One thing that I have noticed a lot is that God is ‘speaking’ and ‘showing’ everybody some kind of revelation. I am VERY wary about listening these things (maybe I am wrong but I dont think so). I personally like to ere on the side of caution and stick with what is written in scripture. That way you can’t go wrong or rely on fallible man. I have seen many a ‘prophecy’ spoken over someone that has not come true

RT Kendall warns us to beware of using God’s name in vain

One of the hardest habits for some of us to break is saying, ‘The Lord told me this’ or ‘Here is what the Lord showed me.’

If you question whether this is truly a bad habit, I answer: yes. It is one of the worst claims being perpetrated in churches today and is almost certainly a violation of the third commandment: ‘You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name’ (Exodus 20:7).

How do you misuse God’s name? By making yourself look like God. That is at the bottom of our claims, ‘This is what the Lord told me.’ After all, we bring in him for one reason: to elevate our own credibility. It is not his name we are thinking of, it is our reputation. So if I can add the weight of God’s name to what I say, it gives me authority and respectability.

I am not thinking of God’s name and glory at all when I do this – I am thinking of my own.

Who makes this mistake? Probably, we all do, especially those who have a prophetic gift or aspire to intimacy with God. If they can say, ‘The Lord told me’, we have no choice but to listen! After all, if it is God speaking, I must stand at attention. And if I tell you that God has revealed something to me, you had better give heed! I am not thinking of the accuracy of such claims – at the moment. I am thinking of our motives in making the claims. I can tell you what my motive is if I tell you “God told me this”. It is to make you respect what I say.

The thing is, if God really told me – since I am in a postcanonical age and not writing scripture, do I need to bring his name into it? In other words, if God himself has shown me something and I pass it along to you, would it not be just as true if I left his name out? My reason for claiming his authority is to elevate my own – in your eyes. Otherwise, I fear you would not listen to me.

There is no sign in north-west Arizona that says, ‘You are now looking at the Grand Canyon.’ When you see it, you know what it is. There are no substitutes or counterfeits when it comes to the Grand Canyon. It would be silly, not to mention that it would cheapen the entire aura, if there were signs reminding us that we are actually looking at the Grand Canyon.

Therefore if I really have a word from the Lord, I can say it without mentioning his holy name. It will speak for itself. And if people don’t recognise my authenticity because I don’t bring in God’s name, that is not my problem.

As for the accuracy of claims when people say, ‘The Lord told me this,’ that is quite another story. When you ponder the thousands of times people have made this claim already today – and then get to the bottom of whether it really was the Lord, the angels must be saying, ‘Really?’ God’s name is brought in for so many ‘words’ that are not from him at all.

Why do we quote people when we speak? It is to give ourselves a bit more credibility. Certainly that is why I quote scripture. And if I quote St Augustine or John Wesley, it is to make you feel that I have a greater measure of reliability on my side. But when I say, ‘The Lord told me this about this verse of scripture,’ I have misused his name. I have a perfect right to say ‘in my opinion this is what the scripture means,’ but if I say, ‘The Holy Spirit has revealed this to me about this scripture,’ I am not thinking of the Holy Spirit but my own credibility. It is misusing the spirit – indeed it is abusing his name.

Most of us do not like name-droppers. Why do we drop names? If I told you I know Oral Roberts or Billy Graham, or the Pope – who would I be trying to make look good? Not them. But when I drop God’s name in my conversation, writing or preaching, I have in that moment violated a trust which must make the angels blush.

By the way, how would you feel if I told you ‘God told me to write this article?’ Did he? You tell me.

  1. Just wanted to comment on your blog. I appreciate your thoughts on real Christianity.

    I was “brought up,” so to speak, in the faith movement with connections to charismatic circles. For the last several years, doors to both of those “schools of thought” have been closed and I have returned to seeking the reality of Christ and the work of the cross. These stirrings in my heart have led me back to the real Gospel of Jesus Christ and a place where I no longer seek God to fulfill my purpose, but have laid what I think down to obey His.

    I can see the doorway to the Great Apostacy is open and as unfortunate as it is those who refuse to leave cultural Christianity and turn back their first love will probably not make it to heaven.

    We are living in diverse times, not because of the national issues, but because of the doctrinal issues, false ones, that we have believed for so many years.

    Let every man be led by the Spirit of Truth into all truth. As many would like to prophecy and speak over my life, if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God then it is FALSE. Thank God for the Holy Spirit whom Christ gave us to help guide us through these days. We are going to need it.

    Thanks again for being a voice.

  2. Shania says:

    Ever since I was little I’ve been hearin’ peeps say stuff like ‘God told me 2 say this’ & when I was little I believed it. I’m not little anymore(I’m 12 turnin’ 13 May 18th & I don’t think dat’s little) & when peeps say that I’m like ‘Okay if dat’s what u wanna believe’. I think we make dat mistake a LOT! When I watch peeps preachin’ on tv & dey say stuff like(now I ain’t sayin’ dat all tv preachers say dat) I change da chanel. Now let me know if I’m wrong but when we say stuff like ‘God told me 2 say this’ ain’t we usin’ His name in vain? I feel like we are.

  3. Alan Higgins says:

    Shania, you sound very mature for your age and I agree with you 100%. Stick with the written word of the bible and you cnt go wrong

  4. Charlotte says:

    Hi Alan, new to your blog, someone refered me to this entry. Brill. will read some more now.

    I agree absolutely about the “God told me…..” thing.

    I think RT *might* be being a little presumptuous about people’s motivation for doing it though. just because that what his motivation for doing it is …doesnt *necessarily* follow for everyone.

    do you know which book/magazine/article he wrote the above in? I’d like to get hold of a copy.


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