When I left my job working for a well-known prophetic ministry, my understanding of prophecy and prophets was, at best, skewed. I knew that prophets and prophecy were real, and that the Bible talked about prophecy as one of the 5-fold ministries. Still, I knew that the fruits of our modern day “prophets” were NOT the fruits of righteousness and holiness, but greed, lust and licentiousness.
One day, I asked in desperation, “God! Then how do I know a True Prophet and True Prophecy??”
He replied, “Kevin… READ THE PROPHETS!!”
The End of Confusion
Could it really be that simple? How is it that, in our quest to understand prophets and prophecy, we overlook about 1/3 (give or take) of the Bible? Did God know in advance that in the latter days, false prophecy would be so prevalent that His children would need a clear guide to discern between false prophecy and true prophecy?
I know this will upset those of you with dispensationalist training who believe that there is a difference between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament prophecy, but the bottom line is that there isn’t any difference.
You will not find anywhere in the Bible where God says… “OK, now you prophets who were before Jesus, this is how you should prophesy. And you 5-fold ministry prophets… you prophesy this other way.”
It’s simply not there. Not even in 1 Corinthians 14 (see Appendix C).
Exposing Sin is a Prophet’s Forte
God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, tells us a key characteristic of a true prophet:
Your prophets have predicted for you falsehood and delusion and foolish things; and they have not exposed your iniquity and guilt to avert your captivity [by causing you to repent]. But they have divined and declared to you false and deceptive prophecies, worthless and misleading.
True prophecy will expose sin for what it is – an abomination in the eyes of God. True prophecy will not play with sin. Sin separates God from His beloved children and He hates it.
Yes, He HATES sin!
But it is because of God’s Love that He sends true prophets to His people to bring them to a place of repentance, so that the Divine relationship can be restored!
What is sin?
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
They Would Have Turned
Are you still not convinced? Let’s try another verse:
I did not send these [false] prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My council, then they would have caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them [My people] from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.
Now that’s strange. Where are their current instructions on “soaking” or how to have a “third heaven visitation?” Could it be that we’ve missed the mark? I’m not saying certain supernatural events will not take place in the life of a prophet, but those times are usually a result of consecration, service and sacrifice, not following the latest “5 Steps to a Heavenly Encounter.”
New Testament Conviction… By All
Am I coming across as too legalistic? Am I ignoring “grace?” Doesn’t the sacrifice of Jesus cover all those “doom and gloom” messages? Let’s look at prophecy in the New Testament for a minute:
Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those who are] uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on [his] face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
Wow! That almost sounds like the Old Testament! Have the modern day prophets included this instruction in their user-friendly prophecy? No they have not.
I challenge you to take your understanding of what a modern day prophet is supposed to be and compare it to the Word of God.
God’s Prophets paid a price. They didn’t charge a fee.