-False Prophets and Strange Fire?


(Moses and the Burning Bush: Wikipedia)

From: Bethel Church, Redding

“Jesus didn’t warn us of prophets. He warned of false prophets.

He didn’t warn of signs and wonders. He warned of false signs and wonders.

Knowing the real helps us to recognize the false.

For this reason those with little to no fire think all fire is strange fire.” – Bill Johnson

-James Goll: “The A,B,C’s of the Prophetic”


Quote from James Goll on the Prophetic today:

You see, we must understand some basic things concerning the nature of the prophetic. Few, in fact very few, prophetic words are ever sovereign declarations that will come to pass without any conditions being met. Most prophetic words are invitations into a process of becoming. Often, the Lord is more interested in our becoming a word and not just getting, releasing or receiving a word.

The prophetic at its best is partial, progressive and conditional. That is not the fault of the prophetic person – it is the way it works biblically, historically and how it works today.

Let me run that by you one more time – the gift of prophecy is partial, progressive and conditional and the conditions are rarely revealed at that time. This is where personal responsibility takes over and each believer must search out the King’s heart for the keys to unlocking the revelation.

There is a big difference between the revelation and the manifestation! As I have said many times before, the gap between the revelation and the manifestation is called the “until clause.”

Response: Readers-what do you think? I might have worded it differently but it does sum up my experience with the prophetic in the church today.

-The Prophetic Movement?

Time and again I see references to ‘The Prophetic Movement’ like it is some kind of unified quasi- church organization of some sort. What is it anyway and where can I find it? Then I see a whole lot of folks and ministries lumped together as somehow being representative of this movement and all sorts of crazy stuff which is suppose to be part of it, like angel feathers and gold dust and even miraculous gold teeth.

Then I read that it all started at a Vineyard conference when John Wimber introduced Paul Cain and let him take over. (However a prophetic movement had been going for years among some Pentecostal churches) I have read all sorts of crazy stuff about what happened at those meetings. Well guess what- I was there!

In February 1989, I was one of over 5,000 attending a “Spiritual Warfare Conference” with a number of major speakers planned. The first night John Wimber took the stand and announced that he believed that the Lord had inspired him to change the agenda and he introduced Paul Cain who spoke that first night and every night thereafter.

About five minutes into his first talk, Paul said something that convicted me personally and the Holy Spirit came upon me and I landed on my face and knees for a while, which was different and I have never been the same since. All I know, what happened to me that night was a sovereign work and I know a lot of other folks that were truly blessed at that conference. Yet when I read what the critics say about it, I wonder if it was the same conference. But I was actually there and the critics weren’t.

Later that year, I was there at the ‘Prophecy Conference’ when all the Kansas City folks were introduced including a strange guy called Bob Jones. Guess what, I was blessed at that conference also.

I guess that I have been part of ‘The Prophetic Movement’ for over 18 years and didn’t even know it. Some of the folks that are said to be part of it, I do know and have had close relationships with. Others I don’t know and don’t even agree with, but we are all part of some movement together? Some have fallen away and changed over the years, but they’re still part of the movement too?

If it is about gold dust, angel feathers, gold fillings and guys and gals with ‘Prophet’ in front of their names passing the collection plate and acting like rock stars, then count me out. If it is about re-establishing and implementing a true prophetic calling and gifting in the church, then count me in, I am part of that lower case ‘p’ prophetic movement.

-“The Anatomy of a Prophetic Word” by James W. Goll

I just received the following from Encounters Network and James Goll. James and Michal Ann Goll have recently teamed with Rolland and Heidi Baker on a number of occasions, and both are gifted in prophetic ministry. Since there seems to be a continuing discussion about the prophetic on this website (and I certainly welcome it), this short outline message about prophecy- evaluation and application -would seem to be on target and helpful. For some of you, this will probably be quite elementary but still a useful review:

“The Anatomy of a Prophetic Word”

by James W. Goll (Vision Cast November 2006)

There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration considering revelatory gifts. Failure to understand these factors can lead to dismissing a genuine word as being “off” or missing the impact that God intended for it to give. Therefore it behooves us to learn the many facets concerning the anatomy of a prophetic word.


