Please Note: Most of the sections in this article contain footnotes with additional content and supporting evidence. The footnote is included at the bottom of each section within a green colored box.
Since my Freedom Encounter in 2010, I have been regularly doing FE deliverances with pastors and Christian leaders. In the last several years, my team and I have encountered false prophet spirits. To better understand FPs and help others engaged in Freedom Encounters, I have written this paper. Insights which derive from ministry should be ongoing. Learning should be lifelong. Therefore, I invite readers who have gathered their own insights about FPs to email me that all of us can be at peak effectiveness.
Biblical References to False Prophet(s)
I encourage you to first read the Bible references listed in the footnote. It will help to provide a context for the observations which follow. The intent is to clearly assess the work and words of true and false prophets. Although the biblical references listed in the footnote are to false prophet(s), false prophet spirits function similarly.
- False prophets have distorted, deceptive vision. Their motivation is to be trusted and esteemed (Numbers 22 and following). The false prophet uses his/her words to appeal to what others want to hear. The false prophet utters words of blessing or correction regardless of their veracity.
- False prophets are self-serving. They offer false hope, false peace, false consolation and false judgment. They are unwilling to hold themselves or others accountable to God’s standards. If they do correct, the emphasis will be on what someone has to do to change rather than the need to partner with God for change; it will be works based versus grace based.
- The true prophet speaks the truth of God in love which leads to conviction, confirmation and transformational change. The false prophet either refuses to speak a word of correction or does so with a judgmental spirit. The result is ignorance concerning truth and/or despair about the possibility of change.
- True prophets speak God’s truth to power as the prophet Nathan did to King David when challenging his adultery and murder (see 2 Samuel 12:1-15). This should not be construed to mean that true prophets always speak difficult or harsh words. The prophet of God offers both God’s encouragement and God’s correction in a spirit of compassion.
- A true prophet of God stands with the people of God and ministers with a heart of passion for God and compassion for others. The prophet embodies the humility of Christ (Philippians 2:1-10) and servant leadership (Matthew 20:25-28).
- The prophet of God puts his/her own needs in a subordinate position to the needs of God and others; they desire to do what is pleasing to God. They choose to be subject to God rather than ‘lording it over others.’ As with Jesus, the true prophet exists to do the will of God rather than his/her own will (John 6:38). The true prophet of God denies himself/herself, takes up the cross and walks in obedience under the direction of the Sovereign God (Matthew 16:24-25).
- A true prophet listens carefully to God for the word of truth which is to be delivered in that season to the leader, people, or nation to whom he/she is sent. True prophets help to illuminate the present time from God’s perspective. Additionally, some true prophets offer revelation about things to come. The true prophet is profoundly insightful connecting the Word of God and circumstances. When the true prophet speaks, or writes and people have ears to hear, illumination about the present occurs; revelation about the future is experienced; note is taken. Oftentimes, a record is made and passed on for others to remember and embrace.
- False prophecy maintains and serves the status quo rather than speaking about and illuminating God’s perspective even when it may be costly or threatening as it often was for the Old Testament prophets and those like Ananias in the New Testament. Ananias carried a prophetic word of salvation in Jesus Christ and healing of blindness to Saul who would later become Paul. He put his own security, welfare and life at stake for the sake of one whom Christians considered an enemy of the Gospel. Because of Ananias’ obedience, Saul the enemy of Christians became Paul the Apostle of Christ who wrote most of the New Testament and established the Gentile Church (see Acts 9:10-19). The true prophet will sometimes be called upon to risk his or her own comfort and security for the sake of God’s call to love and serve others in a Christ-like manner.
- The prophet Ezekiel lamented about the false prophets seeing false visions and divining lies, pretending that they carry the word of the Lord God when God has not spoken. This shows that careful examination of both the words and the results/fruit of the messenger is important. False prophets speak that which is not true; they twist the truth of God (as Satan did when he quoted Scripture while tempting Jesus in the wilderness; see Luke 4:1-12). False prophets are ‘ravenous wolves’ whose words bring only distortion, deception and despair. According to Ezekiel, their words are like whitewash disguising the death and destruction which exists within them and those who heed their words.
- Both Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospel indicate that false prophets may even produce false signs and wonders so as to lead astray even the elect. The wise Christian assesses the work of the prophet by the overall fruit that is produced over time. Galatians 5:18-24 contrasts the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit offering insight for evaluation of the prophet.
