A false prophetic word can often yield devastating consequences in the life of its recipient.
In 1 Kings 13:8-9, we read of a man of God from Judah who declined an overture of hospitality from a king following a miracle, stating, “If you give me half your kingdom, I will not go in with you; nor will I eat food or drink water in this place. For thus I was commanded by the word of the Lord: you shall not eat food or drink water, nor return by the way you came."
In verse 15, he makes an identical statement when approached by an old prophet offering him food; however, he fails to recognize the treachery of the second prophet, who in verse 18 states, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord: Bring him back with you into your house so that he may eat food and drink water." But he was deceiving him.
So, the man of God went back with the second man and ate food and drank water in his house. As they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him to the house, and he proclaimed to the man of God:
"Thus says the Lord; because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord and have not kept the commandment that the Lord your God commanded you but have come back and have eaten food and drunk water in the place of which He said to you ‘Eat no food and drink no water', your body shall not come to your ancestral tomb."
After the man of God had eaten food and drunk, the prophet saddled a donkey for him. As he went away, a lion met him on the road, killed him, and threw his body in the road. The lion and donkey stood beside the body, and people passed by and saw. And then they went and spoke what they had seen in the town where the old prophet lived. When the old prophet heard of it, he said "It is the man of God who disobeyed the word of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn and killed him according to the word that the Lord spoke to me."
The gift and utterance of prophecy is not commonplace within Catholicism, except perhaps in Charismatic circles, but it is prevalent in many non-denominational churches. It has also been subject to rampant abuse in the Body of Christ. There are a number of individuals who have designated themselves as prophets, yet in reality their demonic intent is to target certain persons in an endeavor to deter them from their ordained purpose. They will engage in what appears to be a God-bestowed relationship and their advice always seems specifically geared to the current situation at hand. Yet, in reality, their self-proclaimed gift is counterfeit with no basis in God. As with the prophet in 1 Kings 8, the acceptance of a false prophetic word can ofttimes yield devastating consequences.
I became familiar with one such person in my own life. In July 1994, which was prior to my temporary departure from Catholicism, I had attended a service at Redeeming Love Christian Center in Nanuet, New York, where I had occasion to meet Jan. A friendship developed between us, and I was amazed at how this woman consistently seemed to hear from the Lord on my behalf in an accurate manner. Although I had accepted Jesus as my Savior 10 years beforehand, it was during this season that I accelerated my pursuit of all things that pertained to God. Jan never wavered from encouragement and I felt emboldened by her counsel. By August 1995, I began to attend Redeeming Love Christian Center on a consistent basis.
Jan knew of my desire to marry, and months into the friendship, specifically on December 23, 1995, she announced that per God, I was called to be the wife of a certain gentleman at church, a man named Roland. I liked Roland, yet I was also aware that he was engaged to another. Jan replied that I was not to concern myself with that detail since the Lord already informed her that they would break up and he would soon be mine.
Although 1 John 4:1 has expressly warned us to test the spirits, to my utter detriment I did not put that into effect but instead chose to believe her, as I wanted a husband so desperately. Thus, I entered into a lengthy period of fantasy. Shortly thereafter Jan proclaimed that she was chosen by God to marry the praise and worship leader. However, the stipulation was that unless I interceded faithfully on her behalf, my own blessing would never come to fruition. Foolishly...stupidly...I asked no questions, accepted the directive, and readied myself for the task.
Months passed and our promises, allegedly from God, appeared to reach a level of stagnancy. I labored consistently on behalf of us both yet the Lord was seemingly silent on this topic. While my designated spouse, did break up with his fiancée, aside from chance encounters in the church lobby, literally nothing transpired. It was worse for Jan as her purported mate did not even acknowledge her existence. Her rage spilled forth as well as the accusations in that I was inept both as a prayer warrior and friend.
Unfortunately, another unsuspecting individual was pulled into the deceptive fray. Susan, a friend of Jan's, was older than us both and also wanted to be married, particularly to Bill, an available man at her church. One afternoon, we congregated for prayer at which time Jan joyfully declared to Susan that per God, her intended mate was Bill.
By the end of the summer, there was still no communication between Jan and her professed suitor. Roland had already moved on to another relationship and Bill, according to Susan, was indifferent. Jan's frustration seemed unrelenting and it was now expected that I spend each moment in prayer for us both. Did I not realize the dire seriousness of the situation at hand? If I neglected to bring this forth in my petitions before His throne, the consequences could be dire. My longing for a spouse was ever present and Jan's words appeared to hold what I wrongly perceived as God's authority.
Just a few weeks later, on a glorious fall morning - November 7, 1996 – I was in angst over what I perceived as my shortcomings in my role as an intercessor. As I prepared for work, with my makeup in hand, I distinctly heard the Lord say, "Your friendship with Jan is in idolatry." And literally at that precise moment, the anxiety, fear, and confusion that were so prevalent over those last several months, indisputably dissipated with His Words. I knew then, with complete clarity, that I was to sever my association with Jan.
I never did see Jan again, despite her calls and endeavors to get together which spanned over the next few weeks. "...Do you wish to meet for dinner?...Cat food is on sale...can I pick up a bag for you?" To each suggested venture, I gracefully declined. The Lord had delivered me from that abyss and I had no desire to return. Ultimately, all contact ceased, but to my detriment, I continued to embrace the fantasy of Roland. Yet God...my God...is so amazingly faithful as one morning, while I listened to a series on demonology by a popular televangelist, she emphasized that a tactic utilized by Satan was to have women believe that they were called to marry a certain man when in fact they were not. I stopped the tape...was that me?? This was now April 1998...had I embraced a lie for the last 28 months? My two close confidantes at that time insisted that those words were not relevant for my situation. Nevertheless, I was devoid of peace. That afternoon, I prayed with another friend who had also wrestled free from Jan under similar circumstances and in the midst of such, I realized with nil hesitation, that I had never been called to marry Roland. That was further evidenced when one subsequent night in church, I learned through casual conversation with an acquaintance, that Roland and his wife had relocated to Georgia. Still later, I was in contact with Susan. She remarked that Bill had moved on and that she too had severed her friendship with Jan following pronounced spiritual irregularities that she was unable to ignore.
During the same month that I was released from the deception of Roland, I joined what was then a spiritually powerful church in Brooklyn, New York. This was at the directive of my Savior who spoke to my heart versus a "God said" from another person. It was there that I met my husband and after we were married in November 2001 the Holy Spirit strongly and repeatedly imparted unto me that I would have remained single had I continued in the friendship with Jan. That of course was her primary objective under the guise of "thus says the Lord", and it most definitely would have been an issue of "you were not called to that church...that man is not for you...how could you be unfaithful to Roland?" I realize that my desperation for a spouse was the aperture which the enemy used to usher in Jan with her initial accurate counsel that was followed by havoc. Since that time, I have trusted Jesus to direct me in every regard and I am filled with gratitude that He allowed His perfect plan to be made manifest in my life. I have also thanked Him for the gift of Godly wisdom whereas now when people say, "The Lord told me to tell you...", I measure their words against His Word. Indeed, I am more than aware of the dastardly results that can come about with intentional false prophecy and deterrence of purpose.