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The Danger Zone
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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Desire earnestly to prophesy... (1 Cor 14:31) is an exhortation for true believers, not for the false. The trouble is, many false believers go there, too. The arrogant and self-seeking venture into the prophetic for less than honourable reasons. That is the opposite of what Paul was encouraging!
They do it to lift themselves up. Paul exhorted to lift others up! He adjured:
...let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel (1 Cor 14:12).
I remember helping some folks to experience the gifts of the Spirit some years ago. Jean (not her real name) received the gift of prophetic utterance as an aid to her in her spiritual life. That was what God chose to give her.
What people often don’t reckon on, however, is that God gives gifts for double-edge reasons. One can be to uplift; the other is to cut down. And when it cuts you down, it’s the last thing you would expect. You don’t envisage that God would give you a gift to become part of your downfall, but He sometimes does.
God lifts up to cast down. His main object in your life is humbling, not the opposite.
Jean got lifted up by her gift. She didn’t realise it, however. She found she could prophesy ‘to order’.
She could ‘tune in’ to the Spirit and draw on the inspiration there to give a prophetic utterance. If she was asking for a particular person, she would record on tape what she received and either transcribe the message or send the tape to that person.
This seemed to work fine for a while. God gave her many different messages for various people. They were words of encouragement, exhortation and edification (1 Cor 14:3).
But, as I mentioned, she got elevated by this. I do not prophesy ‘to order’ and she knew it. So, although she had received the Spirit through the auspices of our ministry, and had learned from us, to bring her into this realm of spiritual experience, she now began to think she was more special.
God gave her a dream about bees buzzing around her head. She didn’t know what it meant, and nor did we at the time. We now understand that the bees represent demons that were assailing her.
The main attack of the demonic underworld is to get you proud. That will ensure their success and your failure. Pride limits your connection to God.
I don’t encourage people to prophesy to order, because it is fraught with dangers. You should not decide when to prophesy. True prophecy is an act of God experienced by the mind of man. We are God’s servants, not the other way round.
When a person desires to prophesy, it must be for the good of others, not for self-elevation. But the human mind is such that it is so easy to think you are important or special just because God speaks through you. Yet you are not. Far from it! Any ‘specialness’ you possess is not because of you, but because of God, and in spite of you!
When someone gets lifted up, even if slightly, by their aspiration to BE someone or by prophesying, Satan or demons obtain a foothold. The prophecy can then become contaminated by satanic input. God’s Spirit is shut out through your subliminal choice, and demons take His place.
This is what happened to Jean.
One day she wrote to me and prophesied to me that I was wearing my feelings on my sleeve. I wasn’t quite sure, at the time, what she was getting at. But I wanted to heed anything God was saying, if it was from Him. She went on in her ‘prophecy’ that I was putting pressure on people unfairly, and that I was leaning on people in some wrong way for finance.
When I read that last part, I knew it was false, because I don’t do that. I speak out strongly against putting pressure on people. I trust in God for finance, even if it means going without. God does provide, when you are in His will, and when you trust in Him, but He can make you sweat, too! I don’t need to lean on people in a wrong way. God is my Rock.
But Jean was suggesting cleverly that He wasn’t my Rock. Moreover, she was also inferring (the devil inferred much through innuendo in the Garden, and has been doing so ever since) that I am not in His will.
Why? Why was all this taking place?
God had called her to be one of our supporters, but the devil was trying to drag her away from fulfilling her duties and potential. By attacking her, and every other person whom God called to be part of our support, the devil could bring this ministry to ruin. And he nearly did!
That’s why she believed the ‘prophetic word’, and thought that I was not worthy of her support.
Jean went off on a tangent, and I don’t know if she will be saved, because if you cultivate a lifestyle based on pride, you are building negative character.
A Very Real Danger
Jean’s prophecy about me wearing my feelings on my sleeve was a devious way to find fault with me and justify her reneging on her responsibilities. It was also a clever way to turn other people against us.
Prophecy is powerful. When a person utters a prophecy, and people believe it is from God rather than from the devil, naturally the God-fearing will heed the words as if it was God Himself speaking.
I’m sure you can see why the devil wants to attack this facility more than anything else in the Church! And he has!
The ‘charismatic church’ is full of compromised prophecies. While many have come from God; many more have been interfered with on the way, or have originated in the pit of hell.
That’s why it’s essential to test all prophecies, as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, and to test the spirits behind them, as John wrote (1 Jn 4:1). But how often do you see it happen?
It’s not easy to do.
A meeting is taking place and someone with a recognised prophetic gift speaks out. That’s when the utterance should be tested. But, generally, it is heard and then overlooked, and people just carry on. If something wrong was spoken, does that subliminally affect the hearers? It can do, and therein lies the danger. You don’t perceive the cunning ways Satan infiltrates your mind, and undermines the Truth.
