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RZ Survey Results:

Correlations, Implications and Open Questions

by Hannah Weiss

 

 

Some of the following observations may sound like criticism, but that is not my intention; I am grateful to each one who took the time (and had the courage) to answer this challenging survey. Nor do I presume to “give out grades” for survey answers; it’s all too easy to be an armchair analyst, blissfully unaware of my own blind spots in discernment. My purpose is rather to “hold up a mirror” for a look at our collective level of discernment, and to invite dialog.

If there is enough interest in pursuing these issues (with a goal of helping the Body to grow in discernment), RZ might establish a forum discussion where the Lord’s people can share constructive ideas together. Please contact me at: hannah [at] restorersofzion.org.

Observations concerning the people who responded, or didn’t

1. Israeli interest -- leaders vs. grassroots believers:

The survey invitation was sent to the RZ mailing list, to a list of personal acquaintances, and to an Israeli Messianic community network. The number of views at the Israeli network by the last day of the survey totalled 56. But the number of responses from that source (not contacted some other way) was no greater than 3. In other words, a lot of Israelis were interested enough to take time to look at the survey, but very few were inclined to respond.

In contrast, Israeli believers with experience in leadership seemed especially motivated. Out of the 15 Israelis who did respond, 11 of these (3 out of 4) are pastors, teachers and/or ministry leaders. Compare this to the wider picture: 10 out of 21 respondents abroad were leaders, slightly under half. And 3 of these 10 used to live in Israel.

Open Questions:

-- Is the issue of testing prophecy (or alternately, was the issue of testing this prophecy) more urgent for Israeli leaders than for the rank-and-file Israeli believer?

-- Or did the average believer just feel less qualified to give an opinion than the leaders?

 

2. Israeli leaders who were familiar with the prediction:

When contacted, “J” reported that she had sent the prophecy to an unspecified number of Israeli leaders – quite appropriate since the prophecy predicted disasters in two major Israeli population centers! And yet of the 11 Israeli leaders who responded to the RZ survey, only 2 had seen it before.

Moreover, during the 6 months between the release of the prophecy and its deadline for fulfillment, no Israeli leader publicly showed interest in it as far as I could tell. No one commented on the prediction in any ministry newsletters, or blogged on it, either to refute it or support it. Several leaders exchanged emails with me privately after the survey was announced, revealing that they were aware of the issue for some time, but most were reluctant to make a public statement about it.

Thoughts:

-- Most Israeli leaders who had seen this prediction either didn’t want to express their opinion in a survey, or they could not be reached through networks accessible to RZ.

-- Likewise, the leaders who had seen it apparently did not see a need for community discussion, either to formulate a group response to the prophets, or to teach others how to handle such issues, or even to warn Israeli believers not to pay attention to it.

Open Questions:

-- Was this lack of response due to more pressing priorities among the Israeli leadership?

-- Was there a widespread assumption among Israeli leaders that they were not qualified to evaluate this prediction?

-- Was the silence based on an agreement that no statement needed to be made (i.e. no Israelis would be troubled by the prediction)?

-- The authors of this prophecy have visited Israel repeatedly, taught in conferences open to Israeli believers, and had personal interaction with some Israeli leaders. Was the silence of some local leaders due to a reluctance to confront those prophets and risk causing friction in their relationships?

 

3. Those who had widely promoted the prophecy:

I sent the survey to 11 individuals and ministries who had distributed the prophecy to their mailing lists (total numbers unknown, but safe to say a few hundred at least). Nearly all who distributed it had added introductions implying that they took the prediction seriously.

Most did not reply to my emails at all; of the two who did, the responses were selective. The first person filled out the survey, but did not answer the key question: “Do you believe this prophecy will be fulfilled?” or mark any options regarding how to deal with an obviously failed prophecy. Their reason for distributing it was an implicit trust in the person who had sent it to them.

The other one sent me several emails justifying a decision to not answer the survey. When asked why they had distributed the prophecy, they couldn’t remember why. The closest they came to taking a position on its validity was to remind me that “God is in control” and that it’s always good to pray for Israel.

Thoughts:

-- Those who had been the most energetic distributors of this prophecy were unwilling to express an opinion about its validity, or about what to do if it turned out to be a false word.

-- None of the 11 seemed aware of the possible consequences to others that might result from passing around a questionable prophecy that demanded concrete action.

