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“False Assumptions About Prophets”
Dr. Allen M. Barber
June 1, 2010

(First Posted March 21, 2009)

Jeremiah 14:14-15; 23:32

14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
15 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.  KJV

32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. KJV

The internet is prolific with the proclamations of so-called prophets and prophetesses. From what I read and observe, one would think all God is doing today is giving prophetic utterances 24/7. Ninety-nine percent of what they are writing and saying is of their own mouth and not God’s Word. The apostle Paul made a distinction in his writing from direct and indirect revelation. If he perceived something to be the will of God, but not necessarily a direct command of God, he would classify it by saying that it was not a direct commandment from the Lord. The following false assumptions do not prove a prophet speaks for God or that he is truly a prophet (See my article in the Topical Section -Are There Prophets in the Church Today?):

Religious Ministry Does Not Make One a Prophet of God

Amos 7:14-17

14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. 15 "But the LORD took me from following the flock and the LORD said to me, 'Go prophesy to My people Israel.' 16 "And now hear the word of the LORD: you are saying, 'You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.' 17 "Therefore, thus says the LORD, 'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line, and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'" NASB

Amaziah was a professional prophet so to speak (from the House of Prophets in Samaria – the Northern Kingdom of Israel) and he spoke against Amos for preaching judgment. The Lord killed him for rebuking Amos and for prophesying peace to Israel instead of judgment.

Ecstatic Utterances by So-Called Prophets Was Not a Sign They Were Genuine

1 Samuel 19:20-24

20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.
23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets? KJV

That Saul prophesied was no proof he was a true prophet of God. The Old Testament often does not distinguish between the Spirit of the Lord and the evil Spirit. In several cases, the term “evil spirit from the Lord” is used in reference to demonic spirits (I Sam. 19:9); however, we know that an evil spirit does not emanate from the Lord, but from Satan. Saul was appointed King of Israel while Samuel was a true prophet. Saul usurped the office of prophet like many are doing today, that is, making themselves out to be prophets when God has not called them to that office. The fact Saul lay down naked all day and night proves he was in some kind of demonic trance.

Popularity Does Not Make One a Prophet

Jeremiah 23:13-14

13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. KJV

Recently we have seen so-called prophets and prophetesses fall who were involved in sexual sin, dishonesty, divorce, and covetousness. While they were popular and promoted by Christian TV networks and had a large following, God exposed their folly – they were lying prophets who were speaking out of their own hearts and pumping the people up with their feel good messages and promise of prosperity. The truth is they were getting wealthy off the people of God because many in the Church cannot distinguish between a true and a false prophet. The gullibility of the saints today in following these false prophets is both pathetic and alarming! This will sound egotistical and pious, but I can spot a false prophet a mile away and certainly on Christian television.

I observed a popular prophet on TBN declare that beginning in 2000 Satan’s day was over and that we had now moved into the Day of the Lord. Not only is that incorrect, but it proves the arrogance of these modern day prophets to speak lies on television and use a passage of Scripture to prove their prophecy. When the TV camera moved out into the audience, they were jumping up and down, raising hands, and acting as if someone had just given them a million dollars. Their actions proved they had no discernment and no knowledge of the Word of God. The man further proved his false character by telling the audience that God was going to bless them with a $2000 dollar increase if they gave TBN $2000 dollars, that is, God was going to give them a 100% return on their gift. What nonsense and what lies, but there is no telling how many gave the $2000 that day and are probably still looking for their 100-fold increase.

If you want increase, get a job and work hard; then give to support the poor and needy and sound Word-based ministries – the kind that does not beg for money or utter lies in order to steal your money by extortion, which is what most of the appeal for money is on Christian television.

