One of the most common mistakes in prophetic ministry today is prophesying judgment. Christians read the Old Testament prophets and make the erroneous assumption that it is the eternal nature of prophecy to decree judgment. Yet, there is a clear and definite mandate set for all ministry under the New Covenant in Christ.
It is true that God is just and that the judgment for sin is definite (Deut. 24:16; Eze. 18:20). It is also true that there is a Day of Judgment to come (Rom. 2:5; 2Co. 5:10). We deal with the effects of sin and corruption as a result of disobedience. There is still “cause and effect” in this world. Yet, we live in an age where the law of grace suspends us above the judgment of God until that great and terrible Day comes.
Frankly, true prophecy is speaking what God is saying, not what He was saying. It is verbalizing the words being released from Heaven, which are the seeds that God Himself is planting (Mat. 13). Understanding this allows us to see the clear difference between prophecy in the Old Covenant versus the New.
Then & Now
Under the Old Covenant, the primary word being released from Heaven was:
- The Truth of God
- God was requiring the world to reconcile itself to Him.
- “Repent, or judgment is at hand.”
- “Everything I have will be available if you obey Me and do what is right.”
In the New Covenant, the clear word from Heaven is:
- The fullness of God, which is Grace and Truth through Christ
- God has paid the requirement and is now reconciling the world to Himself.
- “Repent, for my Kingdom is at hand”
- “Everything I have is available if you only believe, and I will give you a heart to obey Me and do what is right.”
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 ESV
Salvation has always been by grace, through faith; but the grace of God was not clearly unveiled until Jesus came and was crucified for the sins of the world. Since Jesus paid the price of death which must be paid, God is no longer counting the world’s sins against them. That’s good news!
God is freely offering the world restoration to His favor and to harmony with Himself. Those who are Christ-like will allow God to make this appeal to the world through their words and lives. That is true Christianity. Therefore, we no longer prophesy the judgment of God, but the grace of Christ that paid for the judgment that is deserved.
It is our job to say what God is saying today: “Come to Me! My grace is for you.”