The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

The False Prophecy Challenge: Should you be listening to leaders who lie?

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Beginning at the end of 2016, we prophesied that Mr. Donald Trump would not become the American president on January 20.  Well, he did.  So here’s a question for you: what are you still doing on our site?

There’s hardly any future prophecy on our site, and this bit about Trump was only posted on the Q&A page of our main website.  So some of you might have missed it, which is why we are now telling you about it.  You see, we don’t want you to miss the fact that we prophesied something very time specific that didn’t happen.  We want you to look right at it and be properly bothered because we lied to you.  So again: what are you still doing here?

Now if we were doing this for the book sales, money, and fans, then right about now is when we’d be coming up with some lame excuse to try and salvage our credibility with you.  You’ve seen prophets do that kind of stunt before—like those sad sacks who swear Jesus is coming back by such-and-such a day only to have Him not show up, so then they try to tell us that He did come back “in spirit,” which is why none of us saw Him.  Well, no, that’s ridiculous.  We said Mr. Trump would be totally eliminated.  Now he’s President Trump and he’s doing just fine.  You need to be bothered by this.  If you’re not going to seriously question spiritual leaders who put out prophecies like this, then you are a cult leader’s dream, so don’t waste your time here—go over to those jerks at false prophet central and give them all of your money and worship.  They’ll be far more appreciative of your blind loyalty than we will.  We don’t want your blind loyalty.  We want you to think.  We want you to care deeply about the well-being of your own soul, and that means you don’t minimize the fact that we prophesied something which did not occur.

Whenever a human claims that God is the Source of a prophecy that didn’t come true, there should be major alarms going off in your mind.  We’re always telling you not to put your trust in people, but to check everything with God.  We’re always telling you that even good shepherds can go bad without warning.  So those of you who have developed some lofty opinion of us need to stop with the misplaced admiration.  It is only God who you can trust, and we’re not Him.

Now if we were amateurs at spiritual discernment, then we’d be reeling with confusion and distress right now, and wondering where we went wrong about the Trump thing.  But we’re not amateurs at discernment.  We know when God is talking to us, and we know that prophesying the demise of Trump on our site was His directive.  So you see, we’re not going to make it easy on you by saying, “We were mistaken” or by making up some ridiculous way that our prophecy could have been metaphorically fulfilled.  We told you what God told us to tell you, and since He’s the only One who knows the future, that makes Him the Liar, not us.  Did you catch that?  We just called God a Liar.  So what are you still doing here?

Among her ocean of deceptive teaching about God, the Church teaches you to cling tightly to two sacred pillars: God doesn’t lie, and He has nothing to do with evil.  On our main website we have whole categories of posts which prove how delusional the Church is to cling to either of these mantras.  You see, we humans don’t get to define who God is, which is why He possesses many traits which we heartily disapprove of.  It scares Christians to think that their Creator would intentionally deceive them.  But of course He would, and He does, and He has since the beginning of this Creation.

Since the purpose of our site is to teach people how to develop a close bond with God, we intentionally thrust His threatening characteristics and methods in your face.  You can’t get close to God while you’re pretending that key aspects of His Person don’t exist.  God’s absolute control over all that He makes is one of His core characteristics, and if God controls everything, then clearly He controls evil.  God is not just the Creator of some things, He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists—and that includes evil.  So you see, you can’t stand with the Church and God at the same time.  If you’re going to say that she’s correct about God not lying and having nothing to do with evil, then you are flat out rejecting who God says He is.  But if you side with God and accept His version of reality, then the Church will write you off as a blaspheming heretic.  This impossible bind was quite intentionally created by God, because He isn’t a fan of split loyalties.  In your relationship with Him, He wants you to be all in, and He intentionally makes total devotion to Him a very costly affair in order to separate the truly devoted from the fickle fans.

