“Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” — 2 Chronicles 20:20
It is beyond any doubt that our nation is being stressed to the limit. Secular people are looking for answers from humanity—Christians are seeking answers from God. I will focus on the latter because the former needs a different message. The majority of Believers want to know what to expect next. We have been battered by COVID-19, now the threat of a vaccine offered by people we do not trust, the threat of more viruses, more riots, a Democrat presidential administration, et cetera, looms on the horizon. The temptation is to shut it all off, succumb to denial and apathy, and wait for the Coming of the Lord. That would be a grave mistake. We need to know and allow the effect of that knowledge to condition us for a very harsh period that Christ has warned us to be prepared for (Luke 12:27).
To inform us about what we might expect next, God sends prophets. As soon as the title “prophet” is mentioned, people react as if they heard the term “space alien.” God’s people need to clear their minds of hindering notions. One of the most ridiculous notions is that there will never again be genuine prophets. They have made the term so sacrosanct that if someone knew beyond any doubt that he was a prophet, he would fear to declare it. Why are Christians so opposed to the title “prophet?” Are there any scriptures that indicate we should rebuke and shun someone who identifies as a prophet? No.
The sole reason they are shunned and rejected is that people believe the office is so special that only a very special person, highly favored by God, and in the same form as Elijah or John the Baptist, could wear the title. Thus, the prophet must be super-ethereal and supernaturally elevated above everyone else. Nonsense! They are looking for a gold-plated prophet adorned with precious jewels. The prophets that God called are as Amos, “an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit.” They do not feel special and have no special charisma or persona that we would be amazed by them. They simply speak the truth that has been rejected or ignored. Prophets are God’s final attempt to reach hard hearts and closed minds before judgment arrives.
It is in my option, “prophet” is the most difficult and demanding office one could occupy. The prophets were rejected, despised, lived mostly alone, were wanderers, had few refineries of life, were persecuted, and even killed. They seldom had a large following, were not treated with respect and were deemed unnecessary, much as they are today. Why would anyone want to be a prophet that was not called to that office? It is unlikely that a true prophet today would identify as one lest he be shunned as a religious freak and consigned to religious oblivion.
Where in God’s word does it say that any of the five offices listed in Ephesians 4 should be treated in such a manner or done away with be done away with? When was the office of prophet dismissed? Has the Church reached all the following goals?
“…for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” — Ephesians 4:13-16
Until we reach those goals, we do not have a scriptural basis for dismissing an office simply because we have a phobia—a strange religious resistance of the term “prophet.”
I cannot count the many times I have heard or read someone scornfully and confidently state, “Well, if he says that he is a prophet, then he’s not one.” Book, chapter, and verse for that statement, please.
So, if an individual declares that God has called him as a prophet, he’s not a prophet. And there is absolutely no means or criteria for identifying a prophet because no one believes that they exist. Therefore, even though their prophecies are clear, concise, and true, people will never identify and will completely ignore prophets. That is the direct result of scornfully denying the title “prophet.” If I was called to be a prophet, I would resist that title as a deadly virus.
Someone may ask, “When has a true prophecy been issued that we failed to notice?”
I would respond, “When were you watching for such a prophecy? If someone declares a future event, do you write it down or remember it? Do you check to see if the event occurred? Or do you only pay attention when a prophecy gores viral on Youtube?”
Are we expecting and watching for prophets? God always sends prophets during an apostasy. They are always ignored, their character impugned, and their prophecies ridiculed. It is the Believer’s responsibility to recognize true prophets and prophecies. If not, then how will the millions of people be warned that have drifted from God, from the truth, and are on the edge of apostasy.
I am aware of prophecies in the past couple of decades that were proven true. But those prophecies were so against the popular and desirable narrative that people ignored the prophet. Some of them even rebuked and denounced him. Other ones even called him demonic, among other pejoratives. The amazing thing is that there are individuals that at this very moment know that he was correct, but they have not repented and continue to pursue the same narrative. It is an amazing stubbornness that was characteristic in Israel during her apostasies. (Do not ask me to provide more details or name the individual.)
Thus, God has called and sent prophets to warn and inform people in these last days, They are prophesying, but no one is paying attention to them. Something engrained in the Believers that is not of God has biased them against the genuine prophetic word. I see the handiwork of Satan in that phobia—robbing God’s people of a truly needed and essential benefit.
I have no problem whatsoever with someone declaring that he is a prophet. If one can declare that he is a teacher, evangelist, pastor, or even an apostle, why not a prophet? However, the unjust stigma placed on the office and title “prophet” has left the door open for numerous false prophets. The prophet is not identified until he dies. Their prophecies are held up as evidence that a prophet was among them and they ignored or rejected him. The need for their prophecy has long passed and people are suffering the consequences of rejecting God’s servant.
The prophet is an annoying alarm system. He irritates people that cannot tolerate anything negative. Someone once wrote about Leonard Ravenhill, that he is not the CEO, but the janitor that sees all the dirt and what must be done about it. “Prophet” is not the sacrosanct office that people have made it into. It is a small cubbyhole with no desk and no vaunted title. Please stop making the prophet into a bejeweled superhero.
If we wish to know what is going to happen next, or what we need to be aware of, or even what we might need to do to prepare, we will have to glimpse into the future. Unless the Holy Spirit reveals that information directly, and He indeed may do so, only the prophets can inform what is going to happen next. They are not sent to the faithful, but to the unfaithful whose ears are dull and whose eyes are blind. My question is, why don’t the ones that claim to hear and see recognize the prophets?