So, prophetic words must be tested.
You test it by judging whether it is in line with the Word of God, and whether it conforms to other proper spiritual criteria. I have listed these in Testing The Spirits. I reproduce them here:
Paul insisted that prophetic words are tested in the assembly. He wrote:
Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge (1 Cor 14:29).
By prophets, he means those with prophetic gifts, not prophets delegated greater assignments like Elijah, or John the Baptist, etc.
The way all the others should judge what is said is as I have outlined above.
If a ‘prophetic’ utterance is incorrect, someone with some guts should speak out and say why it is wrong. You don’t tolerate evil; you confront it.
A man once prophesied ‘to order’ about me. What he said was entirely wrong. He inferred that my wife and I were no longer in love and that our marriage needed rekindling. It was totally untrue.
He also said something else that was shady and incorrect, so I wrote and informed him that his ‘gift’ was compromised. Either he didn’t believe me, or he didn’t care. He didn’t write back and apologise for having got it wrong. But then, you wouldn’t expect a false prophet to admit to his own errors, would you?
I’ll mention his name, because he is high and lifted up. He thinks much of himself and his ‘position’. He was Steve Shultz, the moderator of the Elijah List on the web, which publishes prophetic input from sources all over the place without testing any of them.
Ah, sorry... correction. There was one prophetic input he did question and throw out... mine! But he didn’t test it properly. What I wrote to him and what he said is reproduced in the leaflet Resisting A Prophet.
God gave me a dream about him. His ministry was represented as a small van, and I was pouring petrol on the ground. When that ignites, his van will go up in smoke or be seriously damaged! The dream is recounted in the above publication also.
Prophetic utterance should rightly be received with a welcome objectivity. But the irony is that there is greater acceptance of false prophecies and false prophets than the true. And where they abound, they are not tested properly, or not tested at all!
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10), but it has been replaced in the Church in so many quarters by the testimony of Satan! The counterfeit masquerades as the spirit of prophecy.
In New Mexico, there is a cult led by Wayne Bent, who claims to be the Messiah. Channel 4 TV in the UK dubbed it The End of The World Cult (12th Dec 2007).
Wayne Bent thought he was hearing from God, when he distinctly heard the spirit say in his head, "you are the messiah". Wayne changed his name to Michael, in line with ‘the word of God’ which he had heard. The trouble was, it was not a word from God, but a masquerade. He didn’t test it. He just believed it. It appealed to him.
Nor did his small troop of ardent followers test the word. They were all beguiled by the man’s charm and rhetoric. Chief among the pitfalls in such a group is the sense of specialness. The vanity of believing that they are the chosen ones of God, the only ones believing the truth – in this case, the only ones to know of ‘the Messiah’ – leads to gross deception.
Bent received in the spirit that the end of the world would be on 31st October 2007 at midnight. Funny, that – the date that Satan claims as his own for occult practices, dubbed ‘Halloween’!
His troop of followers expectantly awaited his change from mortal to immortal on that day, but midnight passed and nothing seemed to happen. But that didn’t phase his followers. He just changed the date to 15th December 2007. (Doubtless, his familiar spirit would have given that to him, too.) That date has now passed, and the end of the world has not come yet. So, those followers should start to seriously question whether Bent is a false prophet / messiah.
But will they?
You know, the power of deception is massive. It is tied to pride. Exclusivism is a branch of that root. Only a massive shaking can shake such a person to their spiritual senses.
Because Wayne Bent’s followers believed he was hearing from God, and they didn’t question it or test it, they went along with everything he said. When he said that God had told him to take the wives of two of the cult members, the wives were flattered. They worshipped the guy. Bent simply told the agonised husbands to reason with God about it, and put up with the pain it caused.
Then Bent claimed God had told him to take his son’s wife also and have an incestuous relationship with her. She willingly submitted also. She thought she was doing God’s will, so did Bent’s son, and so did Wayne Bent himself. They all thought they were doing what was right when it was so very wrong.
That is the power of deception. And the Church is rife with it!
What Bent received prophetically was against God’s Word in the Bible. That’s the first yardstick against which you compare any prophecy. If it doesn’t stack up with the Bible, throw it out.
God commands in His Word for a husband to be sexually faithful to one wife (Ex 20:14; Titus 1:6; Matt 5:28; Eph 5:3-7). Besides the aforementioned texts, Bent also directly contravened Leviticus 18:15 by having sexual union with his son’s wife.
So heinous is the sin that God decreed:
The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death (Lev 20:10).
Yesterday I asked God to fulfil His Word toward Wayne Bent, and take his life, for the sake of his followers, if any can be rescued from perdition. It’s probably the only way they will come to see how deceived they are.
