When Jesus Christ came to earth He did not identify with any of the numerous political or religious parties then in existence in Israel. He did not become a Pharisee, Sadducee, Zealot, Herodian or Essene. How could He! He did not come to take sides; He came to take over.
Jesus brought heaven’s values to earth and He wanted His disciples to exhibit those values. This is what the Sermon on the Mount is all about. This is what the Lord’s Prayer is about, particularly the part that says, Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven. That is a prayer for heaven’s values to be realized here on earth.
When I walk into the voting booth on November 6, I will not be voting as a Democrat or Republican. I will cast my votes based on values and convictions that have been shaped by a life-long study of the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament.
Here are 5 Christian values that will determine my vote on November 6.
1. Life is Sacred
2. Family Matters
3. Faith in God, Not Government
4. Freedom of Conscience
5. Jesus is Our Example
Value #1
Life is Sacred
I will never forget the first time I saw an ultrasound image of a baby in the womb. I was stunned, and my response was, “That is a real person!” Erica, who was about to have an abortion, was even more stunned when she saw the ultrasound of her unborn baby. She wrote,
I begged the nurse to let me see my baby; I felt that I had to see. As soon as I saw my child on the ultrasound I knew I couldn't do it. I saw the heart beating, and he moved his little hands (almost like a wave). I think God intervened and sent me a message that I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life.
These intuitive, common sense responses are confirmed by both the Bible and science. For example, Luke, the physician and author of the Third Gospel, records the very personal response of John the Baptist, while still in the womb, to the voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus, greeting his mother. He must have kicked for his mother, Elizabeth, said to Mary, For indeed as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy (Luke 1:44).
The hand of our Creator on our life from the moment of conception is vividly expressed in Psalm 119:13-16, which reads,
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Science confirms the Biblical record. After only 11 weeks in the womb the baby has a heartbeat and brainwaves and can kick. He/she squints, swallows and sucks their thumb. They are sensitive to heat, light, noise and all body systems are working.
After 20 weeks in the womb, babies are capable of experiencing pain, and that capability for pain increases with each passing day. Babies in the womb, therefore, experience excruciating pain during an abortion. They will seek to avoid the abortionist tools and will emit a “silent scream” as their tiny bodies are ripped apart.
Ninety-eight per cent of abortions are done for convenience and to end unwanted pregnancies. Such a contempt for life in the womb should not be part of a civilized society and will eventually lead to other forms of “legalized” murder.
Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). The fact that life is sacred, even in the womb, will be a deciding factor in determining how I vote on November 6.
Value #2
Family Matters
I heard the veteran civil rights activist, Robert Woodson, declare that liberal social policies in America have accomplished what years of slavery and Jim Crow were unable to accomplish--the destruction of the black family. He and other black thinkers, such as Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell, trace the hopelessness and distress of the inner cities to the loss of fatherhood and the breakdown of the nuclear family. In a recent “Daily Signal” article, Williams wrote,
The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure. Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes, and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households.
Williams argues that the weak black family is NOT a legacy of slavery and gives statistics showing that the breakdown of the black family did not begin until after the 1960s. He blames this breakdown on the social welfare state created by clueless, left-wing politicians who think the government holds the key for every human need.
I can attest to what Williams is saying from my own experience growing up in a rural area of East Texas in the 1960s during segregation and Jim Crow. As a teenager, I worked in the fields alongside blacks chopping cotton, picking cotton and hauling hay. I remember them to be some of the happiest people I ever knew. Looking back, there is no question in my mind that the strong bonds of faith and family produced joy and mitigated the pain of segregation.
All of this confirms the fact that God created the human species to function in family units with a mother and father in a committed relationship called marriage. The environment produced by such a committed relationship between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for raising strong, healthy children who will become productive citizens.
When God sent His Son into this world to be born as a human being, He placed Him in a home with a mother and father. In doing so, He confirmed the pattern established in Creation and affirmed that such a home is the safest and most nurturing place for  children to be reared. The family unit is the basic social unit of any society and strong families inevitably lead to a strong and stable society
I, therefore, cannot vote for any candidate or party whose policies undermine the traditional, nuclear family. Family matters will definitely be a deciding factor in determining how I vote on November 6.
Value #3
Faith in God Not Government
America was founded by rugged people of faith who crossed oceans, mountains and streams to carve out a new life in a new world, without government assistance. These pioneers tended to be resilient and self-sufficient, conquering the wilderness with an ax in one hand and a Bible in the other.
