Category Archives: BIBLE

PROPHECY – Naira Producers

Prophecy¬†is very important in any Church of God. Prophetic words from Pastors or ministers of God is different from Real Prophecy from God. Real Prophecy involve A man/woman and the Holy spirit, God talk to them, and they narrates what God says to Men spiritually….

Speaking in Tongues is not easy, you can speak in tongues when you are in the Spirit, You can’t just start speaking in tongues when you in the flesh. Gift of Healing and Speaking in tongues or interpretating the tongues is very rare or difficult to get… A person speaking in tongues or prophesying supposed not to indulge in Wickedness or demonic possession, because DARKNESS has nothing to do with Light. God cannot use a Prostitute or Evil doer or disobedience or corrupted person to enlighten the church about Evil that is about to happen, because God is Holy.

The church cannot survive and grow to maturity without the

prophetic and the prophetic ministry. It is not an optional extra.

The Bible is clear about the importance of prophecy.

Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid

speaking in tongues (1 Cor 14:39).

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these

members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who

are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the

others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If

a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith

(Rom 12:4-6).

After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named

Agabus came down from Judea (Acts 21:10).

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially

the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not

speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he

utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies

speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and

comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who

prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to

speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who

prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he

interprets, so that the church may be edified (1 Cor 14:1-5).

Christianity is prophetic through and through. When the prophets

are silent and the word of God is in short supply, the church

withers and dies. If there are prophets today, their hands are tied

and their mouths gagged by the clumsy democratic processes of

church institutions. Prophecy is seldom heard within this

establishment. For prophecy comes by the spirit of God and not by

consensus or debate (Michael Harper).

For our society to be renewed, it is necessary for the church, and

by that I mean individual Christians together, to become a

prophetic voice to our land. We must remember the price of being

a prophet. If people were given the choice of straightening the wall

or killing the prophet, they will usually kill the Prophet instead of

straightening the wall (Bob Mumford).

A successful church will be one that appreciates the prophetic and

is a place where prophets can develop in their ministry.

Many people, churches and movements have entirely rejected the

prophetic, because they were wounded by false prophets or their

mistakes. However, the Scriptures clearly show that God almost

never raises up a great leader who does not make serious

mistakes. Some of the greatest leaders made some of the greatest

mistakes but they did not let that stop them. Many Christians have

a genuine prophetic gift or call to prophetic ministry, yet have been

discouraged from pursuing their calling because of past mistakes

(Rick Joyner – The Prophetic Ministry).

The church is called to be prophetic towards the world. This role

requires the development of the prophetic ministry.

Even if we are not called to the office of a prophet, we need to

understand this ministry. The entire church is called as a prophetic

voice to the nations. Together we are to serve as the Lord’s

spokesmen to the world (Rick Joyner – The Prophetic Ministry).

The New Testament prophet’s primary function is to open the

church to the ministry of Jesus the Prophet so that he can flow

freely among his people. Everyone is not called to the office of a

prophet, but the whole church as a unit is called to be a prophet to

the world, manifesting Christ’s ministry as the spokesman for God

(Rick Joyner – The Prophetic Ministry).

Uncomfortable People

Prophets can be uncomfortable people to have around. They can

often be hard to take. We must avoid taking offence at their style

and manner and missing what God is doing through them.

The prophet discerns the state of the human heart. The prophetic

insight exposes things that are hidden (1 Cor 14:25). Prophets are

never popular people. They are not comfortable to have around, if

there is a prophet around we will be aware of our sins in a new way

(Tom Marshall- The Coming of the Prophets).

Unfortunately, because the Body of Christ is so ignorant of the

prophetic word, it stumbles over the messenger and ignores the

message (Chip Brogden – Overcoming Prophetic Offence).

No Bible prophet ever had the same delivery or style, from David to

John the Beloved. But you must learn to receive from them and

most of all love them. Or you may watch them being led down a

road of destruction that will lead too much confusion and defeat

for the kingdom. This has already happened! And many are

wounded and dying because of this very thing (Kris Couchey –

Bitter Prophets).

Prophetic people create tension. When God intervenes into our

orderly, calm lives, this creates a tension. We need to know how to

deal with that and how to fellowship it through. Otherwise

prophetic ministry can be an open door for the demonic to enter

our churches. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to dismiss the

prophecy and cast the prophet in the role of troublemaker (Graham

Cooke – Developing Your Prophetic Gifting p.96).

