Jacobs Explains the Prophecy Thing

Christian fraud Cindy Jacobs, a self-declared prophet of God, explains in Charisma Magazine how someone becomes such a thing and how you can tell when they’re real. It’s a bunch of blather, unsurprisingly, without a single coherent thought. Like this:

A woman who has a prophetic gift tends to pray differently than other people. She may begin by praying a simple prayer of petition. Then, all of a sudden, the tonality of her voice changes. A ring of authority comes. It is as though she has shifted gears in the Spirit as the power of the Holy Spirit energizes the words of her prayer.

When her intercession hits the mark time and time again, she begins to develop confidence that she is actually hearing from God. Eventually she may begin to step forward to share what she is sensing from God at other times.

So how come they never make explicit and specific predictions that can be verified? Why do they, like Jacobs herself, constantly have to claim that they averted something that never happened? It’s like the guy who walks around smacking two pans together to ward of werewolves. And when you ask him about it, he says the fact that there haven’t been any werewolf attacks around him proves that it works.

That’s how it happened for me. When I first began prophesying, I had no idea that what I was doing was prophetic. People at my church just kept asking me to pray for them, and I did.

After a while I began to notice that the things I prayed proved to be accurate, and my prayers were often fulfilled in dramatic ways. I realized that God was giving me supernatural knowledge–I was hearing the voice of God! Since then, I’ve come to recognize and trust His voice all the more.

Or you realized at some point that you could fleece the ignorant and the credulous and make big money on the whole scam.

Typically God doesn’t give me a lengthy prophecy while I’m in prayer. Rather, a name or some other piece of information will come to me. Then, as I open my mouth to pray, I trust God to fill it with the words of intercession that He wants.

Sometimes this kind of praying involves a progressive revelation of the Lord’s will. For example, I was interceding one day and kept hearing a particular man’s name. I heard no other words, yet I felt great alarm for this man–whoever he was.

“Father, protect him. Encourage him,” I prayed. “Don’t let him do something he shouldn’t do.”

The next day I received a request to pray for a well-known traveling evangelist who was suffering great discouragement. His name was the one that had come to me the day before!

From that point on I was able to pray for this man with even greater knowledge. I believe the Lord may have averted a suicide attempt through the prayers of intercessors during this critical period in the evangelist’s life.

You believe this? Did you bother to verify it? And if God speaks directly to you, why don’t you know for sure?

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  • Doug Little

    Typically God doesn’t give me a lengthy prophecy while I’m in prayer. Rather, a name or some other piece of information will come to me.

    The number 6 just flew into my head, I wonder what that means?

  • voidhawk

    Homer: “Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!”

    Lisa: “That’s specious reasoning, dad, By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away”

    H: “Hmm; how does it work?”

    L: “It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!”

    H: “uh-huh…”

    L: ““… but I don’t see any tigers around, do you?”


    H: “Lisa, I want to buy your rock…”

  • Larry

    Hey, that works pretty much like my Ouija board!

  • dingojack

    Larry – [beat] I want to buy your Ouija board.


  • Sastra

    When her intercession hits the mark time and time again, she begins to develop confidence that she is actually hearing from God.

    This is called “subjective validation” and there’s a whole packet of human fallibility stuffed inside, from counting the hits and forgetting the misses to interpreting generously after the fact. Jacobs will find that the lovely technique of discovering that your prophesies “hit the mark time and time again” works for psychics, too — and other religions and other areas of work. Confirmation bias is not something which other people do but you don’t because you’re being careful and shrewd. This overconfidence in the self is a common human foible, not proof of God.

    My voices tell me that Jacobs will not listen to this.

  • anubisprime

    Mild schizophrenia, inherent bigotry, a dash of megalomania, sublime ignorance and an inflated opinion of herself…that is my prophecy!

  • nakarti

    Holy crap, that first section makes me think of nothing but the intro to Binding of Isaac.

    The remainder doesn’t change it at all.

  • Fucking prophecy, how does it work?

  • raven

    Mild schizophrenia, inherent bigotry, a dash of megalomania, sublime ignorance and an inflated opinion of herself…that is my prophecy!

    You left out greed.

    There can be big money in being a prophet. Despite usually being wrong and once prophecying the Apocalypse in the 1980’s, Pat Robertson is a billionaire.

  • longstreet63

    THis is the part that stood out for me:

    “Then, as I open my mouth to pray, I trust God to fill it with the words of intercession that He wants.”

    So…God, the all-powerful reuler of the universe, has something that he doesn’t want to happen. In order to prevent it, he sends this woman a prophecy, so that she will beg God in exactly the right way God wants, and thus He will be convinced to prevent the thing from happening–which he didn;t want to happen in the first place.

    I’m…not really seeing a role for the prophet in this thing. Is it just me, or does this sound like some kind of supernatural WPA?

  • tubi

    I still don’t understand intercessory prayer. If God averted a suicide attempt by the evangelist, because of all the intercessory prayer on his behalf, didn’t God then just subvert the free will of the man? And did God know when He created that evangelist however many years ago that he would consider suicide on that very day? And if so, does that mean that God’s grand plan is as fungible as a Congressional budget proposal?

    Fucking God, how does it work?

  • Draken

    Noooo, a whole site filled with this sort of codswallop! And then the comments:

    My little son started hearing from the Lord when he was 3. It has so excited my heart to be able to retell the stories to him of things only God could have told him. He loves hearing about it and I love seeing him excited about God speaking to him!

    Ed Brayton, I want my diseased braincells back!

  • She says she’s a prophet. She said that I would send her money. I did. Explain that, Athiests!

  • yoav

    The holy excrement™ I preform daily, while sitting on the sacred porcelain throne, is the only reason America has not yet been overrun by north Korean vampire zombie werewolves, send money.

