Prophets or Propheteers?
"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."1
A few years ago Ralph Blodgett, who has researched psychic predictions for several years, found that in a given year, out of 250 specific predictions by thirty of the nation's leading psychics, less than three percent could be listed as "reasonably fulfilled."
Blodgett said, "I used to think psychics had to be led either by God or the devil. Now I'm convinced that they are being led most of the time by no one at all."
In Old Testament times it was an extremely serious offence to be a false prophet. As God's Word says, "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."2 Tough words to be sure.
And in the New Testament we are warned not to believe every spirit but to put them to the test to make sure their word is from God.
I believe some people do have a gift of knowledge, but I certainly don't. So how do I know if God is "speaking" to or leading me? Sometimes it comes from his Word, the Bible; sometimes through circumstances; and at other times through an inner conviction. To know whether it is from God or from myself all three of the above need to be in harmony. And if anything is out of harmony with God's Word, I can be certain it is not from God. Furthermore, when I sense God is leading me, I like to put whatever it is to the test to make sure it is of God and not of me.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the ability to discern your guidance and to recognize when a message or leading is from you, and also when it is not from you. And help me to discern that which is spoken by a false prophet. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 John 4:1 (NIV).
2. Deuteronomy 18:20 (NIV).