About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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False 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."


With today's 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 said."


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.  


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