Here are some Scriptures to consider, study, and meditate on, regarding the temptation to reject any prophesy, dream, or vision from the Lord.
The Lord Speaks Through Children and the Child-like
Sometimes the Lord speaks through children, including our own children. Some people want us to make them stop speaking about these things, because it scares them. It’s like the the chief priests and the scribes, who heard the children praising Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David.” They became indignant:
And said to Him, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus *said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself'?" (Mat 21:16)
Remember that the Lord has ordained praise, and even dreams, visions, and revelations for children, as Joel prophesied:
"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. "Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joe 2:28-29; cf., Ac 2:16-18)
It is not the wise and learned ones to whom God has chosen to reveal these things. He reveals them to the children and the child-like. Yet so many intelligent Christians speak like Dr. Spock from the Star Trek series. When they read or listen to some of these divine revelations, they have the thought, “That’s illogical,” and dismiss what the Lord said. Be careful not to fall into this Dr. Spock syndrome.
At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. (Mat 11:25-26)
Nay Sayers Say "Do Not Speak Out"
In the book of Micah the prophet, he wrote:
'Do not speak out,' so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, Reproaches will not be turned back. (Mic 2:6, NASB)
In other words, they spoke out, telling the prophet, “Do not speak out!” Or in the NIV translation, "Do not prophesy!":
“Do not prophesy,” their prophets say. “Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us.” (Mic 2:6, NIV)
They fail to realize that disgrace will certainly overtake them if they reject the message of the Lord through His prophet. Unless the prophets speak out concerning these things, reproaches will not be turned back.
But religious people have always tried to stop the prophets of God from prophesying. The men of Anathoth did this with Jeremiah, and even sought his life, if he insisted on prophesying:
Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, so that you will not die at our hand"; therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; and a remnant will not be left to them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth--the year of their punishment." (Jer 11:21-23)
Isaiah the prophet also wrote about this experience of those who said to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words.” He wrote:
Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions. "Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel." Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, "Since you have rejected this word And have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them, Therefore this iniquity will be to you Like a breach about to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant, Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter's jar, So ruthlessly shattered That a sherd will not be found among its pieces To take fire from a hearth Or to scoop water from a cistern." For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, "In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength." But you were not willing, (Isa 30:10-15)
You see they didn’t want to hear about holiness from the Holy One of Israel. If they had repented and rested quietly in an abiding trust in the Lord, they would have been saved. But they rejected the Word, and they were not willing, so the Lord sent disaster instead.
Jesus affirmed that the religious people of Jerusalem had killed the prophets and stoned those sent to her. He Himself wanted to gather their children to Himself, but they were not willing, so nothing remained for them, except desolation, which came forty years later in 70 AD.
"Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” (Mat 23:36-38)
A Way of Death That Seems Right
You might be thinking, “I don’t see anything sinful or wrong about this thing I am doing, which this person claims the Lord told them to warn the Church about.” If that is you, then remember that,
“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Pro 16:25)
As disciples of Christ, we're entering into life. This is an eternal life we're beginning. So we need to begin now living the kind of life we'll be living for eternity in heaven.
Calling Evil Good and Good Evil
Any time the true prophets of God speak, like Jeremiah, it will expose sin. But just as in the days of Jeremiah, the false prophets of today do not expose sin.
“Your prophets have seen for you False and foolish visions; And they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.” (Lam 2:14). We must beware of false prophets, who give messages that do not expose sin, and have no point to them.
These false messengers are defending the devil by calling good evil and evil good. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah, saying: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20).
Woe to those who reject the Lord’s message of holiness, since they are not listening to His voice, and not obeying Him. They have an evil unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. As the Scripture says, "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God." (Heb 3:12).
Therefore, the Lord will give them over to the stubbornness of their heart to walk in their own devices. "But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices." (Psa 81:11-12; cf. Rom 1:24-28). That is a dangerous place to be, because you can no longer see that what you are doing is evil.
A Divine Mandate to Warn Others
And let’s never forget that the messengers of the Lord are under divine mandate to warn us, or else our blood will be on their hands:
"Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.” (Eze 33:7-8)
Likewise, if we receive the message of the Lord and refuse to warn others, then their blood will be on our hands.
Concerned More About Our Comfort Zones
However, sometimes we can be like Jonah. We’re more concerned about our own comfort, than about the things the Lord cares about. We get upset if someone gives a warning message from the Lord that threatens our comfort zone. But the reason is that we don't understand the mercy of God. The Lord in His mercy is much more concerned about rescuing our souls from perishing than He is about us keeping our little idols.
Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?" (Jon 4:10-11)
"Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them." (Jon 2:8).
God is restoring Truth
As I mentioned in my article, Restored Truth, some who reject the messages say that God has not left anything out of His Word, so He doesn't need to give us any new revelations. However, what they fail to realize is that these things have been in the Word of God all along right beneath our noses, although in certain cases the specific sin may not be mentioned by name. The problem is not that they are missing from God's Word, rather the problem is with us that we have been beaten with blindness and lost the Truth.
When God calls us back to the Truth written in His eternal Word, which we have lost, I call this a restored truth. God is restoring Truth. Each time God restores Truth, people either reject it or embrace it. The ones who embrace it and repent find mercy. Those who reject the truth that God is restoring are hardening their hearts and missing the grace of God (Heb 12:15). Be careful you are not like the religious leaders who loved their sin more than the Truth and rejected Martin Luther's ninety-five theses.
Consider Carefully What You Hear
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us to consider carefully what we hear. He said, “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear. Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Mk 4:22-25). That means that whoever does not have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches, even what they have will be taken from them. Don't let that happen to you!
Spiritual Warfare and the Two Perspectives
I can assure you that there is great spiritual warfare surrounding these revelations. The devil knows that if people accept these and repent, turning back to God, they will escape hell. He is angry that his secrets have been revealed, so he is working hard to keep that from happening, or at least to minimize the damage to his kingdom. There are two basic perspectives when reading these divine revelations. It's like two witnesses seeing the same thing from two different points of view.
One perspective is the enemy's. He speaks to a person and says, "What's the use then? Why serve God? You're going to hell, and so is your whole church. It's all a waste. It's hopeless. You're doomed. Nothing you do will ever please God. He's a ruthless task master, and His standard is too high." This is a defeatist attitude in what I call the "condemnation zone."
Another lie the enemy will tell you is, "These testimonies are from the devil. A loving God would never say such things. That sounds like the Old Covenant, so it cannot be true. It's just legalism."
The other perspective is God's. If you have that perspective, you think, "How compassionate! How merciful of God to delay the rapture long enough for me to get this revelation, so that I could repent! The fact that I am still alive and the rapture has not happened yet is evidence that God loves me and cares about me. He is seeking to save me and rescue my soul from hell. I need to take this day that the Lord has given me, and I need to use the opportunity to repent, seek His face, cry out to Him for mercy for me and my family and my church. Then I need to begin to warn them before it's too late. There is still hope for us! This could be the last day I have." God doesn't see it as hopeless. He sees there is great hope that you will repent and warn other, and not perish.
These revelations are God's medicine that He is giving us to take, because the Church is sick. Like little children who make faces when they take their medicine, and they spit it out or refuse to take it once they taste it, many people do that with divine revelations of hell, and warning messages from the Lord. They get very depressed, confused, sick to their stomach, and struggle with receiving these words.
But you need to understand that God is giving us this medicine, because it is necessary. It's the last thing He is able to do, before He sends calamity. Those who will take the medicine and repent, turning back to God through Jesus Christ, will be spared from the coming disaster. But those who refuse to take it will end up in the Great Tribulation, in the midst of divine judgments. If they thought the bitter medicine was terrible and they could not bear to taste it, and if it made them depressed and confused, then how much more will they have the same kind of reaction to the Great Tribulation. They will realize that they and their church have missed the rapture, and they are left behind. They will not want to get out of bed. It will be worse than dying. That will be far more depressing than any revelation they heard before the Great Tribulation..
At that point, it will no longer be merely a prophetic utterance, it will be the fulfillment of prophecy. They will be living a nightmare in their home, their neighborhood, and their country. Then the horror of it all will become reality and it will be that much more difficult for them to repent, because they will be in survival mode. And if they hardened their hearts when they heard the revelations, they will be tempted to harden their hearts again in the Great Tribulation. They will have plenty of opportunity to deny Christ and take the mark of the beast. But if they do, they will have lost all chance of ever being saved.
Dear people, now is the time to repent. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the time of God's favor.
"We also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain-- for He says, 'At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.' Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation--'" (2Co 6:1-2)
In His kindness, He has extended this extra grace to you to get things right with Him. Seize the moment! Don't sit back with a condemned attitude and say, "It's too late. There's nothing we can do."
