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Unfalsifiable Prophecies

June 22nd, 2010 | 14 Comments | Posted in Erica Greve

Take a look at the prophecies that are receiving attention today. The vast majority of them are “unfalsifiable.”

What do I mean by saying they’re “unfalsifiable”?

There’s no way that you would ever be able to prove that they’re false or true. The predictions contained in them are highly vague — like the jibberish words found in fortune cookies. They’re the polar opposite of the Bible’s prophecies, which are highly specific.

To show you what I’m talking about I’ll compare one of the prophecies given by “prophetess” Erica Greve — of Bethel Church, in Redding, California — to another prophecy given by the prophet Elisha of Scripture.

erica_greve_front_page_imageErica Greve’s Unfalsifiable Prophecy

On  January 22, Greve released a list of prophecies for the year 2010. All the prophecies are vague, but let’s look at just the first one.

Greve says 2010 will be the year that the body of Christ will “win together.” The victory will be achieved, in part, by more churches partnering together, according to her. She said:

I believe the new revelation coming forth from the Father’s heart will result in [denominational] streams coming closer together, churches partnering more frequently, and significant outpourings of His presence touching multiple places at the same time.  (See her full prophecy here.)

But how could it possibly ever be determined if more churches partnered together in 2010 than in 2009? The answer is — it couldn’t be determined. There would be no way of knowing whether or not more churches worked together this year.

This prophecy is unfalsifiable. It would be akin to saying that this year children will experience more joy. Or that this year God will smile upon school teachers. These prophecies sound nice and inspiring, but how would you ever know if they were fulfilled or not? You wouldn’t know. You couldn’t know.

Elisha’s Falsifiable Prophecy

Now let’s look at a falsifiable prophecy given by Elisha in  2 Kings chapter 7. His prophecy is so specific — unlike Greve’s prophecy — that no one is left scratching their head and wondering whether or not it was accurate.

The background to Elisha’s prophecy is given in 6:24-31 where we learn that the Israelites living in Samaria were under siege by the Arameans. Severe famine  resulted. The people were so hungry they resorted to cannibalism.

The terrible state of affairs was God’s punishment for the Israelites’ sin. Yet instead of repenting of the sin, the king of Israel became angry at God and sent someone to kill the prophet Elisha.

In response, Elisha told the king that the horrific situation in the city would improve the very next day, with food becoming affordable. Elisha’s prophecy was so specific that it not only included the exact day of its fulfillment, but also the exact price that wheat and barley would be sold for on that specific day:

Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” (2 Kings 7:1)

Yet Elisha’s specific predictions didn’t stop there. When the king’s royal officer mocked Elisha’s prophecy — saying it was impossible for the famine to be ended in a single day — Elisha gave another prophecy directed at the officer. Elisha said the officer would live to see the reversal of the famine the next day, but he would not live long enough to enjoy any of the newly acquired food. (2 Kings 7:2)

Elisha’s prophecies came true exactly as he gave them (see the rest of 2 Kings chapter 7). God miraculously provided enough food for the entire city, so that wheat and barley were sold for the prices Elisha had predicted. And the official who mocked Elisha was trampled to death at the city gate by a stampede of people buying food — before he could partake of any of the food himself.

Elisha’s specific prophecy passed one of the key tests for a prophet given in the Bible in Deuteronomy 18:21-22 — the accuracy test. According to this passage, if a a prophecy does not come true, then the so-called prophet is a false prophet.

Ironically, the accuracy test can’t even be applied to the unfalsifiable prophecies given by Greve and many other so-called prophets today.

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14 Responses to “Unfalsifiable Prophecies”

  1. deepsquater Says:

    Hi what I think the  Lord wants us to know from all this is to grow up.  For years Christins have fallen prey to false messages, while Jesus said ‘My sheep will know my voice. Now we cannot prevent hearing many voices but we can choose who we obey.

  2. Paul Says:

    Wow – what a lot of gibberish, indeed ! At least a fortune cookie is understandable.  Unfalsifiable is a good description, but I would add unverifiable, as well.  But I wonder what motivates Erica Greve, to spout such nonsense ?

    As mentioned in the article above, God is very specific about prophesy. How convenient it is then, when a ” prophecy ” is kept meaningless and vague. It amounts to a ” one size fits all prophecy “, and can mean anything, or nothing, depending upon what the “anointed one “decides.

    It appears to me that Erica Greves either has an overactive imagination, or is just another common false prophet.

  3. Ruitje Says:

    Many of those false prophets (like Kim Clement, Chuck Pierce) can be found on the Elijahlist and I follow them for many years now. These words are false or not specific. Every year the same message: that God will do a new thing, there will be a breakthrough and so on. These prophets  are always tickling the ears: no warnings, no call for repentance, only big stories and promises of prosperity and miracles. And when they place prophetic words on the Elijahlist about something that they had predicted, they always come with that word after the event took place. So you can not check if it was a real word from God.

    People are no longer learning that they have to test the spirits and they don’t read the Bible, but follow all those false prophets and want to hear ‘fresh (read ‘false’) revelation’.

  4. Mary Ann Says:

    Sometimes there is just enough truth in a prophecy to make the false undiscernable….but really…. 

    “I also feel that it will be significant who wins American Idol in 2010. I feel this was why there was a war over the show, and I feel the Lord wants to declare a message through who wins the show this year.”

    One should stop reading immediately following this piece of “prophecy.”  I mean, really…..

  5. Lisa Says:

    Are there any current real prophets in the world that can be trusted and that we should be looking to? 

  6. Leah Says:

    The prophets of the OT prophecied that the sun would go down on the prophets at the death of the Messiah.
    The time of the prophets is over for a time.  The time of Apostleship is here.  If someone is not teaching to Words of Christ, they are false.
    Prophets are for Israel.  The gift of prophecy, or interpretation of Biblical prophecy is altogether different.