A. Its Source

1. God – I Jn. 4:1clip_image002, “…test the spirits to see whether they are from God…”

2. Self – Jer. 23:21clip_image002[1] “…I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.” See also Ezek. 13:1-2clip_image002[2].

3. Satanic

a. I Jn. 4:3clip_image002[3] “…this is the spirit of the antichrist…”
b. Mt. 16:23clip_image002[4] – “…Get behind me, Satan!…”

B. Modes of Revelation
Numbers 12:6clip_image002[5], “…Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make myself known to Him…” through:

1. A vision.

2. A dream.

3. Mouth to mouth.

4. Dark sayings.

5. Parables – Hos. 12:10clip_image002[6].

6. Natural things – Jer. 18:1clip_image002[7].


A. Bring the Two Together
The following scriptural references show how revelation must be wedded with proper interpretation. Numerous genuine words have been judged as false because of a wrong interpretation.

1. Acts 10:9-17clip_image002[8] – …Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen (revelation) might be (interpretation)… (v. 17).

2. I Pet. 1:10-11clip_image002[9] – …seeking to know what person or time (interpretation) the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating (revelation) as He predicted the sufferings of Christ… (v. 11).

3. Zech. 1:8-9clip_image002[10] – I saw at night (revelation)…then I said, “…what are these?”… (interpretation).

4. Dan. 8:15clip_image002[11] – …I, Daniel had seen the vision (revelation)…that I sought to understand it… (interpretation).

5. Acts 16:10clip_image002[12] – And when he had seen (revelation) the vision…concluding (interpretation) that God had called us…

6. Gen. 40:5-13clip_image002[13] – Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it”… (v. 12).

7. Gen. 41:25clip_image002[14] – Now Joseph said…”God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do.”


A. Comparison of Acts 21:10clip_image002[15] and Acts 20:23clip_image002[16]

1. We…began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.. (Acts 21:12clip_image002[17]).

2. Notice that those who heard Agabus were convinced that God was warning Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Paul, however, interpreted the word differently. This obviously made his application the exact opposite of what others had hoped it would be. Paul received the word not as a warning not to go, but as a confirmation of his sensing that he was to count the cost of what lay ahead.


Various keys unlock God’s prophetic word to be appropriated or fulfilled
in our lives. The following are some simple keys:

A. Faith
Heb. 4:2clip_image002[18] – …the word…did not profit…because it was not united by (with) faith…

B. Right Soil
Lk. 8:4clip_image002[19] – The parable of the sower of the seed portrays the importance of having the proper condition of the soil of your heart. The same seed was sowed to all, but had various results, due to the condition of the soil.

C. Diligence in Seeking
Dan. 9:2-3clip_image002[20],16clip_image002[21] – Here Daniel finds that the desolation of Jerusalem is to be for 70 years. His response was to give himself to seeking the face of the Lord through prayer and fasting.

V. Conditions

What are the conditions that must be met so that the promise can be fulfilled? Sometimes, these conditions are present in the heart of God, but are not spoken to the mind of man. Therefore questions must be asked.

A. Jeremiah 18:8clip_image002[22]
…if that nation…turns…

B. II Chronicles 7:14clip_image002[23]
If My people who are called by My name… (NKJ)

C. Jonah 3:4-10clip_image002[24]
Yet forty days and Ninevah will be overthrown…God relented.

D. II Kings 20:1-6clip_image002[25]
…Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.


There is a ‘Karios’ appointed and strategic timing for a matter to come into being. This takes patience and wisdom to discern.

