Why all prophets should write fiction

Marko Joensuu         No comments
 

The short answer is so that their prophecies wouldn't become fiction. 
 
Recently I watched a video in which a well-known prophet ran through a long series of predictions about the future, many of them sounding surprisingly precise. That was surprising, as most prophets avoid predictions that are too precise so that they can be interpreted to have happened or not happened, based on the interpreter's level of skepticism.

The trouble with this video was that I happened to watch it a few years after it had been aired, and it was clear that many of the predictions had missed their mark. In fact, looking at the predictions in close detail, it seemed they could have easily been put together by some random futurologist. 
 
Futurology is the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. There is a debate as to whether this discipline is an art or science. In general, it can be considered as a branch of the social sciences and parallel to the field of history. In the same way that history studies the past, futures studies considers the future. Futures studies seeks to understand what is likely to continue and what could plausibly change.

I am fairly certain that the prophet in question looked into books written by futurologists for guidance, mainly as I had come across most of the concepts, terms and predictions before - but only as I had used similar books a research material for a sci-fi novel. 

Reading books by futurologists is perfectly sensible when it comes to writing sci-fi but why would a prophet ever have to read one? Isn't he or she the one who's supposed to hear from God?

Why would a prophet with worldwide ministry ever mix futurology with revelation - and get away with it? I have thought about these kinds of questions for a while and come up with some answers.

1. Prophecy has become entertainment

Prophets have become part of the charismatic entertainment industry whose main product are meetings, conferences and TV shows. And like any entertainment, 'prophetic' entertainment is all about stirring emotions rather than actions. Thereby, 'prophetic' entertainers follow the rules of entertainment which means that their main task is triggering a variety of emotions in us. After all, that's what entertainers get paid for.

If you look around, you see prophets who tickle our laughter bone just like the best stand-up comedians. Others bring music into it and another genre the entertainers work with is a future horror story. You might think that no one wants to be entertained by fear but some of the most profitable films are horror films. 

Entertainment is all about experiencing the emotion without paying the price of action for it. No one would go to a cinema to see a horror film if they would actually have to confront a real axe murderer!

It is clear from the fact that there is no backlash against the prophets when they get it wrong that most people view prophecy as entertainment. An integral part of watching a film is suspension of disbelief. We know that what takes place on screen isn't real but we don't care about it as we want to let the story lead us through the ride of emotions. It doesn't really matter whether the events visualized on screen would have even the remotest possibility of becoming reality. What matters is that we have a great emotional ride.

In a similar vein, the prophetic entertainers take us through a ride of emotions so that for a moment, we feel truly alive. It doesn't matter if the prophet gets it right or wrong because we are never going to do anything about what he or she says. Like with good film, we are there to enjoy the ride.

Why do so few prophets talk about racial injustice, third world poverty, corruption in the church, sexual immorality of the leaders and so on? You know, the stuff that the prophets in the Bible talked about? Instead, they talk about prosperity, breakthroughs and the wickedness of the people out there. You know, the pagans are wicked but the church they are preaching in is always doing fine.

I have seen so many 'prophets' publicly blessing leaders living in adulterous relationships that it makes me feel sick. I am not saying that they should confront every sinner, as in that case they would have to confront everyone they meet, including themselves, but 'prophesying' breakthroughs and spiritual victories when leaders blatantly disregard God's most important instructions to us means that these 'prophets' participate in their sin.

But an entertainer isn't supposed to insult his or her audience, and in the entertainment world every seeming offense is meant to be a backhanded compliment, so that the 'offended' will be able to display his great sense of humor. 

2. Relentless demands for productivity

The prophetic conferences, weekly TV shows and updating your Twitter feed demand a level of 'prophetic' productivity that even Jeremiah would have been jealous of. In the end, all his life work could fit inside one short book!

What do you do if God doesn't speak as often as you would like to? You have a prophetic TV show on Tuesday, and another one on Wednesday. That's when you start opening the books written by futurologists, or begin to quote other prophets without mentioning the source. And then you go to your next show and forget what you said in the previous one!

But true prophetic words are powerful. When God told Ananias that Saul who used to persecute the church would take the gospel to the Gentiles, He meant it. It happened. But that took a lifetime, and in fact, Paul taking the gospel to the Gentiles is taking place even today, nearly 2,000 years later! Every time I read Paul's letters I take the gospel to the Gentiles.

