Do Nathan Leal and the growing number of internet prophets really speak for God?
“Jesus said there will come men who will speak claiming their authority is from me……..There will come men who will speak in my Name. They are going to come and say I’m speaking to you in my Name……..they will prophesy and preach. …….But when I meet them I will say ‘leave me I never knew you workers of iniquity.’ Why? Because they use His authority and His name, because the power was in Jesus’ name, or Jesus’ authority, not in them………And they’re gonna fragment and divide the Church because you won’t test them….. Well, it’s about time we test them ……..You test them by Scripture. Then if your fidelity is the Scripture, and your allegiance is the Scripture, you reject them! ……When you take your eyes off Scripture as the criterion for authority and you place it on experience and on people, and on revelations, and on messages that allegedly come from God, you are set up for deception, you’re made for it…………
Dr. Walter Martin, from his 1988 Warning To the Church……..
In some Christian circles today it seems that the only authority needed to be a prophet of God is your own desire to be one. You just proclaim yourself a prophet, start a website with a prophetic-sounding name, and begin issuing messages said to be from God. Claims are made by the modern day prophets that God favors them with prophetic ability because they are “close” to the Lord, and have cleaned up the sin in their lives. Their repentance, along with spending a great deal of time in their prayer closets, has, according to them, opened up a special conduit of communication in which God reveals the future to them, and endorses them as His special messengers. Thus, in contrast to the teaching of Paul in the New Testament on salvation, which comes through grace alone and not through works, it seems that the prophets believe their prophetic gifting comes through their works. By studious effort, and lifting themselves up by the bootstraps, they have elevated themselves to the post of God’s chosen prophet. They seem to not know, or not care, that they are speaking for God without the authority to do so.
Thus the term “self-appointed prophet” is actually very accurate, since the prophet confers the office of prophecy upon himself. I am not aware of any particular hierarchy in the prophetic office, as there is, for example, in the office of apostleship, with the hierarchical structure of the New Apostolic Reformation. There does, however, seem to be a process of committeeship in evaluation of one another’s prophetic utterances, as we shall see later on.
Many Christian Prophetic websites have long been practicing a form of deception that would make even carnival barkers feel self-conscious. The deck is stacked so much in favor of the “prophet”, it has become a situation where he can’t lose, and has everything to gain by releasing as many prophecies as he likes. When you accept no accountability for failed prophecies, which none of them ever do, then it becomes like a game of cards where your money is refunded on all losing hands, but you get to keep the pot when you show a winning hand. In a poker game no one would ever get away with bending the rules in their favor like this, of course, but in the bizarre world of prophecy on the internet, so many people seem to have no problem with it. These people are given free pass after free pass to keep issuing prophecies, no matter how dismal their batting average is.
These people know all about the law of averages. They know if they shoot enough darts at the prophetic dartboard, its just a matter of time until some of them land in the general vicinity of the bullseye. Then they can shout “look over here, folks, God told me that would happen, and it happened!” Anyone who says, “yes, but what about the four dozen prophecies you made that didn’t come close?” is quickly shouted down, and accused of “quelling the spirit” and “attacking a great man of God.”
Its time for Christians everywhere to stop putting the dreams and visions of men in front of God’s word on the stage of truth. We will all be judged one day, and we will not be judged by whether we governed our lives according to the prophetic warnings of the tiresome prophets of doom flourishing on the internet these days. We will be put to one simple test: how well did we do the will of the Father in heaven?
I have decided to have a close up look at an internet prophet named Nathan Leal of the Watchman’s Cry ministry, as a case in point. I find he is fast becoming one of the most adept at understanding the new rules of the prophecy game in today’s world. He has quickly become the prophet of choice for many on the internet today, rising to near celebrity status with his messages he delivers to his followers after having dreams or visions, which he states are sent to him from God. His prophetic star is certainly on the rise, as he also recently secured his own radio show with a permanent time slot on a very popular survivalist radio network. Everywhere you look on Christian internet forums, his name pops up and is generally greeted with much fawning and admiration. Anyone who dares venture on one of these forums to comment that a certain message he delivered does not seem to be from God is shouted down by a mob of fanactical devotees, and thoroughly ridiculed. I know, because I have tested the waters in Christian forums, and it is incredible how strident and unswerving in dedication his followers are.
Let’s start by having a look at what kind of prophetic utterances have been issued in previous years by this ministry, and from this we can build a kind of yardstick to use to measure whether this is truly Godly information emerging from this website, or if these are merely the visions and dreams of a man with ambition. We will then examine his most recent prophecy, and some interesting aspects of this latest “message from God.”
Prophetic Dream/Vision Revelation number 1 (Floods In South Florida, 2008):
June 23, 2008, the Watchman issued a prophetic dream in which he saw flooding coming to the southern part of the state of Florida. Here are excerpts from his dream:
In my dream I saw the state of Florida appear suddenly in front of me. Suddenly, the shape of Florida dropped straight down into a bucket of water that was below it. The bucket was full of water so the bottom of Florida was under water.
Now, if this dream means that Florida will suffer a storm, it looks like the flooding will be in the southern part of the state. So Southern Florida, be warned. The Northern parts will receive an amount of water also, but not as bad as the south. *(1)
On August 20, 2008, the Watchman posted an update on his website claiming that the prophetic dream had been fulfilled by the passing of tropical storm Fay. Other than the obvious questions that arise from this claim, i.e., that prophesying a storm to occur in Florida during hurricane season hardly requires divine revelation, all news reports related that the storm spent most of its time in central and northern counties of the state. Brevard, Duval, and Volusia were among the hardest hit counties, along with other northern regions along the Panhandle. In the vision he claimed he got from God, he said he clearly saw the bottom part of Florida under water.