Now since the Church wants you to cling to this baloney about God never lying, she goes to great lengths to discourage you from ever reading the Scriptures that she teaches you to worship.  Oh, sure, she’s always on your case about doing those daily devotions—but should you come up with a conclusion that doesn’t fit her status quo, she’ll be right there to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.  The Church wants you to interpret the Bible the way that she does—not read what it actually says.  So she is constantly yanking passages out of context and pounding into you that you’re some well-meaning dunce who can’t possibly figure out the true meaning of Scripture without the help of Church-approved “experts” who will make sure you see things “right.”  It’s thanks to the fact that the Church puts so much effort into distracting you from certain portions of Scripture and blocking you from making certain connections that you actually think the Bible supports the theory that God doesn’t lie.  In reality, the Bible is loaded with examples of both Jesus and Yahweh intentionally messing with people’s minds.  Want some specific examples?  Of course you do, so let’s run through some.

There are many ways to deceive people.  You can tell some quick little fib, or you can put on a whole theatrical performance which will make people think you’re going to do something that you have no intention of doing.  The latter was the game Jesus was playing when He did His famous ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.  Christians celebrate this event on Palm Sunday, which is utterly ironic, since Christians are phobic about God lying and the whole donkey routine was an epic deception.

To catch on to what Jesus was doing here, you have to start with the props.  What was with the donkey?  Why didn’t Jesus just walk into Jerusalem as He’d done many times before?  Well, the donkey moment happens shortly before Jesus’ crucifixion and very soon after he resurrects Lazarus.  The Lazarus miracle was an epic departure from previous resurrections that Jesus did.  You see, Lazarus hadn’t just keeled over when Jesus showed up—he’d been dead for four days.  The Jews had a very strong superstitious belief that after a person died, it took three days for their spirit to actually depart from the earthly realm and go on to the underworld.  In other words, when you die, you’re just mostly dead.  It’s only after three days have passed and your spirit has left the dimension that you’re truly, absolutely, “only the Almighty Yahweh can possibly bring you back” kind of dead.  By intentionally stalling around before raising Lazarus, Jesus was purposely exalting Himself in the eyes of the Jews, and proving beyond all doubt that He had a super special connection with Yahweh.  The Jews’ awe of Jesus skyrocketed after the Lazarus event, and since Jesus was so obviously flaunting His powers in the face of Rome, the Jews figured that He was cuing them that He was about to make His move to seize the throne in Jerusalem.

According to a bunch of lying prophecies that Yahweh cranked out in the Old Testament, Israel’s Messiah would function as a powerful king who would reign from Jerusalem and turn the political nation of Israel into a world power.  This was what the Jews expected, and this was a totally “biblical” view.  Of course Yahweh and Jesus knew from the beginning that They had no intention of rescuing Israel from Rome with some mighty Jewish king.  But when Yahweh sent Gabriel to announce Jesus’ birth to Mary, did Yahweh play straight with Mary?  No, He totally lied to her and encouraged her to think that her Son would grow up to be one of Israel’s greatest monarchs.

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with Yahweh. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you will call His Name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord Yahweh will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:30-33)

Are you hearing a message of “Your Son will die young and disgraced” in this statement?  Not at all.  Yahweh is intentionally deceiving Mary and everyone else by specifically promising that her Son would grow up to reign from Jerusalem like David did.

David was one of Israel’s greatest kings, and Yahweh was so pleased with David’s loyalty that He promised David that one of his descendants would always rule on the throne in Jerusalem.  Of course that was another fat lie, because by the time of the Gospels, Israel has spent centuries as the property of foreign empires, with no Jewish king ruling anywhere.  Like we said, the Bible is loaded with examples of our Gods intentionally deceiving people, and it’s more than a little shady for Yahweh to tell Mary that her Son will reign on the throne of David when He knows that this will never happen.  But before you think Yahweh is the main Agitator in this scenario, let’s get back to Jesus’ famous “triumphal entry.”