The truth is that the prophetic ministry is ill-fitting when it comes to the requirements of today's media. God won't ever be subject to our Twitter update schedule!

3. Brand management misapplied

In today's world, breaking through the noise takes consistent branding. If you are an author who writes thrillers no publisher wants you to write romance novels, as that would just dilute the thriller brand. Hence we have globally successful authors who write in one genre but can't get a book published in another genre. 

In a similar way, a prophet is a brand, and he's expected to be on message - always. When is it the last time that you heard a prophet deliver a non-prophetic message? But nobody can be prophetic 24/7. 

I have a recognized prophetic gift but it helps me very little when I have to take the rubbish out at 7am in the morning. I can't tell my wife: "Thus says the Lord. The rubbish will go out!" No. I'll have to take that rubbish out, as up to this point, I have been unable to get the angels to do that job for me.

People will try to put the pressure to prophesy on me, but I don't have to succumb to it. That's why I refuse to be part of the brand management game where I'll always say what is expected of me - by people. 

Usually, trying to live the 'prophetic brand' leads to double life, as prophets conceal aspects of their life from people and thereby rob them of many blessings. To me, it is comforting to know that a healing evangelist can be sick, or that a prophet can be confused. But many healing evangelists never tell people that they are sick when they stand on that stage. There are many healing evangelists confessing total health on stage whilst suffering from chronic illnesses themselves. And you never hear a prophet tell people that today they have absolutely no clue about what's going on!
 
No. The brand demands that they are always in the know.

Don't become a 'prophetic brand'. Be yourself. Tell people that you don't know when you don't know.

4. Misuse of God-given creativity

Because many prophets have to channel all their creativity to nearly exclusively to prophecies due of the demands of their prophetic brand, we get prophecies that turn out to be fiction. Many prophets are very artistic and creative and that's why God has given them the gift of prophecy. The gift of prophecy works primarily with words and visual images, and like artists, the prophets are sensitive to visual and verbal influences. Because of that, their creative mind often works faster that God's delivery of new prophetic messages!

And if prophets are expected to limit their creativity to only prophecy they will soon come up with apocalyptic visions that have nothing to do with God. Or words of prosperity and breakthrough to a mega-church pastor who's just about to be outed as an adulterer.

That's why I write fiction.

In 1992 or 1993, when I studied media in Finland God spoke to me about a satellite that would be able to cover the Middle East in five years. As I was in the media library I had a look and I realised that no satellite like that existed. There were only satellites that covered Europe and parts of the Middle East. I had no use for that word at the time.
 
In 2005, when I worked for Kensington Temple God spoke to me about four harvesting machines that would begin to harvest the Middle East. One of them was satellite TV. I prayed for a month and then gave the prophecy to the leadership. I strongly felt that there would be hundreds if not thousands of Christian mission organizations and churches taking part in the harvesting, but that we should do something in the area of satellite TV.

To cut the story short, in 2009 we started airing daily programs on the KingdomSat that uses the NileSat satellite platform to air to the whole Middle East. The NileSat was launched to its orbit in 2008, around five years after God spoke to me about the satellite that didn't even exist then. In fact, the company that owns it was established only in 1996! And it's a miracle that they are showing any Christian programs at all.
 
Today, the programs can be seen practically everywhere in the Muslim world, as in May 2013 they started to air also in Indonesia. Before that they got on a satellite that targets Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Nations specifically. And the testimonies we hear prove that all this isn't a waste of money, as multitudes of Muslims are finding Jesus as their Savior.

But the playing out of this word has now taken over twenty years, and before 2005 I had no idea about its significance or application. In fact, God has spoken to me about this topic only a few times in twenty years.

What am I supposed to do in the meantime? A few prophetic words, albeit significant ones in twenty years? They might have been nation-transforming words, and hundreds of Christian organizations are making them into reality, but you can hardly fill one 'prophetic' TV show with the story. 

In the meantime, I can write fiction. Or take on gardening. Use my creativity and imagination somewhere else, so that you don't have to carry it to the prophetic.

For prophetic is supposed to be all about God's imagination and not ours.

Here's a link to a sci-fi novel I have written. It has absolutely nothing to do with prophecy, and if you happen to read it, you will learn nothing about the prophetic gift. But writing it has helped me to keep fiction out of my prophetic ministry. And for that I give God thanks.
 




 
 
Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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