In the last days we will have to contend with the false prophets and prophetic lawlessness. False prophets are people prophesying and doing other supernatural signs under another power than the Holy Spirit – demonic power.
Prophetic lawlessness is where someone operates in the prophetic by the Holy Spirit but the gift is not under the rule of the Holy Spirit as to when, where, and how the gift is to be used. Another way of saying it is, prophetic lawlessness is when a prophet prophesies but their will is not subjected to the Holy Spirit. Eventually the Holy Spirit will call them to account and stop working through them. For example, Samson routinely used the power of the Holy Spirit outside of the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We need to learn to identify both, not associate with it, and call it out when necessary if in our sphere of authority.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:15‐23 (NIV)
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect‐‐if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:23‐35 (NIV)
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all
kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9‐12 (NIV)
1. Ministry emphasis is on external power without a corresponding emphasis on internal principle.
Christians who only judge by the gift and not the character of the person will fall prey to the ministry of lawless/false prophets. The fact is, that based on outward observation alone there is no difference between the lawless and the righteous – both are fulfilling the works of the ministry ordained by God. One is correct and beneficial to perfecting the Body of Christ; the other is powerful, unprincipled supernatural activity that seduces people away from clear truth.
Correct Standard of Measurement:
1. Fruit ‐ Matthew 7:16 “By their fruit you will recognize them…”
2. Obedience – Matthew 7:21 “do the will of my Father in heaven”
3. Consistency ‐ Matthew 24:13 “He who stands firm to the end”
The measurement of spiritual power as defined by miracles, signs, and wonders is not the standard of spiritual correctness. These do, will, and should occur but fruit, obedience, and consistency show that internal righteousness is occurring. Note: These 3 measurements can only be seen over time, away from the platform, and when the person is connected/yoked with a group of people.
Maturity is not required for moving in supernatural gifting. It is not the miracles the false prophet is doing that will harm you, it is the false teaching and immature lifestyle that they walk in that will harm you. We must require more than miracles, signs, and wonders in people’s lives, we must require the principles of God to be incorporated into our lives and communities on an ongoing basis. Where there is no requirement for maturity, we will have lawless prophetic. We must stop being enamored by the supernatural when there is no internal transformation of fruits going on in their lives.
True ministry and maturity affect a person’s body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23) for a lifetime and generations to come. You can’t tell who will stand firm to the end unless there is testings and trials.
2. Does not Deny Self – Instead feeds it in the name of ‘God’s blessings’
Characterized by Self Interest, Self Gratification, Self Indulgence.
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. The men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Jude 11‐13 (NIV)
Does the prophet bring attention to themselves or Jesus? What do you think about after their ministry? Them and what they did or Jesus?
With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed‐‐an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey‐‐a beast without speech‐‐who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity‐‐for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 2 Peter 2:14‐19 (NIV)
Ezekial 14:1‐4; Micah 3:11; Isaiah 56:10‐11
3. Refuses to be yoked in God Given Relationships with Others
Though prophets may exist within a company of people, they are lawless if they think and act singularly. Lone ranger prophets will become lawless prophets. Everyone is to be in a team where they relate and mutually submit to one another. It is especially important for prophets to be in correct relationships with Apostles.
Wounded prophets if not healed will be scared to walk with others and fear any authority in their lives. Their wounds must be dealt with or their wounds will affect others. Rebellious prophets who resent authority, governance, and limits will cause great damage to other Christians. Every prophet must be dealing with wounds, authority, and finding their place in an apostolic community.
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.1 Corinthians 12:28 (NIV)
4. No call to Maturity and Walking it out Now
“Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ “ Ezekial 12:27‐28 (NIV)
Words are to include blessings, but they are also to guide us into maturity. We have to be careful about not just giving people what they want, but what they need to become mature – with encouragement.