The prophet is violated during his ministry, but he is vindicated by

history (Leonard Ravenhill – Picture of a Prophet).

Vision was like a flame with the prophets. You have to recognise

that about them, at any rate – that these men were flames of fire.

There was nothing neutral about them; they were aggressive, never

passive. Vision has that effect. If you have really seen what the

Lord is after, you cannot be half-hearted. You cannot be passive if

you see. Find the person who has seen, and you find a positive life

(T. Austin-Sparks – Prophetic Ministry).

The New Testament teaches a positive approach to prophecy.

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. Do not treat prophecies with

contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind

of evil ( 1 Thessalonians 3:19-20).

Christians must be careful not to quench the spirit of prophecy.

The words of all prophets should be weighed carefully. The

Scriptures give clear guidelines for testing prophecies. Anything

that is good should be received; the rest should be discarded.

Prophets and Pastors

Every church needs both prophets and pastor-teachers. The two

ministries are complementary, but they have not always fitted

together well. Pastors tend to be warm loving people. This is the

strength of their ministry, but it means that they can sometimes

find it hard to confront evil. They love to see people grow and to

see the church united, so they can be tempted to compromise for

the sake of peace and unity.

A prophet would act as a balance to this tendency. Prophets tend

to see things in black and white. They have a zeal for holiness and

truth. Their main concern is to see the church functioning

according to the Word of God, but their zeal for purity and truth

can make them appear to be hard and harsh. The pastors will

temper their strictness and zeal with love and grace. And whereas

pastors tend to concentrate on the present, the prophets can give

vision for the future.

Prophets have a way of ploughing up the ground and causing

disturbance. Sometimes this is sorely needed. I know many

pastors who, when encountering hard ground, simply lay a patio

and cover everything up! Prophecy is attacking, stimulating and

provoking by definition. Pastoring is about restoring calm and

order. Prophets challenge, pastors soothe (Graham Cooke –

Developing Your Prophetic Gifting).

This explains why there is such a shortage of prophets in the

church. Most modern churches are controlled by pastors and the

bluntness of the prophet does not sit easily with them. If the pastor

is insecure, he can be hurt by the prophet’s words. The prophet

seems to be a nuisance and life is easier if they leave.

The third truth is that pastoral compassion and prophetic purpose

will sometimes be at odds, causing friction and even conflict within

the local church between pastor and prophet. So a willingness to

humbly seek God together to determine His desire for congregation

is critical for maintaining unity in the local church leadership (Dr

Bill Hamon – Prophets Pitfalls and Principles p. 35).

The church needs pastors and prophets to fully represent Christ. It

must exhibit both the love and the holiness of God. Love without

holiness is compromise. Holiness without love is harshness. If

both ministries are present in a Church then holiness and love will

both be evident. The Church will then be a true reflection of the

character of God.

A prophet’s perspective is radically different from that of the

pastor. He hears from God and quite mercilessly questions

everything, including the pastor, from God’s perspective. That,

however, is his healthy and God-given duty. For that reason, there

is also a historical tension between the pastor and the prophet: one

is the defender of the status quo who wants to maintain the

community; the other questions everything and is seen (rightly) by

many others as a threat, because he disrupts things and wants

‘movement now’ (Wolfgang Simson – Houses That Changed the

World, p.114).

Pastors and prophets have very different perspectives on the

church.

Prophets usually have a very keen sense of being answerable to

God. Pastors have that sense to, but they are also very aware of

being answerable to people. A pastor probably feels both concerns

different from the typical pastor figures (Mike Bickle – How Pastors

Relate to Prophets).

Pastors are often sensitive to things happening beyond what is of

the Holy Spirit. They would rather be safe by cutting things off a

little before getting in the danger zone. Their boundaries tend to be

on the conservative side. On the other hand, prophets tend to be

boundary stretchers. They are almost always willing to go a little

bit farther than the danger zone to make sure that we do

everything that might be of the Lord. Notice that both prophets and

pastors have the same motivation. They are afraid of missing God.

But they are each proceeding from different point s of view (Mike

Bickle – How Pastors Relate to Prophets).

