A Paypal Profit: Have ‘Prophets’ become Fortune Tellers?

Twitter is a strange world. Occasionally you get folk following you, who also follow people who have ministries that are at the opposite end of the scale.

That happened to me today. I got a new ‘follower’ so I went to the account to see if it is someone I know (I don’t have a huge Twitter following) – and the first tweet I see is from a guy I’ve never heard of – Neil Vermllion.

First let me say that Neil seems like a nice, sincere and genuine guy. Seriously, he does.

That being said – Neil is involved in something that is somewhere on the scale between deception, blasphemy and idolatry. Seriously, he is. I’m not saying that to be hurtful. He really is engaging in some seriously dangerous territory.

What’s he doing? He is selling “prophecies”. Yep. “thus sayeth the Lord” all for the right price.

How much? $45. That’s just about £20. What’s more – it is not just a one off – this is monthly rate. £30 a month to hear “the Word of the Lord.” That’s £360 a year. What’s more, he only has 30 places, so you need to hurry to make sure you are one of the lucky ones who gets to hear God’s word – for you. If 30 people sign up, that is approx £10, 800 a year.

I appreciate that there are diversity of views in the body of Christ when it comes to the gift of prophecy. So, leaving aside the whole cessationist/charismatic debate. Let me just say this. Any true Christian should know that charging for “prophecy” is wrong. Quite simply, it is fortune telling. It is no different to crossing the spiritualist’s palm with silver.

In fact, the early church Fathers had this practice high amongst the marks for identifying a false prophet. So, by the standards of the fathers, we can safely say that Neil is functioning as a false prophet.

“If he asks for money, he is a false Prophet.” (Didache 80 – 140 AD)

What’s the back story to this? Well, Neil tells us…

In early February God began to revive a motive within my heart from something he spoke to me a few years earlier. It had to do with prophesying to individuals, not just giving corporate words for groups.

Let me say, even if you do believe in present-day prophecy – this is still unbiblical. The New Testament only speaks about prophecy in a public sense. It is for the edification of the church. Again, the Church Fathers saw private prophecy as an unbiblical practice. According to the Fathers, true prophets can’t be asked to prophesy, nor do they prophesy privately. Again, Neil is doing both of these things – therefore he is actually fulfilling three marks of a false prophet according to the standards of the early church. 

“When asked, he makes no reply. Nor does he prophecy privately. The Holy Spirit does not speak when man wishes the Spirit to speak. (Hermas 150 AD)

What do you get for 30 quid a month?

Each month you’ll receive a pdf document of the personal, prophetic word which will be emailed to you upon its completion. This way you’ll have everything written out, which will allow you to read it over and over again, line by line, word by word. It will serve as a document you can refer to again and again for years to come.

The document will be approximately 1,000-1,200 words, which is roughly 3-4 pages, so it’s not a brief line or two, or even a paragraph or two. It’s a full-length, meaty word, full of details, confirmation, impartation, and revelation.

Wow – talk about prophecy on demand. So, God is in on this little venture is he? God is quite happy to fulfill this obligation and download to Neil his 30 1200 word essays every month? (Wish I knew that when I was at Theological College – I could have rattled out my essays faster and made a few bob on the side.

Who is this service for?

This will be right for basically anyone who loves God. Anyone can benefit from it. However, I’ve listed below the people who would get maximum benefit from this kind of ministry:

*Anyone seeking confirmation about circumstances and/or relationships in their life.

*Anyone not sure as to their gifts and/or callings upon their life.

*Anyone looking or additional insight and/or an outside, objective voice to *confirm things.

*Anyone who is in a transitional phase.

*Anyone who would like to know about their future and destiny in God.

Forgive me for reading in between the lines – but he is basically saying those who will benefit most from this are the insecure, anxious, naïve, immature and vulnerable.

This is dangerous. This guy is selling directional prophecy.

This prophecy will be specific. It will be a very personal prophecy – not a generic word, but a personal prophetic word from the Lord concerning you.

Run.

But surely God loves his children and wants them to benefit from this?

Neil tells us that God

desperately wants to speak to his children. There are occasions in which I’m overwhelmed how much God’s heart burns with desire to talk to his dearly beloved children. He has so many, wonderful things to say, and he knows us all so intimately. It’s truly amazing.

Hmmm. God loves us so much that we need money to hear from him? God loves us so much that we need to get in there quick – to be one of the lucky 30. God loves us so much that we need Paypal to hear from him?

This is a complete denial of all who God is and what he has done for us in Christ.

If you want to hear God speak, open your bible. Go to a good bible preaching church and listen to the pastor preach the Word of God. If you want guidance, pray and seek God’s will as it is revealed through scripture. He will lead you by the Spirit and by his word. God has NEVER sold his word. God never will sell his word.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isa 55:1)

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