Holding the Prophets to Account

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Holding the Prophets to Account

9 November 2020 Hits:2528

I’m stating up front that I believe in the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit, and they are active and necessary in the church today. Christie, my wife, flows in this gift and has trained many people at Bayside Church to do the same.

I am concerned however, with the misuse and abuse of the prophetic gift. I’ve seen a great deal online this year with prophets declaring the COVID19 pandemic will end quickly and Donald Trump will win a second term as America’s president.

I’m Sorry, I got it Wrong!

I have enormous respect for Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church, who was quick to apologise on Facebook on Sunday. Kris had prophesied a second term for Donald Trump. When Joe Biden was declared to have won the election, Kris apologised. I respect his honesty and humility and posted a comment on his Facebook page saying so. Sadly, it appears Kris got a lot of flak from people for “apologising too soon” and has since deleted his apology. He has said he will reinstate the apology video “when the [vote] count is official.”

Will the other prophets who got it wrong apologise too? Maybe they will, but what we see already is the same old blustering we’ve become accustomed to when a modern-day “prophet” misses the mark (see article).  The execuses include “I was right about Donald Trump, but …

  • it’s not over yet. He will still become president.” As Kat Kerr said, “The rocks are about to move, and Trump will be President no matter what you hear.” We’ll see. And if that’s the case, I’ll apologise!
  • Christians didn’t pray enough for the election.” (Yep, it’s your fault)
  • we are witnessing a diabolical and evil plan unfold to steal the election.” You mean it’s that pesky devil that stopped God getting his way? The one Jesus disarmed on the cross?
  • God has thrown this election into the courts so that corruption will be exposed.”
  • you must understand … China, Big Tech including Fox News, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all in on this demonic agenda to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump.”

You’ll find a lot of so-called prophets leaving enough wriggle room in their “prophecies,” so they weren’t really wrong after all. And we see so many Christians gullibly go along with it instead of holding the prophets to account.

2020 Prophetic Outlook

On January 4 this year, the annual Prophetic Outlook was Streamed live on Syd Roth’s television show, It’s Supernatural. This year, Syd featured three American prophets, Hank Kunneman, Tracy Cooke and Jeremiah Johnson.

I watched the entire broadcast and found it fascinating that not one of these men foretold anything about the ONE thing that would define 2020 – a global pandemic. All of them gave some rather vague predictions. But, when asked who would win the 2020 election, they all declared Donald Trump would win a second term.

False Prophecies

Not only did these men fail to predict the pandemic, but they also got some other things dead wrong. For example, in February this year at The Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska, Hank Kunneman declared that people would be quarantined from the virus by God’s mercy. God will “give life to this nation and I give mercy. Do not fear this virus says the Spirit of God.” (See Twitter).

Tracey Cooke, along with several other prophets, predicted that COVID19 would be over by Passover (April 8-16, 2020), “the blood of Jesus” would cause the “plague to pass over.” They were all wrong!

On March 16 this year, Jeremiah Johnson said he received a prophetic dream about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus, “I believe around the time of Passover, we’re going to see [the virus] really slow down.” Wrong again!

Here we are nine months later, and it’s obvious all these so-called “prophecies” are inaccurate. The USA has had over 240,000 COVID19 related deaths. At the time of writing, America is recording over 120,000 new cases each day. The third wave of COVID19 isn’t expected to peak in the US until January. We need to hold these prophets to account.

Measure Prophets by Scripture

So, how do these prophets measure up to Scripture? Take a look at Deuteronomy 18:20-22 to find out: “How may we know the word that the Lord has NOT spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does NOT come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has NOT spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). The Hebrew scriptures pronounce the death penalty for false prophets. While the present-day church doesn’t condone stoning, we should certainly call to account prophets whose prophecies turn out to be wrong. But better still, the prophets should come clean quickly, and apologise. Probably the most accurate words spoken in the 2020 Prophetic Outlook were by Hank Kunneman, “Be careful who you believe and what you believe.”

