False Prophecy in the Church

The worshippers of Baal and Asherah in the Old Testament of the Bible were characterized by their false prophets. 450 prophets of Baal sat to eat at Queen Jezebel's table, along with 400 prophets of Asherah. Asherah in the Bible was a sexual goddess known by various different names depending on the region. She was often worshipped alongside Baal by many different people groups - including later, by the people of Israel. Many, unknowingly, are still worshipping these false deities today. Both are characterized by their love of war.

The Prophetic Power of the Tongue

“Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, ‘Is that you, O troubler of Israel?’ And he answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.’”

1 Kings 18:17 – 19

In the same way, the spirits of Baal and Asherah still manifest themselves in the Body of Christ today – including through false prophets and false prophecy. One of the ways they manifest, is through the negative or destructive words that people speak about others.

The Bible tells us that the devil came to steal, kill and destroy, and one of the ways he will try to do this, is through the words of our own mouths. We do not want to be partnering with Satan’s work, so Jesus warns us,

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”

John 10:10

Continue to Speak Life

Just like our adversary the devil, Queen Jezebel was hungry for control and power. She tried to exert control over others through fear, manipulation, sorcery and intimidation – often, but not always, using the power of the tongue. The Bible declares,

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 18:21

Don’t Partner With Jezebel’s Words

Just as Elijah, and King Jehu – who defeated queen Jezebel found (See 2 Kings 9:30 – 37) after their victory over the prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth, the spirit of Jezebel began to retaliate. A Jezebel spirit may do this by using words of intimidation, manipulation and accusation. It wants our heart’s to come into agreement with it; rather than trusting in the love of God. The writer of 1 John says,

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”

1 John 4:18 & 19

Queen Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah…….

“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.’”

1 Kings 19:1 & 2

When Elijah heard her words he became afraid and ran. Rather than focusing on the love of God and His provision for him, he began focusing on the threat in her words. He focused on the problem, rather than the power of God to resolve it. Instead of blaming Queen Jezebel, he began to shift blame onto the children of Israel instead. For twice, he said to the Lord,

“I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

1 Kings 19:10 and 1 Kings 19:14

But the Lord ministered in kindness to Elijah (See 1 Kings 19:3-18). He reassured him that he was not being left to fight this battle alone. He raised up others for Elijah to anoint to complete the work that He had begun (See 1 Kings 19:15 – 17) – finally reassuring Elijah and correcting him,

“Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

1 Kings 19:18

Keep Blessing And do Not Curse

A Jezebel spirit may speak through others, words of incitement and error. It may work through others to pray its own purposes against you or to speak behind your back. This is a form of witchcraft and manipulation. But these things are the responsibility of our Heavenly Father to attend to. Our response to others should always be to bless in return – and so we defeat the enemy’s curses. For this reason the Apostle Paul clearly tells us,

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Romans 12:14
  • Whether we realize it or not, our words activate a direct response in the spiritual realm.

When our words are good, speaking in agreement with the word of God, they activate the Spirit of God to move on our behalf, bringing forth life into every situation we face and to the people around us. When people curse, we choose to act in the opposite spirit – and we defeat the enemy’s curses.

Keep Blessing the Next Generation

Those who were worshippers of Baal in the Old Testament were known for sacrificing their sons in the fire, potentially destroying the lives of the next generation. God said that this was a thing that had never entered His mind for them to do.

They have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind.”

Jeremiah 19:5

The consequences for those who did this were severe.

“‘Therefore behold the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth.'”

Jeremiah 19:6 & 7

The word ‘Tophet’ is translated ‘place of fire’ or, ‘place of burning.’ The Valley of the Son of Hinnom was a geographical location close to the walls of Jerusalem, from which the Greek word Gehenna in the New Testament is derived from, being a symbol of hell.

When we speak against the Church, the leadership of the Church, or others in the Body of Christ, we release cursing words that can flow down to affect the next generation. Instead – keep speaking words which will bless.

Wrong Words Spread Like a Fire

The book of James says our wrong words are sparks that spread like a fire. That is because our words have a power – See also my articles ‘The Creative Power of Words’ and ‘Addressing the Issues of Our Hearts.’

