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This is a guest post from Pastor Shaun Marksbury.  He blogs over at Gospel Living.

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-1

Sometimes, it’s easy to identify the wolves in our midst. Bells and buzzers everywhere should resound if someone next Sunday says, “The gospel message has been wrong for these past two millennia, but I have the real deal.” Thank you, but I think you want the Mormon ward down the street.

Even so, when Jude talks about wolves who have sneaked into the church, doctrine is not the only test he gives. In fact, it is possible for someone to espouse correct theology while being, in fact, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just as wolves may listen to Kenneth Copeland or Joyce Meyer, they also might have the MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series on their shelves. Those will be the harder cases to identify, and Jude helps us with these, as well.

So, here are seven markers of a wolf outside of poor theology. Obviously, we’ll have some overlap here.

(more…)

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The Strange Fire Conference is going on right now which you can see livestreamed here and of course the internet is buzzing.

charismatic chaos

We will be blogging a bit on this topic the next few days and Lord willing I myself want to focus a bit on some of the problematic Charistmatic/Prosperity Gospel in the Asian scene.  My concern is primarily centered on the issue of the Gospel and the worldliness of several proponents.

In this post I want to answer the question, “Why?”

Why should our blog tackle this issue when we can just focus on apologetics and only deal with Presuppositional apologetics and be happy with our niche?

Mennoknight over at his blog probably put it better in words than I could several days ago.  Although he writes this in the context of the problem of false teaching in Africa, I think the situation applies in the Asian context or anywhere right now in the world for that matter.  MennoKnight’s point is worth an extended block quote, challenging our priorities in apologetics:

Africa is drowning in prosperity gospel heretics and signs & wonders churches; the prosperity gospel is the face of Christianity in Africa…far more than I ever anticipated before I started this research.  It’s absolutely disgusting, and the influential churches in the west need to take out the axe and start clearing up shop.

Forget the atheists.  There’s a few thousand of them and they’re not worth wasting time on.  They’ve proven to be a total waste of time, every time…

Forget 99% of Western apologetics.  Who CARES about who’s debating another biology/zoology/whatever professor turned atheist/darwinist crusader?  I’d dare suggest that the debates that need to be done have already be done fifteen times over again.  Let’s give all our apologists a holiday and send in someone who will settle the issues at hand

I say a hearty amen.

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Given that there are many who drop by this blog concerning documented false prophecies among certain circles of “prophets” and preachers, I thought I share these two blog posts that might edify the readers concerning the relevant topic and an important side issue.  They are over at Gospel Living’s Blog:

How Should We Evaluate Spiritual Experiences?

Prophecy: Are We LIstening to God’s Voices?

I think they are sane, balanced and biblical.

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INTRODUCTION

I first wrote about Jaeson Ma’s failed prophecy back in July 2011 and since then the feedback I’ve gotten over the past year have been somewhat surprising.  I started to notice that some of the objections people had were being repeated again and again so I wrote A SPECIFIC ENTRY  addressing them because, as I stated earlier, it would provide

an easy way to offer a link for the frequently brought up objections defending Ma, so that I don’t have to keep on writing them again and again,

Under that entry, I recently received an usually long comment (21 paragraphs of 1,844 words) from someone using the handle “Brother” that objected to my claim of Jaeson Ma being a false prophet.  Realizing that it would take a while to respond, I decided to put that comment on hold and pending for approval so as to avoid perpetrating theological confusion left unanswered while I was busy.  That was on May 16th.  I admit, I have been slow in my response.  So on June 6th, I got this second comment from “Brother”:

Hey bud,

It looks like my post is missing. I think it would speak a lot to your integrity to post a reply soon. It would also say a lot if you didn’t.

Cheers

Again, I have to admit I should have responded earlier.  For that I am sorry.  With all the hub of activity in my personal/work life and the buzz on Veritas Domain the last few weeks (election, apologetics, questions, other objections on other issues), I’ve pretty much forgotten about the whole matter.  Seeing that “Brother” has made the whole affair a question of my integrity, the following is my response to the issues he’s raised.  I do think it is ironic that a slow response to “Brother” has become an issue of my integrity while someone uttering a false prophecy our “Brother” here believes should be granted immunity from their character and integrity being questioned.  I will be addressing “Brother” directly in my response (hence the “you” in the response, though I’m not necessarily talking about “you” the reader).

RESPONSES

1.) “I’d like to suggest that you’ve misunderstood the situation because your understanding of NT prophets is incorrect.”

Concerning a misunderstanding of NT prophecy, I honestly think the situation is really the other way around, but more on that later.

2.) “Due to this misunderstanding, you’ve mistakenly attributed this situation to someone’s poor character rather than what I believe it really is, a maturing and (perhaps at times overly)dramatic personality.”

First off, just so I know and to ensure that we are on the same page, I wonder what specifically are the “poor character” that I attribute to Jaeson Ma concerning his false prophecy.  I think the burden of proof is on you to document and cite what “poor character” that I have attributed to Jaeson Ma AS THE CAUSE of his fail prediction.  I’m afraid that your charge against me might be too general and one can easily read into this that you are accusing me of Ad Hominem fallacies.  Secondly, I don’t think my primary focus has been on Jaeson Ma’s poor character but rather it has been about the false prophecies Jaeson Ma made and the subsequent approach towards his ministry in light of it.  Thirdly, if it’s wrong to attribute Ma’s prophecy about the Tsunami hitting LA as an issue of “poor character” (to use your words), are you not doing the same thing when you stated that you ” believe it really is, a maturing and (perhaps at times overly)dramatic personality,” and later below say that it’s an issue for need of sanctification on Jaeson Ma’s part?  To say that the prediction is an issue of overly dramatic personality is to say something about someone’s character.  I think you are guilty of the same thing you are accusing me of if I understood your statements here correctly.

3.) “I’ve been a missionary in Asia for most of the last 8 years, the majority of which has been in a “Creative-Access-Nation” that is hostile to missionaries.”

Praise the Lord.

4.) “Although I’ve not met Jaeson, we have many of the same friends and run in similar circles (college students / 1040 missions / tentmaking / Asia / Asian-American / etc). I have only heard reports and seen evidence that he is a faithful brother, although like all of us he isn’t perfect and of course he is not above making potentially big mistakes one day (all the more reason to pray for him).”

I think I can imagine what those evidences are, which are probably the same ones that makes me want to believe that Jaeson Ma is still a saved brother in Christ.  However, where I disagree with you is that while you believe Ma has yet to make a big mistake one day (we all can I might add), I believe that he has already made a serious error already when he made the prediction that Los Angeles will be hit by a large Tsunami.  If Scripture is to inform us and shape our paradigm in understanding the nature of prophecies, surely Ma did not just make a small mistake, but have made a false prophecy that he attributes as coming from the LORD.  That’s not just some small “mistake.”

5.) “My personality and approach in ministry is rather low-key (I guess you have to be that way to last in a creative-access-country), so I tend to be a bit uncomfortable with artists and high-profile ministry. I think artists are a puzzling group to work with and sometimes I feel they come across as a bit too extreme. But, then again, maybe that’s why they grab our attention and inspire us to a higher level of beauty and excellence.”

Again, going back to my response #2, are you not inconsistent to describe him as being high profile and “bit too extreme”?  I suspect how you defend yourself will be the same way I defend myself from your charges against me.

