Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
June 2016

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.
Ephesians 4:11

 The Greek word for Prophets is “Prophetes,” which appears in Ephesians 4:11 it is a Greek masculine noun. A masculine noun is one that identifies a specific person.  In this case, one who is specifically called to speak forth or openly proclaim a divine message. This use of the masculine voice shows that these offices are for “some” or for “specific individuals.” They are not for everyone!

In the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament Scriptures, a prophet is often referred to as a seer, it is the Hebrew word Roeh (1st Samuel 9:9). Roeh suggests that the prophet is one who has an intimate relationship with God, and one who can see and touch God’s heart. The Septuagint also translates the word Nabhi as prophet. This word means one in whom the message from God bubbles up or springs forth or one to whom anything can be secretly communicated. Therefore, the prophet is one upon whom the Spirit of God rests (Numbers 11:17–19), and also one to whom and through God speaks (Numbers 12:2; Amos 3:7–8).

A Prophet has a tremendous responsibility to speak God’s message only in divine truth. Divine truth must emanate out of the divine love of God’s nature or it is not divine truth.  Have no doubt that a prophet’s message can originate from the Almighty and be presented in truth, but be presented outside the loving expression of God’s nature or His will and this truly divine message will go unheeded. If God’s message is not delivered with the heart of God at the center, it will fail to become truth to those who hear it. Proverbs 13:17 (RV) says that “A wicked messenger falls into evil: but a faithful ambassador is health.” The Revised Standard Version puts it this way. “A bad messenger plunges men into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.” A prophet needs to know more than what to say. He also needs to understand how to say it! No true prophet of God wants to use a hammer when a simple fly-swatter will do.

God also proclaims His messages in different ways. Look at Hebrews 1:1, which says that “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.” God most often speaks with gentleness and kindness (1st Kings 17:11–13), but sometimes He also speaks with discipline and rebuke (Numbers 20:11:12, Ezekiel 33:2–9). A prophet of God must know how to speak God’s message as much as He knows what message to speak. He will be held just as accountable for what he says as how he says it (Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 13).  Therefore, a prophet must be a man of prayer. It is only through constant prayer that a man of God can get the mind of Christ. A prophet must also be a man of the Word. He must be one that reads and rereads God’s word. Knowing God’s Word enables a prophet to use those parts of the Word that apply only to a given situation.

Prophets are given the right to express God’s mercy as well as God’s wrath (Ref. 1st Kings 13:1-5). This is a substantial responsibility. A prophet must make sure he senses and follows exactly the Spirit’s leading and to deny his own self.  Much of what is revealed to a prophet can create havoc, fear, panic and unnecessary hardship if told improperly. Can you imagine what the results would be if a message was spoken to the wrong person or people when it was not meant to be spoken?  For God often uses demonstrations, not words (Ezekiel 4, Matthew 7:6), and sometimes God reveals His design to a person for the sole purpose of intercessory prayer (Genesis 18: 17~). To know exactly what God requires is the most critical and important responsibilities of a Prophet.

Another responsibility of a prophet is to make sure that the message is not deluded by sentiment or emotion. His anger, love, joy or sadness, or the wishes of the people can improperly affect a prophet’s ability to hear the message and relate it properly. The prophet’s emotions can affect the hearing of the message in its entirety, or the delivery of the message itself. It is seriously important therefore, for a prophet to adhere to the first Word God gives him. He should never change it or veer from it in any way due to sentiment or emotion.

There is a story in 1st Kings 13:11–23 about a young prophet who veered from God’s first Word of instruction because another “man of God” encouraged him. Because of disobedience, the young prophet was killed by a lion. If the young prophet had only obeyed God’s first orders, and not allowed the influence, courtesy, and kindness of the older prophet to influence him, the young prophet would not have died.

Simply put, but not so simply accomplished, a prophet must not alter, rationalize, or stray from the message God gives him. He should obey whatever God places upon him, and then let the mercy of the cross release his heart. If a prophet tries to alter the remedy God has deemed necessary, it is sin! A prophet is simply a spokesman for God. He speaks what God tells him to speak the way God wants it spoken and to whom God requires it spoken. Nothing else! As Bob Mumford the founder and Director of “Life Changers” Inc. once said, “If we fix the fix God has fixed to fix us, God will only have to fix another fix to fix us.”[i]

As well as being a spokesman or mouthpiece for God, the Old Testament Scriptures commonly call prophets “Watchmen.” Being a watchman to the body of Christ is a significant characteristic of their ministry (Ezekiel 3:17, 33:7). The prophet was called a watchman because he functioned in the spiritual realm just as the literal watchmen did in the natural realm. Natural watchmen were stationed at specific posts on the walls of the city. This position gave them the visibility to watch for the king or other members of nobility to announce their coming. They were also to look for enemies from without, or disorder arising within the city, or camp. These watchmen were especially trained to be able to distinguish the enemy from their brethren.