Open Questions:

-- Were these enthusiastic promoters of the prophecy reluctant to respond because they considered the questions too difficult to answer?

-- Was there an assumption that publishing a prediction as a serious matter for prayer does not require them to first decide whether the matter is in fact serious?

-- If “urgent calls for intercession” can be passed throughout the worldwide Body without a belief in the urgency of the call, what does this say about the value we place on intercessory prayer?

 

4. High percentage of long-time believers:

Those who had been 20 or more years in the faith were a huge majority of responders – 34 of 36, or almost 95%.

Implication:

-- While I had hoped for a wider spread in terms of spiritual experience, this high concentration does allow a closer look at the thinking of those usually regarded as elders in the faith.

Open Questions:

-- Does this mean that the longer people are walking with the Lord, the more important this issue becomes?

-- Or did a lot of years in the faith make people feel more qualified to answer these questions, whereas younger believers didn’t confident enough to respond?

-- Or, does RZ simply attract more long-time believers than new believers (i.e. our focus on Body restoration issues resonates more with long-time believers)?

 

Implications based on the decisions about this particular prophecy

 

5. People (15) living in Israel:

The Israelis were obviously the believers who had the most at stake in the validity of this prediction. Those who believed it were required to take concrete action, and those who didn’t knew they were taking a risk by ignoring it. Not surprisingly, far more responses came from Israel than from any other country, and many Israelis expressed strong opinions with extended written comments.

How well did Israeli residents fare in testing this prophecy? Here are there answers compared with non-Israelis.

Answers to the question: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 1

No - 10

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 4

Comparison to people (21) outside of Israel:

Yes - 3

No - 9

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 9

 

Open Questions:

-- Was the stronger Israeli consensus that this prophecy would not happen (66 percent, compared to 43 percent abroad) due to more successful testing of the prophecy, or to a stronger emotional need to deny it… which just happened to match the reality?

-- Of the 4 Israelis who could not decide, 3 personally knew the author of the prophetic announcement. Did their closer relationship make it harder to decide? (This is an important question, since some survey responses had proposed that “knowing the prophet personally” is an advantage in testing their predictions ahead of time.)

-- The lone Israeli resident who thought that this word would come to pass lives in the north of Israel. Did that “safe distance” from the predicted destruction allow more freedom to believe the prophecy?

 

6. Israel Body leaders (11):

Were senior leaders in Israel more reliable in testing this prophecy than their colleagues elsewhere? Here were their decisions.

Answers to the question: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 1

No – 6

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 4

 

Compared to leaders outside Israel:

Yes - 1

No – 6

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 3

 

Thoughts:

-- With 55 percent discerning correctly, and with 1 in 3 unable to decide either way, the Israeli leaders were slightly less reliable compared to non-Israeli leaders (60 percent correct, with a bit less fence-sitting).

-- Were the leaders in Israel more reliable than the Israeli believers who are expected to submit to them? Not necessarily! The 4 Israeli non-leaders all voted “no” (100 percent correct, with no fence-sitting).

Open Questions:

-- Are Israeli leaders less competent in discernment than average Israeli believers, or did they just not take as much time to seriously evaluate the prophecy? This implies that in spite of being freed from wage-earning demands through “ministry support”, Israeli leaders actually have less time to focus on these issues than those in “secular jobs”.

-- Are we placing unreasonable burdens on Israeli leaders if we look to them to distinguish between vain and valid prophecies pertaining to their country? Or is this an essential part of their job?

-- Is the slightly better ‘score’ of leaders abroad due to better discernment, or less pressure? I.e. are leaders abroad doing any better in sifting through the modern prophecies pertaining to their home countries?

 

7. Those (28) who marked “ask the Lord” as a way to test prophecy beforehand:

This was the only suggested test that was exclusively spiritual. In other words, when asking the Lord directly about an earthly situation, our mental conclusions must be laid before Him for a verdict, allowing Him to have the last word on the subject. Those who attempt to do this are acknowledging that the reality can be quite different from what our minds tell us, and that direct access to the Lord can compensate for what we cannot know.

On the other hand, it’s common knowledge that some in the Body try to resort to this method of discernment without exercising their mental filters – or possibly as an excuse for not using their minds.

I included the option without explanation, in order to allow both camps to respond freely. So did “asking the Lord” boost people’s testing ability?

