Doomsday prophets are certainly a thing. There are a lot of them, and of varying kinds: epidemiologist (disease), environment, morality, political, sexuality, education, freedom, financial, and so on and on.
Doom sells. Doomsayers may also be helpful to guide us toward some sort of preparation or change. At this point, however, there are so many doomsayers that there are only two logical conclusions: we’re doomed or they’re wrong. That is really the two paths regardless of which or all the “dooms”.
What is interesting about “prophesying” in the Scriptures is that not all prophesying is alike. Some prophesying is more akin to teaching, lecturing, discipling. That generally would fall under church categories as preaching, pastoring, and life groups.
Other prophesying is more like visions, dreams, and euphoric states. This is what we, as a tradition (versus language), understand as foretelling or forewarning that is spiritually driven, and is our default interpretation when reading the word in the Scriptures.
The struggle is discerning whether the prophecy or “prophetic word” is from God, from other spiritual forces, or is it of self appearing to be “spiritual”. Especially (but not exclusively) with the internet, there are plenty of videos, blog posts, web sites all claiming some sort of divine connection.
Holy Spirit, strengthen your discerning gift in us. Father God, help us to look through your word so that we can see when someone is using your word falsely. Jesus, help us to keep in mind that you told us that there would be many false prophets before your return. Amen.
1) Have you had someone deliver a prophecy or “prophetic word” to/about you? How about as part of a public declaration (with or without you being the focus)?
2) What are you actively doing to protect yourself from false prophesy or “prophetic word”?