Do Real Prophets exist?
People write me all the time, asking me whether or not there are any true prophets in existence and, if there are, could I tell them who they are.
Many are irritated at me because of what I have written in the past.
“Well, you’ve done a fine job, Kevin… So where are the true prophets, since you’ve made yourself judge and jury as to who qualifies?”
Others are sincerely seeking.
This post is an attempt to answer this question, but before I can do that, I need to challenge your definition of the words “prophets” and “prophecy.”
Both words have been grossly distorted by the movements that profit from them – namely the Charismatic and Prophetic movements – as well as traditional teaching which has usually been saturated with dispensational dogma.
Even if you are not part of either of these movements, you are still more than likely affected by this confusion, as the misunderstanding and misuse of these words has bled into all denominations and sects of Christianity.
Before we decide who we are going to view as a prophet or whose “words” we are going to believe, we need to answer the following questions using Scripture as our guide.
- What is a prophet?
- What does a prophet do?
- What is prophecy?
- How should we respond?
Let’s dive in.
What is a Prophet?
The first time the word “prophet” is used in the Bible it describes Abraham, the father of our faith.
Abimelech had unknowingly taken his wife and was intent on having his way with her, but before he could take action, God visited him in a dream and said that he was “a dead man” because Sarah was Abraham’s wife.
Abimelech pleads his innocence, and God says to him:
Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.
Notice that the first act that is associated with being a prophet is the act of prayer on behalf of another. Supplementally, it is shown that if Abimelech returns Abraham’s wife (repents from taking her), then he will live. If he does not repent, he and and all that he has will die.
So far, there is no mention of “prophets” or “prophecy” in the way that we understand them. There is no foretelling or “reading people’s mail.”
Yet, as God’s prophet, Abraham had a unique relationship with the Creator. The Father could tell Abraham things that He wouldn’t tell other people, and here is the reason why:
And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
- Derek – the path, the manner – Abraham and his household would walk Yah’s path and guard His Way of doing things.
- Tsedeqah – righteousness – Abraham was DOING righteousness
- Mishpat – judging righteously – Abraham was making wise decisions according to Yah’s standards
Abraham was so faithful to this relationship in keeping the commands of YHWH, walking in purity before Him and teaching others to do the same, that his son (and son’s son) continued to reap the benefit. Speaking to Isaac, the Father said:
Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.
- Mishmereth – service – Abraham was in service to the One He was in covenant with./
- Mitsvah – commandment – Abraham kept the commandments.
- Chuqqah – a prescribed task or boundary – As Yah’s prophet, Abraham had duties and he would not go outside the boundaries set for him.
- Torah – teaching and instruction – This word does not mean “law” like the translators say. These teachings are loving instructions from a Father to His child.
So far, the definition of being a prophet doesn’t necessarily fit into our current western church definition of “prophet.” You don’t see the glitz and the glam, the huge followings or the signs and wonders associated with this title.
Rather, you see a humble man who left his homeland and rejected the riches of Sodom for the promise of something better. A man who would show his love for the Creator by “commanding his household” to “keep the way of the Lord.”
How would they “keep the way of the Lord?”
By doing “justice” and “judgment,” keeping His “charge,” His “commandments,” His “statutes,” and His (oh you dispensationalists are going to hate this one) “laws” (Torah – teaching).
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
This character trait is not exclusive to Abraham.
Do searches in the Old Testament and the New Testament and you will see the same qualities in all the prophets. They are men who leave all to promote the Kingdom soon to come – warning everyone with the same message (paraphrased):
God is returning to set up His Kingdom! Repent from your wicked ways and return to His Ways! Obey His commands – all of them! If you do, GOOD things will happen! If you refuse, BAD things will happen!
All the prophets throughout the entire Bible spoke this same message and I challenge anyone to find a Scripture to prove me wrong.
For a deeper analysis of New Testament prophecy:
New Testament Prophecy – Understanding 1 Corinthians 14
They preached repentance – a turning FROM sin and a turning TO God’s ways.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
This leads me to the next question.
What does a prophet DO?
Because of the confusion handed to us by the geniuses at cemeteries (seminaries) around the world, people automatically associate a prophet with one who foretells the future and reads people’s mail.
