True and False Prophets.
I believe that there are true prophets of God at work in the world today. However, my experience over the past 25 years leads me to say that I also believe that there are a lot of false prophets too. These false prophets are motivated by a variety of reasons, and some of them are quite sincere in their delusion that they are hearing from God. Yet they sound so convincing don’t they?
For example, here is a recent prophecy that is going round via the Internet.
“America is already judged, the time of shaking is now and will increase rapidly this summer. Water shortages and food shortages will become common this summer, as well as fuel shortages. Civil unrest will become common place in large cities first but will spill over into the rural areas as well.
Natural disasters will stretch the resources of the nation to the breaking point and the government will use this to take freedom away. Brothers up north take note, you will see this start to happen quickly. Please seek the Lord for direction as you are out of time. The west coast will see this soon as well, please prepare.
In this vision there was a great wasteland that appeared to be in the center of the nation where everything was wiped out and I saw masses of people wandering without direction. They were dirty and ragged, almost dead and there was no relief in sight. Most of you reading this think I'm crazy I'm sure, but I must be faithful to share what I'm given to share.
The Lord told me to cry from the mountain tops to repent and seek the Lord now!! We don't have any more time to seek after the things of this world. He has also given me teaching to prepare people to pass through this time of shaking into the Kingdom and I must be faithful to preach this word anywhere I have an open door.”
Is this a true word of warning from God? If it is then maybe I should buy a gun and lay in water and food supplies. However, if it isn’t a true word from God, why am I wasting my time reading it? How am I to discern the true from the false? The Bible gives the answer in several places:
Deut. 18: 20-22; Jer. 14:14-15; Mk. 13:22; etc. etc.
We need to do more than just give these verses a passing glance. They are God’s guidance to us on how to deal with prophesy. So we need to open our Bibles, read these texts and the many others like them, and then let the Bible be our guide for discerning the true from the false.
Another exercise in discernment is to read the best selling books from previous years whose subject is “the end times”. How strange and quaint they seem now. The eighties, nineties and so on all survived, despite these authors proclaiming that the end was upon us (some even gave dates). Most remarkable of all is that these same authors are now looked upon as highly respected and important leaders in the ‘prophetic movement’ of today. How short our memories are. How soon we forget the failed outcomes and eagerly await their next ‘word from God’.
Failure to read and understand the Bible is at the heart of our vulnerability to deception. The most obvious pointer to a false prophet is any reference to a particular country coming under God’s judgment. According to the Bible all mankind will be judged individually and judgment has been suspended until Christ’s return. We are living in a period of Grace. The Bible is very clear that judgment is suspended and we are judged as individuals, not nations. Not only that, we are not judged on whether our behavior is good or bad. Our eternal destiny depends solely on whether we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior or not.
Many of these self styled prophets declare that America is under judgment. Not the Cambodia of Pol Pot, not the Germany of Hitler, not the Russia of Stalin, not the China of today. Not the Muslim nations who control the world economy with their oil wealth. Not the Hindu nations, who together with the Muslim nations, routinely kill and cruelly use Christian people for just believing in Jesus. No, it is America, wallowing in guilt at being so well off in a world full of poverty that is being judged. What better way to assuage that guilt than by ‘coming under God’s judgment”?
In the Old Testament the nation of Israel were indeed God’s special people, used by him as part of his salvation plan for the world. Ten of the twelve tribes disappeared from history in 721 BC when the Assyrians invaded. The other two brought forth Jesus the Messiah and today they are scattered all over the world.
Ever since Pentecost it is the universal church, with Christ as its head and made up of a multitude of individuals, who are God’s ‘special’ people. America as a nation is no more under judgment than any other nation. For example:
• In the first century, Rome, in what later became Italy, was the seat of professing Christianity.
• Ever since 850 AD England has had its ruler crowned in a Christian ceremony in a Christian Cathedral, where vows to uphold the Christian faith are said.
• Poland had a Christian king crowned in 950 AD.
• At the time of the Reformation, Germany and Switzerland were the birthplace of Protestant Christianity.
Does the document known as the American Constitution signed by men, some of whom were Deists, make the land that eventually became the USA of today more Christian than these nations, or any other for that matter? Of course not!
Could it be that lack of knowledge about the history of the world, the history of the church and most especially, lack of Biblical knowledge, leads people to be prey to those who, however innocently, present themselves as prophets of God?
So store the words of this latest prophecy. Keep them safe and read them again later on. If it has not come to pass, then delete this particular prophet from your contact list. He will be proven to be a false prophet suffering from some delusion. In the meantime you might go back into the archives of his (and others) previous prophetic utterances and see how many of them actually came to pass. You might be shocked at the result. God bless you.