Stick To The Word
The Word of God in the Bible – understanding it properly and rightly dividing it (2 Tim 2:15) – spares people from apostasy and disaster.
Believing Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:26 would have spared Bent’s followers their extreme delusion. But usually, we only see the piquancy of Jesus’ words AFTER they come true, not before.
I said above that "the Church is rife with it" – with deception! That may offend some ears. If it does, that is itself a proof of its veracity.
You don’t have to go as far away from truth and light as Wayne Bent to be in darkness and deception. MM publications cover a wide range of biblical subjects showing where widely accepted ‘doctrines’ are in error. Our task is to lay out a correct biblical foundation for the Church, preparing the Way as God prophesied would occur before Jesus’ 2nd Coming (Is 40:3; Mal 4:4-6).
Stick to the straight and narrow of God’s Truth – which is not the popular and most accepted way. That is the only sure foundation for righteousness and eternal life. That’s what Jesus taught.
He sent His Spirit upon His people to bring gifts to men, and chief among those gifts is prophesying and receiving prophetic input (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:4; 14:1). But every gift can be counterfeited or contamin- ated, so it comes with caveats.
Here are some which I can offer:
Consequently, in my opinion, such are less reliable than dreams and visions from God. God does not say in His Word that He speaks to His prophets through prophetic words. He speaks to them through dreams and visions (Num 12:6). I do not discount prophetic words. I prophesy myself on most occasions when we meet for fellowship with others. But those interpretations of tongues, or prophetic utterances, are mostly prayers and praises to God, extolling His virtues.
7. Forthtelling (about spiritual things) usually has greater spiritual significance and value than foretelling.
Test The Spirits
Wherever the power of God manifests is a danger zone. While God comes to bring light and truth, judgement follows in its wake if it is not handled aright. Moreover, the devil comes to counterfeit and destroy. Prophecy or prophesying is no exception. So,
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 Jn 4:1).
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 Jn 4:6). Malcolm B Heap
It’s God’s Time For Judgement
There is turbulence in nations and turbulence in the weather at this time. It was prophesied in the past in the Bible and foretold also in dreams in our time.
An unusual incident occurred in 1995. I was praying one Monday morning, when God spoke. He told me to go to the next meeting of the Worldwide Church of God (then being held in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, UK), stand up in their meeting and read Isaiah 61:1-2.
Like former prophets protested at some things God asked of them, I protested. Not that I wasn’t prepared to do as He asked, I just didn’t think it feasible. I objected: "But Lord they will throw me out!" (Or words to that effect.)
He immediately replied: "Stand up after special music."
Well, I was a bit taken aback. It was an unmistakably clear command. I found it a bit strange that God would give it 5 days before D-day, but perhaps He was stating numerically that it was a preparation (signified by 5) for something greater. I didn’t see it at the time. Only now have I noticed.
Well, I did as God said. After an almighty struggle to get into the building (WCG stooges tried to physically bar me entry – they were almost violent!), there was special music that day, and, following God’s cue, I stood up to read:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn (Is 61:1,2).
I read that, and a short section from Isaiah 52 before they mustered their forces to silence me and have me ejected. They called the police (how stupid!!) but I left of my own accord long before the fuzz arrived, because they weren’t listening anyway.
When Jesus spoke those words at God’s command in the synagogue in Capernaum (quoted in Luke 4:18-19), He finished at "the acceptable year of the Lord". He omitted the underlined words and what followed them – deliberately.
While "Jesus calls attention to ‘the acceptable year of the Lord,’ which compares the blessings of His ministry to the ancient Year of Jubilee" (comment on Lk 4:18 in NKJV Study Bible), it wasn’t God’s time then for universal judgement to begin. Today it is.
"Jesus quotes the passage, omitting the phrase, ‘the day of vengeance of our God.’ The Isaiah passage is messianic; but in the First Advent ministry of Jesus, the latter affirmation was not fulfilled. That fulfilment awaits the return of Christ." (NKJV Believer’s Study Bible, note on Lk 4:19.)
God is preparing the way today before Jesus’ 2nd Coming, and that end-time message incorporates judgement.
There is judgment upon nations and peoples, and judgement first upon the Church.
God took us back to the Worldwide Church of God to pronounce judgement upon them first, because they were first to be given the message. But they didn’t listen to us. They threw us out. They castigated our names and vilified me instead of listening. They will get what they deserve.
He has made my mouth like a sharp sword (Is 49:2). Malcolm B Heap
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise stated
Testing The Spirits (TTS)
Prophets and Prophesying (PP)
An Introduction To The Spiritual Gifts (ISG)
Our Sabbath Rest (S)
The Controversy Concerning Law and Grace (LG)
The Faith Once Delivered To The Saints (FOD)
Revelations From God About The Judgement Of Britain (Jud)
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