Prophetic dream/vision/revelation number 2: Houston Neighborhood Devastated and Covered in Black Soot, (June 3, 2008):
In this dream* (2), Mr. Leal found himself driving through a part of Houston which had been leveled and completely destroyed. Covering everything was a layer of black soot, and the streets were covered with a deep layer of mud one to two feet deep created from the black soot.
On September 30, 2008, he posted an article called “Was Hurricane Ike the Fulfillment of My Houston Dream?” Showing some photos of small parts of Houston near the waterfront that had sustained heavy wind and water damage, he mused that although he could not be certain, it could be that this was what he had seen in his dream.
The black soot and deep sooty mud in his dream would indicate to most people I think that something in line with a fire or explosion had occurred. You cannot have soot without fire. There would have to be a tremendous amount of heat and fire to create the amount of soot seen in the dream. To use a hurricane to fill in the blanks of his prophetic dream about dark soot in this case seems to be quite a stretch.
Prophetic dream/vision/revelation number 3 (Gulf Oil Spill, 2010):
The watchman of Watchman’s Cry had this to say last spring at the darkest moment of the Gulf crisis when it looked like there would be no end to the oil spill:
from article by Nathan Leal June 8, 2010
What we are now witnessing is the judgment of God upon America and upon the earth. When I say, “The Judgment of God” I am not referring to an afternoon thunderstorm that is over in a few hours. This judgment will include the very foundations of the earth quaking and trembling. It is going to play out through a sequence of events. These events are going to strike a death blow to the economy and food supply of America. We are going to witness famine, bread lines and soup kitchens! We are also going to witness a breakdown in society! Think Katrina times 100!! The peaceful towns of America are going to erupt into chaos as these things play out.
Here are some other random comments he made in his message about the Gulf Oil Spill given on May 27, 2010; *(3)
Folks this story is huge. It is gargantuan and I really don’t think most people understand the magnitude of it. How can I be so sure? Because I have been doing some seeking. And the Holy Spirit has made it very clear that what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is going to have very grave and serious consequences for millions of people. This oil event is going to impact the lives of very many people for years.
I know that this oil event is going to shatter historical records. Your life may depend on what you hear on this program. This event in the Gulf of Mexico is going to be a huge event in history. Again my friends, please make no mistake, the judgment of God is here. This thing is going to be mighty. It is going to be harsh. It is going to sting this country. I say this in deep deep grief. I don’t say it in enjoyment. I don’t say it in celebration, I say it in deep sorrow folks. Because if people really really knew the severity of this thing, they would be on their faces right now. Famine is going to reach the shores of America.
When I was preparing for this message, I said “God, what is going on?” God said “judgment”. And I said “God, give me a word about it”. And God said “I already did”. And he did two years ago folks. That’s a true story. And I said “when God when did you give it?” He said, “go look, look for the word famine and, look for the word shores” I had forgotten about those words, so I went to my computer and looked up this prophecy. I couldn’t believe what I saw folks.”Famine will reach the shores of America”. I actually forgot about these words. I said “God, is this really happening?”And the Holy Spirit said, “it is arriving”. And I was praying to God, “God, how bad is this going to be? Can you have mercy and stop it please?” And His answer to me, folks, was “This event is going to play out, and this judgment is going to be very very harsh. And I said “Harsh? Why harsh, God?” And His answer was, “this is going to sting America.”
Here he is calling the Gulf Oil Spill the fulfillment of a prophecy he made 2 years earlier, when God told him that famine was coming to the shores of America. The Gulf Spill, according to Leal, was the instrument God was now using to set off a wave of famine across America., spoken about earlier. He confirms that it was God’s judgment by actually quoting word-for-word a conversation he claims he had with God, with God reminding him of a word He gave about the future oil spill back in 2008, and that the oil spill judgment was going to “play out” with famine, and be very, very, harsh.
Now this is an example of a prophecy that went so horribly askew, that one would think it would have been enough to elicit at least an apology. When he went so far as to say that our lives could depend on what he had to say in that MP3 broadcast, many people posting on the various Christian forums began passing the word to friends and acquaintances that a serious threat to all our lives existed. When someone announces that our lives are in danger because of a certain threat, and subsequently that threat turns out to be either not life-threatening or nonexistent, isn’t that a bit like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater?
Prophetic dream/vision/revelation number 4: (The Swine Flu Epidemic Prophecy, May 1, 2009)
In a broadcast on May 1, 2009, Nathan Leal issued what he called a message of great urgency. He explained that God had told Him to warn the people that they were about to receive the judgment of pestilence. God would send a great epidemic of swine flu upon the land for its transgressions. He claimed this was a part of the fourfold judgments mentioned in the Bible.
In a lengthy sermon he delivered on May 1, 2009 *(4), the watchman spoke about depopulation of the world as the agenda for the New World Order, and that the swine flu was one of the instruments of this agenda to wipe out hundreds of millions of people. He said that although it would be carried out by people, God was behind it in as much as He was allowing it as part of His fourfold judgment upon the land.
As we know now, this epidemic never gained any momentum at all. According to Wikipedia, the swine flu pandemic began to taper off in November 2009. In an article written in the Journal of the American Medical Association in September 2010, it was stated that”the 2009 H1N1 (swine) flu was no more severe than the seasonal flu.” The report went on to state: “children infected in the 2009 swine flu pandemic were no more likely to be hospitalized with complications or get pneumonia than those who catch seasonal strains.”
Does this sound like any of the judgments we read about in the Bible? We have to decide: was the prophet right in saying that God told him the swine flu was His judgment, or was the prophet in error, because he is mistaken about having the prophetic gifting? Would God send a weak strain of mild flu-like symptoms, that completely dies out in a few months, as one of the great, fourfold judgments spoken of in the Bible?
Prophetic dream/vision/revelation number 5: “War” With Iran: June 5, 2008
This dream was short but very vivid.
