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For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. -- 2Corinthians 2: 17 (ESV)
Anna M. Aquino fancies herself a prophetess over at Charisma News. Aquino is not as well-known as the Wrecking Ball Lance Wallnau or the Sneaky Calamari Jenifer Leclaire but she plies her craft in very similar manners to the bigger names. That is because there is a template false prophets follow to lend an air of consistency and piety to their work. Within this template we can see the anatomy of a false prophecy and thus hopefully be better equipped to discern. Beloved, false prophets are lying on behalf of God. They are promising something He never said. Maybe they are sincere in their belief that they are hearing from the Lord and maybe they are the hucksters the Bible warns us about in the key verse today. It matters not. All that matters is that people are led astray. The link above to the latest prophecy by Aquino is short but reveals some standard themes we see in false prophecies today. Let us reason together beloved:
"Somewhere in the place between asleep and just barely getting there, I had a vision a few nights ago, and I felt I needed to share it." -- Anna Aquino
Now, I do not know Ms. Aquino, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt regarding her sincerity. As my pastor likes to say however, you can be sincere and sincerely wrong. So often the defense from people who stand by those who are false is that they have a good heart or that I do not know their heart. The good news is I do know their heart. The Bible assures me it is as wickedly deceitful as my own and therefore I need to rely upon the surety and verity of Scripture to counteract the lies of the human heart. The first element we see in the anatomy of a false prophecy is some form of mysticism associated with it. The more brazen false prophets will simply say God told them but most will take this route. There is a dream or dream like state that God speaks to them in. It lends an aura of spirituality to the prophecy to prop up what will usually be unbiblical. Some will flat out say they had a dream that they then in turn interpret. Others will claim a waking visitation, where Jesus comes to them in a trance like state and shows them things. Kim Walker-Smith of the heretical Jesus Culture claims such a visitation where Jesus whisked her away to the throne room of God where she saw the Father face to face. This is a perfect example of contrasting the wicked deceit of the human heart and the assuredness of Scripture. The Bible tells us that none may see the Father and live yet Kim tells us that she experienced the opposite. Since we trust the infallibility of Scripture, we must dismiss Kim Walker-Smith's visitation as either a willful lie or a demonic visitation.
The second aspect we see here is the "need to share it." People who fancy themselves as prophets and prophetesses look for the prophetic in every nook and cranny of their existence. Suddenly they see a word in their soup and declare the Lord is speaking to them without realizing it was alphabet soup. The experiential side of New Apostolic Reformation teaching encourages the practice of the prophetic. This flips the entire biblical record on its ear. The prophet was never in control of the prophecy. God always was in control. God decided when, where and what message to give to His vessel and the vessel never had any ambiguity regarding hearing that message. Today we see the Christian landscape littered with false prophets, all hearing different words from the Lord and all with the same desperate need to share it. Just watch next month when they all come out with a different "power word" from the Lord for 2018. There is only one Spirit and thus one word. Aquino continues:
"I saw myself in a giant wheat field. The grain was thick on the stalks, almost to the point of them beginning to droop. I walked through them, feeling them rush past my hands. I could see in the distance a few people using a sickle to cut the wheat. They were hard at work and didn't even notice me. Then suddenly I found myself in what seemed to be a clearing, but it wasn't supposed to be one. I could see that a huge section of the wheat had been crushed down leaving a large portion pushed down. As I looked around the field again I could see that many of these sections were around the field. I knelt down to look at the wheat, and the heads were just as bountiful as the ones whose stalks were not broken. I looked up at one of the harvesters and instinctively I knew that the sickle wouldn't harvest this wheat. I knew that to harvest these portions of the field were going to take extra special care. These portions needed new methods." -- Anna Aquino
There is typically a loose biblical concept that the prophecy is founded upon -- in this case wheat. It is true that wheat is found in the Bible. It is also found on farms, in bread and a million other things. Since the false prophet is constantly looking for the supernatural in the ordinary, everything takes on a hyper-spiritual meaning. We begin to see the formulation of the false premise here though. It is time now for the interpretation:
"As I began to pray about this vision it's meaning to me seemed very clear. The harvest and wheat fields are commonly referred to in the Bible as the mission field. The stalks of wheat were the souls of people. (Luke 10:2 and Matt. 9:37). What I believe God was saying is that the harvest is there. I believe the church is getting ready to experiences one of the biggest harvests we've seen in a modern age." -- Anna Aquino
Really. The meaning seemed very clear but the best you can offer is a guess as to what God was saying? Where in the Bible is prophecy ever conducted in such a fashion? I do not recall a prophecy of Elijah or Moses beginning with, "I believe what God was saying is"" There is no, "thus sayeth the Lord, well maybe." One can easily look at the same dream description and come to an entirely opposite conclusion. If I see a vast field of wheat with several areas of crushed wheat, unable to be harvested, I do not conclude this indicates a great harvest coming but a leaner one than we might expect. Then I can cross-reference that to my infallible Bible and see that a great end times harvest is not promised at all but a great end-times apostasy is! This sets up the final piece of the false prophecy puzzle -- it is unbiblical at its core:
"However, the methods we have always used may not work for everyone. Some of stalks have been beaten down and trodden. Some of them are just as ripe as the others but are going to need some extra care to harvest. As leaders in the church, we can't just assume that methods we've always used for evangelism are the ways we always have to use. We must seek God for how to reach those sections of the field. We must remember that these are people just lying in the field and needing someone to help them up." -- Anna Aquino
This is simply not found in the Bible beloved. There are not degrees of the lost. Some of the unsaved are not merely downtrodden, lying in a field, waiting for someone to help them up. They are in rebellion to God and think the things of the Lord are utter foolishness. There is only one method to reach them and it is called the Gospel. There are not new methods discussed in Scripture. This is straight up demonic NAR, purpose driven theology. Rick Warren teaches that pastors must reach the lost where they are at. To find relevance to their lives. The problem is the Bible says the opposite. They need to hear the Gospel to realize that Jesus Christ overcame this life and this world and that through His finished work on the cross they might as well. We do not need more human wisdom and gimmicks to try and reach the lost with the same level of carnality that is sending them straight to hell already. We have seen these gimmicks when worship incorporated ACDC, Miley Cyrus, and the Backstreet Boys. We have seen the church transformed into a motocross track, a monster truck rally and a circus. We have heard sermonettes on Jesus as our wing man, how God is never angry with us, and a complete rewriting of the Ten Commandments to make them more palatable to sinners. All of these schemes combined to rescue not one crushed stalk of wheat off of the threshing floor. The Bible teaches us that no one gets saved without the Gospel. No one. Pay no mind to fanciful dreams and pious sounding cliche's. We do not need the Anna Aquino's of the world to tell us what God might be saying, kinda, sorta. We have thus sayeth the Lord. We just need to open it and read it. We are as the key verse says, men of sincerity, commissioned by God, in whose sight we speak in Christ. Not like so many peddlers of God's Word. Amen.