A. Genesis 37:5-8clip_image002[26]
…Joseph had a dream….”Are you really going to rule over us?”

B. Habakkuk 2:3clip_image002[27]
For the vision is yet for the appointed time…though it tarries, wait…

C. Galatians 4:4clip_image002[28]
…when the fullness of…time had come, God sent forth His Son… (NKJ)

D. Mark 4:28clip_image002[29]
The soil produces…first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain…

E. Isaiah 9:6clip_image002[30]
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… (NKJ)


God looks deeply into the heart of man. What is our true inner motivation? Do we want glory for the Lord or promotion before man?

A. Ezekiel 14:4-5clip_image002[31]
…Any man…who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet…give…an answer (according to)…his idols…

B. Psalm 106:13-15clip_image002[32]
They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but craved…and tempted God…so He gave them their request…(NASB) but sent leanness into their soul (NKJ).


In some occasions, the Holy Spirit has spoken very clearly. However, the birth of the promise can appear differently than expected, especially in infant stages. Again we must cry out to the Lord that we miss not the day of visitation due to the manner of which that promise has first appeared.

A. Isaiah 9:6clip_image002[33]
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given… (NKJ)

B. Matthew 1:18-25clip_image002[34]
…Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly…(Joseph was changed from being a man of principle into a man of faith).

C. I Kings 18:41clip_image002[35]
…There is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.


We must be careful how we listen. One of the potential problems for the prophetic person is that he is assumed to be in the ‘prophetic mode’ all the time and every time he speaks. This not only shows lack of wisdom on the part of the listener, it also dishonors the prophetic person. Let us prayerfully, and with godly trusted counsel, seek proper discernment.

A. II Samuel 7:1-15clip_image002[36]
…Nathan the prophet…said…”Go, do all that is in your mind…the Lord is with you”…Go…say to…David, “Are you the one who should build me a house…?”

B. I Samuel 16:6-7clip_image002[37] (Samuel)
…He looked…and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is…BUT THE LORD SAID…


When all of these wisdom perimeters are put in place, let’s create an atmosphere of faith and ask the Holy Spirit to move freely. Let us not err on the side of ‘license’, nor on the side by ‘stifling”the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. But with these understandings in place, let us walk on into fruitful prophetic maturation.

“THE SEER: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, & Open Heavens”

By Jim W. Goll, (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Pub. Inc., 2004, 190 pgs.)

What is the difference between a Seer and a regular Prophet? Jim Goll explains and differentiates between the two prophetic ministry streams, from the perspective of a participant. It is loaded with personal experience and wisdom, but it also helps one to better understand the different prophets in the Bible. A must read for all those who minister in the prophetic, or in the pastoral for that matter. This book is an excellent presentation of the different prophetic ministries operating in the church today. It is available through most Christian book stores, or may be obtained directly from Jim Goll’s website.

or Amazon

-“A Call To War: Basic Training For The Prophetic Ministry”

by Kris Vallotton (Redding CA: Bethel Church, 2004, 95 pgs.)

Kris is the head of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and Senior Associate Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California (Bill Johnson is the Senior Pastor). He is also a recognized prophetic minister who has been involved in training and overseeing a large number of prophetic teams in the United States and internationally.

This is essentially a ‘basic training manual’ for prophetic ministry. A valuable tool for those who are developing prophetic teams, growing into the ministry as an individual, or for Pastors who would like to develop and guide prophetic ministry in their church.

Some of the topics covered: ‘Learning to Hear The Voice of God’; ‘The Purpose of Prophetic Ministry’; ‘The Difference Between The Office of Prophet and The Gift of Prophecy’; ‘Judging and Receiving Prophetic Words’; ‘Ministering in and Receiving the Gift of Prophecy’; ‘Prophetic Etiquette’; ‘False Prophets’; and ‘Practicing Prophecy’.

I highly recommend this book for those growing in the prophetic, and also for Pastors seeking guidelines for how prophetic ministry should work, edify, and complement other ministries in the local church. It is amazing how this manual is easy to understand, and yet at the same time, it is quite comprehensive and profound. All of the important stuff is here in 95 pages, with study guides included. The book may be ordered through: Bethel Church-Store