Tag Archives: prophecy

False Prophet Blasphemy

ISAIAH 66:2 “But to this man I will look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.”

False prophets abound everywhere; but who is it that trembles at God’s word?

Those who tremble at and revere God’s word with the highest of esteem are usually scoffed at and reviled.  Taking a firm stand against false prophets is seen as divisive, demonic, and carnally minded; the contemporary generation views prophecy as something that is subject to their will and vain imaginations.   We hear things like “you should be so critical of prophetic words” or “this author may have made a few mistakes that could have been worded better, but….”

People don’t seem to understand that when it comes to prophetic words, error is far more than simply a matter of a “few mistakes that could have been worded differently”.   When someone presumes to speak the living and infallible word of God, they must be held to that standard!  A prophetic word is not something crafted by the mind of mortal men.  Despite modern trends, a prophetic word is delivered to the prophet by God in the exact form God wants it to be delivered to people.  If a prophet is “wording” his prophecy, he did not receive it from God, he has derived it from his own empty imagination!

It’s necessary to be clear here: if someone is honest and humble, and says upfront that what they are presenting is their own opinion or interpretation, then mistakes can be understood and addressed constructively and any errors can be easily mitigated by God’s word and by a committed Church body that is intent upon unity in truth and love.

But if someone prophesies and delivers errors in God’s name, then they are a false prophet and will be held under the eternal judgment awaiting false prophets (Jude 3).

Tremble at His word! 

To speak lightly, saying, “the Lord said” (or to indicate in another way direct divine revelation) is no small matter.  Guesswork is not acceptable when speaking the word of the Lord, neither is mystic-divination.  The only thing that can be presented in God’s name is direct and divine revelation received from God. 

I am not a cessationist, but neither will I be swept into this abominable flood of perversion being passed off as Charismatic (i.e. “of the Holy Spirit”)!

If someone speaks a word in God’s name, it must carry the full weight and glory of God’s word.  What is being passed off today in God’s name is nothing more than a flood of “arrogant words of vanity” (2 Peter 2:18 Modern English Version).

A generation of Christians are being instructed in the ways of blasphemy! 

2 Timothy 3:1-2, 5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; for men will be… blasphemers… And from such people turn away!”

The word Paul used here for blasphemers, translated in the NASB as “revilers”, is the Greek word βλάσφημος (blasphemos, #989), which means “abusive, speaking evil,” (see Acts 6:11, 13; 1st Tim. 1:13;  2nd Tim. 3:2; and 2nd Pet. 2:11 (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).  HELP’S Word-Studies states that it “reverses spiritual and moral realities”.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary offers this remarkably poignant insight on what constitutes blasphemy:

“Blasphemy can include flagrant actions and disdain for God’s Word, His promises, and His people. Scripture bears consistent witness to the severity of the offense.

When God first appears to Moses in the burning bush, He emphasizes the sacredness of His name (שֵׁם, shem), Yahweh (made up of four Hebrew consonants, יהוה, yhwh), which reveals His person and character as the covenant-keeping, redeeming God (Exod 3:13–16; 6:3). In the exodus story, God performs mighty deeds for the sake of His name (Exod 9:16), a concept reiterated in numerous Old Testament passages (e.g., Psa 25:11; Isa 43:25; 48:11). The “name of Yahweh” (שֵׁם־יְהוָה֙, shem-yehwah) carries profound significance, referring “to His full being and power” (HALOT, 1550). To assail God’s name is to attack Him personally and directly.

Speaking both to Moses and the people of Israel, God strictly prohibits the misuse of His name: “You shall not take the name of the Lord (יהוה, yhwh) your God in vain, for the Lord (יהוה, yhwh) will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exod 20:7 ESV). The Hebrew term “vain” (שָׁוְא, shaw’) refers to what is empty or purposeless; it can also mean something false or deceptive, in such contexts as prophecy (Ezek 13:3–7), worship (Isa 1:13), and speech (Deut 5:20). A breach of the first two commandments naturally leads to a violation of the third (Exod 20:7).”

Citation: Mills, D. W. (2016). Blasphemy. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Blasphemy refers to using God’s name for empty, purposeless, false, or deceptive reasons!

Anyone who presents the constructs of their own imaginations as the divine revelation of God – in other words they present these things in God’s name – has presented that which is empty and false in God’s name!  To do this is to blaspheme the name of God.  According to God’s 3rd commandment in Exodus 20:7, God will not hold the person who does this guiltless!

