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True Prophetic Ministry, 11/28/14

"The true prophetic ministry is not to be confused with the spiritual gift of prophecy, which is encouragement and edification.  The true prophetic ministry is not a feel-good ministry, it is an alignment ministry.  The true prophetic ministry is a building ministry, it is a confrontational ministry.  It confronts anything that is not the ultimate divine intention and purpose and will of God.   It is the ministry of divine authority back in the earth.  Its design is a people coming into the realization of the great eternal plan and purpose of God. It is the wise master builder ministry brought back in the earth.  This ministry is designed not to make us feel good but to build us into a holy habitation of God in the Spirit so that God can dwell among us."

-Terry Bennett, 1/25/15

This message is intended to help believers better understand the true nature of the true prophetic ministry.  Many in the body of Christ in America are very confused about this matter.  We need to have an attitude of compassion to our brothers who are confused about what the true prophetic ministry is and pray for them.  But we also need to tell the truth about what is going on.  Although I could name some well known people who exhibit this confusion, I have no desire to shame anyone and I do not feel the need to use an specific example of the confusion that is so prevalent but it is widespread.   Many a minister can receive and pass on a word for the Lord and  considers thereby himself a prophet but God does think he is.  Many are confused and think that if one can move well in the gift of prophecy, that it means they are a prophet.  But that is not biblical at all.  I believe those who suffer from this confusion need the understanding which I am attempting to clarify.  Please understand that I do not mean to pick on anyone personally with this use of this message.   Some are of great fame, with very high profile and their confused teaching is typical of a more widespread problem in the American church where true prophetic ministry is not adequately understood or respected.

Some teach a message is clearly well-intended and sincere but on the whole at all accurate about what true prophetic ministry is about.  They only  teaches accurately about what is the nature of the SPIRITUAL GIFT of prophecy but they confuse it with the OFFICE of prophet.  Let's look at what the scripture says about these to very different uses of the word "prophet":

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[a] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.                           (notice there are nine GIFTS)

Which is something totally different from the OFFICE of prophet:

Ephesians 4:11
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,                              (notice only five OFFICES)

So there are nine gifts and five offices.  So obviously these two uses of the word "prophet" in these two verses do not refer to he same thing at all.

Only the GIFT of prophecy is as these confused teachers teach and operate.  It is a FREE GIFT that requires and produces no maturity.   It is totally different from the OFFICE of prophet which is a role of tremendous authority and requires great maturity.  True OFFICE of prophet leaders are extremely mature believers who walk so closely with God that he considers them his most personal, intimate friends:

Isaiah 41:8
“But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of [the prophet] Abraham My friend.

It does not require anywhere near that kind of intimacy with God and maturity to operate in the GIFT of prophecy.  Any baby christian who has been baptized in the Spirit can do it and doing it won't make them any more spiritual. These teachers have confused the GIFT and the OFFICE as if they were one thing but they need to be kept separate.  The ability to function in the GIFT of prophecy does not at all make one a prophet, not even close.  I have seen on Youtube a man who is very high profile say that a "New Testament prophet does not judge sin."  This only true in a season when God is not speaking from the throne about judging sin.  But if God is speaking from the throne about sin(like is beginning now in America) to the people, it will most definitely come to them through a true OFFICE of prophet voice:

Amos 3:7-8New King James Version (NKJV)
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?

And there are plenty of New Testament accounts of prophets judging sin.  Let's take a look a few of them from the the very early times of the church era:

Acts 5:1-11New King James Version (NKJV)
Lying to the Holy Spirit
5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

So we see that Peter, who most definitely was a New Testament OFFICE of prophet, was most clearly led of he Lord to judge the sin of Ananias and Sapphira.  He did not only name the sin directly but he was also the vessel of God's judgment against the sin.   Stephen named and judged sin it too:

Acts 7:51-53New King James Version (NKJV)
Israel Resists the Holy Spirit
51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

If that's not calling out and judging sin I don't know what is.  Although, in fairness one might question whether Stephen was a prophet, I hope no one would questions whether what he said came from the Holy Spirit, so obviously the Spirit still judges sin since the era of the New Testament.  And then there was Paul, another unquestionable OFFICE of prophet:

Acts 13:8-11New King James Version (NKJV)
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”  And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

So, Paul, like Peter, not only directly named and judged the sin but was used or the Lord to bring a judgment against the sinner's person.  The bible says  ath deciding matters requires two or three witnesses:

2 Corinthians 13:1
... “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”

The three clear scriptural witnesses we have just examined should be more than enough to convince anyone who is being honest about this question.  So clearly we see that the teaching that New Testament prophets don't judge sin simply is not biblical.

