The Requirements For The Office Of A Prophet
Posted by Job on July 7, 2007
This is in part inspired by my attempts to expose false charismatics like Prophetess Juanita Bynum (see link). It has nothing to do with anything personal that I have against Bynum; rather she is a person who manages to represent so many of the negative issues affecting the popular charismatic movement. No, this is not going after her because she is a woman; I have seen nothing in the Bible that would tend to preclude women holding the office of prophet, but instead have seen evidence to the contrary (Exodus 15:20, Judges 4:4, 2 Kings 22:14, 2 Chronicles 34:22, Nehemiah 6:14, Isaiah 8:3, Luke 2:36, Revelation 2:20. Why include the reference to the false prophetess Jezebel in Revelation 2:20? Because I perceive that reference, even if only in a very limited fashion, to be a contrast to legitimate prophetesses and prophets. Had the fact that there were never supposed to be female prophets in the first place, it would have been listed as a major part of the problem as did Paul in his speaking against the confusion that resulted from women preachers). And no, this is not an attack on the charismatic movement itself. I personally speak in tongues, have had visions in dreams, have experienced faith – healing, and this weblog is devoted to spiritual warfare, including the literal casting out of evil spirits (essays on HOW TO FIGHT DEMONS, The Purpose Of Warfare, When A Demon Attacks Your Mind, plus categories demon of the day, spiritual deliverance, spiritual deliverance techniques, and spiritual warfare with more on the way as my I continue my studies in this area). I also include materials from ministers that have made extensive contributions to spiritual matters, such as Adrian Rogers, Derek Prince, Andrew Wommack, as well as at times making references to the contributions of people like Frank and Ida Mae Hammond and Smith Wigglesworth. So the notion that I bear some grudge against charismatic Christianity is untenable. But like everything else in Christianity, charismatic activity must be based on a solid foundation, and there is no foundation other than Jesus Christ as revealed to us in contextual translations in the Bible that is established to be true by the works and testimonies of multiple witnesses. Even Jesus Christ Himself during His earthly ministry based His works and teachings on things established in scripture and by the prophets. So, my goal is to demonstrate how so many of these people are in their teachings, ministries, and lives in contradiction with the Bible, which must be the final authority in all matters. So, here are the five Biblical qualifications for a prophet. See how many of these that our modern prophets – and those who are given to frequently making prophetic statements – like Bynum, Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Pat Robertson, etc. And no, I am not a cessationist: I do believe that the prophet office exists in some form today. But people should realize that the primary purpose of the prophet office today is the same as it was in the early church and in the Old Testament: to glorify God by acting as a servant among them and helping to meet their needs in practical and everyday ways. So, here are the requirements:
1. A prophet must be an Israelite. (Born again Bible – adhering Christians, being spiritual Israel, thereby qualify)
2. Prophets must speak not of their own accord or in their own name or any other, but in the Name of the Lord only.
3. Prophecies must be consistent with prior revelation.
4. Prophecies must not encourage idolatry or any other sin.
5. All prophecies must come true.
Anyone who fails on any of those points is not a prophet, and we should reject people who claim to have been placed in this office by God but do not measure up from our midst. What of Christians who prophecy at times, who fail on any of these 5 points (especially the prophecy not coming true part) but make no claims regarding having that office or gift? That may be another matter; if God forgives such a person that gives a false utterance and then repents then Christians certainly should. But if you have the title, then you have to live up to it, and further even Christians that are prone to giving false prophecies but do not carry the title of prophet should not be trusted.