The New Testament Gift of Prophecy

In Acts 11:28, a prophet “named Agabus stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius).” As a result of this prophetic word, “The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul” (v29-30). In other words, the prophetic word put the church on the front foot of gathering aid for believers who would be affected by this crisis. This kind of warning was utterly absent from the 2020 Prophetic Outlook.

Agabus (Acts 11; Cf. Acts 21:9-11) appears to be a rarity in the New Testament. Apart from the general references to prophets and teachers in the church (Acts 13:1; 15:32; Eph. 4:11), little is said in the New Testament about a prophet who foretells the future.

For the most part, the New Testament gift of prophecy is about imparting spiritual gifts and encouraging God’s people. Consider 1 Tim 1:18, “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them, you may fight the good fight.” Timothy was a pastor leading the church at Ephesus at this time and he needed some encouragement.

Those with the gift of prophecy are to work with the other five-fold ministries in the church (apostle, evangelist, pastor and teacher) to help the church grow in maturity and stability. Paul says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).

Judging Prophecies

New Testament prophecy is different from that in Old Testament times. Old Testament prophets were the mouthpiece of God to the nation of Israel. They would prophesy by the Law of the Lord and would foretell divine judgment in cases of disobedience. This type of prophetic ministry is foreign to the New Testament!

New Testament prophecy produces strength, encouragement, and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3):

  • Strength = spiritual advancement (edification)
  • Encouragement = to motivate and inspire
  • Comfort = to calm and console

Christians must test prophecies, and the above verse is a good benchmark. Does this word strengthen, encourage, or comfort the hearers?

Those who possess the gift of prophecy should evaluate what is said by others who exercise this gift (1 Cor. 14:29; 1 John 4:1). And so, a prophecy must be considered (judged, discerned) to determine if it is correct or not. Paul also gives sound advice about prophetic words, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test [examine, scrutinise, analyse] them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil” (1 Thess. 5:20-22).

A Safe Process

Jesus warned his followers that many false prophets will arise and lead many astray” (Matthew 24:11). Because of this, Christians must behave in a responsible, safe and mature manner.

If you hear or receive a prophetic word, humbly submit it to those who watch out for your souls (Hebrews 13:17). God has placed you in a local church for many reasons. One reason is to be protected by godly, discerning leadership. My purpose in writing this blog is for God’s people’s spiritual welfare and to call the prophets to account. Let’s hope some others will humbly apologise for getting it wrong.

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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10 replies on “Holding the Prophets to Account”

John Lambsays:

Hi Rob. Thanks for highlighting this issue. I am amazed how all of a sudden there are many self-proclaimed prophets and all they are doing are drawing attention to themselves. I have heard many people hold these “prophets” in high esteem…. eg have you heard this prophecy and that prophecy. I have also seen some people draw away from the local church and have followed the “ministries” of these men and women.
Vulnerable people are now left wondering and are even more disillusioned. You so rightly highlight the lack of apologies from these “prophets”. This is the time to just pray, apply the word of God, love, and encourage each. Thanks, Rob. God bless you both. John Lamb

Phil Thomsonsays:

Thanks so much for that Rob. I had been watching this as a concerned and watchful Christian to try and see what God was doing and how He is moving in these days, especially with regard to Israel and other Godly matters. You have really nailed it and cleared up my concerns, as I was beginning to wonder about some of those US prophets, including those that you named in the blog. What & why they were so adamant about Trump’s second term etc., especially just prior to and on the election day, and as looked for their responses post Nov 3rd, all seemed to be quiet on that front, with no further ‘Words’ or subsequent apologies from them. ‘God doesn’t get things wrong’ !!!! We may think so, as it might not be what we want or think should happen at the time or season, but often we see in the coming days & months why things were allowed to go a certain way. One has to wonder whether there was a certain political agenda or persuasion in ’rounding up’ prophets and people that would ‘say the right thing’ and hopefully influence votes.

DOROTHY A HIBBURTsays:

Thanks for your blog , I agree with everything you have written. To my mind prophecy is to be respected and used carefully because it is supposed to be the voice of God to His people. It is not something to be thrown out there willy nilly and in a careless way.
God will call to account anyone who calls themselves a prophet for speaking falsely and attributing it to God.
Thank you again.
Dorothy – South Otago NZ.