- The wise Christian is alert for the dangers and deception of the false prophet, especially when all speak well of the prophet (see Luke 6:26). A prophet may be popular or in high profile position. The false prophet may sincerely believe that he or she is offering a correct interpretation of Scripture. However, sincerity and popularity are never sufficient tests for prophets. The best test of truth is the prophet’s focus on the whole teaching of Scripture, the centrality of the person and work of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and the confirming manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit. As author John Bevere points out in, Good or God, our culture has settled for its own definition of what is good and ignored God’s standard. Likewise, the test of the validity or falsity of the prophet is not whether the words appeal or conform to cultural sensibilities. A prophet’s veracity is found in whether the words spoken and the deeds done conform to and are reflective of the whole truth of Scripture and the unique, powerful work of God’s redemption of humanity in Jesus Christ. The true prophet offers insights that lead others to step out in faith to trust and obey the living God with changed lives. The true prophet seeks to embody the word he/she speaks through long obedience, tested sacrifice and attentive listening to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and to the times in which he/she lives. The true prophet understands that his/her office is a high, holy, and at times costly calling, not some cheap trophy or spiritual merit badge purporting to give credibility to an otherwise immature, lackluster life.
- In summary, false prophet spirits offer an incomplete, distorted message. They want their counterfeit words accepted as truth from God, thereby undermining the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minimizing the divine call and impact of those whom they are targeting. It is incumbent upon members of the body of Christ to learn to test the spirits to see whether they are from God. What follows is more information about false prophet spirits and a methodology for testing the spirits.
Deliverance Prayer Glossary of Terms
False Prophet Spirit – Spirits that can give wrong confession of truth until exposed as False Prophet Spirits, cause deception of prophecy, seek flattery and attention. 1 John 2, 4
Embedded Elements dealing with FPs
During the deliverance ministry session, the demons stand before the Throne of the Most High God. All demonic spirits are first commanded by the Most High God to reveal whether they have the title of False Prophet spirit and/or Anti-Christ spirit. These titles cannot be removed or changed by any being.
When a person tests the spirits outside of the deliverance ministry, the first question posed to the spirit is if they are a false prophet spirit. Once revealed, the spirit(s) will instantly be stripped of their rank and will instantly lose authority, position, and all forces. If the person asking the spirit discovers that it is a demon and not the Spirit of God speaking, they say, “Let the judgment of Almighty God fall upon you and your forces now.” The Angels of the Most High God will take that spirit and his forces to His Throne for righteous judgment immediately.”
Removal of Special Endowments of the Head Demon in the Deliverance Prayer:
“This day it is declared by the Most High God that all spirits of darkness are stripped of your names, your titles, your ranks, your medals, and your special endowments from Satan. I declare the effects of the false prophet spirit enabling you to lie to be null and void. I declare the power of the anti-Christ spirit to be null and void by the power of the blood of the LJC of Nazareth who came in the flesh, by His death, by His resurrection from the dead, and by His ascension to sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. I declare that as of today, all information regarding your work in this generational line is both unimportant and non-existent.”
False Prophet Spirits Versus Non-False Prophet Spirits in Testing
Ken Thornberg reminds everyone of an AfterCare point which is not to be missed in the “Testing the Spirit” section. We first ask if the spirit speaking to us is a False Prophet spirit. Some think that if the answer is no, that automatically means it is the Holy Spirit speaking. This is wrong. We only ask that specific question because if the spirit speaking is not identified as a False Prophet spirit and it is one, the FPs can confess a lie as true. Once identified, they can’t. The spirit speaking can still be a demon that is not a False Prophet spirit! It is imperative that everyone remember this in order to make sure it is the Holy Spirit speaking and that your client learns how to test correctly.
Ken Thornberg has indicated that we can’t burn spirits of any type ‘back to the source.’ He said that if we get False Prophet Spirits (FPs) showing up, don’t send them to the throne, just destroy them.
The language for destroying FPs is found in the AfterCare Guide on page 5… “Let the judgment of Almighty God fall upon you and your forces now.”
For further explanation and guidance in dealing with how to test the spirits, the entire section of the Freedom Encounter AfterCare Guide is instructive. I have included it here.
How to Test the Spirits:
The Bible tells us to test everything and hold onto the truth (1 Thess. 5:21). This tool will help you learn how to do it, because the Lord has given us a way to test the spirit behind the “voice” that speaks to our minds. We urge you to make this a part of your daily walk with Jesus. Don’t believe everything you hear . . . test it!
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:1-3 NIV)
- Ask the Lord a simple question you’ve wondered about and then test the answer received as follows:
- “Spirit who said (yes or no) are you a False Prophet Spirit?
- If the answer is yes, then say, “Let the judgment of Almighty God fall upon you and your forces now.” Now ask the question again and test the answer.
- If the answer is no or there is silence, then ask:
a. “In whose name do you confess____________ (what person heard) is true?” Quiet your mind, do not think, wait and listen carefully. Speak out what you hear.
b. If Holy Spirit answered the question, you will hear: “the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh.”
