Phantom Pregnancies and False Prophets
When I was a young girl I remember listening to a sermon that was given by an old retired doctor. He related an incidence that happened in the mission field. A childless woman wanted children so badly that she actually believed herself into a pregnancy. The woman showed all the signs of being pregnant and sadly carried her phantom child all the way until delivery. It wasn’t until she was sedated that the symptoms began to go away.
This story has both fascinated and haunted me for nearly forty years. So this morning I did a quick Google search to back up my memory. Was this something that actually occurs? Although rare it does happen. What was new to me was that it’s not just a female condition, men have also experienced it!
Try as I may, I can’t remember the rest of the sermon. Throughout the day my mind tumbled around ideas of what the point of that sermon may have been.
Several places in Scripture there is a description of people who will say “…Lord, Lord, we prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.” (They were “showing” so to speak.) Then the Lord replies “…I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.” Matthew 7:22 & 23
As deceptive as a phantom pregnancy would be, even more deceiving to me would be someone prophesying and casting out demons in Christ’s name but not belonging to Him! How easy it would be for me to trust someone who displayed those “gifts”, after all they must be doing something right, they must have the truth.
We are conditioned to do “what feels good” or “trust your heart,” however the Bible says “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 It also says “…there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24
Could it be that we are being set up for a big deception, for a phantom Christianity? 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 and repeated again in Proverbs 16:25
As my thoughts continued to tumble one question kept surfacing. How could I prevent myself from falling into deception? Once again I went to the Scriptures. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” John 1:4 NKJV How am I to “try” them? Again the Scriptures answered themselves. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20 and also Jeremiah 28:9 “The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.”
As I continued my search I looked for a promise, one that would give me assurance that I could be sure not to be deceived. What I found came from the very lips of Jesus. “…If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” also in Psalms 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”
It is my prayer that God will guard me and ever keep me safe from deception.