Answers to the question: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 3

No - 14

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 11

 

Compared to those (8) who didn’t choose this test method:

Yes - 1

No - 5

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 2

 

Thoughts:

-- The success of hearing directly from God depends on how well the hearer can distance himself from strong personal opinions, and those from distinguish His Voice, or from deceptive voices of unclean spirits.

-- This in itself requires a measure of discernment experience, reliable sources for confirmation of His Voice, and other scriptural prerequisites. A deficiency in these would account for so many believers choosing this method and yet not being helped by it.

Open Questions:

-- More than ¾ of the respondents marked this as a recommended test, and yet its effectiveness was exactly 50:50 – somewhat less successful than not “asking the Lord to confirm it” to their spirits. Did half of those who asked the Lord hear wrong? Or was this a case of repeating a popular theory without any idea of how to apply it?

-- It’s such a well-known principle, established by Yeshua Himself, that “My sheep hear My voice”; did some respondents feel compelled to include it simply from obligation, but without any real belief that it works?

-- Did the 8 believers who refused this option do so because they don’t believe it’s possible to hear the Lord on such issues, or because they were reacting against all the vain claims which have proven to be anything but the Lord’s Voice?

 

8. Certainty vs. Accuracy

“Certainty” in testing prophecy refers to the person’s expressed confidence that predictive prophecy can and should be tested for validity. Respondents were rated as having “high certainty” in this area by three things:

They expected prophecies to always be validated before being released to the public (i.e. it should be tested beforehand), they specified ways of testing a prophecy before it was due to happen (i.e. it can be tested beforehand), and they expected all or most of a valid prophecy to happen (i.e. we can clearly distinguish a fulfilled word from an unfulfilled one). Those who had only two out of the three expectations were rated at “medium certainty”, and those with only one of the above were rated at “low certainty”.

How did the amount of certainty of testability compare with the accuracy in actually testing this prophecy?

Answers to the question: Will it be fulfilled or not?

High Certainty (total 24)

Yes - 2

No - 13

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 9

 

Medium Certainty (total 10)

Yes - 2

No - 4

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 4

 

Low Certainty (total 2)

No - 2

 

Thoughts:

-- Oddly, the only two people who scored “low” in certainty still returned a confident “No” on whether this prophecy would happen. They clearly did better than those in the “medium” category.

-- Even more remarkable were the 23 respondents (64 percent of the total) who scored “high” in certainty for testing, of whom 9 could not decide whether or not this prophecy passed their tests. Then there were the 2 “highly” certain respondents who believed (erroneously) that the prophecy did test out as a valid one. In other words, fully half of those who thought they knew how to spot a vain prophecy were unable to do so when the need arose.

-- It would seem that people’s certainty (or lack of certainty) in their ability to test predictive prophecy did not always match their real ability to test and discern.

Open Questions:

-- Had these 11 “highly certain” people missed the warning signs (that this prediction would not happen) because they neglected to apply the tests as they knew they should?

-- Or were the tests they recommended nothing more than another case of theory heard from others or found in scripture, which they were unable to apply to a real situation?

-- Given the fact that the respondents are almost exclusively in the “spiritual elder” categories, is there a danger of passing on a groundless confidence in prophecy testing to the next generation of believers and emerging leaders – who will face even tougher discernment challenges as the last days approach?

 

9. Those with formal Bible education:

It’s a widely approved custom to choose spiritual leaders based on their academic achievement (at least in part), and to send emerging leaders to established Bible-study centers as part of their preparation to serve. The favored learning source can include a range of Christian, Jewish or Messianic institutions (or different blends of these), and the Body, especially in Israel, can be sharply divided over the relative merits of each.

This doesn’t hold true for small, independent ministries or congregations; but in large organized groups with a strong authority structure, the general consensus is that academic credentials are evidence of a “real” Bible education. Even rank-and-file believers who have completed systematic study courses (from formal degrees to “discipleship” programs) are assumed to be better equipped to deal with spiritual challenges such as discernment. Extra effort is made to offer these opportunities to the youth.

How did these scholars among us fare in pre-testing our sample prophecy? It’s hard to draw conclusions on the “basic” categories (up through high school level) represented by only 1 or 2 people each, so I will comment mostly on the more populated corridors of “higher” education (college, seminary, yeshiva).

I included a separate category for those who tried to compensate for possible shortcomings in one academic circle by adding the resources of another (Christian-Jewish, Christian-Messianic, Jewish-Messianic, and occasionally all three).

