecies will flow, but the message of repentance is a no-go. You have been warned.”
Makes complete sense, if you think about it. The ones whom the Lord will not recognise are those who “practise lawlessness” (Matt 7:23). If there is no repentance, then there is no change of lifestyle at all. To repent is to turn from our ways (the ways of the world) and to return to the ways of God (alignment, in Archippian parlance). The response to the gospel of the kingdom must involve repentance; not just faith in a good and loving God.
What are we to make of such prophetic warnings? How are we to respond?
You could consider these as harsh and totally out of character of a God who is loving and good. As such, just ignore and continue to bask in His love and goodness; and presume that everything is going to be fine and dandy when Jesus returns.
That said, because God is loving and good, these prophetic warnings are very much a revelation of His grace and truth. To be sure, He doesn’t have to warn us at all. But precisely because He is gracious and good, it is totally in His nature to get our attention when we are veering off that we may get back on track and be ready when Jesus returns.
I can’t speak for you or others. But as for me, I will readily, prayerfully and carefully heed the gracious warnings of a good and loving God.