Thank God for His unfailing mercy, because Jesus said “all kinds of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven men.  Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven.  But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31-32).  If you have been guilty of blasphemy by speaking empty or false things as if they came from God, then turn away from this sin and repent.  God will abundantly forgive you and provide the grace that you may stop this practice and be counted among those upon whom God looks, who “tremble at His word”!

We must note for the purpose of clarity so that Satan cannot take advantage of this teaching that there are different kinds of blasphemy; the unforgivable blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is specified in Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:20-30, and Luke 11:13-23, 12:10.  It is specifically attributing to Satan the divine work of the Holy Spirit.

The end times will be filled with blasphemers; let us not join in the emptiness of those who would presume to speak vain and false things in God’s name so that they can promote their own way, their own agenda, their own fame, and their own prosperity.  Let us humble ourselves before God and revere His word!

Let us seek the full weight and glory of God’s inerrant word!

The Biblical Test of a Prophet and Prophecy

I acknowledge upfront that the following teaching places me squarely in the minority; it has gotten me in a lot of trouble with my charismatic brothers and sisters. But I believe this with all my heart.

I believe there are two tests that apply to New Testament prophets and prophecy:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22, “And you may say in your heart, ‘How can we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not occur or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.”

Deuteronomy 13:1-3, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass concerning that which he spoke to you, saying, ‘let us go after other gods’, which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them’, you must 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.”

I am not a cessationist; I believe in the continuation of prophecy as well as all the gifts of the Spirit according to the will of God to distribute them. But I do not believe that Jesus Christ came to lower the standard of prophecy, which we remember “the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ”. I do not believe that Jesus came to corrupt His own testimony.

So I want to consider something from the New Testament in light of these two prophetic tests:

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “The coming of the evil one is in accordance with the working of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish, because they did not receive the love for the truth that they might be saved. Therefore God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Today we are seeing an unprecedented flood of unrighteous deception from prophets who do not speak the truth; many practice astrology and prognostication (forbidden in Isaiah 47:13-14), and are openly speaking presumptuous words as if from the Holy Spirit. This flood of unrighteous deception is deadening the hearts of those who call on Jesus’ name to the love of the truth and causing many churches to become inhospitable to the truth.

God said in Deuteronomy 13:3 “you must 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” and in 2 Thessalonians 2:12 “Therefore God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” God is being faithful to His word.

Consider this Scripture:

Jeremiah 23:25-26, “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.”

Jeremiah 23:30-32, “See, therefore I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal My words, each from his neighbor. See, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their tongues and say, ‘The LORD says.’ See, I am against those who prophesy false dreams, says the LORD, and recount them and cause My people to err by their lies and reckless boasting. Yet I sent them not nor commanded them. Therefore they shall not profit this people at all, says the LORD.”

I believe those who present themselves as speaking by divine inspiration must be tested according to these Biblical tests, and if their words are found to fail, or if they come to pass but the lead the Church astray from God’s word, then they are false prophets and wolves dressed in sheep’s skin.

The Marks of Good Eschatology

Eschatology is the name academics gave to the study concerned with prophetic end-time events.

Earlier I was meditating on the divisions caused in the Church over eschatology and lamenting the power that pride has over the subject.  I feel the division among brethren, and many Christians subsequent reaction of repulsion, are the egregious casualties of this affair.  But it should not be this way!

So I felt compelled to look at some of the marks of good eschatology. These are not meant to support any one eschatological position over another, rather, they are meant as principles by which we can judge our own positions; they are principles that have helped me to move away from certain views because they did not bear these marks.

ESCHATOLOGY ISN’T SEPARATE FROM FAITH

We must bear in mind that eschatology is not separate from the faith; the same marks of soundness that apply to the other aspects of our faith also apply here!

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Our understanding of eschatology should not create panic, weakness, or an unstable mind in us; if it is from God it will be in accordance with the Spirit that He has given to us.

AGREES WITH THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD

Acts 17:11  “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

One of the foremost marks of good eschatology is that it is in agreement with the whole of God’s counsel on the subject.

This principle has personally led me out of many errors as I found that the positions I held did not agree with God’s revelation!  If God had intended for us to take our understanding of end-time events from only one book, He would have given us only one book.

NOT OF PRIVATE INTERPRETATION

2 Peter 1:19-21  “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”

You might call this “a mark of humility”, or “a mark of unity”, or “a mark of submission”, or perhaps you might call it “a humbling mark of submission that brings unity”?  Either way the mark is clear that good eschatology is such that has been sharpened by the whole body of Christ and not one that originates and is contained within a single human source.

