There is a woman who claims to be a prophet of God. Her main focus is our government and God's coming judgment upon our nation. When I was sent the link to one of her pronouncements, I have to admit my curiosity was raised.
As I began to listen to her, I prayed to God for wisdom and discernment because just as Jesus warned us, there are wolves in sheep's clothing out there. And, due to the extreme ease of social media, a person can gain thousands of followers if they say what the masses want to hear, look the right way, quote enough scripture, so on and so forth, and have the ability to even fool the elect, if possible (Matthew 24:24).
It wasn't long and just as I suspected, she began to use Bible verses taken out of context to back up her agenda. I could almost envision Grandma Walton standing in her kitchen with her hands on her hips and shaking her head mumbling "Good Lord!" My sentiments exactly.
Here is an example of what is being peddled out there. First of all, she quoted Proverbs 6:31 which says, "But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house." This "prophet" was using this particular verse to refer to our government and those who steal position or power, but what it is really addressing is adultery and stealing another man's wife. Big difference.
Example number two was Exodus 23:27 which says, "I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run." Again, she was applying this verse to our nation/government, but what she failed to mention was that these words were given to the Israelites by God when He was talking about the moment they would enter into the Promised Land. He would drive away all their enemies.
Last example is the usage of Deuteronomy 28:7 which says, "The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven." Sounds great, but this has nothing to do with the USA. It was a warning to the Israelites that God would destroy their enemies IF they obeyed Him.
This problem of false teaching and false prophets is nothing new. Matter-of-fact, God had strong words about those who mislead, misalign, and falsely report things "God has spoken." Take a look:
"But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death." - Deuteronomy 18:20
"My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD." - Ezekiel 13:9
"Then the LORD said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds." - Jeremiah 14:14
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD." - Jeremiah 23:16
"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." - Matthew 7:15
On and on and on.
So, what do we do? How can we discern the difference between what is true and what is false? I'm glad you asked! There are three main steps I would suggest:
Know your Bible. I cannot overemphasize this. You will not be able to detect the false from the truth without knowing what the truth says.
Ask questions. Never be afraid to ask a trusted pastor, Bible teacher, or student of the Word about something someone is saying, and never just believe what someone has told you about the Bible. Search it out for yourself.
Pray for wisdom and discernment. There are a lot of untruths being thrown at us. To be able to rightly maneuver those things, we must have God's guidance upon us. Seek and you will find.
I remember in the 70s (yes, I'm that old) watching Saturday morning shows like Sesame Street and the Electric Company. One of the first words I learned to spell from those shows was POISON. Funny word for a kid, huh?
Well...here is your word for many of those individuals popping up with a "message" from God. POISON! Do Not Touch!
Be careful. That's all I can say. As we see the days growing darker and the time getting shorter to Christ's return, unfortunately sound doctrine will be far and few between. Read your Bible, ask questions, pray for wisdom and discernment. The Holy Spirit will guide you through the crazy in order to find the truth.