I had this dream in June of 2007 In my dream, I was watching CNN News on my TV . The female newsperson was making an announcement about Iran. She said, ” Well folks today is the 21st and Iran has just reached their deadline and they have not complied. Therefore, the U.S. is now going to take “it” to the next level.”
I don’t know what “IT” meant, but by the tone of the news anchor, it sounded serious! “For we only know in part and prophesy in part.” Nathan Leal June 5, 2008 *(5)
Well, we should all write this down in our journals. “It” is going to happen. Does this sound like a prophecy God would pass on to His appointed messenger? Later on, in August of 2010, Leal mused that perhaps a story about Iran loading fuel at its Bushehr nuclear reactor was the fulfillment of this prophecy. Is he not reading his own prophecy? It said the U.S. would take “it” to the next level. Even if he had the country right, which he didn’t, could a prophecy be any more vague than this?
The Latest Prophetic Dream/Vision Revelation: Nuclear Attack On Hawaii and Missile Attack On Spokane (August 4, 2011)
“America’s New Pearl Harbor”*(6) is the title of watchman Leal’s latest excursion into prophetic release, and one of the most interesting for a number of reasons.
Here we have Mr. Leal relating that he found himself hovering in the air above the big island of Hawaii. He saw a missle leaving a vapor trail streak by and explode directly over the city of Honolulu. The explosion flash of white heat covered the islands of Hawaii and Maui. He saw the number 1,100,000 in glowing yellow/orange over the explosion. He said this number represented the number of people who would be killed. Suddenly he was transported to a new location, again hovering in the air, this time over the state of Washington. He saw a missle dropping directly on the city of Spokane. He saw a cloud that was orange / gray in color, rising to about 50,000 feet, but the buildings remained intact.
A few aspects of this message warrant looking at. First, he initially announced some of the details one week earlier, and said he could not say everthing that had been revealed to him prophetically. He said he sought counsel from friends as to whether or not to release the entire message. Aren’t all prophecies by their very nature commanded by God to be released? Or are some prophetic words just intended for the edification of the prophets themselves, and not intended for public release? The friends apparently advised him to release everything he had seen, or else blood might be on his hands for failure to give the full details. In response to his friends’ advice, the next week Mr. Leal recorded a hour-long audio detailing what he has seen prophetically. He also made up a written version in the form of an article, and put both audio and written transcript up on his website.
Now I just don’t know of any Biblical precedent for God to release prophetic information in such a way that it would not be immediately clear what to do with the information. I simply cannot stretch my imagination enough to get my head around the idea that revelation from God would come with so much uncertainty that a committee would need to be formed to get input and advice as to how to deal with it. Is there some kind of prophets association, where you get certification to judge other people’s prophecies, and the decision of the committee is final and binding on God? It seems that according to this new breed of internet seers, the prophecies of the Almighty God now have to pass through the filter of a human panel discussion before being released.
This reminds me of a failed prophecy by a friend of his in the prophetic circles last year, where Mr. Leal participated in a panel discussion after the prophecy had failed, and evaluated the prophecy. The concensus opinion, including that of Mr. Leal, was that the prophet had truly been hearing from the Holy Spirit! God’s word is pretty clear that we are not to judge any word through the lense of other people. We are to judge through Scripture alone. It is troubling how anyone who professes to be a Christian can not see the error of placing human opinion on the same level or even a higher level of truth as they place Scripture.
Another troubling aspect of this is that he has said that he does not have a date for the prophecy. Of course there is Biblical precedent for not having a date, but at the same time it leaves the prophet in a comfortable position where he can never be proven wrong. A handy “heads I win, tails you lose” position. Stacking the deck, if you will. Details are always hazy. Generalizations are used, without specifics. It seems prophets, too, learn from their mistakes.
But the most telling thing about this prophetic word will now play out as we watch to see if Mr. Leal moves himself and his family out of his home town of Priest River, Idaho. This location is about an hour’s drive from Spokane, certainly by no means a safe distance from a city that will be hit by a missile and experience an orange-grey cloud rising to 50,000 feet in the air. Does the prophet believe in his own prophecy? As of the time of this writing, I have not heard of any plans on his part to relocate to a safer part of the country, but you would think any real faith that it was God speaking to him would have him hastily moving eastward. I think it will speak volumes about his ministry if he doesn’t himself personally heed the warning God supposedly gave him to pass on to the rest of us.
Summarizing the State of Prophecy in 2011:
In this ministry we see in full bloom the maturing of the false prophetic style in the 21st century. Lots of publicity, lots of haughtiness, lots of bravado, but so little in terms of fulfillment. Fulfillment is claimed on things so general in nature that it becomes no more than a word game.
Dates and also specifics, sometimes such things as the exact nature of each event, are omitted. They are vague, saying God’s message to them is shadowy and incomplete. They plead that verse which is often misunderstood and misapplied, 1Corin. 13:9 “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” This verse is twisted and presented to mean that God is not clear when He reveals prophetic revelation to His prophets. It is used to imply that true prophecy is received from God much like in the old movies where you see the fortune teller looking through a hazy, smoky, crystal ball, trying to make out vague shapes and symbols. Nothing could be further from the truth, and nothing could be further from God’s word. Many prophets today think their job is to try to read the mind of God and interpret what they see. Reading minds is divination, which is forbidden by God. Prophecy is not an exercise in developing extrasensory perception. No human could ever succeed in attempting to read God’s mind. His ways are not our ways.
