Where are the American Prophets? Print E-mail

Where are the American Prophets?
by Bishop Samuel Smith

"There are things that are not, that will never be. Other things are not, that must come to pass. "Before that great and awful day of national judgment, there must appear prophets of the Lord, who will warn . . . "The day of the Lord is near, prepare to meet thy God!"

The antediluvian age (before the flood) had Noah. Nineveh had Jonah. Babylon had Daniel. Throughout Israel’s "roller coaster" sojourn, (on-again, off again religion); prophets of God called the Israelites to repentance by thundering the proclamation: "Thus saith the Lord."

The Reformation had Luther; England had Wesley. In more recent times, religious awakenings have been spearheaded in America by God’s prophets during this nation’s darkest hours: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II and the rebellious, scandalous, drug and drink seduced 70’s.

Never . . . and I repeat for emphasis: Never . . . has the world stood so near the precipice, overlooking universal catastrophe as it does today!

(I) Planet Earth has literally shrunk as a result of rapid travel. Every nation’s problems are on our doorstep.

(2) The population of the world has literally exploded. From the days of Christ to 1850 the number of mankind slowly grew to one billion. From 1850 to 1930 the population doubled to two billion. From 1930 to 1960 the number climbed to three billion. From 1960 to 1975 the world’s population soared to four billion. The world’s population reached six billion by the year 2000, and now is approaching seven billion. War, mismanagement of economies, cultural and religious hatreds, unjust political ambitions, worldwide immorality likened to the days of Noah and Sodom, almost universal distain for the Word of God, all make it increasingly impossible to rightly govern such a mass of humanity. A world in crisis demands a church in Revival!

(3) Vital, natural resources are diminishing to disastrous levels!

(4) Mankind has developed through advanced science, the technological ability to wage war in a manner that can totally destroy every trace of life on Earth, a minimum of 50 times over. One "mad man" can now push a button and transform the world we know into a "fiery" inferno! These are the times Apostle Paul spoke of: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." (lI Timothy 3:1)

Thus, we can safely assume that the prophecy of Christ, concerning the events to occur before His return and the end of the age, are now quite naturally falling into place! As the world races pell-mell towards Armageddon, the liberal church "doubts" and the conservative church "debates."

The true "Body of Christ" must not be divided by the diversionary tactics of satan that preoccupy and prevent the fulfillment of it’s crucial role as: Soul-Saving Station, Light-House, Spiritual Hospital and Port of Safety. The Church will be none of these, unless there are prophets of God. "Like prophet, like people." God speaks to man through man! "And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10: 14)

God's way is: He finds a man, gives that man a message; in time, (for convenience sake, and because we think ourselves so wise), the message gives way to a method, and eventually the method becomes a religious machine. Machines break! God then finds another man; He gives that man a message, invariably the message becomes a method, the method becomes a machine and machines break. How long must this cycle continue? The need of the hour is for men of God, who will never trade the message for a method that will become a machine that breaks.

It is pointless to argue " . . . whether there exists or does not exist prophets today?" The question is not over fortune-tellers and silly seers! Have we not seen enough of the showmen, the phonies, to know by now, that all that glitters is not gold? Their legacy is deceit, disappointment and destruction. The real prophets of God are not found under the "Big-Top" selling special oils and miracle cloths, nor do they exercise their genius in self promotion and building religious kingdoms!

The need of the hour is not so much "fore-tellers" as "forth tellers"; men of God who will discern the times in the light of God’s Word and without fear or favor, tell it like it is !

Where are the prophets of God?

It is a truth that the ministry has become a lucrative profession for many; a degree of respectability, frequent vacations, expensive clothes, restaurants, guns, fishing tackle, campers, boats and pedigree dogs and horses, stocks and bonds, investments and business interests.

The mouthing of old clichés and the playing of denominational politics are both the safe and the easy way out. Carnal laymen will continue to support the clergy that passes the buck. It becomes a marriage of convenience; the preacher profits and the layman is comfortable.

The Holy Scripture decrees; "Judgment must first begin at the house of God." Let each of us ask ourselves the question; "Are we as concerned about building up the Kingdom of God, as we are establishing another unique organization, competing for status in Christian denominationalism?" What is birthed in tents, brush arbors and store fronts; more often than not, dies in our temples, tabernacles and cathedrals.

Where are the American prophets?

The prophet of God is not the wild-eyed, slobbering fanatic who pushes and shoves the trusting. In our sophomoric attempt at humor, we have accused the liberals of having their collars on backwards; when will the conservatives get their heads on frontwards? The American prophets of the end-time will be men of God, seasoned in prayer, cultured by fasting, trained in the Apostle’s doctrine, emboldened by the Holy Ghost; their shoulders bowed beneath the burden of the Lord, with hearts on fire with urgency, they will cry out the TRUTH aloud! “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night…”(Isaiah 62:6).

