What is the Biblical Definition of a “Prophet”?
Among certain segments within the Christian church many believe that there are prophets today. To back up this belief they will quote 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:29, and Ephesians 4:11. All of these references do indeed give validity to their viewpoint. And that’s a good thing. They will then name certain individuals who either call themselves prophets or, more often than not, claim to have a “prophetic ministry”. When they do that and you closely examine what these “prophetic ministers” have to say, more often than not, they have the same success rate as Madame Zuma at the county fair (Now I really don’t know if there is a psychic at the county fair named Madame Zuma. I just pulled a name out of thin air. So if your name is Madame Zuma, and you are a psychic at a county fair, there’s no need to thank us for your free advertisement. It was totally unintentional.). What we mean by success rate is simply this, they make 1,000 predictions and if 1 prediction occurs they will point to that one prediction as “proof” of their “prophetic ministry”. Jean Dixon did the exact same thing as well as Nostradamus. Both of these individuals made a lot of predictions. And we mean a lot! You see the more you talk (prophesy) the greater the chances are you are going to say something that actually is going to happen. It also means you’re going to say (prophesy) even more that doesn’t happen. And this is true, unfortunately, for the individuals who say that they are a Christian Prophet or that they have a “prophetic ministry”.
But what does the Word of God say in regards to prophets? A prophet, as defined in the Bible, means to speak forth by divine interpretation or to predict. In the New Testament it means foretelling future events, pertaining especially to the Kingdom of God and/or to utter forth, declare, a thing which only can be known by divine revelation and/or to instruct, to denounce false doctrines and/or false individuals (posers), to correct using the New Testament as the basis for the correction, to admonish or encourage a person or group of individuals to do what the New Testament says to do and to give comfort verbally to those who are doing what the New Testament says to do. When you use these Biblical definitions of true prophecy, much of what is passing for “prophetic ministry” today in the church, fails miserably.
And here are a few examples, unfortunately out of far too many, of what we have heard and seen ourselves, that supposedly is part of a New Testament “prophetic ministry”.
1. PREDICTIONS ARE MADE THAT QUITE FRANKLY FALL INTO “OF COURSE THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN” CATEGORY. OR TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, “YA THINK!”.
The head of this particular ministry makes predictions such as, “New medicines and treatments are going to be discovered that will bring about cures of certain diseases”. Wow! Really? You couldn’t see that one coming? Then what they do is to have their staff search the internet looking for confirmation of their “prophetic” utterance. And guess what? They find it.
2. PRECISE STATEMENTS ARE MADE OF THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO OCCUR AND THEN THE EXACT OPPOSITE HAPPENS.
The head of this same ministry said about gay marriage being legalized, “They will say, would you approve of gay marriages? God said, phooey, do not worry about that. The law in this nation will not change the hearts of man. You cannot legislate this thing. Therefore, do not concern yourself for IT WILL BE ABRUPTLY STOPPED IN MANY STATES.” (dated 11/12/05) Hmmm, strange. As of June 26, 2015 gay marriage is now the law of the land. The Bible teaches that God knows the future. God must of missed this one. Right? OR here is a more Biblical, logical and common sense conclusion to come to. This guy wouldn’t know the voice of God (or JESUS) if he was standing in a room with an empty tin can up to his ear with a string coming from the bottom of the can that went across the room into another can that JESUS was speaking through.
And He’s not the only one. I remember a certain “prophet of God” that gave a prophetic utterance just weeks before the last presidential election (2012), in which he implied that the man who would wins this election would make all of God’s people happy. Oh really? That seems strange because of the two men running for that office and their belief system.
The Democratic incumbent has gone against the constitution on so many occasions that even one Liberal constitutional professor is saying, “What the President is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the constitution. We have a separation of powers that gives us balance and that doesn’t protect the branches. It’s not there to protect the executive branch or the legislative branch, it’s there to protect liberty. It’s there to keep any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.” This same professor also said that Mr. Obama was setting up an imperial presidency. Wonder who of God’s people that makes happy?
And the challenger, Mitt Romney, is a devout Mormon. He is a very high religious leader in the Mormon Church. So what’s the big deal? In Mormonism, as in all religions, there are certain requirements that one must follow in order to advance in that particular religion. Mormons believe that God the Father became a human male, came to Earth, and had coitus with the Virgin Mary. That’s right. Mitt Romney believes, and he would to have stated this on several occasions in order to rise up in church hierarchy, that God the Father came to Earth and had sex with a virgin that was engaged to another man. Wonder who of God’s people that makes happy? This does not mean that all people who call themselves Mormons are on their way to hell. More often than not, the individual in a particular religion really doesn’t know what the leadership believes. And this is not limited to the Mormon religion. But that is a subject for another post.
And since we have opened up this can of worms, we are going to bring out a big fat one that is sure to make somebody mad. And here it is, no matter who you voted for President in the last election you need to ask God to forgive you. Why is that? Because, God didn’t endorse either one of these jokers, but a lot of churches did. Didn’t they? And oh yeah, we had to ask God to forgive us too.
