John Dean is a native Texan with a true pioneer spirit. He has pioneered many congregational works. In addition, he has given oversight to hundreds of churches and ministries around the world since the early ’60s. John is also a prophet of the Lord with keen spiritual insight as to what the Lord is saying to the Church today. John is, above all, a "Father of the faith" who has given his life to building and strengthening the body of Christ. John travels extensively in the United States and around the world representing Christ under the banner of "Elijah International Ministries." John is best known to many for the prophetic gift that flows in his ministry of preaching the Word as well as personal ministry words.
Job 36:1-3 Elihu also proceeded, and said, Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
It appears that everyone has an opinion on just about everything and their opinions are all different. This was certainly the case with all the friends of Job. Rather than encouraging Job in his hour of need they were blaming him for his own problems. They were saying, if you would not have done this or that then you would not be in the condition that you are in.
It appears the most natural thing for a us to do is to start blaming ourselves when things do not go well. As a matter of fact, if there is ever a time that we do not like ourselves is when we fail. This was certainly the case with Job because he did not seem to disagree with anything his friends accused him of.
Job’s friends probably had known him for a long time and especially they knew him in his glory days when all the world appeared to be at his feet. I have learned over the years that when a person is in their glory days that they can do no wrong and others do not see their faults. However, the moment they are not rich anymore then their friends begin to see all their flaws. But thank God for a new generation of faith people that know how to encourage us like Elihu.
If we were to put a modern touch on this story, we would probably see ourselves as one of the characters.
Job’s friends could very well speak of a past generation with past generation thinking. Elihu on the other hand speaks of a new generation that God is raising up who are fearless and do not make excuses.
The story of Job has so many lessons and my intention is not to skip over any of them. However, to make my point I only want to focus on the false knowledge that was being given to Job by his friends. I will not judge Job’s friends because they were only giving what they thought was right … as my generation often does without considering its ramifications. As a matter of fact, the great writer George Bernard Shaw wrote a line in his book that says, “beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”
I am afraid the best of us is guilty of saying things based on our feelings rather than on facts.
A few years ago, I had an experience that I still occasionally think about today … which means I am still learning from it.
I was scheduled to speak in several churches across England and one of the pastors I had never met so I thought I would call him before I made my trip. We were having a great conversation when suddenly he asked me if I knew John Wimber and I said yes. He immediately spoke out very firmly, “then you will never speak in my church”. I asked him why and he told me this story.
He said that John Wimber had ministered in London that March, and He went to his meetings. The last night John prophesied that something was going to happen by June, and it did not happen. The pastor then told me that John was a false prophet, and he did not want anything to do with John are anybody that knew him.
I then asked the pastor if what John had prophesied ever came to pass. He said, yes, but it did not happen until July, so he is a false prophet. In the pastor’s mind anybody who endorsed what he considered to be a false prophet would themselves preach false knowledge.
Who was to blame, this pastor or John? John was not to blame because he gave what God gave him even though he missed the timing by a few days. The pastor was not to blame because he was only trying to protect his pulpit and his sheep for being fed false knowledge.
Even though Job’s friends were unintentionally giving him false knowledge … they were still his friends.
Forgive us for speaking reason rather than fact. Thank You, for allowing us to have opinions because sometimes that is how we learn to search for facts.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
You would certainly think that a false prophet would be easily recognized because the bible makes it clear as to what they do. However, that is not always the case because they appear to us in sheep’s clothing.
The intent of a false prophet is to pervert truth, destroy faith and ultimately lead one to destruction. I have met several people over the years that would certainly fit into that category. The thing that made these people false was because they did not walk with God but were always quick to say “God said” when He did not say.
However, not every prophet who misses the mark is a false prophet. Many prophets miss the mark because he/she misinterprets what they saw or heard. No prophet, (nor anyone else as far as that goes), have perfect sight or hearing when it comes to spiritual things. We are all growing and being perfected as we move in that realm of the supernatural. Some prophecies are given in symbols which require an interpretation.
There have been many prophecies given over the last few months concerning the outcome of our presidential election. Would those folks be considered false prophets because the presidential outcome was not the way they said? No, there is a big difference between a prophet who misinterprets what they saw or heard and one who intends to lead astray.
A false prophet is one who claims to know the truth but does not. A true prophet may know the truth but only interprets part of what they see or hear from the spirit realm and the rest from a natural desire. If that is the case, that does not necessarily make them false, but their action could be the result of partial truth. The fact is a person who always says that “God said” when He may not have said closes the door for others to judge their prophecy.
Even though there have been many prophetic words given in the last few months that appear to be false, I am not ready to throw the prophets under the bus. However, I would encourage each of these prophets to go back and reexamine what they saw or heard and see if perhaps they missed something in their interpretation.
There can only be so many answers to this question. One either prophesied out of their flesh and what they wanted to happen, or they echoed what someone else said, or because of immaturity they spoke out of false knowledge which implied that they knew God’s mind and heart but did not.
Many years ago, as a young evangelist I felt I heard the Lord tell me to go to Mexico and minister and He would bless me. As soon as I heard that word I immediately headed for Mexico and started praying for people. Even though I had a measure of success, I knew this was not what I had seen or heard. I went to another place in Mexico and the same thing happened. I knew I had heard God, but I also knew I must have missed something. I finally told God that I would not go back until He made things clearer to me.
I waited and waited and waited but no word came. Finally, fifty-three years later I was having a leadership meeting one night when out of the blue I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Now is the time to go to Mexico because things have been prepared for you”. With that I shouted out to my leadership team, “God just told me things are ready for me in Mexico”.
We immediately made plans for our first trip to Mexico and had some of the greatest meetings with a people who seemed as though they were expecting us. The Spirit of God fell accompanied by signs and wonders. It has been several years, and we are still having great success as we build the kingdom in Mexico.
Even though I misinterpreted what I heard and saw when I originally got the word, I did not misinterpret the truth of it. I was not a false prophet … I was just immature. Fifty-three years later God fulfilled His word when I was mature enough to handle it.
I thank You for all the great men and women You have raised up with prophetic understanding for this hour. Help all of us to be a little quicker to hear and a little slower to speak while we examine what You are saying to us because we do not want to miss You.