| Reasons for the failure of prophetic movements|
Hello my friends
Most of you won't remember me but I was quite actively involved in Sermon Index discussions about 5 year ago. In fact it can be said the even on the forum I was involved in a prophetic movement of sorts. I say "of sorts" because obviously we were not in physical contact we could only share testimonies of our experiences and not demonstrate them. So it came to pass that my brother and I (I lived with him in the United States at the time, he was actually my brother-in-law) would share experiences, prophecies and comment on the threads on the forum.
The last prophecy which my brother shared was on a massive scale and it did not come to pass. He prophesied the date of a major bombing in New York and Washington DC. My close fellowship with him and sharing in some of his experiences caused me to publically back him on this word. He gave this word to everyone we knew even apart from the forum. Obviously this did not come to pass and the effects on us as young prophets was devastating (we both have prophetic callings which God is still anointing us for, if we faithfully continue to receive his grace we will serve as prophets some day).
Subsequently, we both became very disillusioned but for me I had returned to Africa to serve God in ministry, prophetic ministry (as a side note, there are three levels of prophecy that I have observed: prophetic gift 1cor12, prophetic ministry Romans 12 and prophetic office Eph 4). So the momentum from being actively involved in ministry work, seeing people getting healed, delivered from demons and witchcraft (very common here) and prophecies coming to pass, that momentum kept me from being too discouraged by the failed prophecy.
It is because of this that I began to actively pray into and do research on why most prophetic movements have ended in failure. For the past 5 years I have directly and indirectly (based on my own experience as someone with a prophetic calling) as to why most of these moves have ended in excess or failure.
Given my background on the subject, my opinion is of necessity a biased one but as such it gives insight into some of these moves. For example, it is my opinion that one of the reasons for failure is that we as a church do not have adequate support structures for young prophets. Part of he reason for this is, I believe we may have over romantized the role of the prophet up to a point where we fail to recognise that a prophet is also a man of like passions and also begins his journey as a baby Christian. A baby Christian lacks experience in the word and in righteousness.
As I alluded to earlier one does not just become a prophet over night, but sadly that is the overwhelming expectation. There are so many support structures in the church for pastors, teachers and evangelists. Indirectly there is such a wealth of books for pastors, teachers and evangelists, not only currentl but from throughout church history. Sadly there are very few reputable prophets in our history as church. No not since Agabus have we had a good New Testament example of a prophet and examples from his life are not very detailed. There is in fact, in the church a subtle hostility towards those who claim to be prophets. My use of the word "claim" does not betray my belief in the prophetic but I wish to call our attention to the fact that everyone who has a calling begins with a claim. We as church should not be suprised or annoyed by claims to any ministry but rather we should expect it if we are to get our act together before the Lord's return. Like it or not it is our responsibility to groom these young arrogant ones.
Yes, I did say "arrogant" because I must admit that the prophetic gift may produce pride in a baby Christian. One can nurture and appreciate the gift more than the Christian wielding it. As a result the gift may grow while the spirituality wanes. Without expounding too much, this happens when the congregation chooses to make the young prophet a king by force. Most cannot posses the foresight to trun down the elevation afforded by those who want to see the gift in action.
The pride we've spoken about should be expected and destroyed with love and humility. It is the baby Christians that a haughty and brash, the mature are gentle and meek. Let us not be overly offended by baby Christians. I think we sometimes forget that some of these people are babes in Christ because of their gifting. It occurred to me now that I should make it clear that I am not defending all prophetic moves, or specific current ones but I speak for the sake of future moves. Baby prophets need more teaching of the word, and much more mentoring and preparation time before they are fit for public consumption.
There is not enough information on different degrees of prophetic anointing and different types of prophecy. Not all prophets posses the same type of gifting but each type has different uses and limitations.
I have touched on this enormous subject very generally so as to leave room for comments or questions.
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
| 2010/12/2 16:03||Profile|
| Re: Reasons for the failure of prophetic movements|
I disagree. Today more than ever before are we bombarded with information on what it means to be a prophet. There are no lack of books on the subject, websites, conferences or schools. Information is everywhere.
