Teaching Series Part II – The Prophet

Posted: March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Image

 

Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”

Prophets can change people. They can change churches, communities and even empires. Daniel was a prophet, and he changed the empire. Ezekiel was a prophet, and he changed the empire.

It is a serious thing to be a prophet, it should not be considered lightly. A prophet is called of God, he (or she) cannot be appointed by a board of elders, nor can they be called of men. A prophet or prophetess (woman) has been individually called of God. The person God picks to fill this office is not chosen on the basis of personality, education, or public standing. When God appoints a prophet in the land, the people there have nothing to do with it.

We find in the word that God has used men and women to be his prophets and prophetesses, and the God who produced this ministry throughout the Bible wants to do the same today in an even greater way. He wishes in these last days to breathe upon the total church of the Lord Jesus and speak to us through these submitted and dedicated vessels, that we might know things which surely shall come to pass and that we might have direction.

God does have prophets today. He is speaking to people, but much of the body of Christ is ignorant of this fact or not desirous of it. There are only a few things that can keep us from knowing the future, sin and unbelief.

The mark of a true prophet is his or her message. If the message is one which draws men to repentance, lifts up Christ, promotes Godliness and righteousness and demands the turning away from sin, these are attributes of a true prophet of God.

Another aspect of a true prophet is his/her words coming to pass. If a man or woman who is called to the office of a prophet speaks a word we can look for it to come to pass in the near future. God has no time limit to his word, even though our current society desires immediate results in almost every aspect of our lives, the truth is, God and God alone determines the outcome and the passing of his word. To give an example, there are MANY Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel, the church, the world that are still yet waiting to come to pass, and as God is sure in his word, he, in his own time, will bring it to pass.

Can a prophet be wrong and still be considered a prophet? The short answer is – YES!

We must understand that all of us are human, subject to error at times, that doesn’t discount the seriousness of the role of a prophet, but sometimes men and women called into this role can, if they allow themselves, to become off center which affects their words. The truth is, when the object of our faith turns away from Christ to something else, even in the personal life of a prophet, it can have an affect on how they speak a prophetic word which is not a prophet word but out of their own heart. But this does not dismiss them as a false prophet, it merely re-enforces the idea that they need to come back to the cross and get re-connected again to the source for their wisdom and understanding, repent of their doubt and unbelief and God, in his mercy and grace, will restore them to where they need to be to be used again.

But of course the argument many would say is that if a person prophecies a false word (it does not come to pass) then that person should be excluded, banished and rejected altogether. The problem with this idea is it removes the concept of grace for they are operating under Old Testament law, not under the covenant of grace. Let me explain.

In the Old Testament one sin cast Adam and Eve from the garden; one mistake kept Moses out of Canaan; one sin cast Lucifer out of heaven; and one mistake caused a person to be judged a false prophet, according to the standard of the law: “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” Deut. 18:20

Why was the standard so strict? Under the law, the priests functioned as representatives of humankind to God through sacrifices and ministrations, the prophets represented God to humankind with their judgments and decrees, prefaced with “thus saith the Lord”. There was a greater judgment for misrepresenting God to the people than for misrepresenting people to God. For this reason, Old Testament prophets were required to speak only that which God gave them each time they opened their mouths. They could not afford to be wrong – not once.

Let me repeat my earlier statement, it is no light thing to say, “Thus saith the Lord”. And while today Christ, not the prophet or the priest as was the case under the old law, is our mediator, God will judge a person by what they declare even today if they add to or take away from the word – (Rev. 22:18-19)

Deut. 13:1 defines a false prophet; “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul.”

Again, we must learn to understand and judge the prophet by not just their words, but also the message. Prophets today are in a precarious position, for if their words do not come to pass within a certain time frame, they are considered false, yet, if they do not possess the characteristics of a genuine prophet they are most times overlooked and given a pass. The truth is, the reason why many false prophets today are received is due to one thing – the people have chosen it so.

The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Paul was making it clear, we don’t always see clearly, sometimes we speak a prophetic word (those in the prophetic ministry) and we do so by faith, trusting in the Lord for assurance that it will come to pass, but there can be times that a genuine prophet might speak a presumptuous word yet are called of God, used of God, but their words were spoken out of the heart and not from God’s heart. This happened in the life of Nathan the prophet.

Read the words between David the King and Nathan the prophet: “After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” Then Nathan said to David, Do all that is in your heart; for God is with you. And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in. For I have not dwelled in an house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.” 1 Chronicles 17:1-6

The truth was, Nathan spoke a false, presumptuous word to the King, for God had said that David would not build the temple, even though Nathan the prophet claimed otherwise, the truth was and is, Nathan spoke out of his heart and not from the heart of God. But this did not remove Nathan from his office of a prophet nor did it discount his role in front of David, for as we see later, it was Nathan who again would come to David with a word from God over his sin with Bathsheba. We must judge the life and overall message of the prophet and not just a word which did not come to pass or one which was spoken out of presumption.

Let me also just say in this matter of prophetic words coming to pass that most personal prophecies or general prophecies are conditional. I have known many Godly men and women who today are genuinely called of God for the office of prophet, speak a word and the word was never established, meaning, it did not come to pass. Now, was the word spoken out of presumption? Was the word spoken because it was false? The answer is – no. The word was accurate, the word was genuine, but the person the word was given to rejected the word and the word could not come to pass. Let me explain.

Some years ago, a prophet I personally know and respect, gave a specific word over a young couple that they would have a child within the coming year. This couple had been trying for some time to have a baby and with the word from the prophet of God’s promise, they were overjoyed at the thought God heard their prayer. However, about 8 months later, this same prophet received a phone call from the pastor of that particular church where they had given the word over the couple, the pastor called to inform the prophet that the church was up in arms over the fact that the couple was not expecting a child. Upon further examination by the prophet, it was discovered that the husband had been secretly having an affair for months before the prophet came to church! The husband filed for divorce and was living with his mistress. The prophet traveled to the church and spoke to the wife who had been left alone, the husband, a member of the church, was there and a word of correction was given, both parties came to the altar, the husband repented and in one month, the marriage was fully restored, the church healed and, one year later, the couple had a baby boy! So the word came to pass, but under different circumstances. God is not going to override ones will – ever. He can speak a prophetic word into the life of a person, but if that person refutes it, falls into sin then that word cannot come to pass until full repentance has restored that person and then and only then can the word come to pass.

The call of a prophet is not an easy one, it is a hard road to walk, but God is still calling many to the office of the prophet and it is necessary today more than ever that the prophet arise and take their place in the five fold ministry in these last days.

 

Christopher

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    thats it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s