Impact Of Fake Prophecies On Church Growth | Rev. KufreAbasi Essien
Let it be known that numerical increase is not the sole index of church growth. Other indices include, but not limited to spiritual maturity, prosperity, emotional maturity, e.t.c – Rev. KufreAbasi Essien
The church needs to grow. She is the body and bride of Christ; and by such metaphoric positioning, she is a living thing, and is expected to exhibit growth which is a principal characteristic of living things.
More than ever before, as signs of the last days become increasingly manifest, the church needs to grow in order to establish the authority and the physical representation and presence of God’s kingdom here on earth, guiding the saints to understand what lays ahead, and how to navigate the evil days.
The education of the saints on this important subject is therefore a plausible and timely response to the rapidly approaching apocalypse, so that, having studied to show themselves approved, the elect may not be deceived, and that they may not perish for lack of knowledge.
As I teach and expound on this subject matter, I am fully aware that many will be uncomfortable. This is because when light shines in darkness, and darkness cannot comprehend it, there are bound to be inconveniences for those who have sat for long in the dark, and are becoming accustomed to the gloomy ambience.
But I have been anointed to bring light to those who sit in the dark. I will teach with love. And I will rely on the Holy Spirit to lead God’s people into all Truth and Light.
Admittedly, many factors affect church growth. One of such factors is the cankerworm and proliferation of fake prophecies. This paper seeks to address this factor by throwing a revealing gospel light so that that which was done in the dark may be brought out and exposed in the glaring light of the day.
But before considering the impact of fake prophecies on church growth, let us place some things in proper perspective.
Growth is an increase in the size , amount or degree of something. In the case of CHURCH GROWTH, the majority have erroneously focused on numerical increase.
Let it be known that numerical increase is not the sole index of church growth. Other indices include, but not limited to:
1 Corinthians 3:1-2
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.”
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
1 Peter 2:1-3
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
“Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Any responsible advocate of church growth should consider these other factors, too.
In fact, to base church growth on numerical strength only is a skewed and deformed reasoning, and an indication of poor understanding of Kingdom principles.
Remember, as the multitude increases, the number of Judases also increases: for every twelve there must be a Judas. We therefore must be careful not to relax, thinking that the crowd that we crave (and sometimes covet) is an indication of a growing church. As the church grows in number, she must also grow in other indices.
Let this point not be misconstrued. I am not against having a large number of congregants. However, I am advocating having a balanced and quality growth.
Having said that, necessity is therefore laid upon us as Teaching Priests (2 Chronicles 15:3) and stewards of the mysteries of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:11 & Luke 8:10) to guide the sheep under our care along the right path to come to the full knowledge of the Christ and the Gospel.
It is in response to this necessity, as part of my Call, that I seek to address the matter in the next subheading.
FAKE PROPHETS & PROPHECIES
Who is a fake prophet?
A PROPHET is defined as a person sent by God to teach the people and give them messages from God.
A Prophet prophesies. And PROPHECY is a statement that something will happen in the future, especially one made by somebody with religious or magic powers.
The word “fake” refers to “not being what somebody claims to be. Counterfeit. False.
A fake prophet is therefore a false prophet. A con artist. A spiritual scammer.
A fake prophet releases fake prophecies (Jeremiah 14:14), with the intent of harming, deceiving or taking advantage of the gullible, Word deficient victim.
FAKE PROPHECY & MAGIC
Read again the definition of the word PROPHECY.
Can you see the word MAGIC embedded in it?
MAGIC is defined as the secret power of appearing to make impossible things happen by saying special words or doing special things.
Can you relate that definition of magic, especially the part that says “… saying special words or doing special things”, to anything you have witnessed someone do under the guise of being a prophet?
Again, we can boldly say, false prophets perform magic and sorcery (Acts 13:6). And not all those who tell you the future are prophets (Read Acts 16:16-18)
Apart from performing magic, false prophets start by casting fear on their victims. They manipulate and coerce them into unprintable actions. They counterfeit and twist the Word of God, masquerading as angels of light. They are men pleasers (Luke 6:26).
DO FAKE PROPHETS REALLY EXIST?
Do fake prophets really exist? Or are we trying to vilify an imaginary set of people?
Here are some references to show that fake prophets exist:
- Jesus the Christ prophesied concerning them (Matthew 24:3-8; 24)
- Apostle Paul warned us about them (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
- Apostle Paul exposed their craft ( Ephesians 4:11-14)
- Jesus the Christ mentioned their existence as signs of the last days (Matthew 24:11)
- We have seen them in operation as agents of the devil, even in the church
How else can you prove that false prophets exist?
HOW TO IDENTIFY FAKE PROPHETS
You need to identify these fake prophets so that you will not fall victim of their craft.
How are you going to do this?
The Bible says, “… by their fruits you shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)
Here are some tips to help you identify fake prophets:
- Their prophecies do not come to pass
- Their prophecies are not in sync with the Word of God (1 John 4:1-4)
- Their prophecies cover up sins (Lamentations 2:14)
IMPACT OF FAKE PROPHECY ON CHURCH GROWTH
Having understood that fake prophecies emanating from fake prophets exist, let us shine the light on some of the impact these fake works have on church growth.