Because of the gift of revelation a prophet may have the tendency

to see things very black and white, whereas a pastor, with mercy

and wisdom will often see things in shades of grey. The prophet

many time may view the pastor as compromising and people

pleasing, while the pastor may see the prophet as unwise and

unyielding. These differences in perception can become a deficit in

their working relationships, if not understood as strengths that God

has given to aid one another in being more effective in ministry.

Otherwise the prophet will always try to straighten out the pastor

and the pastor will always strive to balance out the prophet, when

more often their differences, when appreciated, are actually their

strengths (Tom Hamon – The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation).

Both pastors and prophets must understand that they need each

other.

Challenge to Pastors

The modern church is dominated by pastors. The prophetic

ministry can only be restored to the church, if pastors allow it. I

believe that many pastors have (sometimes unwittingly)

obstructed the restoration of the prophetic ministry in the church.

This has prevented God from doing all that he wants to do.

Sometimes pastors are hostile or fearful of the prophetic due to

bad experiences, but this is not an excuse for robbing their people

of what the prophetic ministry can bring to their church. This is

stated clearly by Tom Hamon (a pastor, not a prophet).

There are many reasons for an attitude of indifference or even

antagonism toward prophetic ministry by pastors. Some reasons

have to do with ignorance or with perceived abuse of those who

have called themselves prophets within the body. However, I do

not believe these are valid excuses today. Never in Scripture does

God sanction forbidding the pure and good because there have

been bad representations (Tom Hamon – The Spirit of Wisdom and

Revelation).

While some prophets have hurt people, the reality is that

controlling pastors and inadequate pastoring have done far more

damage to far more Christians. In numerous situations, a whole

church has fallen when their pastor has lost the plot. Pastors have

far more power over people’s lives than prophets. A pastor who

gets lost can do far more damage than an over-zealous prophet.

Where prophets have become unruly or controlling, the reason is

usually inadequate or insecure leadership. Moreover, mature

pastors have no reason to fear the prophetic. A wise and God-

fearing pastor, who is loved by his flock, can never be overcome or

pushed aside by a prophet. Despite these facts, the bar of

acceptance is set much higher for prophets.

The questions is, why do we accept every other gift and calling

among men with great failure and weakness? And yet, the ministry

of the prophet who speaks hard truth is discounted with every

excuse in the book! Not only is the Word given rejected, but the

prophet in particular is personally rejected. This is the great test of

a prophet of high calling. I am not talking about people who

prophesy. I am talking about people who have been called to the

office of a prophet, which are rarer then we would like to think. The

burden of words that “leadership” and “friends” will not accept can

be a great one if not received and released in great brokenness.

The grace to walk such a narrow path is only given to the humble,

who are willing to be broken and considered radicals, renegades,

and rebels. The danger for this person is becoming like Elijah in an

isolation that sees himself alone as having the truth. The answer is

the cross of Jesus Christ that allows no man to glory in self or the

“gifts” and “callings” God has given (Kris Couchey – Bitter

Prophets).

Some pastors may need to be more honest about the real reason

for their indifference to prophetic ministry. The problem may be

something in their own heart, rather than the prophet.

As pastors, many times prophet ministry can understandably make

us feel uncomfortable, so we don’t give place for it to function.

However, often that is exactly what God has intended, because we

have become stuck in a rut in our predictable, comfortable

routines. There are times when God wants to break in on the

scene, but we are too protective of our time or our people, or our

comfort zones to allow God to really do what he wants. Prophets

just seem to have a way of messing up our plans. Instead of

resenting this, fellow pastor, let’s appreciate it, because the good

news is that when God leads prophets, they bring a powerful spirit

of breakthrough with them (Tom Hamon – The Spirit of Wisdom

and Revelation).

Have you established the prophetic in your movement? Yes, the

prophetic should operate in the back rooms and in the marketplace

of everyday life, but seasoned prophetic voices should also be

given a platform in the church to help establish and put into place

the mandates of the Lord.

Where is the clarion call of the prophetic that is sounding forth with

cutting-edge accuracy? Could they be sitting in your pews waiting

to be released? The way to break judgements off the prophetic and

unlock them is to establish them.

Do you have prophetic voices giving divine strategies for your

church? Do they give confirmation and clarity? Does the

government of God back them up? If so, are they backed up by

you?