America’s Founders considered such faith in God to be essential for good citizenship. James Madison wrote,
The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 131).
It is no accident that our currency and coins contain the motto “In God We Trust.” Faith played a primary role in the founding of this nation and its ongoing success. This was so obvious that in 1892, in the case “Church of the Holy Trinity vs. the United States,” the U.S. Supreme Court declared,
From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation . . . we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth that this is a Christian nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 167).
Contrast this faith of the Founders to modern socialism, which is rooted in atheistic Marxism, where faith in God is replaced by faith in government. The state is deified and becomes the all in all for the society. The people are taught to look to the government to solve every problem and meet every need. This in turn requires a ruling elite, like the old Soviet politburo, that controls every facet of society,
In Marxist/socialist thinking, faith in God is seen as an enemy to the state. That is why, during the twentieth century, millions of Christians were imprisoned and put to death in socialist/communist regimes such as China, Cambodia, Cuba and the Soviet Union. The god of socialism is a jealous god and will tolerate no rivals.
There is no example in history of atheistic socialism bringing peace and prosperity to a people or nation. In fact, the very opposite always happens. Despite having such a terrible track record, socialism is being embraced by the modern Democrat party.
I cannot support a party that thinks government is the answer to America’s ills and would, in effect, replace America’s motto of “In God We Trust” with “In Government We Trust.”
Value #4
Freedom of Conscience
I would never sue in court to try and force a pro-abortion artist to create a poster promoting the pro-life movement. Nor would I ever try and force an LGBT baker to create a cake that says marriage is between one man and one woman. Freedom of conscience is a Christian value that was honored from the very founding of our nation. Today, however, it is under relentless attack.
Just ask the Christian bakers and florists whose lives have been devastated after they were singled out for their Christian beliefs and then sued because they refused to create a special cake or floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding. Aaron and Melissa Klein, for example, a young couple in Oregon, were forced to close their bakery after being sued for declining to create a wedding cake for a lesbian marriage ceremony. They were not only assessed a $150,000 fine but were relentlessly attacked and threatened because of their beliefs.
This use of government force to compel conformity is known as “tyranny.” It was this sort of religious tyranny that many of America’s Founders or their parents fled from in the Old World. The rejection of such tyranny became the foundation for the Bill of Rights, especially the First Amendment.
The First Amendment guarantees freedom for each American citizen to live out their faith without government interference. One political party, however, has taken on the radical LGBT agenda and is willing to run roughshod over the consciences and sincerely held religious beliefs of anyone who gets in their way. This is tyranny and is neither a Christian nor an American value.
Paul the Apostle wrote, I myself always strive to have a good conscience without offense toward God and man (Acts 24:16). When I go into the voting booth on November 6, I will be voting my conscience. I will, therefore, vote for the candidate and party that will best protect the right of every American citizen to maintain a good conscience.
I cannot vote for any candidate or party that refuses to protect my conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs, and those of every American citizen. This is known as tolerance, and only the values of Jesus exhibit such tolerance.
Value #5
Jesus Christ is Our Example
Whose moral values do you want to live under? Marx? Mohammed? Buddha? Darwin? Soros? Sanders? America’s Founders had a clear answer.
In a letter to the governors of the various states at the end of the Revolutionary War, George Washington included an “earnest prayer” that the citizens of the new nation would seek to pattern their lives after Jesus Christ. He wrote,
I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside in His holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens entertain a brotherly affection for one another . . . and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of His example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 134).
Every Founder, even the most irreligious, agreed with Washington that the teachings of Christ held the key for national virtue and social stability. Thomas Jefferson, for example, stated, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.” His commitment to the teachings of Christ is, no doubt, why he ended every official presidential document with the words, “In the year of our Lord Christ.”
Benjamin Franklin, another supposed irreligious Founder, stated, "The moral and religious system which Jesus Christ transmitted to us is the best the world has ever seen or can see." When the noted Deist, Thomas Paine, sent Franklin a manuscript copy of The Age of Reason, in which he attacked historic Christianity, Franklin refused to print it. In very strong language he suggested to Paine that he burn the manuscript and then said, “If men are this wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it.”
The Founders were unanimous in their belief that only a virtuous, tolerant and moral people could maintain the liberties enshrined in the founding documents. They were also unanimous in the belief that such morality and tolerance could only be derived from Jesus Christ and the teachings He brought to the world. Benjamin Rush, a physician from Philadelphia and signer of the Declaration of Independence, declared,
The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in Religion [Christianity]. Without this there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.