- If you do not hear “the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh” exactly, then ask the Holy Spirit to explain what is happening. Many times He will show you that there is something from the flesh interfering, or that there is a demonic attack causing confusion or other kinds of interference.
a. If it is something to do with the flesh, ask Holy Spirit how to deal with it. It is usually not something that a person is consciously aware of. This must be resolved before asking the original question again and testing it.
b. If it is a demonic attack, pray to overcome and say the following:
“Holy Spirit, please burn all demonic spirits attacking me. Please also burn all originals, back-ups, replacements, and exponential combinations of demonic devices, curses, ties and spells being used to cause ______________ (be specific to describe what you sense is coming against you). Father, please send Your Mighty Heavenly hosts to arrest and escort all spiritual entities serving Satan and the power of darkness to Your throne to receive Your righteous judgment. Cancel their orders concerning me forever.”THEN, ASK THE LORD IF THE PROBLEM IS HANDLED. Quiet your mind to hear what He says or shows you. He may reveal other ways to pray or tell you more about what is happening. If so, do exactly what He tells you to do. Keep working until the oppression lifts.
c. Ask the original question again and test it. If necessary, continue to repeat this process until the issue is clarified by the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh.
Highlights of Emails from David Oliver to Ken Thornberg about False Prophet Spirits:
Ken Thornberg says, “False prophet spirits have not been around a long time. This was saved for the Last Moments.”
Twenty-five to thirty years ago, it was not a reality that every believer had a gift of prophecy, healing or apostleship. This is relatively new. With this development in God’s gifting of the Body of Christ, the enemy developed the False Prophet Spirit. It was the Phoenix, Arizona FE team who discovered them.
We cannot assume that a lying spirit is a False Prophet spirit. Unless you ask directly, it may not be a FPs. Ken writes, “There are a finite number of them and they are not a dime a dozen. I’d say they are outnumbered 100,000,000,000,000 to 1 in demondom. They have a special job. When I was required by the Lord umpteen years ago, to find out how many FP spirits and anti-Christ spirits were in a client, it often occurred that there were none of either there! Or just one of one and maybe two of the other. Nothing has changed except for one thing: there are more people with the gift of prophecy. Counterfeit god spirits, Anti-Christ spirits, False Cores and others have taken their place and do a better job usually. But if someone receiving deliverance has the gift of prophecy or the office of prophet, the FPs will be present 100% of the time.”
The following is from notes Ken uses to teach FE Deliverance Prayer Procedures
False prophet spirits can do a confession of truth the same (perfectly) but without the unction. They work at giving people hidden agendas for why they prophesy, altars based upon pride: flattery, attention, power, need for acceptance. Only a pure heart can cure their power. FP spirits have to admit they are such no matter what at the beginning of a session!”
Reason for FPs to be identified immediately. Let’s use the example of a snake’s venom. Ten percent of a snake’s venom is pure protein…but who cares? It’s not an acceptable way to increase our protein intake. We take out any FPs so they don’t cause doubt about the truth of what is learned or accomplished in the Freedom Encounter.
David Oliver has noticed that people who are sensitive to the Lord and hear from God — some intercessors, some prophets, some seers — often struggle with FPs. One of my FE recipients was used to hearing from God and wrestled with hearing a lot of other voices as well. She had this ‘demonic noise’ saying things like ‘No, no, no. This won’t work.’ even as she was going back to be with the Lord.
We asked about what opening/portal they were exploiting. In her case, it was fear, doubt and unbelief. She renounced and repented of that and we asked God to judge them. We were then able to proceed without more interference.
If a person finds that he or she is gets interference at a later time, have the person consider what opening they have given the enemy through fear, doubt, unbelief, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc. The demonic realm readily exploits these openings and will often try the same things that worked prior to the person’s deliverance to demonize the person again. Dealing quickly and honestly with these vulnerabilities will enable the person to resume a walk of freedom in Christ.
In terms of recognition of FPs, I get what seems like good information and then something seems a bit off. Most often, I have sensed this when there has been a slight tone of voice change or words changed. The voice became harsher or judgmental. The emphasis was on how the person had to try harder rather than receiving power from God to change. On other occasions, the Holy Spirit has simply spoken to my spirit to test what has been said.
Ken Thornberg has taught, a False Prophet spirit will sit back while the Holy Spirit gives 90% of a prophetic word through someone with that gift, as long as he gets his final 10%; his tithe.
When we hear prophetic words that are not taped, what do we remember? Almost all of what we recall is the last ten percent; that is why the FPs want that final part. The FPs want the prophet and those listening to discount what comes out of the prophet’s mouth. They use the 10% falsehood to discredit the whole. The 90% sounds and is accurate but the FPs seek to have the entire word dismissed on the grounds of what was off. This is why a FPs will even speak truth at times as long as he gets to insert his distortion of the truth.