They may try to make their answers sound deeper and more spiritual by prefacing them with “someone who walks so close to God that…” but everybody knows that the main idea is that they have some kind of supernatural abilities that set them apart from the flock.
Sorry to break the news to you, but God does NOT identify His prophets by their supernatural abilities, nor should we.
So what are the earmarks of a prophet?
But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
The whole reason the Father filled the true prophet Micah with the Spirit was to declare to Israel their sin.
Why did the Father want Israel aware of their sin? Was it because He wanted to make them feel guilty? Was it because He was angry with them?
Yes to all the above. But why?
Because Israel was not fulfilling their role and blessing the earth like the Father promised Abraham they would do! The Father told him:
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
But Israel was not being a blessing. They had mixed with the other nations for a very long time and adopted their ways of worship.
As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, saying to a tree, “You are my father,” and to a stone, “You gave birth to me.” For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they will say, “Arise and save us.”
The false prophets were doing the exact opposite of what a true prophet should do. Instead of exposing sin and directing people back to the commandments, they were spending their time promoting vanity, “false burdens” and foolishness.
Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.
I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.
So the role of the prophet is to convict Israel (come on now, you’re of “the Commonwealth of Israel,” right?) of their sin. If Israel will be convicted and repent, then they will fulfill God’s role for them that He set forth from the beginning.
We know that the scriptural definition of “sin” is transgression of the law.
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
We know that if you turn FROM disobedience/transgression of the law, then you’re turning TO something. What are you turning TO?
Continued disobedience? Come on, people…
What is “prophecy”?
Based on the evidence provided in this post so far, we can deduce that prophecies are the words that warn people AWAY FROM sin (“the transgression of the law” – 1 John 3:4) TO obedience.
Prophecy is not some hyper-spiritual, ethereal crapshoot that is subject to our dispensationally-laced understanding and doctrines.
Likewise, to prophesy is not to foretell the future or read people’s mail. Now, I know some of you want to argue that, but bear with me and I’ll soon explain more fully what I mean by this. It’s probably not what you think.
For a better understanding of what it means to prophesy, we need to take a closer look at the testimony of Yeshua – the very “spirit” of prophecy.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
We’ve been taught to believe that the testimony of Yeshua is His death, burial and resurrection. This too is incorrect. As a result of this misunderstanding, people believe that, wherever Jesus is talked about, the Holy Spirit is there to enable people to prophesy.
This is an untrue assumption, and here’s why I say this.
The angel in Revelation is not referring to a testimony ABOUT Yeshua, rather, he is referring to Yeshua’s testimony! What is Yeshua’s testimony?
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
The testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophecy because it warns the world of their evil ways, soon to be followed by the Gospel of the Kingdom, which says:
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
This is the testimony in which prophecy in it’s truest form can thrive and produce fruit.
Peter was proclaiming the testimony of Yeshua at Pentecost/Shavu’ot, when he proclaimed:
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
He would later write about prophecy to the churches of Asia Minor.
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
What Spirit was Peter talking about here? The same Spirit that moved on him at Pentecost!
In the end, we see that the saints will have this same testimony… this same “spirit of prophecy.”
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
If you do not have this “spirit of prophecy,” the dragon will not be chasing you.
Why would he not be chasing you?
Because you’re no threat… and you’ve come into alignment with his short-lived kingdom.
How should we respond?
Meanwhile, we take Paul’s advice and covet this gift.
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.
Why would we want to covet this gift? Because it edifies/builds up the ekklesia!
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies [G3618 – oikodomeo] the church.
What is the ekklesia being edified/built up to become?
you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
We’re being built up into that spiritual house, that holy priesthood that the Father intended us to be! The Father is eager for us to be zealous for His Kingdom! He’s always wanted a people that would be His representatives to bless the earth.
How do we become built up? Is it by getting a big, fat paycheck? Is it by being told how great we are? Is it by getting slain in the spirit and flopping around on the floor for an hour? Is it by getting the holy ghost giggles?
The prophetic movement would have you think so.
The prophetic and charismatic movements will validate any phenomena that will reinforce your self-esteem and make you feel good.
But the Father doesn’t define that as “edification” or “encouragement.” The true prophet, Jeremiah, hits the nail on the head when he says:
“But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
We’re supposed to be disciples, people, and we find edification and encouragement when we know that we are following the Master the way we should be following Him.
