The False Prophets of YouTube

“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.” -1 John 4:1

Is YouTube the perfect platform for false prophets? There seems to be a never ending supply of videos on YouTube predicting the next apocalyptic event that never actually happens. I’m tired of seeing recommended videos from the Mom who broadcasts from her living room or the guy holed up in his bedroom squinting into his webcam making dire predictions of end times events complete with timelines and “God told me this” and “God told me that”. When these prophecies of doom fail to come to pass these people simply post a new video depicting more outrageous events that are “certain to happen”. “WARNING!” in all caps is a favorite way to start apocalyptic YouTube video titles. Put “warning’ before whatever it is and you’re sure to come across looking like a relative of Nostradamus. Use ‘The Book of Revelation” somewhere in your title or video if you want to look biblically apocalyptic.

YouTube has become a wasteland for conspiracy theorists and homespun prophets of doom!

I’m not saying that God can’t or wouldn’t speak to a Mom somewhere out there while she’s at home, or that some guy laying on his bed couldn’t get a message from the Lord, but what I am saying is that there’s way too many people out there who are totally deluded but think they’re on a mission from God. Putting out videos depicting cataclysmic end of the world events does not make you a prophet! Taking clips from Fox News or the History Channel and combining them with photoshopped images depicting nuclear war, bomb blast maps, and the destruction of America does not make you a prophet. Setting up a studio mic and trying to look like some news program does not make you a prophet. Using TV screens to flash content behind you while you do your “reporting” and posting scary graphics while playing ominous background music as you talk- does not make you a prophet.

Here’s a big one… Quoting the bible does not make you a prophet.

Finally, having tons of subscribers and video views does not make you legitimate! The old adage, “There’s a sucker born every minute” was made for YouTube channels like this.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s also some great spiritual content on YouTube. I wouldn’t want anyone thinking that I’m making some blanket condemnation and that there’s nothing good to be found there. There is, but when it comes to YouTube there is far too much “spiritual content” that is pure rubbish. Not everyone realizes that. When we start down the road to look into spiritual things we’re often very open and receptive as we search for truth. That’s a good thing, of course, but it’s also the thing that will get you sucked into watching scary “end of the world” videos that posture themselves as being factual and certain about things that even Jesus himself said were hidden to Him.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” – Mark 13:32

Many people have made predications about the end of the world and the return of Jesus but even Jesus himself said He didn’t know the day or hour when that would happen!

 

A warning about false prophets from 1 John 4:1

 

  1. “Many false prophets have gone out into the world.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Many false prophets were around even in the days when John penned those words. Today they have YouTube channels and global audiences.
  2. “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” This is also very clear- Don’t be conned by people posing as experts or claiming to have special knowledge. Put their claims to the test, don’t just blindly follow everyone out there!

 

One of the things that I began doing a few years ago was to go back and check what a person predicted to see whether it actually came to pass or not. You would be amazed at how many things are routinely predicted that never actually happen! If people would simply do this with some of these YouTube predications they would quickly see what a sham they are. As I said previously, many of these people make predication after prediction and when they fail to come to pass they simply make new ones! Why in the world would anyone ever subscribe to these channels? A good example is a video that was trending about the end of America. It was filled with bible verses, and claims that God had spoken to the man who had made it, along with his academic degrees and qualifications. It claimed that some very catastrophic events would happen before Jan 1st 2017 that would destroy the USA. These events included both natural and economic apocalyptic events that would literally collapse America and bring her to her knees by the prophesied date. I was watching the video on January 4th, 2017 while sipping on a hot Chai in the comfort of my living room while none of the foretold events had come to pass!

The great fall back given for failed prophecies is that of “timing”- They failed to get the timing right, we’re told. Could there be a more convenient excuse? Yes, the world will end some day, but these people have a habit of telling us how and when and consistently get it wrong!

“If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him” – Deuteronomy 18:22

Notice that last sentence? We’re told not to be afraid. And why is that? Because these people deal in fear. Doom, gloom, and fear are what mark most of these videos and they can actually make some people very worried. I have personally known people who have believed false prophesies and who have altered their lives because of them only to find out later that they never came to pass. They worried for nothing! You might think that only people who are weak in their faith could be taken in by this sort of thing, but that’s not true. Even those who are strong in their faith can, and have, been deceived.

Because I firmly believe that God, being a LIVING GOD, still speaks today I do not rule out that there are those who are given “a word from the Lord”. I do, however, test what people say when they claim special insight given to them by God. I’m not afraid to dismiss what they have to say if it does not pass the test of God’s word.

The bible told us “many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We just never knew they’d be on YouTube.