Wednesday, April 20, 2005

False Prophets

Hello, gentle readers…

Today, I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to write on a very difficult topic: False prophets. In my regular study and reading time, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in the Book of Ezekiel. Please, get your bibles and read Ezekiel 13. In this chapter God condemns those prophets who speak even though the Lord has said nothing to them. In verses 6-7, Ezekiel quotes the Lord when he says, “Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, ‘The Lord declares,’ when the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect to have their words fulfilled. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations, when you say, ‘The Lord declares,’ though I have not spoken?” *

What are prophets’ lies and how can you be wise and discern those who would prophesy lies? There are a number of telltale signs that have been noted:

1. These people are self-professed “prophets” or “modern-day prophets.” They actively promote themselves as prophets and insist that others refer to them as such. They are all spin and no substance according to Ezekiel.

2. They abuse the gift by making “prophetic” announcements, which claim a binding effect on followers. Often the followers are caught up in putting the “prophet” on a man-made pedestal and the “prophet” does nothing to humble themself and get off that pedestal.

3. The “prophet” makes no specific claims, but followers are recording, collecting or distributing what the “prophet” says and claim that the words are from God.

4. They are usually the same words to all people and usually quote the same scriptures, i.e. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made, says the Lord” or “I have a great purpose for your life, declares the Lord” As you can see, these are very general and have no specific word from God for the life of the believer.

5. It (the prophecy) is used to control the lives of the followers or for setting forth doctrine.

6. And worst of all, it draws attention to the “prophet”, not God.

The current accepted model of prophecy was set forth by John Wimber of the Vineyard Fellowship. It teaches, according to what I’ve read, that you are to take your thoughts (whatever enters your mind) and express them as though they were prophecy. Supposedly, one has to practice this gift and will gain proficiency through that practice.

So what is the problem with this model? It pre-empts spiritual discernment, assumes the thoughts and sayings are from God, and anyone who tries to be discerning or question the prophet is castigated and thought be less spiritual or doubting. It creates a hostile atmosphere where questioning is prohibited and one is expected to just follow.

What is prophecy? According to, prophecy is defined as the mind of Christ and the words of Christ spoken through those with the gift of prophecy.

In my opinion and through my study, I believe that God sent prophets forth with a very specific message about God’s plan. There was a reason for these prophecies and God shared a timetable with the prophet. Just look at the Old Testament. (I will address this further a bit later on.) According to, in the Old Testament, the Spirit of God rested ON the prophet. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit resides IN the prophet, but also in all of the people of God. God used the prophets of the Old Testament because His Spirit only dwelled in the Temple and ON the prophet.

Is there a need for prophecy in our day, or has the gift ceased? I believe we still have modern-day prophets but their role may have changed. We must understand that God speaks to all of His followers through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, that way is open to us all. The Old Testament prophets didn’t have the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But, we must remember that God has said we can hear from Him directly! We need no mediator other than Jesus. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to teach us all we need to know.

All that being said, how can we be spiritually discerning when it comes to prophecy? According to

1. Not everything that is inspired is prophecy.
2. Hearing God and intercession are not the gift of prophecy.
3. Words of encouragement are not prophecy.
4. Perceptive people don’t necessarily have a spiritual gift. They may just be perceptive.
5. True prophecy should quicken our hearts and minds, reminding us of Scripture.

Self-professed prophets MUST be scrutinized. The scripture says to test the spirits to see if they are from God. Is what the church now accepts as prophecy truly the gift of prophecy, or is it simply the gift of the word of knowledge? How much of what we are told is prophecy is nothing more than personal opinion or repetition of scripture? How much of what we are told is prophecy is really nothing more than hype or spin meant to sound spiritual when there is a lack of hearing from God?

Truly, God has spoken to my heart. As surely as night turns to day, we have a large number of false prophets among us who would lull us to obedience by their lying declarations. They have not heard from God but are spouting religious rhetoric that sounds spiritual.

I would ask you to get to know God more intimately so that you may discern the spirits and know when you have false prophecy being spoken into your life. And, if you are in the presence of such a person, pray that God will enlighten them that they may see their false prophecy and repent.

May God speak to your heart today and my you receive all of His blessings for you, your family and friends.


* Ezekiel 13:6-7 (NLT) "Instead they have lied and said, 'My message is from the Lord,' even though the Lord never sent them. And yet they expect him to fulfill their prophecies! Can your visions be anything but false if you claim, 'This message is from the Lord, when I have not even spoken to you?'"

Try reading the scriptures in the NLT version. The language isn't as pretty, but the message comes through loud and clear. Those not used to reading the bible may find the NLT is more easily understood.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Commandments

Hi all...

While taking my partner to work this morning, I took notice of a sign in a yard by which we passed. Now, I've seen the sign a number of times. I don't think the magnitude of the message really struck me until today.

There is a well-painted sign of the ten commandments on a pretty white board that is shaped a bit like the front of a church. It's pretty good sized and right on the roadway, so you really can't miss it. I can't number the times we've driven right by it without paying much attention. So why today, you ask? I've been thinking about what Jesus had to say.

In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus says, "...Love the Lord with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Interestingly, Jesus decided that rather than a whole bunch of rules, He would simplify it for us. He listed just two commandments . One is to love the Lord with everything that is in you. The second is to let love be the guiding force in your life.

In Romans, Paul simplifies this even more. In Romans 13:9-10, he says, "The commandments 'Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not covet', and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

It's interesting to me that some people, especially conservative Christians, feel the need to tie themselves to the Law. If we are truly New Covenant people, then it is the teaching of Jesus that we should follow. And if you really consider the scriptures we've seen today, truly all the Law and the Prophets and the Commandments are summed up in one word; LOVE. If we consider others with love, we will not sin against them or against God. If we operate in love, we will want only the best for others with whom we have relationships. If we operate in love, we will be kind to those who are not necessarily kind to us. Yes, Jesus and Paul summed in all up in a very neat little package!