“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity (translated ‘unrighteousness, injustice, morally wrongful’). The tongue is so set among our members (‘A limb or part of the body’) that it defiles the whole body (‘a number of men closely united into one society, as in the New Testament Church’), and sets on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire by hell.”

James 3:5 & 6 – See Strongs Concordance

The word used for ‘nature’ in verse six is directly translated ‘generation.’ Strongs Concordance also outlines nature as ‘a book of one’s lineage, i.e. in which his ancestry or progeny are enumerated, or mentioned separately as if counting, named one by one.’

It is no coincidence then, that James says that the tongue ‘sets on fire the course of nature’ – one’s lineage or the next generation – ‘and it is set on fire by hell’ – translated Gehenna or the Valley of Hinnom. In exactly the same way as those who shed innocent blood by sacrificing their sons to Baal, through wrong words, innocent blood is still being shed today. This is why we need to learn how to pray and to bless in response.

  • Wrong words have demonic spirits working behind them.
  • If people curse – we must bless in return.

Test the Spirits

Every time we open our mouths or hear the words of others, we need to have a ‘listening ear’ to discern what spirit is operating.

Every spirit that is not of God, whether we recognize it or not; will try to undermine the purposes of Christ.

We are not warned to discern the spirits in others to point out other people’s faults. We learn to discern so that we can be forewarned and so that we will know how to rightly respond. The bible clearly tells us,

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (acknowledging the fully redemptive purposes of Christ through the finished work of the cross) is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (who refuses to acknowledge the fully redemptive work of the cross) is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”

1 John 4:1 – 3.

Similarly, there are people we are clearly warned to avoid. The Apostle Paul said,

“Now I urge you brethren, note those who cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.”

1 Corinthians 16:17

People who stir up strife are not always in obvious contention with others, but can deceive the innocent or unsuspecting through their smooth words and flattering speech.

“For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”

Romans 16:18

Beware of False Prophets, Apostles and Teachers

A wrong spirit operating out of the mouth of just one person, if entertained, can be detrimental to our spiritual health.

Just one person operating out of a spirit of strife can subtly stir up a lot of confusion, dissension and conflict within the Body of Christ.

There are serious warnings in the Bible about false prophets, false apostles and false teachers. The Apostle Peter we makes a reference to false prophecy being connected to the error of Balaam, who was deceived by the love of money.

“They have forsaken the right way and gone astray following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.”

2 Peter 2:15

To forsake the right way means they once followed the right way but later abandoned it. The Apostle Peter describes these people as those who are deceived. And like Judas Iscariot, they eat at the table with you. They gain access to you by being close to you.

“They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you.”

2 Peter 2:13

Again, Jude describes false apostles who deny the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.”

Jude 1:11 & 12

A Final Warning for False Prophets

Jesus warns us,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven’. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Matthew 7:21-23

The prophet Jeremiah also warned Judah and Jerusalem, that because of their idolatry and their blood shed – their own children they had burnt in the fire – that God would cause their counsel to be taken away; that they would fall by the sword by the hands of their enemies and that their city would be made desolate. What a picture of utter defeat!

“And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives (hence the name Valley of Slaughter); their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. I will make this city desolate and a hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues.”

Jeremiah 19:7-8

Focus on Developing the Fruits of the Spirit

We don’t often see with our natural eyes, what goes on in the spiritual realm; but we do see the manifestations, good or bad, operating in the lives of others.

The enemy doesn’t want people to live righteous lives. So he will try to seduce them to sin – to cause disruption in the Body of Christ; placing in jeopardy their own Salvation and rendering them powerless in reaching the lost.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5:19 – 21

“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

James 3:16

“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.”

James 4:1 & 2

In complete contrast to these, is what Christ wants to see operating in Christian believers.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22 – 25

The Choice is Ours

When addressing any issue in the body of Christ, God always gives us the freedom of choice. Below is the Lord’s promise to all those who listen to His warnings and obey the words that He speaks.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”

Jeremiah 29:14

But to those who refuse Him and choose the words of lying prophets instead, the Lord says,

“Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon’ (these were false prophets) – therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brethren who have not gone out with you into captivity — thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten, they are so bad.”

