Devon Dick | Explaining prophecies
Don Whyte, in a letter to the editor, asked me to explain two prophecies: one of which was made by a Baptist minister who decreed and declared that a church bank would have come into being by 2018, and the other one that the Half-Way Tree clock does not exist.
He claimed to have heard these prophecies on TBC Radio 88FM (February 2).
He asked me to explain the prophecies he heard on TBC “because this station is associated with at least one Baptist Church and you are a Baptist”. The station is owned and operated by Tarrant Baptist Church, and as such, those questions are best answered fulsomely by the pastor, Jeffrey Shuttleworth.
In the meantime, I will attempt to offer explanation about these prophecies. Saying the Half-Way Tree clock does not exist sounds Trumpian and is not a prophecy. Probably all the person is saying is that it is not keeping accurate time.
But why do we need a prophecy to form a commercial church bank? Just form it. Is it that there was the expectation that God was going to form it?
However, there is another teaching about prophecy that I became aware of after my article of January 24, in which I said the public prophecy about Portia Simpson Miller winning the 2007 general election was not fulfilled.
A leading Christian explained to me that the non-fulfilment of the prophecy was not to be blamed on the prophet but that the People’s National Party (PNP) did not do enough in the campaign to allow the prophecy to be fulfilled.
In other words, prophecy without works is dead. Where is the biblical teaching to support this?
Previously, it was believed that prophecy was a message ordained and inspired by God that there would be a phenomenon. It must and bound and would have to happen. It is backed by the authority and power of God.
However, there has been a new trend by some to issue what is called a prophecy and then to add a disclaimer, saying that if there is repentance then the prophecy will not be fulfilled.
There is also another type of prophecy which is called forth-telling, in which a statement is made and a warning is issued, claiming that a particular course of action will have certain, sure and inevitable consequences.
But there are Jamaican televangelists who are issuing what they call prophecies and I know a Christian friend who swears by them.
For example, this friend told me that the death of PNP East Portland Member of Parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield was predicted by a prophecy and it was because of the impending implementation of the Government’s National Identification System (NIDS).
And in relating that prophecy, she said she heard the same prophet saying that within a week of that death, another politician will die in St Mary if the Government does not scrap the NIDS; and within a week, a former PNP councillor was killed in St Thomas.
She then called me and reminded me of the earlier prediction through a prophecy.
It seems that these types of prophecies are like dreams. They do not come straight.
Again, persons can point to the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, which states that “He is despised and rejected of men. A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief and we hid, as it were, our faces from him…” And although the face of Jesus was not disfigured like the Suffering Servant, Christians identify Jesus as the Suffering Servant. Hence the assertion that Jesus’ suffering was prophesied.
Hopefully, during this Lenten season, Whyte and all readers will have a better understanding of prophecies and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to take action towards a closer walk with God.
- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of ‘The Cross and the Machete’, and ‘Rebellion to Riot’. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.