A Prophet’s Own Affirmation Does Not Mean He Speaks for God

Jeremiah 28:1-4, 10, 15-17

1And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:
4 And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. KJV

10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. KJV

15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month. KJV

The Lord had told Jeremiah to place a wooden yoke about his neck and prophesy to Judah that God was going to place them under the wooden yoke of Babylon, but Hananiah rebuked Jeremiah and told the people that God was going to bring them out of captivity within 2 years. As affirmation of his word, he broke the yoke Jeremiah was wearing. Since God had told Jeremiah Judah was going to be in captivity for 70 years, Hananiah prophesied a lie and for that, God killed him. Just because some so-called prophet gives affirmation of his own word does not mean God has affirmed him.

I have been given two prophesies since 1994 and one of them is being fulfilled to the “T.”  That was the prophecy from Hosea 10:10-15 that unless American genuinely repented, God would send judgment upon our three major fortresses – financial, military, and bread basket.  The financial judgment began on 9-11-2001 and continues unabated and growing worse. Over one-half of the nation is suffering drought conditions – some very severe and will soon began to affect the supply and price of food. Our military will suffer a major setback as we are growing weaker as a superpower while Russia and China are becoming stronger. They are going to challenge us on the high seas soon and in that scenario, we are going to lose one of our mammoth aircraft carriers with great loss of life.

Russia and China can see that Obama is taking his knife to our military and gutting essential programs that would have made them think twice about attacking us.  It may not be necessary for them to attack us as we are rapidly falling apart from within. I saw this morning on Fox News that 7 million are going to lose their jobs in the oil and gas industry due to Obama’s  foolish energy policy of shutting down all drilling and exploration. For a man who is supposed to be so brilliant, he is proving to be lacking in sound judgment and intelligence.

The other prophetic word was the Vision of the Inverted Pyramid – meaning that God is turning America’s house upside down and He is – just look around you and believe for it is taking place. I also predicted the next “major” disaster would occur in the Pacific Northwest to complete the three points on the upside down pyramid.

Sincerity is Not Proof That a Prophet is Genuine

Ezekiel 13:6-7

6 "They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, 'The LORD declares,' when the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. 7 "Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, 'The LORD declares,' but it is not I who have spoken?"' "  NASB

Speaking a Word and hoping that God will confirm it is does not make a prophet genuine. Sincerity is not proof one is a God-called prophet. Many are prophesying today and hoping God will confirm them as a prophet when they should not speak unless God has given them a Word (rhema). I have noticed that these TV prophets will often give a prophecy and when it does not come true as they proclaim, they will then give another prophecy of the same topic hoping the second, and third, and the fourth prophetic utterance will confirm them. They can prophesy until the cows come home and nothing they say will come to pass for their prophesying is not from the Lord.

I have shared this once before, but in October 1983, I stood in the pulpit of my Church (God had placed me in the Church in September 1983 – Pine Bluff, Arkansas) and told them I had been given a Word from God that the large debt ($250,000) the Church owed would be paid off within two months. I even gave the precise day – December 31, 1983. I said we would celebrate the New Year by having a note burning ceremony at midnight as the New Year began.  Before my arrival, the Church had tried several things to retire the debt – even hired a fund raiser, but all to no avail. They were not trusting the Lord to retire the debt, but were trying all kinds of carnal schemes.

On my knees in prayer, I asked God what He wanted me to tell the people and He said, “Go tell them the debt will be paid in full by December 31, 1983.” So, I told them what God had said. The senior elder (the Church had both elders and deacons, which is Scripturally correct) castigated me after the service and told me I was a fool for making such outlandish statements.  I did not answer him as I had a Word from God, so no carnal elder was going to move me off my faith.

By December 31, 1983, the debt was paid in full just like God said and we celebrated by burning the note just as I had told them. I am not saying I am anyone special for I am not, but when you have a Word from God, it will come to pass and there is no need to worry. That should have told them they had a true New Testament prophet as their pastor, but they had no clue and fought me the whole time I was their pastor until I had to leave. Not long after I left, the Church folded and no longer exists. God removed their candlestick (Read Revelation 2:5).

The saints do not need the word of these false prophets.  If you want to know what God is saying, then consult His Word – the Bible as well as one of His true prophets – the kind that is not hung-up on money and who preaches repentance, holiness and judgment.

God bless.