We can now understand why the Catholic scholar, William Novak, wrote,
Far from having a hostility toward religion, the founders counted on religion [Christianity] for the underlying philosophy of the republic, its supporting ethic, and its reliable source of rejuvenation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 174).
The Democrat party has departed from this founding principle and taken a decided stand against Christianity. They support banning prayer and Bible reading from public schools and libraries. They support the removal of crosses, Ten Commandment displays and other Christian symbols from public property. In a recent Senate hearing, Democrat senators grilled Professor Amy Barrett about her faith and insinuated that her bold faith in God disqualified her from serving as a federal judge.
In rejecting the moral vision of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin, much of our country is like a ship without a rudder, adrift on a sea of moral relativism. As a result, moral confusion reigns in our schools, colleges and public institutions. With no transcendent, moral principle to guide our culture, each one does that which is right in his/her own eyes. What a recipe for moral chaos!
Psalm 33:12, says, Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. America has been blessed because her Founders acknowledged Jesus Christ and His teachings as supreme. I cannot vote for any party that outright rejects the time-tested moral principles of Jesus for the subjective, erratic and unreliable creeds of modern secularism and multiculturalism.
Concluding Thought
""Whose Side Will You Choose?"
At the start of the Civil War, a minister from the North expressed to President Lincoln his hope that “the Lord is on our side.” Mr. Lincoln replied, “I am not at all concerned about that, but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”

In a similar way, it is my desire to be on the Lord's side when I walk into the voting booth on November 6. That is not to say that there are perfect choices. Far from it! Nonetheless, my goal is to vote for the candidate and party that best reflects the values that Jesus Christ brought to this world and were embraced by the Founders of this nation.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt has documented America's spiritual birth out of the Great Awakening in his book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He also conducts "America Reawakening" events, which is a stirring Powerpoint presentation based on his book and includes a call for Christians to pray and believe for another national, spiritual awakening.



The vitriolic accusations, hatred, anger, and threats of death surrounding the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh are a stark reminder that we are part of a fallen and sinful race, in need of a Savior.
It has also reminded me of a message George Whitefield preached in 1739 from the steps of the Philadelphia courthouse to a massive crowd that included Benjamin Franklin and the leading citizens of that city. Whitfield did not hold back, but in stark terms, and a bit of hyperbole, painted a very unflattering picture of the fallen state of humanity. As the huge crowd stood and listened in rapt silence, Whitefield’s passionate and melodious voice pierced the atmosphere.
But let these modern, polite gentlemen, and my letter-learned brethren, paint man [humanity] in as lovely colors as they please; I will not do it; I dare not make him less than the word of God does. If I was to paint man in his proper colors, I must go to the kingdom of hell for a copy; for man is by nature full of pride, subtlety, malice, envy, revenge and all un-charitableness; and what are these but the temper of the devil? And lust, sensuality, pleasure, these are the tempers of the beast. Thus, my brethren, man is half a beast and half a devil.
Whitefield then proceeded to show that fallen humanity’s only hope is Jesus Christ. “We cannot save ourselves by good works,” Whitefield argued, for that would make us our own saviors and the death of Christ unnecessary. “Come to Christ,” he pleaded, and put your faith completely in Him.
Franklin remembered this sermon and alluded to it many years later when he wrote his Autobiography. Franklin also told of the transformation that came over Philadelphia as a result of Whitefield’s preaching. He wrote,
The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was a matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 102).
Although Whitefield was a passionate preacher, it was not his preaching style that brought about the transformation. Neither was it great singing for there was no praise band or worship team that travelled with Whitefield. It was, instead, the Message itself backed by much prayer.
This understanding is critical, for in Romans 1:16, Paul speaks of the inherent power of the Gospel Message and warns, that if we go too far in attempting to make the Message “cool, hip and acceptable” to contemporary culture, we run the risk of preaching a Gospel that has been emptied of its power (I Corinthians 1:17 NIV).
The vitriol and hatred surrounding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, should cause us to pause and ask ourselves if we--the church--have gone too far in preaching a feel-good, I’m OK – you’re OK sort of Message. In trying not to offend contemporary culture, have we been preaching a watered-down, powerless Gospel?