In Scripture, we know that the Lord is always clear and unambiguous, with never any hint of confusion. It is a device of the false prophets to claim that they don’t get specifics because God holds back the information to be mysterious. Either a prophet is getting his information from God, in which case it would be full and complete, or it is his own teaching, or information that comes from the desires of his own heart. “I am handicapped by limited prophetic information”, declares Mr. Leal. * (7)
Just listen to a brief excerpt from a vision he had:
……an event of catastrophic proportions is approaching. I believe that this event will occur in America. I do not know if this will be a terrorist attack or through war. I also do not know if it will be caused by something else like natural forces or an accident! ……..many people will die when it occurs! *(8)
If there are any true prophets in the world today, God’s word itself gives us the assurance that they would not play guessing games, rather they would be extremely clear, leaving no room for doubt as to what God was revealing. In Acts 9:10 Ananias gets a vision from God that tells him exactly what house to go to, on exactly which street, and the name and condition of the person who would be there. When we see the kind of generalizations used by today’s prophets we can know immediately they are not getting their information from God. They are false workers, and do not have the Gift of Knowledge in them.
Mr. Leal has now announced that he plans to have a place on his website where people can email their own prophetic dreams and visions to him for posting on the site. This kind of thing has already been taking place for some time now in the forum attached to his website. There is no discernment here at all. The same guy who says he himself is handicapped in receiving prophetic information is now opening the doors to any of his listeners to send prophecies in. Its a prophetic free-for-all. Everyone gets in on the act. They pay no attention to the third commandment that says we are never to take the name of the Lord in vain. This commandment is not about cussing or swearing, as some think. It is an admonishment to never speak falsely in His name. Much of the book of Jeremiah speaks about the danger of misquoting God. Jesus spoke about it as well, saying many will claim to speak with His authority, and speak lies. Paul spoke often about how many would come to falsely speak in the Lord’s name, leading many astray.
A major problem with Nathan Leal, and his ministry, is that nothing he ever extrapolates and magnifies from the headlines ever goes on to be a judgment from God like he claims. Everything just fizzles out, and he promptly just dusts himself off, and moves on to the next scare. What happened to the comet Elenin story? You know, the “Endtime Destroyer” as he called it in his interview with Augusto Perez? He dropped that one like a hot potato after one broadcast, mentioning it only briefly on several occasions since then. That one had a date on it, (Sept. 29, 2011) and having a date on something makes him edgy.
You can already see the writing on the wall: nothing released in the future is likely to come with a date. Why take a chance at slipping up when you can keep your prophecies open-ended and risk-free? I found this one lone Leal prophecy, from November 29, 2009, that actually had a date on it, and notice how carefully it is worded:
I also need to be very clear; my prophetic dream did not say that in Mid-August of 2010 the dollar would collapse. What it did say, was that in Mid-August of 2010, the wheels would be put into motion to begin abandoning the dollar. After that, everything was going to change!
This week, and I say that with tongue in cheek, because it literally changes from week to week, the big scare is from a pending EMP attack. This stands for Electro Magnetic Pulse, which when triggered would disable all electronic devices in the entire country. Mr. Leal has been hastily researching EMP events and their devestating effects, since he believes his recent prophetic vision of a missile dropping on Spokane was possibly part of an EMP attack. With his scenario of an EMP explosion, 70 to 90 per cent of the population of America would die within the first year.
In the three years or so this ministry has been up and running, the pattern has been almost hypnotic in its repetition: reading a story from the news headlines, and saying this story is the “big one” that’s going to be monumental and change the entire playing field. And the reason we need to educate ourselves on all these various doomsday scenarios is that, according to Mr. Leal, “people need to be prepared.” What kind of preparation does he recommend?
“Take the time to educate yourself on preserving your wealth……Hedge the value of your money now, by converting it to gold or silver bullion or other currency.”
How does one physically prepare for the kind of doom that he talks about? Build bomb shelters? Is stocking up on dried food, buying gold, or planting vegetable gardens going to save us from an event that will kill 90 per cent of the population? What will our gold buy if this is in our future? Where do we find physical shelter that will do us any good if any of these headlines really do represent the judgment of God? Only a foolish man would think that people can outrun, outrace, or outsmart a judgment from God. But he hammers it into his listeners heads that we need to listen to this drumbeat of terror because we need the information he dispenses to be prepared and ready to react.
In true survivalist fashion, he wants to direct our energies inward to ourselves. Our resourcefulness, our ingenuity, and our keeping ourselves informed on news events are what he believes are going to make the difference between surviving the next disaster or becoming its victim. What does the Bible have to say about our survival? It tells us that nothing short of placing our trust entirely in the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ will have any lasting effect.
As a Christian you might be tempted to say “the man is merely calling out to those who will listen the need for repentance!” The underlying premise of all the doom and gloom prophets is the staunch belief they have that God is using them to warn of impending disaster and thus bring as many souls as possible to repentance to avoid having the terrible event come crashing down upon them. Does not the word of God itself deal with the need for repentance, and tell us the kind of repentance we should have??
Is the needed repentance the kind where we repent because we want to be spared from suffering the effects of the next disaster, as the watchman says? Or does true repentance look more like this: we humbly repent because we are truly sorry for having offended the Lord, and submit fully to His will, whether the storm hits us head on and destroys everything we have, or passes by harmlessly? When fear is our motivation for doing something, our hearts are tainted by that emotion. We cannot give freely and purely when our motivation is fear-based. When we offer our repentance to the Lord, it should not be because we are trying to strike a deal with God to be spared from suffering in this world. It must be a pure, unconditional offering to the Lord, whatever the physical outcome or the cost in material terms. We say “I am yours, Lord. Do with me as you will. Whatever the outcome, I will still place my trust entirely in you.”
Do ministries that simply preach the gospel and minister to the spiritually broken, somehow fall short of inspiring repentance because they don’t load up on and inject enough fear into the equation? Is it a given that increasing the amount of fear in the hearts of Christians today will result in an equal increase in the amount of true repentance? We have to look at this for what it implies. The implication is that any ministry that does not incite fear and trepidation in its flock is falling short of its purpose, and failing God in the performance of its duties. This is entirely untrue.