So the OFFICE of prophet carries the function of speaking the oracles of God from the throne of God to the people of the earth, whatever God wants to say, whenever he wants to say it.  It comes with the authority of the throne behind it because that is the source of the word.  This is something very different from the GIFT of prophecy at work.  I hope we can all see the difference between these kids of words.  Some simple little personal message like:  " The Lord has shown me that you will meet your future spouse by the end of this year" comes from the GIFT of prophecy.  This kind of message, although from the Lord is not some weighty matter requiring tremendous authority.  Any immature believer who has learned to operate in the gift can deliver it.  But when God wants to speak to heads of state about what they need to do to lead their nation in a godly direction or that they are about to be judged or something of that nature, it requires a vessel of great maturity and authority.  That is the difference between the GIFT of Prophecy and the OFFICE of a prophet.

Another function of the OFFICE of prophet is that of highly authoritative leadership that sustains and preserves the people of God through times of great change and hardship:

Hosea 12:13
By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, And by a prophet he was preserved.

The account of how God raised up Joseph to store the grain and provide food for all the people of that part of the world is a beautiful outworking of the principle of the preservational function of a true prophet.  Surely we can see that this kind of assignment from God is one of tremendous responsibility.  I hope we can all see that this requires great maturity and intimacy with God to get the precise guidance from the throne that God wants the prophet to lead the people in.  This is obviously not a function of any particular free-money spiritual GIFT like prophecy but one of relationship and favor with God where he trusts the prophet to carry out his word to lead the people in the way God desires.  This kind of maturity is only reached by consistent, extended, ever deepening total surrender to God in such a way that an intimate friendship is developed with him in which he trains the prophet as a favored, authoritative son and out of which he can bring an end that is in keeping with his will for his people.  I hope we can see hos much deeper this is than being able to hear the Holy Spirit tell us some word of encouragement or a personal prophecy of what God is going to do in someone's future, as is the function of the GIFT of prophecy.

Knowing who are the True Prophets Of God and listening to them is a very important part of life with God and essential to our prosperity:

2 Chronicles 20:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 …Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

Not doing so always leads to disaster.  It contributed mightily to Israel's judgment of being taken into captivity in Babylon and repentance for it was necessary for restoration to occur:

Daniel 9:8-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

We have done the very same thing in America are in very deep trouble from not listening to the true prophets.  We need to learn to honor and Respect the Prophets.  Our failure to do so so far is nothing new to the ways of the people of God who historically do not listen to the true prophets but prefer the word of self-proclaimed prophets who tickle their itching ears with messages that stroke and coddle the flesh and do not result in true repentance and holiness, which is always God's goal.  This is the pattern that got Israel judged and taken off to Babylon and only Daniel's confession and repentance of that sin and the others began the process of restoration to begin for when they were released to return to Israel:

Daniel 9:8-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

So, we see the very great Importance of Listening to the Prophets, and Respecting The Prophets, the true OFFICE of prophet leaders, not just those who know how to function in the spiritual GIFT of prophecy. There are very dire consequences of not following the true prophets.  And so is it is with us in America as a nation: there will be no relief for us without true repentance and that includes proper honoring and submission to true prophetic ministry through the True Prophets Of God.

For the best teaching on what is the true prophetic ministry check out Neville Johnson and Terry Bennett at their website and on Youtube.   Please listen to the first 50 minutes of this Terry Bennett Message.  And please visit our page True Prophets Of God, to learn about some other true OFFICE of prophet men of God.  And pray for leaders who are teaching the very confused and inadequate messages about what the prophetic ministry really is.

God bless everyone and may we all be found in line with God's order for the church under the authority of the prophets as time moves along.

-Stephen Pursell, 11/28/14