3. THEY ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH LIFTING UP THEIR OWN NAME THAN THEY ARE CONCERNED WITH LIFTING UP THE NAME OF JESUS.
These individuals are quick to point out all the times that they heard from God. But the times that they are blatantly wrong they never speak of. Why is that? Because they are filled with pride and that they know that people won’t buy their “stuff/resources/product” unless they are always right. I mean whose going to buy a book or a CD/DVD series which has the title, “These Are Things That God Has Showed Me Are Going To Happen (Part 1)”. And then sometime later come out with part 2, “Oops. I Guess I Didn’t Hear From God At All”. That is not the way to build a multi-million dollar “ministry”.
And lifting up the name of JESUS? Please. They never ever proclaim to people the new birth. They never tell people that they should stop doing their own thing (repent). They never tell people that they should call upon the name of JESUS and make a commitment (verbal) to follow Him all the days of their life and then to prove it by being baptized in water in the name of JESUS. In short, they don’t point people to JESUS, all they do is point people to themselves. They are in the truest sense “PROPHETS FOR PROFIT”.
4. THEY NEVER EVER SAY ANYTHING BAD THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ANYONE.
You would think that people who are “hearing from God” are also hearing things that people don’t want to hear. Well, there are reasons they don’t do that. In Acts 11:27-28 there was a certain prophet by the name of Agabus. The Holy Spirit speaking through him showed that there was going to be a great famine throughout the Roman Empire which would occur during the days of Claudius Caesar. Well, nobody wants to hear that! That’s negative! That’s not uplifting! Well the fact of the matter is, it may not have been “positive”, but it definitely was a warning. The famine did occur and those who were aware of it occurring, before it actually occurred, didn’t starve to death. Thank God Agabus was hearing from Him. And thank God the people of God listened to a REAL prophet of God. The vast majority of “prophets” in the church today would be ignored because they don’t speak the truth.
5. THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY REAL NEW TESTAMENT POWER AT ALL.
You might be saying to yourself, “What does that mean”? What it means is simply this, you never see them casting out demons. You never see them healing the sick. You never see them performing any miracles at all. Now, if you believe all that passed away with the first church, that’s your problem. WE HAVE SEEN IT WITH OUR OWN EYES. WE HAVE SEEN DEMONS COME OUT OF PEOPLE (and it was kind of scary). WE HAVE SEEN PEOPLE HEALED RIGHT IN FRONT OF US (and we talked with them afterwards just to make sure they were really physically healed). AND WE HAVE SEEN WITH OUR OWN EYES PEOPLE POINT THEIR FINGER AT AN INCOMING STORM AND SAY, “NO YOU DON’T IN JESUS NAME.” AND WATCHED IT EITHER DISAPPEAR OR MOVE OFF IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. We have seen it. We were there. Not just once, but on several occasions. Now we are either lying, which means we are on our way to Hell, that’s what the Bible says, or we are crazy (Now I won’t argue with you about myself being crazy, but watch your mouth when it comes to my wife or my friends.). Or maybe, here’s a radical concept, we’ve actually seen the power described in the New Testament right in front of us. You know, kind of like proving the Bible is true. We said it was a radical concept.
Not these clowns. All they have, and this is one thing they have in common with the vast majority of Christian ministers, is lots and lots of words. (If your favorite apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher can talk a whole lot but cannot demonstrate the power that is in the name of JESUS, you are following a “religious leader”. Religious leaders talk a whole lot but when it comes to proving that what they are saying is true, and they can only do that by the power of God, released by the faith in the name of JESUS, all they are is a bunch of words. Hopefully this answers the question, “What’s wrong with the church?”) Oh yeah, and they sell you lots of “stuff/resources/product” so you’ll be as confused as they are. Well, we do believe in freedom of religion here in America. That means you have the freedom to waste as much of your hard earned money as you want to. You have the freedom to keep spending and spending money on religious “stuff/resources/product” but never ever see it change your life in any real concrete way. You have the freedom to keep wasting valuable time in fruitless endeavors. And as a “sheep”, you have the right to be “fleeced” as many times as you want to be “fleeced”.
In closing, we readily admit that we have been harsh. We readily admit that we have been unkind in our observations. And we readily admit that yes, we have an “axe to grind”. WHY? Because we have seen so many good Christian people waste their money and their time being “fleeced” by these jokers. We would love to admit that they really don’t know what they are doing, talking about the jokers, but it is hard to believe as they sit in their multi-million dollar houses, with their luxury automobiles in the driveway, contemplating how they can grow their portfolios, that they really don’t know that what they are doing is wrong. I mean, they’re a “prophet for profit” and they don’t know what they are doing is wrong? And God’s never told them that what they are doing is wrong? Or did He and their response was, “Get thee behind me Satan.”? I mean, REALLY?
Love, Cincinnati Christian
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