The latest false prophet is one who claims to be able to prophecy America’s future just by reading a dollar bill. Although this could be just a parlor game, there are grave spiritual implications for those who are yet in the dark about prophecy and the like.
Demonic deception has crept silently into the mainstream. Witchcraft, Baal worship and other assorted man-made ideologies appear to be making more converts than Christianity.
At what point should a person draw the line when it comes to believing in prophecies, visions and other spiritual manifestations supposedly experienced by some?
There are so-called Pastors and others who, just to sell books and relieve others of their finances, claim to have had a religious experience or a healing gift bestowed upon them in the middle of the night by benevolent entities. Many of these same people enjoy tickling people’s ears with their extraordinary stories rather than caring about the state of a person’s soul. By that I mean sharing the gospel with them rather than just garnering their adulation and/or money. There are more than enough of these charlatans around on television who know which buttons to push to get enthusiastic response; and most of these buttons have to do with money.
But that isn’t to say that a person can’t experience an epiphany, vision or miracle. The new birth is a miracle in and of itself, and that alone should suffice for the believer since we’ve now made peace with God through His Son Christ Jesus; but most of us believers want and expect more, and some even think they deserve it – though they do nothing more than occupy seats in church.
The Bible says that “Salvation is a gift of God lest any man should boast” and indeed, we would boast to elevate ourselves above others – if we could. Nevertheless, included in this gift of salvation are many other benefits which we can appropriate by reading scripture and knowing what they are and how to attain them.
For instance, those of us who have been “born again” have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Coupled with the study of scripture, we are also able to see things with a greater understanding, clarity and insight through the reading of the Bible, as though scales had fallen off our eyes.
Often, while there are those who have been brought up in a Godly home and experience no heartfelt conversion – there are others who must suffer a “conversion experience” such as Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul) did. Like the apostle Paul, God must often knock us off our high horse to get our attention. This otherworldly experience often comes in some form of chastisement for “God chastises those He loves.”
Paul was no ordinary man; he was a man steeped in the Jewish faith who had studied under Gamaliel – a prominent religious teacher of his day. As a Pharisee, Paul had become a zealot for the things of God. Believing that Jesus was yet another pseudo Messiah (there were some in that day that claimed to be the Jewish Messiah), Paul set out to prove them to be imposters, arresting those he felt were guilty of harboring and abetting these false Messiahs. But when he began persecuting the followers of Jesus, Jesus had to physically stop him – and He did, appearing to Paul in a blinding light – even though He had recently risen from the dead.
Many of those who have experienced God’s chastisement and resultant conversion become preachers, while others become teachers. Still others become evangelists, but seldom does anyone having experienced being “born again” just hang around and do nothing about their faith. Others like to pretend piety in one way or another to grab the limelight.
Some would say that those things died out with the apostles, and these proofs of God’s existence aren’t needed anymore; but we can’t justifiably put God in a box if he indeed created all that we taste, feel, see, hear and smell.
That having been said, do/or can such spooky things happen in today’s world? Do those who experience life after death (NDE) hallucinate when they supposedly die and come back to life with a message? Today, some are claiming that this event actually happened to them. (I for one believe that all things are possible for those who believe – but we must be careful in discerning truth.) After all, if the prophets of God experienced otherworldly experiences, then why can’t we? They were human just like us.
As a matter of fact, the book of Joel in chapter 2, verses 28-30 tells us of the last days: “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.” Also see this stated in Acts 2:17: “And it shall come to pass in the last days….”
Our God does what He wants When He wants and how He wants – and who can stop Him? Theologians try, atheist’s try, and fools try as well. But I’m here to tell you that if He can’t produce and keep His promises (and there are many we aren’t aware of simply because we don’t read scripture), it’s because “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
On the other hand, there are others who say they experience these manifestations daily, and you just know they are either lying or trying to make a name for themselves; don’t you believe it, “By their fruit you shall know them.” God can speak for Himself, and He does so through scripture. So, if it doesn’t jibe with scripture, you can discount it as coming from a false prophet or a person seeking acclamation.
If God’s people will seek God with their whole being – repent of their unbelief and seek God’s will in the scriptures – they too can experience blessings and enjoy a peace that surpasses all understanding. They will begin experiencing miracles in their lives as well if they learn how to appropriate them through the reading of scripture. An example of this is, “But seek ye first the kingdom (lost souls) of God, and his righteousness; and all these things(needs) shall be added unto you.”
We are living in the “Last Days” whether we like it or not, and we must do what we can to bring others into the fold.
I saw a young homosexual “acquaintance” at a yard sale today and was able to have a chat with him. It seems he is interested in what I have to say, and I was able to get his phone number and Email address to continue our conversation about the things of God. At the same time, I’ve been witnessing to a young man on Facebook who’s an agnostic and an alcoholic on the verge of committing suicide. Please pray for both of these lost people that they might find and receive Christ.