What makes a prophet? What makes a false prophet?
Comment by Adamantine:
I am hopeful this commentary will spark some comment by others. I would appreciate challenge on this topic.
A prophet is one who foretells the future. I do not abide the definition that a prophet is one who “forth tells” the truth”. Preaching the truth of the Gospel in a manner that puts the truth before the public is important and part of the job description of a prophet but not one of the prophets of the Old Testament was labeled as such unless their ministry also included a telling of the future in a manner that was to be used of God in His ministry. What should we make of a person who claims to be a prophet but then never functions as one? I would think such a person to be sorrowfully deluded and unfortunate. They would be deserving of pity. Imagine a teacher who has never taught and a fireman who has never put out a fire. Consider someone who claimed to be a surgeon but who had never been to surgery school and never performed surgery. We might pity them as we pity someone who claimed to be Napoleon but had never been to war. What about the opposite? What do we make of someone who leads an army into battle but claims not to be a general? What do we think of a person who performs surgery on people but claims not to be a surgeon? In both cases we wait in desperate suspense to see the outcome of their actions. We might applaud them but if the battle is lost or the patient dies I think we know one will be on the way to jail and the other as likely as not to be hung from the battlements.
Now what do we make of a person who prophesies but claims not to be a prophet? If they are wrong is there any detriment and if they are correct is there any reward? The answer in each case is no and yes?
The real problem is that the actual question should be is there a reward if they are never seen to be right or wrong? The answer is yes !
In the world of the religious nearly all wish to hear from God and if someone speaks as if they have heard from God even if they say they are not prophets they draw a crowd. This would be ok if the people drawing these crowds did not make a living off of such claims.
I object to ministries that tell us their dreams and visions all the while they claim to be no prophets and yet they receive the prophets hire. In addition they have not heard from God (if they have heard from God in a manner which will allow us too ever know if they had truly heard from God.) It seems like a scam to me.
I have said I am unaware if I am a prophet. I will need to wait and see. I have said I think it possible that God has shown me the date of THE California earthquake to be 11/11/11. Now if that is not hoaky for a date I do not know what is. I will likely be shown to be wrong. In the meantime no one will be giving me money or putting anything towards a ministry that I support or that supports me. I say let those who claim to see the destruction of NYC or California come forward with a way to be proven right or wrong or get out of the habit of accepting ministry funding from Christians who like to hear the prophetic and are naive enough to never accept proof.
A false prophet is not one who is wrong ( That might be Jonah) but one who intentionally profits from prophecy whether right or wrong.
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