Are you more afraid of a few “flakes” than you are of barrenness?

Have you judged the entire prophetic movement by one or two

voices that fell into sin? Wisdom is needed and it is important that

character and humility has been worked into their lives. I’m not

talking about budding voices that have not spent their time in the

wilderness of training and equipping, but rather mature, proven

vessels.

The heavy mantle of government that rests on you as apostolic

leaders must be used to recognise and establish the seasoned,

mature prophetic voices in your midst while allowing the young

eaglets to be raised up under their wings. God wants the prophetic

We’re coming into a season of release for some of the hidden

Josephs. The apostolic and prophetic are going to be taken out of

their old, tattered garments and adorned with new mantles of

government– wrought in the fires of affliction. They will be clothed

in humility and intimacy. Are you ready?

When apostolic gatekeepers embrace and welcome the prophetic, it

establishes them so they can unfurl their mantles and release their

anointing. (Jill Austin – http://www.jillaustin.org).

I am right behind any Pastor who acts to protect the sheep from

such people. That is the shepherd’s job, after all. (But if all they

are doing is protecting their own hide, and squashing the prophetic

word – then judgement will surely follow the prophet’s words – as

sure as day). Prophets, let God vindicate you. Make no attempt to

vindicate yourself (Andrew Strom).

Pastors are often concerned about the damage that prophets can

do. They should be more concerned about the effect of the lack of

the prophetic in their church. Pastors have a key role in

encouraging the development of the prophetic ministry.

The issue cannot be avoided. If they want to fully serve God,

pastors will have to deal with the prophetic (and its problems). The

church will never reach its full potential without the ministry of the

prophet, but the prophetic ministry will only be restored in God’s

fullness if there is a radical commitment from pastors to make it

happen.

Just as prophets need to purpose to develop the wisdom of how to

rightly minister their revelation, so pastors need to stretch

themselves to believe to minister by supernatural and revelation

and not just rely upon their developed areas of wisdom and

counsel. Churches can survive without prophetic ministry, but they

cannot be as healthy as they would without it (Tom Hamon – The

Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation).

Establishing Prophets in the Church

Most churches have no prophet to establish holiness and

righteousness. They do not have a mature prophet to disciple

young prophets, so God has had no choice but to develop young

prophets in the wilderness. This is a second best option that

produces lots of problems, but is the only way until the prophetic

ministry is fully restored to the church.

This problem will have to be resolved by pastors. There is a

surplus of pastors and a shortage of evangelists and prophets,

which severely weakens the church. To correct the balance,

pastors will have to take the initiative to restore prophets to the

church. A pastor who has no prophet in his church should look in

the wilderness for a growing prophet and seek to establish him in

his church. Obadiah protected, fed and sheltered the prophets

when Jezebel was trying to destroy them (I Kings 18:3,4). There is

an urgent need for Obadiahs in the modern church.

Many apostles and prophets today are not in church at all,

because there is little room for them in traditional pastor centered

churches. They have been pushed to the side; they are often

feared because they seem so strong, radical and different. Many

have been not only marginalised but rejected, and as a result have

given up on church almost completely, maybe with a last flicker

and a spark of hope still burning in them (Wolfgang Simson –

Houses That Changed the World, p.125).

Restoring prophets to the church will not work if the pastor

attempts to control the prophet. The challenge to the pastor is to

say to the prophet, “I will submit to you, if you will submit to me”.

They will have to trust each other by submitting to each other. This

will be risky for the pastor (and the prophet), but if they commit to

it out of love for Jesus, great blessing will follow. A good example

of this is Paul, who was started in his ministry when Barnabas

found him and brought him to Antioch (Acts 11:25,26). Barnabas

demonstrated great courage, because Paul was a high risk person,

but his trust brought out the best in Paul. His commitment to Paul

brought enormous blessing to the church.

Trust produces trust and responsibility. The pastor will generally be

surprised at how responsible prophets will be, if they are just

trusted. Prophets will be surprised at how open a pastor will be, if

the prophet is willing to submit to him.

Embarrassing Prophets

Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special

honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with

special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special

treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and

has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there

should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have

equal concern for each other (1 Cor 12:22-25).

