Much is written on this website about prophecy. Primarily, the focus centers around false prophets in the world today such as Dutch Sheets, Lou Engle, Damon Thompson, or Todd Bentley. These men, and their ilk claim to contain prophetic powers or receive special words from God regarding the future. At the end of the day, these claims should serve as evidence to the faithful Christian that these men do not hold scripture in it’s proper place as the final and authoritative word of God. Sadly though, I know many smart people who fall victim to such men and even when these men and their messages are shown to be less than prophetic, their followers remain faithful to them. I don’t get it.
One of the best short summaries of accurate Biblical prophecy comes in a book I have been reading by Dr. Brad Harrub of Focus Press.
In his book Convicted (see bottom of this post for purchasing info.), which will be reviewed properly on this website in the near future, Harrub tackles the evidences for Christianity from the point of view of a scientist.
As Harrub points out, one of the most explosive weapons that a Christian has to support their Christian worldview is the fulfillment of prophecy throughout the Bible. These prophecies contained within the Holy Bible are essential to the Christian attempting to verify to a non-believer that the Bible is indeed “God breathed.” Along with the unity of scripture, the miracles of the Bible, the factual accuracy of the Bible, and the scientific accuracy of the Bible, the prophecy of the Bible is a staple that Christians can rely on to support their beliefs and ultimately to help in bringing others to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Convicted, Harrub gives the reader five criteria that prophecy in scripture matched. I believe that these criteria when laid out in this format should assist Christians today to properly discern what false prophets claim to be truth. As you read the passage from Harrub’s book below, think about what many of these men and women of the New Apostolic Reformation claim and observe how they stand in direct contrast with these criteria that all Biblical prophecy met. Harrub (2009) writes:
Have you ever considered the statistical odds of one man – Jesus Christ – fulfilling every single Messianic prophecy? To be born in the right city is one thing. But to be born of the right family lineage, under the right conditions, and fulfilling every single prophecy is another. In order for a prophecy to be valid, it must meet certain criteria. First, it must be a specific, detailed statement – not something that is vague or general in nature. Second, there must be enough time between the prophetic statement and its fulfillment so that there is no chance whatsoever of the prophet having the ability to influence the outcome. Third, the prophecy must be stated in clear, understandable terms. Fourth, the prophecy must not have historical overtones. In other words, true prophecy should not be based on past (or current) societal or economic conditions. Fifth, a clear, understandable, exact prophecy must have a clear, understandable, exact fulfillment. It is not enough to suggest that a certain event came true with a “high degree of probability.” The fulfillment must be unmistakable nd must match the prophecy in every detail. (p. 81)
The next time you hear or read some of the so called modern day prophets spewing their “words from God” that lie outside of scripture, think about the above criteria. Is what they are saying in opposition with the criteria that all fulfilled Biblical criteria met. If the answer is no, then why do you toil with such troubled individuals who serve to cause doubt and skepticism in both believers and non-believers alike. These men take away from one of the most powerful tools the Christian has in their desire to fulfill the great commission. They are dulling your sword, the Holy Bible. Perhaps though, that is their purpose here on this Earth presently. Now ask yourself if that purpose serves God or satan. The answer should be obvious.
Harrub, B. (2009). Convicted: A Scientist Examines the Evidence for
Christianity. Brentwood, TN: Focus Press, INC.
Or purchase from Amazon.com