Way back in the days of Zechariah—who prophesied centuries before the time of the Gospels—we find Yahweh putting out another epic fib.

“Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt.

I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.” (Zech. 9:9-10)

This was one of those well-known passages that New Testament Jews were clinging to as proof that someday Yahweh would raise up a Jewish man who would drive out Israel’s oppressors and expand her into a mighty kingdom.  It was this passage that Jesus was intentionally playing on with His triumphal entry.  By riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt in front of everyone, He was sending a very clear message of: “Hey, Jews, I am your King.  I’m the One who Zechariah spoke of.  I’m about to drive Rome out.  Israel is embarking on a new, golden age.”  All of the Jews made this super obvious connection, which is why they were going fruit with the palm branches and shouting “Hosanna” which means “Save us, we beg you!”  Today Christians have turned this desperate plea into a happy cry of praise, but that’s not how the Jews meant it when they were waving those palm branches.  They were trying to spur their new Savior into action by vocalizing their desperation.  To them, it was obvious that Yahweh was about to rescue Israel from all oppression just as He prophesied He would centuries before.  And since everyone thought that Joseph was Jesus’ biological father, and Joseph was a descendant of David, then that meant Jesus had the right bloodlines to take another stab at reviving Yahweh’s failed promise that a descendant of David would always rule in Jerusalem.  See how it works?  It’s a big deception sandwich, with Jesus intentionally adding another layer to a whole stack of fibs that Yahweh had been building up over centuries.

Yahweh and Jesus are Masters at deceiving humans and in Scriptures we find Them rolling out the fibs thick and fast.  Way back in the days of the wilderness journey, we find Yahweh laying down clear cut rules for how to tell true prophets from false ones.  He says:

“But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from Yahweh?’ If the prophet speaks in Yahweh’s Name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that Yahweh did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without My Authority and need not be feared.” (Deut. 18:21-22)

This is the verse the Church teaches you to run to in a situation like the one we’ve put you in: where a specific prophecy is given, but it doesn’t happen.  And, hey, this is Yahweh talking and He’s giving us a very clear cut test, so we’re all set, right?  Wrong.  Because the same God who claims that He’d never give a false prediction will later prophesy through Jonah that the city of Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days.  Forty-one days later, Nineveh was still standing and Yahweh was whipping out the old “I’ve changed My mind” card.  Now wait a second—does Yahweh give false prophecies or doesn’t He?  Yes, He does.  And when He does, He doesn’t want His prophets to get executed, despite the fact that He said in Deuteronomy:

“But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in My Name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.” (Deut. 18:20)

Jonah didn’t “falsely claim” to speak a message from God, because God really did tell Jonah to tell the Ninevites that they’d be destroyed in 40 days.  We didn’t “falsely claim” to speak for God when we told you that Trump wouldn’t become president, either, because that is what God told us to tell you.  But then again, that’s just our side of the story—how do you know we’re not lying?  You don’t.  You can’t just take our word for it.  But you can’t just blow us off when God has such a long history of deceiving people.

Even though the story of Jonah proves beyond any doubt that God does lie, Christians won’t see what’s right in front of their faces.  Do you know why you’re not deeply disturbed by Yahweh giving a false prophecy through Jonah?  Because you know why He did it, and you approve of His motivations.  What’s unusual about Jonah’s account is that you get an explanation of God’s actions spelled out for you.  God lied to the Ninevites in order to motivate them to repent out of their spiritual rebellion.  When they did repent, God said that He cancelled His planned destruction in order to be merciful.  We all want a God who is merciful, so we approve of God reneging on this particular promise.

Now in real life, it’s rare for God to explain to you why He lied to someone else.  Most of the time, you’re just going to hear the lie and you’re not going to receive any comforting explanation of what God’s personal motivations are for deceiving people.  When you’re not told the whole story, you suddenly find yourself feeling a lot more threatened by this lying business.  Even though humans lie to each other all the time, we’ve got it in our heads that a God who lies must also be evil in Character.  We feel like it’s an oxymoron to say that God could be good and a Liar at the same time.  But is it?