Prophets are men and women of God who mainly operate in the Spiritual realm. They are called and trained by God for several purposes. They are to recognize the enemy, his ways, his deceptions, and to boldly proclaim what God shows them to God’s people. Then he is to direct God’s people in the direction often called the “straight and narrow road that leads to life” (Matthew 7:13). His authority, however, has its limits.

Prophets were not the elders at the gates, nor did they have the authority to open or close the gates of a city, neither did they have the authority to mobilize the militia against the enemy. Their job was to communicate what they saw to those who had that authority. That is why they could not be overly prone to sound the alarm, or to request that the gates be opened. They had to be accurate in their discernment, because if there were too many false alarms the people would begin to disregard them. If they were careless and let an enemy through the gate, they could jeopardize the entire city. Therefore, this was an extremely crucial position for which accuracy and dependability was essential and required of the prophets.[ii]

The Prophet’s ministry has been given to the Church, but it can only function properly if it is correctly interconnected with the other ministries (Ephesians 4:11). All these ministries are still being restored today to their true Biblical place. The watchman’s ministry cannot function properly until the other ministries have taken their proper place first. Therefore, it is our duty as members of the Body of Christ to find our God appointed places, and position ourselves there. This will bring order and blessings to the Body of Christ, increasing its power and authority accordingly.

The three Biblical positions of the watchmen in the Old Testament were.

1. On the walls of the city (Isaiah 62:6–7).

2. Walking about in the city (Song of Solomon 3:3).

3. On the hills or countryside outside the city (Jeremiah 31:6).

If we look at these positions and relate them to the Body of Christ and the Church, they will provide us with a practical picture of the operation of the Prophets ministry.  Prophets who were placed on the walls of the city had an elevated perspective. That position enables them to see both outside and inside the city. These men were trained to recognize both the enemy and their brethren from great distances, though they had no authority to confront either. They simply gave their information to the elders who sat in the gates. Only the elders of the city had the authority to command the gates opened or closed or to sound the alarm.

The watchman appointed to walk about inside the city could observe activity within the walls more intimately. These were specifically trained to make a way for the king or the nobility who were passing through or to recognize and reveal and/or confront disorder or unlawful behavior. They could apprehend violators, but they could not impose sentences. Sentences could only come from the elders of the city.

The watchmen on the hills patrolled the borders and countryside. They could see upcoming situations, both good or bad, the enemy or nobility long before they arrived in the city. They, too, were specially trained to distinguish their countrymen from foreigners or from their enemies who came as traders or ambassadors. These Watchmen like the others did not have the authority to call for a mobilization of the defenses or to let foreigners freely pass. Their job was only to communicate what they saw to the elders who were the only ones that had such authority.

In Revelation 21:2, the bride of the Lamb is referred to as a city. Therefore relating that to the position of watchmen today, the “city” would be indicative of the church, including either a local congregation or the Church universal. The Lord has called individuals whose main function is to be a watchman in each of these three places in and around the Church. He has some whose only purpose is to be watching within the Church for the movement of the King, to make a way for Him, and to recognize and report disorder, or unlawful behavior to the elders. There are some who have been given such a place of vision that they can see both inside and outside the city. There are also watchmen whose main calling is to roam around as scouts in the world. They are the ones who look out for false teachers and teachings, heretical doctrines, cults, new and old, on the horizon or rising up in the midst of the sheep. They are there to detect persecution before it breaks out against the body of Christ, or even wolves in the midst of God’s people.[iii]

Isaiah 62:6–7 states that the function of the watchman is to pray and to guard. This is crucial to understand because most discernment will come through prayer. In Ezekiel 3:17, the watchmen were to hear from the Lord and only warn the people. This is where many who are called as watchmen depart from their course. Their downfall begins when they begin looking for the enemy more than they look to the Lord. Both their vision and discernment then become distorted. Remember the watchman’s ministry is a spiritual one. True spiritual vision is in the spiritual realm. The spiritual realm is entered only through much prayer, fasting and worship. The first principle of this ministry is that more than looking for the enemy; the watchman must be in constant communication with the Lord. Jeremiah 6:17; Isaiah 21:5–10 and Habakkuk 2:1–3 address this aspect of the watchman’s ministry.

One of the basic functions of the Prophetic ministry, which is often overlooked but is desperately needed, is to “know the times in which they live” (Isaiah 21:11–12). Therefore, as we proceed toward the end of this age, timing will become increasingly critical in all that we do. We must pray for the Lord to raise up in the last day sons of Issachar who have understanding of the times, to know what Israel (God’s people) ought to do (Ref. 1st Chronicles 12:32).

Dear Lord, help us to recognize the times and the seasons, and be prepared for what we are shown in the upcoming days, Amen!