Somehow I can’t help but feel that if every Christian in America today got together and decided to reject fear completely, turn off the doomsday broadcasts, and put their entire trust in the Lord Almighty, this man would be disappointed instead of rejoicing. He would claim that we are all blissfully ignorant, blind to the great dangers that face us all.
Ministries like this are a one-trick act. With Nathan Leal, the only trick he’s got is fear. There’s nothing else in his arsenal. Take away the fear, and this ministry would implode upon itself. Its actually quite sad, because maybe his intentions are good. Maybe somewhere early on in his walk he actually wanted to do God’s will. But this certainly isn’t it. How do I know? Because being obsessed with fear, and passing that obsession on to thousands of Christians in the church is not God’s will for anyone’s life.
We need to understand that we as Christians have to be aware and be able to discern when people are speaking without the proper authority. Discernment is key to navigating in troubled waters. In John 7:18 we read:
The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
Vague generalizations, inaccuracies, wording or phrasing that deliberately opens a statement up to a wide range of interpretations, visions and dreams that are said to be from God that do not become fulfilled in every detail, are all falsehoods. We should have nothing to do with them because they are not of God. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and all prophecies that are truly from Him have clarity and are without ambiguity.
To Nathan Leal and all the doomsday ministries out there, I have but one message: Yes, we understand that we live in troublesome and precarious times. We get that, in spite of your belief that most of us are unaware and ignorant. The peril of our times underscores the reason why people need to turn to the Scriptures more than ever these days. People need the solid rock of God’s word to cling to in times like this, not the shifting sands of dream interpretation or forming committees to decipher your visions. There will be a great accounting one day for all those who speak without the authority to do so.
All blessings in Christ,
(3) Message 152 WC archives
(4) Message #130 Watchmans Cry archives
****Any copyrighted material contained here is used under the “Fair Use of Copyrighted Material” laws, for the purpose of review and criticism.
Look, believe what you want. I’m telling you the gifts have ceased because the purpose for them has ended. No gifts that the apostles exhibited are repeatable today. The gifts were given to them by God so that the apostles could demonstrate that their authority was truly from God, at the time that they were laying down the foundation of the church. Pentecost was a one time event, not repeatable today. We simply are not apostles, and don’t have their powers. If I’m wrong, please immediately send me the names of those you know who travel from town to town healing the sick and raising the dead. If you want to claim these gifts still exist, you have to demonstrate that they do, and you can’t.
Because God did some things in a certain way in former times does not obligate him to do the same things today. He spoke through a donkey. Can we say, a-hah, he spoke through a donkey, so we can turn to donkeys for prophecy today? I am so weary of the neo-pentecostals claiming that the gifts of walking in miracles, healing, and prophecy continue today. The ultimate proof that they don’t is that no one today is walking in miracles, prophecy, and healing. Many are pretending to have these gifts, such as the ones I speak about here. I call them out because they are pretenders who counterfeit the gifts of God. If I am wrong, just give me the names of those who do healing, prophecy, and miracles in a Godly or apostolic fashion today.
Please don’t answer me by trying to quote Paul and reading your own meaning into what he said. You don’t understand the writings of Paul as you demonstrated a while ago by implying that in Phil. 1 12-18 Paul was saying that people were speaking inaccurately about Christ and Paul was rejoicing over this.
I will just let the record speak for itself. How many prophets do you know who give accurate prophecy today? Please give me their names. Or are you saying, as it seems you are saying, (and I am being very careful to not put words in your mouth), are you saying that prophecy doesn’t have to be accurate for it to be genuine prophecy from God? Because that SURE seems to me to be what you are saying. IF that is what you are saying then please realize how unbiblical that argument is. What more is there to be said in a discussion of Christian doctrine when someone claims spiritual gifts from God can be imperfect?
Either the gifts continue today in their full glory and power, or they don’t continue at all. It is completely irrelevant, pointless, and useless to discuss a “less accurate” or “less powerful” form of gifts which are from God. To pass on this idea, like you and Nathan Leal do, that the gifts from God are around today but in a “weakened” or “diluted” form is an apostate view. Nothing from God is ever diluted or watered-down to a weak constitution. People who claim this weakened view of God do a great disservice to the body of the Christian church.
As far as your accusation of “name-calling” goes, so now it seems you are the offended party here? In the last few days, you have called me the following:
“Clever and cunning, ……like one who is cast down”
“Spreader of disinformation”
“Suffer from considering yourself the final authority”
There’s a word for one who accuses others of doing what the accuser himself does. Jesus referred to this type of person often in his discourses.
I will not post any more comments. I have given you more space to comment than anyone else on this blog, and have given you plenty of chances to show me how I have been unfair or unbiblical in my treatment of the false prophets, and you have failed to do so.
If you care to answer my question directly and supply the names of those who exhibit true gifts of prophecy or healing or miracle working today I will be happy to post that reply.
There are some very lovely people here, responding to you with grace, mercy, warmth, humility, honesty, and charity. God bless them. Their gracious words are like refreshing springs of water in a desert. I would love to meet any one of them in person!
My friend I have no quarrel with you or your views. It is very hard I know when we think other people are doing something wrong and that we can see it and others can’t. I admire people who speak out against wrongdoing. (Although I know from bitter experience that we must be careful to examine our own hearts and speak the truth carefully – without malice or a cloak of deceit).
God’s commandment about ‘lying’ was specifically about bearing ‘false witness’ against someone else. He HATES that with a passion because it has such an incredibly destructive power. I’ve learned (more than once) that “where (my) words are many, (my) sin abounds!”
Yet in my own life, nothing has ever touched me more deeply than those people who have forgiven me for the wrongs I have done against them. (And I’m ashamed to say that I was often not even aware of how painful I was being to them at the time!) Their kind and patient examples, and gentle rebukes gradually taught me to become quicker to forgive those who have rejected me or excluded me in some way. (And sometimes to even forgive myself!) I am incredibly grateful to all such people.
