There's an instance in the history of one church in particular where it's held that one man had genuine visions from God, but that at a later point in his life after having been excommunicated he continued receiving "visions". The members of this church will genuinely hold that his earlier visions were true and his later visions were false.

I'm curious if this sort of story has an precendence. Obviously the later lies of visions would normally put into question any of his previous visions, in my estimation - if he shows a proclivity about lieing about visions now, why would God reveal things to such a dishonest man earlier? If his visions previously were genuine, what could make a man capable of receiving genuine revelations turn into such a dishonest man?

I'm thinking there could perhaps be some clues in similar stories from the Old Testament (or in Christianity I suppose), so I'm searching for similar stories.

  • Can you provide references to primary sources about the story you allude to in the first paragraph?
    – user50422
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 15:36
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator I would like to avoid tainting the question with bias, since this is an active religion which many people feel strongly about, both for and against. If you want to PM me about it, I'd be happy to give you details in private.
    – TKoL
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 15:39
  • I would recommend that you scope the question to that specific denomination, so that they can explain their beliefs and actions. This will also make the answers more objective because they can cite primary sources of that denomination and not have a bunch of different denominations all chiming in and creating a popularity contest.
    – user32540
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 16:54
  • @4castle there's a reason that I'm not asking that, and that is because I know what the result of that line of questions would be. I know what THEY think - they think his earlier visions are valid, and his later visions are not, and whatever argument they can think of to justify that, they will use, because that is the nature of apologetics - you start with your conclusion and work backwards.
    – TKoL
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 16:57
  • So I'm curious in a non-denominational specific way if this has ever happened before.
    – TKoL
    Commented Aug 1, 2021 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Sometimes the lie in the mouth of a prophet comes from the Lord:

But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak.”  And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.” But the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; and the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you.”

  • 1 Kings 22:14-23

The name of Jonah comes to mind. He didn't receive a vision, but God told Jonah,

Jonah1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. (also 3:2).

So when Jonah finally got there he proclaimed,

3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Maybe he wasn’t lying, but he didn’t get the story straight either. He spoke presumptuously. (Deu 18:22) Anyway, the warning worked and the people repented.

3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

It says that God repented of what He said, but I don’t find 40 days anywhere. What’s going on here? Anyway, Jonah wasn’t happy.

4: But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

It would seem Deu 18:22 applies. That’s the way I understand it. A more direct example of false prophets is Hananiah.

Jer 28:10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it.11 And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.12 Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. 14 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but **thou makest this people to trust in a lie.**16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Jeremiah had received God's message, but Hananiah contradicted it.

  • 1
    I'm not sure I'm understanding the argument that Jonah lied about his vision. In fact, verse 40 says "When the true God saw what they did, how they had turned back from their evil ways,f he reconsidered* the calamity that he said he would bring on them, and he did not bring it." So... did Jonah lie about it?
    – TKoL
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 14:35
  • 1
    I don't have the context for what Jonah wasn't happy about or why he wasn't happy.
    – TKoL
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 14:35
  • 1
    Did Hananiah transition from a true prophet to a false prophet? Or was he/she just a false prophet the whole time?
    – TKoL
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 14:36
  • Like I said, maybe he didn't lie. I think he just talked presumptuously. (Deu 18:22) Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 17:21
  • I guess he just felt humiliated for being wrong. Maybe he realized he was a false prophet. I'm speaking presumptuously here. Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 17:23

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