Can you really trust a God who lies?  This is the fundamental question that you’re supposed to be asking when you see Jesus and Yahweh teaming up to mislead the Jews during Jesus’ Triumphal Entry.  In real life, being merciful and pushing people to repent are not the only motivations God has for lying.  Jonah’s story is an example of God lying for reasons that we humans like.  But the truth is that God deceives for reasons that we don’t like as well.  In the Bible we find both Yahweh and Jesus declaring that They are intentionally preventing certain humans from understanding truth because They don’t want those humans to repent and receive mercy.  When Jesus’ frustrated disciples asked Him why He was always talking in confusing parables, Jesus said:

“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” (Mk 4:11-12)

Here Jesus says that He was using parables to prevent people from understanding His point—and you can bet that’s a passage that pastors try to avoid (see Jesus: The Bewildering Teacher).  Adding to the fun, Jesus is intentionally quoting Yahweh with this answer—He’s pulling a passage from Isaiah in which Yahweh told Isaiah that He was going to block the spiritual rebels of Isaiah’s day from understanding Yahweh’s messages because Yahweh did not want them to repent and be forgiven.

Now keeping souls in a fog of ignorance is one thing, but suppose God were to tell a man that he’s going to Heaven when He really know that the man is on his way to Hell?  This is what Jesus did with Judas.  In Matthew 19, Jesus’ twelve disciples are griping about all of the sacrifices they’ve made to follow Him.  Judas is among those twelve—the same Judas who Jesus would later declare to be eternally damned after Judas betrays Jesus.  And yet listen to the happy picture Jesus paints about Judas’ future:

“I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon His glorious throne, you who have been My followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:28)

Did Judas ever sit on a throne and rule beside Jesus?  Not hardly.  This promise is a complete lie, and one that encourages Judas to believe he’s in a far better place with Jesus than he actually is.

So then, in both the Old and New Testaments, we find examples of our Gods clearly demonstrating that They actually want certain souls to be eternally damned.  And yet what are you told by the Church today?  That Jesus weeps over the lost and that our Gods never want anyone to perish.  And this from the same folks who tell you that every word in the Bible is “Divinely inspired.”  What a bunch of double talk.

Our Gods are wild and unpredictable.  They intentionally deceive, They ruthlessly destroy, and They suddenly change direction without warning.  And yet in spite of all this, They are good, They are trustworthy, and They are very easy to succeed with.  In our material, we push you to contemplate new perspectives, we challenge you to reevaluate your current beliefs, and we help you realize that you don’t have any hope of ever finding the real truth or pleasing your Creators unless you are directly engaging with Them.  You can’t just coast on the simplified slop the Church cranks out about who God is and how He operates.  Building a strong, intimate relationship with Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit requires a ton of wrestling with your personal doubts and fears.  The Church tries to shelter you from feeling uncomfortable with God, and in doing so, she encourages you to spiritually stagnate.  We intentionally provoke you into feeling the limits of your devotion to God and the depths of your own insecurities.  It is quite possible for you to grow into a fabulous place with God, but you won’t get there by running from challenges or by rooting your trust in humans.

So then, we prophesied something that didn’t happen, and we claim that God told us to do so.  Did He really?  Or are we just delusional?  Is anything we say worth listening to?  Is there a point to you even being here?  Ask God.  Trust God.  But by all means, don’t trust us.

FURTHER READING:
Serving a God Who Lies
Understanding Trust Development: Learning to Feel Safe with a Monstrous God
Recognizing Trust Lessons: Why God is Refusing to Give You Clear Direction
Practicing Discernment: Jesus Lies
Practicing Discernment: Yahweh Lies
Christian Prophets Explain the Mechanics of Prophecy: Don’t Just Believe What We Say

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