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? Well, if you've ever tried to live that life, you know it isn't as easy as it sounds. It takes a concentrated effort on our part to bring our emotions and thoughts into obedience and live in love. They (the theologically learned) tell us that living a life of love will get easier with time and practice. Gee, I hope so! It is my goal to focus on and live a life that shows the love of Jesus. What about you? The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, show some godly restraint and respond in love. The next time someone grabs the parking space for which you've waited five minutes (and had your blinker on), don't give them the international sign language for which we're all so famous. Respond in love, not revenge. You'll begin to see how much the Lord had to discipline Himself to be our sacrifice, our Savior. It's an eye-opener. Promise.

May the love of Christ be pre-eminent in your life this day and may you experience the many blessings which He has in store for you as His child.


Friday, April 08, 2005

It's time for a war rant...ughh

Hi friends,

Any of you who have read the blog through know that my precious partner was deployed to Iraq for 15 months in two of the most fierce areas. I regularly check the websites and blogs for updates since I know that our government does not give us the truth when it comes to the Iraq War. I cannot number the times I've used alternative media sources and overseas news bureaus to find out what's really going on over there. If you haven't done that, you will be amazed at the censorship we face in this country.

I'm sure "W" is pleased that he has the Schiavo case and the death of John Paul II to overshadow what is happening in Iraq. The war that was to cost us next to nothing is putting us in debt like never before. Basically, when you really crunch the numbers, the US is bankrupt. Were you or I to spend as this administration is doing, we'd be put in jail for writing bad checks and they'd throw away the key!

The war that "W" said (during an interview with Pat Robertson of The 700 Club) would have no casualties has cost us nearly 1600 dead and over 10,000 injured. (And those figures don't include, from what I read, the numbers of soldiers permanently scarred by Post Traumatic Brain Injuries and other mental illness). I read today of one Guard soldier who, because of the stop-loss program, was not allowed to end his enlistment but was presented with a re-enlistment contract with an end date of 2031! The government said they needed some "wiggle room" because of the low numbers of troops and masses of Guard soldiers who are getting out of the military. The neo-cons in our government have suggested raising the age limit for enlistment, as well as the number of years one is obligated to serve. It is presently at 8 years and they want to raise it to 10 years. This is nothing more than a back-door draft! Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest that is just not right! "W" has pulled these men and women away from their families and jobs and, in many cases, ruined their lives emotionally, relationally, and financially.

But, these diversions cannot last forever. "W" can't keep hiding behind every issue that comes along and divert attention from his failures. He and his cronies MUST be held accountable for their lies and deceit! I say we impeach the president for lying and bringing about an unjust war. Once impeached, I suggest he be held accountable for the war crimes he has committed by invading a sovreign nation. I mean please, whatever happened to Bin Laden? We aren't even focusing on him anymore and he's the one who took out the Twin Towers and the Pentagon! Bush took a pre-emptive strike (hello...that's called invading a sovreign country) and pretty much bombed Iraq into a giant sandbox. Their people are starving, living in the streets, and suffering from disease brought on by unsanitary conditions.

So, rise up my friends. Become educated and informed. Write your senators and representatives to call for this administration to be held accountable for their actions. Unless we all get involved, we will be going to more and more funerals and have more and more mentally ill soldiers walking the streets because of the lack of funds for the VA. God help us all if we fail to act.


Monday, April 04, 2005

God with a big "G"

Hello dear friends,

Well, it's been a busy week full of travel and getting reacquainted with old friends. I am so thrilled to share that my home church, Cornerstone MCC in Mobile, Alabama, has a new pastor: Rev. Lee Carlton. Having met Rev. Carlton this weekend, I can tell he is a man of God who is full of love and compassion. I know in my heart that he is the right man for this congregation and they will learn much from his character.

That being said, I've been reading through the Old Testament and am in 2 Kings now. If you haven't read it for fear that it is just a list of kings and their exploits, you are missing a wonderful lesson in how God dealt with His people in the years after they insisted on having their own king. Some did right in the sight of the Lord. Some did evil in the sight of the Lord. And some, as in 2 Kings 17:37-41, did good things to honor the Lord and yet still clung to the old ways and old religions...the old idols.

The key here is v.41, "Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols."

To answer whether this is an issue in our own lives, we must first define that which is an IDOL. The word for IDOL used here is pasiyl which means vain or graven. This is where we get our word vanity. These were images that they carved themselves for their own use. And, as in vanity, they served no purpose except for the "feel good" factor!

Taking this a step further, we can understand why God would have a problem with other gods. He specifically says to worship Jehovah God only. And in Rev. 3:15-16, He is very clear when addressing the church at Laodicea that He would that people be either hot or cold and not lukewarm in their faith. Those with gods are lukewarm. They think they're doing everything right and loving the Lord, but they don't see the small images (idols) they have formed by their own hands and minds that take away from their intimacy with Jehovah God.

I've met a rare few who do not fall into this sin, myself included. It may be an addiction. It may be a mental health issue. It may be another person who has your attention and takes away your full attnetion from the Savior. Whatever that issue is, take a moment with the Lord and simply ask Him to show you if you have a "little g" god in your life. When we get rid of and ask forgiveness for those things that draw us away, we find a life of abundance, peace and power unlike anything we've ever known. We find the true life and love for the Lord.

May God bless you richly as you seek Him knowing that when you seek Him with your whole heart, you will most certainly find Him.