Yes, it is true, one must always strive to speak truthfully about others, as we are not to bear false witness against anyone. As you say, God hates it because it has an incredibly destructive power. Even non-Christians understand this.
I have always had an open offer at my site to correct immediately any wrongful statements in any of my articles which anyone can point out. Please feel free yourself to point out any incorrect statements I have made, and I will respond immediately to correct them.
But if this rule is true in regards to what we say about people, consider for a moment how much more serious it is when God says “DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS ABOUT ME.” This is what the third commandment is all about, i.e. taking His name “in vain.”
You see what you are doing here? You tell me what a grave error it is to speak wrongly about others, but you said not a word about speaking wrongly about the ONE who we need to be REALLY WORRIED about wronging, the Lord Almighty himself. People today have strayed so far away from Biblical truth that they think its OK for a Christian minister to relate a dream to his Christian listeners as revelation from God. Then, when it doesn’t happen, is there remorse and repentence on the part of the minister? Not at all, he merely moves on to the next dream or vision, and to heck with the brothers and sisters in Christ who were misled into thinking it was God speaking.
My question is, and you would be well advised to seek within yourself and find a truly honest answer to this question, because it relates to your entire relationship with God: In relation to the article you are commenting on, are you more offended by Nathan Leal speaking falsely in the name of the Lord God Almighty, or do you find more offense in the notion that someone defending him may get hurt feelings by my speaking harshly in rejecting the defense, and a better approach might have been to sugar coat things a bit and be gentler, to avoid pain on the part of the defender?
I have shown with accurate dates and times and accurate quotes, how this man has falsely quoted God numerous times in the years I have followed his ministry, and so far he has not repented, nor even slowed down the number of prophecies he issues. If anyone who defends him, and I run across many who do at this site, really cared about the soul of this man, they would do everything in their power to make him see how much danger he is in to continue down this reckless path he has chosen. A person can die tomorrow, we do not know how long we have to live. There is no time to be wasted pointing out perceived violations in verbal etiquette. There is a bigger picture here. There is a time when good manners take a back seat to the importance of bringing a brother in Christ who has seriously strayed from the flock, to recognize his error, repent, and come back into the fold before it is too late.
I tried to reason with him in years past, when I was engaged in his forum, and make him see that it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to speak falsely in His name, but he rebuffed my attempts, and finally banned me from his site. There is nothing more I can do for him, but I will not be deterred from warning other brothers and sisters in Christ that he is a wolf.
People can heap all the blame and guilt they want on me, I don’t care. We are dealing with issues here that are far more important than hurt feelings and human emotions. We are dealing with people’s souls, and we are representing God when we attempt to speak on his behalf. All you have to do is open your Bible, and see the numerous warnings about how serious it is to engage in putting words in God’s mouth. As far as I am concerned, there is no more serious crime in the eyes of God, and the crime will be judged accordingly at the end of time.
In the meantime, I will continue to sound the alarm about people like him. Would any good sheep, on spotting a wolf in their midst, not warn the flock? I dare say they would not just look the other way to avoid the scandal of offending someone.
All blessings in Christ
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
I Corinthians 13:12
As greatly as Paul was used by God, he was a very humble man. It’s not easy to be that humble, but it’s important. Is the person who considers them self in a position to judge another man they feel is in error really any better? I’ll let God be the judge of that.
Do you feel loved and forgiven by Christ? Since he offered you grace, would it be all that bad to show grace to others and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting of error?
For what it’s worth, I really like the way Dave Hunt talked about false prophets in Chris Pinto’s Megiddo I. If you haven’t heard it, I believe you and others reading here would appreciate that film.
Due to his recent passing it perhaps may not be the best time for me to be speaking in doctrinal respects about Dave Hunt. It is enough to say that I believe he had grave misunderstandings in many doctrinal areas. To be perfectly clear, I do not believe these doctrinal errors outweigh in the eyes of God his earnest desire to do His will which he displayed throughout his remarkable life. May he rest in peace.
I will have a look at the film if I can locate it.
Please see the recent reply I gave to Warran, as it applies completely in how I would respond to you. It is not convicting I do. I say “look over there, brothers, – that person is speaking falsely on behalf of God. Look away from that evil, and turn back to the Bible, where we KNOW with certainty it is the Lord speaking to us.”
When people come back to me and claim lack of grace or harshness on my part, why would I let that appeal to my emotions and thus cause me to give free passes to falsehood? As I have said many times, what we don’t reject in whatever terms are necessary with whatever harshness is necessary to not keep the door to falsehood open, we are accepting that same thing with open arms. There is no middle ground here. I had a long series of discussions with you, and I tried as best I could to remain diplomatic as much as possible in showing you Biblically how people who falsely speak in God’s name are not to be coddled or defended, but you kept insisting with new comments that you were not defending anyone.
If you go back over that discussion with honesty, which I just did now, you will see quite clearly you were defending the right of the modern day prophets to speak, regardless of the consequences. You were saying things like “who is to know for sure if these types don’t truly speak God’s words.” (not an exact quote. ) That is defending them.
Please don’t open up a new argument, I have made my position clear, and you have made yours clear. I will continue to defend scripture as the sole source of revelation today. For further insight why I, and the church itself historically, before modernism took hold and corrupted this belief, believe in sola scriptura, see my latest article entitled The Cambridge Declaration. Historically the church has NEVER taught that revelation from God comes through human experience, or anything outside of a direct correlation to what is written in scripture. It is a new development of the past century or so, brought about by modernist, relativist thinking which has crept into Evangelicalism today.