6.) “I also think that my experience of the prophetic (usually dreams, though maybe a vision here or there) is that these things happen more often when you are opening new beachheads to the gospel among people groups where there is generational demon worship, etc.”

First off, I’m always concern when people invoke their personal experiences and anecdotes as a defense concerning their view of God, His works and other theological matters.  Let’s stick to the Bible and what can be properly deduced from it.  Secondly, where does Scripture teaches that prophecy “happen more often when you are opening new beachheads to the gospel among people groups where there is generational demon worship, etc”?  I’m open to this view, but I don’t think it enjoy much Scriptural support that this is the norm.  But this is not the crux of the issue with Ma’s false prophecy.  Thirdly, if we assume for the argument that your statement here is true, that the prophetic does occur among “new beachheads to the gospel,” how is this an argument to vindicate Jaeson Ma’s prediction?  You would acknowledge my point here in light of the comment #7 that Ma’s setting is not a new beach head ministry for the gospel when he made his prophetic claims.  The situation that Jaeson Ma made his predictions is different than a setting for a new beach head for the gospel.  No matter the way you look at it, what you have stated here is irrelevant to the issue of whether or not Jaeson Ma made a false prophecy.

7.) “So, I really don’t expect most people in America to have much experience with this even though we all have the HS and 1 Corinthians 14 exhorts us to especially pursue developing our prophetic gifting. It’s understandable that this would be an area where the US Church has a lot of disagreements because the environment doesn’t often force one to make use of it. You definitely don’t have these discussions in the hills of Thailand and Burma!”

What you have to say here does not support Jaeson Ma’s defense since it does more to make the prophetic irrelevant in America.  Speaking of the United States and prophetic gifts, you said “the environment doesn’t often force one to make use of it,” though apparently according to your own words it probably does in Thailand and Burma.  Again, per #6, I’m cautious when people defend a theological position with stories.  Even if the prophetic does happen in South East Asia,  remember Jaeson Ma was not making these predictions in South East Asia to South East Asians but in a land where the enviornment does not compel the use of the prophetic gift (your own admission).

8.) “But another point is that, just like the other gifts, dreams/visions can be confusing at first and you have to pray a lot and share with accountability partners to get a clear understanding of what they probably mean. Even then, I don’t really know for sure what the dream/vision means until after the thing occurs. Often I will be accurate on some core points but they come about in a way that is kind of different from what I expected. For example, I had a dream in 2008 of a girl coming to Christ at a Chinese orphanage the night before I led a team there to share for a week. I wrote the dream down and it left me feeling a bit confused so I put it out of my mind and set my focus on our work there. The last night of the camp a girl came to know JC and I stumbled across my journal, in which the exact conditions of the dream were met with this person and how she came to faith. After the fact it all made sense, but beforehand I kind of put it out of my mind because I didn’t really know what to make of it. I feel like this kind of thing is pretty common, actually.”

Again, I’m not a fan of “he said..she said.”  Taking your words at face value, your account demonstrate more of the point that we are not able to fully understand prophecy entirely before it’s fulfillment but that’s a far cry with the issue at hand of whether a prophecy from the God of the Bible can fail.  It does not contribute anything really to this discussion about whether or not Jaeson Ma was or was not a false prophet.

9.) “I’m just saying that clear prophetic interpretations aren’t immediately obvious and interpretations are influenced by the person’s other faculties, especially with dreams/visions.”

See again #8.  Again, to  say that  a prophecy from God might not be immediately obvious is not addressing the same subject matter as a failed prediction.

10.) “I think Wayne Grudem (author of Systematic Theology) writes well on the Biblical basis for this understanding of NT prophecy and I encourage you to check it out.”

THank you for the reference to Grudem, though this is an area I disagree with him on.  I don’t want to go on a rabbit trail, so I’ll leave it at that unless you want to pursue this a little more.

11.) “To your points: I’d like to raise issue with Objection 1 and Objection 2. Objection 1- False prophets are defined, according to Matthew 7, as those who engage in lots of evil behavior and we are exhorted to watch their lives closely.”

First off, while Matthew 7 does gives us characteristics of false prophets we must not look at Matthew 7 in a vacuum and divorce it from the context of biblical theology (and by that I mean taking into account chronologically prior Scriptural truths that Matthew 7 builds upon in light of progressive revelation).  In terms of what false prophets are, we must take into account antecedent theology, that is, what does previous revelation informs and shape our understanding of what a prophet and the subset, a false prophet, is.  One must not engage Matthew 7 without consideration of other previous revelation from God’s Word.  We must synthesize the Biblical data rather than become reductionistic.  Otherwise, we would think a false prophet is someone who does a lot of bad behavior, something your comments seem to be leaning towards.  Secondly, Matthew 7 does not define false prophets “as those who engage in lots of evil behavior,” with my contention that “lots” or other similar terms such as “many” are not in the text of Matthew 7:15-23 (the portion discussing false prophets).

12.) “If we watch closely, we will be able to identify them because they will only be able to bear evil behavior/fruit. In Jaeson’s case, the only evil behavior you have brought against him is that this vision hasn’t yet come about in the way you expected it to come about.”

Again, per #11, there is a complex fallacy here in which your presuppositions are off in that you expect a false prophet will have “lots” of bad behavior in order to be a false prophet.  To reiterate again for emphasis, I think you have a reductionistic tendency of failing to account for other passages that talks about prophecy.  In addition, I think your statement is inaccurate that the charge I “brought against him is that this vision hasn’t yet come about in the way you expected it to come about.”  My charge that Jaeson Ma made a false prophecy is not about “the way I expected it coming about,” as it is more about the way Jaeson Ma himself, his followers and his associates understood the way the prophecy is supposed to come about (see my original post, in which I discussed about how his circle according to Jaeson Ma himself understood it literally, and explain why they stock things up and sold their homes, etc).  I’m noting a failed prediction according to how they understood the predictions, not my wrangling with their words to fit my expectations brother!

13.) “Remember, verse 18 says that a bad tree CANNOT bear good fruit and verse 20 says by your fruits you will recognize them. If this accusation is to hold water then the passage says he CANNOT bear good fruit. Instead, you’ve conceded the testimony of others that he has borne a lot of truly good fruit and this one questionable thing.”