Jeremiah 29:15 – 17

This reference to a basket of rotten figs comes from Jeremiah 24: 1-10. In His mercy, God proclaimed that those whom He sent into exile were sent there for their own good, so that they would return to Him with a whole heart. Those who did not suffer exile did not learn from their mistakes. Jeremiah went on to say that those people who chose the words of lying prophets, who were once called by God’s name, would become a curse and a reproach among the nations instead. What a horrendous thing for the people of God to become, all as a result of their disobedience!

Let it not be like that for any of us today – in the Body of Christ!

Ask and You Shall Receive

James goes on to talk about fights and wars in the body of Christ, saying,

“Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

James 4:2 & 3

In complete contrast, one of the Psalms of the sons of Korah promises,

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Psalm 84:11

If we truly believe that God is a loving Father, who will never withhold anything good from His children, then we need only to come to Him and ask. But there is an added ‘therefore’ at the end of the following Scripture, that releases God’s blessing. Jesus says,

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 7:7 – 12

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:38

It Begins with the Heart of the Leadership

The leader of any household; Church congregation, business corporation, or nation, etc. cannot lead its members through the process of sanctification when it has not first walked through it itself.

When we have ‘walked the talk’ ourselves, we then have the anointing from God to teach others. The prophet Isaiah said,

“The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider. Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers; children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment.”

Isaiah 1:3-6

Yet Jesus still wants to heal us! As we begin to partner in agreement with God — doing those things that he says — we will see the Body of Christ healed and the nation of Israel restored! Amen.

Sicknesses will be healed; broken hearts will be mended; addictions and bondages will be broken; and contentions and divisions will cease.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! it is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments, it is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing — Life forevermore.”

Psalm 133

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

For further help and a word of encouragement concerning the spirit of Baal, please see my other article -‘Overcoming the spirit of Baal.’

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I ask for Your forgiveness for any way in which I have partnered with the unclean spirits of Baal, Asherah, Ahab or Jezebel. Especially where I have followed in their ways, made any agreement in my heart, or allowed them to convey any of their messages through me – knowingly or unknowingly.

I repent of and renounce every wrong action, inaction, or cursing word I have ever spoken over any place, person, or people group. I pray that You would lift those curses and influences off the lives of myself and all others, and the next generations to come, in Jesus’ name. I now bless them instead.

I pray that You would convict me, if I am ever tempted to do these things. Help me, Lord, to be one who would bless and not curse, speaking well of others with my mouth. I ask You to deal with any ongoing issues within my heart that would cause me to do this, for Matthew 12:34 declares: ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ I thank You in agreement with Your word in Philippians 1:6, which declares that You are faithful to continue to complete this work in me, until our Lord Jesus returns. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”

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If you would like to have a relationship with God through accepting His Son Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please pray the prayer below.

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I am sorry for the sins I have committed and I ask You to forgive me. I now turn away from all the things that I know to be wrong and I receive Your Holy Spirit and Your gift of eternal life. Thank You for this free gift of Salvation and eternal life. Help me to come to know and experience Your love for me more and more, and to now share the love You have given me with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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What next: Once we have started our relationship with Christ – it is important that we continue to grow in our understanding of Him, and experience His love for us on a regular basis. God does this for us as we read the Bible, which I encourage you to do on a regular basis, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand it and make it “come alive” to you in a very personal way. May I encourage you to do this every day, and to actively pursue those things that God reveals to you. We also need to be spending time with other like-minded Christians on a regular basis, who are also growing in their relationship with God. We gain encouragement from being with other growing believers. Ask God to lead you to a Bible-believing church (or Bible-believing Christian group) that will encourage your relationship with Christ and help to meet your needs. Ask Him, and trust that He will guide you to the place of fellowship that is right for you.

May God both work in you and through you, those things that He desires, as you continue to submit your life to Him each day.