Christians are often embarrassed by God’s watchmen, as they can

be intense, opinionated or scruffy. Watchmen maybe the eyes of

the body, but they are also the bums that get rid of the “crap”. If

God’s watchmen are not functioning effectively in a church, it will

full of crap and become contaminated. So while the watchmen has

an unseemly task, they are important for the functioning of the

body and deserve equal concern and respect.

Encouraging Prophets

By exercising discernment a pastor can help prophets to hear the

word of the Lord. They should encourage the prophets to grow in

this ministry. This should be done with care. Because a prophet is

sometimes negative and hard in his words, pastors often assume

that he must be dealt with severely. They do not realise that under

their brusque exterior, most prophets have a very sensitive spirit,

which can easily be broken. They need a great deal of

encouragement if they are to develop into their full ministry.

Pastors should encourage those in their church with prophetic

gifts, even if they are a nuisance at times. They will eventually

have prophets in their midst who can be trusted to speak the

Lord’s word.

What makes me prophetic? The fact that I hear God speak. What is

the most personal attack that anyone can make upon my Christian

walk? It is to say, “We don’t believe that you heard God!” Why is

this so painful? Because it goes to the heart of my call – if they are

correct then I “missed it” completely – perhaps I am not

prophetic… and if I am not – who am I? Very few Pastors

understand the depth of this crisis for prophetic people – and as a

result are very ready to say, “that wasn’t God!” when we speak

what we honestly believe to be the Word of the Lord. Probably they

have no conception of the depth of the pain they liberate (http://

http://www.africaprophecy.co.za/2prophets.htm).

The more that pastors encourage the prophets, the better they will

perform. Prophets respond to listeners.

I now embrace the theory of prophecy, which holds that prophetic

voices of great clarity, and with a quality of insight equal to that of

any age, are speaking cogently all of the time. Men and women of

a stature equal to the greatest of the past are with us now

addressing the problems of the day and pointing to a better way. in

these times. It is seekers, then, who make prophets, and the

initiative of any one of us in searching for and responding to the

voice of contemporary prophets may mark the turning point in their

growth and service (The Servant as Leader).

The variable that marks some periods as barren and some as rich

in prophetic vision is in the interest, the level of seeking and the

responsiveness of the hearers. The variable is not in the presence

or absence or the relative quality and force of the prophetic voices.

Prophets grow in stature as people respond to their message. If

their early attempts are ignored or spurned, their talent may wither

away (Author Unknown).

Any prophetic word given within a church context is spoken into a

relationship. No one can assess the state of a relationship at a

distance, so the person who gives the word probably needs to be

constantly assessing and building their relationships in the church.

If a church rejects a word from a member the rejection says more

about the state of the relationship than it does about the veracity of

the word. In other words – the relationships you build with people

will often pre-determine whether or not they will accept the word of

the Lord through you (http://

http://www.africaprophecy.co.za/2prophets.htm).

Developing Young Prophets

To a pastor, a young prophet can appear to be a particular

nuisance. When first starting their ministry, prophets seem to be

negative and over critical. And because they are human they often

make mistakes. The trouble is that their intolerance and

insensitivity can irritate the pastor. This causes the pastor to jump

on the prophet, the first time that he makes a mistake. The young

prophet is often so crushed that he does not dare to prophesy

again. The pastor is relieved because what appeared to be a

problem is gone. What he does not realise is that he has squashed

a ministry that his church really needs. Because this has happened

so often, there is a shortage of prophets in the church.

At the same time, young prophets must learn to be patient, and

allow God to develop their ministry. This will take time. Daniel was

just a young man when he arrived in Babylon. He was middle aged

when he received his first vision, and quite old when he received

his greatest visions. Jeremiah was still prophesying when he was

an old man. A young prophet will only have a partial vision. There

will be times when he speaks the Lord’s word in the wrong spirit.

God will have to allow him to make mistakes if he is to grow to

maturity. He should not grasp at ministry, but wait on God to raise

him up in due time. Those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Young prophets cannot emerge properly in a church that is led by a

pastor alone. (The same applies to evangelists). Pastors cannot

disciple budding prophets effectively. The young prophet will either

start challenging the pastor and become a nuisance, or he will be

stifled by the pastor and lose his cutting edge. A young prophet will

develop best in a church where the pastors and a prophet are in

submission to each other. He will be drawn to the prophet and will

learn how to function in the prophetic from him. He will also learn

how to relate to a pastor.