To truly weigh the impact, you need to keep in mind the key indices of church growth as enumerated earlier, while considering the effects highlighted below.
Let’s take a look at these ten (10) effects:
- People learn but are never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7)
- Causes confusion and distractions in the body of Christ, especially for new converts and baby Christians, as ministers who are not called as prophets fake it in order to please (with the hope of keeping) the flock, neglecting Ephesians 4:11-14
- Produces a bunch of deceived people, enslaved and fanatical in nature (Jeremiah 14:14; Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22)
- Brings destruction to the church (Jeremiah 14: 15 & 16)
- Brings about coverage of sins (Lamentations 2:14)
- Brings about lawlessness and lack of love (Matthew 24:11)
- Brings about exploitation of the church (2 Peters 2:1-3 & Acts 16: 16-18)
- Denies Jesus coming in flesh (1 John 4:1)
- Causes people not to listen to teachers, with attendant consequences (Luke 20:16)
- Cause true prophets to do extra work in order to correct the error (Jeremiah 1:1-10 & Acts 16: 16-18 and 1 Kings 22:1-28)
WHY DO MINISTERS INDULGE IN FAKE PROPHECIES AND THE WORKS?
The impact of fake prophecies on church growth is grievous and enormous. It therefore seems unexplainable why ministers ordained to uphold truth in the house of God should choose to sink the ship which they sail.
They following points may give you some insight into the seemingly inexplicable situation:
- wrong teachings inherited through roots, associations and mentorship
- pressure from the flock to “perform”
- the crave to belong
- unhealthy and baseless competition
- loss of the mantle and God’s presence
- the drive and inclination towards merchandising and mercantilism in the church
WHAT ARE YOU TO DO?
Remember John 8:32
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Now that you have known this truth about fake prophets and prophecies, what are you to do?
I will suggest the following:
- Pray, repent and seek forgiveness and restoration if you are a perpetuator and practitioner of fake prophesying.
- Pray for victims to be set free from their captivity
- Pray for God, through His Son and the power of the Holy Spirit, to expose fake prophets and all works of darkness in the church and community
- Pray that God raise and send true prophets to His Church
- Spread this message, after you’ve come to the knowledge of Truth
- Leave their enclave. Separate yourself from them.
BEFORE I GO, LET ME CLEAR THE AIR ON SOMETHING IMPORTANT:
Many times, people have spread the rumor that I don’t believe in prophecy.
I assume that their smear campaign is birthed out of ignorance. I am a child of prophecy; a man of prayer and the revealed Word. I work with friends and associates who are called into, and operate in the prophetic ministry.
I believe God has given gifts to men, and that He has given us each according to His Grace and our abilities for the perfecting of the church.
I believe in prophecy. But I hate fake prophecies.
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” – 2 Peter 1:21
Speaking about “old time,” here’s part of David’s last words recorded in
2 Samuel 23:1-2:
Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.”
So, even from the Old Testament times, The Spirit of the LORD spoke through anointed men like David. These men did not prophesy their will, rather, they spoke as they were moved by The Holy Spirit.”
BELOVED OF THE LORD, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS:
We don’t need to fake prophecy by bringing our will to bear though crafty and sneaky guises. If we truly seek to prophesy, let us as ministers, first desire to prophesy, as Apostle Paul advised (1 Corinthians 14:39), and intentionally yield to the promptings and leading of the Holy Spirit. By doing so, we shall gradually open the faucets and estuaries through which the Holy Spirit speaks through us to the body of Christ.
Again, let us not forget the word of God as received in the scriptures constitutes the sure word of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19). For everything shall pass away, including prophecy, but the word of God shall abide forever (Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:31; Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:25 and Psalm 119:89).
TAKE HEED THEREFORE THAT I have done this teaching so that:
- You will not sin by following a wrong and accursed path (1 John 2:1)
- You will believe and come to true faith (1 John 5:13)
- You will walk circumspect, not ignorant of the devices of the devil (2 Corinthians 2:11)
- You will help spread the truth ( 1 Timothy 2:1-4)
- That which was done in the dark might be exposed (Mark 4:22 & Luke 8:17) and destroyed (1 John 3:8)
- Those who sat in darkness might see a great light (Isaiah 9:2)
- Those who were in the dark may be pulled out into the marvelous light (1Peter 2:9)
This paper has shown that fake prophets and prophecies exist with the concomitant negative impact on church growth.
In the face of the ugly realities, appropriate recommendations have been made with the hope that if implemented, the church being a physical representation of God’s Kingdom on earth will be restored to execute her Dominion Mandate.
FINALLY BRETHREN, like Apostle Paul, my mentor, I pray:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”
Rev KufreAbasi Essien is a Teaching Priest with a strong Apostolic and Prophetic flavor.
He is a prolific writer and fluent public speaker with a compelling message and tone.
At the time of writing, he serves as the Vicar of The African Church, St James Cathedral, 198, Oron Road, Uyo.
He is a Lecturer at the University of Uyo.
He is married to Nancy, and the union is blessed with three children: AkeAbasi, TiAbasi and KufreAbasi.
You can reach him today by calling him on: 07031147350.