Michael Gilmuorsays:

As usual, this is an excellent and timely blog. For some strange reason some Christians view testing and evaluating prophesies with our God given brains is displaying a lack of faith. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, as your article states, we are encouraged to test prophesies.
I would also add to your list of points that prophesies should never contradict scripture. For example, if a prophet tells me that God wants me to leave my wife and go off with another woman that I know this is blatantly false as it’s not in line with scripture. Too many people are swayed by such “words” and get led astray.
It should also be noted that just because a prophecy does come true from a prophet doesn’t mean that ALL of their prophecies will come true. For instance, if Trump did win the election it doesn’t mean that those prophets that prophecied about him are true…..it may mean they just guessed right. That’s why, every prophecy must be held up to scrutiny.
Keep writing great blogs Ps Rob.

David Vowlessays:

Hi Rob,
Given that this election result will be ultimately decided in the Supreme Court, perhaps your judgement of the prophets is a little premature. I find it interesting that the global news media is already labelling Joe Biden as the President-elect (which he is not) and that Donald Trump should ‘face reality’ and simply concede. Contesting the election results is being given as proof of Trump’s unwillingness to relinquish power. Those with longer memories will recall the Bush-Gore election of 2000 that ended with a fiercely-fought Supreme Court victory for George W Bush. Let us wait and see what happens in the Supreme Court.

Your assessment of New Testament prophecy as strength, encouragement, and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3) is a separate issue. Perhaps there are more prophets in the body of Christ, who speak of future events (like Agabus), than we generally acknowledge.
Blessings David Vowles

Daniel Nielsensays:

Sure, there are many false prophets. And there are many who have “prophesied” from their own flesh or biases. But there are also many good, trustworthy prophets. We need to be careful judging ALL prophetic voices who believe Trump will win – because it’s NOT over. The media alone have called Biden the winner, not the state officials. That doesn’t happen not until mid-December. Could it be that there is a spiritual parallel to where the Israelites were cornered at the Red Sea – but a miracle was about to happen?

Chris Harrissays:

nice blog Rob

Beverley Murrillsays:

Hi Rob,

Like you, I’ve been watching from Australia with increasing concern. First, when the pandemic became clearly an issue we needed to pay attention to, I checked, out of interest, to see if any of the ‘prophets’ had said anything in advance. Not only had none of them done so, but many, such as Shawn Boltz, were saying early in the piece that no one was to worry, it would blow over quickly.

Then the election and a second win for Trump. Aside from the sheer lunacy of Christians supporting a man so patently living in direct opposition to everything Christians purport to hold dear, the hurricane of Christians prophesying his win created its own climate and anyone who wanted to achieve the kind of fame that comes with making big predictions, began to call it as a Trump win.

I too, appreciated Valloton’s apology, especially as it was in opposition to Beni Johnson’s prophecies, and was sad to see him withdraw it. Even still, of all those who prophesied Trump’s win, he is still the only one that I know of that attempted to operate with humility.

Like you, I believe in prophesy, but I am grieved and sickened at the way in which those with a gift who are often accurate, are attributed celebrity status and infallibility. The leaders of the evangelical church in USA have had some great people and I have respected and appreciated many of them. However, it is many of those same people who have operated in pride and deception by not only following an amoral leader, but also feeling that all they have to do is say he will get in and God will back them up. I feel so grieved at the widespread destruction of such people who believe their own publicity. The great teaching done by the Bethel network is being eroded with events such as this, as well as the bethel worship leader whose little girl died and who had Christians all over the world determined over a period of almost a week, to see her raised. What was needed at that time for that poor grieving mother, was one of the more mature leaders to take her aside and help her deal with her grief. Instead, people everywhere who took on her desperation disguised as faith, were disillusioned, some for the final time.

It’s overwhelming, and more so because of the Aus Christians who have taken this lunacy on board. if it wasn’t so dreadful it would be funny watching the verbal gymnastics of ‘seers’ making it clear that they weren’t wrong. God help us.

