Matthew 7:15-16 “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… (NIV)
Recently, there was internet and YouTube buzz concerning a well-known prophet, Brian Carn, who allegedly had been busted plagiarizing a prophecy, that he claimed came from God. Unfortunately, it seems that the so-called prophecy’s origin was derived from psychic, Cheryl Lynn, who gave predictions in February 2014 concerning events to take place in 2015. Brian Carn’s “prophecy” was given on New Year’s Eve of that same year. The person who exposed the alleged fraud is insignificant, but what is of great relevance is how Brian Carn is standing by this so-called prophecy that seemingly was not a prophecy at all, but plagiarism from demonic sources. What is simply amazing is that there are other pastors and prophets, such as Jamal Bryant, who have done YouTube videos to stand by him in what seems to be falsehood, while rebuking those who dare to raise concern in regards to the sincerity of his prophetic role. In an attempt to scare people into silence, Brian Carn has also condemned those who exposed the verbatim prophecy and questioned him. Nevertheless, the body of Christ needs to know that there is no cause to fear for the Bible gives the foundation concerning the test of a true prophet. Deuteronomy 18:21-22 you may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (NIV)
Whenever there is a question in regards to a prophetic word given, the prophet giving the word is not to rebuke those who have good reason to raise concerns. Instead, that prophet should be able to substantiate the word given by taking those in question to the word of God. Acts 17:11 now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (NIV) The New Testament Church searched the scripture to ensure that Paul was teaching them sound doctrine. Never does the Bible say that Paul rebuked them for double-checking his teachings. In fact, the Bible teaches that we should be able to give an account for what we believe. 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (NIV) Therefore, based upon this text, Christians have a right to raise questions to a prophet who claims to have received a word from the Lord, after finding out that the same prophecy was coincided with a reading of a psychic verbatim.
There are many false prophets in the world today who are using God’s word for their own financial gain. They tell the people that they had dreams and visions given to them by God, encouraging the congregations to plant seeds of $200, $500, $1000 and even more, when God has never had a prophet in the Bible to charge people for a prophecy. Jeremiah 14:14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. (NIV) An example of this was when Naaman the leper offered to give the prophet Elisha gifts after he was healed from his disease. However, Elisha refused to accept anything from him, for he did not want payment for what God had done. 2 Kings 5:15-16 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.” The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. (NIV)
These false prophets have no fear of God and are only ruled by their greed for money. However, the Bible has plenty to say about these types of leaders. God, in His disgust, called them greedy dogs. Isaiah 56:10-11 Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites, they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain. (NIV) They pimp God’s people for money, fail to teach them the truth by mixing it with error, and deceive the masses by their eloquent words, emotional music, and high energy, feel-good sermons. Even when a prophet has been proven to be false, the people turn a blind eye in their attempt to have their ears tickled by more lies. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 for the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (NIV)
However, God’s true church will not be deceived by false leaders. They will stand up boldly when they hear the voice of God and denounce such falsehoods. John 10:5, 27 (5) But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. (27)My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (NIV) When in question concerning a word from the Lord, or the sincerity of a leader within the body of Christ, all you have to do it pray, go to the word of God, and allow God to speak to YOU. God will confirm whatever He has said and will never allow His children to be deceived when they earnestly seek Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (NIV) There are many people who choose to be led astray by false prophets and their deceitful dreams and visions, but God’s true followers will never be deceived.
Evangelist K L Rich