There is so much that I want to say, concerning false prophecy and false prophets. This isn’t my first blog post on false prophets (see Some Thoughts on the Effects of COVID-19 and False Prophets). And it will, most likely, not be my last.
In this post, I would like to keep my words to a minimum and, instead, share what the Word of God has to say about false prophecies, and false prophets. I will also include a few videos highlighting false prophecy throughout the year 2020, and into the first month of 2021.
As I have stated in the past, these “prophets,” and their followers, need prayer. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). Pray for those who are being deceived – that their eyes would be opened to the truth found in God’s Word, and that the truth would lead them to repentance… and freedom.
Regretfully, I used to listen to some (not all) of these so-called “prophets” and “apostles.” I finally grew tired of the vague words that could describe any number of situations or circumstances. My “breakthrough,” “suddenly,” “call,” “double-portion,” “healing,” and “increase” was always “right around the corner.” I just needed to “have enough faith” to “receive” my miracle, healing, revelation, or breakthrough. We, as a church, were always on the verge of a “big move of God.” For decades now, God has been about to “raise up a generation that will usher in the greatest revival in human history.” “Being on the verge” of some great thing has certainly kept many of us seeking and searching out the next book – teaching – conference – experience that would provide “a deeper revelation of God” and allow us to take part in “an enormous, end-time harvest of souls!”
I believe that most of the people caught up in this deception truly love Jesus, have huge hearts, and want to see revival come. However, their trust is being misplaced. Instead of relying on the Word of God – in context – to be the ultimate measuring rod of truth, experiences and emotions become the (extremely fallible) focus. They are a people full of zeal and passion. But, without the full counsel of God’s Word, they are zealously and passionately wrong. This used to be me.
As I have studied the prophets and apostles of the Bible (in CONTEXT), it is clear that the prophets, and prophecies, described in the Word, are not really what we see in the modern church.
The prophet Samuel’s words never fell to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19). And in Isaiah 55, we read:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (vs.10-11)
Yet, this has not been the case for our modern-day “apostles” and “prophets,” especially concerning the major events of 2020.
The following videos cover many different aspects of recent false prophecies and the people who spoke them. I will not do any commentary on the videos; however, I do encourage you to watch them. Consider what is being said. And, as always, take everything to the Lord, in prayer.
Following the videos, I will share some pertinent Scripture on what the Word has to say about false prophecies and false prophets.
Okay, some quick commentary, here: The following video is by Justin Peters and is four and a half hours long. I recommend watching it in its entirety (perhaps breaking it up into shorter increments). If you are not interested in watching the entire video, I do highly encourage you to, at least, catch the interview with Dr. Nathan Busenitz (starting at 2:12:45).
Both Justin Peters, and Dr. Busenitz, are cessasionists. I do not consider myself to be a cessationist. Even though we are not in agreement in that area, I do greatly appreciate the way they biblically cover some of the charismatic arguments concerning prophesying falsely, and false prophets.
But if any prophet dares to speak a message in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or to speak in the name of other gods, that prophet must be put to death.” You may ask in your heart, “How can we recognize a message that the LORD has not spoken?” When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD and the message does not come to pass or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (emphasis mine)
(Disclaimer: I am not saying to put anyone to death. The harsh language, however, should give us a clear idea of how God feels about false prophecy and false prophets.)
Concerning words or dreams that DO come to pass, but leads one to follow another god:
“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them, ‘you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” Deuteronomy 13:1-5
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (emphasis mine)
Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. Acts 20:17-31 (emphasis mine)
Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken within me;
all my bones shake;
I am like a drunken man,
like a man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
and because of his holy words.
For the land is full of adulterers;
because of the curse the land mourns,
and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course is evil,
and their might is not right.
“Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even in my house I have found their evil,
declares the Lord.
Therefore their way shall be to them
like slippery paths in the darkness,
into which they shall be driven and fall,
for I will bring disaster upon them
in the year of their punishment,
declares the Lord.
In the prophets of Samaria
I saw an unsavory thing:
they prophesied by Baal
and led my people Israel astray.
But in the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen a horrible thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies;
they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from his evil;
all of them have become like Sodom to me,
and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
“Behold, I will feed them with bitter food
and give them poisoned water to drink,
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”
For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see and to hear his word,
or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
Behold, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has executed and accomplished
the intents of his heart.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly.
“I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.
“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.
“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the Lord.’ And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ I will punish that man and his household. Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’” Jeremiah 23:9-40 (emphasis mine)
Jesus, Himself, said:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:15-23
Another Jesus – Different Spirit – Different Gospel
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 (emphasis mine)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10 (emphasis mine)
God’s Word as the Standard
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3 (emphasis mine)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
These verses barely scratch the surface of what God’s Word has to say on this topic. But, I hope that they provide a good starting point – encouraging further study on what God has to say, in His Word, about false prophecies and false prophets.
It is okay to be discerning. You do not have a “religious spirit” when you question a prophecy or a prophet. The Word tells us to test the spirits.
Men and women who claim to be hearing directly from God – and speaking on His behalf – should not be afraid to have their words tested. If they prophesy falsely, then they should be held accountable. They are not above accountability, nor are they above repentance.
The prophecies over the last year, especially, have come up empty. The “prophets” missed it on the pandemic, the riots, and the election. Not only missed it, but then doubled-down on the prophecies that did not come to pass. The faith of many of the followers of these “prophets” has been shaken (though, that may lead them to the truth, so maybe it isn’t entirely a bad thing). And, most heartbreakingly, these shenanigans have brought reproach upon the name of the Lord.
I pray that those who have prophesied falsely come to true repentance, instead of just apologizing, and then continuing to prophesy falsely…