“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Signs of False Prophecy, by Randall D. Kittle


“…prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!’” — Ezekiel 13:2-3

As I was praying, I suddenly found myself standing in front of a church building which had a sign that said: “If you think it’s hot here …” - God. As I turned around, I saw another church-sign. This one read: “Let’s meet at my place before the game” - God. Turning the other way, there was another sign, “That love your neighbor thing, I meant it” - God. Everywhere I looked, the streets were filled with signs; signs displaying clever phrases supposedly spoken by God. And the Lord spoke to me, saying
“Behold the false prophets of the Church. They speak words in My name that I have not spoken, and reveal a heart that is not Mine. To build their kingdoms they proclaim false proclamations in the name of the true King. Their actions attest that they perceive Me as little more than a dumb idol — unable to speak, unable to make Myself known. Declare this warning: put away your signs of false prophecy! For I, the Lord your God, will not allow you to use My name to say whatever you choose. Warn all you can, for I have looked the other way long enough, and soon, yes very soon, I will remove the lampstand of My presence from all those who insist on building themselves by proclaiming false prophecies. I will be against them, for they have mocked My name.”

False Heralds
In the days when kings and queens ruled most countries, to declare a message as from the king if it was false and without his seal was considered treason, and was punished by death. In the kingdom of God, the same is true. A good motive does not justify a false action; the end does not justify the means. God sees those who move in the gift of prophecy as the heralds of the kingdom of God; those who announce or repeat in loud declaration the pronouncements of the King. Just as in the days of kings and queens, a false herald in God’s kingdom — a false prophet — has always been a repulsive thing in the sight of God.

In the days of Jeremiah there were many false prophets, announcing things the people wanted to hear in order to be popular. Though many were fooled, the Lord knew they were false prophets and declared it through His true prophet.
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. … I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied” (Jeremiah 23:16, 21). What a difficult word for Jeremiah to bring forth, all of these “false prophets” were very popular and well accepted. Well accepted by the crowd, but rejected by God! But God feels so strongly opposed to those who falsely represent Him that He not only had Jeremiah warn the listeners, but also warn the false prophets of God's impending judgment. “Therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you … and will cast you out of My presence. And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten” (Jeremiah 23:39-40).

Once again the Lord is declaring false prophecy as a wicked thing. To draw a crowd by belittling the name and word of God is dangerous, and God will tolerate it no longer. The time for looking the other way has ended, and those who choose to cling to their “church-growth tricks” will find a church that may be filled with anxious listeners, but is without the presence of the living Tri-une God!

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