I received this tidbit in e-mail from a reader (thanks, M. Hellema). I want to introduce you to Stephen Choate (for those of you who don’t know him). If you’ll click over to his website, which is entitled, “Speak God Speak,” what you’ll find is a prophet for profit.
Choate, a friend of E. Bernard Jordan, promises that you can receive a personal prophecy from him if you register for his online conference. There’s a catch, though – you have to pay for it. Well, to be fair, you have to pay to attend the conference, but what’s the difference? No money, no prophecy. Here’s the proof – At Choate’s “Receive a Prophecy” page, if you click on the “Register Now” button, it takes you to a Pay Pal screen where you see the online conference listed, and right beside of it is the price…. $125.00! You can also pay via debit or credit card. Now, I don’t know if that’s the cost of just that one conference, or if you get full access for paying that amount, but that’s not the point. The point is that this man is another false prophet who is using the Word of God as a money grubbing scheme.
Here is what your $125.00 will get you:
Once you sign up you will receive a private access code and phone number. How you join is simple. Once we e-mail you your very own phone number and access code all you have to do is call the number we assign then enter in your code for verification. If you have any questions about your session you may contact us at (508) 816-6696. We are available to help you 7 days a week from the hours of 11am EST till 8pm EST. Your session will include an accurate prophetic word, teaching segment and prayer from Stephen. National prophecies are sometimes included. Your registration carries a 100 percent refund. We have perfect standing with our merchant account. Out of seventeen thousand sessions delivered we have less than 100 complaints or negative encounters worldwide. That is less than 1/10 of a percentage. Most of our clients are extremely satisfied and often impressed with how accurate the message they receive is. We must inform you because we are transparent, honest and absolutely clear about our connection to you. We have the numbers to prove it and the data which shows it.You have nothing to lose when signing up. Everything to gain. We hope you connect. You will be impressed. Thank you for your consideration. (emphasis mine)
Those “national prophecies” include the Japan Quake, the Eiffel Tower, and the merger between AT&T and T Mobile.
Perhaps one of the most frightening things I found on Choate’s site is found in this self-promoting paragraph:
Stephen named the exact week of Michael Jackson’s death. We have researched all information presented by Television, Radio and Internet. Stephen is the only individual in the world that we know of who made this specific prediction to these specific dates as he mentioned the last week of June in the year 2009 nearly seven months prior. This is very unique and proves by fulfillment that there is something unusual, unique and different about Stephen. Just think. He is the only one who made this precise prediction. There are nearly seven billion people who walk the face of the planet and Stephen is the only individual who is known to have made this prediction. Now anyone can make there presentation known as it pertains to tomorrow’s time line. But to get it exactly right is unique. God is with Stephen. Believe in Stephen. (source)
Yes, you read that right… believe in STEPHEN.
Michael Jackson’s death isn’t the only prediction Choate’s site uses as examples to exhibit his power. If you hover over the “Secrets of the World with Stephen” tab, you see his other prophetic claims. He claims he had prophetic foresight into:
- Patrick Swayze’s death
- Oprah ending her show
- Simon Cowell leaving American Idol
- Tiger Woods’ marital infidelity
- Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise to stardom
But, his prophetic prowess isn’t just exclusive to the world of entertainment, here are some other words of knowledge he says the Lord gave him:
- Circuit City Closing
- Blockbuster Video Closing
- Investing in silver and gold
However, if you actually click on the “Secrets of the World with Stephen” tab, it will take you to a page entitled, “Secrets of the World,” where he gives forty prophecies he says he prophesied in advance (with no hindsight involved), and their fulfillment. Some of these prophecies are absurd. For instance, he says he prophesied these things (among many others):
- The San Francisco Giants would win the world series in 2010
- The LA Lakers would win the NBA championship in 2010
- The Chicago Blackhawks would win the Stanley Cup in 2010
- Starbucks Coffee company would change their logo
Sounds more like a bookie or a tabloid psychic than a prophet of God, doesn’t he? I’m just wondering what significance these things can possibly have when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But back to Choate’s supposed prophecies….there is a problem here… there is no video or written proof that these prophecies were given by Choate, as far as I can see, before they actually occured. Instead, this is what Choate offers as proof:
“All prophetic words were given before they came to pass. There is absolutely no hindsight applied. No misleading affect to public perception. Verification can be backed up by individuals who are trusted sources. Who have integrity and who walk with God. These are just 40 verified reports. We do not tell you these items of truth to get you to sign up. We tell you such information so that your confidence would be gained. If you never sign up for anything we will still do our best to help you in any which way we can. No matter what we are here to help you and thank you so much for coming to our ministry page. We appreciate you. In regards to verification you can also contact our secretary at (508) 816-6696 who will confirm that these reports are valid. We realize they seem hard to believe. However they are true. We would never intentionally mislead the public into thinking that Stephen is gifted when he is not. We will tell you that he is gifted because we have witnessed these events unfolding. Some of us have witnessed several events while others have witnessed other events.Testimony is valid. These claims are valid. Only the ignorant will tell you we made them up. Only the foolish will react with negativity towards our claim. Our claim is valid. Rock solid valid. If you don’t believe us. Don’t sign up. We have nothing to lose and wish you the absolute best.” (source) (emphasis mine)
So, no, there is no video or written proof that these prophecies are valid, or more specifically, that they were given before these events occured. They are only being backed up by “individuals who are trusted sources” of this man’s ministry. That’s hardly an unbiased and fair witness, wouldn’t you say? If you still don’t believe it after being told Choate’s friends are witness to these propetic utterances and you still need verification, call his secretary….she’ll tell you it’s true. If you still don’t believe and react negatively towards his claims, you are foolish.
What I find on Choate’s site is much self-promotion to verify what a powerful man of God he wants his followers to believe he is. But where is Jesus? Where are the sermons about the gospel being the true power of God unto salvation to those who believe? Where are sermons about repentance from sin and living a life of repentance?
Discernment in the church is at an all time low and will go lower. We can gauge how lacking it is by the fact that men like Choate can actually pull in $125.00 a piece from blind followers who look to him to hear a Word from God instead of reading the Bible and getting the infallible truth from God Himself.
Avoid this man at all costs.