Part 6 of "Unsealed By the Lamb: Revelation Through the Lamb and His Love"
The spirit—the heart and essence—of prophecy is the testimony of Christ, the testimony God has given about His Son (Rev.19:10, 1 Jn.5:9-12). Father's will is that we believe on Christ (Jn.6:40), and the command His Son has given us is to love as He has loved (Jn.13:34,15:12).
More than any signs, wonders, or prophesying, God wants us to do His will: to know His heart and spirit—the gospel of His grace to us in His Son—and to give the same love to others that He gave us on the Cross (even to our enemies). Without the spirit of prophecy, prophesying or interpreting prophecy is nothing in God's sight.
"IN HIS NAME"
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt.7:21-23)
If a prophet or an interpretation of a prophecy is not in the spirit of true prophecy—resting on the foundation—then it is not from God because it does not know His heart. If the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of the a prophet's prophecy or an interpretation of prophecy is not the testimony God has given about His own Son, then it is leading people away from Him, and He does not know them.
Jesus said that in the days before His return, many false prophets would come, and that many would come "in His name" (24:5,11)—just as He said in Matthew 7 that many would prophesy and perform signs and wonders in His name yet be doing evil. Even in His name.
If a prophet or teacher speaks in the name of 'Jesus', yet teaches that their teaching is the way to God's favor, they are preaching a different gospel and a different 'Jesus Christ' (2 Cor.11:4, Gal.1:8). It is the same as saying "I am the Christ" when the message of our teaching is effectively, "You need to know and obey what I am telling you in order to receive God's favor."
RECOGNIZING THE REBELLION
Jesus also said that in the days before His return, when many false prophets would appear, many believers would leave the faith and the agape love of most of them would grow cold (Mt.24:10-12). Paul wrote that a "rebellion" would occur in God's temple—that is, in the Body of Christ, the New Covenant temple (1 Cor.3:16-17, Eph.2:21).
Just as Jesus said that His true disciples would be known by His agape love (Jn.13:35), this rebellion among His people is known by it's lawlessness—by its rejection or subjugation of Christ's law of agape love.
GIVING 'PROPHETIC' SUPPORT
The "False Prophet" in Revelation (also called the second beast or the beast from the land) is a kingdom or nation with strong religiosity that is an ally and supporter of the first beast. The False Prophet speaks and acts on the behalf of the first beast—which appeared to have been dealt a fatal blow from war, but returned from the sea to try to become what it once was in ancient times (before the days of John).
The False Prophet "prophesies" (teaches or interprets prophetically) about the beast, speaking in God's name. The False Prophet is not calling all people to be astonished at or give honor to itself; instead it is trying to tell the world to be astonished at and give honor to the beast.
The False Prophet points to the beast's resurrection and victories as evidence of how God favors it. The False Prophet points to the beast's great wounds in history, and interprets prophecy to tell the world that the beast has the right to do what it is doing now ('it is just')—that God supports it, and so should we.
If the beast wins back its ancient kingdom using means that do not harmonize with the law of Christ (agape love), the False Prophet says that it is evidence of God's favor on the beast, and that Christ's law comes afterwards. The False Prophet sets aside Christ's law as secondary to supporting the beast—the 'way' to obey God is to support the beast more than it is to keep Christ's commands. The False Prophet says that blessing and favor from God come not through simple faith in His Son (believing the gospel), but instead the more sure route is through honoring the nation God honors—the beast.
SUBJUGATING AND SUBVERTING THE FOUNDATION
The False Prophet comes from among believers, in His temple (the body of Christ), and is a rebellion against Christ being "the way" and against His law of agape love.
The False Prophet proclaims that supporting a nation is the way to the blessings of God (and that opposing the nation will result in curses and God's disfavor). The False Prophet preaches that God's command is to support the nation first, before applying Christ's law to the nation's actions or our own actions in support of the nation.
Are there any such "false prophets" among us today? Have any of us proclaimed a nation as of more practical importance than the foundation—Christ and His agape love?
Part 7: "The Two Witnesses"—Returning to the Foundation