First off, it’s a tricky thing to understand what constitute “fruit” and in my opinion I believe your understanding of it does not take into account the fuller context of Matthew 7:15-23.  Will you say casting out demons, performing many miracles and prophesying, if it’s done under Jesus’ name are indications of “fruits”?  I suspect you would say yes, yet Jesus goes on within Matthew 7 in the immediate context of verse 22 these frightening words of Jesus, ” Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’”  Note the consequences in verse 23, and Jesus’ own pronouncement in that verse to those who supposedly had “fruit”:  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”  Jesus Himself as the righteous Judge declare indicatively that they practice lawlessness which we would probably agree are bad fruits.  What the Lord of Truth Himself omitted in verse 23 is also telling: He never denied them having done those positive deeds, so we have no grounds to say that they did not have any positive deeds.  I think the reason why Jesus said what He said in verses 21-23 is to avoid His hearers from assuming a simplistic understanding of good fruit as just any good old deeds will do, and that if a false prophet comes and do and say some positive things, then therefore everything must be okay.  The reason why I say knowing the fruit is tricky is because the motives for why people do good things can also be further complicated by bad motives, and we all know that people can have good behavior fueled by bad motives.  It is true that verse 20 says by your fruits you will recognize them, I would admit that.  This seems to be important enough that the concept has been repeated twice, with the first instance in verse 16: “You will [k] know them by their fruits.”  If this concept of “you will know them by their fruit” is repeated twice, then there is something with this literary device of repetition that Matthew is employing for emphasis.  But note that this doublet of “You will know them by their fruits” is embedded in the context of talking about false prophets (cf. v. 15).  I know that in this age of political correctness and sensitivity of being negative it might sound wrong, but the way we are to identify false prophets is not by looking for good fruits, but of any hints and indication of bad fruits being present in the prophet’s life and ministry.  Why?  The first reason to me is that in the very beginning of this periscope, Jesus makes it real clear that false prophets will be deceptive so that Jesus even had to command ““Beware of the false prophets,” while describing them in the second clause as one “who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  If false prophets could come deceptively with some positive signs of being in the fold, the implication here is that the evidential weigh of bad fruits outweigh the contrary, since false prophets could be faking it outwardly.  The second reason why I believe it is appropriate to interpret this “watching for the fruits” as referring to keeping an eye out for negative fruits is because even false heathen prophets can do good deed here and there, and prophetic cult leaders as well, so surely it’s not just positive deed that we are looking for.  If you would deny this point, would you be consistent in saying that those class of prophets are not false prophets on the basis of some positive deeds?  I will think more highly of you brother, and believe you will say “May it never be!”  Yet, the very same arguments you give in your observation of Matthew 7 can also be applied in defense of established false prophets.  Thirdly, the gist of Matthew 7 is not to be comfortable with a few evidences of good deeds here and there and be comfortable while there’s an obvious sin; rather the text’s main idea is to err on the side of caution and I think we must do the same with the Ma situation.  To say that I admit Jaeson Ma have done some positive things for the Lord is not the type of concession that gets Jaeson Ma off the hook in light of my explanation of the text here.

14.) ‘I don’t think NT prophesy and OT prophesy are identical as I explain later, so I don’t think this one point qualifies as evil behavior.”

Will deal with that below then when it comes up =)

15.) “Maybe Jaeson doesn’t agree with my understanding of NT prophesy and believes his pronouncement to be infallible, literal and bound to happen before, say 2011. In that case I imagine he would feel pretty conflicted right now.”

All the rhetorics and argument aside, I’ve just prayed for him right now, since I still want to think better of him as a believer, and can’t imagine how he feels.  More importantly, I think it’s important that he repents and publicly confess this public sin of saying the Lord spoke something that He did not.

16.) “But, because Jesus says a good tree’s fruit is all good and a bad tree’s fruit is all bad, then I would still attribute that to incomplete doctrine on this one point, rather than a sweeping character problem.”

I think I’ve preemptively responded to this point in #13 brother.  I don’t think I’ve ever made a “sweeping character problem” charge against Jaeson Ma.    You have to stop putting words in my mouth.  At the same time, I can see how in light of Matthew 7, one might be and probably should be cautious with Ma’s character overall in light of this situation.

17.) “As a side note, alternative interpretations abound: if all the LA believers were to have sold their houses in 2006 (as some did when they took these prophesies seriously) they would have fared quite well amidst the financial tsunami of 08-09 that wiped out huge stores of wealth, devastated the livelihood of tens of thousands, and swept away entire branches of the entertainment industry that defines the city.”

How would L.A. believers selling their homes in 2006 would have made them fared well in the financial crisis that followed?  It does not necessarily follow.  For instance, you can sell your homes and made a profit in 2006 but still be out of a job later in 2008-2009.  More importantly, this was not the interpretation Jaeson Ma understood of it so it’s irrelevant.

18.) “If we look closer at the passage, I believe Jesus was speaking into a context of a religious authority that used shows of devotion as a way to perpetrate injustice in the name of God.”

And in light of the fact that false religious authorities would no doubt fake good deeds as “shows of devotion,” your admission here does further reinforce my point in #13.

19.) Jesus was effectively distinguishing himself from the false prophets that filled the various religious orders of his day and inviting others to closely examine his own life to become convinced that His teaching was from God, not the enemy.”

First off, don’t forget that this examination was largely for bad fruits in light of my case made in #13.  Secondly, the passage itself in Matthew 7 never made such an invitation to people to compare Him with other false prophets since His claims in Matthew 7 was more than that of a prophet but the One who will SINGLEHANDEDLY judge all other false prophets (cf. 7:23); though I suppose I’ll let that point go since this text on testing a false prophet would still apply to Jesus and one we as believers know that He passes.  Which leads to my third point: Would it have been okay for Jesus to have made false predictions as a prophet, as one who is the first Prophet of the NEW TESTAMENT (seeing you believe NT prophets can be fallible)?  How convincing of a proof of a prophet would you think Jesus made if Christianity says one can err in prophetic utterances?  And how does it fare against your view that there’s a radical difference between OT and NT prophets, with the fact that Jesus as the epitome of an NT prophet Himself prophetically declares and reinforces the continuity of the OT to the NT in Matthew 5:17, ““Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished”?

20.) “The reason his listeners were to be so careful in paying attention to all the fruit in a person’s life was that the wolves Jesus was distinguishing himself from populated most of the religious order of the day and were therefore steeped in seemingly good works, which, upon closer examination, were ALL entirely corrupt.  None of those leaders bore any truly good fruit and Jesus told the audience that if they looked closely then they would be able to clearly see that fact.”

Of course, at the heart of their good fruits so called were wrong motives.  As I stated earlier, do not commit the reductionistic fallacy of assuming that a false prophet only means they one who does corrupt deeds: don’t forget that a false prophet, among other things, is in essence, one who makes false prophecies.

21.) “The sanctification process means that we will be more conformed to the image of Christ over time but that will be mixed with deeper awareness of the sinfulness of our flesh and the limits of our finite faculties (among which is my mental capacity and the natural blind spots of my personality).”

Amen.  But the process of sanctification does not excuse the making of a false predictions as “ok.”  I find it painfully ironic that you keep on making a big deal that I have something negative to say about Jaeson Ma’s moral character, yet you also see this failed prediction as the result of a moral flaw when you bring up the issue of Jaeson Ma’s sanctificaton as the deficiency behind the false prophecy.

22.) “Given the larger context of a faithful ministry, isn’t it less presumptuous for us to interpret miscommunication in these visions to an area of this brother that is still maturing in knowledge and sanctification, rather than suggest his entire life and ministry is corrupt?”

First off, a false prophecy is not just a “miscommunication.”  It’s not just a random thing that happens.  Apparently God took it seriously enough and at one time invoke a death penalty for it.  Secondly, cite and hyperlink where I said that Jaeson Ma’s entire life and ministry is corrupt.  I would like to think that it’s your own misreading of what I wrote that makes you think this, but it’s getting kind of harder and harder for me to think this seeing how you make these large assertions again and again.  It’s not true.  I think it would speak a lot to your integrity to retract that. It would also say a lot if you didn’t.

23.) “Matthew 7 says it’s either one or the other when it comes to false prophets, so you have to go all in to advocate for one of those explanations. Remember, though, this is our brother we’re talking about!”

See response #13.  Responding to your comments thus far, I’m surprise that the issue at hand is altogether missing: If Jaeson Ma did make a false prophecy, what does that make him?  A false prophet.  I do think there’s sloppy reasoning going on here, that if you someone claims to be a brother, therefore that person can not be a false prophet.

