False Prophets, Foolish Prophets, and Prophets of Doom
In this article Kevin shares a word of caution about the proliferation of fear being dissimulated through the media, digital media and other sources.
Beware of false prophets.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Matthew 7:15-20).
Jesus had a way of sharing the Good News. The Messiah was anointed. He was a prophet of hope. The Father sent Jesus into the world that through Him the world might be totally saved. That is very good news. The Messiah came that we might have life and have it in great abundance (see John 10:10). Jesus came to take away our fear and suffering; and through His finished work of Calvary, He accomplished His mission totally—100 percent. It is truly finished! And as a result, we can live in peace, prosperity, and health. We need not suffer.
To walk in God’s Kingdom, we must know what the Kingdom consists of and how to appropriate everything that is ours in Christ’s Kingdom. We will study more on this in subsequent chapters. But, we can make a conscious decision to live in victory based upon Christ’s work. However, we do have to choose how we will live our lives. We can choose to live in light and victory. We can choose to live in the secret place of the Most High God. We can choose to be diligent to enter into the rest of the Lord. On the other hand, we can also choose to live yoked to fear and darkness. We need to make a conscious decision to discover the benefits of Christ’s inheritance for each of us. You can make that conscious decision right now. Pray this:
Lord, I choose today to discover my inheritance in Christ and I choose to be diligent to seek to enter into the rest of the Lord. Father, I am Your child and a joint heir of Christ; I am Your child, a child of light. Amen.
We are living in a time that is notable because of the incredible explosion of prophecy and prophetic ministries. The internet has opened the floodgates for the prophetic movement and allowed copious amounts of prophecies to be proliferated with little or no apostolic oversight. Although the internet has been a great blessing to many, it can also be the source of curses and false prophecy.
It is important at this time that we judge prophecy. Much harm is being done to God’s people and to the unsaved world in the name of the Lord. We must judge prophecy. Not every prophetic word that is coming down the electronic pike is of the Lord. Many well-meaning people are prophesying from their own flesh. You may wish to invest some time studying Ezekiel, chapters 13 and 14, to learn more on this issue of the heart.
Prophecy can be misused. Clearly, there are men who have operated in a prophetic gifting who have historically prophesied from out of their soul or flesh. Let’s look at what the Lord says to Ezekiel about this subject:
Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, “Hear the word of the Lord!” Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” (Ezekiel 13:2-3).
Prophets and prophetic individuals do not always prophesy through the unction of God’s Spirit. Many times we prophesy from a mixture of our personalities, emotions, soul, and God’s Spirit. This character flaw has been inherent in prophetic people throughout history. God spoke to the seer prophet Ezekiel about this snare of the enemy. Prophets have been giving incorrect prophetic words for millennia, and that will certainly continue in this hour. In fact, we are seeing a dramatic increase of errant prophecies today. The spirit of Balaam and the error of Balaam are loose in the world and rampant in the church today (see Jude 1:11). There are a lot of prophets on the internet and television that have absolutely nothing to do with the church, Christianity, or God.
These are secular prophets who also fall into the category of false prophets. You will find these secular prophets in all sorts of occult and new age programming on the internet and cable and network television programming. The world is hungry for the supernatural, and the enemy is well aware of this. He is working overtime to deceive humanity with these types of false prophets and false prophecies. in May 2012 it was prophesied all over the earth that the world would end. This prophecy led to much anxiety while we were ministering in Jamaica. But, praise God, He used it to draw dozens to salvation in our meetings.
The Messiah warned us about this misuse of the prophetic gift: "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:14).
When we prophesy for profit or when we use a gift of the Holy Spirit to enrich ourselves or our ministries, we also move in the error of Balaam. Jesus will hold this against us, and this will also hinder us from entering into the rest of the Lord. We should evaluate this issue within our hearts at this hour. After all, whose kingdom are we trying to build, anyway?
We need to guard our hearts against allowing the idols of adoration and worship of prophets and prophecy from being established in our spirits and lives. The following passage outlines this kind of unholy use of the prophetic gifting:
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them? Therefore speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols’” (Ezekiel 14:2-5, emphasis added).
The Lord is after our hearts. The Messiah desires to capture and captivate our hearts completely with His love and grace. There should be no room for anything but Him. Anything that takes the place of Christ in our hearts is an idol.
God really despises idolatry. When we allow idolatry to become resident in our heart, which is really our soul, it greatly grieves the Lord. This passage illustrates very clearly that the Lord will speak a false or errant prophecy to people like this. These are people who worship the prophets and prophecy. They are afflicted with idols that have been set up within their hearts. The prophets will speak prophetically what they hear from the Lord, but the prophetic word they will receive will be one that will be incorrect, inaccurate, and tainted by their worship of idols. These idol worshipers will hear exactly what they want to hear. The prophet’s prophetic words will not be the truth and will not convey what God would truly wish to speak or to say to them. God wants for His people to hear the truth. Accurate prophetic words bring deliverance and freedom. They would bring God’s healing and prophecies of hope and wisdom into their heart and spirits. God’s prophetic words will always lead to repentance and restoration in the Lord.