If You Love Me You Will Obey Me
Many times, we think that the words we speak are the most important thing that matters. But God doesn't look at it that way. I need to clarify that our words are important, and we will be rewarded for our words, as surely as we are rewarded for what we do. But God is looking at the heart and wants to see obedience to His commands. Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (Joh 14:15)
It doesn't matter if a woman sings the most beautiful lyrics with the voice of an angel in Church on Sunday. If she is dressed and adorned like Jezebel, what will it profit her? If a man is living in adultery, yet he evangelizes many people, will he go to heaven? Surely not. No adulterer will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Whatever your sin is, no amount of good works could be enough to outweigh it and get you to heaven. You can take whatever that sin is that you want to hold onto, and plug it into this illustration. Then ask yourself if it's worth losing your soul.
You might say, "All this talk of holiness in these messages makes me feel like we're going back to the Old Covenant." Based on the years of desensitization from our culture, and the failure of preachers to preach on holiness, I can understand how someone might feel that way.
But Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 5:17-20)
It doesn't matter what you "say" with your lips, if you do not act on the Words of Jesus.
He also said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall. When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes." (Mat 7:21-29)
The two houses are two lives. One is built on sand, because that person is not obedient to act on what Jesus said. That house fell with a great fall. The other is built on the rock, and did not fall, because that person puts the Lord's Words into practice. He taught us that it doesn't matter what you say with your lips, if you don't put His Words into practice. Therefore, God is not looking for lip service, but true, obedient love.
“But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.” (1 Sam 12:15)
Narrow is the Gate
You shouldn't say, "What about this person or that person I know? They are a believer, and they are not living by these high standards that we are being called to in these revelations. If that's the standard for heaven, then they'll perish in hell."
You need to first get your life right with God through repentance and obedience. Then you need to pray for others that God will have mercy on them. And you need to warn them. God will not lower His standard for anyone. He expects us to change.
The gate we must enter through is a narrow one. As I explained in my article, The Straight and Narrow Path, it's much more narrow than most people realize.
Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Mat 7:13-14)
As in the Days of Noah
If there were an impending, massive hurricane about to hit your town, would you be decorating the front of the house for Christmas, or would you be preparing for emergency -- taping windows, buying water, and stocking up on supplies like flashlights and batteries? Likewise, the hour is late as impending disaster is coming to those who are not prepared spiritually. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming right away. Yet rather than preparing for His coming, many people are going about their usual business, more concerned about their normal routines, like hanging Christmas decorations. They refuse to listen to the warnings.
"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Mat 24:37-39)
Putting it All Together
Let's not be nay sayers, who want to silence the children and the child-like that are giving us messages from the Lord. If you hear the Lord's voice today, don't harden your heart. Beware that you are not calling good evil and evil good. It is possible that the Lord could give you over to your own devices, so that you would become convinced that you are right, when in fact you are rebellious. We should correctly discern the things of the Spirit, and then receive that which is genuinely from the Lord.
Don't fall into the Dr. Spock syndrome. It's not your logic or intellect that is going to save the day, but the Spirit of God alone. He has and continues to do things that are seemingly illogical to our little brains. But in fact, they are very wise.
You need to be willing to give up everything for the Lord. That one thing that you want to keep is not worth losing your soul. It may seem right to you, but in the end it's the way of death. If the Lord puts His finger on it and says, "That must go," then get rid of it. In fact, don't wait for Him to tell you. Ask the Holy Spirit to expose anything hidden in your life that must go. Ask Him to judge you severely, correct you ruthlessly, and rebuke you thoroughly, so you can serve Him more perfectly, being void of all hypocrisy, meek and lowly of heart.
While we're going around trying to protect our little comfort zones or favorite sins that seem so small to us, the Lord's concern for our souls and the souls of billions of others is infinitely greater than our concern for our comfort zone. Try to put everything into proper perspective by seeing it in the light of eternity. What will you think about that little sin a million years from now? If you fail to give up everything, then end up in hell, what will you think throughout eternity about that thing you held onto while you were on earth, which seemed so important at the time? You will regret the day you were ever born!
But if you forsake all sin,and follow Jesus, then once you are up in heaven with Him, you won't even remember the things you gave up for Him while you were on earth, because they will seem so insignificant compared to His exceedingly great glory.
The Lord has given a mandate to the watchman to warn others. And once we come to know what the Lord requires, we too must warn others. The time is short, and the Lord is not going to lower the high standard of heaven for anyone. He requires truth, righteousness, and holiness, without which no one shall see God.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. The "Four Horsemen" painting © 2012 is by Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.
Author's note: I also recommend reading: Persecuted or Popular?, Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, Walking in the Perfect Will of God, Discerning the Things of the Spirit, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, The Law is Good if Used Lawfully, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations and The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.