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Did 2013’s Prophetic Words Ring True?

December 29th, 2013 | 13 Comments | Posted in Charisma Magazine, Eileen Fisher, Testing Prophecies

2013A recent article published by Charisma News asks an interesting question, “Did 2013’s prophetic words ring true?”

This question stems from a practice of many prophets in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement who–at the start of each new year–release revelations they claim God has given them about the upcoming year.

The question posed by Charisma is important because these prophets–whose revelations are often published in Charisma–claim to be speaking the very words of God. Indeed, they intend for their words to be taken very seriously as can be seen from the way the article describes their words as prophetic “mandates, directives, and warnings.”

So, because these prophets claim to speak for God and claim to be giving important messages from Him, it is important for their followers to heed the warnings of Scripture and test the veracity of their revelations. If they make predictions–as these prophets have–then one should ask whether those predictions came to pass.

Thus, it is commendable that Charisma is asking this question. It is step in the right direction since many organizations that publish predictions made by prophets never follow up to see if they were actually fulfilled.

But, unfortunately, Charisma didn’t go far enough in its evaluation of the prophetic words given in 2013. Why do I say this? Two reasons.

It Rang True For Me, But Not For You

First, notice the wording of the question posed by the writer of the article, Charisma news editor Jennifer LeClaire. LeClaire doesn’t ask the direct and penetrating question, “Did the prophecies come to pass?” Her actual words–did the prophetic words “ring true”–are indirect and non-revealing.

And the concluding words of her article continue with this type of vague language, urging readers–in response to the 2013 prophetic words–to “Grab what rings with your spirit even as you prepare your heart to receive what God has for you in the new year.”

The idea of “grabbing what rings true with your spirit” seems to allow for a lot of wiggle room in determining the veracity of prophetic words. It suggests the possibility that a prophetic word might ring true for one person, but might not ring true for another.

And, unfortunately, LeClaire takes this subjectivity even further when she evaluates a prophetic word about the United States given by Eileen Fisher, author of the book Embracing the Prophetic. Fisher’s prophetic word includes predictions that God’s hand “is moving across your nation in a miraculous way” and that “All shall be well because the well of salvation is going to be poured out fresh over your nation.”

Fisher’s prophetic word seems to predict some type of large-scale, national revival–something impressive, concrete, and publicly verifiable. Yet, LeClaire doesn’t ask the hard question of whether a revival of this magnitude actually occurred. Instead, she asks a non-specific and non-publicly verifiable question: “Did you experience this in your life, family or church?”

By lobbing a softball question, LeClaire suggests–perhaps unintentionally–that there is no concrete or publicly verifiable criteria for testing the veracity of Fisher’s prophetic word. Yet, this notion contrasts sharply with the prophetic words given in Scripture–by prophets such as Elisha–which could be evaluated using concrete and publicly verifiable criteria. See a post I wrote about these specific and concrete prophetic words.

Is It A Prophecy for 2013 … or 2014 … or 2015?

Second, the Charisma article allows for the possibility that the prophetic words given at the start of 2013 won’t actually be fulfilled in 2013 or even for years to come. The article states:

After all, you can’t always limit God’s words to a 12-month timeline. Indeed, it’s possible that some 2013 prophecies won’t be relevant for years and others will remain relevant for years to come.

It is true that God’s works don’t necessarily fit into tidy, yearlong time frames. But the NAR practice of delivering predictions at the start of each new year certainly lends to the impression that those predictions pertain to the year ahead. The Charisma article, itself, lends to this impression by referring to the prophetic words in ways that make them seem like they are intended to be fulfilled in a given year.  This can been seen in the way LeClaire refers to the prophetic words as being mandates, directives and warnings “for” 2014 and as prophetic words declared “over” 2013.

Yet, by saying that a prophetic word is “for” a specific year–while allowing for the possibility it won’t actually be fulfilled in that year–Charisma seems to be wanting to have its cake and eat it , too. In other words, if a prophetic word is fulfilled in a specified year, then the prophet can take credit for giving a true prophecy. But if it isn’t fulfilled in the specified year, then they can’t be accused of giving a false prophecy. They can simply claim that the prophetic word will be fulfilled one day, perhaps in the far-off future.

So, did 2013’s prophetic words ring true?

I can’t answer that question for you. But they certainly didn’t seem to be fulfilled in any publicly verifiable and concrete way.

— By Holly Pivec

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13 Responses to “Did 2013’s Prophetic Words Ring True?”

  1. John Says:

    First let me say that the OT way of judging a prophesy is different than the NT. In the NT we have the Church baptized in the Holy Spirit and the gifts operating inside the body of Christ. Only through the Holy Spirit can we really know for sure if a prophesy is His or not, it’s called discernment. In the OT they only had one way to judge a prophesy and that was to wait and see if it would come to pass because Israel did not have the Spirit without measure like the Church does.

  2. Rich Says:

    There is  nothing  new under the sun.  How you judge has not changed one bit, but the rationalizing flesh would sure like to believe that there is a difference between OT, and NT truth.  Truth is truth.  Not all believers, believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  You could ask non believers if something happened and you would get a correct answer, it is black and white, yes or no. They are to be stoned or they are not. If you want vague, go see a palm reader.  God is not vague.