America was birthed out of a Great Awakening that derived its power from the Message that was proclaimed. This is what the late Harvard professor, Perry Miller, was referring to when he said, “The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a direct result of the evangelical preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 108).
Perhaps it is time for the modern church to take a page from the preaching of George Whitefield and the evangelists of the Great Awakening.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt has documented America's spiritual birth out of the Great Awakening in his book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He also conducts "America Reawakening" events, which is a stirring Powerpoint presentation based on his book and includes a call for Christians to pray and believe for another national, spiritual awakening. 



How Lying Spirits Make Inroads into Christian Ministry

I was stunned. I had just listened to a well-known Christian leader address the fact that his publisher had just pulled his latest book off the market because they had discovered he had greatly exaggerated his testimony of being a former Satanist high priest. He did not deny the publisher’s allegation, but justified himself, saying it is OK to “embellish” one’s story to make the Gospel more attractive.
If this were an isolated incident, we might shrug it off and move on. The following selected examples, however, indicate that there may be a real problem today with the handling of truth in our movement.
·               Shortly after 911 a well-known “prophet” declared on national TV that Bin Laden would be found within thirty-five days. When, months later, he was confronted by the fact that it did not happen, he sought to justify himself saying that he had not stated what point the thirty-five days was from.
·                 A TV evangelist, who was discovered using an earpiece to receive “words of knowledge” from his wife about people in the audience, justified his actions saying it built people’s faith and helped them receive from God.
·           When feathers suddenly appeared floating across the platform at a large charismatic conference, the  evangelist annouced that it was “Holy Ghost feathers.” She was discredited, however, when a local pastor obtained a video of the meeting, slowed it down, and pointed out that she had released the feathers from the sleeve of her blouse.
·              An evangelist reported that numerous people had been raised from the dead in his revival meetings, but when Christian journalists sought to interview some of them, not a single one could be found.
·          A well-known pastor and worship leader received both sympathy and money while faking terminal cancer for two years, even appearing in concert with an oxygen tank and a tube in his nose before finally confessing it was all a hoax.
And the list goes on.
A Cavalier Approach to Truth Opens the Door to Deception
Such cavalier handling of truth is all too common in charismatic circles. Such behavior, however, is spiritually dangerous. Both Old and New Testaments reveal that “fudging” or compromising truth opens one to lying and deceptive spirits. In speaking of the rampant deception that will be characteristic of the last days, Paul, in II Thess. 2:9-11, says that those who are deceived will perish because they refused to love the truth (NIV). Those who do not love the truth find themselves defenseless against the “father of lies” (Jn. 8:44).
This principle is clearly borne out in the Old Testament account of 400 prophets being deceived by a lying spirit because they were willing to “fudge” the truth for personal gain.
Politicized Prophets
In I Kings 22, Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, asks Jehoshaphat, the righteous king of Judah, to go to battle with him against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat agrees but suggests that they first inquire of the Lord through the prophets concerning the matter. Ahab agrees and sends for his four hundred court prophets who are probably products of the “school of the prophets,” often referred to in the Old Testament as the “sons of the prophets” or the “company of prophets.”
We are not told how the “school of the prophets” began and Scripture neither affirms nor condemns the school. Some believe it was begun by Samuel to prepare young men for prophetic ministry. Nonetheless, it is clear, that through the “school of the prophets,” prophetic ministry was professionalized and became a vocation by which the prophet made his living. Some were hired by the wealthy and kings kept many in their courts as advisers and to inquire of them concerning the mind of the Lord.
As a result, prophetic ministry became politicized with many of these “prophets” yielding to the pressure to prophesy that which would please those in power, from whom they also received their livelihood. Their willingness to compromise truth opened them to lying spirits.
At Ahab’s command, these four hundred “school of the prophets” graduates came before the two kings. They all declared the same message. The two kings are to go out against the Syrians and God will give them a great victory. There is even a prophetic drama as one of the prophets, Zedekiah, takes horns of iron and declares, Thus says the LORD with these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed (22:11).
A Prophet Who Will Not Compromise Truth
Jehoshaphat apparently did not feel settled with what he was hearing, and he asked Ahab if there was not another prophet from whom they could inquire. Ahab sullenly replied that there was one more by the name of Micaiah, but I hate him because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil (22:8). Ah, here is a prophet who is committed to truth and will not compromise even when it offends the king. He is no political prophet. He is not trying to impress anyone. He is committed to truth.
