ARE YOU BEING DECEIVED?
There are many self-proclaimed preachers, teachers, prophets, prophetesses etc. They are saying a lot of things. Warning- controversial topic! I don’t believe gifts from the Bible have ceased. The troubling thing is that many people are lying, to be frank.
You see it on TV and hear it on the radio. These ‘name it and claim it, speak it and it shall be so’ teachers are not hard to find. You can send in money in exchange for ‘holy’ water. They tell you to mail in a check for a special healing blanket anointed with oil. This is not of God, and it doesn’t please Him.
WHO CALLED THEM PROPHETS?
You see flyers and broadcasts of prophets who have a word for you! So many people flock to hear this 'special' word. They believe what they are told by the ‘prophet’ simply because of his large following and title.
I could call myself a prophetess. It doesn’t make it true. I could put a pretty picture of myself on a flyer and it doesn’t mean anything. Yet, many do this.
The question to ask is, “Who ‘called’ them into this type of ministry?”
They would say God called them. But, how would you know that for sure? Scripture makes it clear. "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."
We test them by the Word of God.You can tell when something is false, only when you know what is true.You might attend or know someone who might attend a service of this kind.The ‘man of God’ walks around giving people words from God.
The core of the ‘word,’ usually is centered on wealth. Someone will receive 300 dollars in the mail in 2 days ‘thus saith the Lord.’ WOAH- There should be sure confidence before saying God said something. If He didn’t, this man just made God out to be a liar.
A person’s faith in God, who didn't receive 300 dollars could be weakened. And who would know if this ‘prophecy’ came true? There is no follow up after the church meeting. When someone does come forth who was not healed, they are told it is because of their weak faith. How is God glorified in this way?
Their primary message is that God is going to bless everybody with a financial blessing, a healing, a husband or a baby. Very well, we see this with Hannah and Samuel!
"Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:16-17). Hannah's womb was opened and she had Samuel.
But the purpose was for God’s glory. Samuel was given back to God. "But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently" ( 1 Samuel 1:22). Usually the false teachers and prophets today are the ones being praised, not God Himself.
There are lying teachers with get-rich schemes (meant to get them rich). We have self-proclaimed prophets breaking women’s hearts for not having their promised child. There are people standing at the bedside of their loved ones, who are dying of diseases that were ‘supposed’ to be healed.
When we see a biblical prophecy, the message is usually the complete OPPOSITE! God sent prophets because His people were being idolatrous.
Prophets were God’s mouthpiece." For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). They spoke on behalf of God to the people.
Their message was almost always, “Repent or God will discipline you.” This was such a gracious act of God. He warned His people because He loved them. He disciplines those He loves. He is a kind and loving God. He does all things for our good. Sometimes our good means correction. (Hebrews 12:6).
WARNING AND BLESSINGS
Biblical prophets taught just that. They would remind Israel of God’s steadfast love and how they disobeyed Him anyway. Their message to the people was, in today’s terms, “If you don’t seek God, He is going to take away everything you treasure so that you can see He is the only good and lasting thing.”
I wonder how many people would go to that kind of service. In the Bible, people hated prophets. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown John 4:44). They wanted them dead! Really, who wants to be told God is going to make me a slave to my enemies because of my sin if I don’t turn to Him quickly.
They were not telling the people, God is going to give you a thousand dollars. They were saying, God wants to bless you, and He will open up heaven and rain down blessings IF...IF you repent.
It would seem rude for some young guy like Jeremiah to tell a group of people these kinds of messages from God today. "Listen to this warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives" Jeremiah 6:8.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
One of the main ways they knew a prophet was real was that the prophecy actually came TRUE! They knew a true teacher if the teachings were scriptural, in context, and within the theme of God’s character.
"If the prophet speaks in the LORD's name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the LORD did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared" Deuteronomy 18:22.
"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" Galatians 1:8.
We have a responsibility. We must search the Scriptures ourselves. "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. Don’t get so caught up in all of the wealth promised and your Boaz prophesied to you.
It is much easier for you to name it and claim it than to cry out like Hannah and wait on the Lord. It is much easier to give 50 dollars in exchange for a baby instead of waiting years like Sarah (Genesis 21:2).
It is much easier to speak ‘Boaz’ into the atmosphere and have him than to serve in humility and in selflessness like Ruth (1:16).
Your responsibility is to study the Bible and measure what you hear to what God has said. Don’t be easily deceived. This was happening in Jesus' time. Jesus said,“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" Matthew 7:15.
Don’t believe everything you hear. Test everything! Also, be encouraged. There are so many good teachers. John Piper is a good one to check out. His ministry is ‘Desiring God.’ Also Nancy Leigh Demoss has an awesome women’s ministry. It is called ‘Revive our Hearts.’ There are many others. I hope you are motivated to study and to know God’s word for yourself.
Have you ever had experience with this kind of teaching? Please share!
Also, if you have any additional thoughts, I would love to chat in the comments.
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