I am going to spend some time now to dissertate on prophets in the church today. First, most who call themselves a “prophet of God” are in fact charlatans. Much in the same manner that many people who call themselves a pastor have absolutely no business behind a pulpit or on “the platform.” Let me elaborate: first those who call “themselves” a pastor are more likely taking up the clothe because they can’t find anyone who will hire them for any other line of work usually because of some character flaw that basically makes them unemployable. So becoming a pastor is often a form of acceptable panhandling. Also, there are many good people in ministry who have presumed to be a pastor who indeed are not anything close to a pastor; many of those are instead teachers which can be a pulpit ministry but not to be regarded as a pastor. They are very hard to sit under since their pastoral duties are often just another teaching lesson and not even close to pastoring.
The issue of prophets in the church is a bit more disconcerting. Most of those who call themselves a prophet model their ministry after the prophets of the old testament and more often with the ministry of Isaiah, Elijah and Elias. Few will model their ministry after the prophet John, the cousin of Jesus. All of these modern church prophets who so model their ministry have one major and ministry ending flaw: they all lack GRACE. Simply put, they prophecy “do good, get good; do bad, get bad.” Their prophecies are performance based and more often than not steeped in condemnation. The other end of such prophecy ministries is to “prophecy” in such a way that the victim is manipulated into self-fulfillment of the so-called prophecy. This is really no more than witchcraft wrapped in some Bible verses to complete the deception not of only the victim but also the “prophet”
Let’s consider the new testament prophet in light of scripture. First, an authentic modern day prophet is not going to prophecy gloom and doom. To do so would be contrary to GRACE. A new testament prophecy is going to operate in GRACE, never with condemnation and never with a “do good, get good; do bad, get bad” approach. For what it matters, this author is a New Testament modern day prophet. I can tell you of many instances where I have been asked to prophecy over a person and not once did I prophecy theft, death and destruction. In one recent encounter, I was sitting in the principal’s office of a school after ministering to the school children and our host asked me to give a “word of prophecy.” Now, I assure you that I had absolutely no foreknowledge of what was about to happen. After a moment of conference with the Holy Spirit, I looked at the principal and declared that she was so to move to Nairobi and begin teaching at the university. She began to shuffle through her stacks of paperwork on her desk. I then declared to the school’s patron that he was to be elected to the county school board and to the deputy principal I declared he would soon be principal of his own school.
All this I said in a regular voice, no “thus saith the Lord”, no booming voice, just a casual toned voice. As soon as I was finished the principal handed me two reports she had been working on and was ready to submit. She was about to submit the reports to the university in Nairobi with the expectation of being called to the university to teach. I had no foreknowledge of her aspirations to teach at the university or of the two reports. But the Holy Spirit got it right. This accuracy of prophesying continued with every school we visited. Ironically, our host is himself a prophet and witnessed every prophecy.
In another incident, we were in a village about four kilometers (2.5 miles) in land from Lake Victoria in Uganda. We were scheduled to minister two days. We arrived very late the first day that I was only able to make a 30 minute presentation. I taught a full day the next day and the host pastor of the village wanted us to stay a second day to make up for the first day we were late. Over lunch we sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit and we were told to leave the area. The pastor was upset that we were leaving just short of charging that we reneged on our agreement to preach two full days. We insisted and we left. In our company now was another member of our Ugandan team in addition to our Kenyan host/driver and our Kenyan IT man. As we were driving out of the area, I looked up at the clouds and saw that they were rain clouds. I declared the rain to hold until we left the area and were back on the main highway that is paved. The next morning, when we went to breakfast that pastor was there. He informed me that after we left by about 8 PM the rain came in and just down poured. Now, they hadn’t had any significant rain in several months and their crops were beginning to fail. But since the rain began, everybody was in the fields working their crops – in the continuing rain. Also, the rain only came to that particular district. Nobody would have been at the next day session, had we stayed. I didn’t call the rain in, but I did tell the rain to hold back until we were safely out of the area.
I can tell you this; before I heard the Gospel of GRACE I was just another gloom and doom prophet. And, I accepted ministry from many similar type of prophets. Today, I am very cautious who I let pray over me or what I let them minister to me. In fact, I do not let many people at all minister over me simply because most of them will minister from a position of the “Law” of sin and death, not from the “Law” of grace and truth. When I am placed in a situation where I am the focus of a prayer circle, the first thing I do is “SHUT UP” so I don’t agree with any words of condemnation. Then I wrap myself with the Grace of Jesus so I am not infected with the negative (albeit well intended) prayers.
In summary, a modern day new testament prophet operates in grace. The words of the prophet are going to confirm what the Holy Spirit has already revealed to you. Any so-called prophet who declares a “thus saith the Lord” over you of which you can not receive as confirmation of what you already know is a fraud.
Additionally, a modern day prophet can, will and should be able to prophecy future events. However, that prophet will always present the prophecy wrapped in Grace. For instance, if I were to have prophesied the economic collapse of 2010 I would have also given instruction as to how to minimize its impact on the believer. A false prophet will and many did declare that the economic collapse of 2010 was the judgment of God being poured out on the nations who have rejected God. That is simply not true. The world is made up of people; people for whom Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for ALL sin and took on the judgment of sin so that we would not have to suffer that judgment provided we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior. The 2010 Economic collapse was not the judgment of God, however it was the consequence of not walking by faith in Christ Jesus; it was the consequence of man’s failed effort to meet his own needs by his own strength apart from God’s abundant provision.
Let me conclude with this: As we build up this section of our website, I will be asking for others to contribute their teachings. I reserve the right to edit or delete any contribution that is not based on GRACE.