Enough of the sermonizing that is cold and lifeless! — Enough of what pretends to be preaching that can best be characterized: "Ride a hobby-horse, kick a dead dog, and cuss out the charismatics!" Are we, who claim the revelation of Bible salvation, so insecure in our position that we must repeat ourselves every five minutes? Say it and go on! Consider the writings of the Apostle Paul. Thank God he didn’t get hung up on pet issues. He touched all the vital bases: (1) Doctrine, (2) Holiness, (3) Day-to day living, (4) Christian love, (5) Evangelism and (6) Prophecy. We have to admit that Paul got the job done.

It is only fair that we judge ourselves by our fruits. We, who claim to be fundamental and evangelical, must become embarrassed before God for our empty altars. Often times we assume the smug defense that, because of our "strong stand," nobody wants what we have. So, we’ll just hold out until the end and let the world go to hell. Did Jesus die in vain? A million times, NO! There are multitudes searching for God. Christian friend, if all you’re doing is standing, please move over and let someone past you, who will go into the "highways and byways" to reach the lost. After all, that’s what the Gospel is all about. That’s why Christ went to the cross. The purpose for the Church is to evangelize the world!

Where are the American prophets? Throughout this nation there is, for the most part, a yet unmotivated Gospel army, waiting for the signal to "March." Catchy slogans and high-pressured promotion will not rally these special soldiers; their ears are tuned to a clear note, a certain sound. They patiently await men of God, who, themselves attuned to His voice, will lead the way. Men who, if need be, will trade the comfort of their plush offices for a damp jail cell. Men, who are driven as Paul "...that I might by all means save some" (I Corinthians 9:22). Men, who would rather be shut away with Jesus than go to "DisneyWorld." Men, who would rather be "fishers of men" than hang trophies on their walls.

In their heart of hearts, the true flock of God is not fooled by the frivolous, "glitzy" promotions that goes under the title of spiritual renewal; nor, are they any longer satisfied with the pompous pronunciations of spiritual superiority, that too-long has been substituted for real Holy Ghost Fire in "denominational Pentecostalism."

There is a wealth of energy and potential sitting in our pews. Paul said the five-fold ministry was for the “perfecting of the saints, unto ministry." (See Ephesians 4:11-12) The word "perfected" herein, means equipping. We in the pulpit ministry are responsible to equip, train and prepare the laity to be involved in lay ministries. Shepherds lead sheep, sheep beget lambs. Indeed, the Bible speaks of divine combinations; spirit and truth, faith and works, Father and Son, deity and humanity, water and spirit. As we proceed into the 21st century, there appears yet another combination, the "people and the time." The "time" is upon us for fulfillment of the age! The people who will both proclaim . . . "The day of the Lord is near, and preach the way of salvation,” are even now anxiously stirring in preparation. Urging and urgency are twin provocateurs that never leave them, morning, noon or night. The "people" and the "time" are destined to arrive together.

lt is time for another Amos to shout: "Prepare to meet thy God!" The time is right for another Jonah, another Elijah, another Nahum to step out of gray mediocrity, separate themselves from their powerless peers and boldly pro-claim: "Thus saith the Lord!"

If we truly believe that Bible prophecy is unfolding before our eyes, and that this is, indeed, the "beginning of sorrows," that Jesus foretold preceding his second coming; then we must be subordinate to our sacred calling to be His "witnesses" and be servants to the proposition that; " . . . this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 16:18)

Where are the prophets of God today? At this very moment they can be heard as clear trumpets, ringing above the clatter, clamor, confusion and chaos of our present world. "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" (I Corinthians 14: 18) The American prophets realize that God has allowed this nation to occupy a unique position in history as a fertile field for the faith. Blessed with prosperity and liberty, America has been the home of fundamental Bible Colleges and the sponsor of World Missions. This lifeline must be preserved.

As spiritual darkness creeps across the planet, the coals of Revival simmer in Prayer Rooms throughout our land, awaiting men of God to stir the fire and fan the flames, awakening the faithful to glories greater than the past!

End-time World Revival will come from an awareness in our churches, as a result of men sent from God with a message. These men will be defamed, slandered, libeled and hated by the world. They will, likewise, be misunderstood, mistrusted and often wounded by their own peers. Nevertheless, and regardless of the costs, there will be no turning back for the prophets of God. To have been to the mountain top, heard the voice of God and then fail to proclaim His Word, would be to stand before Him with "bloody hands."

"But if the watchman see the sword come; and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand" (Ezekiel 33:6). Judgment for sin is near! The sword is coming! The Bible says so!

It is the sure will of God for the watchman to sound the trumpet of warning while time remains for whosoever will come unto salvation. The prophets of God must prompt the Body of Christ to reach the lost. The gates of hell must be prevailed against! Souls must be delivered from every bondage.

Listen closely for the unmistakable stirring of warrior’s armor, and the clear note being sounded by true prophets of our time.

Success or failure depends upon our discerning creation from confusion; Revival from revolution; "the" cause from "a" cause. For those who know the difference; for those who "know" their destiny; Victory is certain!

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