The word of God says that in the last days many false prophets will arise. On our journey around South Africa and now recently on a mission trip up into Uganda we have had firsthand reports of many of God’s people who have been deceived by false prophets.
A so-called prophet comes into town and gives either a “good” or “partially accurate word” in the name of the Lord and then usually asks for money in exchange for a “prophetic word”. If the recipient refuses then the fear card is pulled — the prophet will tell th recipient that devastation is at hand!
This manipulation is rife amongst the desperate people wanting to get a quick answer to life’s problems. Another trick is the sale of bottles of “healing water” and oil which are none other than ordinary water and oil and have no healing power whatsoever.
Yet another extortion method that is favoured when congregants approach their pastor with problems is to tell them to to give “seed money” — which can be anything from R500 to R1 500 depending on the type of problem — before the pastor will pray for them. If the member questions this method he is threatened with all kinds of fear tactics such as God’s damnation and judgement. This leaves folk sandwiched between a rock and a hard place and they feel obliged to pay up.
Many people have lost substantial amounts of money, run into debt and were prophesised things within time periods which did not come to pass. The result was great disappointment — and even anger — with God.
I’m not surprised that the Lord got so angry when he found money changers doing business in the house of the Lord that he turned the table on the them and that the temple should be a house of prayer.
It is imperative that we have a very clear knowledge of the word of God regarding prophesy and prophets and encourage one another to remain steadfast and alert in these days.
Paul says in Corinthians concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed and how true it was then and now even more so.
True prophets and good prophecies
True prophets come in a spirit of love. The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 13 on the subject of love: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.
Paul says in Corinthians that: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.…
Yet another motive one should look out for in a true prophet is a heart that wants to build up the church and not to take from the church. Paul refers to this in 1 Corinthians 14.3, saying: But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
True prophets base their words of encouragement and edification upon the Word of God and understanding of its transforming ability. They are accountable to others and remain teachable in order to grow.
They may have a true word, but a wrong heart. Acts 16: 15 refers to a woman who earned her living by divination. She may have had an accurate word about Paul but her intentions were suspect.
Mathew 7.15 says you would know them by their fruit: Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.…
Kris Vallotton says its wonderfully: “They are lawless and unteachable. They take only a segment of the truth of the word and build on it like a man who builds on sand.” When the trials of life come their building has nothing to substantiate it and collapses.
False prophets make people depend upon them rather than upon Christ. They do not have a love for the sheep. They are only interested in themselves and their ministry and their reputation.
1 Thessalonians 5 .21 requires that we test prophecies: But test all things carefully [so you can recognise what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].
In other words if it does not line up with the word of God and the motives do not line up with the word of God, withdraw yourself from such company.
Wondrous moments of healing when people come to know the truth of the Word of God and are set free from the enslavement of false prophets at a meeting in Uganda.