At times this idol worship can be worship of man in the form of a prophet or prophetic ministry. This dynamic is still true today. When we choose elevate prophetic ministry or the prophetic word above the Word of God or hearing the Lord for ourselves, God will speak to us according to the multitude of idols within our own hearts. In other words, we will hear incorrect or errant prophetic words. This scenario is now playing out time and time again in this hour. A lot of false prophetic words are floating around cyberspace and beyond. Be careful what you read and allow to flow into your eye gates and hearts. We need to guard our hearts. We need to ask the Lord to search our hearts and help us to identify idols that may be hidden within our soul (see Psalm 51:10-12). We need to ask the Lord to reveal any hidden agendas that we may be unwittingly harboring within the recesses of our hearts.
Judging Prophetic Words
In the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord speaks of how He will deal with an individual according to the issues within his heart. You can see this in Jeremiah 17:10: “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” If we have allowed the gift of prophecy to become more to us than a relationship with the Lord, then we are guilty of having idols within our hearts. In fact, if we esteem or love anything in the world more than the Lord, we are guilty idolatry.
We can at times allow the gift of prophecy and God’s prophets to become idols in our hearts. I, for one, have been guilty of this. As a result, the Lord will surely answer us according to the multitude of the idols that we hallow, knowingly or even unwittingly. God also uses the ministry of the Holy Spirit to reveal His heart to each of us and to give us time to repent. We are in a season to repent and ask the Lord to search our hearts and minds so that we can repent. (See Ezekiel 4:14.) It is certain that the dynamics that are outlined in these scriptures apply to our generation and to the hour in which we are living. Perhaps we may wish to pray about how this biblical dynamic affects us as individuals. This deception is what Jude called the error of Balaam in chapter 1, verse 11. This error will surely hinder an individual from entering into the rest of the Lord. The error of Balaam will also open the door for us to be deceived and focused upon the dark and evil storm instead of being focused upon the salvation and redemption of Christ.
It is vital that we learn to hear the voice of the Lord clearly for ourselves at this hour. We must study the Word of God to show ourselves approved so that we may rightly divide the word of truth and correctly judge prophecies (2 Timothy 2:15). We need to have a healthy and scripturally-based mindset in reference to prophecy and prophetic ministry. This will help us to discern between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Many scriptures give us clear guidelines in terms of judging prophetic words. At times the Lord will use prophetic words to judge our hearts. Moses spoke of this scriptural principal in Deuteronomy:
If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, '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 (Deuteronomy 13:1-4, emphasis added).
This passage is clearly showing us that if the prophetic word is contrary to the laws of God—or in our case as the New Testament church and the canon of Scripture—we must not believe or receive the prophecy. We need to judge all prophetic words through the lens of the more sure word of prophecy, the Bible. Prophecy should only serve to confirm what the Lord has already spoken to us Spirit to spirit.
We need to be diligent and hold fast to God at this hour. The Apostle John warned about false prophets in the first century, and his warning is still relevant today. We also need to understand that not all false prophets are intentionally seeking to mislead people. Although some prophetic individuals are purposely deceptive, both secular and religious, many are actually well-intentioned but still deceived. We need to guard our hearts from these people. At the same time we should be praying for these prophets to be healed and set free from deception and the error of Balaam.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
We are encouraged to test the spirit of prophecy and the prophets. I believe that the Lord still uses His friends the prophets. However, we should test all prophecy and hold on to those prophetic words that are true. Recognize the prophetic words that line up with Scripture. There are blessings that come from listening to God’s anointed prophets and believing their words. I want to encourage you to listen to God’s prophets, but listen in a healthy and holy manner. Test all prophecy for yourself.
Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper (2 Chronicles 20:20).
The issue today is that in some circles there is a very unhealthy emphasis on the office of the prophet. Some denominations elevate the prophets and the prophetic word above the Word of God. Some people often depend upon the prophets to hear God on their behalf. This is very dangerous, and it can evolve into a form of idolatry in the church (see Ezekiel 14:4). We need to guard our hearts against this and judge prophecy and prophetic words for ourselves as individuals. Even the Lord Jesus warned us about this phenomenon. Again, it is imperative that we begin to cultivate our own ability to hear the voice of the Lord clearly on an individual basis.
Sure, there can be misuse of any anointing or spiritual gifting. This has been a common occurrence throughout church history and with God’s people over the millennia. We need to have a healthy balance of the spiritual gifts. We need all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:6-10). What I am speaking of is being able to grow into the very image of Jesus Christ. We should all be developing into mature sons and daughters of God. In fact, the whole earth is eagerly waiting for the revealing of the true sons of God (Romans 8:19).
