Apostate Leaders

A friend, Bill Lewis, lead apostolic leader of The Connection Church in Ohio send me the following…

Every now and then there comes along an article that is so current and powerful, you wish you had said it so eloquently. However, it so powerful that it needs to be reprinted, published as many places as possible, and shouted loudly. My son, John, sent me this article and I was so moved by it for its boldness, conciseness, honesty, and truthfulness. So, here is the article by George Brahm quoting John Cooper of the band, Skillet.

 

Skillet’s John Cooper on Apostasy Among Young Christian Leaders by George Brahm

John Cooper, lead singer for the rock band Skillet, responded to the litany of recent apostasies among young Christian leaders. In a Facebook post titled ‘What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?’ put up on Tuesday, August 13, Cooper directly addressed the reasons given by Hillsong songwriter Marty Sampson for renouncing his Christian faith, before highlighting the need for Christians to stay grounded in a truth-driven faith over an emotion-driven one. Here is the text of the post in its entirety (not corrected for spelling or punctuation):

“Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once “faces” of the faith are falling away. And at the same time they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?)as they announce that they are leaving the faith. I’ll state my conclusion, then I’ll state some rebuttals to statements I’ve read by some of them. Firstly, I never judge people outside of my faith. Even if they hate religion or Christianity. That is not my place and I have many friends who disagree with my religion and that is 100% fine with me. However, when it comes to people within my faith, there must be a measure of loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God.

“My conclusion for the church (all of us Christians): We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or “relevant” people the most influential people in Christendom. (And yes that includes people like me!) I’ve been saying for 20 years(and seemed probably quite judgmental to some of my peers) that we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word. I’m not being rude to my worship leader friends (many who would agree with me) in saying that singers and musicians are good at communicating emotion and feeling. We create a moment and a vehicle for God to speak. However, singers are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine. Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?

“I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers…first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, “I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.” I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?

“My second thought is, why do people act like “being real” covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications? As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying “I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.” So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.

“Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.” This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader’s statement, “How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.” As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

“And lastly, and most shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their “new insight/new truth” that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say “I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others”. Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature. No child is ever born and says “I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need”. Those are bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the ‘Kingdom of God’ standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus’s teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that “generosity is good”? How would you know “what is good” without Jesus’s teachings? And will your ideas of what is “good” be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I’m amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.

“It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.

“Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting “now I’ve found the truth! Follow me!!” Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers…I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)”

 

 

Safe Relationships

The other day after the shootings in:

Gilroy, California – Garlic Festival

El Paso, Texas – Walmart

Dayton, Ohio – downtown restaurant area

The Pope in Rome, Italy issued a statement saying in part… 

That he was “spiritually close” to those who were grieving and then he led the multitude listening to him in St. Peter’s Square in a recital of the “Hail Mary” for the victims

“Spiritually close”  Read more

Living Like Jesus

There is a fascinating story in the gospels where Jesus defends a lady being confronted by religion
Then at dawn Jesus appeared in the temple courts again, and soon all the people gathered around to listen to his words, so he sat down and taught them. Then in the middle of his teaching, the religious scholars and the Pharisees broke through the crowd and brought a woman who had been caught in the act of committing adultery and made her stand in the middle of everyone.
Then they said to Jesus, “Teacher, we caught this woman in the very act of adultery. Doesn’t Moses’ law command us to stone to death a woman like this? Tell us, what do you say we should do with her?” They were only testing Jesus because they hoped to trap him with his own words and accuse him of breaking the laws of Moses.

Read more

LIFE – DEATH – AFTER DEATH

 

When you were conceived in your mother’s womb – even before that – God knew all about you
He created you in His image
He made you unique
He considered you very special
He loved you
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
When you were born – your FIRST BIRTH … Physical

Read more

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About a Christian View of Homosexuality

Introduction:

So, the other day I headed out to the bank and then to the drug store and post office to do some messages and catch up a bit on some office work.

As I entered the bank I was faced with – it was rather loud and obvious so confronted by – a huge presentation celebrating the diversity we have in Canada and focused on Pride month. 

June has been designated the month where we recognize this segment of our national population. 

June has been designated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride month. 

June is now focused on this segment of society in most nations of the world even those that have yet to recognize “gay rights”

Then, entering the drug store there were large posters pointing to this month’s special focus and special sales, of course. 

And, again, at the post office. 

