Healing Line

Healing Line

The Lone Prophet

Compiled by Francis MacNutt
Jan/Feb 2006

Today is a time when the charism of prophecy is again coming into its own in the Pentecostal renewal; yet, there have been difficulties with some prophecies made by the more outstanding prophets of our day. One such difficulty you probably have heard about occurs when several prophets from the United States traveled to England where they spoke to large crowds, predicting there would be a great revival in England in the early 1990s. It just didn't seem to happen. There followed various explanations, none of which were very convincing.

A difficulty in the very nature of prophecy is that it can be checked out only in the future, not now. Will it happen or not? Jeremiah stood alone in saying Israel was not going to be triumphant. All the other prophets claimed he was a danger to Israel and should be locked up — or killed.

One of the great spiritual directors in Christian history was St. John of the Cross (+1591). His words may be helpful concerning apparent prophecies that do not seem to come true. Commenting on John the Baptist's sending disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one?" (Lk. 7:18),John of the Cross writes:


This is the trait of a humble person: he does not dare deal with God independently, nor can he be completely satisfied without human counsel and direction. God is desirous of this, for to declare and strengthen truth... he draws near those who come together in an endeavor to know it...

Thus God announces that he does not want the soul to believe only by itself the communications it clunks are of divine origin, nor that anyone be assured or confirmed in them without the Church or her ministers. For God will not bring clarification and confirmation of the truth to the heart of one who is alone. Such a person would remain weak and cold in regard to truth...

Ecclesiastes counsels (Eccl 4:10–12): Woe to the one who is alone, for when he falls he has no one to lift him up.' ... Until consulting another, a man will usually experience only tepidity and weakness in the truth, no matter how much he may have heard from God.2


Sometimes we are so in awe of a gifted Christian, such as a prophet who proves correct in so many personal prophecies, that we are afraid to question what is offered as a word from God.

2As quoted from Magnificat, Vol. 7, No. I 0, pp. 187–8.

Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Jan/Feb 2007 Issue