When he needs correction, he will generally receive it better from

the prophet. A young prophet will need frequent correction and he

will sometimes need to be corrected very firmly. This is best done

by a more mature prophet whom he respects. When he is treated

harshly by the senior prophet or becomes discouraged as often

happens, he will need and appreciate the comfort and

encouragement of the pastor. The young prophet will develop a

healthy relationship with both pastors and prophets. If he can grow

within these relationships, he will be less likely to wander off into

bitterness and isolation.

No Heroes

We should not just be looking for a few heroic prophets like the

men of the Old Testament. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit means

that this gift has been distributed far more widely.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see

visions, your old men will dream dreams; Even on my servants,

both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and

you will prophesy (Acts 2:17,18).

In many countries, there are only a few men and women with a

prophetic voice. People throughout the land have looked to these

few, which places them under unfair pressure. We should be

praying that God would raise up numerous prophets. There should

be at least one in every Christian fellowship. Then God would really

be able to bring his word to the nation and the church, and all

people would hear.

Persecution of Prophets

Prophets in the New Testament age will sometimes experience the

persecution and suffering faced by the Old Testament prophets.

This happens when their message is not received, or when the

church is not functioning correctly. This is often the situation

today. Most prophets are on the edge, because there is no place

for them in the centre of the church.

Prophetic people also have difficulties that are sometimes

leadership induced, as they were in our case, because we as a

church didn’t know how to nurture and administrate prophetic

ministry (Mike Bickle – Growing in the Prophetic p.130).

Many leaders are so wounded and weary from the ministries of

those who presumed to be watchmen or prophets, that they do not

want anything to do with this ministry today. Likewise, many

watchmen have been so wounded by pastors that they have lost

their trust in the leadership of the church. There is usually a lot to

overcome on both sides, but those who are true on both sides will

overcome this barrier. We have no choice if we are going to walk

in the unity that both the Lord and the times we live in require (Rick

Joyner – The Ministry of a Watchman).

Today’s professional pastor may truly be a shepherd of the flock,

but he is first and foremost the manager of a religious

organisation. Either he is hired by the owners of the organisation or

is the owner/operator of a work he created. Prophets and apostles

do not so much find themselves in conflict with spiritual pastors as

they do with church managers (even though both those roles may

reside in the same man). This is an important distinction (Chuck

McLean).

However, when the church is functioning correctly, the prophet will

be at peace with the church and just another ministry within it. The

treatment of prophets is a good test of the maturity of a church.

When the church moves into apostasy, the prophets become more

radical and drastic. In a mature church, prophets will be an integral

part of the leadership.

In the New Testament prophetic activity is concerned with building

a community, rather than standing against the community (David

Hill).

Prophecy and the office of Prophecy, however were not often fully

developed, but central to the Lord’s plan. In and through His

prophets He warned, scolded, blessed and healed, taught, foretold,

called Israel to repentance, subdued kings, laid down revelation for

doctrine, chastised and rescued. Every book from Isaiah to

Malachi is written by or about a prophet.

God did not do away with Prophets and prophecy when Jesus

came and the Church was born. Instead He expanded their

function and power by virtue of the cross and resurrection. So the

prophet ceased to be a lonely watchman who was often put to

death by his own people, and became an integral part of the church

which, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, learns to protect and

cherish it’s prophets (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah Task).

Exalting the Prophet

The opposite problem is when prophets are exalted to a position

above other ministries. A prophet dominated church is dangerous.

When a prophet is accepted and deified his message is lost. The

prophet is useful only so long as he is stoned as a public nuisance,

calling us to repentance, disturbing our comfortable routines,

breaking our respectable idols, shattering our sacred conventions

(AG Gardiner).

There are prophets and teachers who hold words from God in

higher esteem than the God who speaks the words they attribute

as being from Him. People seek these words and teachings. The

more they receive, the more they want. Before one word is

digested they are craving another. They are seeking “things” –

words, prophecies, teachings, visions, dreams – but they are not

seeking the Lord Himself. (Chip Brogden, http://www.watchman.net)

Most prophetic people don’t have the gift of leadership that is

essential for a church to be healthy, balanced and safe. A church

led only by prophets is not a safe environment for God’s people

(Mike Bickle – Growing in the Prophetic p.57).

