Are You Being Deceived by Prophecy Propaganda?
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The word “prophecy” may elicit eye-rolling from many folks, and for good reason! Yet biblical prophecy is set apart and it is important to recall that God’s love is the foundation to this prophecy. He desires that His children know what lies ahead, and to anticipate such with a zealousness to help others not only know what the future holds but to also know God through His Son Jesus Christ, the Author of prophetic Scripture.
“God’s love is the foundation to biblical prophecy.”
So how do we sift through the plethora of “prophetic propaganda” that exists within the pop-culture prophecy media industry? Proverbs 9:10 lays the foundation for correct discernment: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
However, we must go beyond a mere belief in God and thus only the beginning of wisdom, for God draws us to pursue a lifelong life-changing experiential journey of personal, theological, and universal revelation. And this can only result from time spent in the Word of God and in prayerful communication with Him.
The apostle Paul lived by this truth and fortified his young protégé Timothy to do likewise. Second Timothy 2:15 states, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Without a working knowledge of the makeup of prophetic literature (as found in the Old Testament) and how it is used, one cannot hope to comprehend the deeper revelation that can be found in the New Testament, particularly in the book of Revelation.
Effective personal discipline toward sustained research (biblical, historical, scientific, current affairs, statecraft, etc) is well rewarded with a continuous and systematic revelation of truth as Jesus Christ opens our understanding that we might comprehend the Scriptures (Luke 24:45) in light of what He is doing in the world, and our place in it.
Many pop-culture icons of prophetic propaganda (such as Nostrodamus, Edgar Cayce, Sylvia Browne, etc) are not malicious in their intent to deceive, and often win people over by their personability and sincerity. But this is exactly why false prophecy is deceptive, for it is often laced with enough truth and/or charm (from the false prophet) to be generally appealing. To such, our response must be the authority of Scripture:
“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God…” (1 John 4:1-3)