Tag Archives: false prophecy

Of What Spirit Are We?

LeeAnnRubsam.com

…When the time was come that [Jesus] should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before him. The messengers went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  But the Samaritans did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did?”  But Jesus turned, and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of man has not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”   — Luke 9:51-56

For some time, I’ve been troubled at the number of websites and blogs devoted solely to criticizing various brothers and sisters in the Christian apostolic/prophetic community.  Google the name of any well-known prophet, apostle, or revivalist, and you’ll find that the top ten sites are primarily run by people who feel their God-given mission in life is to expose the “heresy” of others.  Some are so obsessed with harassing and discrediting a particular person that it almost smacks of stalking.  Talk about having a “ministry” specialty! 

As I’ve said before, apostolic/prophetic Christianity is my particular circle.  I see the problems too, and there are times I get pretty perturbed.  Yes, some are teaching things that are not biblically supportable.  Yes, some are hiding sin.  A lot of housecleaning is needed, and I believe God is in the process of doing that.  He wants a pure and spotless Bride. 

But there is something more disturbing to me than doctrinal aberrations and high-profile sin.  It is the hardness of heart that causes Christians to think they can mock and curse other believers and not have a twinge of conscience in doing so.  It doesn’t matter if we agree with someone’s doctrine and mode of ministry or not.  The Lord Jesus has not given us permission to tear members of the Body of Christ apart.  Pointing the finger and screaming, “Heretic!” or licking our chops over the latest one to fall aligns us with an entirely different spirit than the Holy Spirit.  Revelation 12:10 describes Satan as “the accuser of our brethren … which accused them before our God day and night.” 

I’m not saying we should whitewash sin and doctrinal error.  They are a shame and a blot on the Body of Christ.  I am asking what spirit we are of — the spirit of hatred, anger, and criticalness? Or the spirit of mercy, humility, and godly sorrow when a brother sins?  Jesus was grieved with the Pharisees of His day for their lack of mercy and their prideful delusion that they were several notches above other people.  The Pharisaical spirit is alive and well in the Church today.  It is a spirit totally aligned with hell, not the righteous purity of the Holy Spirit. 

There is a better way to address the problems in Christianity today.  For those of us who teach, we can continue to patiently lay down biblical foundations and warn against pitfalls, so that those who truly want to do right can learn to move in life-giving, Spirit-filled patterns.  We don’t need to point fingers and name names in the process of bringing God’s people into maturity.  Let’s teach the principles, so that people can learn to discern between the good and the bad, while keeping our fingers to ourselves. 

And all of us can learn to mind our own business — spending our time in sober prayer and fasting, rather than wasting precious hours at Internet forums, blogs, and chat rooms, talking, talking, always talking, about the latest ministry flap or failure. 

Let’s encourage and build up one another, lifting each other out of the muck if any of us should fall.  The devil doesn’t need our help in beating up on the Body– but he’s more than happy to let us join hands with him if we want to.

LeeAnnRubsam.com

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Prophecy (Part 6): Misuse and Abuse (continued)

In the last post, we discussed how people manipulate circumstances, leadership, and individuals with their prophetic words in order to validate their own prophetic ministry.  Today, we will talk further about ways prophecy is often misused or abused.

Gathering a personal following through our words – It is a natural tendency for people to look up to someone who moves in spiritual gifts.  However, it becomes unhealthy when a prophetic person gathers a following of “groupies” who hang on his or her every word.  Often, loyalties are siphoned away from the rightful leadership of the local church by a “prophet” with the supposed word of the Lord.

An obvious sign of an unhealthy personal following is when the followers feel the need to frequently run to the prophet for personal direction, instead of inquiring of the Lord for themselves.  There is certainly nothing wrong with seeking out godly counsel, but there comes a point when seeking a prophetic word from another becomes akin to going to a fortune teller.  A prophet of integrity will encourage his followers to find out from the Lord for themselves, rather than using his influence to bind people to himself.

What did John the Baptist do, when there were those who continued to stay with him, once Jesus appeared on the scene?  He pointed them to Jesus.  And looking upon Jesus … he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” And the two disciples heard him speak and followed Jesus (John 1:36, 37).  John also said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).  We must always point people to Jesus, rather than forging inappropriate ties to ourselves. 

Exalting our word – When we cannot accept our leadership’s discernment that our word is not accurate, we’ve got a problem.  It is humbling to have to submit to a spiritual covering, but we need to.  Our pastor is there to help us grow.  Sometimes that growing process means we will be told that a prophetic word is not right.  Even if the word is right, and our pastor has just missed it on this occasion, we need to humbly submit to his discernment and correction.  If it truly was a God-word, it will bear out over time.  Don’t sweat it.  (This is extremely hard for all of us who move in prophecy.)

It is far too easy to worship our own “words from the Lord” and our ability to hear God speak.  Ultimately, this is worship of ourselves.  It is pride. 

“Touch not mine anointed.” – Have you ever heard this one?  I have.  Someone comes up with a prophecy which is discerned by trustworthy leaders, other prophets, etc. to not be a word from the Lord.  Instead of receiving correction, the “prophet” or his followers get defensive and start quoting this Scripture from 1 Chronicles 16:22.  (The verse refers to a story about Abraham, in Genesis 20:3-7, and how God protected him and Sarah from an unbelieving Philistine king.)

Of course we should take care not to label a prophetic word as false before it has gone through the appropriate discerning process (assuming that it does not obviously contradict Scripture in the first place).  We should also be very careful not to denounce or be scornful of those delivering prophetic words – but then, having scorn toward anybody is wrong, prophet or not!  Any one of us can be in error.  Those who are wise have enough humility and fear of the Lord to realize their own frailty – and to extend grace to those who err.

At the same time, however, prophetic people cannot hide behind “touch not mine anointed” to avoid the discerning process.  The implication is a threat: “Don’t you dare judge my prophetic word, or God will judge you!”  Such intimidation is evidence of pride and fear, pure and simple.

Enjoying the fulfillment of negative words – At times God may speak to us of calamity that is coming to a person or a group of people, or of an impending physical disaster.  As we have said earlier, the godly response is to intercede for mercy and a staving off of judgment.  Sometimes, however, even as we appropriately pray for the averting of the disaster, we have revelatory understanding that the judgment will still take place.  This should produce a great fear [reverence; awe] of the Lord in us.

When negative prophetic words come to pass we must never rejoice in the fulfillment.  Proverbs 17:5 admonishes us, “… he who is glad at calamities shall not go unpunished.”   When the fulfillment of such a word comes, our response should be a sincere sorrow for those who are suffering.  God is not pleased when we are more concerned about being right in our prophetic hearing than we are about the pain of the people affected. 

In summary, prophecy was never meant to give us personal advantage. At all times we must remember that our prophetic word does not validate us.  God never needs man to bring validation to a word He speaks, either.  He is well able to defend Himself without our help.

Next time we’ll talk about maintaining a pure word through a pure life.

Previous — Prophecy (Part 5): Misuse and Abuse
Next — Prophecy (Part 7): Maintaining a Pure Word

The Intercessor Manual

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries