The ministry of a "Gnostic prophet" is always characterised by mystic experiences said to be of God, with the focus on self. It is difficult for him to exercise a ministry within the confines of Scriptural revelations. The Gnostic Revelator has a freedom to minister whatever he likes, whether or not it is Scriptural. As we hear their words we shake our heads in bewilderment and disbelief wondering how it is possible to get awy with such statements as
God can fill a place with sweet smelling incense. Nothing is impossible with God. However, the presumption to say that faith was hardly needed shows that these "new" dimensions are indeed in "another realm". A realm of deception. The Bible says, Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. Nevertheless, this prophet and others like him are applauded and their messages carried in leading Christian periodicals.
Quite a number of Gnostic ministers are masquerading as true prophets of God and assuming to have a special anointing and relationship with the Spirit. Their ministries are widely recognised, respected and feared. Personal prophecies and prediction of future events are given with some measure of accuracy. They get people to believe they have great power with God and that in them dwells a quality that makes them "god-like". Control of minds and lives is gained by their feigning spirituality and assuming a "god-like" authority. To gain power, twisting Scriptures and abusing authority is of no consequence. One cruel method used is to instill fear in the hearts of those who dare to criticise or question their ministries by making harsh judgments against them. Sometimes those judgments even contain a death threat! They definitely are not prophets of the Word, nor can they be, because they put no confidence in the Written Word and its judgments.
The New Breed of arrogant apostles and prophets are known to usurp and abuse judgment over God's people. They are reported to make the Church pass under what they call the "Shepherd's Rod" of judgment. It is another divisive technique to control God's people. They say the "Shepherd Rod" is the judgment seat of Christ on the Earth by which the so-called prophets judge the Church. The idea is borrowed from Old Testament Scripture where reference is made to "The Shepherd's Rod" and "Judgments". However, the way the test is applied to the church is false. It cries out against the true interpretation of God's precious Word. This is one of the bizarre directions that Gnosticism is taking the church. The following unedited quote from one of the so-called "fallen" national prophets speaks for itself:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS (1 Timothy 4:1).
For I know this, that after my departing shall GRIEVOUS WOLVES enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29).
Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing . . . Mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of my people . . . (v.9)
Set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them . . . (v.17)
Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations; for I will deliver my people out of your hand; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. (v.23)
Jeremiah speaks for the Lord:
I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed . . . (v.25)
Behold, I am against them the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, HE SAITH. Behold I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and DO TELL THEM . . . 'YE HAVE PERVERTED THE WORDS OF THE LIVING GOD.' (vv 31,32,36)
A false prophet usually draws his inspiration from intuition, imagination and psychic thoughts. Sometimes the inspiration comes from Apocryphal or Gnostic writings. Unlike the musicians, artists and writers who take inspiration from natural innate qualities (not to be confused with the inspiration of God), the false prophet derives inspiration from demonic sources or a corrupt nature. It is a gross error to attribute God's inspiration to a subjective experience (be it passive or emotional) or to writings outside of Holy Scripture. Divine authority or inspiration does not emanate from (a) the natural or unnatural, (b) the higher self or lower self, (c) the conscious or unconscious. It comes from the infallible Word of God. "The Word" remains God's eternal inspiration. God-given inspiration must have as its source the Word of God. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit comes through the Holy Sclriptures - "The Sword of the Spirit". The true message and inspiration of a prophet of God is always undergirded with, "Thus saith the Lord", for "it is written".
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. 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 1:20,21)
Some of the so-called "prophets" promoted by national Christian magazines and the broadcasting media are being acclaimed Prophets of God. They cite their extraordinary gifts to foretell events, reveal situations, perform signs and wonders and blameless lives as proof of their God-ordained prophetic ministries. Because these prophets claim to have heard angels singing, smell the odour of incense fill a meeting and see the wind of the Spirit blow so that they could see people's hair blowing, many have taken it to mean God has approved their ministries with signs and wonders, and that God is speaking a message and trying to say something to the church. Another practice seen by many church leaders as a sign of a "true" modern prophet is his ability to allegorise current events and thereby determine what God is specifically saying to the church today. This new trend is both demonic and a delusion to seduce people away from God and His Word.
