It is becoming more common to find people calling themselves Prophets. Even on social media, we’ve seen an increase in this trend. There seems to be more Prophets today than during the time of the Old Testament!
I felt lead to write this article because such proliferation can quickly lead to deception and error. I have already written an article decrying the existence of modern-day Apostles in the Body of Christ. I am also convinced that the office of the Prophet, while it may be relevant, did not change. Just like the past, I believe it's rare to find a true one, if at all after the work of the Apostles ended.
That being said, the more I see and hear these so-called Prophets, the more I believe in the need for a real one! But how we know a true Prophet from the false? And is the body of Christ blind without them?
The Making of a Prophet
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. Numbers 12:6
God Himself chooses those He desires to be His spokesperson. And yes, a Prophet can be male or female (Prophetess). Here's the thing. Just like an Apostle, there must be a witness or evidence that God called that person to the Prophetic office. God Himself affirmed many.
Abraham, for instance, was affirmed in a dream to Abimelech. Aaron was affirmed to Moses. Samuel had Eli as a witness. Prophets like Gad seemed to appear for a season. But because we are not told how they begin does not mean there was no one to bear witness. One thing is for sure…
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.
1 Samuel 3:19-20
The presence of the Lord is clear in the life of a true Prophet. No word of a true Prophet fails to come to pass because it is The Lord who gives them the words to say. If ANY the words from a Prophet does not come to pass and/or does not agree with scripture, question whether they are sent by God.
A Prophet will only speak what God tells them to speak. They are never full of their own words. They do not call out names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. These are gimmicks used to convince the masses. The Holy Spirit does not work in such ways. They are not necessary if a Prophet is of God.
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:22
Prophets of Old
First mention of Prophets is in Genesis. God calls Abraham a Prophet.
Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine. Genesis 20:7
Next time, God makes Moses' brother Aaron a Prophet.
And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Exodus 7:1
So what does a true Prophet do? As we can see from the current examples of Abraham and Aaron, they are God's messengers. But the message they deliver is specific.
Prophets are set by God as spokespersons and watchers. They often deliver words of exhortation, correction, and/or warning. Sometimes they deliver words of counsel and/or advice. But no matter what is spoken, the words are the words spoken by God's instruction only, not the Prophets thoughts!
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
And please, words of exhortation does not involve telling of personal wealth, new homes and cars, unexpected money, success, and the like. This is divination and soothsaying. If it's not of the Holy Spirit, it's divination. How can one tell? Discernment and knowledge of God's Word.
Definition of Divination
Read the accounts of every Old Testament Prophet. You will see a definite pattern. They usually only show up when the nation needed help. They were often loners and avoided the crowds. They were anything but flashy and not heady or high-minded. They were never popular except with a select few. And they almost always said and did things that wasn't popular.
And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 1 Kings 22:7-8
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. Mark 6:4
Prophets of The New Testament
When we read the New Testament, we see little about Prophets. Many times were the Prophets of old quoted. But what about Prophets among the New Testament assemblies? Well, there were several.
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. Acts 13:1
And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. Acts 15:32
And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. Acts 21:10-11
Definition of Exhort
exhorted; exhorting; exhorts
: to incite by argument or advice : urge strongly
- exhorting voters to do the right thing
Can you still see the pattern? Specific assignments, words, and positive fulfillment. The New Testament Prophets were not as active as the Old Testament Prophets for good reason.
Israel's constant rebellion created the need for frequent warning. Prophets also served as counselors to Kings (not Apostles, Pastors, or even Priests). In the New Testament, the Body of Christ was being established and the Holy Ghost indwelt all true believers. So the role of Prophets became limited in scope and necessity.
Prophets of Today
Think for a moment. What do you make of those who call themselves Prophets today? Are they similar to those we read about in the Old Testament? Some may say because we live in different times, their ministry will differ. Well, I respectfully disagree.
While the dispensation has changed, the Word of God remains constant. And so do people, except for one thing. The world is more evil than ever and continues to grow worse! As humanity increases in knowledge, our capacity for wickedness grows in proportion.
Yet God's Word remains relevant. So why should the work or message of the Prophets change? If ever a word of warning, correction, counsel, and advice is needed, it's in these times! But what do we hear instead?
Today's Prophets speak of blessings, deliverance, prosperity, and healing. They call you out by name. They seem to know your address, phone number, family member names, and even the color and patterns on your undergarments! And some even offer personal prophecies. What?!? Is this the modern move of God or deception, gimmicks, and soothsaying?
People pack out venues to hear a word from a so-called Prophet. Did we not read what Jesus Himself said to the Priests about such things?
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. Matthew 16:4
Those who call themselves Prophets today are to be examined by the Word of God. Their message and lifestyle must line up. Many today seek after and live lives of excess. Most are motivated by power, authority and greed. True Prophets were never about money!
Acts 8:9, 18-19
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
These things do not line up with scripture. Do not allow yourself to be carried away by the words they speak. They love to say things they think you want to hear. Freedom from trouble, from debt, from martial issues, from sickness, etc. Who doesn't want these things?
The problem is this. They cannot speak a word or command, proclaim, decree, or declare anything in their own strength. And if you pay attention, this is exactly what they do.
God has already promised to care for every believer who trusts and obeys Him. If you ask God for help according to His Word and nothing happens, check your motives and desires.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:3
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 1 John 5:14
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24
So there is no need to run to a Prophet. If God has a specific word for you, He will get it to you. If you need a daily Word, study the Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. That's why Jesus sent Him to us.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13
And there is no more surer Word than that which comes directly from God…
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; Deuteronomy 18:15
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2
And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. Matthew 21:11
Is the Body of Christ Blind without Prophets?
I know you were wondering when we'd get to this question. Can you imagine this being truth today? This thought is the result of misapplied and misunderstood verses.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18
In Proverbs, Solomon spoke words that apply to everyone. Where people have not clear sense of direction or understanding of what to do, they eventually grow weary and self destruct. But those who keep (follow, obey, cling to) the Word of God are happy. This has nothing to do with blindly following or needing a Prophet.
And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. Hosea 12:13
This verse has nothing to do with us and is applied to the Body of Christ erroneously. Remember, God made Moses a Prophet to Israel. He brought them out by God's power and they were kept through their wilderness journey by the same, as wrought through Moses. We have Christ!
Since we have a sure Word of Prophecy, why would anyone think the Body of Christ is blind? I'm not speaking of the Church World. I see them as two different entities.
2 Peter 1:19
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Today, we are kept by the power of the Holy Ghost and the Word of God. So the Body of Christ is not blind without a Prophet. I believe those who say such things lack understanding and/or have an agenda.
How many times does one need to hear a thing before they get the message? I guess Israel gives us that answer, huh?
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
We have been warned…