At Jehoshaphat’s insistence, Ahab calls for Micaiah. The messenger who goes for Micaiah informs him that the four hundred prophets are all in agreement and exhorts him to let his word agree with theirs, i.e., to get in unity with the other prophets. Micaiah replies that he will speak whatever word the Lord may give him.
Micaiah’s response reminds us that our ultimate goal is not unity, but conformity to Christ who is Truth personified. True Biblical unity is always built on truth.
A Lying Spirit is Released into The Mouths of the Prophets
Micaiah arrived and after a brief exchange with Ahab he related an astounding vision he had seen. Micaiah said he saw the Lord sitting on His throne and all the host of heaven standing by. He heard the Lord say, Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall [die] at Ramoth Gilead (22:20).
Different ones offered suggestions, but then a spirit came and stood before the Lord and said, I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets (22:22). Micaiah then heard the Lord say to the spirit, You shall persuade him and also prevail. Go and do so (22:22). Micaiah then declared to Ahab, Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you (22:23).
Ahab responded in anger, ordering Micaiah to be imprisoned and fed only bread and water. The other prophets were also offended and one of them, Zedekiah, went up and slapped Micaiah in the face (22:24). Ahab and Jehoshaphat chose to ignore Micaiah’s word and proceeded into battle where Ahab was killed, and the armies of Israel and Judah were forced to withdraw, just as Micaiah had predicted.
How did a lying spirit find its way into the mouths of these prophets who prophesied in the name of the God of Israel? There is no question that their willingness to fudge the truth for personal gain and to please those in power had opened the door. It still happens today.
It Still Happens Today
I remember a Christian leader, whom I respect, tell about attending a meeting where the evangelist was, reportedly, functioning in the gifts of the Spirit in a remarkable way, particularly in prophecy and the word of knowledge. He said the man ministered in an entertaining sort of way revealing personal things about people in the congregation, even telling one man the brand of cigarettes he had hidden in his pocket.
While observing this, Kenneth E. Hagin said he heard a voice say, “familiar spirit.” The voice was so clear that he instinctively looked around to see if someone next to him had spoken. He then realized it was the Holy Spirit speaking in his heart that this was a familiar spirit at work.
Knowing something of the man’s background and ministry, he realized that the man had built his ministry, not on the word of God and truth, but on the sensational gifts of the Spirit. When the gift was not operating by the Spirit (I Cor. 12:11), this man, to draw the crowds, had sought to operate the gift out of his own soul. This involved being less than honest; and by playing fast and loose with the truth he had opened himself to a familiar/lying spirit.
Closing the Door on Satan
There has been so much reckless handling of truth and so much gullibility in charismatic circles that I have wondered if some may not be among the first to embrace the anti-Christ when he comes on the scene with his counterfeit miracles. Deception gives birth to more deception. Speaking of the great deception of the last days, Paul tells the consequences for those who refuse to love the truth. He says,
For this reason [not loving truth] God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (II Thess. 2:11-12; NIV).
We can close the door on lying and deceptive spirits by loving truth. Satan traffics in lies and deceptions, for this is his only means of power and control. This is why Jesus said in Jn. 8:31-32, If you continue in My word, you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. When we love and walk in truth, there is no place for Satan in our lives.
Hear the words of Paul in II Cor. 4:2-5 concerning his commitment to integrity and truth. This statement is a wonderful guide that we should all utilize. What a difference it would make in the body of Christ today. Paul says, 
We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God . . . For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake (NIV).

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Angels of Light, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Angels of Light, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

Winston Churchill once said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This is especially true of the church where the same mistakes have been made generation after generation concerning revival and the prophetic.
The following information is drawn from a document written around 1560 by Obe Philips, a leader in the sixteenth century Anabaptist movement that sought the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Philips was commissioned as an “apostle” in this movement and he commissioned others to this “office.”
The document, entitled “Confessions,” describes events in Europe in the 1530s. From this document I have delineated 5 warning signs from their experience that can help us avoid the tragic mistakes that produced such great suffering and distress for them.
Warning Sign #1
When Prophecy is Used for Self-Promotion
1517-1537 was a very exciting time for many Christians in Europe. A great spiritual reformation was under way and many believed that God was restoring the church to its original purity and power. Many believed that out of this restoration would come a great revival and harvest that would usher in the coming of the Lord and the end of the age.
In the midst of this end-time, revival atmosphere, individuals began to arise proclaiming themselves to be special end-time apostles and prophets, endowed by God with miraculous power to usher in His kingdom upon the earth.
