When we think of false prophets and false teachers, we tend to think of those who espouse an obviously false doctrine or presume to have authority to speak on behalf of God according to their own interpretation. We often assume that such individuals are associated with small radical groups on the fringes of society. However, I boldly state; there are false prophets even within the churches who without authority, claim to speak the voice and will of God. Beware of such.
A glance on social media will reveal that the social platforms such as Facebook are flooded with live-feeds from a great number of those claiming to be mouthpieces of God. Each of these ‘so-called-prophets’ making their pitch to solicit recognition and a following.
One would be forgiven to think that this is now a career alternative for many young and old male and female.
Jesus Christ cautioned several times that prior to His Second Coming, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (matt. 24:11). As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ it is my duty to be a watchman on the tower, warning Christians to beware of false prophets and teachers who lie in wait to ensnare and destroy faith and testimony. Today I warn you that there are false prophets arising with very elaborate and complicated vices of deception they have invested in technology just to deceive. We have some claiming to capture images on iPad via supernatural powers, many unsuspecting particularly in Africa have fallen victim to this deception.
Ridiculous things are being said and tricks and gimmicks are being used. This is not just on social media but even those with churches which very large congregations are joining the medley and they are also cooking up an assortment of tricks in a bid to convince the large crowds that they hear God. Some are using props such as mobile phones to call God ‘directly’ claiming to have heavens phone number and speak to God via a mobile phone. It is getting stranger by the day. (Followers of the prophetic churches are discouraged from questions the ways of these prophets. Those who dare to question are accused of fighting the servants of God).
The main point to bear in mind about prophecy is that it is revealed and not arrived at in some other way under our own efforts or merit. Revelation is given. It is by the grace and mercy of God. The good news is that God wants to reveal himself and his purposes to the world, even when they do not seek him.
All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, “Here am I, here am I.” Isaiah 65:1
God wants to reveal himself to us much more than we are prepared to listen. If there is a communications problem, it is on our side and not because of some reluctance on the part of God.
The Father’s ultimate revelation is Jesus and it is true that all other revelation either looks forward or backwards to Jesus to be put into context (Colossians 2:9). There is no revelation that is contradictory to the person of Jesus or the word of God in the Bible. Much of the revelation that we receive is to do with the day to day things of life and the outworking of those great truths that the Lord has revealed to us at other times.
The Greek word for prophecy is propheteia, which is the amalgamation of two other words, pro, meaning forth and phemi, meaning to speak. The Illustrated Oxford Dictionary says that a prophet is:
- A teacher or interpreter of the supposed will of God;
- A person who foretells events; and
- A person who advocates and speaks innovatively for a cause.
In the New Testament a person who prophesies is one who recognises the heart of God in a situation and expresses that to others. The apostle Paul wrote the following:
Everyone who prophecies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. (1 Corinthians 14:3-4)
The purpose of prophecy
- Edification – The building up of the church (1 Corinthians 14:3);
- Encouragement and instruction – That revelation and truth can come forth as God’s word is opened up to us (1 Corinthians 14:31);
- Exhortation – We are admonished, stirred, and at times warned (1 Corinthians 14:3, Acts 21:10-11);
Comfort – God as the Chief Shepherd comforting His lambs through His manifest presence in prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:3);
Conviction and faith – Believers and unbelievers alike can be brought to a greater understanding and level of faith (1 Corinthians 14:24-25
A prophet’s desire should always be to communicate God’s heart, to do the best they can to express what he means to us and then to stand aside in wonder as when his presence comes, and all prophecy is fulfilled, and all creation submits to the Creator himself.
The apostle Peter put it this way:
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 11:9-21
I Gloria Gudza, (a fearless female General of God) consider it a privilege and joy to be trusted by the Holy Spirit to bring the “now” word of God to others. The desire of each of our hearts must be to be a truly prophetic community of people, expressing the love of God to one another and to the general community around us. Stay blessed, God loves you and He will never forsake you.