Many of us are skeptical about anything to do with the beyond, i.e. the afterlife, the in-between, the ability to see ghosts, etc. but are so quick to give prophets our hard-earned profits; what’s that all about?
To be a prophet means to be the voice of God or any deity really and proclaim their will, so they’re not actually psychics. A psychic is a person who has abilities to see into the future, talk to the dead or know what you’re thinking.
In these dire times, we must learn to distinguish what is true and what is false, and that includes the people who seem to have your paychecks wrapped around their fingers.
According to the three major monotheistic religions, prophets are indeed real. There was Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Muhammad, and many others. But what about the prophets of today -if we can even call them that-?
I believe there’s a lot that goes on in this world that we don’t know about, the universe is one big mystery and will always remain one, however, I also believe that there is something immoral and deplorable about claiming to be the messenger of a deity and claiming you heard their call.
Many people throughout history have declared they heard God’s calling and acted on it, e.g. Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc. Teresa was riding in a train from Calcutta to the Himalayan foothills for a retreat when she said Christ spoke to her and told her to abandon teaching to work in the slums of Calcutta aiding the city’s poorest and sickest people. Joan heard the voice of God calling her to help her king in his war against the English. Not many of us can say we lead armies and won wars at the age of 18, I suppose that’s why they declared her a witch and burnt her at the stake. Men really are afraid of powerful women, aren’t they? But that’s a story for another day.
Neither of these women claimed to be prophets, but they did do great things after heeding the call. Perhaps not all prophets need to have heard some call but something needs to show that these men are in fact, doing more good than bad.
It is a fact of life that there will always arise some individuals among us who will claim to be prophets. Whether such claims are genuine or not, is another matter. Apparently, God set a litmus test for humanity to distinguish a true prophet from a false prophet. He put in place one accounting equation based on acts of prophecy.
But according to Adrian Rodgers, a Baptist pastor, here are ways to catch a false prophet:
1. Know them by their method
They “…privily shall bring in damnable heresies…And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…”(2 Peter 2:1-3)
2. Know them by their manner
And many shall follow their pernicious ways… (v. 2)
3. Know them by their motive
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…. 2 Peter 2:3
The man who charged people R25,000 to sit next to him is the same man who bought his 4-year-old daughter a Maserati and was accused of committing adultery. I’d say his method, manner and motive are pretty explicit.
How about the man who claimed he could bring Kobe Bryant -may his soul rest in peace- back to life for 10% of his net worth? Not only is it unfathomable, but it’s also ludicrous and insensitive that someone could have the audacity to make such claims so soon after his passing.
Lastly, how about the COVID-19 prophets? The men who either claimed they foresaw the spread of the virus years ago or predict it will pass on March 27th this year. With the number of cases and the death toll rising, are we really expected to believe that the virus will just disappear with the snap of a finger? Needless to say, we cannot completely dismiss the claims about the prediction of the virus, seeing as novels have been written about the spread of respiratory diseases specifically from Wuhan in China.
Whether you believe these claims or not is completely your prerogative. Albeit, do keep Exodus chapter 20 verse 7 in your thoughts should you decide to fall in step to a false prophets tune.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Frankly, I would like to say that I believe that some of today’s prophets indeed have everyone’s best interests at heart and most crucial that they really are messengers of a higher power. Nonetheless, the mannerisms and actions of some of these men and women of the cloth are proof that people of this calibre cannot be taken seriously, nor should they be idolised. Regardless of what these men with Italian leather shoes and fancy watches may say, worshipping the ground they walk on when you feel lost and in need of guidance is not going to bring you closer to God.
I would like to recommend the novel, The Shack, by William P. Young. It explores the journey of Mackenzie Phillips when he receives a letter from God, four years after the abduction and brutal murder of his youngest daughter. There’s a movie adaptation as well, which I believe portrays what the author was trying to convey effectively. I stumbled upon the novel years ago, but I believe everything happens for a reason. I was meant to read that book, perhaps you might feel the same way.
After reading the book cover to cover several times, I had a few epiphanies; one’s relationship with a higher power is just as personal as any romantic or platonic relationship one might have with another person. It is just as intimate. Which brings us to the next realisation, going to church every Sunday and confining yourself in four walls for a few hours doesn’t make you a better believer than anyone else choosing to spend their Sunday at home or elsewhere.
In addition, no one is going to bring you closer to God or any other higher power. You do that on your own. No amount of money in the world is going to land you a seat in heaven or a utopia. So I urge you to not fall for the false promises of mortals, people who bleed and hurt just like you, especially when it comes at a price that doesn’t benefit you.
Let’s do better, for the spirit and presence you seek is ubiquitous.
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