Have you noticed that there seems to be a number of conflicting words of warning recently? One says judgment is on the way! The other says quit focusing on judgment and bad things as I see blessings and the greatest move of God ever. One says it is time to prepare for natural disasters and the other condemns those who prepare and for focusing on the negative. One says homosexuality is a sin and another says it is not and promotes ordaining ministers who practice that lifestyle.
What is going on? Are the prophets confused?
What's Going On?
There are a multitude of factors to consider. For example:
God says in Jeremiah 23:28 "the prophet who has a dream, let him tell the dream; And he who has My word, let him Speak my word faithfully." In verse 30 God goes on to say "Therefore behold I am against the prophets, " says the Lord, who steal My words everyone from His neighbor... and it goes on to say God is against those who cause His people to err through lies and recklessness because it perverts God's word.
1 Corinthians 13:9 also teaches us that we know in part and we prophesy in part. 1 Corinthians 14:29 says let the prophets speak and then let the others judge. I would submit that you also want apostles, prophets and pastor/teachers judging the words as well. Once the word is confirmed by other prophets (Amos 3:8) we want the whole counsel of God's word. As each gift looks at the same work they'll bring insight as they peer at the word through their gift mix.
One situation that I've seen often causes me to scratch my head. It is when people receive a prophetic word for the Church that they personally are not applying to their own life. They will say something like "don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together" yet they themselves only come to church when food is being served. They will give warning about apathy when they themselves practice complacency. Candidly, I marvel at their blindness. Why does this happen? It is because God gave them a free will and if they choose to believe the lie, in time, God will just turn them completely over to a disillusioned mind. They warn the Church of the splinter in its eye while they have a beam in their own.
Are the Prophets Confused?
Some are! Some are blinded by their willful sin and others by greed. Many forget that there is a bigger picture and they only have a part. Therefore their prophetic word is like a brush that is to wide. They use to broad a stroke and inadvertently paint some Christians into a corner. It misrepresents the truth thereby alienating or condemning a segment of Christendom. I have recently witnessed this on both sides. Many are being faithful to declare what the see because of Ezekiel 33. It's the watchman's job to cry out what they see and hear. Their assignment and placement in the Church as well as their location in the world plays a factor in what the see. Many are looking at the same thing in the spirit describing an aspect of what they see.
Wisdom is Found in the Big Picture
Amos 3:8 says that God does nothing unless He reveals it to His servants the prophets. When God speaks there is a similar theme but God made us to need each other. Each one brings a unique facet and when you put it all together we can get the whole counsel of God's word.
Wisdom in Understanding God's Ways
One prophet speaks judgment while the other speaks blessing. Which one is right? Let me use Exodus as an example. The Israelite's were oppressed. God sent 10 judgments to deliver them. Israel shared the experience with the Egyptians but after the first few Goshen was like a safe haven.
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times!
God gave one decision. He decided to deliver Israel. On one hand it was terrible sickness, destruction and eventually death for the Egyptians. The Israelite's on the other hand had a very different experience. They acquired wealth, they were delivered from slavery and they came out completely well. One decision led to two different experiences depending upon where the people chose to stand. Those who chose to stand with Egypt had one experience while the children of Israel experienced the exact opposite. It was the best of times and the worst of times depending upon which group you talked to.
What is God saying today?