Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). -- Acts 11: 27-28 (ESV)
While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" -- Acts 21: 10-11 (ESV)
The modern Charismatic Church has corrupted so much of what the Bible teaches. I do not say that as being anti-Charismatic. I was saved in a Charismatic church and fully believe in the gifts of the Spirit. Being a responsible Berean however means I am guided solely by Scripture and not hidden gnostic signs, false wonders or tales of astounding spiritual moves. It is always unsettling to realize that you have believed something that is simply not supported scripturally and every time you must come down on the side of Scripture. This is why Experiential Christianity gets so much wrong. Believing God has spoken to you is not a substitute for what we know He has already said in the Bible. The primary defense people have when defending false teachers is "you don't know him -- I do." To which I respond who cares? I do not have to know him or her. I just need to weigh their teaching against Scripture. Dr. Michael Brown defended Bill Johnson to me by exclaiming that he knew him! He defended his heretical school for the supernatural by saying he had taught at it! Those are carnal defenses that rely upon our hearts and how we feel and as we well know the heart is the most wickedly deceitful thing ever made. That is why we must side with Scripture. It is impartial. It is never wrong. It never changes.
One of the primary areas the Charismatic Church continues to butcher is prophecy. We have reviewed this topic before but with each passing day more and more wannabe prophets are coming out of the Pentecostal woodwork. Just review Charisma News for one week and you can get upwards of 20 different, overlapping, and contrary prophecies. Beloved, God is not schizophrenic. The Prophetic Industrial Complex however has made a million dollar industry out of falsifying what God has and has not said. The Bible is the final revealed will of the Lord. He has not forgotten to tell us something that He now needs General Cindy Jacobs or Heidi "Shaka-Baba" Baker to finally reveal to us. Such a premise is fundamentally ridiculous. One of the tell-tale signs of the false prophecy movement is in the complete submersion of any prophecy in confectionary sugar before it is released. Every prophecy is puppies and pancakes for everyone! If anyone dares to have a word of warning, they are rebuked. Most of this disconnect is purposeful because words of warning or rebuke do not sell well. When King Ahab is asked if there are any honest prophets in Israel, he reluctantly admits there is one name Micaiah and his admission is stunning:
And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil." -- 1Kings 22: 8 (ESV)
There is nothing new under the sun beloved. Man always wants to hear what he wants to hear and not what God actually wants to say to him. Ahab would not listen to Micaiah that day and he went out to war and was killed exactly how Micaiah had said the Lord told him. Diabetic prophecy is never good for us. Besides those who are making merchandise off the sheep through false prophecy there are also those who may be simply taught poorly regarding the true nature of prophecy. Today we will look at an example from the latter group. It is a paragraph from a recent article by J. Lee Grady. For the most part, many of the offerings from Grady seem on point. He still associates with Charisma, where he served as an editor for 11 years which is disturbing. In a recent article he offered the following as one of the rules of personal prophecy:
"Never give harsh prophetic words. New Testament prophecy should encourage, comfort and exhort believers (see 1 Cor. 14:3). That rules out condemnation and harsh criticism disguised as a word from God. Our heavenly Father does not speak to His children in a hateful, scolding tone. He is an encourager, even when He brings needed correction. Remember: Paul said that if you use the gift of prophecy without love, it is useless (see 1 Cor. 13:2)." -- J. Lee Grady
This is the third time in a month that I have seen this defense of diabetic prophecy. So much of the false prophecies are rooted in this poor and inaccurate belief. Let us reason together and go through what is wrong, item by item:
1. Our heavenly Father does not speak to His children in a hateful scolding tone? What about when He was going to wipe everyone off the earth except Noah? What about when Moses had to talk Him out of killing all of the Israelites who would not stop complaining and murmuring? What about when God rebuked David through the Prophet Nathan? We have to stop dressing God up in these false sloppy agape clothes. Love includes rebuke and instruction beloved.
2. Never give harsh prophetic words? Really? Has everyone forgot the entire Old Testament? Were there any glowingly positive prophecies? It sure seemed like everyone was a call to return to the Lord, stop sinning, and get right. Before people start insisting the Old Testament means nothing to them, this pattern did not abate in the New Testament. What was the message of John the Baptist? Was it "relax because God loves you" or "repent for the kingdom of God is at hand?" The first word Jesus ever uttered in ministry was not love but repent. Here are two more New Testament prophecies:
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." -- Luke 2: 34-35 (NIV)
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2: 38-41 NIV)