And, again, in most email specials coming into my in-box (Hollister, Abercrombie-Finch)

I am not against having a month to draw attention to all the issues within society regarding this segment of the population. 

And, I think it is good to come to know the history behind the movement and discover all the less-than-humane treatment that this group has suffered at the hands of governments and people (society) in general.

I believe, as well, that we need to take a look at how the Church has treated those who are part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. 

We don’t have a very good track record either historically nor in the recent past. In some cases, even today they are not understood or treated in a loving manner by the Church.

Some segments of the Church have elevated this lifestyle – and the Bible does consider it behaviour that is not in line with God’s plan – to the category of major sin.

It is the sin that the Church is targeting, emphasizing, and condemning. 

However, I believe that it is simply one of many sins and that in God’s eyes all sins are equal (James 2:10). 

So, homosexuality is no worse nor better than drunkenness, divorce, gossiping, abortion, or dishonouring your parents. 

Yet, we have elevated this one specific sin to a special place and taken aim at it while ignoring many of the other sins very evident and rampant in the Church and in society.

I believe that Jesus loves sinners. And so should we. 

I believe that Jesus accepts sinners just as they are because He knows that if they begin to walk with Him that He will change them. 

I believe that we should accept them as well – unconditionally. 

I believe that Jesus forgives all sins (except blaspheming the Holy Spirit) regardless of the gravity of the sin or what the sinner is involved in. 

He loves unconditionally, He accepts us just as we are, and He forgives us totally.

That is what I call The LAF Principle. 

And, we would do well to remember that this is how God treated each one of us who call ourselves believers. 

And, that Jesus expects us to do unto others what He has done unto us. 

We are to treat others in the same manner that He has treated us.

I believe that if we were to actually do this we would embrace all sinners and simply love, accept, and forgive them.

We would not separate one sin and make it the BIG ONE for today. 

We would, as God obviously does, simply see sin as sin and love the sinner regardless of the sin.

This means we do not judge those who are in sin – recognizing the sin in our own life helps us not to judge others. 

This means we must not be critical of others and the lifestyles they choose to live. 

This means we must not reject them because Jesus died for them just as He died for us. 

This means that we, the Church, must welcome all sinners and not fall into the traditional denominational tendency of having big and little sins – mortal and venial sins. 

Sin is sin and Jesus died for the forgiveness of all sin no matter how big or small, significant or insignificant we may consider them.

This means we must stop the “us and them” mentality

We are all sinners and no matter what the sin is we are all saved by grace and faith. 

We must welcome all sinners without categorizing the sin and declaring one worse than another. 

This means we must learn how to love, accept, and forgive. And, in doing so, learn how to no longer judge, criticize, and reject. 

We are in what is called a “culture war” as society and the culture changes. 

The battleground of this culture war is homosexuality and same-sex marriage 

This battle has been going on for almost 50 years and it is a war that we, Christians believers, are losing. AND, it is mostly our fault. 

Partly, we have our approach to the issues have caused there to be two camps – we and them

Partly, we have not wrestled with the biblical understanding of sexuality and marriage

I am all for open discussion on this important aspect of life, sex, and marriage

But, to debate the issue seriously and truthfully, we must seek an honest picture of what our opponents actually believe 

Working from what we think they believe is neither helpful nor respectful.

We need to talk with them – listen to them

And, we need to have a good grasp on the truths that inform and make up the traditional, biblical Christian belief.

Let’s look briefly at the basic Christian beliefs involved in this “culture war”

  1. All humans are simultaneously sinful and loved.

All people, regardless of their story, are deeply and unconditionally loved by God, each created with profound dignity and worth, not one more than another. 

This is more than mere religious happy talk — it’s truth whether one is gay, straight, or otherwise. 

But, all people are also stricken with a terminal illness: sin. 

Everyone. 

No exceptions

And, sin is sin

Our sin demands our repentance and needs forgiveness, and God’s love and grace are where we find both. 

This is basic Christianity and the great equalizer of all people.

2. Jesus wasn’t silent on homosexuality.

Some claim Jesus never said anything about homosexuality and therefore is neutral on the topic. 

Not true. 

Jesus shows us that to understand sexuality, marriage and the sexual union, we must go back to the beginning and see how God created humanity and the purpose for creating things the way He did (See Matthew 19 and Mark 10.) 

Jesus holds up the creation story in Genesis not as a quaint Sunday school lesson, but as authoritative — reminding us that God created each of us male and female, each for the other. 

And the sexual union that God created and ordains is for husband and wife to come together in physical union, one flesh.

