Prepared for the Times – How to recognise a prophet

jesusWe see in Revelation 2:20 that Jezebel calls herself a prophetess. We must beware of those who are so small spiritually that they have to promote themselves or seek to use high titles for recognition.

I have been privileged to know a few who walk in true prophetic ministries of biblical stature, and not one of them was concerned about being known as a prophet. As Leonard Ravenhill once told me, You dont have to advertise a fire. If you have the goods, you do not have to promote yourself.

Jesus said in John 7:18: He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

The Greek word that is translated glory here is doxa and could have been translated recognition. Both of these words are appropriate. When our motives are to seek our own glory, or recognition, we will not be true messengers of God. If we are going to be used as prophets, we must have the motive of seeking to do Gods will and turn people to Him, not to ourselves.

To help prophetic people with these motives, prophets are rarely recognized as such until after they are dead and no longer a threat. Most prophets must endure constant persecution, accusations, and threats just as we see in the life of the ultimate Prophet, Jesus. Therefore, a true prophets acceptance and encouragement must come from the recognition of God, not men.

Another nearly constant problem for true prophets are the false prophets and pseudo prophets, whose constant troubling of issues and people are usually blamed on all prophets. The Scriptures make it clear that we are doing the right thing to put those who come with such titles to the test. If we are truly sent by God, we should not mind these testsbut rather appreciate them as being more for the benefit of those who are true.

The first test I use is the following: Are they coming with the royal dignity, grace, and wisdom of our King? As the Scriptures also make clear, prophets can be quite strange, but there is nevertheless a certain royal dignity that comes with the true royal messengers. It is hard to define, but when we learn to recognize it, it becomes easy to recognize.

Of course, the messengers of the King are not the King, and we cannot expect them to be perfect. Even the Apostle Paul said to the Galatians that he knew that his flesh was a trial to them, commended them for seeing past that, and receiving him as if he were an angel, or messenger, of God.

Having known many of the significant Christians of our times, I have always been struck by how those with the most substance always care the least about titles, or themselves being honoured, but are rather more devoted to honouring others, especially those they have been sent to. They treat the bride of Christ as the queen that she is. They treat Gods people as the royalty that they are, and they come more to honour than to be honoured. Reproduced from Morning Star Ministries with permission.

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