Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Real Test

Part of the test of whether a prophet was speaking the words of the Lord is whether or not what was prophesied actually comes to pass with 100% accuracy. There was no such thing as a genuine prophecy being 50% accurate or even 99% accurate; pinpoint accuracy was demanded otherwise the prophecy was considered false and to be disregarded.

“18'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
19'It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.
20'But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.'
21"You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'
22"When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22, NASB)

But if we go back a few chapters in Deuteronomy to chapter 13, we find yet another test. In fact, one that is most important of all.

“1"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,'
3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4"You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4, NASB)

Even if the sign or wonder comes true, if the prophet teaches anything contrary to God’s revealed truth, it is to be regarded as falsehood and dismissed. In fact, in the Old Testament, the prophet was to be put to death (v. 5) in order to “purge the evil from among you.”

If we would only take heed and use the same discernment today. We should follow the example of the first century Bereans in Acts 17:11 daily examining the Scriptures. We are too enamored with signs and wonders, taking our focus off the Word of God. Everything must pass a theological test.

We have numerous “prophets” today who are proclaiming that God has given them a message, whether it is some word of prophecy or claiming a new way of doing church that God has revealed to them for this generation.
Yet upon closer examination with Scripture, their philosophy simply does not line up. But large numbers of people flock to conferences and churches promoting these philosophies.

Unfortunately, the teaching of these so-called prophets resonates well with the current generation. Just like the disobedient children of Israel, who wanted the prophets to speak to them words that would sooth their ears, there are those today who have the same itching ears and recruit teachers to tell them what they want to hear. People willingly flock to their seminars, churches and spend money for their materials, seemingly unable to get enough of it. The more they buy and participate in, the more the false teachers are encouraged to give them more.

“9For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen
To the instruction of the LORD;
10Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions";
And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right,
Speak to us pleasant words,
Prophesy illusions.” (Isaiah 30:10, NASB)

“3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
(2 Timothy 4:3-4, NASB)

Much of the philosophy of those promoting these new ways of “doing” church often produces visible results, attracting people in droves. The attitude by many seems to be, "hey, it works!" But we must examine the “fruit” that is yielded from these methods. Do people gain a genuine sense of awe and reverence for God? Do they genuinely seek the things of the Lord, or are they simply seeking some self-help teaching intermingled with a few verses of Scripture (often taken out of context). Are they developing a love for God’s truth and more importantly, are they desiring to apply it to their lives? Is there true conviction over sin producing true repentance?

Teaching which appeals more to people’s flesh can offer no transforming power to truly change people’s lives. It just feeds the ego of the people and they desire more of it. It offers nothing more than a self-seeking spirituality on man’s terms, not God’s.

“ 30An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31, NASB)

Sadly, false leadership leads people away from God rather than leading them on a path that draws them closer to Him. It is unfortunate that there are now multitudes of false shepherds occupying the pulpits of churches all across our land, which are not truly tending God’s flock and providing genuine spiritual direction, allowing the people to walk in spiritual confusion, wandering in various directions.

What we need are shepherds who will trust in the transforming power of God’s Word, trusting in its power to accomplish God’s purposes. (Isaiah 55:11)

2 comments:

T A Blankenship said...

What else can be said? AMEN.

thecomingprophets said...

I believe there is another test today that applys.

Does this prophet interpret end times prophesy symbolicly? I believe God speaks to mankind in plain words that do not require some preacher to teach us what it means.

God gave us a bible for a reason. We are to test the prophets words with the word of God. If God trusted any preacher or priest he would have never gave us the bible. So we are to learn this bible to get ready for heaven for we are not citizens of this world and we are to help as many people know God as possible.

Of course this doesn't apply when we first get saved because we are still babes in Christ,but, eventually we are to get off the milk and onto the meat so to speak. Prophesy is a gift the church has rejected and this is why America is so evil, lack of influence by the church.