If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.( Deuteronomy 13:1-3)
Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. (2 Chronicles 18:18-21)
There was a figure, an evangelist and self proclaimed prophet who emerged among Pentecostals in the years leading up to the Charismatic movement, by the name of William Marion Branham. This simple man who had been a warden at a state park in Indiana, but had also been a country preacher from his youth would fill large auditoriums and church halls to overflowing due to his unique gifts.
At times, he was able to call strangers out of the crowd, and tell them the secrets of their heart, things which could not naturally be known about them, and would pray for their healing, many of which would testify that they were healed. Serious conditions such as blindness and deafness were seemingly ‘healed’ when this man performed his gifts.Twice professional photographers took his picture and when they developed it, there was a halo over his head!
The only problem arose when he would teach. In fact Pentecostal ministers would beg him to come and perform his signs and wonders, but only on the condition that he not teach his doctrines. You see, his doctrines would un-nerve people.
Branham taught that The Bible, The Horoscope and the Great Pyramid in Gaza all brought the same message. He taught that He, Branham, was the Angel of the church of LAodicea, and that the fall involved Eve having intimacy with the serpent, thus there is a group of humanity called “the serpent’s seed” which can never be saved. Furthermore if a woman cut her hair it was sinful… need I go on?
This is a classic example of what Moses warned us of in the scripture above. God himself will allow for false prophets to perform “Signs” which do indeed come to pass. But the signs and wonders are not(or should not be) the basis for judging the ‘Prophet’.
It is the teaching of the prophet that is essential, what he says about God, Christ, salvation and so forth, that is the basis for judgment. I don’t think Moses anticipated that anyone would get up in a pulpit and say “Lets go after other Gods…”. What Moses is saying is that what a prophet teaches comes from his ‘god’ whether he be a true prophet of Jahweh, or a false prophet.
If God’s people love power, and “success”, crowds and activity, more than they love God, they will do what Pentecostals did in the 1950’s with Branham, they will welcome a man whose teaching obviously doesn’t come from the God of the Bible, as long as he produces powerful results.
But if God’s people really love God, they will be loyal to the Word of God, and reject any miracle worker whose teaching departs from the faith, once and for all delivered to the Saints.
Someone asked Branham one time if He did his miracles by the Holy Spirit, his answer, “No, I do them by my Angel”. Branham would wait at the front of the auditorium full of expectant people, until his “Angel” entered the room,then he would begin to operate in his gift.
Thus did the Pentecostals in large part flunk the test of Deuteronomy 13.
Didn’t we Prophesy in thy name?
One of the ways the Charismatic movement developed over the years was in the area of “restored Prophets” and Apostles. This came as a direct development of the Manifested Sons of God teaching, which held that the “man child” company of the church would not come into the “great last days ” revival util the offices of “Apostle and Prophet” were restored.
Gradually “Prophets ” began to emerge such as the “Kansas City Prophets” , who took the world by storm in the mid 1980’s, operating out of a church called the Metro Vineyard Fellowship, Kansas City, pastored by Mike Bickle.
Bickle’s onstage interviews with “prophet Bob Jones” went somewhat viral,(this was before the internet, but the cassette tapes spread rapidly around the world in Charismatic circles).
Jones and Bickle discussed how Jones received prophetic revelation at time through his senses,(pinpricks on his hands), Jones’ encounter with Angels, (one of them named “Emma”), His prediction that a billion souls would be saved, Jones’ belief in the “chosen seed” doctrine,( a coming ‘new breed’ from the bloodline of Peter, James and John) , and how that every year the LORD himself would meet with Jones on the day of Atonement! These discussions were uncritical, Bickle obviously was impressed that Jones was a “Prophet” sent to his church.
Before long there were Prophetic conferences featuring Bob Jones’ “Words” and teachings, and Bob Jones was allowed to “impart” his “Anointing” by the laying on of hands.
Soon Jones as joined by another “Prophet”, Paul Cain. Paul Cain had at one time worked for William Branham, but had to leave the ministry due to scandal.
The Metro Vineyard leadership were so impressed by Cain’s gifts, they called him “the terror of the LORD” and boasted that in conferences the power of God was so strong in his presence that cassette players and cameras would surge electrically and burn out!
Cain and Jones were joined by John Paul Jackson, a “prophetic dream interpreter”, and other lesser known prophets. These were sent out all over the world to “minister in churches”, and at conferences where people thronged to receive “Words” from them, and hoped for “Signs and wonders” and miracles to be performed at the conferences.
Bickle ,Cain, Jones and all of the Kansas City Prophets and those who rose to prominence around them, all taught variations of the Manifested Sons of God doctrine, that there was coming a day when the believers would come into their own, and an elite company of believers would realize the power of Christ , demonstrating to all of the world the power in the church.
One of those associated “prophets”, Rick Joyner, of MorningStar ministries, actually prophesied that the apostles and prophets in the Bible will be waiting in heaven to shaw our hands when we arrive their, because “God has saved the best for last”.
This is the flattery which has ruined thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands, rendering them un ready for the testings and trials coming upon us. Only Truth can cure us and set us free.
The Kansas City Prophets, with Rick Joyner, developed doctrines to explain why they so often made predictions in the name of God which failed to come to pass. It was revealed to Bob Jones that the Prophets were allowed for now to be at ten percent accuracy, because they were developing their ‘gifts’. In fact Jones taught it was a good thing that they were inaccurate, because of they were anywhere near 90-100 percent, people would be dying in churches as in the days of Ananias and Sapphira!
In another revelation, the ‘LORD” showed Jones that inaccurate prophecies are like blanks in a gun. True prophecies are like bullets.
It should be obvious by now that these men are charlatans as are the ones who propped them up, and who still prop them up. IHOP in Kansas city has a website in which they credit these charlatans as being the spiritual foundation of the ministry. The insane prophet Todd Bentley has patterned his life after the ministry of Bob Jones and Paul Cain.
There is a pattern to be observed in the ‘ministries’ of these three men. Each of them eventually were exposed as sexual deviants, and Cain as an alcoholic! Bob Jones was taking vulnerable women behind closed doors, disrobing them and having “Prophetic reading sessions”. Paul Cain was exposed as a homosexual, and zone week after ten leading Charismatic apostles and Prophets endorsed Todd Bentley as the man holding the mantle of the prophetic movement, Bentley abandoned a sickly wife and his children to run off with his secretary.
Rick Joyner “rehabilitated” Bob Jones, putting him back into the prophetic ministry, and allowing the false prophet to minster to a whole new generation of unsuspecting people. Joyner brought Bentley and his new wife back also.
There was no heart searching, nor public apology for foisting these frauds on the body of Christ. Bickle is actively in ministry, highly sought after, his IHOP ministry has enticed youth from around the globe, inundating them in Manifested Sons of God theology, the acceptance of false prophets, and the overlooking of serious moral sins.
Joyner is still in ministry as well. Bob Jones was able to die and be mourned by the “Prophetic community”. There is an entire generation of younger charismatics who are being raised up to carry on the mantle of this false movement, and for whom Branham, Cain, Jones and the others were pioneers of the faith.
The Prophet Jeremiah spoke well when in horror he uttered,
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?(Jeremiah 5:30-31)