On occasion, the manifestation of the FPs has been more obvious such as when a client at the beginning of the HS section went back to be with the Lord but had a vision of jail and darkness. When asked directly, “Spirit giving my client the vision of jail and darkness, are you are false prophet spirit,” the answer was ‘yes.’ We destroyed that spirit. I then spent more time positioning the person before the Lord. The person experienced the light, love and freedom of Jesus and ended up being in a field of flowers with Jesus.
Later on, during that same deliverance, we were getting positive information about changes the client would enjoy…no more isolation, shame, embarrassment or need to hide. The Holy Spirit was addressing some control issues the person had and invited the client to trust his control. The Lord was saying how wonderful the person was and what a beautiful heart the person has for the broken. A few minutes later, while on the same subject, the client reported hearing from the Holy Spirit, “There is a lot of confusion. She is not letting go.” At another point we heard, “She needs to repent and pray more.”
The tone was different, judgmental, condemning, and performance oriented. This was what prompted me to ask the spirit if he was a FPs. He confirmed it and I destroyed the FPs. Then I had the person confess, renounce and repent of control and fear. This took care of the problem.
I recall another time when we had FPs show up five or six different times during an AfterCare session. I began testing things more often after the first two times, even when I felt we had good information just to be sure and to help the one receiving prayer to be more confident in the reliability of what we received.
In every case where we found FPs, the tone and words went from being grace based to one of legalism or legalistic exhortation, a performance based tone. I tested each time and found a FPs. In every case, the FPs was speaking through the client, purporting to be telling something that was from the Holy Spirit or Jesus. Because we took time to do this, the lasting result has been a client with much clearer discernment concerning the voice of the Holy Spirit and confidence in using the tools received to test the spirits.
Questions to Ask False Prophet spirits
If prompted to do so by God, questions for a Point Seat Person to ask the False Prophet spirits:
- Spirit that has been speaking, what is your assignment?
- What strategies have been most effective to accomplish your assignment?
- According to the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh what are you required to say about the portals, openings or other vulnerabilities you have been exploiting against this person?
- How long have you been using these things against this person?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high, how successful have you been? What does the Lord Jesus Christ say your effectiveness has been?
- What have been the consequences of your work?
- What information which you have spoken does the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh require you to correct?
Ken Thornberg points out that the answers to these questions may be fully covered in the Top 3 Spiritual Hindrances which we do in the Deliverance Prayer. Ask the Lord if this line of questioning is necessary and will be helpful. During the Deliverance Prayer, we can also demand that the Head Demon share anything more about what he did and why in case he was a False Prophet spirit. Keep in mind that the biggest thing False Prophet spirits want is to get a believer with a prophetic gift to keep his/her mouth closed and be afraid to open it.
Having finished with these questions, say, “Let the judgment of Almighty God fall upon you and your forces now.” Then ask the Lord to close the portals that the enemy has been using and have the person repent of them, receive Christ’s forgiveness and forgive themselves.
Additional Questions for Consideration and Dialogue with a Client Who Encounters False Prophet Spirits
- When do the False Prophet spirits show up?
- How are they showing up?
- How are they interfering?
- How are you recognizing their presence?
- Are you comparing these voices and attitudes to the voice of the Holy Spirit so you can discern His voice better?
- What differences have you observed?
- Why do you think there are so many FPs lined up to interfere with answering this question? What’s at stake here?
- Tell me exactly what you are saying or doing to remove the FPs.
- What happens when you do this?
If a client is having trouble with FPs, Ken suggests we ask the Lord why the client is encountering them. It may be that the Lord wants to train the person to test the spirits and not presume to know the difference.
It is important for those who deal with FPs to hear the difference in tone between them and the Holy Spirit’s voice, to learn patience and not want instant answers like they get through their IPads, phones, etc. We live in an instant society. The expectation which demands an instant answer has hurt us and caused us to remain immature, especially if we expect God to be on our timetable.
God has taught many of us that there is a great need for and value in learning patience and perseverance. Wisdom doesn’t come quickly; neither does humility. These and other Christ-like gifts are often forged in the crucible of adversity. God may have us wait a long time for some answers to teach us that he can and must be trusted. We know that strength is built through resistance. Learning to trust, to remain steadfast in the face of adversity, and to be patient amid resistance often has more to do with what God is forming in us than what the enemy is trying to keep from us. It is for our good, and for increased Kingdom effectiveness, that we learn from Christ how to humbly wait, submit, trust and surrender in the power of the Holy Spirit.