3. There is only one option – marriage between a male and a female

Both Jesus and all of scripture approve of no other sexual union then that between a husband and wife. 

This is the uncontested historical teaching of Judaism and Christianity, and it is not something that true Christianity is free to adjust with the times. 

Yes, concubines and multiple wives are found in the Bible, but doesn’t make them “biblical.” 

In fact, they violate the Genesis narrative Christ points us to.

4. Male and female complete God’s image on earth.

It is not just mere “traditionalism” that makes man and woman the norm for Christian marriage

When God said that it “is not good that the man be alone” (Genesis 2:18) He wasn’t lamenting that Adam didn’t have a buddy or was just lonely. 

He was saying that the male could not really know himself as male without a human “other” who equally shared his humanity but was meaningfully distinct right down to every bit of her DNA. 

The same is true for her in Adam. 

In both Jewish and Christian belief, both male and female become fully human in their correspondence and contrast with one another. 

This does not happen solely in marriage, but it does happen most profoundly and mysteriously in marriage.

5. Sex is indeed about babies.

It is a new and culturally peculiar idea that human sexuality is all about intimacy and pleasure, but not necessarily babies. 

Babies and reproduction matter. 

And sure, while not every male/female sexual engagement is toward having a baby — intimacy and pleasure matter as well

But, having babies has been the overwhelming norm and desire in nearly all marital relationships throughout time. 

It is a fact that same-sex unions will result in a human cul-de-sac. 

Heterosexual union reaches into and creates the next generation. 

To establish a sexual relationship without any interest in or openness to babies is contrary to God’s intention for such relationships.

6. Children have a right to a mother and father.

Every person ever born can track his origin to a mother and a father. 

There are no exceptions, including those artificially produced. 

This was the first command God gave to the first two humans: to come together and bring forth the coming generations of new divine image-bearers. 

Nearly all cultures in all places in the world at all historical times hold as fundamental that every child should be loved and raised by a mother and father. 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes a mother and father as a basic right of every child.

7. Same-sex attraction is not a sin.

To be human is to have a disordered sexuality. You do. I do. Everyone does. 

We all have some manner of sexual drive that compels us to disobey God’s design for sexuality. 

But, while temptation is universal, it’s different from sin. 

Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, but did not sin 

(Hebrews 4:15). 

Sexual sin is giving in to that desire in either mind or body. 

Faithful Christians cannot avoid temptation, but it strives to resist and master it with God’s help. 

Many are indeed same-sex attracted, but live obediently within a Christian sexual ethic. 

It can be difficult, as it is for heterosexuals who are required to live in celibacy. 

Christianity requires that we each subject our desires of the flesh and soul to our faith commitment 

And countless same-sex attracted believers do so willingly and joyfully.

8. Sexual intimacy is not a right.

Every Christian has limitations placed on his sexuality. 

For married Christians, it is exclusive to one’s spouse. 

For single, engaged, and divorced Christians, it is abstinence, no exceptions.

 Is it unfair for so many to be forced into a life that cannot know the wonder and beauty of physical intimacy just because marriage is not an option for them? 

Is it fair for a Christian to be stuck in a loveless marriage? 

Christians have long understood that fairness is not really the question. 

Sex is not a right, but a gift — and the Giver knows what is best for us.

9. Rewriting God’s rules is never an option.

One of the marks of a Christian is his or her desire to be obedient to Christ’s teaching. 

Certainly most of us would like to rewrite the scriptures to make life easier. 

I would change where Christ says that lust is the same as doing the deed…that lusting in the heart is the same as jumping into bed with a person

Christianity is a demanding faith. 

The scriptures define and change us, not the other way around. 

A biblical sexual ethic does not, indeed cannot, change with the times.

10. People are more than their sexuality.

To identify people by their sexuality is to reduce people to their sexuality. 

Every individual is so much more. 

