How do you discern between authentic prophecy and prophetic witchcraft? This is a crucial question as many false prophets have tried to deceive Christians over the years.
Sadly, there's no telling how much money and time people have sown into false prophets' ministries.
Don't get me wrong, I fully believe in authentic prophecy. And often, the Lord will lead me to give prophetic words online. But I've also seen false prophecy spread on the internet like wildfire, leaving a trail of deception and destruction.
So how do we discern the true from the false?
To help answer this question, I invited Jennifer LeClaire onto my podcast, Adventures in the Spirit. Jennifer is an internationally recognized author, apostolic and prophetic voice and conference speaker. She also recently wrote her latest book titled Discerning Prophetic Witchcraft.
"Prophetic witchcraft is using the prophetic (for manipulation)," Jennifer says. "It's tapping into a familiar spirit or just prophesying stuff you make up or looking over someone's shoulder to see their zip code on their offering envelope and then later on getting a word of knowledge with their zip code. Those sorts of manipulations of the prophetic are prophetic witchcraft."
Jennifer offers five practical strategies to help you discern prophetic witchcraft:
- Spend more time with God, so you can know Him better. An intimate relationship with the Lord is paramount to discerning prophetic witchcraft. Think about it—you can't discern a fake if you don't know the authentic inside and out. Take time each day to study God's Word, talk to Him and fellowship with Him. As He reveals Himself to you in a deeper way, you'll be able to easily spot when something does not flow from His Spirit.
- Get a biblical view of judgment and discernment. Some Christians are terrified of the label "judgmental." They have a "thou shalt not judge" attitude when it comes to discerning Christian leaders' teachings and prophecies. But the Bible talks about a righteous kind of judgment that involves discerning a leader's character and teaching. In fact, you can't read a single book in the New Testament that doesn't warn us to watch out for false prophets and teachers. Be careful of becoming so enamored with someone's gifts or charisma that you can't discern their fruit.
- Heed the Holy Spirit's warnings. Some Christians call this a "check in their spirit." Whatever name you give it, make sure to pay attention when something feels off in a spiritual sense. That may very well be the Holy Spirit trying to warn you of prophetic witchcraft. "The Holy Spirit always, always, always tries to warn us that we are going in the wrong direction," Jennifer says. "If we are not sensitive to His voice leading, if we have that mindset of 'Well, who am I to judge?' or 'Well, they're so accurate, I don't need to judge,' then we are potentially going to walk into some kind of prophetic trap. And it's going to cost us time, money (or) heartbreak."
- Watch out when people demand money in exchange for prophecies. I'm not talking about selling e-courses on how to prophesy or hear God's voice. I'm talking about someone asking you to pay them money before they are willing to give you a prophetic word. This is prophetic witchcraft—plain and simple. The Holy Spirit isn't a genie in a bottle. The apostle Peter publicly rebuked a sorcerer named Simon in Acts 8 because he tried to buy the Spirit of God with money. This attitude will never come from the Holy Spirit. If you see a prophet who's obsessed with money, that's a huge red flag.
- Avoid fear-based prophecies. Prophets who tend to focus on prophetic curses, judgments and fear-based predictions are usually not operating in the Spirit. These false prophets use fear as a way of manipulating people into listening to them and following their ministry. In my podcast, Jennifer gives the example of a so-called prophet who cursed a young man who left his network. He prophesied that the young man's church would fold, that he would lose his house in 30 days and that an angel of destruction would come upon him. None of that happened. In fact, the young man's ministry grew, proving that false prophet wrong. Lesson learned—beware of fear-obsessed prophets.
Learn More About Discerning Prophetic Witchcraft
Want to learn more about how to discern prophetic witchcraft that may be operating against you? Click here to listen to my podcast with Jennifer LeClaire. Also available on Apple, Spotify, Google, YouTube and anywhere you listen to podcasts.
Jared Laskey, M.Div., M.A. Christian Ministry, is the founder of Fireborn Ministries and host of the Adventures in the Spirit podcast. He lives to see Jesus awaken this generation to the power of the Holy Spirit. Jared loves teaching people how to hear God. He has recently published the Spirit-Empowered Journal, available on Amazon, and e-courses Entry Level Prophecy, The Last Days, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit and more on charismacourses.com. His testimony of how God supernaturally healed him of PTSD is in Joan Hunter's new book, Miracles for Veterans.
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