As followers of Jesus, we are accountable to everything God reveals to us. Though revelation may come many ways and through the various life experiences of individuals, we are each required to live according to our level or measure of faith.
Through our unique, spiritual gifts and capacities, we are each responsible for communicating the gospel of salvation and standing for righteousness, even and especially when the world demands conformity to its contrary culture.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Every believer must consider that they are held accountable “according to the “measure of faith” given to them. We are responsible for sharing revelation to the degree that it is made manifest unto us, regardless of how culturally controversial it may be. In spite of how it might offend, we are to lovingly tell people the truth.
The only people offended by the gospel are those who would rather serve another one. The only people offended by the truth are those who are trying to hide it.
Of course, we must be wise in our methods and tactful in our delivery of the gospel’s message, but we also shouldn’t be silenced by fear. The timing of the truth and revelation must be led by wisdom, not fear of persecution. We should always speak as the Holy Spirit instructs, not just when the message is pleasant and the climate is comfortable.
1 Thessalonians 1:5
5For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
The Lord urges us when He wants us to boldly proclaim the gospel, and Satan uses hostile environments to bully believers away from expressing the unwanted truths that expose sin. Therefore, it is often in uncomfortable conditions that the obedience of God’s messengers is truly tested. Contentious environments separate those who operate by the Holy Spirit from those whose faith is a fake and whose religion is merely a facade. Though doubts and fears attack every believer in Christ at some point in their lives, the children of God are ultimately emboldened by the reality that God is faithful to protect his messengers from harm.
17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19In your patience possess ye your souls.
Sadly, as the public sentiment for the gospel of Jesus decreases in the world, conformity within the church increases. Messages are manipulated, and spiritual gifts are perverted to avoid negative publicity and maintain secular appeal. As part of this perversion, prophecy suffers greatly as those who God would use to warn people against sin’s dangers relegate their ministry to mere religious fortune-telling. The biblical story of Jeremiah and the birth of his prophetic calling should be one of encouragement to us all, regardless of our spiritual gifting. The truth should never be sacrificed for fear of persecution. In all believers with varied measures of faith, fear is overcome by the conviction of the truth.
God Calls Jeremiah
4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
In the midst of a wayward nation, Jeremiah was called to declare the word of the Lord to the people. As a prophet of God, he was given wisdom and insight into spiritual truths that many were unaware of and others were willfully ignorant. He was granted knowledge of future events, specifically pertaining to the coming of Babylonian captivity, and he was commanded to speak and warn his people of the destruction that befalls all sin. God didn’t give Jeremiah such great wisdom only for him to keep it to himself. So, why would the Lord give us the power to warn and save only for us to watch people perish? Our revelation and our gifts are certainly intended to be used in faith of Jesus and in faith that He will protect us.
Prophets are not typically popular.
Unlike the hoards of today’s manipulative religious celebrities and prostituting false prophets, biblical prophets and carriers of righteousness weren’t typically well liked. As sin and self-righteousness becomes more popular, prophets and their words of warning become less so. So we shouldn’t expect all prophetic truth of our own future to be easily received or readily accepted. Nevertheless, the gospel still must be preached, or those called to be its preachers will suffer consequence from God.
12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Just like the prophets of Jeremiah’s day were quick to dismiss his prophetic words, people today are quick to discount things that are foreign to them. It is human nature to be comfortable with the familiar and uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. Entire doctrines like Preterism and others are built on the belief that the complete manifestation of prophecy and scripture is in our past, and nothing we read pertains to our future. Though proponents of these past-only doctrines would disagree, such belief systems aren’t based on much belief at all, but their collection of knowledge.
Faith is trusting God, especially for a future we can’t know or control without Him, and the Lord is still speaking through prophetic servants, today. It is best to allow the gifts and revelation of others an opportunity to be validated or disproven by the Lord so long as they don’t contradict existing scripture. Just because we don’t understand what God reveals about the future doesn’t make it wrong.
Such was the case with Israel. Most of Jeremiah’s religious contemporaries treated him and his words with disdain because they were ignorant and/or unable to discern what the Lord had revealed to him. Many were unable to successfully cope with their fate at the hands of Babylon, because they were too quick to reject prophesy that didn’t agree with their perspective or agenda. As time would tell, their opposition didn’t stop the manifestation of God’s word. Babylon still came just as Jeremiah prophesied.
Worldly opposition cannot stop divine manifestation.
Ironically, yet accurately, this is the prophetic word today:
Babylon is rebuilding. Let the saints prepare.
With remarkable similarity, the details of ancient Babylon’s existence contain revelation of the times that lie ahead of us. The Biblical story of Babylon reminds us that there is a spiritual world influencing our physical world, and our time and existence is a part of a much larger narrative.
- Babylon highlights the parallel between earthly kingdoms of people and heavenly principalities. As Rome gave way to Persia which gave way to Greece, the demonic rulers of Persia and Greece fought with the angels of God and the archangel of God, Michael.
18Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. 20Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
There is an inextricable link between spiritual domains and physical, physical territories. There are even great similarities in the geographical land formations that spiritual powers gravitate to. For instance, there is a great similarity and connection between the biblical city of Tyre, paralleled with Satan in Ezekiel chapters 26-28, Constantinople, established by one of the most wicked and successful Roman emperors and Silicon Valley or the San Fransisco Bay area. Each of these areas were peninsulas, bodies of land surrounded on water by 3 sides. Historically regions like these were coveted because they could be easily defended, and because they could benefit from maritime trade trade and transport. Though the ways of war and commerce have changed drastically in the modern era, these geographic regions remain focal points of global influence, because spiritual wickedness in high places still reside there. In fact, it is interesting that the America explorer Captain John C. Fremont even named the Golden Gate of the San Fransisco Baby area after the Golden Horn that sits adjacent to Turkey, formerly known as Constantinople.
Constantine was the prideful Roman emperor who sought to establish himself as the Savior of all religions, and so does todays spirit of Antichrist. This same antichrist spirit was typified throughout Babylon’s generations as Nimrod and also Nebuchadnezzar, and we are wise to observe how the same spirit takes shape on America’s West Coast. Babylon was the leading empire of its day, Rome was the empire of his day and both were prophesied components of Nebuchadnezzar’s image interpreted by Daniel. As it currently stands, the physical capital of the culture of the kingdom of darkness is currently California with its influence in commerce, entertainment culture and even politics.
Most importantly, the story of Babylon reveals that at the height of wickedness, men desire to build their own security, without God and at the expense of God’s people. The influence of sin is so great that believers forfeit the truth to save their lives, not knowing that they are really losing them.
24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
These are the types of revelation and understanding that provide a thorough foundation for discerning what is happening in our world today. In fact, all great civilizations united in opposition to God can trace their origins back to Babylon which scripture uses as a metonymy for organized empires of sin who work under the rulership of Satan.
To this day, there are spiritual powers that transcend time whose aim is to manipulate people from the unseen spiritual realm of darkness. To possess and maintain the wisdom and power necessary to overcome, you must be connected to a greater spiritual power, and there is none above Jesus.