24.) “Be careful, because we are exhorted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 4 not to judge a fellow servant of God since God alone will bring to light the hidden secrets of the heart during the final judgement.”

First off, I think your point is an improper extrapolation from 1 Corinthians 4.  Just because God will ultimate judge the hidden secrets of the heart during the final judgment of His servants does not mean Christians can not practice discernment and test/examine those who prophecy.  Apparently, after the previous verse talked about prophecies, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 states, “ But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.”  Note that in the Greek, the verb “examine” is an imperative, showing that believers have such an obligation.  The Greek root of this verb, δοκιμαζω, has the idea of testing and examination with care (see Hiebert’s classic commentary on this, page 247), and it turns out that it’s a favorite verb of Paul, where 17 of the 23 times it appears in the New Testament occurs in Pauline epistles.  The tense of the verb in 1 Thess. 5:21 makes it clear that this command is for the believers to continuously and habitually put this in practice.  After testing a prophet and their prophetic utterances, it’s not unbiblical to rule things as either good (which presupposes it’s true, since the adjective good here in verse 21 is καλον, and means what is intrinstically good rather than just pragmatically beneficial) or evil (this word in verse 22 is in juxtaposition with “good” of verse 21, and one can assume that it’s would include what’s false on this basis and for the second reason that lexically, the word “evil” here has to do with that which is destructive, injurious and evil in its effects, and one can see the bad undesirable effects of false prophecy on people’s trust in God, etc).  Secondly,  since we are “not to judge a fellow servant of God since God alone will bring to light the hidden secrets of the heart during the final judgement,” what are you doing here then?  It seems rather inconsistent.  Thirdly, if God is the one who truly judges the secrets of our hearts, can we be so conclusive as to say that everything is alright with Jaeson Ma in light of his false prediction and the paradigm of Matthew 7 as I outlined in #13?

25.) “Objection 2 – I was interested by your use of 2 Peter 1 because I think that it actually advances the opposite of what you’ve taken it to mean.
2 Peter 1:18-21–Which you understood to mean:“to say that a true prophet of God can misinterpret the true prophecy God has given Him is impossible”  But actually in this passage Peter’s point is that his personal revelation of seeing Christ baptized and hearing the Father’s approval, as well of his revelation of those words again on the mount of transfiguration, are both less reliable than the prophecies we find in Scripture.”

First off, do you agree that a true prophet of God cannot misinterpret the prophecy that God has given Him?  If not, I would like a chapter and verse from Scripture for how you justify that.  Secondly, if one were to extrapolate from 2 Peter 1:18-21 that there exists a hierarchy of certainty and reliability of the Scripture over extra-biblical prophecies/revelation, it does not follow that just becausethere is room for something to be less certain that a false prediction is now permitted.  We need to be careful not to confuse epistemological certainty with whether something is true or false.  To do so is to commit a categorical fallacy.

26.) “Peter spends the first half of this chapter making an important point. He is emphasizing the centrality of Scripture’s promises as the key to understanding a true knowledge of Him unlocking power in the Christian life to be transformed into a state of godliness, thereby escaping the corruption of the world by lust.  He then cites the excellence of his own visions/experiences and says that they are still open to interpretation and relatively unreliable when contrasted with Scripture, which did not come about through man’s interpretation.”

First off, in 2 Peter 1, Peter did not say “his own visions/experiences and says that they are still open to interpretation.”  The only time he mentioned “interpretation” in chapter 1, was in verse 20 and that was to say that the prophecy of Scripture was not a matter of subjective interpretation.  You have no basis to assert that.  Secondly, I don’t see support for your langauge that Peter’s revelatory experiences from God was “relatively unreliable when contrasted with Scripture.”  What I see is that in Peter’s description of his instance of NT revelatory experiences was one of strong certainty: note Peter’s description that “did not follow cleverly devised tales” in verse 16, his invocation of legal testimony language in verse 17 when he said, “we were eyewitness.”  Granting that there exists hierarchy of certainty, one cannot deduce from this to say that this passage teach Peter’s extrabiblical revelation was “relatively unreliable.”  There is no room here to support your view of NT prophecies.

27.) “You see, the point is that even Peter’s spectacular visions WERE STILL a matter of interpretation, yet the prophecies *of Scripture* are in no way a matter of interpretation.”

Again, Peter did not say his interpretation were still a matter of interpretation.  And 1 Peter 1:18-21 certainly does not say it’s okay for it to be a matter of wrong interpretation to such an extent that it’s even okay if it failed from being fulfilled.

28.) “It is into this context of prophetic gifting that Paul exhorts his church in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, “do not despise prophetic utterances, but test every one and hold onto the good ones”. Scripture is the infallible sieve through which we sift the messy prophecies of a growing, fallible Church.”

I’ve offered my exegetical comment earlier concerning 1 Thess. 5.   Scripture is indeed the “infallible sieve through which we sift ” prophecies.  Don’t forget 2 Timothy 3:16-17, ” All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  We use Scripture for teaching, reproof and correction.  Note how 2 Timothy 3:16 states that all Scriptures is useful in that regards, so I think it’s appropriate to bring Deuteronomy 18 to bear as well, something that you omitted, and should not have given that I believe your case for the discontinuity between OT and NT prophecies have been weak and not compelling.

29.) “My charge to you: If, as you say, a modern prophet is one who simply interprets Scripture, then the equivalent of a modern false prophet would actually be one who misinterprets Scripture, and in effect misattributes the authority of God’s Scripture to the opinions of the speaker. If we are to deal with this kind of person according to the OT protocol, then he or she should be taken outside the camp (whatever that is now) and stoned to death.”

Why do you keep putting words into my mouth?  I have never said that “a modern prophet is one who simply interprets Scripture” (if you disagree, please quote me by cutting and pasting, and hyperlink where did I ever say this).  Since I’ve never said such a thing about modern prophets, everything else that follows in your comment being upon this premise commits a straw man fallacy.

30.) “Are you willing to advocate this sort of treatment for those who misquote Scripture, or do you cede that your understanding of prophecy in the modern context is incomplete? If it is the former, then let’s evaluate the Matthew 7 and 2 Peter 1:20-21 passages to determine which one of us should die. If it’s the latter, then I believe we can give our brother Jaeson the benefit of the doubt and redouble our prayers for him.”

Again, straw man fallacy, see comment #29.  Furthermore, there’s a false dilemma fallacy embedded in your comment here: I reject advocating that sort of treatment towards those who misquote the Bible, but that does not necessarily mean that I have to cede my understanding of prophecy as being incomplete!  I think I have given Jaeson Ma as much charity as I can here, and I only wish that Christians can do the same here.

31.) “I really appreciate your call to hold Scripture in high regard and encourage the Church to “test every prophetic utterance, holding onto the good” as well as to “search the Scriptures daily” like the Bereans.”

Great.

32.) “Let’s also be careful that we don’t let what was true of Paul become true of our brother: “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.” 2Tim4:16”

I think this is yet again another (and hopefully final) verse abuse and cannot be use to compare Jaeson Ma with the Apostle Paul here.  First off, if I’m not mistaken I counted 13 unique I.P address that have commented here on Veritas Domain over the past year either defending Ma, or saying still something positive about him.  The martyrdom complex and the victim’s card is inappropriate here!  Secondly, even outside of the comments here, Jaeson Ma has a lot of fans and supporters so I don’t know how this passage is applicable to our situation in the greater context of Ma’s larger ministry.  Thirdly,if this is the Apostle Paul we are talking about, he’s also the same man who wrote Galatians 2, that when Peter was wrong and hypocritical, Paul opposed him and even wrote a letter about him.  Thus, the issue is whether or not Jaeson Ma has made a serious offense with a false prophecy.  Paul was in need of defense not because of something wrong, whereas I would say otherwise in the case of Ma.  Fourthly, I presume you cite this passage with the assumption that I have wronged Ma.  I don’t think anyone can get a verse to show that documenting a failed prediction is a sin, do you?