  7. joh Says:

    Well the winner of the 2010 American idol was lee Dwyse, so the word of the Lord through that was…… God is going to” lead the wise……” hmmmmm, really deep huh.

  8. Lisa Says:

    Thank you for explaining that Leah – I was lumping both together…so that makes total sense! 

  9. MABEL Says:

    Under the old Covenant – Old Testament – God communicated through the offices of PROPHET, PRIEST AND KING.  Today under the New Covenant (NT) the Spirit has been poured on ALL believers. I should  say INTO EACH BELIEVER.    We each have the capability of  hearing from God  if we have been born again and  indwelt   with  the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  If these present day Prophets were put to the test—-   DEUT. 13:1 thru 18:22 gives a good definition of a TRUE prophet,   many would fall by the way side. Read your Bible and listen tothe Holy Spiril WITHIN YOU.

  10. Daniel Says:

    Prophecies were give for the setting up and fulfillment of Gods plan of salvation, there are none given for any other reason, salvation is a finished work. John says were there are prophecies they will cease but only love remains. God is not the author of confusion and by having many prophets with many messages he would be exactly that. Therefor anyone claiming to be a prophet of God in the sense of revealing something new and related to salvation is nothing but a pretender and a liar. Salvation has already been revealed and only needs to be understood as written. ‘Those who would claim to be prophets are seeking attention or control by attempting to make people believe they are a conduit of truth directly from God more so than the next person. We have the word and have no need of lying prophets.

  11. chizeled Says:

    A lot of so called prophets are vague in the way that soothsayers are. 
    However, some prophecies are quite specific.
    For example, the sign of the beast is the third eye, eye of Horus or Ra or Satan, or whatever you want to call it.  Watch for it to start appearing on all the celebrities.
    Notice the sign of the beast is the symbol for the European Union here:
    http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/
    Just like Revelation 13:16 indicates, Hindus like wearing the sign of the beast on their hand or forehead such as here:
    http://asianwindow.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/goddess.jpg
    or see Lady GaGa with the Masonic symbol in her hand here:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_B84FEFoiss4/S_SreBCO7BI/AAAAAAAAADY/4g7utJ0CmQ8/s1600/ladygagahandoffatimamannequin.jpg

    and if that’s not specific enough for you, let’s talk about the antichrist..
    Matt24:4 Jesus said “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many…”
    Beware of anyone like David Rothschild, for example:
    http://www.thetimetv.com/_upload/_actu/actu_1532.jpg
    Google how Prince Charles just appeared as a hologram in Dubai and then just imagine for a moment what would happen if Rothschild did the same?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxwXf5H3HmM&feature=related

    Psalm 118:26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.

  12. Melissa Says:

    I recently heard Erica speak at my church, there is no doubt in my mind that God has blessed her with gifts to communicate.  However, it is because of that I am a skeptic. We must remember that the enemy spoke to Eve and was beautiful. I am not saying she is Satan, however, I do believe she is a sinner just like anyone else, in need of God’s love.  She need not parade around the country speaking wild heresies for her own glory. It is true that God wants us to partner with one another, but there is nothing unique about the word she gives that doesnt already appear in the WORD. All we need to do is look at ACTS. This is not a prophetic word, but an encouraging word.  In addition,  I witnessed her methodology and listened deeply to the words she uses and it is very shamanistic and borders on emotionalism. I believe God wants to revive us, but sometime she is off base. I dont think that it is that she shouldnt be in ministry, but we need to rebuke the spirit of confusion around her, which leads her to believe, she is hear to release dreams in some demigod like way.  We release dreams in others by encouraging them in the Word adn through prayer.   Further more, In terms of the content, the focus seemed to be on some new Christian hip speak rather than teaching us to draw to close to God. My understanding is that prophesy is wonderful, but it is purpose is to teach.  On a a lighter note, I believe that even though her tactics are bordering on the spirit of error, I do know she is a woman whom God deeply loves and wants to use. So lets pray for her and her mission, that she may humble herself.   I am deeply concerned for people in my church community, who believe this is the way in which God makes himself known.  So lets pray for them that they may learn to see GOD.  I mean, I am not saying God doesnt give us prophetic vision and voice,  however, if you arent hearing it the scripture or hearing it in prayer, than I must say it JUST AINT RIGHT.  I firmly believe God gives us a voice and giftings, but I dont believe he blesses Erica anymore than anyone else who is desiring his WORD.    Also, I kinda had to reject what she was saying when the message on Sunday ended on an andecdote regarding Nicole Kidman and how we need to look for the Nicole Kidman’s to partner with and get encouragement from… I mean what does that mean.  Sorry Erica, but I dont look to the streets and to the stars but I look and hear from the CROSS. Its speaks.

  13. Mark Says:

    I think its part funny and sad that people have sold their God given intellect and spirituality to these so called prophets. A prophet of God as you see in the OT was a life of pain, rejection, suffering and sometimes death. They were outcasts. They were misunderstood.
    We need to carefully study scripture in the context of history and society at that time. God told his people Israel he would send them prophets. Jesus spoke of this. In the NT God gave us a five fold ministry not OT style prophets for the prefecting of the saints. How and if that works out today is the question…BUT to assume one is a Prophet is a very dangerous course. Being in trouble with man is minor but being in trouble with God is much different. i would tremble to think what will happen to the presumptious.

  14. Blessed Says:

    I can testify that known of you really understand what you are talking about, I was skeptical of Erika at first as well and bashed her – but what she has done in my life is starting to prove itself – It is the POWER OF THE REAL GOSPEL!!! God Bless you all and I hope nothing but the best for you all, for real!!! JESUS SAVES 4 REAL!!

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