The prophets were not leaders of men. They carried no

responsibility for the Temple, for worship, for the institutional side

of religion. They had no political power, no party following, no

organisation, no priestly or pastoral function. They were not

involved in the commercial life of the nation, neither were they

rulers of men. They were simply servants of the living god whose

task was to declare what he was saying to the people (Clifford Hill

  • Prophecy, Past and Present p.60).

The liberating gospel of one generation becomes its law of the next

(Ian Breward).

If every prophet spoke only absolute truth, who would the people

follow? Not the Lord, but the prophets. To prevent that, God uses

cracked and foolish vessels. Every man must therefore check his

own spirit, heart, and mind according to the word, whenever a

prophet speaks to him in the name of the Lord. God uses cracked

vessels for this very reason (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah

Task p.101).

Theology of Privilege

A theology of prophetic privilege is dangerous. God has promised

to protect his prophets, but he will protect his word. Jesus warned

that prophets would be persecuted. He did not say they should be

protected.

Prophets are often mistreated and mistrusted by the church. That

has to change. But the solution is not for prophets to be put on a

pedestal immune from challenge. We need an environment where

prophets are welcomed and prophecy is respected, but where

prophetic ministries are rigorously assessed and prophecies are

vigorously tested.

The idea that any ministry, whether pastor or prophet must be

blindly submitted to is wrong and dangerous. Far too many

Christians have been lead off the right path, because they have

followed their pastor without questioning his decisions. We do not

want Christians to start doing the same with prophets.

The idea that prophets are subject only prophets is wrong and

dangerous. Prophets do have a special role in testing judging

prophecy (1 Cor 15), but that does not mean that others do not.

Anyone who is prophesied to has responsibility to test the

prophecy and assess the prophet. The problem with prophets is

that they can stir each other up into error. This happened in 1Kings

  1. Jehoshaphat was not a prophet, but he tested the court

prophets word and rejected their ministry.

When a person acts as a prophet to a nation, the nation has to

decide, if the person is a prophet to the nation. It is recognition by

the nation that ultimately establishes a person as prophet to the

nation.

When a prophet speaks publicly, the public have the right and

responsibility to assess whether the word is right and relevant to

them. They should not blindly follow it. I think that we need more

rigorous debate about some of the words that are spoken by

modern prophets. I have publically suggested that a couple of big

name prophets have actually interpreted their dreams incorrectly. I

think we need more of that kind of discussion. It would be

dangerous, if Christians felt that they must shut up, no matter

what they think about a word or a prophet.

On the other hand, Christians should be very careful about

attacking a prophet (or any other Christian) in the wrong spirit.

These attacks are usually a way of rejecting the words the prophet

has spoken. If the word is true, they are putting themselves in a

dangerous position. Rejecting God’s word, whether prophetic or

scriptural is risky, because it weakens our spiritual protection.

The person critiquing a prophecy must keep their heart right. They

must not speak out of envy or jealousy. (That is where Miriam

went wrong. They must not impugn the character of a prophet, if

they do not know them. )They should be careful, that they are not

rejecting a prophecy that God is speaking to them. They should

remain humble. They should speak with the courtesy that should

apply to all Christian interactions with other people. However, if

people keep their heart right, there is nothing wrong with

questioning the role of a person that other people have put up as a

prophet, or a word that a prophet has put out.

There is an awful lot of prophetic junk out there. There are many

prophets who have stepped up to the next level, before they are

ready. We actually need more testing of prophecies and prophets

not less.

Prophetic Communities

The best antidote for the heroic is a prophetic community. The full

revelation of God will only be received by a group of people seeking

him together. The Holy Spirit likes to give different parts of the

revelation to different people. The full picture can often only be

obtained by pooling all the information received.

God is wanting to raise up prophetic communities. Individual

prophets are not capable of hearing Gods word for our complex

world (Tom Marshall- The Coming of the Prophets).

In Samuel’s time, schools of the prophets were established, by

which prophecy was dignified and provision made for a succession

of prophets; for it would seem that in their colleges hopeful young

men were bred up in devotion in a constant attention upon the

instruction the prophets gave from God, and under strict discipline,

as candidates or probationers for prophecy, who were called the

son of the prophets; and their religious exercises of prayer, and

conference especially, are called prophesying; and their prefect or

president is called their Father (1 Sam 10:12). Out of these God

ordinarily chose the prophets he sent. It is one of the great favours

of God to Israel that he raised up some of their sons for prophets.