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Back in July 2011, I wrote a post here on Veritas Domain on a “prophecy” that Asian preacher and prophet Jaeson Ma wrote back in 2006 ,that has been receiving a lot of attention and comments.  Most of the comments on that page has been offering up defenses for Jaeson Ma, and some of these objections are frequently brought up again and again.  The most recent one was by a brother in Christ name Kells, and I thought his concern was typical of the comments I have been getting and for the purpose of this post I  reproduce it in full here:

Doesn’t the Bible (in the NEW testament) also say you will know a false prophet by his fruit (Matthew 7:15-23)? I think Jaeson Ma genuinely believed he received a dire message from God. Perhaps he simply misinterpreted- it happens. If this is a singular, isolated occurrence, I don’t think it’s fair to put that label on him. One mistake versus years of work in the ministry, leading countless people to peace, fulfillment, and happiness in the salvation of Jesus Christ? Do you really think in GOD’S eyes he is a false prophet for this? A false prophet is a liar and a deceiver. Would you agree he is these things too? You are certainly allowed your opinion and I don’t know the guy but to jump to such a conclusion sets an unhealthy precedent for less mature believers and sets the unattainable standard that Christians must always be right about everything or they are “false prophets.” Furthermore, isn’t the whole point of this type of “prophecy” to get the people in that community to repent of their sins so that the proclaimed judgment could be avoided? Jonah proclaimed judgment on Nineveh. A judgment that never came to pass (because the people REPENTED). By your standard, that makes him a false prophet. Nobody can make anything happen, all we can do is try to be obedient to God to the best of our ability. You almost sound angry that it DIDN’T happen. For whatever reason, Jaeson was wrong (unless it’s yet to happen) and I for one am glad he was!

Now what follows is not a personal attack Kells, but rather I wish to address the issues that he has brought up and my concern for them that they are unbiblical in nature or even self-refuting, etc.  I thought I make this post as an easy way to offer a link for the frequently brought up objections defending Ma, so that I don’t have to keep on writing them again and again, using Kells’ comment in particular.

I hope that people will read this with consideration of the Word of God and not just subjective feelings masked under the guise, “The Spirit tells me otherwise…”  I think the general attitude of some who goes by their feelings and confusing that with the Word of the Lord is what has gotten Jaeson Ma in trouble in the first place!  As Christians, we are to tests things with the Bible as the Word of God and go by the what the Scriptures say rather than a preacher or someone who claims to be a prophet.  To be honest I am somewhat sadden the extent people will go in defending the reputation of a man rather than the reputation of God who have been suggested by Ma as saying something when He did not.

I do hope that supporters of Jaeson Ma read what I have to say in a better light rather than question my motive and say that I am mean spirited, that I wish for Ma to fail or something like that.

Objection #1: Jaeson Ma is not a  false prophet in light of Matthew 7:15-23.

Stated:Doesn’t the Bible (in the NEW testament) also say you will know a false prophet by his fruit (Matthew 7:15-23)? “

Response: The Bible in Matthew 7:15-23 does talk about a false prophet being known by their fruit.  For context, I think it’s appropriate to quote Matthew 7:15-23 in it’s entirety:

    15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will [a]know them by their fruits. [b]Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will [c]know them by their fruits.

   21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [d]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Note that this passage also makes it clear that false prophets might not be as obvious as some people think, for some are even pretending to be a believer of God (“sheep”) when really they are not, per Matthew 7:15.

Readers must also realize that Matthew 7 is not the only place God’s Word talks about false prophet; we must consider other passages as well.  How do we distinguish between false and true prophets?  What are the “fruits” that one can identify so as to know whether or not someone is a false prophet?  I think Deuteronomy 18:21-22 addresses the epistemological concern more directly with the first question of how we will know a prophet has spoken the Word of the LORD:

You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’  When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the things does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken.  The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

Thus, one of the fruits of a false prophet is this: If a prophet makes a prophecy that did not come about, Deuteronomy 18:21-22 makes it clear that such a person is not speaking on behalf of the Lord.

Objection #2: Jaeson Ma “only just” misinterpreted his prophecy from God.

Stated:I think Jaeson Ma genuinely believed he received a dire message from God. Perhaps he simply misinterpreted- it happens.”

Response: First off, concerning the first sentence, just because someone thinks they received a message from God does not mean it’s really a message from God.  Secondly, even if we were to grant that Jaeson Ma genuinely believed he received a prophecy from the Lord, he could also be genuinely mistaken since unfortunately sincerity is not the standard for truth.  Thirdly, a biblical perspective concerning God’s true prophets (as opposed to someone who claims to speak on behalf of God but isn’t) is that a true prophet will not misinterpret his own prophecy; to say that misinterpretation of true prophecy from God by true prophets of God is to bend the meaning of “true” in true prophets, and what is “false” about false prophets.  In addition, to say that a true prophet of God can misinterpret the true prophecy God has given Him is impossible, and is slanderous against the Holy Spirit, since a true prophet will have a true and accurate interpretation of the prophetic materials he has recieved since the Holy Spirit will ensure this to be the case as 2 Peter 1:20-21 demonstrates:

20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Note what has been stated above.  I wonder if Christians would accept this kind of argument, that a false prediction “is not really false but just mistaken” if someone like Harold Camping (who predicted May 21st 2011 was the end of the world) would have said it, etc.  The practice of saying a prophet of God can make a mistake in interpreting it’s meaning does not have any biblical support.

Objection #3: Jaeson Ma only made one false prophecy, therefore it’s not fair to call him a false prophet.

Stated:If this is a singular, isolated occurrence, I don’t think it’s fair to put that label on him.”

Response: Even if Jaeson Ma made one false prophecy, I think it does qualify him as a false prophet, just as someone is a murderer even if that person only murder one, or a rapist if he raped one person, etc.  If one were to say that making one false prophecy is not in the same heinous bad category as rape and murder where one is warranted being labeled as a doer of those things even if it happened once, I think that individual needs to revisit the Word of God and see how seriously the LORD takes the sin of falsely presuming the LORD has spoken when HE has not, for such an offense at one point in redemptive history even carry the weight of capital punishment.  I think the greater issue should not be that I “put a label” on Jaeson Ma as a false prophet, but whether or not Jaeson Ma’s prophecy really is from the Lord, and if it’s not then…the one issuing those words is not a true prophet of God, but a false one.

Moreover, I think if one were to do a search here on this blog on Veritas Domain, one would realize that it’s not true that Jaeson Ma and his friends have just made one prophecy…he and those whom he associate with seem to have a habit of being interested in “prophecies” that does not come from Scripture, “prophecies” that are either downright false or highly questionable as coming from the LORD.

Objection #4: Jaeson Ma is not a  false prophet in light of Matthew 7:15-23 PART II.