Far too often we are afraid of allowing our eschatology to be examined by others, and when we examine other people’s eschatology, we often times do not afford them the patience and time necessary for this process of public interpretation to take place.

I thank God always for the brothers in my life who have sharpened my eschatological positions over time.  But I thank God the more for the irreplaceable and undeniable work of the Counselor in leading me into all truth!  For in a place of public interpretation how are we to know which is the voice of God and which is the voice of man unless it is the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the truth?

And so this mark humbles us among one another and draws us desperately near to the feet of the Counselor who will lead us all into the truth!

THE PURPOSE OF CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS

1 Timothy 1:5  “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith”

Good eschatology will not work contrary to sound teaching, rather, it will agree with the purpose of God’s commandments:  it will produce love, first for God, then for His creation (the pinnacle of which is mankind).

Now it’s important to understand that this love is from a “pure heart”, a “good conscience”, and a “sincere faith”.  Some who do not possess these may argue that any eschatology which includes God’s severe judgment upon sinners would diminish our love for God, but that is not so for those who are born of the Word by the Spirit of God!  Good eschatology, not to mention sound doctrine, does not appeal to the state of corrupt men, rather, it pulls corrupt men out of the mire and washes their hearts, cleanses their conscience, and purifies their faith, if they will have it at all.

Thus we must ask whether our eschatology builds up love from a pure heart, or defiles the heart with pride, bitterness, and hate?  Does it build up our love from a good conscience, or does it go against our consciences that were made clean by the sacrifice of Christ?  Does it build up our love from a sincere faith, or does it lead us astray from the faith that was once and for all delivered to us by Christ?

FERVOR FOR CHRIST’S RETURN

One of the marks of good eschatology that is nearly impossible to fabricate is a sincere fervor for the return of Christ!

Revelation 22:17, 20  “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly’.”

Good eschatology will produce in all the saints of God a fervent and unquenchable desire for Christ’s return!  It causes the things of this world “to grow strangely dim”, and magnifies the things of Christ.

We should examine ourselves to see whether or not our eschatology produces a greater desire for life on this earth, or life in the age to come?

DRIVES HOLINESS AND GODLINESS

Jonathan Edwards, who preached a sermon back in the 1700’s entitled “sinners in the hands of an angry God”, during which people fell out of their seats and clung to pillars in repentance, prayed “Oh God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.”

2 Peter 3:11-12  “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

If you do not have eternity in view, I am certain you will not live a life of holy conduct and godliness in this seductively wicked world!

Peter combined three of the most unpopular topics in the Church today into one unequivocally important lesson: holiness, judgment, and the fear of God are necessary to the Christian life, and to grasp these three you must have the King of king’s return in mind.

One of the clearest marks of good eschatology is that it drives you to live a life of holy conduct and godliness.  Any eschatology which leaves your everyday life wholly untouched is shallow and good for nothing but temporary intellectual stimulation- and the Church definitely needs no more of that!

SANCTIFICATION

1 John 3:2-3  “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be, but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.  And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.”

Good eschatology will inspire sanctification in us through hope!  Eschatology that produces no sanctification through hope does not have Christ in view!

Your eschatology is the lens through which you peer into eternity, without it, your hope becomes obscure and fuzzy.  You need good eschatology to have strong hope in Christ so that you can weather the storms and persevere to the end.

CONCLUSION

Untold desolation has happened in the Church because we have lost sight of eternity!  When I was in high school and college I was a runner.  I ran cross country and track- I loved running!  I learned very early that it is imperative to form that when you are sprinting that you keep your eyes forward and fixed on the finish line.  You can’t take your eyes off the end or you lose momentum.  In much the same way the Church has drifted aimlessly and lost focus on our goal because of our eschatology.  Many Churches meander from trend to trend because they have taken their eyes off the end!

If your eschatology is good, it will stabilize your faith and produce a sound mind, a strong faith, a fervent perseverance, and a lifestyle of holy conduct and godliness, but if your eschatology is bad all kinds of things can go wrong; a bad eschatology produces an unstable mind, robs the work of evangelism, causes panic, and creates apathy.

Don’t let anyone rob you of the vast treasures of Bible prophecy!  Jesus told the Church to “watch and pray” because He wanted her to be prepared for the end and keep alert.

