Monday, November 20, 2006

How to Tell Your Average Prophet From Your Average Psychic

I have long wondered what the difference was between a modern-day prophet and your run of the mill psychic - I know, it's tough to tell these days. On Saturday Steve Schultz of Elijah List e-mailed their followers the following guidelines for telling them apart:

Many are unaware that a true prophet (who is usually accurate) can still, every now and then, make a mistake when prophesying.
I see. Steve, could you give me a biblical example of a prophet ever being wrong? of the ways to know if a person is getting information from God is that they tell you this is from God, and also that the information is most often accurate.
Oh, absolutely! They'll be totally honest and tell you it's from God.

Another way of saying this is that, while prophesying they are correct more times than they are incorrect.
In other words, Steve, 50.1% accuracy will do for a modern-day prophet? That lets your good friend Kim Clement out!

However, even if a true prophet misses it once in awhile, the Bible tells you not to be afraid of that person. Just because a person makes a mistake doesn't mean he or she is a false prophet or a psychic. It only means they are still learning to hear accurately.
Just like Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, etc. had to learn to hear accurately, right? Now for Steve's biblical prooftext:

"If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Deut. 18:22
Okay, Steve, let's look at this entire section in context, from Deut. 18:14 through 22:

14. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die." (NIV)

So, since this prophet was going to speak on behalf of God, rather than Him doing so directly, it was pretty important for that prophet to be accurate.

17 The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. 19 If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death."

Yipes! Rough stuff there. Because it was so important that the prophet speak accurately, even if he presumed to speak in God's name but said something God didn't command him to say, that prophet was to die! Care to uphold those standards, Steve?

21 You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (NIV)

So you simply think that if a prophet says something God didn't tell him to say that he isn't a false prophet, Steve? You maintain that God is simply saying that if the prophet speaks presumptuously that we should just chalk it up to experience and not be afraid of him?

No! God isn't saying that! We have just read that a prophet who speaks presumptously is to be put to death!! It is then followed by the statement that we are not to be afraid of him. Context, Steve, context!


At January 28, 2007 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Steve doesnt read things like this.
Its pathetic that people subscribe to this hogwash and think its God.


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