Another time we had the odour of incense fill a meeting for about fifteen minutes. It was so intense that you couldn't help but smell it. It mean, it was not one of those instances where you 'think you get a whiff', but He gave it as a witness that He was receiving the intercession from these people - the prayers and their intercession. He had said He would come with a sign; that we would smell the incense. It came so powerfully faith was hardly needed.
And we saw the wind of the Spirit blow so hard at a meeting you could see people's hair blowing!
So He is coming a whole lot more dramatically. As one brother said, 'This hardly takes any faith, it is so obvious.' But when He comes in ways like that, it is always to give a message. He is not just trying to tickle our curiosity or our interest in supernatural things, He is trying to say something to us.
For example, the sign of being slain in the Spirit is to get us to totally rest in Him. And the miracle of leg lengthenings that went through the body for so many years defined our imbalanced stand upon the two legs of grace and truth. There needed to be a readjustment in the body. [Fullness, Jan-Feb 1990, The Unfolding of a Prophet, Rick Joyner, page 13]
From the above quotes two messages come clear and loud: (a) The Church hardly needs the Holy Scriptures to perfect a man of God and thoroughly furnish him unto good works, (b) Christians hardly need faith in this new day and age.
The position taken by the prophets as well as by their followers is that a prophet must not be judged by what he says, but rather by his fruit. In other words, what a prophet says doesn't really matter. This position is both incomprehensible and satanic to say the least. What if the prophet denies that Jesus is come in the flesh (His incarnation at birth)? What if he does not speak according to God's written Word? Does that qualify him as a false prophet or a true prophet? God's answer is clearly written, "He is Anti-Christ!" Notwithstanding the ostensibly godly life of a prophet, or the signs and wonders wrought by him, the Word of God sternly warns that when the hearts of people are influenced away from God and His written Word to the voice of another god, he is a false prophet in the sight of God.
In Deuteronomy the situation is viewed in a very serious light.
For such are FALSE APOSTLES, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness. (2 Corinthians 11:13)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many FALSE PROPHETS are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:1-3).
There are those in the church who have true apostolic and prophetic ministry. This has always been recognised, although seldom have they been credentialed as such. When a person claims to be a prophet:
False prophets have a sutble way of catching sincere ignorant Christians in the web of their religious thoughts about God. They use the same ploy Satan used on Eve in the garden of Eden - the BIG LIE, "Ye shall be as gods". The essence of their appeal, although ostensibly to glorify Christ, is always self-centred. The gist of their Gnostic-spirited ministries contains the following New Wave seed thoughts plaguing the church:
God help the church to expose these false prophets before innocent souls and good Christian assemblies of God's people are further caught in the web of deception of the beguiling foe.
With reference to man's redemption, the Gnostic maintains the Holy Scriptures are not God's total revelation. He contends that real redemption can only be fully known through an inner gnosis (self-knowledge) experienced in the self-consciousness of a man. The real knowledge that matters in redemption comes from within. Reason, faith, grace and God's blood covenant (free gift) is not sufficient to save without some form of an inner illumination. The experience is seen as a first installment to a great manifestation of the divine in self. This is basically their concept of salvation.
The inner revelation knowledge of redemption assures a "Christian Gnostic" of the following: A Christian (a) is a little god, (b) is a Manifest Son of God on a par with Christ, (c) is a member of the Melchezedek order, i.e. a priest after the order of Jesus Christ, and (d) is a member of the elite (Aryan) breed of people. In essence, the Christian Gnostic is saying, "God is in you, discover him and you will experience His Presence and know you are saved" and that you, too, are a little god. Basically, this Gnostic concept is rapidly possessing a great part of Christian thinking and preaching.
According to the contents of much preaching today, salvation is perceived in terms of a subjective experience. This is stressed to such an extent that a significant number of Christians have come to think that the real knowledge of salvation lies in a personal, spiritual experience, instead of in the sole authority of God's Written Word. For precisely this reason, many Chaistians are being subjected to Gnostic thought. Multitudes are leaving "sound doctrine" and "sound mind" for experiential knowledge of present day Gnosticism.
an enemy of the cross.
For true Christians there is only one pre-eminent concept and that is the Gospel of the glory of the Cross where self and the world died. At the Cross the devil was soundly defeated.