The Lord operated in all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit’s in His ministry, and He always acted with maturity and wisdom. My prayer for each of us is that we would learn to walk like Christ in both nobility (kingly authority) and humility (a Christlike attitude). I pray that we would learn to have a healthy balance of the Spirit and the Word and understand how to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a balanced and healthy manner, just like Christ. After all, Jesus was our role model, and He operated in the gifts of the Spirit in a healthy and holy way. We can too.
That was His example for us, and that should be our goal. We must all seek to “come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine [errant prophetic words], by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:13-15).
Remember, the Lord Jesus warned us about this phenomenon of false prophets. Christ’s warning needs to ring clearly in our spirits at this hour. Look at what He said inMark 13:22-23: “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.”
The Apostle Peter also warned us to be on guard concerning the abuse and misuse of the prophetic office and prophetic words. We are certainly living with those same issues at this hour. We are warned against believing destructive heresies, also known as lies. Peter ensures us that God will judge false prophets. Again, pray for mercy, grace, and healing.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly…then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:1-5, 9).
Again, I want to reiterate that we should believe in the prophets and listen to them carefully. Amos 3:7 tells us this important fact: “Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” There is no question that God is still speaking to His people through His servants and friends the prophets.
However, I also want to remind you that the Lord gave us a very strong warning about false prophets. We have only looked at those warnings briefly here; but I want to encourage you to scour the Scriptures for yourself, asking the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any areas where you may have unhealthy or ungodly beliefs within your soul or heart. As the Lord reveals these to you, the precious Holy Spirit will help you to repent. Then the Lord will heal you if need be. He will create within you a clean heart and an upright spirit. This will surely enable you to hear the voice of the Lord much more clearly, and that will enable you to be led by His Spirit every day.
That is being diligent to enter into the rest of the Lord. And that, my friend, can be truly life changing! Therefore, I want to encourage you that this is a season to the test prophets and prophecies. Not every prophetic word that is published on the internet, television, or anywhere else is correct. We all miss it from time to time. So be diligent to judge prophetic ministry at this hour. Ask the Lord to search your heart and soul. Remember, some false prophets appear every weekday during daytime network television programming. They also are seen regularly during the evening newscasts around the earth as well. Not all false prophets are in the church.
False prophecies and prophets will hinder your ability to enter into the rest of the Lord. If we are deceived by these, we will allow the enemy to rob our peace and keep us from walking in an intimate and personal relationship with the Lord. Our ears will become dull of hearing and our hearts will be hardened to the truth of the glorious Gospel. We must begin to learn to cultivate our own personal ability to hear God’s voice and to be led by His Spirit for ourselves at this hour. The Lord illustrated this dynamic in Matthew 13:15, saying, “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.”
In this passage of scripture, Jesus was quoting Isaiah 6:10. We have studied this passage previously. The Lord was confirming what Isaiah prophesied about spiritual blindness. But God’s heart for His people is that we would see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and understand with our heart. Why? So that we would return and be healed. There is no question about this. Hearing and seeing the Lord clearly are absolutely mandatory to truly entering into the rest of the Lord. We need to turn fully to the Lord and allow the precious Holy Spirit to help us to have our spiritual eyes and ears healed. We need to allow the Lord to heal our spirits or the eyes of our hearts. Only by allowing this refining work and fire of the Holy Spirit to burn out these issues from our hearts can we be fully healed. And only when we are healed can we see and hear God clearly and thereby be prepared to truly enter into the rest of the Lord.
Lord, help us to turn with our hearts and repent. Help us to judge prophecies and hear from heaven for ourselves. Lord, help us to learn how to be led by Your Spirit in all aspects of our lives. Open the eyes of our heart, Lord Jesus, and send the Holy Spirit to guide, heal, and help lead us today. Amen.
That is what true salvation is all about—learning to enter into the fullness of God’s rest, understanding with our hearts, and turning to God to be truly saved or born from above. In this chapter I have pointed out how imperative it is to hear God’s voice clearly for ourselves as individuals at this hour. Hearing God is an important key to entering into God’s rest. In the next chapter we look at this dynamic of entering into the rest of the Lord in more detail.
This article was taken from Kevin Basconi's book; "The Sword of the Lord and the Rest of the Lord". This book was released in 2013. This book depicts the triumphant return of Christ and give you secrets to entering into the fullness of Christ's Kingdom or the rest of the Lord.
"The Sword of the Lord and the Rest of the Lord" is now on sale in our resource center. To order your copy at a deep discount Click HERE!
This article was written by Kevin Basconi, for King of Glory Ministries International, PO Box 903, Moravian Falls, NC 28654. www.kingofgloryministries.org -336-818-1210.
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