About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Prophets - False Prophecy
Biblically speaking, a
prophet is one who God, not himself, chooses to speak on His behalf.
A prophecy, then, is the message God has directed to be spoken.
A study of Biblical prophecy shows that it's more than predicting
the future, but foretelling future events is what
over-prophetically-curious Christians with itching ears yearn to hear.
That can be a problem, as is seen in the apostle Paul's warning
to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:3.
"For the time will
come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit
their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears
want to hear."
over-emphases on foretelling future events, like national elections,
come false prophets who through the ease of social media captivate the
attention of those with prophetically-induced itching ears.
Both the prophetic teachers and their adherents, whether
knowingly or unknowingly, often set aside sound doctrine to promote
their preferred causes through what they claim to be the prophetic word
from the Lord.
I have observed that
many of today's predictive prophecies never come to pass.
The prophets and their followers, then, reinterpret the prophecy
or postpone its fulfillment to a future date, without any admission of
the prophecy being false. Although
it's an Old Testament verse, Deuteronomy 18:20 shows us how God feels
about being misrepresented through false prophecies.
"But a prophet who
presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet
who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death."
Speaking on behalf of
God is a serious matter, but miss-speaking on His behalf is even more
serious, so Paul taught us how to respond to prophecy.
1 Corinthians 14:29 reads:
"Two or three
prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is
In the above verse the
Greek word "diakrino" is translated as weigh carefully, judge,
or evaluate in our English Bible. This
word means to separate and judge. We,
therefore, are to test prophecy by dissecting and judging it to see if
it is doctrinally sound. If
it fails the test, we disregard it as being not from God.
It appears to me that a
New Age deceptive spiritualism has crept into parts of the Christian
world that is seducing many who fail to evaluate the prophecies they
hear. They often fail in
this endeavour because the prophecies confirm their preferred, and often
political, causes. Nevertheless,
I do believe in the ministry of the prophet and the gift of prophecy,
but I don't believe in the multitude of confusing and conflicting false
prophecies now inflicting the church.
If a predictive prophecy does not come to pass, then scrap it and
question the legitimacy of the prophet.
Let us not be among those who with itching ears no longer adhere
to sound doctrine, but would rather embrace the latest popular prophecy
that promotes their personal cause.