In The Mount of the LORD it Shall Be Provided

The picture of Abraham standing over Isaac, ready to sacrifice his treasured son, is amazing for the color and brilliance by which it portrays Christ!

Here Abraham stands over his own promised son to kill him, as Israel also stood over the promised Seed of Abraham to kill Him. Innocent Isaac was laid on the altar by the will of God, just as our innocent Lord Jesus was placed on the altar as He prayed “Father, Your will be done”. Abraham raising his hand to kill Isaac, not knowing what he really was doing- Jesus praying on the cross “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

But the most beautiful and glorious message comes when God stops Abraham and shows him what it is that has just transpired:

“By Myself I have sworn, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son- your only son- blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have a obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:16-17).

God showed Abraham a beautiful picture of Christ in that little lamb who was caught in the thorns on an arid mountain and gave Abraham the hope of the gospel that by his Seed all nations would be blessed. And now through Christ God has blessed all nations and multiplied Abraham’s descendants as He has made all who believe in Christ “children of the promise” (Romans 9:7-9). By Christ the gates of Hell tremble and have no victory!!

It has never been God’s intention that you replace the sacrifice of Christ- only that you obey Him by faith.

Prophecy: The Patience of the Saints

There is an error that is very easy to fall into when we read the prophetic revelations of God’s word; it can be tempting to read these scriptures without any expectation for them to happen. We do not want to become like Israel who “silenced the prophets” by constructing some kind of doctrinal matrix that filters the Word of God so that we do not hear His warnings.

Matthew 25: 42

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

1 Peter 4:7

For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer.

We are told to keep watch with a sober mind and self discipline for the sake of our prayers.  Indeed, we should look for these things to happen, but we should do so with a sound mind and self control.

I watched in embarrassment on YouTube as I watched a video where a pastor was flipping out claiming that DHS is preparing for massive food shortages and catastrophe next year in 2014.  Just from observation, it appeared as though he was gripped in fear and was losing his mind.

Revelation 6:5-6 certainly does foretell a time when God will break the third seal, and famine and starvation will cover the world. During that time a quart of wheat will be a days wage (1 denarius), which could mean upwards of $80 to $100 today.

We must never lose our soundness of mind that we have in Christ, nor allow our self-control to be overcome by fears and impulses.

In losing the soundness of mind, this pastor began to tell people to prepare for these end time events using worldly wisdom: he said, “stock up on guns, ammo, and food”.  There certainly will be people who will trust in their “chariots” and “horses”, but no matter how great your stockpile, nothing will be sufficient to see you through the great day of God’s wrath.

Zephaniah 1:14-18

14 The great day of Yahweh is near. It is near, and hurries greatly, the voice of the day of Yahweh. The mighty man cries there bitterly.15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16 a day of the trumpet and alarm, against the fortified cities, and against the high battlements. 17 I will bring distress on men, that they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Yahweh, and their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Yahweh’s wrath, but the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he will make an end, yes, a terrible end, of all those who dwell in the land.

No man will save himself with the wealth of this world, neither stockpiles of gold and silver, nor stockpiles of guns and ammunition to protect yourself from the great terrors that will come upon this land at that time will save you.

To have soundness of mind we must conform our mind to the mind of Christ and know the scriptures that He has given to us for our benefit in the end of days.

There is, however, deliverance under the wing of God for those who turn with their whole hearts to Him:

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Rev. 2:5),

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev. 3:3)

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev 2:10),

“Seek the LORD; all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  Seek righteousness, seek humility.  It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:3)

For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:3-4)

Overwhelmingly the scripture tells us to repent of our wicked deeds, come out of our adulterous relationship with the spirit of this age, and seek God in righteousness and humility.

We must put on the mind that rejoices in the sufferings of Christ, knowing that it is only because we have been counted worthy to share in His suffering, and, to share in His inheritance!  We must be self-controlled and persevere through what will come upon us with the joy of the Lord as our strength!  And we must know that whoever is upheld in that day will do so only by the miraculous power of God.

Perhaps the mistake that we will regret the most if we make it is to neglect God’s word in favor of temporal and perishing things of this age.  We content ourselves to watch movies and do not pray, we do indulge in games but do not meditate, and we stay up late into the night with friends but not to seek the face of God to know Him!

 

…He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.

Here are some scriptures as a starting point to consider for the days that are coming upon us:

Rev 6:9-11

Rev. 7:9-10, 13-17

Rev. 8:2-3

Rev. 14:6-13

But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’— as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.” ~Revelation 2:25-28