Asaph, who was one of the psalmists, in one of his most desperate lamentations for Israel, his under siege nation wrote, “We do not see our signs; There is no longer any prophet; nor is there any among us who knows how long” (Psalm 74:9). The Lord wants His people to know when He is going to move, when judgment is coming, and when the enemy will come.  God declares this truth in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” This is an essential aspect of the prophetic ministry that must be recovered and repositioned correctly in the Body of Christ. If not, we will continue to pay for it with unnecessary defeats and catastrophes.

We would do well to ask the same question that Job asked, “Since times are not hidden from the Almighty, Why do those who know Him see not His days [timing] (Job 24:1). If one reads the rest of Job 24, it is almost a commentary on the present condition of much of the Body of Christ. When we fail to recognize the timing of the Lord, even our spiritual guidelines and boundaries become blurred and we fall into diverse temptations.  Therefore; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1st Peter 5:8).

Pastors and elders will never function on the level of authority in which they are called; until the watchmen takes the burdens upon themselves that they have been called to carry and the Pastors and elder recognize and welcome that calling and authority. Until a scriptural relationship between leaders and watchmen is established, the watchmen cannot function properly, and our leaders will continue to be needlessly blind-sided by the enemy.

Paul talked about how careful he was to stay within the realm of authority that had been appointed to him (2nd Corinthians 10:12–14). He knew that if he positioned himself outside the limits that God had set for him, he would be vulnerable to the enemy. He also knew that the Church that includes babies as well as mature saints would also be in grave danger, because they could receive wrong direction and leadership unless they were under the watchful eyes of a true prophet of God. Let the Church of God be aware of these two most important safety measures. First, leaders must learn to let the watchmen do what they are called to do. Second, watchman must learn that it is their job to simply transmit information shown to them by God, not to dictate policy.

One last thing about Prophets, a watchman who is appointed to patrol out in the world (researching cults, political or philosophical trends, etc.) will become a stumbling block if he tries to watch what is going on in the Church, for that is outside his realm of authority. Similarly, those who are given to watch over the Church can develop paranoia if they start watching what is going on in the world. It is hard for watchmen to stay within their realm of authority, but it is absolutely necessary that they do just that. When they do not, the consequences will usually be negative.

Finally, it is a dangerous thing for us to exalt these messengers beyond the place where God has placed them. On the other hand, it is also dangerous for us not to recognize the authority that God has given to them. This exaltation or non-recognition may cause us not to receive the messenger or the message the prophet is carrying from of the Lord.

The foolishness of Ananias and Sapphira was that they failed to recognize what authority was working in Peter (Acts 5:1–12). Peter was no longer just a fisherman; he was a vessel filled with the Holy Spirit. That lack of recognition led to a lie that caused them to be judged. Realize also that Ananias and Sapphira were not punished by the believers or the elders. They were killed by God! The Bible says that great fear fell on the Church because of the divine judgment God brought upon them. Dear Lord, let us have reverential fear because of your mercy, not because of your judgment, but help us to recognize the reality of your judgement before any actions we may consider taking.

Today, ministers have fallen to what may be an all-time low in the esteem of the world. This could be a deadly trap when the Lord again raises men of true apostolic and prophetic authority. The greater the light one has, the greater the judgment that will come upon him (Luke 12:48). When we honor the Lord’s messengers, we are not unduly honoring men. We are, however, honoring the Lord. Just as the honor that we give to a country’s ambassador reflects the respect that we have for his government. If we allow the darkness of cynicism that prevails in the world today to influence the Church, we will pay a terrible price when the Lord reveals His servants or Himself.

Beloved, the best is yet to come. What we are about to see cannot be credited to man. No amount of money or special promotions can make it happen. The Lord is going to anoint people in these last days placing them in their proper positions unifying the corporate body to work like a well-oiled machine with each well-positioned part working in humility and power. These parts will yield to one another so the Lord can have his way in His His people. Only then will we see the kind of authority and power in which Elijah walked. We will see the kind of victory that Elijah saw over the false prophets and false Gods. Only then will we see a returning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. And only then will we also see a great spiritual generation depart to be with the Lord. They will go in glory and leave a generation behind that has twice as much power, and authority as they did, but only if we truly desire it (2nd Kings 2:9).

There is a spiritual principle through which spiritual authority passes. This principle is found through the humility to honor those to whom honor is due. We must see the Lord’s authority in those He has appointed, even when they do not meet our human expectations. Our obedience to that principle determines how much authority we can be trusted with. Our obedience to that principle will determine how much fruit we will leave behind. Finding and flowing in God’s divine principle is therefore imperative for those who would serve the purpose of God in their generation. May God show us those whom He has ordained to be servants on our behalf and give them the respect they deserve. Open our ear’s dear Lord to listen, our hearts to hear, and our wills to obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

[i] Bob Mumford, Agape Road: Journey to Intimacy with the Father, (LifeChangers Library, Destiny Image Publishers).

[ii] Rick Joyner, Morning Star Journal, V01.5, No. 2, (Morning Star Publications, 1995).

[iii] Rick Joyner, Morning Star Journal, V01.5, No. 2, (Morning Star Publications, 1995).

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