Stated:Doesn’t the Bible (in the NEW testament) also say you will know a false prophet by his fruit (Matthew 7:15-23)? …One mistake versus years of work in the ministry, leading countless people to peace, fulfillment, and happiness in the salvation of Jesus Christ? Do you really think in GOD’S eyes he is a false prophet for this?  A false prophet is a liar and a deceiver. Would you agree he is these things too?”

Response: Again, let’s look at Matthew 7:15-23 in it’s entirety:

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will [a]know them by their fruits. [b]Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will [c]know them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [d]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Kells here admits that Jaeson Ma has made a “mistake,” but I think that when the LORD speaks it is clear and there is no doubt about it, which is the precedence taught in Scripture.  One must ask the awkward question then of how would anyone mistaken the Lord speaking something when He did not, especially when it was not from Scripture.  That is quite an arrogant and a lying thing to do, to claim that God is saying something to you when He did not.  So I do not have a problem with calling Jaeson Ma a liar when it comes to his prophecy (of course,  Jaeson Ma can and  has told things that are true outside the realm of prophecy).  Our brother Kells asks the rhetorical question that Jaeson Ma cannot be a false prophet, since  how can one mistake go against Jaeson Ma’s“years of work in the ministry, leading countless people to peace, fulfillment, and happiness in the salvation of Jesus Christ?”  And the scary thing is that Matthew 7 directly tells us that false prophets can do those things that Jaeson Ma does.  Look at verse 22: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [d]miracles?”  And the most frightening passage in all of Scripture follows in verse 23.  The implication from Matthew 7 turns out not to be a defense for Jaeson, but one that should make us truly frightened for any one who claims to do great miraculous things for God and speak presumptuously as a false prophet; Matthew 7 should make us concern of whether or not one who makes false prophecy about the LORD is self-deceiving themselves in regards to whether or not they truly are believers.

Objection #5: Exposing Jaeson Ma sets unhealthy precedence for less mature believers.

Stated:You are certainly allowed your opinion and I don’t know the guy but to jump to such a conclusion sets an unhealthy precedent for less mature believers and sets the unattainable standard that Christians must always be right about everything or they are “false prophets.”

Response: First off, I think there’s a caricature that I believe “Christians must always be right about everything or they are “false prophets.”  Nowhere did I ever suggests that if a Christian errs on something, they are then false prophets!  Rather, a person is a false prophet only if they claim to speak for the Lord something outside of the Bible and it’s not from the Lord, and it does not come to pass.  Also, nowhere did I  claim that Christians per se must be always right about everything.  However, that does not mean people claiming prophecies are then off the hook.  I hope it’s evident from the Scriptures cited earlier that Bible demands that those who make prophetic utterances to be 100 percent accurate, and that’s what I’m concern with in my original post.  I do not think I am jumping to conclusion prematurely about Jaeson Ma’s prediction, for even Kells agree with me that Ma is in error.

Secondly, I also think this objection also suffer from the additional problem that while Christian can and do err, that does not mean it’s wrong to point out error.  That is, it’s not altogether wrong either for Christians to point them out to one another.  Even the Apostle Paul dared to point out the hypocritical behavior that does not match up to the preaching of the Apostle Peter, as readers of Galatians 2:11-21 will recall.  And Peter was an Apostle, how much less will the rest of us claim a status of being immune from criticism!  Lest someone misapply Galatians 2:11-21 to defend that a prophet can err in their prophecies, Galatians 2:11 was about the Apostle Peter’s hypocritical action, not his utterances of the Word of God since it’s more about Peter not living up to what He knows and revelation of the Lord to him such as recorded in Acts 10.

Thirdly, in regards to the issue that what have been written exposing Jaeson might set an unhealthy precedence for less mature believers, I think the greatest threat with the whole discussion about Jaeson Ma is not the practice of Christian discernment and the exposure of error (for the epistles in the New Testament does that all the time), but Jaeson Ma’s false prophecy itself, which would stumble young believers when they see that they are not fulfilled and being seeds of doubt of whether or not God’s Word is true.  The true dangerous precedence that’s unhealthy for less mature believers is to think that dreams in today’s world in our current dispensation are prophecies from God.

Objection #6: Jaeson Ma and Jonah’s Prophecy

Stated:Furthermore, isn’t the whole point of this type of “prophecy” to get the people in that community to repent of their sins so that the proclaimed judgment could be avoided? Jonah proclaimed judgment on Nineveh. A judgment that never came to pass (because the people REPENTED). By your standard, that makes him a false prophet. Nobody can make anything happen, all we can do is try to be obedient to God to the best of our ability.

Response:  It does not seem the parallel with Jaeson Ma and Jonah is really that strong.  I agree that the Bible does show that one of the function of prophecies has been to get a community to repent of their sins and avoid judgment, Jonah being a good example of that.  However, to say that my standard would make Jonah a false prophet is not being totally fair.  I would grant that if a people repent, God may choose not to bring the prophecy of judgment to pass, being part of His plan.  However, this is the exact point where the parallel between Jonah and Jaeson Ma is most needed, fails to materialize: For Jonah, Nineveh repents, even up to the level of her leaders, and as a city collectively; when it comes to Jaeson Ma, could we really say that Los Angeles has repented and turn to the LORD corporately and that is the reason why God held back his prophecy from being fulfilled???
Though I mentioned about the discontinuity of the parallel between Jaeson and Jonah, space does not permit us to look at the messages Jaeson preaches in contrast to that of the Prophets’ delivery found in the Bible.

Objection #7: You are angry that a false prophecy did not happen.

Stated:You almost sound angry that it DIDN’T happen. For whatever reason, Jaeson was wrong (unless it’s yet to happen) and I for one am glad he was!

Response: If this is to imply that I’m angry that the Tsunami did not happen, and that I am some how sick and not compassionate because of it, I think this is not a fair representation of what I believe.  Of course I do not wish to see such a tragedy.  I’m not angry that the Tsunami did not come to pass, for my family would suffer too since they are in the area!  But I think that if I sound angry, it’s more of the passion for the Lord’s reputation.  I think that should be everyone’s primary concern as well.  Of course, I am glad that the Tsunami did not occur!  I suppose I do see it as kind of strange that someone would look at Jaeson Ma’s prophecy not being fulfilled with gladness and perhaps this illustration capture why I think so: Say you notice a doctor in the hospital telling everyone they have cancer when they did not, even though he did not come to know that by medical established means.  In one sense, you are relieved all the patients did not have cancer, but you would also be more upset that the doctor engage in such a speculation apart from the medical method, and you cannot even see how and why he would speculate with his dreams as being medical.  In the same way, I’m shocked at Jaeson Ma not going by the Bible as the Word of God, but his own dreams to say that it’s the Word of God when it was not.  I’m sad that people believed him.

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I’ve been digging through the archives of a Prophetic website.  There’s a guy name Kim Clement who is a “Prophet.”  He made a prophecy about 2005 which can be read here: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/2969.  Besides bad doctrine, this guy claims to speak from the LORD but his prophecy reveals that he is a false prophet more than anything.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I’ve reproduced it here below:

January 30, 2005- Oklahoma City, OK: August, September, and October are going to be very wonderful in terms of the economy. There’s going to be a huge breakthrough God has planned and set aside.

