Monday, January 23, 2012

Cindy Jacobs and Other False Prophets

Last week I received an invitation to hear a so-called "prophet" speak at an event near me.  This so-called prophet is Cindy Jacobs.  She has a rather dubious record of many her prophesies not coming true.  When challenged on this issue, her response is to complain that she is being held to a higher standard than other forms of ministry and said that if teachers were as wrong as she was, it would not be as scrutinized.  This is typical of many of today's so-called prophets.  They are wrong and they get defensive and accuse the rest of us of nitpicking.  I disagree.  When you call yourself a prophet, it is not us that is holding you to a higher standard, it is you who are giving yourself a higher standard to live up to.  I nor anyone else has devised the standard for a prophet. God has, and this is what God has said.
when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.  Deuteronomy 18:22 NKJV
In other words, fear not the prophet who speaks and what spoken does not come to be.  When someone like Cindy Jacobs gives a long detailed prophesy that she claims is coming from the Lord, and it does not come to be, she is not to be feared.  In other words, we are not to respect her or her prophesy.  She is either deluded or a liar, but not a prophet of God. 

So why is there this incredibly high standard?  Why do prophets need to be perfect in their prophesy whereas a teaches does not?  The answer is simple.  A teacher, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has the responsibility of rightly dividing the Word of God and teaching it.  Teaching is not a direct message from God, but an interpretation of a message from God as recorded in the Bible.  He is not acting as a conduit of God's Word, but a teacher of God's Word already spoken.  A prophet on the other hand is speaking directly from God.  A prophet is speaking the words of God to the people.  It is not an explanation of something God has said to try and understand it, but the very words of God coming through the prophet.  The Bible was written by prophets, for example, and not by teachers.  Teachers explain the Word, prophets give it.  Considering the fact that God will never be wrong about something He says, a prophet must be perfect in his or her prophesy. This is true because if a prophet is a true prophet and his or her prophesy does not come to be, what does that mean for God?  It means that God can not be trusted.  So if a prophesy does not come to pass, the question we need to ask is whether God can be wrong or the person speaking is not a prophet.  I think the answer is rather obvious.

There are many going around the church today claiming to be a prophet.  Ironically, most cult leaders also claim to be a prophet.  The reason for this is that the office of prophet holds a tremendous amount of authority.  Prophets speak for God and no teacher or layperson can argue with God.  They take the position that if you disagree with them, you are disagreeing with God.  If you choose to ignore their prophesy, they tell you that you are ignoring God.  If they were true prophets, that would all be true.  However, considering none of them have a perfect record of prophesy, we can dismiss their messages as messages of their own design (or of an evil influence) and ignore it. 

What is worse to me then the false prophets taking advantage of the church is how much of the church affirms their office.  The event I was invited to is hosted by a church and refers to her as a prophet.  That sickens me.  For a church to ignore the Word of God and promote a charlatan to the flock as an actual prophet makes that church complicit in the false messages being passed as message of God.  The church denies the Word of God and elevates the words of a liar to the Word of God.  The church leads its followers down a terrible path of lies, trickery, and delusion and leads them away from the truth.   Shame on the church that promotes a false prophet. Shame on the church leader who ignores the Word of God for sake of a man (or woman).  Please understand, when you join yourself with a false prophet passing off false doctrine as the Word of God, you are just as guilty as the false prophet.  If you follow the false prophet, I urge you to read the fate of those who followed the false prophetess Jezebel in Revelation 2. 

So what do we do in a Christian world ripe with false prophets putting out books and videos and being propped up by churches who should know better?  First of all, we need to test them.  If anything they say as a prophesy does not come to pass, they are not a prophet.  If you hear someone talking about a prophet as "accurate" or the "more accurate than others" or even "the most accurate" serious alarms should be going off in your head.  Accuracy is an irrelevant term when it comes to prophets.  If someone is a prophet, their prophesy must be perfect.  If a church says one prophet is more accurate than other prophets than that means that church is not holding prophets up to Biblical standards.  It means that church is acting in an apostate manner and should be avoided.  Beyond that, we need to test them.  A prophet will never put anything above Jesus and will always declare Jesus to be Lord.  A prophet will never add to, take away from, or alter the Word of God in any way.  The Word of God is perfect and complete, nothing can be added, removed, or altered.  A prophet's prophesy will always come to pass.  If someone does not meet all of these standards, they are a false prophet and should be avoided. 

There are many false prophets in the world today.  Take heart because that means the end is coming soon.  Jesus prophesied the coming of the false prophets and God reiterated that message in the epistles.  They are here, they are spreading their poison, and we must be careful to not get sucked into their trap.  Test all the spirit and hold the prophets to the standards set of in God's word.  Above all, ground yourself in the true prophesy that is the Word of God because truth will always expose the lie. 
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  Matthew 7:15 NKJV

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