One of the most prominent of these “apostles” was Melchoir Hoffman, a powerful preacher and teacher who gained a large following. His status was further enhanced when a prophetess saw in a vision a large white swan, larger and more beautiful than all the others, swimming in a beautiful river. She claimed it was revealed to her that the swan was Hoffman and that he represented the fulfillment of God’s promise in Malachi 4:5 to send Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Hyatt, Angels of Light, 24).
Biblical Insight: Satan plays on human ego and pride. God calls us to humble ourselves before Him and promises that He will then raise us up. Demons, on the other hand, tell us how great, wonderful, and significant we are in ourselves. The “Elijah” prophecy given to Hoffman is one that Satan has used again and again to bring good men down because of pride.
The ultimate goal of prophecy is to point people to Jesus. This was confirmed by the heavenly being who was at John’s side as they observed the vast heavenly host worshipping and praising God. Overwhelmed at the sight, John fell at the feet of his heavenly escort to worship him, who stopped him and said,
See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).
In John 16:13 Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit would come, He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you. The Holy Spirit is not here to promote a prophet, teacher, angel or any other creature. Jesus is the only Savior, Healer and Lord, and the Holy Spirit is here to point people to Him. When people use prophecy to put themselves and their own movement in the limelight, it is a warning sign they have strayed from the Biblical pattern.
Warning Sign #2
When Prophecy Becomes the Primary Means for Determining the Will of God
Another individual prophesied that Hoffman would be imprisoned for six months in the city of Strasbourg, and after that, his ministry would spread over the whole world. Based on the prophecy, Hoffman moved to Strasbourg where he began to preach and teach throughout that city.
The first part of the prophecy was fulfilled when the Strasbourg authorities arrested Hoffman and had him imprisoned. Philips says that he entered the prison “willingly, cheerfully, and well comforted,” convinced that the latter part of the prophecy would now soon come to pass.
While in prison, Hoffman wrote many letters which Philips says came every day describing “how his actions, his visions and revelations affected him.” One individual prophesied that at the end of his six-month imprisonment, Hoffman would depart Strasbourg with 144,000 true apostles endowed with such miraculous power that no one would be able to resist them. Elated with such prophetic predictions, Hoffman vowed that he would take no food other than bread and water until the time of his deliverance.
Six months passed, however, and he was not released. More time elapsed and he found it necessary to break his fast. Hoffman eventually died in prison, a very disillusioned man. Philips says;
Everything that he so boldly professed from the prophets and prophetesses, he, in the end, found it all falsehood and deception, in fact and in truth; and he was so deceived with all their visions, prophecies, commission, dreams, and Elijah role that my heart today feels pity for him on account of this distress of his soul (Hyatt, Angels of Light, 26).
Biblical Insight: It is clear from Scripture that personal prophecy is not for giving direction in life. There is not a single positive example of such in the New Testament. Neither Jesus or Paul ever encouraged anyone to seek direction from a “prophet.” In this New Covenant, all are given the Holy Spirit, and all are to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14) A prophecy may confirm, but never direct.
I know the value of prophecy as confirmation for a woman minister prophesied to me, when I could not even give a testimony, concerning the call of God on my life. Her word gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and begin to be obedient to the heavenly call. I did not learn anything new from the prophecy; it confirmed what was already in my heart.
The only New Testament example of a personal prophecy giving direction is in Acts 21:4 where certain disciples, by the Spirit, told Paul, who was on his way to Jerusalem, not to go up to Jerusalem. What did Paul do? He ignored what they said and continued on to Jerusalem. Prophecy must confirm what we already know in our heart and Paul had already purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21).
When prophecy is sought out as the primary means for determining the will of God, it has departed from the Biblical pattern and fallen into cultic divining and even witchcraft.
Warning Sign #3
When Prophecy is Preoccupied with Images, Numbers, and Symbols
Prophetic dreams and visions flourished in this movement. These dreams and visions predicted many remarkable things related to the establishing of God’s kingdom and the destruction of the wicked. Much of this information was given in symbolic form which had to be interpreted by those who were “spiritual.” Philips says,

One came dragging a wagon without wheels, another wagon had three wheels, one wagon had no shaft, some no horses, some no recognizable driver, some had but one leg, some were lepers and beggars, some wore a tunic or a cloak with a lappet of fur. All this they could interpret for the brethren in a spiritual sense (Hyatt, Angels of Light, 27).