This error has been greatly spurred on by the neo-Pentecostal movement of the 20th century, with its experience-based ideas about the so-called “second baptism in the Spirit.” This is an unbiblical idea that being swept up in tongues-speaking and emotional prophetic utterances is not only desirable but is actually required to confirm the presence of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life, and thus to pronounce the person a “complete Christian” who has somehow moved closer to God through his experiences.
If people think that social grace and manners and political correctness outweigh the seriousness of defending God’s word, I respectfully disagree. I believe it is showing lack of grace to allow human thoughts and ideas to override the one absolute truth which is contained in scripture.
“Grave misunderstandings”? I don’t see everything in scripture – doctrinally or otherwise – exactly the way Dave Hunt did, but those differences are minor in that there are simply multiple ways to interpret certain scriptural principles and doctrinal positions. We are fallen creatures with very limited perspectives and are restricted in innumerable ways when it comes to grasping the vastness of God’s creation and purposes. With that always at the forefront of my mind, I can’t even imagine what you would refer to as “grave misunderstandings in many doctrinal areas”. How would you even “know”? You speak as though everything in the Bible is black and white to you, and that is disconcerting because in all my observation and testing of the fruits, I’ve never found someone in true faith believing they were so definitively correct when it comes to “understanding” the mysteries of God.
Regardless, we will clearly have to agree to disagree on some issues that you consider of utmost urgency while I rest in the standard that Christ and not man is exalted. Having read through several different English translations of the Bible multiple times and learning much through my feeble incorporation of the principles I’ve believed most important, I keep going back to the foundational truth in Jesus’ two commandments – loving God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving all others as myself. I’m convinced that as long as you don’t have ulterior motives, over time you will come to recognize that the context of scripture really does grow as we do. And as tempted as you might be to do so, please don’t mis-characterize what I said there. I’m talking about “context” – not that the words literally change.
I will not get into Dave Hunt other than to say if you are interested read some of the reviews on Amazon for his book “What Love Is This”. Read the one-star reviews, not just the 5 star ones. (No, I’m not implying that the one-star reviews prove anything, but I simply don’t have the time to spare to list everything here; so if you just read them you will get the idea.) Read especially the ones that go into the kind of scholarship he put into that book. He was actually urged by prominent theologians not to go ahead with the publishing of that book without vast changes and corrections because of its numerous errors, faulty reasoning, and straying far afield from what scripture says. That is the end of what I have to say about Dave Hunt. As I said earlier, he had a remarkable career of service to the Lord. The only reason I said anything about him at all is that you twice now have held up his name in your comments, and I gave my opinion on his scholarship which is something I often do at this site. If that upsets you, then I guess I should tell you that the general rule of thumb here at this blog is not to bring up the topic if you specifically don’t want my opinion on something,
Everything in the bible actually is black and white. In your comments you keep implying that much falls into gray areas, that little is black or white, and this is one of the main disagreements I have with what you have been posting. I strongly believe in black and white areas. Not everything is intended to be compromised and decided by majority agreement, nor is a “concensus” view desireable. This is especially true with scripture. God intended one meaning in scripture – His meaning. God is not open to compromise in the way we handle his written Word. I reject completely the idea that there are “gray areas.”
Scripture is not a matter of what you want it to say. The scholars I respect are the ones who clearly show, verse by verse, context by context, how a passage fits into what its writer was expressing within the context of who the writer was expressing it to. By no means does having a clear understanding of scripture become a matter of needing to “grasp the vastness of God’s creation and purposes.” It is, however, a book God left us to be his revelation to us until the end of time, so it is reasonable to assume there is one true meaning, and that that true meaning is accessible to all who study and seek to find it.
I strongly oppose the idea that scripture is all basically “up in the air” and “open to differing viewpoints” as some people suggest. I don’t understand people who think the “context” of scripture changes. The context of scripture never changes. The context of our daily lives in the secular world may change, i.e. through such things as technology, science, etc,. How does the “context of scripture” change?
Scripture (what else) tells me God is not ambiguous or confusing in the slightest. If the context of scripture changed from day to day or generation to generation, and God’s word was not applicable in exactly the same ways to all people in all generations, then it would have no inherent integrity, would it?
You want so hard to believe that prophecy comes to modern day internet ministers who dream and write down their dreams and that becomes revelation from God. The bottom line to this whole discussion is this: you are entitled to believe that. Please, there are many, many sites around that support your views. Please frequent those sites. In fact, my views are clearly in the minority these days, as you can clearly see for yourself by some of the comments I get in the comment section. I tire of these senseless discussions, these discussions that have no possible positive outcome.
This is a discernment site. I don’t pretend to know all of “God’s mysteries” as you put it, which is impossible, but I do have confidence in my ability to exegete scripture, or else I would not be doing discernment. All of what I write about comes directly from or is inspired directly by, the Holy Bible. It’s not coming off the top of my head, or in hunches I get, or in my dreams, or in visions; it’s all from the pages of God’s instruction book to us.
I don’t take a polically correct approach. I don’t try to find a “common ground” among all differing viewpoints. I don’t try to “bring together” different beliefs and find some commonality. I don’t look at a variety of different interpretations of a verse from scripture, and attempt to patch them all together to arrive at a central “hybrid” postion that accomodates all of them. Accomodation is not part of the hermeneutical process. I dig in to a passage until I think I find what the writer meant. I don’t settle for “gray areas”, and I don’t believe God left us with a Bible full of “gray areas.” I use commentaries from scholars when necessary, especially those from past times because two thousand years of biblical scholarship is available to those who want to learn.
Far from convicting others as you have accused me of doing, what I do is hold scripture up in the light of what people who call themselves Christian ministers are saying, and point out discrepencies and outright falsehoods. The New Testament is full of warnings that people would come in the last days and make these false statements and draw people away from the truth contained in the Word. Paul exhorted us to watch out for that which would take us away from scripture in Rom. 16:17 and numerous other places, and Peter did as well. So wouldn’t it make sense for some in the church to point it out when it happens? Or should we all just have a selfish, “every man for himself” attitude when it comes to false teaching?
