Recently a statement of prophetic guidelines was produced by a contingent of ministers in the charismatic/ signs and wonders movement, which they are encouraging people to sign in an attempt (it seems) to curb false prophecy. As I stated in a recent post, I would recommend people not even bother to read this statement as it is produced by people in support of ministers who loudly, publically prophesied falsely that Donald Trump would be in office as POTUS (President of the United States) in this term. While I would recommend people not bother listening (as we should not give heed to false prophets) I also recognise that many Pentecostals/ charismatics have been envoloped by the signs and wonders movement, and/or the broader evangelical movement which brought us the platform and foundation for false prophecy and are (or should rightly be) dissillusioned of the ministers perpetuating false prophecies.
For this reason, I am commenting on certain aspects of this prophetic standards document – this is my second post regarding this, please see the first, here (it gives greater clarification of my purpose with these posts, and addresses one of the first points in the document, showing how it is a basis which, itself, perpetuates false prophecy).
In this post, I will look at a handful of statements in the document which, somewhat say the same thing (the intro to my first post provides essential foundational thoughts as I address these, so again, I recommend reading it first), essentially saying that prophecies have to be vetted by respected prophetic leadership. Unfortunately, when the entire movement is prophesying falsely, including the ‘appropriate leadership,’ as was the case with Trumps reelection, these also only serve to perpetuate the false prophetic narrative. But let’s go ahead and look at the statements made:
WE BELIEVE in the five-fold ministry of the prophet, recognizing that such prophets will also be used to bring correction, instruction, and directional clarity to the Body, but not independent of other leaders, and therefore different from the model of the independent Old Testament prophet.
This statement is based on the erroneous assumption that Old Testament prophets were ‘independant.’ Rather they upheld and confirmed right covenant with God as perscribed by the Law of Moses (and Moses, you’ll recall is the prophet under whom the priesthood was instituted – he also prophesied the coming theocracy, and gave guidelines for it (Deut 17:14-20)). Any perception of the Old Testament prophets as ‘independant’ from the upheld covenant of the era (the priesthood, or the theocratic government of the nation) is only to the degree that the majority (and those specific institutions (priesthood, theocratic government)) was walking contrary to the Law and covenant.
The prophets remained in covenant with God (that’s why they were the prophets), and were in fellowship with Him through Christ (even in the Old Testament; it was Christ which all the Old types revealed – the old types established by the prophets). For example, Ahab the evil king – who led the nation into idolatry, who drove out the priests and hunted down the prophets – Ahab accused Elijah of being the ‘troubler of Israel.’ In fact it was Ahab who troubled Israel, and Elijah who represented True Israel (1 Kings 18:17 &18) – the prophet was not ‘independant’ he was the rightly instituted authority of the Covenant in the face of the rebellious nation. The entire assumption of this paragraph is misnomer, as though Elijah were ‘independant’ of the worship of the one True God; he was not ‘independant,’ he was a voice calling in the wilderness; it was he alone upholding the covenant, law and priesthood.)
WE RECOGNIZE that prophets do not serve as spiritual fortune tellers or prognosticators, nor is their role to satisfy our curiosity about the future or reveal abstract information. God’s purpose in prophecy is redemptive, calling for repentance, giving supernatural guidance, bringing comfort, deliverance, restoration, and glorifying Jesus as Lord.
WE RECOGNIZE that, due to the nature of prophetic ministry, some prophetic words can be submitted for evaluation before they are delivered while other words will be evaluated after they are delivered. But in all situations, those claiming to speak for God should welcome the godly evaluation of their prophecies.
WE BELIEVE that prophecies should first be tested by the Word, then if the prophetic word is not contrary to the Scriptures, it should be evaluated by other mature leaders. If a prophecy is given in the context of a local church, then mature leaders in that setting should evaluate it. If a prophecy is given in the context of a region or nation, then mature regional or national leaders should be invited to evaluate the word (see 1 Cor. 14:29; 1 Thes. 5:19-21). Those who refuse to have their words tested should not be given a platform.
WE RECOGNIZE that prophets receive supernatural revelation from God, but they are also dependent on other five-fold ministry leaders for the interpretation and application of the revelations they receive. It is the Lord’s will that all these various ministry gifts, including the ministry of the prophet, work in harmony rather than independently. Only then will the Body come into full health and maturity.
WE RECOGNIZE the unique challenges posed by the internet and social media, as anyone claiming to be a prophet can release a word to the general public without any accountability or even responsibility. While it is not possible to stop the flood of such words online, we urge all believers to check the lives and fruit of those they follow online and also see if they are part of a local church body and have true accountability for their public ministries and personal lives. We also urge prophetic ministers posting unfiltered and untested words purportedly from the Lord to first submit those words to peer leaders for evaluation.
I once heard a minister say (its not a political statement, it’s a profound principle): “I think democracy is the best form of government we can find – but, what’s wrong with democracy? What’s wrong with democracy is that sometimes everybody is wrong.”
In scripture, there are numerous examples of everyone being wrong; just read the book of Judges. When everyone is wrong, and their word is law, what happens to anyone who is right? Or even just ‘not wrong with them’?
The above paragraphs are idealistically wonderful. However, in the case the recent maelstrom of false prophecy, those who spoke contrary to the generally accepted narrative of the ‘prophetic’ were rejected by the spirit of fervor in favor of the widespread false prophetic narrative. Anyone who spoke contrary to the narrative purported, or even questioned whether it was from the Lord were rejected by the ‘mature leaders’ of the movement and were not given a platform. This is, therefore, rather hypocritical of a movement which just falsely prophesied the election of a certain leader of one the most powerful nations on the planet. We have to go back to Elijah, and Ahab, here as I pointed out above. If the entire movement has missed God, and rejected any questioning of their ‘prophetic validity’ are those leaders really qualified to assess the words of others?
The structure only perpetuated false prophecy becUse only those affirming and advancing the narrative were given a platform, and anyone who would speak and advance a different narrative was seen as not ‘respecting spiritual authority.’
In fact Elijah is a perfect example to look at the current situation. When the whole of the movement prophesies falsely, who will stand against false prophecy? If you did so in the recent scenerio, the ‘prophets’ with a platform would call you contentious or accuse you of usurping and disrepecting their office and shut you down, or cast you out of their congregation. Or how about prior to that, for we know in part, and we prophesy in part; these false prophecies are born of erroneous doctrine and theological assumptions. How will one hold to account a great organization, or institution which has universally erred – as is the case here? Those who don’t submit to the supplied narrative are not given a platform, and so is perpetuated the same wrong narrative, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HEPPENED in these false Trump prophecies because of political partisanship, and religious faction. so with these standards the statement only further entrenches false prophecies via factional agenda while Elijah shouts in the wilderness unheeded.
Again, the movement, and those involved need to repent and re-align themselves with God’s Word, and His Spirit, not reaffirm the guiding principles, and heirarchical structures that birthed the problem.
Put faith in God, and fear not man.