The Visionary And The Prophet

I think it’s important to draw a distinction between visionary insight and prophetic revelation as they’re actually quite different things.

Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, for example, are men that we might call visionaries. These men were contemporaries of each other. They lived during the same time period in human history, had their own unique experiences of it, and from those experiences extrapolated a vision of what they thought the future might look like. Both of them conveyed their vision of what the future might hold by writing works of fiction. In many ways they have been proven to be remarkably correct, but they are not prophets.

The prophet, you see, is very different from the visionary in that the prophet is not someone who is just guessing about the future. Neither is the prophet using his current conditions to project what the future might be. The true prophet is one who speaks for God, not from his own opinion or imagination.

Prophets are men like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel and John the Baptist. They speak by the authority of God and are in a completely different league than the visionary.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” -2 Timothy 3:16

That claim cannot be made for books like Huxley’s “Brave New Word” or Orwell’s “1984”. While they may be fascinating to read and provide valuable insight they are merely the words of men and fall far short of being “God-breathed”. Crucially, both of these books, which are often called “masterpieces of literature” fail miserably in their futuristic outlook because they fail to mention the most important point of all- The reality of Jesus Christ and His 2nd coming.

The primary characteristic of a prophet is that they are always pointing to Jesus Christ.

“…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” -Revelation 19:10

When reading Orwell or Huxley you’re left with a certain despondency and hopelessness. These books are referred to as dystopian for a reason. You won’t come away feeling lighter, or better, or more hopeful- You’re simply left with the utter senselessness and futility of life. Imprisoned by our pleasures or surveilled slaves of the state with a jackboot on your neck, take your pick.

When reading my bible I’m also left with some pretty scary dark depictions of what it will be like in “the last days”. In fact, what the bible foretells is actually worse than Orwell ever imagined!

“The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” -Revelation 13:15-17

Visionary men, as well as Prophets of God, agree that we are headed into some very dark times, but as mere visionaries Orwell and Huxley failed miserably when it came to the most important point about human history. Orwell and Huxley end in sadness, but the scriptures end with joy!


Because they did not know Jesus, they could never truly know the future.


The primary characteristic of a prophet is that they are always pointing to Jesus Christ.

“…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” -Revelation 19:10

Past, present and future all revolve around Him.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”– Revelation 1:8


As we look at the world around us and where it’s heading it’s important to understand that Jesus has the last word. Had Huxley and Orwell been prophets and not merely visionaries they wouldn’t have missed this-

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” -Revelation 21:1-4

For those who know and belong to Jesus Christ things do not end badly or sadly. If you’re reading Huxley or Orwell, Stop for a minute and consider Jesus. If you don’t know Him, now’s the time.