I've seen some disturbing prophetic words on the Internet recently regarding specific dreams and visions over high-profile leaders in the body of Christ.
One of those words described a vision of two publicly named spiritual generals down on their knees repenting to one another, suggesting that another great awakening hinged on this act. A second prophecy suggested a different leader—again, publicly named—was fighting for his life because he did something illegal in the spirit that let the devil attack him.
Needless to say, I was disappointed to read these articles online and more disappointed that others picked up on them and parroted what they read, even adding their own interpretations and speculations. I reached out to some of the authors but the practice continues—and it grieves me.
Last year, the Holy Spirit expressly to my heart that 2015 was the year of new beginnings. That rang true in my life and in the lives of many, many people who God called from the waiting room to the delivery room.
2015 was a challenging year in many ways, a year of stretching and transitioning from the old to the new—and now we’re going to the next. With regard to 2016, I heard the Holy Spirit say it’s a year of “shifting seasons and suddenlies.”
Those rhythmic words got my attention. What, exactly, does He mean? On the surface, it sounds like more change, more transition—and at least a few unexpected twists and turns along the way. I decided to press into pray and study out what this practically means. In this first article, I’m giving a general overview at the personal level. I will follow up with more specific details in the weeks ahead.
The Bible has plenty to say about false prophets in the Old and New Testaments. John the apostle warned us not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see if they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). Peter warned of false prophets arising among the people, as well as false teachers, who secretly bring in destructive heresies (2 Pet. 2:1).
That should be enough to get our attention, and that's not the least of it.
Paul also warned the church at Corinth about false apostles and deceitful workmen (2 Cor. 11:13-15) and 2 Peter 2:3 warns us about false words. Again, this is nothing new. The Spirit of God told Jeremiah He did not send certain prophets, but they ran ahead anyway, prophesying outside the will of God—even prophesying lies in His name (Jer. 23:21, 14:14-16). And Ezekiel spoke of false prophets who liked to declare "thus saith the Lord" when the Lord did not send them (Ezek. 13:6).
After Harold Camping repeatedly missed it on his rapture predictions, he finally admitted his statement was sinful. He even wrote a letter to the body of Christ apologizing for his end-of-the-world dramatics.
And that's rare—indeed, too rare.
Most prophets of doom refuse to acknowledge they missed it with clearly dated—and clearly failed—prophecies of asteroids hitting Puerto Rico, earthquakes making the Florida Keys no more, tsunamis putting South Florida completely under water, man-made disasters worse than 9/11 hitting New York, a major government official taking a bullet through the heart, earthquakes splitting the United States down the middle and ... shall I go on?
As we enter into a political season in America—with candidates of many different ideologies contending (sometimes with nasty insults) to become the 45th president of the United States—it seems some in the body of Christ are tapping into the same spirit.
From coast to coast, I see Christian leaders spreading false rumors about the brethren, jockeying for prime position, prophesying witchcraft against people that anger them, and exalting their camp above another. These manifestations of rivalry among brothers and sisters grieve me—and I know they grieve the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, this is nothing new in the religious world. Jesus and Paul dealt with it directly in their days—and they spoke into it with boldness and humility.
A spirit of rivalry manifests when people are competing with each other. Merriam-Webster defines "rival" as a person or thing that tries to defeat or be more successful than another; something or someone that is good or almost as good as another person or thing; one striving for competitive advantage." Let me put this plainly: If we want revival, we need to get rid of the rival-mindset.
Theologians may consider Amos a "minor" prophet, but the man of God offered some major revelations that serve believers well today.
Intercessors and worshippers love Amos 9:11, which promises the restoration of the tabernacle of David. Prophets love verses like Amos 3:8, which declares that "the Lord has spoken—who can but prophesy?" They are also quick to tell you that God does nothing unless He reveals it to His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7).
Yes, Amos is full of fire and prophetic declarations. There's one nugget of wisdom in particular that I believe is prophetically significant in this season. It comes from Amos 3:3 and served as a pointed question—eight prophetic words—that should cause you to consider your alignments: How can two walk together unless they agree?
During my time at Charisma, I've personally reported on two incidents of the Holy Spirit raising someone from the dead. The first time, God used Chauncey Crandall. The second time, God used Robby Dawkins.
Of course, I've read the Bible accounts of Elijah, Jesus and Paul raising people from the dead. I've read rather colorful stories of Smith Wigglesworth raising people from the dead. I even read about the Holy Spirit raising a man from the dead—after he had been embalmed—at a Reinhard Bonnke meeting without anyone praying over him. Then there's David Hogan, who some call the "Dead Raiser" because of how often God uses him to raise the dead.
But a video I watched on YouTube (above) recently was miraculous on top of miraculous and shows the power of prophetic ministry in the dead raising arena. There is at least one recording in modern history of someone seeing a vision of resurrection—and then witnessing the actual resurrection. William Branham, a prophet from southern Kentucky who rose to fame during the Voice of Healing movement and was known for healing manifestations with the help of an angel, had a vision in Georgia.
With several months of the year of the whirlwind before us, how should we position ourselves amid the doom and gloom? That's a good question—and one I've been pondering more and more lately. In fact, I've discussed it with many prophets and prophetic people in the last couple of weeks—and I've prayed plenty.
Should we store up three years worth of food? Take all of our money out of the bank? Hide in a cave, praying for the best but believing the worst? Leave the country? What should be our response? I, for one, refuse to let a spirit of fear over take me, despite all the doom and gloom prophecies.
Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International, says first of all we are to obey the admonition from Scripture to not give in to fear. She is convinced the enemy wants to stir up panic and distress. But she is also convinced we have to stand firm, trusting God's faithfulness.
Wall Street dipped more than 2 percent on Tuesday. The Dow slipped more than 400 points in afternoon trading. All three major U.S. indexes are now reporting losses for the year.
"We haven't see this kind of volatility in a while," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, told Reuters. "It reminds me of the one we saw during the 2008-2009 crisis."
That's not the kind of sign or wonder I want to see. The question is, what caused this? From a natural perspective, it was weak data from China mixed with growing fears that a stall in the world's second-largest economy will hamper global growth.
The tragic death of two journalists in Virginia is making headlines across the nation and lighting up the social media world. What does it really mean?
For all the talk of underground terror cells in the land and ISIS threats on the nation, it was a disgruntled former TV station employee who took the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. What should we take away from this tragedy?
According to a Reuters report, shots were heard and the reporter and the person she was interviewing screamed and ducked for cover. Parker, the on-air personality, was only 24. The cameraman was 27. How do we respond to the murderous madness?
I'm sober. My eyes are wide open. I see the conditions in America. I hear the cries of legitimate prophetic voices that are warning us of the destruction they see in the days ahead.
I've been told Puerto Rico is going to be hit with a massive meteor. I've been told a tsunami on the East Coast will put much of Florida underwater. I've been told a great earthquake is coming that will split the nation in half. I've been told the economy is going to collapse and a widespread famine will see multitudes starve to death.
I've been told many things. Yet I'm still believing for a Great Awakening. I believe it's going to be just as God told me it would be.
It doesn't take a prophet to see the shaking. The Dow is volatile, with U.S. stocks rebounding after a punishing spurt even as China's market continuing to slide.
With Asia's richest man losing $3.6 billion in China's Black Monday, some financial advisers are telling clients to get everything but operating cash out of the bank and exit the stock market before it's too late.
I'm praying against a widespread panic, as many voices—some responsible and some irresponsible—are trumpeting the end of the world as we know it in September. Even if the worst happens, panic is not the answer. Our hope and our trust are in God and God alone, not in man and mammon.
Divine connections. We all want them. Many of us pray for them. We certainly hear a lot of prophecies about them. Hopefully, you've had a few along your narrow path.
Divine connections—those God-breathed relationships that seemingly come out of nowhere and have the potential to radically impact your life—are vital to fulfilling Father's call on your life. To be sure, these relationships can be absolutely life changing, even if they are only seasonal in intensity.
Divine connections are Scriptural and necessary. Moses and Joshua had a divine connection. Samuel and David had a divine connection. Elijah and Elisha had a divine connection. Paul and Timothy had a divine connection. In each case, we see destiny arising from those relationships. Joshua took the Promised Land baton from Moses. Samuel anointed David as king. Elisha grabbed Elijah's mantle. And Timothy carried on Paul's gospel mission.
Jesus warned that many false prophets would rise in the last days—and Christ's words never fall to the ground. Indeed, we're seeing false prophets rising left and right. But Jezebel's puppets are being exposed.
As it turns out, some are toting credit card machines to the altar so they can swipe your card before they will prophesy over you. (Yes, really!). Others are literally standing on the backs of people apparently slain by some spirit, showboating with a microphone. Still others are divining for money over the Internet in the name of the Lord. Prophets are not psychics, witches and shamans, and Jezebel killed one of the greatest revivals ever!
Although this grieves me to no end, it does not surprise me. Jesus clearly warned us in Matthew 24:11 that many false prophets will rise and deceive many and again in Matthew 24:24 that false christs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones. That's why Jesus warned us to "beware" of them (see Mark 7:15). On top of that, in 2008 the Holy Spirit told me, "The merchandisers will rise during this hour like never before."
"When the Gadites rise the Goliaths will fall." I heard the Holy Spirit speak those words Tuesday night after I hung up from our Appeal to Heaven prayer call.
We're praying out the prophecies over the nation and we were praying out a prophetic word Tim Sheets released, part of which read: "As Esther, they will rewrite them by My statutes. Governors of the culture will now come forth. Remnant warriors will now emerge who have the heart of David, the wisdom of Solomon and the tenacity of Paul."
While I was praying through that part of the prophecy, the Holy Spirit started showing me the Gadites. I began to pray for the mighty warring Gadites to rise and take out the Goliaths. Again, when I hung up I heard the Holy Spirit say, "When the Gadites rise the Goliaths will fall."
Every day I get at least a handful of digital requests from precious people all over the world desperately seeking a prophetic word. As I've said before, some come begging. Others come demanding. Still others come with money in hand to buy a prophecy or dream interpretation.
I don't sell prophecies and dream interpretations. I'm not a psychic. I don't read crystal balls. I'm not a shaman. I don't divine the hidden. I'm not like Buddha. You can't rub my belly for good luck. Honestly, as much as my heart goes out to people who are desperate to hear the voice of God, if I endeavored to "go to the throne" to get a word from God for everyone who inquired, I'd have to isolate myself in a cave and live on bread and water.
Don't get me wrong. I am not against personal prophecy. I prophesy over people at the Awakening House of Prayer and various conferences all the time. But as I've said many times, prophetic ministry doesn't operate like a gumball machine. You can't put in a quarter—or send an email or Facebook message—and out comes a prophetic word. It just doesn't work that way.