  • @ 12

    How does she know it’s not Satan telling her kid these things? I believe an exorcism is in order, STAT!*

    * Just kidding, “exorcisms” are among the worst excesses to which fundamentalists are enamored. And doing it to a kid is without doubt child abuse. I’d argue that teaching children that there is an all-powerful being who loves you very much and is going to torture you for all eternity is child abuse, but good luck with that.

  • lamaria

    English is not my native language so I have to look up long words like intercession, but somehow reading this:

    “When her intercession hits the mark time and time again (…) eventually she may begin to step forward to share what she is sensing from God at other times.”

    …doesn´t make me think of prayer.

  • grumpyoldfart

    When she takes her husband into the counting room they must laugh and laugh and laugh.

  • cry4turtles

    I’ll bet she’s on her knees when god’s filling her mouth. You go girl!!!

  • sqlrob

    The number 6 just flew into my head, I wonder what that means?

    Huh. Number 2 here. And the image of an animal. A cow, with horns I think.

  • D. C. Sessions

    How can we tell she’s a real prophet?

    I figured I’d do something radical, an idea I’m sure never occurred to her: I read the fucking manual.

    It seems that there are already instructions for telling false prophets from the real deal: they both tell us, “do thus and so, and to show you I’m for real, this thing is going to happen.” And then this thing happens, in which case we’re all impressed, or it doesn’t — in which case, we kill the false prophet.

    So tell us, Cindy — what unambiguous, remarkable predictions have you made? They all came to pass, didn’t they? Cause otherwise there’s this book that tells all of the Faithful to kill you.

  • tbp1

    @11: I’m with you. Where I park at work there is frequently a car with a “pray to end abortion” bumper sticker. Apparently God hates abortion (although there’s not a single word about it in the Bible). Being omnipotent and all, he could eliminate abortion any time he wants, without the slightest inconvenience to himself or anyone else. And yet he won’t do it until an unspecified number of people beg him to do so.

    If I were omnipotent, and there was something I considered evil, I wouldn’t require some weird sort of beggars’ quorum to stop it, I just would. And forget abortion, why don’t famine, disease, war,and rapidly deleting resources merit some omnipotent attention, just to name a few problems that might warrant some divine intervention?

  • The fundie version of Christianity I grew up with believed in prophets. My mother had (still has, I imagine) a book by Rebecca Wagner (the wife of C. Peter Wagner, one of the high muckety mucks of New Apostolic Reformation) on casting out demons from the time I was a small child – in fact, when Mom converted to Christianity while pregnant with me (after going cold turkey on various drugs because she found out she was pregnant) she converted largely because she started seeing demons in her house. And never blamed that on the drug withdrawals of course. In any case, my point is I grew up with this kind of thing. My Dumbo plushie was evil and had to be thrown out when I was about 3 (I had to walk it downstairs, out of the apartment building and throw it in the big dumpster, the indoors trash wasn’t good enough) after my toys were prayed over in tongues by people who were strangers to me.

    I’ve prayed in tongues, I’ve “prophesied” (we called it “getting a word” to avoid the possibility of “false prophesy”), I’ve fallen out in the floor, I’ve had the spiritual giggles and crying fits, I’ve laid hands on people and had them laid on me, I’ve been prayed for for supernatural healing more times than I can remember (dad used to require this before allowing me advil for the regular migraines I started getting about age 10, never mind even advil didn’t really touch them), I’ve had people tell me that they were healed when I prayed for them, I’ve participated in exorcisms and had them done on me (though thankfully I’ve never participated in one on a child or done anything too reprehensible during one, it was mostly a lot of ritualized prayer and bible reading). I’ve known people who bowed and shook and crawled and barked and hollered and danced and jumped and crawled, and I’ve known people who claimed to have done and seen even sillier things.

    My life got a lot better when I admitted none of it worked. Doctors and medicine work better than magic mantras to the air. 100% of your money and a better job works better than magic mantras and 70-80%. Reason works better than superstition. Feminism and working toward and supporting equality work better than fighting progress.

    But still, even though I don’t find Ms. Jacobs’ comments odd for their content – I have, after all, experienced most of what she’s talking about, though to a lesser degree, and in situations where people hesitated to be quite so brazen about applying the labels “prophet” and “prophesy” – I find them odd for her gender. It is unusual, in my experience, for a woman to be able to get away with saying such things, especially so boldly, especially talking about being a “prophet”. Much of the audience for what she’s saying don’t think women can be prophets, can hold any authority over men, can teach men anything, etc. Often a woman can have a lesser leadership role – she can be a minister under the male head minister, she can minister to women, or teach but not preach or give words of encouragement but not prophesy, or she has to be very nice and low key and circumspect. I guess the part of me that reflexively reacts with the mindset trained by my childhood says she isn’t acting according to the teachings of Paul and should be more careful about being properly submissive. Then a beat later the part of me that rejected all that says that doesn’t matter, but isn’t it weird that she’s getting away with all of it. And quite a few beats later, like after typing all this out, a final, feminist part of me is grudgingly proud of her for bucking all of the Pauline anti-woman crap. Even if she’s delusional, at least she’s being boldly delusional, or something. Not that that’s helpful or good or anything.

  • gratch

    I love it when people talk with absolute confidence about topics about which no one could have any definite knowledge. It always reminds me of the quote I saw one time: “Where facts are few, experts are many.”

  • I’m happy to have grown up in a family where, despite the JESUS regalia all over the house, three nuns in the extended family and 13 years of Cath-O-Lick miseducation I was never subjected to the sort of nonsense that idiots like Cindy Jacobs spout.

    Fundamentalists whether its about food, religion, politics or sports are people who WANT to believe something so much that they simply ignore reality. What a fucked up way to live.