Amos 2:11 (Matthew Henry).

Because this is so, we all need to build relationship and credibility

that will be the foundation for the acceptance of the word of the

Lord when we speak on His behalf. That takes time. It takes risk.

It costs. It takes effort. Many prophetic people are so caught up

with introspection that they don’t take time to serve others and

develop good relationships – sometimes not even in their own

homes! As a result their word is most unlikely to be accepted in

their local church. If it is not accepted there it is highly unlikely that

it will be accepted anywhere for long.

Building relationships does not guarantee that your word will be

respected. It only gives it a chance of being accepted. But without

relationships there is no chance it will be accepted (African

Prophecy (http://www.africaprophecy.co.za/2prophets.htm)).

Who is in Charge?

There is a serious argument going on about authority in the

church. Some people say that prophets do not need to submit to

anyone, but God himself. Others say that everyone including the

prophets must submit to a pastor. Still others say that apostles

will govern the church and that pastors and prophets will both

submit to the apostles. All these views are wrong. The Bible is

quite clear.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph 5:21).

Apostles, pastors, prophets and evangelists are not above this

command. They are required to submit to each other out of

reverence for Jesus; just like all other Christians.

Instead of asking who is to govern and who is to submit to them,

we should be looking for a model of church government that allows

all the ministries to submit to each other, as required by Ephesians.

Arguing about who should be in control will only result in division

and disunity.

Restoring prophets to the church will not work, if pastors attempt

to control the prophet. The challenge to the pastors is to say to the

prophet, “We will submit to you, if you will submit to us”. They will

both have to trust each other by submitting to each other. This will

be risky for both the pastors and the prophet, but if they commit to

it out of love for Jesus, great blessing will follow.

Trust produces trust and responsibility. Pastors will be surprised at

how responsible prophets can be, if they are just trusted. Prophets

will be surprised at how open pastors can be, if the prophet is

willing to submit to them.

Paul was started in his ministry when Barnabas found him and

brought him to Antioch (Acts 11:25,26). Barnabas demonstrated

great courage, because Paul was a high-risk person, but his trust

brought out the best in Paul. His commitment to Paul released

enormous blessing into the church.

A church needs several pastors, at least one prophet and at least

one evangelist to function effectively. There will only be unity if

they are all submitted to each other. The prophet should submit to

the pastors, but the pastors should also submit to the prophet.

This will not be easy.

Pastors, prophets and evangelists are very different from each

other and are likely to have strong views about how things should

be done. A great deal of love and trust will be required for them to

submit to each other; but this should be normal for mature

ministries. If the cross of Jesus is at work in their lives, it will be

possible for these ministries to submit to each other.

Mutual submission among pastors, prophets and evangelists will

be good for both them and the church. Their unity will provide

balance and safety for the church. It would also be a marvellous

testimony to the power of the gospel. On the other hand, if pastors

and prophets cannot submit to each other, then there is something

wrong with our gospel.

Many church leaders are concerned about their members lack of

submission, yet they are unwilling to submit to others themselves.

If the leaders of the church cannot submit to each other, then we

should not be surprised if there is a lack of submission among less

mature Christians.

Protocols for Prophecy

Each church must establish protocols for prophesying during it’s

meetings. Graham Cooke (Developing your Prophetic Gifting)

outlines some good guidelines for developing protocols for

handling prophecy. Two basic principles are:

  1. Spontaneous prophecy should be encouraging and edifying
  2. Correction or directional prophecy should be checked with elders

first.

Financial Support

The prophet’s loyalty to God must take priority over his loyalty to

the Church. While being sufficiently involved to know what is

going on, he must be detached enough to be objective. This means

that a prophet should not be a paid officer of the church. It is

interesting that Paul says that gifts of money should only be given

to those elders who work hard at teaching or preaching (1 Timothy

5:17). That is, only pastor- teachers and evangelists should

receive financial support. Prophets are not included because being

a prophet is not a full time work. They can work part time to

support themselves. An example of this is Amos, who earned his

living as a shepherd. If a prophet is financially independent he will

not be tempted to compromise.

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