Deceivers and diviners

tree by water

Psalms 1:2-3 – But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruits in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.

What was the intention of Bar-Jesus (Elymas)?  He….withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. (Acts 13:8)

I see many modern-day ‘prophets’ do this same thing. The people are deceived through sorcery and magic. They will “see” the color of a person’s car or gate, will know the illness someone is suffering from, will apparently heal some people. But when you take your eyes away from the magic show and listen carefully to how they preach, it becomes obvious what you are dealing with. For example, the parable of talents will mean – invest your money carefully and wisely, 3 John 1:2 will mean that the Lord wants you to be rich and healthy, where Jesus sends a disciple to get the tax money out of a fish’s mouth will mean your business plan – timing, positioning, vision, etc.

Let’s take a look at the girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination in Acts 16:17. This girl followed Paul and cried out saying “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

What is wrong here? What she said is good stuff. There is nothing untrue. And it is helpful to Paul at first glance. So then, what is wrong? Here is how St. John Chrysostom explained this situation:

The demon acted maliciously – he wanted credibility. If Paul had stayed quiet and admitted his testimony, that would endorse the demon with credibility. He would have deceived many believers as being received by Paul. So the demon spoke against himself (by proclaiming a truth) that he may establish what will work for him.

So the demon used accommodation in order to destruction. – John Chrysostom

Paul is annoyed (or grieved) because he saw through the malice of the demon. In 2Corinthians 2:11 he says : “For we are not ignorant of his devices.”

In addition to the superficial, we hear very accommodating prophecies today as well.

Such as:

…..You will build schools for the under privileged; your son or daughter will serve the Lord in a mighty way in the next 10 years or so; you will serve the Lord in a way you have never imagined and will have the power of the Holy Spirit with you, etc, etc..

Now let’s see what is the meaning of Divination.The dictionary gives the following:

Divination – The practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.

Nowhere in the Bible does it ask us to seek divination – in fact, we are to completely reject such practices – Deuteronomy 18:10-11.

What about the “prophets” who stay away from personal prophecy and move on to global prophecy? These are the people who believe the Bible is missing some information and they are the chosen people to receive special revelation concerning world matters. Some even have the audacity to say “thus saith the Lord!”. If you listen very carefully to these ‘prophets’ one thing becomes very clear – they are speaking in the most vague spaced-out language you can think of. Nothing specific. Nothing according to Scripture. Totally un-Biblical things such as a certain country will be the “hub” for the work of the Holy Spirit or 2018 is a new beginning because of the significance of the numbers 8 and 1. They also bring in the Hebrew numbers to sound even more intellectual.

What’s this interest in all the numbers? – these ‘prophets’ are now delving into the occult practices of numerology in the name of Christianity. The Bible has 7 and 40 representing certain specific things, but nowhere does it teach us to search numbers to get God’s message. We are not told to seek hidden meanings of numbers. This is a true form of fortune-telling. We are not to seek revelation in numbers or in anything occult.

Without consulting mediums and numbers, we are told in Isaiah 8:19

….should not a people inquire of their God?

We are to seek God always. In every situation.

Of course, we are given spiritual gifts – but how are we to use it? We have to use it for the common good and edification of the church. 

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
 – 1 Corinthians 12:7

To equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ – Ephesians 4:12

How do you build up the body of Christ when you attract seekers with carnal things? They will come for carnal things, and the preacher / pastor will have to keep giving them carnal things in order to keep them coming to his church. So the spirit of divination comes at an opportune time. No common good is served when a Pastor tells someone – “I see you are building a house with a swimming pool”. There is no edification of the body of Christ by saying – “you came to this church today in a metallic grey car”.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Prophets from God are always persecuted – because they brought a message of repentance. If Nineveh did not repent, they will be overthrown. If Israel did not turn from idols, Babylon will invade.

On the other hand, false prophets are always loved by the world – because they painted a rosy picture – always.

There is nothing new under the sun.

In the end times, the entire world will be full of demonic activity trying to control every aspect of our lives. This will be the sign of the coming glorification and victory of Christ. Our time should be spent on reaching souls for the Lord. But without knowledge of the Word, we will be deceived and destroyed. But when we are rooted in the Word,

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. – Ephesians 4:14




4 thoughts on “Deceivers and diviners

  1. Well covered today’s false prophet problem. Reading this came to me the truth written in Matthew 24. Especially in Matt 24:24 Jesus said “For false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Then v.25-28, Jesus goes on to say “See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms, do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather”. Yes, people will flock even the elect will be lead astray. Be careful people, Jesus is the Alfa and Omega, He is the beginning and the end and everything in between. Heaven and earth will pass away but His word will not pass away (Matt 24:35).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have well balanced the topic to point to true worshipers who are equipped with spiritual gifts for the common good and also for the works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ. This will happen when reverence of God is been removed but self-exaltation is in place. But I guess the root is that the worship has been replaced with entertainment business….interestingly I also came across this article about Tozer’s heresy of worship –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for sharing the link. Ezekiel 13 deals with false prophets who promise ‘peace’ when there is no peace. Just like our prophets today who promise business success egging on people to store up treasures that perish instead of turning them to repentance and get saved. Ezekiel chapter 14 warns us that those who seek such prophecies will also suffer same fate as the prophet.

      Liked by 2 people

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