These prophecies, dreams and visions predicted remarkable successes for the people of God, including a super-empowerment of the Spirit by which they would be enabled to overcome the wicked and establish the kingdom of God in the earth. In his very moving account of these matters, Philips says,
Now when these teachings and consolation with all the fantasies, dreams, revelations and visions daily occurred among the brethren, there was no little joy and expectation among us, hoping all would be true and fulfilled, for we were all unsuspecting, innocent, simple, without guile or cunning, and were not aware of any false visions, prophets, and revelations (Hyatt, Angels of Light, 28).
Biblical Insight: In the New Testament God communicates very clearly and precisely to His people. When He spoke to Ananias in a vision about going and praying for Paul, God gave precise instructions (Acts 9:10-12). He told Ananias the name of the man he was to pray for, the name of the man in whose house Paul was staying and the precise street address. When God does speak in a symbol or image, it is for the purpose of communicating a more clear and vivid message. It is never done as a riddle that must be searched out and solved, or interpreted, by some spiritual elite. God wants to communicate clearly with His children.
Warning Sign #4
When Those Prophesying are not Open to Testing and/or Correction
During this time, two new apostles arrived in Philips’ home town of Leeuwarden. They declared that they had been commissioned to the apostolic office with such signs, miracles and workings of the Spirit that words failed them to describe it. They also declared that, “In a short time God would rid the earth of all shedders of blood and all tyrants and the godless.” Philips says that they frightened the people so that no one dared speak against them for fear they would be speaking against the commission and ordination of God. He says, “For we were all guileless children and had no idea that our own brethren would betray us.”
Biblical Insight: False prophets are unteachable and unwilling for their prophecies to be evaluated and tested, as Scripture commands. Virtually every time New Testament Scriptures speak of prophecy, they also speak of evaluating and testing the prophecy, which is the responsibility of every believer. I Thessalonians 5:19-21, for example, says, Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is God. I Corinthians 14:29 says, Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge. And in this same vein of thought, I John 4:1 says, 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.
Sign #5
When Prophecy Becomes a Replacement for the Scriptures and Common Sense
The tragic end of this prophetic movement came, when based on dreams, visions, prophecies, and supposed angelic visitations, a number of these visionaries claimed that God had designated the city of Munster as the New Jerusalem and from there the kingdom of God would spread through all the earth. Philips says, “Some had spoken with God, others with angels—until they got a new trek under way to Munster.” Based on the prophecies and supposed visions, they went to Munster and took the city by force from the Catholics who controlled it and renamed it New Jerusalem.
The Catholics, however, quickly regrouped and regained control of the city. They wasted no time in inflicting a terrible slaughter on those apostles, prophets and their followers who believed they were setting up the kingdom of God on the earth.
Philips tells about going to Munster and walking among the bodies, many of them beheaded, of these individuals who had been his friends and acquaintances. It was a very somber time and a wake-up call for him as he observed the sad end of these apostles and prophets who had relied without question on their dreams, visions and prophecies.
This whole fiasco resulted in widespread persecution of all Anabaptists who were hunted down, imprisoned, hanged, burned, and drowned. Philips later lamented his role in the extremes of this movement. He wrote,
It is this which is utter grief to my heart and which I will lament before my God as long as I live, before all my companions, as often as I think of them. At the time that I took leave of those brethren, I had warned Menno and Dietrich and declared my [apostolic] commission unlawful and that I was therein deceived. I thank the gracious and merciful God who opened my eyes, humbled my soul, transformed my heart, captured my spirit, and who gave me to know my sins. And when I still think of the resigned suffering which occurred among the brethren, my soul is troubled and terrified before it (Hyatt, Angels of Light, 30).
Biblical Insight: In Psalm 119:105 David said, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness to doubt His identity, He responded to each temptation with, It is written, and then quoted the appropriate passage of Scripture. John Wesley, who saw many unusual spiritual manifestations as the leader of the eighteenth-century Methodist revival, said, “Try all things by the written word, and let all bow down before it.” When Scripture and common sense are neglected for dreams, visions and personal prophecies, it is a warning sign that the movement has gone astray.
This sixteenth century prophetic movement highlights the need to “test the spirits” and to “judge” prophetic utterances according to the Scriptures. For the most part, these were sincere, seeking people who suffered much pain, grief and even death because they neglected this Biblical admonition. May we learn from their example and not repeat their mistakes.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Angels of Light, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.