but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word.
There is a difference between straw and grain" Jeremiah 23:28
You can’t just wake up one morning and decide, “I’m going to be a Prophet”! It doesn’t work like that. Prophets are personally called by God. John Paul Jackson who is a Prophet to the nations said it best. “If you give a word from the Lord, it has to come true in order to be received as a prophetic voice”. His statement can be backed up by this scripture “All of Israel knew that Samuel was a prophet, because the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19, 20). Very interesting right? It makes you think about the many prophetic words we’ve received from “prophets” that did not come true or did not agree with what the Lord has said to us personally. The role of a prophet is serious business and not to be played around with.
A Prophet is one who speaks GOD’S words, not his or her own words. A prophet knows and speaks the heart of God. I once heard someone say, “It takes 25 years to become a seasoned Prophet.” I believe it! In order for a prophet to know the heart of God they need to spend time in his presence. It takes time to learn the voice of God and speak his words with accuracy.
“Have any of these Prophets been in the LORD’s presence to hear what he is really saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen” (Jeremiah 23:19). This was the Lord speaking through Jeremiah the prophet regarding false prophets. True prophets spend quality time in God’s presence. A true prophet must develop a lifestyle of worship, prayer and fasting. The spirit of humility is extremely important for a prophet to possess. They must go through seasons of humbling and crushing to develop this spirit. Prophets must learn to keep their mouth shut and stop blabbering everything the Lord has shown or spoken to them before it’s time. Without a spirit of humility, prophets become reckless with their gift, therefore bringing hurt to the body of Christ.
Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people Matt. 24:11
A false prophet is a minister who deliberately teaches false doctrine. They teach very little about the word of God and they misinterpret it. They take the word of God and distort it for their own benefit to gain money, power and fame. They tell you all of the things that you want to hear not what you need to hear. Jesus warns us that false prophets will perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect (God's children). Look at what the Lord said regarding false prophets, “I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me. I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, “This prophecy is from the Lord!” (Jeremiah 23:30-31). Wow!!
Here are some false prophet red flags to look out for:
- Be careful when ministers urge you to make a sacrifice in your giving by stretching your faith so that God will bless you. You don’t have to empty out your account to prove you have faith. You don’t have to pay God for a blessing. Sometimes the Lord will place a dollar amount on your heart but if he doesn’t, give with a cheerful heart whatever you can afford to give.
- Be leary of prophets who have a word for everybody. It's possible, but the prophetic does not work like that. I watched a prophet tell a young woman that I knew, she had low self-esteem and tried to give encouraging words because she was heavy set. Far from true. She told another young lady that she needed a beating. I zoned out after that. Like really?? This prophet had a word for everyone that came down the line. Then the church whipped out a credit card machine for those that wanted to give an offering. Red Flag! Red Flag!
- Be extremely cautious of prophets who call out your first and last name perfectly, especially if it’s done in the church you attend. I know the Lord can reveal things to people but that should raise questions in your head. You have to think to yourself, hmmm could there have been a conversation about me? Possibly!! False Prophets want you to believe they move in signs and wonders. Don’t be deceived.
In My Opinion
As children of God we have to be wise and discerning when it comes to “prophets”. Do you know a false word or prophesy will take you off course? Know the word of God for yourself and don’t be so eager to receive a prophesy from man. If a prophet gives you a personal prophesy it should confirm what the Lord has already spoken to you in your private time with him. Be leary of prophets who say, “In seven days this is going to happen” or “if you sow a seed of $37.16 in faith you will receive your breakthrough”. You don’t have to pay God for a breakthrough.
Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. True servants of God (what ever the call is) should put God first, follow his commands, and point people to Christ. They demonstrate good (not perfect) behavior and Godly character. True servants should help hurting people find joy and fulfillment in Christ; not deceive them, take from them, and leave them broken. It’s time to question spiritual practices taking place in the church that are not biblical. If it's not correct, don't support it. There's no power in the church because of evil motives running rampant and not enough holiness. Holiness is following the commands of Christ.
Are you called to prophetic ministry? If so, you need to understand your gift by studying the word of God. Read books, take some classes. John Paul Jackson has a wealth of information on the prophetic. The Holy Spirit by far is thee best teacher.
Let me stress this one last time, study the word of God for yourself so you'll know truth from fiction. Learn the voice of God. God says, "My sheep know my voice". If you know Gods word you can't be deceived or lead astray.