A person’s inherent and undeniable value is rooted in his membership in humanity, not his specific sexual orientation

And standing up for a person’s rights based on their sexual preferences, desires, relationships, and behaviours – is simply not right because people are more than their sexuality

So, the Christian faith has a view of sex and sexuality based on God’s Word and the main points are:

1. All humans are simultaneously sinful and loved

2. Jesus wasn’t silent on homosexuality.

3. There is only one option – marriage between a male and a female

4. Male and female complete God’s image on earth.

5. Sex is indeed about babies.

6. Children have a right to a mother and father.

7. Same-sex attraction is not a sin.

8. Sexual intimacy is not a right.

9. Rewriting God’s rules is never an option.

10. People are more than their sexuality.

Kamshat – Campus Crusade for Christ, Kazakhstan

Wanted to share the joy of starting fulfilling your prophesy over the ministry. It was tremendous the move of the Holy Spirit after your visit of my team and students. You remember a student said that he had visions before becoming a believer and he has them after. That night Ersultan and the rest of my team and some students cast out demons from that student for 3 hours. It was shocking the way demons reacted in him. Then yesterday we continued casting out the rest major 2 demons and a devil from him for 2 hours. Everyone saw visions and then we prayed over students to release speaking in tongues, after worshipped together and the room filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
It’s amazing the move of the Spirit which is a starting towards the fulfillment of your prophecy to the ministry of my team. Praise the Lord for His grace on us.

A DRINK BECOMES A RIVER

There is something I want to share with you that has become very real to me in the last few weeks in my travels and the various places I have been ministering

There are a few scriptures that I would like to read and ask that you look them up in your Bible as well (different versions – but that is good)
I want to share about “A Drink Becomes a River”
THE DRINK – Salvation
Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well in John, chapter four (familiar story)

Read more

Church as Usual is Coming to an End – Part 1

(and Prophetic Churches Must Emerge to Fill the Void) 

Around the world the Church, as we know it, is in trouble
In some places it is seriously dying – growing smaller every year
20% decline a year due to deaths, moves, and people leaving
So to remain steady at the same number of people annually need to grow 20%
In some places the Church has fallen into heresy – teachings that are not biblical
In some places there are what we call “man-made moves of God” where the churches are growing but it is by programs and hype, charismatic leaders who tickle ears
In some places the Church is growing quickly and attracting young people but these young people soon recognize that the structures and traditions are, in many ways,  hampering and hindering the flow of the Holy Spirit

Read more

A Season of Change

Recently on a trip to Kazakhstan I had the honour of being in a service where the people of God prayed for a team of 14 who were heading to Mongolia on a “mission trip” to win the lost and establish house churches. I later had the privilege of speaking at length with and then prophesy over two of those involved – a couple who work in an orphanage in Kazakhstan and pastor a house church. They were excited about the 42 hour bus ride they were about to embark on to reach the nation of Mongolia and the people there who have never head of Jesus.

Paul writes, “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’”

The Passion Translation reads: “It is my honour and constant passion to be a pioneer who preaches where no one has ever even heard of the Anointed One, instead of building upon someone else’s foundation. As the Scriptures say: ‘Those who know nothing about him will clearly see him, and those who have not heard will respond (understand).’”

As I move along in my own ministry I find my passion changing. I was prophetically told that I was now in the third and final season of my ministry and that I would see many changes and much would be new. I love teaching the saints. I really greatly appreciate training, equipping, and mentoring young people in their calling to change the world. There is much that I do and have done that is both enjoyable and beneficial to the Kingdom. However, recently I have found myself impatient with the saints who simply sit and learn and seldom do anything with what they have learned. Saints who have lost their passion and zeal for Jesus and His cause. I am finding less value and even less satisfaction in giving just another teaching and then another teaching and then…

Recently in the city of Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan I had the honour of speaking to some campus leaders and some of the Christian students whom they lead. In the group were a number of new believers – less than two weeks old. Alive, hungry, full of questions. We spoke about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit and answered many questions. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to speak with and prophesy over the leaders of the university campus ministry. Again, powerful. Here was part of the feedback:

“It was tremendous the move of the Holy Spirit after your visit of my team and students. You remember a student said that he had visions before becoming a believer and he has them after. That night Ersultan and the rest of my team and some students cast out demons from that student for 3 hours. It was shocking the way demons reacted in him. Then yesterday we continued casting out the rest major 2 demons and a devil from him for 2 hours. Everyone saw visions and then we prayed over students to release speaking in tongues, after worshipped together and the room filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It’s amazing the move of the Spirit which is a starting…”

In my heart of hearts this is where I want to be. I want to minister where the gospel has not been heard. I want to see the lost saved and raised up into new life. New expressions of the Church planted. I want to speak to new believers who are hungry to be trained and equipped and to learn more. I want to see churches that have not heard the true Gospel of the Kingdom come alive for the first time and embrace their divine destiny. I want to see the true Church that Jesus is building rise up and impact the community where they are located. I want to work with leaders who are wanting to go somewhere and do something significant for the King and the Kingdom. I want to mentor young people who are hungry for more and want to fully embrace the future that God has planned for them. Young people who are not satisfied with what is and are reaching for what could be. Young people who are wanting to see the lost won to Jesus and their nations transformed by the Gospel. 

