When you start throwing golden calves into the fire—when you expose false doctrines, false gods, destructive heresies, false prophecies and anything else that perverts the Word of God—some people start gnashing their teeth at you.
Most are grateful that more prophetic messengers are lifting their voices against the heresy in hopes that innocent sheep won’t fall prey to wolves in disguise. But deceived believers work to discredit prophetic voices publicly—and even send threats privately. Yes, I’ve received threats for my recent columns about rock-star preachers spewing false gospels and my follow-up on naming names.
Of course, that’s not going to stop me from throwing golden calves into the fire. The public character assaults and the private threats only confirm the need to expose false doctrine and reveal truth. Jesus put it this way: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).
When preachers tour like rock stars, it’s no wonder sinners flock to stadiums. Of course, preachers holding stadium-sized events packed out with lost souls is awesome—unless those preachers present a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel that’s giving the assurance of heaven while sending people to hell.
I am convinced that too many people who claim to be Christ-followers are not really saved because too many false teachers and false prophets are propagating a “different gospel” centered on “another Jesus” (see 2 Cor. 11:3-4). I am convinced that many self-professing saints are going to sit right next to sinners in hell when it’s all said and done—thanks, in part, to rock-star preachers presenting a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel.
Especially in America, it’s easy to say, “I believe in Jesus.” It’s called mental assent. I believed in Jesus before I got saved, too, but I was still on my way to hell. Many who have “accepted Jesus into their hearts” have responded to a “different gospel” centered on a false Christ. This gospel is mixed with compromise. This gospel is impure and defiled religion. This gospel offers a humanistic, self-help message that taps New Age principles. Indeed, these false teachers and false prophets are moving in a false anointing and presenting a false Christ. And it’s deadly.
I was once deceived. Or, you might say, I’ve been deceived more than once.
Like you, I was deceived before I was saved. My plan was to live however I wanted, repent when I got into my 40s and start going to church. I figured all would be well with my soul when I was ready to stop living in sin. God, in His mercy, had different plans for me. He encountered me in an undeniable way when I was 30, broke the deception and delivered me from evil.
Soon, though, I fell into another deceptive pit in a hyper-apostolic church that publicly taught “God, family, ministry” but secretly demanded, “Ministry, ministry, ministry.” Our Bibles literally fell open to Ephesians 4:11. And we spelled apostolic like this: w-o-r-k. This deception crept in through unbalanced—even extreme—teachings and superhuman expectations that wearied the saints.
When I began to question the status quo, they told me I was deceived. Ironically, I only escaped this abusive church after I began praying for God to break the deception over my mind. See, when the deception accusation came, I knew I was indeed deceived. I just didn’t know if I was deceived by the church or deceived by wanting to escape it.
Yesterday, I alerted you to a nefarious attempt to hijack my identity and fleece the sheep in my name. This bad actor created a fake Facebook page, used my photo and other materials, and was replicating posts from my page to make it look and sound like me. This same person was sending out friend requests in my name to Christians and had already built up about 100 followers by the time you started alerting me to the scam.
After Facebook refused to do anything about it, I sent out a warning via my newsletter asking you all to report it. My goal was to protect people from being defrauded. You responded in droves and Facebook listened. The fraudster’s page has been removed, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try again. If you see anything suspicious about ministries you follow, please report it. There are many sincere believers out there looking for a prophetic word or prayer and don’t know that God’s true servants don’t charge you money for these things !
Friends, I wanted to alert you to a demonic strategy to impersonate me and use my name to merchandise the saints.
Yesterday, someone hijacked my photos and created a fake Facebook account with the name Heart Ofthe Prophetic. This is a variation of my Facebook page, which has nearly 30,000 members. (Click here to join my REAL Facebook page.)
This nefarious character is replicating posts from my page to make it look and sound like me and sending out friend requests in my name to Christians and has already built up about 100 followers.
I am not sure what the motive is, but I’m told by several folks that Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke, John Eckhardt, Heidi Baker and others have also experienced similar attacks. In those instances, the criminal hijacker is offering prayer in exchange for money.
