By Tope Banso.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15 King James Version).
False prophets and false teachers are twins! The gift of prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts in the Bible so prophesying is biblical. In fact, the Bible encourages every Christian to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:2, 5, 39). But there are two types of prophecy: forthtelling and foretelling.
Forthtelling is appropriating, confessing and proclaiming the promises and truths that God has already pronounced in His Word as one is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Every Christian can do this. In that context, anointed preaching is prophecy. God’s word spoken in faith by the power of the Holy Spirit shall prosper (Isaiah 55:11).
Foretelling is predictive prophecy. It involves making predictions of a future event as inspired by the Holy Spirit. False prophets engage in this but most of their predictions, especially personal prophecies they give people, never come to pass because their prophecies don’t come from God. The Bible says many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).
Today, false prophets give all kinds of prophecies that excite their audience giving them false hope. They’re not sent by God but are just very intelligent, creative, bold people who have no fear of God and are exploiting the naivety, curiosity and people’s problems to enrich themselves. Of course, some of them use demonic power for divination pretending to be prophets of God. Beware of them!
God told Prophet Jeremiah: “I stand against these prophets who get their messages from each other — these smooth-tongued prophets who say, ‘This prophecy is from the LORD!’ Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people” (Jeremiah 23:30-32 New Living Translation).
God also told Prophet Ezekiel to prophesy against the false prophets and the women in Israel who prophesied out of their own heart but had seen nothing (Ezekiel 13:2-3, 17-18). Ezekiel did.
Genuine prophecy is not the product of a man’s cleverness or psychology but the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). False prophets are not moved by the Holy Spirit but by greed and love of money! Beware of them!
Beware of prophets who always know everything! A genuine prophet can only know what the Holy Spirit has revealed or is revealing to him (1 Corinthians 13:9-10; Deuteronomy 29:29).
Elisha was a great prophet but he admitted that the Lord hid from him the cause of the deep distress of the Shunammite woman which was the death of her only child (2 Kings 4:25-27) though God used Elisha to restore him to life eventually.
However, today, we have some prophets who know everything, assuring you that when they see your face, they’ll prophesy! Where is the Holy Spirit in that? Any prophet, speaking not by the Holy Spirit, even if his prophecy is accurate and it comes to pass, is still a false prophet! Beware of false prophets!
●●Banso, an Abuja-based minister can be reached via email@example.com,
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523;and on
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947. (Visit www.cedarministry.org for more inspiring messages).