Friday, 10 February 2017

Ministry of Prophets

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14 v 3-5: "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
 4  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
 5  I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

Ephesians 4 v 11- 16: "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
 13  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."

The Old Testament can be categorised as Laws, Kings, Psalms and Prophets. The prophets started with Samuel, Elijah and Elisha. Moses was also considered a prophet but he was more famous for delivering Israel out of Egypt and receiving the Law from God. David was a warrior, prophet and king and a man after God's own heart. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Hosea were major prophets while the rest of the books were written by minor ones.

After Malachi closed the Old Testament the Jews did not hear from God for 400 years until Zacharias the High Priest was struck dumb in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement after the Archangel Gabriel gave him a message from God that in their old age he and his wife would bear a son and call him John.

On the day John was born Zacharias was able to speak again. This was John the Baptist who would later prophesy of the coming of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  Jesus said of him that John was the greatest prophet of all.

Many people said Jesus was a prophet because He spoke and people were healed or delivered of demons. The wind and waves obeyed His voice.   The dead were raised back to life.  No one have ever seen such power and authority.  His coming split time and testament.  Jesus was and is so much more than a prophet. He is the Son of God!

A prophet is one who stands in God's presence and hears His voice. A prophet delivers God's messages and must be 100% accurate. If an Old Testament prophet was wrong in one thing he was stoned to death. There is a tendency in some Charismatic churches that a prophet only needs to be accurate 60% of the time!

So does that mean that we must accept that 40% of the time we must believe that God is lying to us? Who determines the true from the false? How do you know God's truth if His prophets are permitted to be wrong? No wonder the Church is in such a mess with people sending God's angels to perform menial tasks; people behaving like lunatics in the Toronto "blessing"; false doctrines abounding unchecked! It is totally unacceptable to God and the true church.

A prophet is a prophet because he or she brings a true and accurate word from Almighty God to edify or correct those to whom it is sent.  In the New Testament there are two types of prophets: those who receive a gift of prophecy after they are baptised in the Holy Spirit.  They bring prophecies of good tidings to edify, encourage, assure and comfort the church.

Then there is the Ministry of a Prophet.  This is a person who is called to be a prophet and is continually in the presence of God.  They may have done a 40 day fast on water only, which breaks through every fleshly barrier, blockage, bondage or worldliness.  This prophet or prophetess is used of God to correct errors in the church universal by being a Watchman and Intercessor as well.  It is a deep responsibility requiring a very close walk with Jesus.  A prophet is chosen by God and anointed by Him only.

Jesus said we must beware of false prophets. They would be cult leaders or fortune tellers, psychics or mediums and their words will lead people away from the truth. Jim Jones in Guyana was a false prophet who convinced over 900 people to drink orange juice laced with cyanide which was needed for them to be caught up to God in the Rapture. His young daughter escaped and told the story to the world. 

A prophet of God will discern deep spiritual problems in people, churches or countries and provide answers from God. Over South Africa for example, there is a stronghold of a spirit of division. It built up over a thousand years of witchcraft among the African tribes and their tribal wars.  The witchcraft rituals, ceremonies, ancestral worship and deadly initiations continue to this day.

The witchcraft caused the spirit of division to grow very strong which brought the terrible curse of Apartheid or racial segregation to this land. That took 50 years to overcome. The witchcraft continues and the division is now seen in the ruling party which is destroying itself by factions and infighting. Only when the people of this land follow Jesus and reject witchcraft will the division be totally eradicated. Satan wants to kill, maim, steal and destroy South Africa, Jesus wants to save it.

A prophet or prophetess will direct people into the true will of God. Prophets stand in the presence of Almighty God and hear His Word and His will and bring those pure and holy words to those who are seeking answers.
Those who set themselves up as prophets seem to be more concerned about the sex of the unborn, prosperity and success.  It's very much like divination.  

A man I know prophesied sincerely over a pregnant lady that she would have a son.  She had twin girls!  He prophesied over his own wife in 5 pregnancies that each one was a son.  He has 5 daughters.  And still he continues being believed as a prophet.

Many times God's will is rejected in favour of man's will and carnal stubbornness. The results are always negative. Our God only wants the best for us and sends His Word to guide us away from the enemy's traps and pitfalls.

Prophets are mocked by worldly people who ask such things as which racehorse will win at Ascot so they can win money on it. As Paul rebuked Elymas the Sorcerer in Acts for wanting to buy the power of the Holy Spirit, so should these be rebuked.

The Word says that a prophet is respected everywhere but in his own land. Uncomfortable truths are that which they prefer to be unmentioned.  But a true prophet of God should be highly regarded for their ministry which takes courage and determination as well as great passion for truth and righteousness.    

Prayer: Almighty God our Father thank you for blessing us with prophets who bring us into line with Your word and truth. Bring us very close to your heart so that we may hear your voice that clearly and obey it. In Jesus' name. Amen.