Some Problems of Prophecy

SO FAR WE have been considering prophecy from the positive angle: but there are many questions that arise in practice that need an answer. Since prophecy is such a powerful weapon in our spiritual warfare it is obvious that Satan will use every means to blunt it, or discredit it, or turn it in some way against its possessor. This he has indeed done with much success, until today it is treated with scant respect.

It is clear from the Scriptures that there are many false prophets gone out into the world, and that therefore we are not to believe any spirit without testing it. 1 John 4:1‑3 shows us one of the tests which is to be applied. But this is nothing new. God's people have always had to discriminate between true and false prophets. The Israelites had at times many more false prophets than true ones in their midst; but they were nevertheless expected to be able to recognise the true ones, and follow them. From Elijah who faced hundreds of false prophets in Israel, (1 Kings 18) and Micaiah fighting a lone battle before Ahab, (2 Chron. 18), to Jeremiah in the last fatal days of Jerusalem, (Jer. Chapters 28 and 29), the conflict between the true and false continued: but God's people were equipped to recognise which was which, and to