I will never forget an experience I had with another minister whom I greatly respected during the presidential election in 2008. They shared with me a dream God gave them about Obama winning that election. Therefore, they voted for him. I challenged them because they made a decision based upon a subjective dream. Their decision supported one whose very values and policy positions were contrary to God's word in certain areas. They did not understand how prophesy and prophetic dreams work in relationship to God's word.
God, His word, and His principles are consistent. Just because the Lord revealed to them in a dream what was to come did not mean that was His will. At the time Mr. Obama promoted values and supported causes that violated God's word. While I can't say I was happy with the Republican ticket I will say that never had their been such a stark contrast between life and the value of the family. The McCain's adopted a child from Bangladesh and the Palin's didn't give into pressures to abort when they found out their son would be born with Down syndrome. Obama on the other hand supported groups that undermined the Biblical traditional family and supported abortion. Never had there been such a clear distinction between life and death and family as defined in God's word. Yet, a significant portion of Evangelical's chose the ticket whose policies were contrary to God's word. They were captured by emotion rather than responding based upon principled values.
The minister I spoke of defended their position passionately because they had a dream. They did not understand God's word nor how the prophetic works. I will use 1 Samuel 23 to illustrate.
In 1 Samuel 23 King David is told that the Philistines are attacking Keilah and robbing the people. So David inquired of the Lord and God told him to go as He would save Keilah. David's men had a hard time believing they should go, but God told David what would occur. God told David, He would give them victory and deliver the Philistines "into David's hand." They went and won a mighty victory.
This victory was won because they responded to God's direction and went. They had a choice. If they did not go, there would have been no victory by David's hand. Prophecy by it's nature is forth-telling and almost always conditional. The prophetic events depend upon people's choices, actions or inaction's. For example consider verses 10-13.
1 Samuel 23:10-13
When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod here." Then David said, "O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant." And the Lord said, "He will come down." Then David said, "Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?" And the Lord said, "They will deliver you." So David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition.
God tells David that Keliah will deliver David and his men to Saul. God warns David of what will happen.
But David and his men do not experience what God said would happen. Why? Being forewarned of what was to occur, they acted upon heavenly intelligence.
Prophetic Words are Conditional
They could have said, "oh well, we are doomed now. There is nothing we can do. God says these men of Keliah will turn us over." But instead, based upon the prophetic warning they acted thereby changing the circumstances such that the prophetic warning DID NOT come to pass.
In Matthew 2:12 we see the three wise men being "divinely warned" in a dream such that they avoided King Herod. In Hebrews 11:7 we see Noah has divinely warned of what was coming. His response was to build an ark. It changed the fate of his family.
Jonah was sent to warn Nineveh that God was going to overthrow the city in forty days (Jon. 3:4). The king and the people responded to the message with fasting and prayer because they understood that if they repented God could relent (Jon. 3:7-10). Because of their response God choose to change His mind and thereby their experience.
What was prophesied did not occur because people had a choice. Remember, almost all prophesy is CONDITIONAL.
America's Election Test
I've heard some prophesy about one candidate (Trump) is being used like a wrecking ball and how all God would use him like a Cyrus. That's great, God can certainly do that. I've heard other Christians speak in a similar fashion regarding a candidate (Clinton) who is known for their long history of lying, deception and support of abortion (systemic murder). I even saw a handful of ministers praying prophetically over that candidate declaring God's blessing.
I absolutely marvel at the ignorance of God's word and His ways. How can God bless people whose policies or actions habitually violate His word? He won't! That's inconsistent with His word. Habitual liars will not be blessed and abortion is murder. The Bible says,
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Using God's Word to Select Leaders
So as a minister of the gospel I understand and welcome prophetic words. But prophetic words are conditional. Everyone of us will stand before God and give an account of our actions one day. I will give an account of the counsel I give. When it comes to selecting civil leaders, I refer to God's word.
2 Samuel 23:3
The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: 'He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
If a ruler pays attention to lies,All his servants become wicked.
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Just leaders do not seek to circumvent civil law. The very best leaders fear God and honor His word and His principles.
Prove all things; hold fast what is good.
1 Corinthians 14:29
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
You Will Know Them by Their Fruit
Matthew 7:15-20 teaches us how to discern the motives of true and false prophets. It works with leaders, too. The key to discernment examine their fruit. Galatians 5 sheds even more light by providing a list of the "fruit of the flesh" and the "fruit of the spirit." God's word provides the standard to help us discover if the source of the fruit in a person's life is from the spirit or if it is from the flesh. My friends, character matters and spiritual people are called to judge words and actions.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control. Against such there is no law.
The Church is Being Tested - Will it Chose Heavenly or Demonic Wisdom
I submit there is a test being provided the Church in this current election. Do we know His word and will we respond selecting a candidate that has a history which more consistently reflects the morals and ideals of God's word? Or choose one who reflects the fruit of the flesh mentioned in Galatians such as "contentions, out bursts of wrath and dissensions." This fruit of the flesh is also linked to earthly and demonic wisdom in James.
Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
I greatly appreciate the prophetic words, dreams and visions people share. But remember that prophesy is conditional and based upon our response. Right now the Church in America's lack of foundation and character is being revealed. More decisions are made in response to emotion (anger) than with regard to principle. Ephesians 4:26 admonishes us to be angry but to sin not. My friends, I believe that most of the Church is missing the mark.
When it comes to selecting a civil leader I counsel you to review history, apply God's word. Watch for the man or woman of principle, who fights for life, family, and the truth. That does not mean people are perfect and they don't make mistakes. But look for one with a history of consistent character that reflects the best of God's word.
That's who I will choose. They may not win, but let heaven record that I chose one and encouraged others to choose one that most closely reflected the best of God's word. When presented with two imperfect choices, I will choose the one that provides the most support for the moral issues reflected in God's word so as to position my nation for God's blessing (Deuteronomy 28).