Answers to the question: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Christian college education: total 16

Yes - 1

No - 8

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 7

Christian seminary education: total 5

No - 2

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

Jewish higher education (college or yeshiva): total 4

No - 1

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

Messianic education (assumed to be college level): total 9

Yes - 2

No - 3

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 4

 

Two or more sources of higher education (C / J / M): total 7

Yes - 1

No - 3

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

 

Compared with only basic or no formal Bible education: total 15

Yes - 2

No - 10

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

 

Thoughts:

-- Since Jewish education teaches that prophecy ended in the second Temple era at the latest, the low discernment rate from that quarter (more accurately, the lack of opinion on the issue) is to be expected.

-- Because Messianic education is not as well established as either Jewish or Christian, it might be unfair to compare them. But the lower discernment rate regarding the prophecy (33 percent, compared to 50 percent from Christian education) suggests that Messianic training is weaker in this vital area.

-- On the other hand, training at a Christian theological seminary (what might be called a leadership “gold standard” for many in the Body) didn’t guarantee better discernment.

-- Likewise, advanced study gained from more than one community didn’t seem to add discernment competency to the most scholarly leaders among us.

Open Questions:

-- A large majority (29 respondents, or 80 percent) were in the highly educated categories. Does this show stronger interest in the issue of prophecy than those without formal Bible training? Or does it show more confidence in the ability to answer the questions?

-- Given that the best success in discernment among highly educated believers (50 percent from Christian college graduates) was still lower than those with basic Bible training or none at all (66 percent), are academic credentials for spiritual leadership overrated?

 

Implications based on the responses from “elders in the faith”

As mentioned before, nearly all the survey participants are chronological veterans in Messianic faith, having a walk with the Lord of 20 years or longer. Not only this, but 3 out of 4 are over the age of 50, giving them the added advantage of accumulated earthly wisdom; many of these are already in a position to pass that wisdom to two generations as grandparents. Finally, more than half identified themselves as senior leaders – evidence that they are acknowledged by some segment of the Body as qualified to guide believers in their spiritual growth and service.

Therefore, each of these categories merited a closer look. I have included not only their decisions about the prophecy in question, but also their level of certainty in how to test prophecy, as well as how they advised dealing with prophets perceived to be off-base. All of these are essentials for healthy Body life and necessary skills for our elders.

For an explanation of “certainty”, see above. The levels of “strict” or “lenient” in dealing with failed prophecy were derived from the answers to question no. 6: What should be done about a prophecy that had obviously failed. “Strict” endorsed public confrontation and/or disassociation only, with no private approach necessary. “Moderately Strict” included a private approach, as well as public confrontation. “Moderately Lenient” recommended only privately dealing with the prophet, with no public confrontation; and “Lenient” recommended simply ignoring them.

 

A side-trip to a related note of interest:

Were Israelis more confrontational about failed prophecy than others?

Responses showed 6 Strict / 4 Moderately Strict (10 out of 15, or 66 percent).

 

The answer was yes, compared to non-Israelis:

5 Strict / 4 Moderately Strict (9 out of 21, or 43 percent)

 

Open Questions:

-- Was the higher Israeli strictness based on conviction from scripture, or was it a function of Israeli culture which is more confrontational to begin with?

-- Was more strictness added as a personal reaction against this prophecy, which (as some pointed out) singled out the world’s most battered people for a yet more devastating attack, while envisioning no comfort or compensation for it?

 

10. Long-time believers:

Long-time exposure to teaching and fellowship with the Lord’s people is traditionally regarded as producing spiritual elders, able to guide and teach the less experienced.

Since all but 2 respondents were in this category, we can’t compare their discernment skills with spiritually younger believers. But we can get a glimpse of what long-time Body life has taught these respondents about how to handle prophecy in general, and this prediction in particular.

I reported separately on 20-year and 30-year veterans; a few of the latter indicated at least 40 years in the faith. Did that extra decade or more improve their confidence and/or accuracy?

