A few days ago, I wrote a post explaining several reasons why a group claiming that the rapture is set to happen in May were set to be disappointed. Even though it was about a “prophet” who had predicted wrongly before, I wanted to address the issue of a prophet whose predictions come true. The post generated some comments that convinced me to do another post regarding the folly of trusting prophetic signs as a way of measuring God’s approval of a person or “prophet.” It was something I had been mulling over for a bit, so here we go.
Let me start out by going “Old Testament” on you for a minute. In Deuteronomy, as Moses is giving final instructions to the people of Israel and by extension all of us who hold to God’s Word as true and our standard of God’s character and nature; he cautions the people about prophets who will come after him:
1“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. 5But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (emphasis mine)
– Deuteronomy 13:1-5
I dealt with this topic with a slightly different emphasis over a year and a half ago, so this is not new stuff for me. A prophet who prophesies correctly and yet contradicts the Word of God is a false prophet. This is something that simply isn’t talked about much in my experience. The plain implication of this text is that simply making correct predictions is not a ringing endorsement of a Godly person or ministry or whatever. I hate to break it to you, but Kreskin can predict the future with sometimes uncanny accuracy also and that doesn’t make him a prophet of God.
We have an unhealthy fascination with people who can “predict” the future and I fear that we forget the words of Jesus as well. Not only did Moses downplay the “prophet who could tell the future,” but Jesus did as well:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
– Matthew 7:21-23
Read that again. Really soak it in and read it. These people prophesy in Jesus’ name, and cast out demons in Jesus’ name, and perform many mighty works in Jesus’ name, and He says He doesn’t even know who they are!!!
But they did all of these amazing things with prophecy and miracles and such, how can this be?
Remember the warning from Deuteronomy 13? The second test for a prophet is where he tries to lead you. Is it to obedience to God as He has revealed Himself in His Word or is it to follow some “new way” that the prophet is declaring based on his “authority” from his “prophetic power” that is indicated?
Don’t get dazzled by signs, predictions, miracles and so forth. They are unreliable indicators of God’s Spirit. Instead, set your mind on the Word of God and learn its truth. It will set you free.