As with much of everything, there is a caste system when it comes to all things prophetic, spiritual, or otherwise supernatural. Notice I didn’t say Biblical because very little that goes on in the modern-day Western church is Biblical. There aren’t enough fireworks in Biblical living. We live in the age of entertainment, and there’s nothing entertaining about denying yourself.
One rung up from the internet prophets who troll social media hoping they get a bite are the guys who do crowd work. Granted, crowd work is limiting in that your potential victims have to be present and in the audience. But it’s also the best way to solidify an individual’s belief that you are communicating with the Almighty Himself.
Because the potential victims never bothered to learn the difference between a true prophet of God and the Amazing Kreskin, they believe someone guessing their zip code, or whether they’re troubled about something, is just as good as foretelling the birth of Christ 700 years before he was born.
Until he got caught, Peter Popoff had one doozie of a scam going. He’d get people attending his meetings to fill out prayer cards with their name, address, prayer need, ailment, and the such, collect them at the door, then his wife would transmit the information to him via an earpiece, and he would wow and dazzle the crowd by guessing their names, ages, and various other things.
Unlike Peter Popoff, there are some who do crowd work that are naturally gifted and don’t need earpieces to guess at certain things. Between body language, observation, intuition, telltale signs, and leading questions, they get close enough to the mark that people who don’t know better are left in awe of their ‘prophetic’ abilities.
Why yes, I do have a dog, and I do smoke cigarettes, and yes, I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Dog hair on your coat, yellow teeth, fidgeting, cigarette smell on your hair, bags under your eyes! So prophetic, it’s scary.
Now, there’s a difference between that and stopping in the middle of a sermon, pointing out one woman in a crowd of twelve hundred, telling her it was time to quit and that she should pull the pack of smokes from her brazier and lay them at the altar. As Paul would say, I knew a man in Christ who did just that.
When it comes to crowd work, it’s not foolproof. Sometimes they get ahead of themselves and tell a brother and sister that it’s the Lord’s will that they become one flesh in His sight because they showed up at a meeting together. Still, people are hungry for the supernatural and are willing to overlook a lot of red flags and ignore that disquiet in their bellies. Even if they’re caught in a full-blown lie, if they’re quick enough on their feet, they’ll spin it and say it was symbolic, of the spiritual realm, beyond the understanding of those not gifted.
Before the angry birds’ choir chimes in, notice I never said I do not believe in the work of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, revelation, or prophecy. The enemy wouldn’t be tirelessly counterfeiting something that didn’t exist, to begin with. That would make him a creator, not an imitator. It would no longer be counterfeit; it would just be a different thing.
You don’t potentially lead a Christian astray by introducing them to Scientology and calling it Christianity light. It would be like someone saying they’ve got a watch they want to sell you and producing a flashlight. You know, offhand, it’s not a watch.
As such, because we are warned of the wave of fakes and counterfeits attempting to deceive, if possible even the elect during the last days, we know that the real exists and has existed all along. Perhaps not as bombastic, flashy, boisterous, self-indulgent, spotlight-chasing, or attention-starved as the fake, but the real exists.
The real, however, is exclusive. There will always be more forgeries of something truly valuable than there will be of the authentic. Because the authentic has intrinsic value, it will always come at a higher price than the counterfeit, and it will be harder to find.
To be blunt, most people settle for a counterfeit because they don’t want to put in the effort or make the requisite sacrifices to attain the real. The authentic comes at a price that few are willing to pay, and because they are unwilling to pay it, they grow bitter toward anyone who is.
That we would call the Christian version of palm reading prophecy is in itself criminal. That we would follow the Christian version of palm readers simply because they tell us good things is spiritually suicidal.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.