How to test prophecy (20-30 years in the Lord): total 11

Level of certainty was High - 10

Level of certainty was Medium - 1

No one was rated Low

 

How to deal with failed prophecy:

Strict - 3

Moderately Strict - 3

Moderately Lenient) - 3

Lenient - 2

 

Regarding this prophecy: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 1

No - 6

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 4

 

How to test prophecy (after the 30-year mark): total 23

Level of certainty was High - 12

Level of certainty was Medium - 9

Level of certainty was Low - 2

 

How to deal with failed prophecy:

Strict - 6

Moderately Strict - 5

Moderately Lenient - 7

Lenient - 2

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

 

Regarding this prophecy: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 3

No - 11

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 9

 

Thoughts:

-- Strictness in dealing with failed prophecy remained roughly the same in proportions from the 20-year mark onward. It was the same for willingness to give a verdict on this prophecy, as well as the accuracy of that verdict (something less than 50 percent in both cases). This indicates that not much changed between the third and fourth decades of faith-walk.

-- But certainty in testing prophecy, which was quite high after 20 years in the faith, dropped sharply after 30 years (from over 90 percent to less than 50).

Open Questions:

-- The most obvious one is: Why didn’t additional years of Body life result in stronger, more confident dealing with prophecy testing, and more accurate assessment?

-- It appears that certainty about testing prophecy actually drops after 30 years (nearly half a lifetime) spent among the Lord’s people – a loss not shared with those yet to reach that milestone. What causes the difference?

-- Do we need to reconsider the widespread assumption that the more years in the faith, the better someone is suited for spiritual leadership?

-- Accuracy in discernment among long-time believers in general appears to be no better than 50-50, and does not increase with time. Does this suggest a defect in Body teaching in this area? Or is it a failure to apply what is taught?

 

11. Physically older believers:

The over-50 group totalled 26 of 36, roughly 3 of every 4 respondents. These have experienced more of earthly life, seen more of truth and lies in the world, and had more time to practice discernment on a human (“common sense”) level.

Moreover, people around retirement age, and grandparents in particular, are regarded as family patriarchs / matriarchs, having a mandate to pass their acquired wisdom to two younger generations. If they have already succeeded in passing on their faith in Messiah, we are talking about an influence that reaches to 3 rd generation believers.

Did this experience (and responsibility) give them an advantage (and motivation) beyond younger people in dealing with our challenge? I present the results in three separate categories.

 

How to test prophecy (50-something group): total 8

Level of certainty was High - 7

Level of certainty was Medium - 1

No one was rated Low

 

How to deal with failed prophecy:

Strict - 1

Moderately Strict - 3

Moderately Lenient - 4

 

Regarding this prophecy: Will it be fulfilled or not?

No - 2

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 6

 

How to test prophecy (after the 60-year mark): total 18

Level of certainty was High - 9

Level of certainty was Medium - 7

Level of certainty was Low – 2

 

How to deal with failed prophecy:

Strict - 7

Moderately Strict - 1

Moderately Lenient - 4

Lenient - 3

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

 

Regarding this prophecy: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 4

No - 10

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 4

 

How to test prophecy (grandparents): total 15

Level of certainty was High - 8

Level of certainty was Medium – 7

No one was rated Low

 

How to deal with failed prophecy:

Strict - 5

Moderately Strict - 2

Moderately Lenient - 6

Lenient - 1

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 1

 

Regarding this prophecy: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 3

No - 6

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 6

 

Thoughts:

-- The expressed certainty in how to test prophecy did not rise with age: instead it dropped rather sharply between 50-something and over 60. The same happened with strictness in dealing with a failed prophecy: older believers were less sure of what to do with the erring prophet.

-- Curiously, the willingness to pronounce a verdict on this prophecy went up slightly with age – even though the verdict was sometimes wrong – compared with the 50s group (where 3 out of 4 could not decide).

-- Being grandparents, on the other hand, seemed to give this age group slightly higher certainty in testing and more moderation in dealing with a failed prophecy. It didn’t help with correctly discerning the outcome of this prophecy.

-- To give some age-related perspective, the 10 respondents in the under-50 category left their elders in the dust when it came to accuracy in discernment: 70 percent identified this prophecy as a no-show, compared to 25, 55 and 40 percent respectively for the three 50-plus groups.

Open Questions:

-- The fact that 25 of the 26 over-50 believers have also been in the faith for 20 years or longer suggests that, in addition to naturally acquired wisdom, they have had the opportunity to practice spiritual discernment for much of their adult lives. Why didn’t that combined advantage produce more reliable guidance in evaluating this prophecy?

