Are There Prophets Today? What About False Prophecy?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


“Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel.” Ezekiel 13:3

This season is revealing all types of behavior. Disappointment and pressure reveal essence. Difficult times do not create character, it reveals character. God's justice and righteousness  shine into our hearts.

As a prophetic minister, I am sensitive to claims made by “prophets.” Every election cycle in the USA features lots of “prophecies.” There is value and blessing in prophetic ministry, but there's also danger. The blessing is discussed below. The danger is "prophets" drawing people after themselves and introducing confusion leading to deception.

The Apostle Paul admonished leaders and believers to properly apply Biblical practice and truth: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

The word “divide” means, “To cut straight, hold a straight course, to handle aright.” This suggests that “workers” (ministers) are responsible to accurately represent God and His Word. The ministry of a prophet in the New Testament is not about making predictions. The prophet's ministry is part of a collective group of ministry gifts who share a God-given task to equip Christ Followers and build up the body of Christ (the church):

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Many “prophets” today identify with the likes of Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah, Elijah, and Isaiah. However, EVERYTHING changed when Jesus came!

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

What is the work of a prophet today? 

As stated earlier, the work of a prophet is to “equip” and “edify” the church. According to Ephesians the outcome of equipping the saints and edifying the body of Christ includes, “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14)

Judas (not Iscariot) and Silas were examples of New Testament prophets, When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. (Acts 15:31-32)

Prophetic ministries have keen insight and grace by the Holy Spirit to strengthen believers in Christ. They are part of the core leadership of Christ's church (Acts 13). The prophetic ministry (and the spiritual gift) operates as follows: But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. (1 Corinthians 14:3) Prophets like Agabus carried a greater measure of prophetic grace and spoke about a coming famine, which helped to church to prepare (Acts 11:27-29). He also spoke to his fellow-laborer Paul. (Acts 21:10)

Prophets are not “at-large” Lone Rangers making predictions like who will be the next President of the United States (as we saw in 2020). Prophets are subject to fellow ministers/elders and what they say should be judged, affirmed, or rejected. (1 Corinthians 14:23-32)

What Ezekiel said about false prophecies back in his day is true in our day: 
“Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel” (Ezekiel 13:3)

A jackal is essentially a wild canine like a dog or a fox. Many scriptures describe God's disdain for presumptuous and false prophets. He doesn't want His people looking away from Him. God wants a direct relationship (not indirect through someone) with His people through Christ. “
Jackals among ruins” speaks of disorder among confusion. It also suggests seeking prey. 

Church leaders need the courage to confront error, we must secure God's people, and identify bad influences. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)

Those among us who are recognized ministers/elders are mandated to share Jesus’ life, His word, and God's kingdom. God's people will learn to follow Christ more closely when we preach the word of God, love them, and lead by example. 

Remember that today God is speaking through His Son Jesus! Ministers should represent Him.

Reflection Question: What did you learn from this lesson?

My Action Item(s) Based on Understanding:


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