Stephen Arabasays:

Sir, please permit me to present a different perspective to your above blog…

The bible said that “All scriptures is given by the inspiration of God…” (that means it is God’s breathe – the same breadth that sets and holds everything we see and don’t see in position. If that be so, then whatever He said cannot but come to pass.

Firstly, Moses heard from God and told his people to go spy out the land that He was giving to Israel. God said it, “I have given it to you”. It’s a sure word of prophecy. It can’t fail, it’s God breathed. We know what happened. Did Moses the prophet of God miss it? Or perhaps it was God who missed it? Of course, it was neither, God expects, wants and desires us to believe Him and stand against all odds. 40years passed and He fulfilled His word with a different set of people. Oh Lord! that we your church may truly know your ways.

Secondly, Isaiah was a prophet of God. He lived 700yrs before Christ and he PROPHESIED in Isaiah 53 that “by his stripes we WERE healed”. Notice, he didn’t say “you were going to be healed” but that we were already healed. How does one prophesy a “past tense into a future event”? Only the God who calleth those things that be not as though they were – in the mind of God, the one who is in the ‘eternal now” it was already done and that’s all that matters, if only we can truly act on it. However, how many Christians today die of various sicknesses or for one reason or the other fail to receive their healing. Remember Isaiah said “we were healed”. Isaiah must have missed it just like Moses did? Or perhaps God? Neither did, but the prophecy and promise is available today to all those in Christ who will stand and refuse to give up no matter what.

Thirdly, it is God’s will that all should be saved, He paid an enormous price for it. It is His WILL – stated and documented desire. It should come to pass without question but many die daily confined to an eternity of damnation and separation from him, Daniel 12:2. But if only we his church believe it, contend for it and refuse to give up on it. We sure do have a part to play otherwise we make God out to be a liar. But he cannot be. It brings tears of awe to my eyes why an All-almighty, All-powerful and certainly Awesome God would contingent His plans, will, prophecies and purposes on fickle humans like us. But His word clearly disagrees with that, in Him- we are strong. Do we even believe that like we should?

Sir, contrary to your statement on these prophets not seeing the hyped-up Corona virus, some did. According to Hank, “I gave a prophecy in Aug/Sept 2019 Please see hanknbrendakunneman.org n https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5jluAzB3w4 about this. Chuck Pierce also did in 2019 https://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/44692-chuck-pierce-prophesied-massive-plague-like-invasion-in-september, I assume in 2019. Let’s assume they didn’t, have we forgotten Elijah didn’t know what was wrong with the Shunamite woman. If they knew everything, are they not taking God’s place? Afterall the bible said that we know in part and prophesy in part and we expect them to only say what God has spoken and nothing more. If God didn’t show them or they failed to discern it, it’s Ok.

On the 2020 US election, with all the allegations of fraud, sworn affidavits and witness and expert testimonies, it’s almost impossible for anyone to think this was a fair election if they listen with an open mind. Incontrovertible video evidence of possible voter fraud was also recently released as many continue to indicates stand in prayer over the last month and refuse to let go of what they believe God said. Is it really possible for Biden to get more votes than Obama, even though he was Obama’s V.P. for eight years? Or could it be that if God really spoke in the first place, He tells us these things beforehand so that we can wage a good warfare as Daniel and Timothy in the Bible. As I type this response, almost 17 Attorney Generals of states in the US have joined along with Texas to contest the results in the Supreme Court – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbYmgFDpzsI. Interestingly, I doubt you would see this news on mainstream media. Could all these states know or be convinced of something? At the same time, You tube just announced that they will start censoring videos that allege widespread election fraud from 10/12/2020, why? Why would the Dominion Voting machine company shown to have foreign ties to Venezuela and possibly China scrub from the internet the fact that they bought the Sequoia Voting Systems co-owned by Smartmatic, same machines and systems allegedly used to flip votes in Venezuela and other countries? Thank God a screen shot copy of the official statement of the purchase was preserved. These are the companies at the center of the alleged election fraud and ongoing lawsuits in various states. Over 40% of Americans used the dominion machines to cast their ballots in 2020. Are all these just mere coincidences?