The promise of personal prophecy always draws a crowd. Many long to hear the voice of God and either don’t have confidence in their prophetic listening skills or are simply seeking confirmation about something they think God spoke to their heart.
I remember what it was like as a new believer when visiting prophets would roll through town. I waited in anticipation, hoping I would be the one called out to receive a life-changing prophetic word. Although I believe wholeheartedly in personal prophecy—and although I’ve attended many prophetic conferences—I’ve only had a “prophet” call me out with a word once. It was so far off base that it cured me of chasing personal prophecy.
Still, I get it. I understand that believers are sincerely hungry to hear God’s voice. And that, unfortunately, is one of the reasons prophetic ministry is so abused in this hour. It’s one of the reasons anyone who claims to be a prophet can so easily fleece some sheep or offer false prophecies that lead people away from God instead of closer to Him.
You’ve surely heard the growing body of prophecies declaring the impending judgment of God on America. Indeed, The Harbinger—a book that many believe holds the secret to America’s not so pleasant future—has remained on the New York Times’ best-seller list for more than a year. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s prophetic message is resonating with believers and unbelievers alike—and for good reason.
So when Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke stood on the grounds of the Vero Beach Airport proclaiming “All America Shall Be Saved” in early February 2013, the declaration demanded my attention. After all, this is the same German evangelist who declared “All Africa Shall Be Saved” and witnessed more than 55 million African souls make a decision to renounce Islam, witchcraft and other strange gods—and commit to follow Jesus Christ—in just a nine-year period. 55 million souls.
Every week I get at least a handful of digital requests from precious people all over the world desperately seeking a prophetic word. Some come begging. Others come demanding. Still others come with money in hand to buy a prophecy or dream interpretation.
Seriously, this happens just about every day and more than once on most days. It’s an unfortunate symptom of modern-day prophetic ministry—prophetic ministry that has too often taught people to depend on prophets to “go to the throne” and “get a word” for them instead of fulfilling the Ephesians 4:11 mandate to equip the saints.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not at all against personal prophecy. In fact, over the next two weeks I’ll be ministering on prophetic promises at my church. I fully expect the Holy Spirit to move. I fully expect many hungry believers to receive prophetic words. Personal prophecy—edifying, exhorting and comforting believers—is vital in this hour.
When God called me to build the house of prayer, I knew it would come with opposition. I’ll admit, I never thought it would play out with literal Sanballats. But that’s just what has happened—and often these Sanballats come in sheep’s clothing.
Sanballat is an enemy of revival and brings strong opposition to what God wants to build. Sanballat is a critical persecutor who brings false accusations against the work and the people putting their hand to the plow. And Sanballat will rally others to the opposition against you, like Tobiahs and Geshems, just like he did to Nehemiah.
The spirit of Sanballat’s goal is to discourage you—to get you to quit what God has called you to do. This spirit’s overarching mission is to thwart God’s work. It’s a judgmental, mocking, insidious spirit that, again, sometimes comes in sheep’s clothing. Someone flowing in this spirit may even offer to come alongside and help you, but its intentions are to tear down—not build up—the figurative wall God is calling you to build.
While in prayer over the vision God gave Steve Hill about the “spiritual avalanche that could kill millions,” an alarming question nagged my soul: Could the great falling away already be underway? Could we be witnessing the first fruits of the great falling away even now? Are we at least seeing a shadow of the Great Apostasy?
There is much talk about Christ’s soon Second Coming. But we know that Jesus will not return for a church without spot or wrinkle unless the falling away comes first … (1 Thess. 2:3). Although it’s nothing entirely new, we are indeed witnessing a fast-progressing departure from sound doctrine and a holy life.
Even a quick comparison between what Scripture tells us about the last days and the manifest sin that has penetrated our generation should serve as a wake up call to every believer: Don’t ignore the signs of the times. In His discussions on the end of the age, Jesus warned us not to let anyone deceive us (Matt. 24). If it weren’t possible to get caught up in the Great Falling Away, Jesus wouldn’t have issued such a strong warning to His followers and left a record of it for you and me.