During the Last Days, how does God’s Spirit being poured out square with the fact that many false prophets will arise simultaneously? The answer may surprise you.
The last week of April 2022 is gone, and yet a whole host of self-proclaimed “prophets”, “prophetesses”, or “watchmen” who predicted or “speculated” that the rapture would happen this week have been proven wrong once again. Steve Fletcher, “Rapture by Twilight”, Barry Awe, “Uptime” group, and many more have shown the world that no one knows the day or hour of when Jesus returns. The problem with this obsession over trying to time the rapture, however; is symptomatic of a larger problem in the Church which Jesus warned about many years ago.
A primary issue that plagues these last days is the rise of self-proclaimed watchmen, prophets and “prophetesses” (a word which many who see the supernatural changes don’t even recall in the scriptures before they happened) very often claim that Jesus speaks to them in a very special or unique way. Often, they say things like, “Jesus speaks to me in this particular way, and I have a word from Him to share with you”. As if no one else has access to this unique system of communication they claim they have. They say things like “I was in the Spirit and Jesus said (insert dream or vision)”, “I had a dream on this date (insert day) and God said this to me”, “Jesus spoke directly to my ear”, “Jesus (or an angel) appeared to me and told me”, and yes will even say things like “God speaks to me by teleporting me”. As evidence that God has spoken to them, some will convey very clever insight into cryptic messages seen in Mandela Effects, media, and bible prophecy. Others will use codes, gematria, and complex methods of ciphering to “confirm” their unique and special interpretations. These people love to say that because they claim to "prophesy" about things they believe are divinely inspired, that by definition makes them a "prophet". They speak calmly, confidently, and most of all they use the NAME of JESUS to give authority to their message. Instead of letting their “yes be yes” and “no be no”, they always say “Jesus told me this” or “Jesus told me that”.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Now, of course Jesus does speak directly to those who have received the Holy Spirit and are led by Him. However, those who are being led by Him have no need to qualify by the name of Jesus every revelation or idea comes to mind. Moreover, it is actually the fruit of the Spirit that testifies to how genuine their claim that the Lord is leading them by His Spirit. If their fruit shows prophecies being unfulfilled, non-biblical claims being made, or worse blasphemous claims that compete with or replace fundamental principles of Jesus’ Gospel, then we know it is not the Spirit of the Lord that leads. So, in such cases it is obvious the continual use of Jesus’ name to qualify the “teachings” of these false prophets is simply an appeal to authority. Because after all, who wouldn’t take a word from Jesus Himself seriously, right? What also compounds the confusion here is that we are in the times of the lying signs and wonders, so there is often no telling if the seemingly incredulous ideas the false teachers spread are based in revised history, revised documentation, revised scripture, seemingly miraculous signs or synchronicities, or just high strangeness. They often use the signs in the heavens or in numbers or even the daily minutia to “confirm” that the messages they claim to hear are physical or literal signs from God. We all know what Jesus said about a generation that needs a sign to believe though. Furthermore, those who claim to “prophesy” by the Lord usually use the passage from Joel to justify this idea that they are anointed by God in the last days
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
Notice that the passage speaks to ALL “flesh” or all humans in the whole world. A key point here is that when God’s Spirit pours out on a people it is not always an indicator that His Spirit moves everyone to act in righteousness or truth. Take for example what happened when God’s Spirit descended on Egypt during the Exodus. It was a sign of God’s judgment on Egypt. Furthermore, God actually caused Pharoah’s heart to harden during that time. Let us not forget God sent the "Angel of Death" to slay to the firstborn who were not dwelling in a house protected by the blood of a spotless lamb. When the Spirit of God brings judgement on a land or a people it doesn’t necessarily affect everyone in the same way. Some may be moved toward righteousness, while others will act out of their own selfish ambition or self-interest. This is underscored by the fact that in the last days Jesus also told us that MANY false prophets would arise (see Matthew 24:11). So, in the last days according to Joel, God’s Spirit is poured out and many would prophesy, but according to Jesus it seems pretty clear that this includes many false prophets as well!
This is why we can’t appropriate scripture toward our self-aggrandizing desire to anoint ourselves as “watchmen”, “prophets”, or “prophetesses”. In some extreme examples online, there are multiple cases of individuals claiming to be the actual “Two Witnesses” from Revelations. God’s Spirit is definitely being poured out NOW, but at the same time the Church seems to be busting at the seams with false prophets in the last days. Indeed, it is clear God is judging the world by allowing so many false prophets to fill the airwaves and internet so that those who are not His would follow and be led to fulfil their own desires. As Paul Washer says,
“Those that sit under False Prosperity driven preaching are NOT Victims, they are Culprits, because they want exactly what the FALSE TEACHER wants and it’s NOT God.”
In this case the concern is not necessarily “prosperity” driven preaching, but it may be among other things preaching motivated by: escapism, friendship, personal relationships, affirmation, unity, hidden knowledge, or simply acceptance by others etc. And while some of these things may not necessarily be bad in and of themselves, they can be snares when they are attained by the preaching from the pulpit (or YouTube channel) whose foundation is on false prophecy, or worse, blasphemous word smithing.
Friends, be very careful who are you trusting, putting your faith in, and most importantly who you are giving ear to. You see, these FALSE prophets want you to think God’s Spirit has fallen upon them and anointed them, but they do it through words that serve as sweet morsels to your ears. They disarm your skepticism by saying, “take it to Jesus and ask Hims to confirm it for you”, while at the same time demanding that the amazing signs they present can ONLY be confirmations from God. When you challenge them on their presentations they will say, “you can’t put God in a box” as a way to make you feel wrong for questioning their presumed evidence that God is using their specific supernatural revelations and private interpretations. They will coax you and lavish comforting words on you so that you will feel elevated and loved by their seemingly kind or selfless intentions. Typically, however; they are just trying to build consensus and grow their memberships/sub counts so that in numbers they feed their own delusions or financial interests. Sadly, not all of these false prophets are motivated by malice or ill-intention, but they actually believe the delusion they are under. Look at what an actual prophet of God said the Lord would do to those who would seek their own selfish ambitions rather than answer His calling or warnings of judgement:
“I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”
While there may be bible changes in this verse, the meaning is relatively intact. When you walk in a path that seems right, but isn’t of the Lord, God will let you wallow in your own delusions. The problem is that when you are under a deception, you cannot see that you are deceived. As we can see, God knows the deepest intentions of the heart though, so we are not here to judge them, and will leave that up to God.
It is so very important to hold one another accountable in this ordeal. We need to stay on our toes and warn fellow brethren who are listening to or following these deceptive “teachers”. If the false teachers are in our own circles, then we would as scripture tells us: first, address it to them directly, secondly do the same with others in brotherly love, and lastly, if the false teacher refuses to repent and rectify their missteps, we are told to have nothing to do with them. All we are doing here is warning you to be very careful who you give ear to in this day when information is so widely available, accessible and often sounds so very delicious to the ears.