I can’t say much about Kris Valloton but his recant in my view even though I haven’t seen the video may indicate he wasn’t convinced about what God told him if He spoke to him in the first place, or perhaps he was just echoing what many others had said to look like he also heard from God. I don’t know.

Even though we all are called to the prophetic life as believers, we also need to understand that there are levels to the prophetic. Firstly, the Spirit of Prophecy: all Christians can function in this level. Secondly: the Gift of Prophecy. We then have the Prophetic Ministry, Prophetic Mantle and finally, the Office of the Prophet (one can only receive a specific calling into this level). The point is, just because a person prophesy’s in church does not automatically make them a prophet, many wrongly believe they are. Fortunately, or otherwise, we have seen a rise of many YouTube prophets in recent times and we should all be careful and always test what is being said. Do we no longer have the Holy Spirit? Why can’t we as believers truly test what these “proclaimed prophets” say and hold fast to the truth the Holy Spirit alone can confirm to us. Or have we become dull of hearing?

I can’t thank God enough that the USA Prophets you mentioned above are standing firm on the sure word of prophecy they believe God GAVE THEM. Infact most of them still insist that “Trump will prevail” and continue to stand, pray and encourage folks like me what it means to stand bold and strong in the face of fierce adversity. It takes enormous chutzpah. It takes knowing the heart of God and His ways if indeed He spoke to them or perhaps, they are just been foolish. Only time will tell. The mere fact that we experience opposition is often confirmation He spoke to start with, but how so often are we quick to forget this fact at the slightest delay or turn of events? I suppose this only shows the state of our hearts as believers, myself inclusive- do we really believe God? No wonder Jesus said when I return will I find faith on the earth.

On Covid-19, all I can say is that the truth about the real numbers will be unveiled for all to see in time. It would appear that since it hit, all other causes of death have majorly ceased to exist. Could it be that so many deaths are currently been misreported to create an illusion and further drive an illicit agenda? Please see https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm. Tracey Cooke didn’t say it would be over by Passover, but that it will start to diminish, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9xsJsm9OK0. God gave Daniel his answer the very first day he started to pray and fast, but the answer didn’t come until 21 days later, thank God Daniel persevered. If the virus did wane according the Tracey’s prophetic utterance, how would we even be able to judge it given the enormous fear/ huge censoring by big tech and mainstream news media of dissenting voices and non-consenting science. This hysteria in part was whipped up by the media, leaders and governments and draconian lockdowns. Let’s not even mention the Covid-19 corruption in our beloved Melbourne. Perhaps, some of these fears have been specifically engineered to help steer the US election in a certain way through the use of mail-in-ballots and yet the same people encouraged protesters way back in June to protest, burn and loot businesses under the name of “black lives matter”. If they can protest, why can’t they come out to vote. It doesn’t add up. Please review this video link and the public comments from the average Joe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq8SXOBy-4w. Will God and the prophets also be responsible for our inaction on the “alternatives/cure” provided because of selfish motives.

Finally, we must not lose sight of what’s really important here. This is way bigger than Trump or Biden: It is that the USA will experience a divine reset and fulfil her divine destiny by returning to her ancient paths and foundations, including being a voice of the gospel of the kingdom to all the earth and that her heart may be captured once again by her creator – A THIRD GREAT AWAKENING. The likes of which we have never seen before but that will usher billions of souls into the kingdom and that Christ may receive his full inheritance for which he bled and died. Amen.

The election is not over, God works according to his calendar and not man’s. In time all shall be revealed and we shall know if the prophets were right or wrong. Until then let us continue to pray like Daniel, after he discovered by books what was written about Israel, that God’s will alone prevails and that every electoral falsehood and fraud is unveiled and judged by his finger.

Lastly, have you ever wondered why Jesus stayed two more days after he was informed Lazarus was sick? How many of us will stay that long if we were told a loved one needs medical attention? And yet the bible said, Jesus loved Lazarus. Did He really love him? Is our human love for our loved ones greater than His love for us? Perhaps this is all part of His plan.

Thanks.

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