You shouldn’t call people false prophets
Thank you for the information about Mr. Clement. I do, though, have a comment to make, not necessarily about Kim or really whether he's right or wrong but generally speaking. I just don't know of him well enough to speak out about him since I work long hours and time to do research isn't normally there.
I remember the scriptures on:
- All people have fallen short of the glory of God,
- We all have sin to be forgiven from our Lord,
- Bless and do not curse and,
- Those of you without sin cast the first stone.
I believe during the Bible times people were basically the same in their hearts as they are today -- so religious that if something was different they never heard, though it should have been done a certain way or preconceived ideas (like Jesus should have been a mighty king). They just were not in the correct mindset -- had pride, jealousy, and hate.
The true prophets of old were people like you and I living under a different culture of course. In my own walk with Jesus, hearing the Lord has taken many years to develop. In the same way, a prophet (a person anointed to be one) is still just a person and his or her (prophetess) gifting has to be learned. For instance, Elisha and Samuel. Elisha followed Elijah around to learn more and to receive a double anointing. Samuel was young and thought the voice he heard was Eli's and didn't realize it was God. In other words, Samuel had need of some training. Like all true Christians, we learn until we meet the Lord someday.
God looks at the heart and sees the person's intentions what they are using their calling for and the position of leadership they have. Is it truly the work of the Lord? Is it for self-gain?
If I'm correct on this, the church of Christ doesn't acknowledge there are prophets, but they (or maybe I should refer to the person who wrote about Mr. Clement) must believe true prophets exist otherwise he wouldn't have been exposing Kim as a false prophet.
The shortcoming still exists that as long as we all live on this earth, we are prone to make mistakes in church or wherever we are. The point I want to bring home is that it's easy for some Christians to be members of a firing squad and "shoot" people down rather than pray for them or encourage them. In my life as a Christian, I like to spend as much time as I can praying, meditating on God's word, and being kind to others. That in itself, keeps my mind and heart set, that God will take care of everything, and even though there might be people who think some are "out there", and some are as the Word indicates, God is fully capable of correcting them and changing that person in the likeness of Jesus if that person is wrong, in which we all sin throughout our lives. On the flip side, God forgives if we ask Him to. It's so much easier if God does the correction instead of us trying to do God's work -- so much less stress on the Christian and quite efficient and effective. Pray for that person and do not curse! Remember what Gamaliel's advise was to the accusers: Acts 5:38-39, "And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it -- lest you even be found fighting against God."
So, I share these last thoughts. Is it true that if a preacher makes a mistake, he's a false preacher? If an elder makes a mistake, he's a false elder? If a teacher makes a mistake, he or she's a false teacher? Let's continue. If a wife or husband makes a mistake minor or major, are they false and worthy of punishment? And last, if a Christian boo-boo's, is she or he false too? Certain situations in life call for a rebuke or correction, but we need to be wholly sure it's done in God's love. And don't forget to encourage and build up that person in love as they learn.
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?" (Jeremiah 5:31).
"Thus says the LORD to this people: "Thus they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, and punish their sins." Then the LORD said to me, "Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence." Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'" And the LORD said to me, "The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, 'Sword and famine shall not be in this land' - 'By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them-them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters - for I will pour their wickedness on them'" (Jeremiah 14:10-16).
"For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the LORD" (Jeremiah 29:8-9).
Despite your contentions otherwise, it is proper to note that there are false prophets. "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" (I John 4:1). Since we are supposed to put people who claim to be prophets to the test, there must be a way to determine whether a prophet is from God or is just speaking things of their own imagination.
"But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' - when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
Prophecy is a gift given to a person; it is not something learned. When a person states that he is speaking what God said about the future, it must always come to pass. God never makes a mistake. God cannot tell a lie (Titus 1:2). Therefore, if a prophet misspeaks about the future, we know for certain that God is not with him. The idea that a prophet has to grow in his accuracy is foreign to the Scriptures.
"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods' -which you have not known-'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst" (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
The second test of a prophet is that if he is speaking God's words, then he will never contradict what God had already said, which is recorded in the Bible. God cannot lie. God does not cause confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). What a prophet of God says always is consistent with what was revealed in the past.
The reason these gifts of the Spirit are called miraculous gifts is that there is no learning period. When the apostles received the gift of tongues (Acts 2:4), they immediately began speaking in other languages (Acts 2:8). It wasn't the gibberish that people claim today as tongues. When the disciples healed, there was no learning period or recovery time. The results were immediate (Acts 3:6-8).
In regards to Elisha, you missed the meaning of "double portion." See Elijah for details. While the child Samuel didn't understand at first that God was speaking to him, he did not get the message from God wrong. No prophet could. When Balaam tried to curse Israel, all that came from his mouth was blessings no matter how many times he tried (Numbers 22:35).
Understanding these things, it was very easy to demonstrate by God's standard that Kim Clement is a false prophet. But I didn't have to go so far. Because God doesn't lie and God said prophecies ended. So anyone calling himself a prophet today is already contradicting what God said and fails the test. For details see: Can you explain Zechariah 13:1-5? I don't see how it talks about the ending of prophecy and demons.
The foolish notion is that everyone sins, so therefore we should say nothing is condemned. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). John says Christians don't make it a practice to sin. "Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:7-8). Sin is never acceptable to a true Christian. That is why you find Paul debating those who taught falsely. "Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them ..." (Acts 15:2). I will continue to follow God's command to defend the truth, thank you very much. "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
The concept that Christians are not to make judgments is also false. We already saw that I John 4:1 is a command to test the spirits of those claiming to be prophets. Testing is making a judgment. Jesus commanded, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Christians are told not to encourage people who are sinning (Romans 1:32). Our job is to get people out of sin and that includes helping people understand they are in the wrong. "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (II Timothy 4:2).