The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders has released their “Word of the Lord for 2010.” But don’t hold them to it.
Each January, this group of “prophets” — led by C. Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs — meets to determine what God has shown them about the new year.
This year’s prophecies — like previous years — are so vague that there would be no way of knowing if they were actually fulfilled. I call them “fortune cookie” prophecies.
But even if they weren’t vague, the ACPE includes so many disclaimers before their prophecies that not one of them would ever have to come to pass — and they could still call themselves “prophets.”
One of their favorite disclaimers is the one I call the “moving calendar” disclaimer. Just because they call it the “Word of the Lord for 2010″ doesn’t necessarily mean the prophecies will be fulfilled in 2010, according to the ACPE prophets. Maybe it will be in 2011. Or maybe 2012. Hey, why limit themselves to a single decade?
But this year they have another disclaimer they call “conditional prophecies.”
Their first disclaimer states this:
“All prophecy not contained in Scripture is conditional.”
What do they mean by saying that the prophecies they give are “conditional”? Their statement is clarified by another one of their disclaimers, which states:
“It is possible that prophetic warnings will cause either the person or nation to repent and so turn away the judgment prophesied. Biblically, this happened when Jonah prophesied to Nineveh and the city repented, causing God to relent.”
So, what they mean by saying that their prophecies are “conditional” is that they may or may not happen — based on whether their listeners choose to act on them or not. Just like the prophecy about Ninevah, God could change His mind.
In other words, their prophecy about a Holy Spirit revival occurring in Indonesia — well, that one might or might not happen. It depends on a number of factors, such as whether their followers prayed and worked hard enough to stir up a revival. And then there’s the prophecy about the eradication of poverty. Again, it may or may not happen — depending on what things churches do to help the poor.
And, oh yes, don’t forget their prophecy about the rise of a third political party in America. Maybe a new party will rise. And if it does, the ACPE will be sure to take credit. But if it doesn’t, it’s not their fault. It’s the fault of the American people — or somebody, anybody else. And on it goes.
Are you getting the picture?
But there’s one gaping hole in this “conditional prophecy” theory. The Bible doesn’t teach it. Which Scripture passages say that all prophecies — other than those found in Scripture — are conditional? Show them to me.
What the Bible does teach is that prophets must be tested for their accuracy (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). The apostle Paul told the Thessalonians to examine every prophecy carefully (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).
By saying that their prophecies don’t have to come to pass, the ACPE has thrown out the most basic test for knowing if a prophet is true or false — the accuracy test.
But that — maybe, possibly, could be — the point.
The ACPE members this year include Bill Hamon, Sam Brassfield, Harry Jackson, Rick Ridings, Greg Black, Will Ford, Mike Jacobs, Peter Wagner, Mary Glazier, Sharon Stone, Cindy Jacobs, John Sanford, Beth Alves, Gwen Shaw and Doris Wagner (pictured below).