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
And for those who are coming in from the outside, prophecy serves to turn them from their evil ways. Not by crazy signs and wonders and “manifestations of the spirit,” but by speaking the truth so that they can see the wickedness of their own hearts and their need for Him.
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced [G1651 – elegchō] 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.
Now, contrary to what you might think at this point, I am not in any way opposed to the idea that the Father will cause His prophets to speak of future events (foretell the future) or tell someone something that nobody should know about (read people’s mail), but if they do not have a foundational, proven track record of obeying the commandments and teaching others to do the same, they are false prophets – even if what they say is correct, or comes to pass.
If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods” – which you have not known “and let us serve them,” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
Satan will gladly hand you a counterfeit.
I really want to SLAM this truth home to you.
Signs and wonders, prognosticating and “words of knowledge” are not proofs of a prophet, rather they are the fruit (or result) of being faithful to preach and live out the prophet’s core message… again, paraphrased:
God is returning to set up His Kingdom! Repent from your wicked ways and return to His Ways! Obey His commands – all of them! If you do, GOOD things will happen! If you refuse, BAD things will happen!
The problem with all these people like Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, Kris Vallotton and all the rest of the self-appointed prophets is that they teach you to circumvent obedience to the commandments to get to the supernatural experience.
When they do this, they actually take on the role of the adversary.
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
They show you a “mountaintop experience” and give you a vision of the Kingdom (as they see it). Subtly they whisper in your ear… “all these things will I show you if you come to this conference,” “soak to this music,” “read this book” (other than the Bible) or “just send your money!” (in the case of WOF camp)
Yeshua knew these people would be prevalent in the last days.
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
How many? …MANY!
Where are we seeing MANY false prophets arising from, showing all the fruits of wolves and getting really cozy with Pope Francis?
Exactly. The Charismatic and the Prophetic movements. Aside of a few random nut jobs, there is NO OTHER SOURCE where you will find false prophets.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Where are all the signs and wonders coming from?
Exactly. The Charismatic and the Prophetic movements.
Because the devil will gladly cough up a supernatural sign for you that involves no sacrifice. He’ll gladly show (and give) you something the easy way… all you have to do is just sign your soul (in blood) on the dotted line.
He was willing to do it for Yeshua. He’s willing to do it for you.
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign …“
Knowing that a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, we return to our original question.
Where are the true prophets?
Forgive me if I take a step back and eye you a little suspiciously.
Are you seeking for a sign?
Do you want someone to tell your future or read your mail? Perhaps you just want to know where we are on YHWH’s time clock?
You see, a true prophet is going to (first and foremost) tell you that you need to repent of your transgressions of the law and turn back to the Kingdom’s commandments.
Can you stomach listening to that? Or is your theology so riddled with dispensationalism that you cannot handle the truth?
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law (Torah) is truth.
Now’s your chance to walk away, because I’m about to tell you who the true prophets are. You’re going to be a little disappointed, because you will not find them on TBN or the Sid Roth show. Those people sold out long ago.
Like the Master, a true prophet is despised and rejected.
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Real prophets pledge their allegiance to the King and spread the prophet’s message. They leave the fame, popularity and riches to the sellouts.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
So, you want to know a true prophet?
Find someone who will tell you to repent of your sins (transgressions of the law) and follow the Torah of the Most High. The Father may or may not tell the prophet something “out of the ordinary,” but if you are not part of “a evil and adulterous generation,” that will be OK with you.
If you don’t know of anyone who will tell you to repent of your sins (they are rare these days), open up the Bible. Isaiah is a great prophet to start with. As you read, take what he says and apply it.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll start to hear the Voice of THE Prophet speaking from within you.
Mmmmmm… Now things are getting good!
 The phrase “reading people’s mail” basically means to tell them something about themselves that they may (or may not) know, that nobody else would know. This phenomenon is pushed heavily in the Prophetic Movement as part of prophecy. In truth, this is not prophecy at all, but soothsaying.
 Blueletter Bible definition of the word “Derek” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Hebrew word “Tsedeqah” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Hebrew word “Mishpat” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Hebrew word “Mishmereth” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Hebrew word “Mitsvah” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Hebrew word “Chuqqah” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Hebrew word “Torah” (Source)
 Blueletter Bible definition of the Greek word “Elegcho” (Source)