  3. John Says:

    Did Christ die in the OT? No he did not. We are under a much better covenant. In the OT Israel had to offer an animal for their sins. Not so with the Church of the Lord Jesus. The Church is not commanded to stone adulterers, sorcerers or any other sinners. Christ came to save the lost. Sinners are called to repentance not the righteous. Are you a born again Chritian? Read the book of Acts. You see no one offering animals or stoning sinners. If anything it was the Christians being stoned for being followers of Jesus.

  4. John Says:

    There is nothing new under sun. Okay? When in the past were there cars, computers, airplanes and cellphones? These things did no always exist. When the bible talks about nothing new under the sun, it is referring to truth. Truth has and always will exist.

  5. John Says:

    We are not under the old conevant and the bible is clear on that.

  6. Rich Says:

    Discernment is not something unique to the believers of Christ,  even pagans know if a Prophet is speaking the truth or not.  I have not  heard a single self proclaimed Prophet say anything that any fleshly deceiver could not think up in a moment or two.  The fleshly condition of believers attracts these ear tickling deceivers, they are getting what they are paying for, “a less than stellar performance”.

  7. John Says:

    I will agree that unfortunately there many false prophets, but that doesn’t mean that the gift of prophesy isn’t real. I have the word of God, but I don’t despise the gift of prophesy.

  8. Rich Says:

    As of today, I have not heard a Prophet of God.  I do not deny the gifts of the
    Spirt written of in scripture,  or various functions of the Ecclesia mentioned.  I just
    don’t see them operating anything like scripture shows.  It seems today
    everyone is a hireling, or concerned about how much of the world
    they can get along with.

  9. John Says:

    i can’t argue with that.

  10. John B Says:

    I think it’s easy to lose sight of testing, certainly I’ve seen people things presented as “prophetic words” that sounded so generic that they might as well be taken from a magazine’s horoscope section. Certainly comments like “investments will pay off” are so vague as to be useless because at any given time some people are making money and some people are losing money, on the back of investments. (For 2013 I personally did both, some investments did well and others did badly)

    Discernment is a great gift but it’s still very subjective. When I see some of the things similar to the Toronto Experience (I can’t refer to it as a blessing as it leaves me so uneasy) I get a very distinct sensation in the pit of my stomach. It’s virtually identical (albeit often stronger) to the sensation I get around things of the occult. This tells me that I’d do well to take a big step back and be very careful of something, but other Christians regard such things as encouraging. Which of us is right? Either it is of God or it is not. For all I would accept my own sense that it is wrong as a prompt to take a big step back for myself, to expect others to do the same is to promote myself to a place where I am speaking for God. I don’t regard that as my place. I will tell people why it troubles me, I will use the sense of agitation to look at something in more detail and test it more rigorously, but I’m not about to make an announcement that fundamentally says (whatever form of words are used) “Thus saith the Lord, get away from this trash”

    The objective yardstick we have is Scripture. If we rely on senses of discernment how do we deal with the situation where you feel something is fine and I feel it is evil? Which of us is right? We need an objective measure to determine what is truth. In this regard it’s very similar to going to a market stall to buy sugar – nobody is going to accept a pound of sugar based on the merchant holding a bag in his hand and declaring “that’s a pound” – we want to see it weighed against an objective measure. Of course the analogy breaks down a little because with the trader he might be using a false measure, but if we got home and found our “pound” of sugar only registered 12 ounces on our own scale I don’t imagine we’d be going back to the trader any time soon.

  11. John Says:

    There is a reverence that comes upon us when something is genuinely of God. I get that funny feeling in my belly when I see a strange manifestation. The devil is an imitator if the things of the Holy Spirit. Most so call christians aren’t born again and are easily deceived. Now more than ever we need to pray, fast and preach God’s truth.

  12. John B Says:

    John – there may be a reverence that comes upon us but without an objective standard we still end up arguing over whose subjective sense is right. If you feel a sense of reverence and I feel a sense of unease, we need an objective yardstick to test. Otherwise we are the spiritual equivalent of a customer and a trader arguing over whether the bag really contains a pound of sugar with the trader holding it and saying “feels right to me” and the customer saying “it feels light to me”. In both cases there is no way to resolve the disagreement unless you can go back to an objective standard.

  13. Rich Kelley Says:

    “The objective yardstick we have is Scripture.” (John B.)

    I totally agree with John B. on his statement.  It would only take a little while to take some of the things being said by the self proclaimed Prophets to see if there is ANY scriptural support. The twisted out of context scripture presented by the hirelings is only valid to those that can’t see or want to hear what they want to hear.

    When you read and study the word of God and a “feeling” comes over, I have found it is caused by only a few things.  1) I am being convicted of something I need to repent of or change in my life.  2) God is showing me something of the Kingdom of God and the spirit inside of me actually understands something of God. (usually something very small and if I told someone else they would think I was nuts cause it would seem so small and insignificant to them.)  In time, with God and His word, He will give us wisdom and discernment, that can be used to know garbage when it comes out of the mouths of false Prophets.  God gave us the “feelings” we just need to be trained so that they are more the results of the Spirit of God than the flesh.

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