And this is what the Lord said to me, “Because you have chosen the man that I wanted to be in the White House, and America had a choice, I will cause the next four years to be the greatest and to bring in the greatest harvest that the United States of America has ever seen in its centuries of history. In a four-year period there is going to be the greatest harvest. And I’m not talking about Asia. I’m not talking about Africa. I’m talking about this nation!”Schools, colleges, universities, the legal system, children . . . every one of them are going to be unbelievably revived. That is happening because there is a man in the Oval Office that God chose to watch over this nation. He is the watchman over the United States of America. “I’ve raised up a watchman. I’ve raised up a doorkeeper, a housekeeper. I’ve raised up somebody that’s going to watch over. He’s called the Gatekeeper of America. This man that you put in the White House, whether some of you agree with him or not, shall pray, and there will be four years of the greatest harvest that America has ever seen.”

Atheism Destroyed

Between August, September, and October there is a window open for families in America for atheism to be destroyed, for legalism to be destroyed, and for religion to be destroyed.

Life Span of Man

The age of man — the normal death age — will be 100 years of age, Bob Hope being the example of this.Twins

This will be a generation to bring forth more twins than any other because of the abortions that have taken place. God is putting double in the womb, so we have double trouble for the powers of hell!

Double Portion in 2005

“The earth is Mine. In 2004, the enemy came in and illegally stole in a year that I had purposed for great breakthrough. Now, because he did that to you, your families, your businesses, your homes, your finances, and your ministries, now I am in the position to pay you back with a double portion of what you were supposed to receive that year! So, not only do you have double trouble, but you have a double anointing, a double prosperity. You have a double power. You have double authority. You have a double of everything that was stolen from you — it’s yours this year. “And,” God says, “there is an abundance coming upon this house and upon this people. Rejoice as the prophet prophesies. It’s yours!”

CLAIM 1: Economic Breakthrough in August-October 2011

Kim Clement claims:

August, September, and October are going to be very wonderful in terms of the economy. There’s going to be a huge breakthrough God has planned and set aside.”

There is nothing of a huge breakthrough in terms of the economy in August-October 2005.

Note the GDP growth chart:

(Source; cf. this other source as well)

Would you say there is anything different in the last quarter of 2005 (which September and October fall under)?

If one expect some major economic breakthrough in August, September and October 2005 why do we find that economic reports stating problems in these areas:

* Short-Term Credit Measures (August 2005 SGS);
* Income Variance/Dispersion (September 2005 SGS);
* Consumer Price Index (an original background article and October 2005 SGS); (SOURCE)

CLAIM 2: Greatest harvest in 2005-2009

Kim Clement claims:

And this is what the Lord said to me, “Because you have chosen the man that I wanted to be in the White House, and America had a choice, I will cause the next four years to be the greatest and to bring in the greatest harvest that the United States of America has ever seen in its centuries of history. In a four-year period there is going to be the greatest harvest. And I’m not talking about Asia. I’m not talking about Africa. I’m talking about this nation!”

And,

and there will be four years of the greatest harvest that America has ever seen.

It does not seem that the four period of 2005-2009 would go down in church history as the largest harvests of souls coming to Jesus in light of centuries of Christian history nor of American Christian history.

CLAIM 3: Unbelievable Social institutional Revival

Kim Clement claims:

Schools, colleges, universities, the legal system, children . . . every one of them are going to be unbelievably revived. That is happening because there is a man in the Oval Office that God chose to watch over this nation.

Whatever revival there is with the institution of schools, colleges and the legal system…it was not at an “unbelievable” level.  There is so much that is not true of these institution, they are just as worldly and humanistic today as it was before 2005.

CLAIM 4: Life Span will be at 100

Kim Clement claims:

The age of man — the normal death age — will be 100 years of age, Bob Hope being the example of this. In the past I’ve always thought some people have been too hard on Charistmatics and Pentecostals.  But I’m realizing that in terms of apologetics as Christians we also need to “clean” our own backyard if we are going to give a full defense of the faith and also separate Biblical truth from plain old silliness.  There’s false prophecies being made again and again.  It’s time that these guys get exposed because they do not speak for God.

Did this come true in 2005?  According to the National Census study, the average life expectancy in 2005 was 77.4 years.  In 2004, it was 77.5.  Rather than going up to 100 years, there was instead a decrease in life expectancy!  See the Census data for yourself by clicking HERE.

CONCLUSION

This guy is a false prophet.  If you follow him, now is the time to stop and stick to the Bible and His revelation in the Word of God about Jesus Christ and the Gospel.  Don’t look for subjective feelings and excitement about “prophecies” instead of the truth that has already been revealed from God’s Word.  Study the doctrines of God and it’s implication for living in loving obedience to Him instead of one prophetic hype to the next.

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It is unfortunate that many Christians have a short memory (actually people in general do).  Among some circles of Christianity, prophecies are given on a regular basis of spectacular things.  People get excited or even scared.  Then, before you know it, another wave of prophecies are made revealing allegedly new and fresh revelation from God, and people move on with the next wave while forgetting about the former prophecies and whether or not they have been fulfilled.

This trend among some charistmatic and Pentecostal circle can be analogous with fashion:  People go from one thing to the other, forgetting about what was the trend a few months or a year ago.  However, it’s only when Yahoo Front page or TV reflect back on the 90s (or 80s, etc) do people suddenly realize, “Oh yeah, I remember those days, that fashion , that trend…wow! I almost forgot about it!”  What was hip at one time becomes yesterday’s news and forgotten–almost.  God has an usual way of revealing things, and I am not talking about prophecies, but our sins and errors in a manner and time we least suspect.  Sobering thought.

Fortunately the internet is a great tool for our memory: What is written is not done in a corner but in the public if it’s online.  It leaves a digital footprint that allow God’s people to test an alleged prophet’s track record.  And God’s Word is clear that even if one detail of prophecy fails, that person is not a prophet of God:

You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’  When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the things does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken.  The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

I have previously blogged about Jaeson Ma’s prophecy about a Tsunami hitting Los Angeles here.  I thought I take up another subject on Jaeson Ma again, since he made another prophetic statement in a blog post on July 12, 2011 about what he learned when he spent 40 days in an Evangelical Monastery in South Korea.  The entry was titled, “My Strength, My Song, My Salvation–40 Days in Jesus Abbey.”  It’s a very long post, as Jaeson Ma share many things that God has been teaching him.  Some of the things I read made me rejoice as what God has taught him–but other things, especially when it comes to the prophetic and claim that God is speaking outside the Word of God made me cautious and concern for him and his followers.

Many people commented on this long post of his, but when I checked his website today, this popular post was not featured.  I thought perhaps it was deleted but it was not.  Readers can access it here: http://jaesonma.com/my-strength-my-song-my-salvation-40-days-in-jesus-abbey/ (I provided the whole link written out so that readers can google for the cache of it, in case it is removed in the future).

He makes a prophecy concerning Korea in the next ten years in that blog post, that I thought it was good to post it here so that in the future people can remember and keep prophets like him accountable.  Here it is unedited in his own words:

I could feel and recognize the Holy Spirit’s momentum. A great work of the Spirit was being prepared. An spiritual army is being raised up.

