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Monday, 17 June 2013

Prophecy, prediction and psychics

One of the subjects that I will be returning to, on occasion, is Biblical prophecy and current events. Before I start blogging on specifics, I want to include a post on definitions - and spelling.This latter, because I used to be a school-teacher and I became very familiar with the common mistakes.

Spelling first.

PropheCy is the noun. It is the thing itself.
PropheSy is the verb. It is the act of making a prophecy.

US visitors, please take note. The above confusion is rather common on US sites

Prophet, a noun. The person making the prophecy.

Phrophet - a spelling mistake.  

Profit - a confusion and nothing to do with our subject. See the end of the post for a definition.

In the Old Testament/Tenach, a prophet was generally a person of high moral character and devotion to YHWH who, when filled with the Spirit of God, would speak and/or write on behalf of God. What he, or she, said, was held to be as good as God speaking directly to the hearer/reader. Exceptions to the high moral standard of prophets were Balaam, Saul and David. All prophets were human and did, on occasion, sin. 

Some prophetic ministries were associated with miracles, such as Moses and Elijah .

In the New Testament, prophecy was more common, all the Apostles were prophets as well as others who dealt solely in the ministry of a prophet. The high moral standard was and is essential.

In many ways, a prophet has the same standing with respect to God as an Ambassador does with respect to the Head of State.

Again, miracles can be associated with the prophetic ministry, but not always. 

Prophecy may or may not include prediction, but when it does it is a major test of legitimacy.

The Church, as a whole, has a continuing prophetic role when it obeys God as does Israel in a different way, but also when obedient.

False prophets. 

Prophets of false gods, see also psychics. People claiming to be prophets of God usually for status and/or financial gain. Money is nearly always the giveaway. Also the failure of their more significant predictions.

A prophet can be rich independently of his or her ministry but if prophecy becomes the path to riches there is something wrong.

Psychics are a subset of false prophets. They do not always worship any particular god and some will even claim to be Christian or devout Jews. They lay claim to powers that generally mimic the ministry of a prophet or apostle. Again, money is the giveaway. If psychics do have any power it is either that they are exceptionally intelligent and observant, as in the TV series 'The Mentalist', or their abilities come from a source other than God i.e. demonic in nature.


Not everyone who makes a prediction is a prophet or psychic. Meteorologists, seismologists, futurologists etc. etc. all make a living from making predictions. It's all perfectly lawful as long as it is done honestly and scientifically. Honest mistakes will happen as aell as foolish and even dishonest ones.

Interpreting prophetic scriptures in the light of current events other wise known as the signs of the times is also lawful. However, different schemes of interpretation do produce different results. This can be very significant in one's attitude to some current events. I will examine this aspect in a future post. (A prediction!!)

Jesus compared prophetic interpretation to weather-forecasting.  This is worth bearing in mind. He expected understanding as the events were closing in on them. The closer the path of a hurricane gets, the easier it is is to predict its future path.

Interpreters can get things wrong. As long as they do not say, 'Thus says the Lord' there is not a problem. A mistaken interpreter is NOT a false prophet. They may or may not be a false teacher.

It is also foolish to set dates where the Church is concerned. I will deal with this aspect in a later post. Setting dates where Israel is concerned is another matter. The Bible is full of examples and in my next post I will look at some of these. In particular, I will examine the "Moses-Ezekiel clock" which is very interesting and explains a great many things for Jews and Christians.


1a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something:record pre-tax profits [mass noun]:his eyes brightened at the prospect of profit
  • 2 [mass noun] advantage; benefit:there’s no profit in screaming at referees from the bench

verb (profits, profiting, profited)

[no object]
  • obtain a financial advantage or benefit:the only people to profit from the episode were the lawyers
  • obtain an advantage or benefit:not all children would profit from this kind of schooling
  • [with object] be beneficial to:it would profit us to change our plans

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