2 Peter 1:20-21 – knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Aren’t you glad that Peter was used of God to tell us some important information about prophecy? I mean, if not for these two bible verses, we would have to worry about being deceived by false prophecies being produced by the will of man. We would also have to worry about random people misinterpreting God’s word or what they CLAIM to be God’s word. This way, we will not be deceived.
Peter says that NO prophecy – not a single godly prophecy – NOT A SINGLE ONE – comes from any human being’s interpretation. Not an evangelist’s, not a prophet(ess’), not a pastor’s, not a bishop’s. The interpretation is not up to US, it is up to the Holy Spirit. Both verses say “no prophecy”. That means that if anybody claims to have a new, personal interpretation of Scriptural prophecy or prophecy in general, then s/he is a liar. God will not reveal one thing in Scripture only to have some man or woman come by 2,000 years or so later to change God’s mind. Sometimes, you will hear televangelists come up with fancy, cute interpretations to tickle your fancy. For example, I remember hearing one very popular televangelist who said that Adam could fly in the Garden of Eden. Nowhere in Scripture can that be verified or substantiated. This claim has not been supported or even hinted at by any preachers for the past two millennia, yet this man decides that someone opened this truth up to him. His reason behind this claim was that Adam was given dominion over all the animals and that Adam couldn’t truly have dominion over birds if he could not go (or fly) to where they could fly. Foolishness! This interpretation was produced by the will of this man. (Inbox me if you’d like to know his name and I can even lead you to the audio clip where he said this.)
The thing about prophecy is this: It does not come “horizontally” but “vertically”. It does not from within, or internally, but it comes externally from God. Contrary to popular belief, a prophecy does not come just because you invite a popular evangelist or prophet to come to town to your church to raise money. God does not send words because someone got an invite to your church. God sends a word to who He wants to send a word to. He’s not “on dial” as many suppose.
I know of a prophet who was recently exposed of “producing prophecy” of his own will. He knew this lady had a particular disease, so he looked online some information about her or her condition and then latter prophesied to her. Now, I’m not saying that 100% of this man’s prophecies or visions or revelations were false just because he made up that one (and likely many others), but I am saying that that particular prophecy was not spoken of God through this man as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. Now, the truth of the matter is that because this man received so many invites because of his gift of prophecy, he felt that if he did not come up with some prophecy whether from his own will or interpretation or God’s, that he would stop receiving invites and his money would dry up (because he was being paid a portion of the offerings from that night). So this is partly the fault of the one who invited him, the fault of the people who packed out the church venue to hear him prophesy, and the fault of the prophet making up prophecies to tickle their fancy. This all happens because people seem to think that just because someone has a prophetic gift that God gives them a constant stream of prophecies to hand out depending on who wants them.
But think of this: the prophets of the Old Testament could not pack out a church. In fact, most people wanted to silence them. Most people wanted them to leave their presence. Most people would not pay them a generous offering to give a word from the Lord. And the reason is this, because most people in the Old Testament knew the prophet was coming to tell them something they did not want to hear. The prophets of the Old Testament were not going to tell a wicked priest that God had a brand new home waiting for him if he paid a 30 shekel offering. The prophets of the Old Testament would not tell an adulterer that God would bless them with a new and higher paying job. Rather, the prophet would tell that wicked priest and that adulterer that God was very displeased with their behavior and that if they did not repent from their wicked ways that God would execute His harsh wrath on them. An Old Testament prophet would not ignore your blatant sin in order to promise you blessings falsely.
But how different are these prophets today! They will come in your church and tell the most wicked church member that God is going to give them a raise. They will come in your church and tell a home-wrecking missionary that if they sow a $100 seed that God will pay for their college tuition. Now if God is saying this through them, then absolutely tell them whether they be wicked or not, but I just feel it isn’t true to God’s nature to tell unrepentant persons that blessings are on the way especially if they have shown no contrition. So I guess the question is, DID GOD SAY IT?
I’m not saying that God’ won’t prophesy blessings to unrepentant sinners. Perhaps that prophecy will mark the turning point in their life. But wouldn’t it make more sense for God to tell the child molesting youth pastor to repent and THEN to tell him that God will send him the wife of his dreams? And in that order? But to make a church full of people think that God overlooks sin and blesses the reprobate all because God chose to prophecy to him publicly before people who know his true corrupt character is not a good look.
As the verse says, the prophecy comes as men speak from God as carried by the Holy Spirit. Again, I repeat, prophecies do not come just because there is a mic in your mouth and a large group of people with a pocketbook full of money. If you can’t share your godly prophecy in a parking lot to a homeless man, I don’t suppose you’ll have it in a church setting as long as people have money.
Prophets and prophetesses, only speak as God leads you. Do not make up prophecies because that’s what people expect of you. Do not make up prophecies because you know you can make thousands of dollars that night if you do. Do not make up prophecies to remain “relevant” in the charismatic church world. ONLY speak as God’s vessel IF God gives you to speak. Do not make up prophecies and say, “Thus saith the Lord” just because you know saying God said it gives you false credibility. Because of what you say does not come to pass (and if it comes from you, it usually won’t), then people will be looking at God crazy because He didn’t fulfill your false prophecy when He’s only to be expected to fulfill His OWN prophecies. Stop trying to be popular and relevant and work YOUR GIFT and get out of YOUR FLESH.