If you take an honest look at my replies to all your previous comments, you will see in almost every instance I was trying my best to pull you back to what scripture has to say, and away from what humans were saying.
I don’t know how I could have been any fairer in continuing to post all your comments, spending considerable time out of my day to respond to each comment, even after I previously asked you fairly and reasonably to not post anything more to my site. If I ran this site with the same “its my way or the highway” manner in which Nathan Leal and his wife run the Watchmans Cry forum that you are a member of, you would have been banned from making more comments a long time ago, but I don’t. I welcome opposing views. But you don’t need to keep kicking a dead horse, either. This discussion between us is a dead horse. You’re not going to change what you believe, and neither am I.
I understand Chilliwack is having a change in the weather. Beatriz says Yale is the place to be.
JD, I’m not trying to change your mind – I’m just hoping to help you see yourself in a way you perhaps had not seen – perhaps even God will show you something of yourself you hadn’t noticed before. I receive that gift often and I’m appreciative of others who do that for me.
Jesus’ parables of the tares and the wheat and of the dragnet are classic examples of men wanting to do God’s job for Him and not wanting to wait for Him to do the distinction and separation. Only God truly see’s the heart of a man, and we can all be thankful for that. When man tries to do so we have a very long track record of fraught with misinterpretation often due to not seeing the whole picture – like seeing the heart like God does.
I trust you don’t believe God has changed at all “yesterday, today, and forever” – correct? Do you believe He continues to be interested in interrupting a man’s path the way He did S(P)aul’s on the way to Damascus? Have you ever experienced the presence of God? Have you ever been brought to the end of yourself in awe of a Holy and Righteous God that has only given you a tiny glimpse of Himself?
If you yourself ever had a very vivid dream of your house catching fire when the whole family was asleep and everyone acted in a panic that caused a terrible event to become more tragic, do you think you might tell anyone in your family about that dream or at least prepare a plan of action in case of such an emergency?
I am convinced that Nathan Leal does NOT consider himself to be a prophet, but a messenger bearing warnings. He claims to know how serious it is to represent a message to the people as from God and have it turn out to be untrue, proving to be a message from Satan. He says he takes that very seriously, and is thus careful to qualify everything as a warning. For those who want to hear him emphasize that, Nathan was just on the Hagmann and Hagmann Report on May 1 and says this multiple times, most notably at about 2 hours 9 minutes in. Check for yourself.
Now you may have the benefit of hearing him say something very specific was going to happen at a specific time, but I’ve not had the benefit of hearing him say that. So far, what I’ve heard him say was fairly general in nature with dates being nothing more than conjecture. Perhaps that’s not been clear to others, but it’s been clear to me. When he says Lamentations is going to happen to America in much the same way it happened to Israel, that appears to remain very possible. If people don’t want to do anything in anticipation of such a possibility, that’s their prerogative, and between them and God. For me, it’s a reminder of the urgency of the hour. God could very well be positioning many of us to help the lost find rescue for their souls when they become desperate enough to seek it.
If this doesn’t happen to America, then great! – we desire to be a conduit of rescue for the lost anyway. But if this serves as motivation to get people exercising their salvation in their neighborhoods instead of just in the pews, why would anybody want to stifle that?
Thanks Anne, and M.A. for showing all the world what spiritual fibre you folks are made of. Keeping it classy as always.
For the benefit of my readers, I have recently had Nathan Leal and several of his supporters attempting to gather information on my friends and family on Facebook, and others who they think are my family, even though I don’t use Facebook. He and some of the ardent, strident supporters of his Watchmans Cry site have been trying to use Facebook as a new front in attempts to discredit what I write about, because they know they don’t have scripture to back up what they do.
Well, I guess we can’t expect any less from this “watchman” bunch. If you can’t show how the scripture supports what you are doing in your ministry, then what else is a person to do but start up the personal attacks?
You will recognize some of the names from their past vitriolic comments here: Anne and M.A. And Nathan Leal himself recently tried to sneak onto a friend’s Facebook page, representing himself as a friend of mine to get information concerning some photographs of my family. I believe its called tagging or befriending?? Really cool, Nathan. That’s a great way to show everyone how you emulate Christ. You guys sure run a classy outfit over there at Watchmans Cry.
Apparently Nathan Leal is too cowardly to debate me on scripture, and prefers to use underhanded personal attacks and attempts to snoop on my private life. The Watchman should take a page from his forum member tsimitpo’s book, who while many times disagreeing with me, at least tries in his own way to keep it scriptural for the most part. He is the only one I know of from that time-worn, resurrected, and resuscitated forum Watchmans Cry who has any class at all.
To Nathan Leal, and the others, if you’re right, scripture will bear you out. Use scripture as your defense to anything I write. Debate me, don’t be low-life cowards by going after my family.
There will be a huge price to pay for every Christian leader who leads a single one of God’s chosen away from scripture onto the dreams of men. Nathan, you’ve got much bigger, eternal issues to worry about than anything that’s on Facebook. Even if you think you will meet success in your Facebook espionage, I will only take that as confirmation from God that I should continue the struggle against sites like yours with a redoubled effort.
As far as those photos you threaten to post, Anne, I’m not sure what you’re referring to but apparently you think that some kind of veiled threat concerning Facebook is going to make me hide in the bushes somewhere. Post to your heart’s content. Everything you do will further demonstrate what I have said all along. These “ministers of the internet” are a farce and a sham, who are willing to use any tactics, except using scripture, to try and win more converts to their cau$e.
Some days people make this job so easy. Issuing threats about some Facebook issue when I’m not even on Facebook?? What category of Christianity would you put that in?