Friday, September 30, 2016
Global wars, violence, the love of most growing cold, economic collapse and the poisoning of waters are just a few truths secular media are more honest about than many so-called Christian prophets. But denial of end-time truths do great harm to saints and God’s Kingdom.
Catastrophic calamities are God’s end-time promise. But many Christians reject such candid truth as doom and gloom because many false prophets prophesy the exact opposite of what God’s Word prophesy’s. Many boldly prophesy imminent national and economic prosperity.
End-time events are now being fulfilled by what I call the tribulation creep-effect. These events occur gradually and incrementally right under our nose just like Noah built the Ark gradually and incrementally in broad daylight, but most of the people could not then, nor today discern the day.
There are true end-time prophets of God who prophesy according to that which is written in God’s Word for the end-times. But they’re few. They are not honored by man. They have few public platforms. They do not speak their will, but proclaim and defend the Word of the Lord.
But today the church is flooded with self-appointed prophets who love the praise of man. They are center-stage performers. Because they speak their will they silence God’s end-time truths by deliberately avoiding Jesus’ end-time truths, thus the blind lead the blind into deception.
Let’s examine true prophecy according to the written Word of God. If a prophecy does not meet the test of God’s Word, then ignore the prophet. But so few know what God said that defines a true prophet that they judge what they hear by their flesh and not by the Word of Truth.
First, “the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die” (Deut. 18:20).
Secondly, “when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22). False prophets want crowds to be amazed by them, and not God.
And thirdly, when the apostle John wrote The Revelation, he became so overcome with fleshly emotion that he fell down at the feet of the angel and began to worship him through whom the end-time Word of the Lord was being delivered! Please read the following with discernment.
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of the brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”” (Rev. 19:10). Let’s unpack this truth.
Today, many prophets like one of ancient Israel’s prophets Balaam, have learned spiritual oratory skills that prey on the flesh. As a result many virtually worship the one delivering what fuels the flesh, making him popular, increasing his wealth, by unbiblical prophetic propaganda.
When we hear a prophecy we must judge what is said, not by human emotions but God’s Word, for, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge” (1 Cor. 14:29). Judge it how? By God’s Word, the only standard by which we are commanded to judge, for, “he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one” (1 Cor. 2:15).
If we hear a prophecy we must instantly guard our spirit by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. If not, we make ourselves vulnerable to deceiving spirits that speak things that do not agree with, “the testimony of Jesus”, the most dangerous of all prophesies, which today is widespread.
After sharply rebuking the apostle for beginning to worship him, the angel said, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. True prophecy honors Christ in the contextual testimony of Jesus already written for our benefit. Otherwise, we open ourselves to deceiving spirits.
Below are six excerpts from John Eckhardt’s “Heaven’s Prophetic Assignments”, article dated 11/9/2015. Eckhardt has a very good, biblically-grounded understanding of God’s true prophet.
“Prophets are independent spokesmen. Prophets don’t preach what is popular. Neither do they preach to be popular. They often preach a truth that makes them unpopular. They are not owned by people and organizations; they are owned only by God. The prophet is devoted to God and truth, not institutions, organizations, religions, doctrines and creeds.
The prophet’s desire is to please God, not men. You cannot be a servant of God and please men. (Gal. 1:10). Prophets don’t seek the approval of men. The prophet’s priority is to please God.
God hates when His prophets are mistreated (Psa. 105:15). Prophets can be mistreated, persecuted, ignored, called crazy, rejected, overlooked, isolated, muzzled and passed over. Prophets are often persecuted by the systems they cry out against. This is nothing new.
Scribes can also be persecuted. Religious systems of control hate scribes. This is because their writings challenge these systems. Truth and revelation can be imparted and released through writing. Writing has always been a powerful tool of reformation.
Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” This famous quote addresses the fact that men have a difficult time handling power. Pride tends to corrupt men of power, and this is why we need prophets who will speak to and challenge power.
Prophets do most of their work in secret. Prophets don’t have to have platforms, although God may give them one. Prophets don’t have to be seen, although God may highlight them. Prophets pray, weep, minister to the Lord and study in secret. What God shows them in secret, they speak to the world. Prophets love the solitary place. Prophets hate the hype and sensationalism they see on many platforms.”
I say a heartfelt AMEN to John Eckhardt’s truths. If saints judged the prophetic (1 Cor. 14:29) in light of biblical truths, deceptions would find no heart for residence. Nor would come the end-time great falling away as prophesied by Jesus at Matt. 24:10 and His Spirit at 2 Thess. 2:3.
The response of the flesh to true prophecy is revealed by God’s Word. Ancient Israel was often highly intolerant of true prophets who reminded them of their rebellion to which Israel replied, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:10).
A true prophet or pastor speaks the Word of the Lord for any given circumstance. If for salvation, then the Word of the Lord for salvation. If for love, then the Word of the Lord for love. If for prayer, then the Word of the Lord for prayer. If for healing, then the Word of the Lord for healing. If for the end-times, then the Word of the Lord for the end-times, etc., etc.
But that’s not the case as many end-time prophets declare “thus saith the Lord” though God never said it. Many speak “smooth things” just like false prophets of ancient Israel because they’ve learned the craft of manipulating people by avoiding the difficult truths of Christ.
God said, “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4). We are there! The church is flooded with spiritually “itching ears”, thus laying the seedbed of deceit.
To whom are you listening: a prophet who declares the Word of the Lord for the end-times, or one who speaks presumptuously, absent end-time context, grandstanding for popularity and wealth, saying things that please the flesh, things God has not said regarding the end-times?
Saints must be a people who contextually discern what God said. Before Christ came to this earth God spoke through ancient prophets (Heb. 1:1–2), but since Jesus ascended to the right hand of His Father, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). If anyone claiming to be a prophet does not speak Jesus’ Words in context, then let him or her be silent.
Another indication that the end-times are here is that Jesus’ truths for the end-times are largely ignored by the church and considered doom and gloom, but His Words are my starting point for teaching the end-times, for He said, “See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt. 24:25). Now that’s good news! Saints should be eternally grateful for the end-time truths delivered by Jesus Christ.
Avoiding Jesus’ and the Holy Spirit’s end-time truths is not good. The sooner we embrace His truths, the better equipped we are to prepare to endure to the end as Jesus taught at Matt. 24:13.
Marlin J. Yoder