-- Was the relatively low accuracy in discernment due to a failure to use those many years in practice, to poor teaching received from the previous generation, or to some other hindrance not afflicting the younger believers?

 

12. Leaders in the Body at large:

More than half of the respondents identified themselves as shepherds, ministry leaders or teachers – 20 out of 36 (this includes the Israeli leaders examined separately earlier). Are those who are entrusted with leadership in the Body reliable in dealing with issues of prophecy? Here are the survey results.

 

How to test prophecy:

Level of certainty was High - 9

Level of certainty was Medium - 10

Level of certainty was Low - 1

 

How to deal with failed prophecy:

Strict - 8

Moderately Strict - 3

Moderately Lenient - 5

Lenient - 1

Didn’t know or didn’t answer - 3

 

Regarding this prophecy: Will it be fulfilled or not?

Yes - 2

No – 11

Didn’t know or didn’t answer – 7

 

Thoughts:

-- The unwillingness of leaders to guide others concerning this prophecy ( 1 in 3 refused to take a stand), and their range of strictness in dealing with failed prophecy, were both equal to those not in leadership.

-- Leader accuracy in correctly evaluating this prophecy was slightly better than 50 percent, again matching the accuracy of non-leaders.

-- The only difference was in “certainty” about testing prophecy: leaders were less certain than believers not in leadership. The “Medium” to “Low” certainty showed up mainly in question no. 3 – fully half of the leaders did not require a prophecy to always be validated before releasing it, and 2 others didn’t answer the question. Another 2 didn’t even believe that a prophecy can be validated beforehand.

-- In short, although individual leaders expressed solid reasoning and confidence to guide others in this area, Body leaders as a group seem no better off than the average believer.

-- Several leaders proposed or implied that seeking to discern and correct prophetic error was a waste of time, and that we should simply ignore the entire phenomenon of modern prophecy. Since the ability to discern prophets (as true, presumptuous or false) will play a key role in preserving the elect in the last days (Matt.24:11,24), this seems foolish and even dangerous.

Open Questions:

-- Should believers in Yeshua be required to show competency in this skill before being entrusted with leadership?

-- If so, how can prospective leaders be trained, tested and approved in this area?

-- Should we send home leaders who are weak or lacking confidence in testing prophecy and prophets? Or can they compensate for their lack by teamwork with competent leaders through a support network? (The answer would depend on whether we regard these skills as a basic requirement for every believer, or as a spiritual gift only given to some.)


Other articles in this series

The RZ Survey: Responses to the survey, with observations

The survey was conducted during November 2012, shorting before this prediction was due to take place. The responses came in from several countries around the world, and were as wide-ranging as you could imagine. Yet they had some interesting things in common: nearly all were mature in terms of physical age, would be considered elders based on their years in the faith, and held some type of leadership position in the Body. As the trainers of the next generation, how well did they do in testing prophecy?

The Original “War on Israel” Prophecies

Over the past months, I invested significant time in tracking down the original prophecies that prompted the above announcement. After the survey was sent out, RZ also received a follow-on prophecy which built on the first prediction – and an explanatory letter which built on both of those, explaining why the predictions weren't checking out... followed by yet another longer explanatory letter, attempting to defend the failure using scripture. These source documents are compared with the realities in December 2012 through February 2013. Special attention is given to the popular assumption that God routinely cancels His words given by prophets in response to intercession.

Who Are These Prophets?

In keeping with our first suggested method in the survey for validating a prophecy, RZ checked the track records of the 5 people who were behind this joint prediction. I explored their ministry websites, checked up on some of their past prophecies, viewed some of their teachings, and contacted them directly with relevant questions. What do these people have in common with one another? Why are they so focused on Israel?  And what in the world is "Metagoshin"?? My conclusions are based on the documentation and relevant scriptures. (Warning: This is a documented expose that is both fascinating and scary. Not for the fainthearted!)

How We Test Prophecy... and What It's Costing Us

Many were curious about how I personally dealt with this prophecy as an Israeli. In order to minimize influencing the survey responses, I tried to keep my own views out of sight. And now that December 2012 is long over, my convictions about this particular prophecy have the unfair advantage of hindsight. But these issues remain relevant and will only get more crucial as time goes on. So in this article, I ponder what I learned while gathering all the above information, how we in the Body relate to prophecies and their authors (compared what scripture says), and starting points for restoring a balanced approach to the prophetic.

 

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