Prophecy for Korean Student Revival

I believe in the next 10 years, there will be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in South Korea and North Korea unprecedented to anything experienced in the past 100 years of Christianity in Korea. The glory of the latter will be greater than the glory of the former. The Pyongyang revival in 1907 that birthed the Korean Pentecost and widespread movement of the Gospel will happen again in a powerful way among specifically the university students. There will be prayer meetings established all on every major university campus that will not stop, day or night, it will be a network of prayer furnaces that will create a massive ring of fire of God’s holiness, God’s power and God’s presence that will over turn the effects of sin in the nation. Sex trafficking business will be overturned, abortion will be overturned and made illegal, the suicide rate will decrease dramatically, and families will be restored because of this student revival movement. Students will hold signs of peace; proclaim the Gospel of the kingdom and there will be radical reforms made at every level of society. The mountains of government, business, education, media, arts, family and religion will come under the submission of Jesus Christ and His commandments. Witchcraft and Shamanism with all it’s power will be broken, many families and youth will renounce these demonic practices, and the Spirit of prophecy will be poured out in a new and dramatic measure as the Holy Spirit visits the nation and the young people with increasing dreams and visions, no longer will there be only a few who are moving in the power of the Spirit, but God will pour out His Spirit upon all sons and daughters. This is who they are, “sons and daughters of God” the orphan spirit, the spirit that needs to strive and perform for approval and acceptance will be done away with, God will be a Father to the fatherless, He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. There will be a new worship, music and praise movement that will bring shock and awe, the shekinah glory of the Lord into the church and then out into society, it will be a new worship movement that will shock and transform the nation of Korea. It will be invisible, yet visible. The glory of God will be seen and felt. Young people will not just gather in the tens of thousands, but I saw hundreds of thousands gathering in massive worship crusades, new songs never sung, new lyrics yet to be written, new sounds never heard or played, it will be a worshipping army that will take over the nation of South Korea and then North Korea, then all over Asia and the nations. There will be a mountain of glory, in this mountain young people will stream in from all over South Korea, Asia and all over the world to seek the Lord while He may be found. It will be a tabernacle of David, 24/7 Prayer and Worship preparing the hearts of a new generation to enter into and take back the promise land of North Korea, then China, then all of Asia, Middle East and finally back to Jerusalem. These will be radical, relentless and in hot pursuit of their Lord and their Father’s glory. The kingdom of God will advance, the Spirit of the Lord will not hold back but be poured out in abundance, this will happen in the next decade, a great move of the Holy Spirit that will sweep the nation, it will begin again with the confession of sins in the Church, it will spread from church to church, fellowship to fellowship, home to home, confession of sins until the temple is washed clean and the Spirit can invade, then nothing will be able to stop this student mission movement, watch it will happen, Korea will arise as one nation, North Korea will become the kingdom not of man, but the kingdom of our God, it will happen soon, it will happen quickly, only pray and obey, for the time of the harvest is at hand. In Jesus name I pray name amen.

Note his first statement that he “could feel and recognize the Holy Spirit’s momentum” before preceeding with his prophecy.  Recall that Deuteronomy’s test of a prophet include whether or not it will be fulfilled.  The time limit in Ma’s prophecy is ten years from now (that’s 2021).

According to the above prophetic words from Jaeson Ma, if they are from God, within 10 years we should see:

1.) a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in South Korea and North Korea

2.) This outpouring in South Korea and North Korea will be unprecedented to anything experienced in the past 100 years of Christianity in Korea.

3.) The glory of this revival will be greater than “the glory of the former.”

4.) It will be a revival that is specifically among university students.

5.) There will be 24 hour prayer meetings on every major university campus

6.) This revival will create massive holiness in people’s lives.

7.) Sex trafficking business in Korea will cease.

8.) Abortions in Korea will be made illegal.

9.) Korean suicide rate will decrease dramatically.

10.) The student revival will be restored families.

11.) Korean Students will hold signs of peace.

12.) Korean students will evangelize.

13.) Korean students will bring about  radical reforms made at the level of government.

14.) Korean students will bring about  radical reforms made at the level of business.

15.) Korean students will bring about  radical reforms made at the level of education.

16.) Korean students will bring about  radical reforms made at the level of media.

17.) Korean students will bring about  radical reforms made at the level of arts.

18.) Korean students will bring about  radical reforms made at the level of family.

19.) Korean religion will come under the submission of Jesus Christ and His commandments.

20.) Witchcraft and Shamanism in Korea will be renounce as demonic practices.

21.) Young Koreans will increae dreams and visions, and not just a few.

22.) Young Koreans  will not just gather in the tens of thousands, but hundreds of thousands  in massive worship crusades.

23.) This revival will pour forth  all over South Korea,  North Korea, then China, then all of Asia, Middle East and finally back to Jerusalem and finally all over the world.

24.) Nothing will be able to stop this Korean student mission movement.

And while 10 years from now is far ways off , I hope this post on Veritas Domain will be leave a digital footprint as a reminder for people of whether or not prophecies made by Jaeson Ma will come true.  I have seen in my young Christian days very specific prophecies being made about this or that happening in one, two or three years, and it didn’t come to pass.  Audios from Conferences were conveniently removed from the internet, people quickly forget…but God does not forget those who claim to speak on behalf of Him when it wasn’t so, and one day they will be called into account for it.

My biggest worries are the many Christians who never ground themselves in the Word of God Biblically but are driven from one fad to another, with their feelings telling them what to do and believe rather than the Word.  My fear is with how many so-call Christians think they are Christians with all the sensationalism instead of the Word of God changing them with the Gospel itself–only to “fall away” and think they have tasted Biblical faith when they only got a subjective emotional high on human made prophecies that does not proceed from the Word of God.

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According to the news, Harold Camping who was behind the false prophecy of May 21st is still standing by his prophecy and not repentant.

It is tragic.

The Bible’s standard of a prophet is 100% fulfillment, not even 99% or 98%.  If anything has failed, it is false.

Christians need to be reminded of the Biblical criteria of judging a false prophet.

Summary:

Basically gives 2 ways that a believer can check the validity of a prophet: Supreme Test (Duet 19:22) and Test of the Fruit (Duet 12:1-3).

The Test Of A Prophet

      From Dueteronomy 18:18, we can know that a true prophet comes from God.  True prophecies never have it’s origin from man’s creativeness, but from God himself. (Cf. 2Peters 1:21)  By prophecy, we define this to mean any future predictions or alleged special revelation from God spoken or written through a human messenger.

     Unfortunately, as Scriptures tell us, there are also false prophets and false teachers out there.  “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who brought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves.”(2Peters 2:1) Scriptures also tell us that as the end times approach, more and more false prophets will come and deceive the people. (Cf. Matt. 24:12)

     Jesus himself warn Christians to watch out and be on the alert for false prophets, who come “in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)  Fortunately, God tells us that there are ways to identify a false prophet. (Cf. Matt 7:16)

     Now, you may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” (Duet. 18:21)

Tests

  1. The Supreme Test – If a prophecy fail to be fulfilled or doesn’t come to past, then it is indeed false. (Duet 19:22)  Remember: God’s prophecies would come to pass, and it must have a 0 percent failure rate!
  2. Tests of the Fruit – The prophecies itself or the prophet’s theology must also be under examination in light of the Bible.  If it goes against God’s Word, it is surely false.  Sometimes God would allow false prophets to have their prophecy fulfilled in order to test the faithfulness of the believer’s heart. (Cf. Duet 13:1-3)

(Note: No prophecies could be more amazing in terms of probability than that of the Bible.   Just the life of Jesus Christ alone has been prophesied in the Bible over 500 times! Compared to any false prophets, the Bible is still a bigger giant)

     Now, what happens when an alleged prophet is found to be false?  Since Matthew 7:18 states, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”, we should not even listen to the false prophet’s teachings.  And we definitely should not be afraid of them. (Cf. Duet. 18:22)  Rather, we should come back to the living God and his Word for truth.

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