Don’t get me wrong – I love what I am doing right now. I teach, I pray, I prophesy … but most of the churches I work with are not reaching the lost. And, to be honest, they really don’t have any interest in doing so. Add to that the obvious fact that little is changing in their lives and it leads to a bit of frustration on my part. Not to mention being somewhat bored teaching the same things and seeing nothing change.

So, as I enter the third and last stage of my 40+ years of ministry I am sensing a major change as I move into a serious season of raising up young people and training them to be world changers as they risk their life and take the Gospel of the Kingdom to places that have never heard the true Gospel. I will fade slowly from a lot of what I am currently doing. I will move forward embracing the new opportunities that have already begun to open up for me in the ministry – church planting in Canada, training young church planters in Viet Nam, working with campus ministries in Kazakhstan, and continuing to work with churches that truly are committed to the expansion of the Kingdom and are not simply maintaining the sheep and staying safe and comfortable. 

Change is never easy. But, in my life, I am welcoming and embracing this season of change and look forward to all the adventures it will lead me into. 

False Prophecy Today

Just because a prophetic word has a valid and true message to it does not mean it is a true prophetic word. There are many words spoken that contain truth and are accurate that the Bible would say are false prophecy. 

And, just because someone can move in power and perform miracles, signs, and wonders does not validate their prophetic words as true and from the Spirit of Christ. Jesus stated: “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders so as to lead many astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). In other words, those who are false prophets and apostles will sound good and look good thus deceiving many, even the elect of God, as they will be able to perform miracles that will be impressive and amazing.

Paul continues this thought when writing to the Church in Corinth when he states, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13). 

True and false apostles and prophets can do similar miracles, signs, and wonders. And, when they speak and declare something “prophetically” they will sound like the real deal, their words will line up with Scripture, and what is spoken can come to pass – even though some of them would be declared as false workmen.

In Acts 16, we see Paul and Silas confronts by a young woman who is speaking prophetically about them. 

“One day, as we were going to the house of prayer, we encountered a young slave girl who had an evil spirit of divination, the spirit of Python. She had earned great profits for her owners by being a fortune-teller. She kept following us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Great High God, and they’re telling us how to be saved!” Day after day she continued to do this, until Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit indwelling her, “I command you in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to come out of her, now!” At that very moment, the spirit came out of her!” (The Passion Translation)

Here we see a prophecy being given publicly by a young lady. Her words were: “These men are servants of the Great High God, and they’re telling us how to be saved!” That was true. Paul and Silas were men of God, called by God, and empowered by God’s Spirit. And, they were declaring the Gospel of the Kingdom and thus the way – the only way – to salvation. So, the words she spoke were true but it was a false prophecy.

Many of the words spoken over people by those who call themselves witches, warlocks, and psychics also are true and come to pass. Otherwise, people would not continue to use their services and pay large sums of money to hear about their future. But these words would be considered false prophecy as well.

What makes a prophetic word false? There are three things that determine if a word is true or false even when the content might be true.

1> What is the motive of the person giving the word. In this case it was to earn money for her masters. Paul writes that the gifts, including the gift of prophecy, is freely given by the Holy Spirit and those who move in this gift use the gift to benefit all others and not themselves (1 Corinthians 12). So, the motive of the prophetic ministry and minister help us to determine if a word is a true prophecy or a false prophecy.

2> Secondly, we look at the source of the words. In this case in Acts 16 it is an evil spirit or what we refer to as a demon. This young girl is definitely possessed and the source of her ability to speak truth is thus a demonic force. Some scholars will tell you that this young girl is under the influence and power of the python spirit. We know it is a demon as Paul eventually tires of her following them and casts the demon out of her.

3> The third reason it is a false prophecy is that the focus is wrong. The words spoken by the young lady are drawing people’s attention to Paul and Silas. A true prophetic word will draw attention to Jesus. So, the focus is wrong and thus her word is false.

Jesus, the early church, and the apostles chosen by Jesus all warn of false apostles, prophets, and teachers as well as false prophecies and how easily true believers can be deceived and drawn away from the faith and lose their salvation. We should heed their warnings and carefully examine all the words given and the people who speak them.