Thursday, March 2, 2023

Expecting the Unexpected

Leaders of the so-called “Prophetic Movement” tell us not to be surprised by the unexpected and the weird. God is about to do unprecedented things that will challenge our comfort zones. As one recent “prophecy” declares, “I am preparing you for the unexpected… Expect to be surprised. Plan to be taken aback.”

Abyss - Photo by Mitsuo Komoriya on Unsplash
[Photo by Mitsuo Komoriya on Unsplash]

Certainly, God can do whatever He wants, and He is not beholden to anyone’s timetable. And in the Bible, He often does something no one sees coming, and when it is least expected. He delights in using the least likely man or woman to achieve His purposes.

But that is not the issue. Many of today’s “prophets and apostles” encourage behavior that is truly bizarre and often disruptive. Paul’s admonishment for all things to be done “decently and in order” is not to be taken literally by the super-spiritual. If the antics are the result of “revival” or attributable to the Spirit of God, they are not only tolerated but celebrated.

This is an old psychological trick. It is used to break down people’s resistance by making them watch and participate in bizarre and disturbing behavior, to do things they usually would never do. And this tactic is on display in words from the same “prophecy” cited above – “But, also surrender everything you think you know about who I am and how I move. Lay down your need to know. Surrender your past experiences, both good and bad, and open your heart to unfamiliar realms.

So, we must forget all that we have known and learned about God in the past and from the Bible to remain in “alignment” with what God is now doing, things that no one has ever seen before. This is a recipe for deception and chaos.

The plain fact is that just because something is weird or “unexpected” does not make it wise, spiritual, or from God.

And through the same “prophetess” God tells us, supposedly, “Those who do will recognize My hand and embrace My presence as I reveal eternal realities hidden from ages past.”

But the past is vital – a matter of life and death for the church – since God has already revealed the ultimate mystery that was “hidden in age-past times, but now is made manifest” in Jesus Christ, especially in his death and resurrection – (Romans 16:25).

And this is the problem whenever the “Prophetic Movement” discusses discovering new “revelation” and unheard-of “spiritual” experiences. God has already acted decisively in Jesus Christ. We have the ultimate expression of His nature and glory in His son.

The Creator of all things already did the unexpected by overthrowing sin, Satan, and death through the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. And that was the greatest revelation of all, the “mystery of God” previously hidden but now unveiled for all to see - “God’s wisdom in a mystery.”

And the fact that God redeemed humanity through the crucifixion of an apparently powerless messianic pretender by the world’s most powerful empire was something so unimaginable that none of the “rulers of this world,” the “powers and principalities,” understood it; otherwise, they would not have “crucified the Lord of glory.”

Jesus is the “word made flesh,” the final tabernacle in whom God dwells where we behold the glory of God. There is NO GREATER REVELATION or expression of His nature than what we find and see in Jesus. He who has seen him has seen the Father.

The knowledge of God is not acquired by soaring through heavenly "portals" or “pressing in” to one “spiritual realm” or another. He is beheld in the face of the man, Jesus Christ. And that knowledge is provided for us in the apostolic tradition preserved in the pages of the New Testament.

And that is precisely where the forces behind the “Prophetic Movement” are taking the saints – away from the Word of God and the Jesus of Scripture. Yes, God’s Spirit is necessary, especially since the “proclamation of a crucified Messiah” is “spiritually discerned.” And that message is God’s true “power and wisdom.” What is needed is not bizarre and disruptive behavior, but a return to the original teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

God will do an unexpected thing on the earth, not by raising up spiritual giants with superpowers, but by sending insignificant men and women to preach this same Jesus, men who daily “take up the cross” and tread the same path he did, men who give their absolute allegiance to Jesus and his kingdom and to no other, and men and women who know and teach the Word of God.

It will not be spectacular or bizarre by this world’s standards, but then, neither was the sight of the Nazarene hanging on a Roman cross.

(Prophecy quotations cited from the Wanda Alger webiste)