The reason I think we see most prophetic movements "fail" today is because most prophetic ministries lack a genuine revelation of the Jesus Christ and the gospel that He preached. Additionally, those in prophetic circles are almost entirely lacking in the character that is supposed to accompany such a ministry.
As a result of lacking a clear revelation and understanding of this, there exists a great deal of boredom amongst those who claim to be prophetic. Jesus and the gospel simply are not enough for them. Instead of seeking to proclaim that old time religion, there is this constant seeking for some sort of novel revelation and word, making grand predictions about future events, and a scary fascination with personal words of prophecy.
Thus, desiring to play the role of a prophet, and lacking the Christ-like Biblical character that accompanies such ministry, people by the bushel have begun to prophesy the imaginations of their hearts, instead of a clear word that comes straight from heaven, that reflects the mind of Christ.
The reason prophets prophesy falsely is because their hearts are corrupt. According to Christ, one speaks out of of the abundance of the heart. Words reveal character and spiritual stature. So, when a prophet "misses it," it's because they are amiss. It's not because they've not had the right education regarding their gifting, or any such nonsense. They miss it because they are not in right standing before the Lord. For if they were, they would speak a pure word. But their hearts are not pure, so therefore, they can't.
I would challenge you to read the following two letters I wrote not too long ago:
A Letter to a False Prophet in the Church - http://christthinks.com/2010/09/24/a-letter-to-a-false-prophet-in-the-church/
A Letter to a Prophet in the Church
| 2010/12/2 17:59||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: |
KingJimmy I agree. Thanks for sharing.
| 2010/12/2 18:58||Profile|
Las Vegas, NV
| Re: Reasons for the failure of prophetic movements|
I have noticed this same attitude of Prophecy essentially becoming a trial-and-error spirituality. The gifts of the Spirit are being interpreted as spiritual muscles that just need to be exercised until they start working right. However, I have never had the pleasure of seeing a false prophet exposed in these movements, but I have seen many, many people accused of lacking faith in those prophets and being disobedient to the "word of God" spoken by them.
From my own experience the general theme of Prophecy coming from these movements comes in two flavors:
1) "I had a dream, I had a dream!" Prophecies
(See Jeremiah 23)
2) Horoscope Prophecies
These are the more generic positive-thinking Prophecies. Instead of simply giving the Word as it stands, like a Devotional, which easily apply to every Christian, it comes packaged in a dramatic "God is telling me to tell you ...", etc., as if this person is directly receiving Divine Inspiration on the matter. It seems that declaring the Word of the Lord as revealed to the Prophets of old is neither entertaining nor divine enough anymore.
| 2010/12/2 18:58||Profile|
| Re: |
Just because somebody recieves a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom or operates in the discerning of spirits or manifests one of various gifts of healing or has been given the gift of faith etc. . .does not make them a prophet.
Dreams cannot be trusted and generalities edify no believer.
The immense dynamo of power available to EVERY believer comes in walking even as Jesus Christ walked. Let a person prophecy according to the faith(fulness) they have recieved walking as He walked.
The Spirit of God works His will in His time for His purpose, even as Jesus prophecied, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you, and when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
- Of sin, because they believe not on me;
- Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
- Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
HE SHALL GLORIFY ME: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Foretelling does not prove and never has been the proof that one is a prophet. If a word of knowledge does come to pass, it MIGHT indicate one is a prophet. If it doesn't, it isn't a word of knowledge at all, it certainly is not from Christ Jesus, and it proves that the message spoken was not prophecy at all.
Prophecy serves to Glorify Jesus Christ. If it does not conform to this ultimatum, it is false.
Prophecy is to encourage, exhort, and admonish the children of God BY WHATEVER AVENUE IT MANIFESTS.
Plain and simple, a prophet is one who continually proclaims the righteousness of God, namely Jesus Christ. In this proclamation of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected is the power of God, and here is where God validates the message of the prophet often confirming the Word of God through various signs and wonders.
This is all spoken from personal experience, after being called into this office, and against my fleshly chmoosing
When Paul was read, saying, "Pray that you may prophecy," i did just the opposite (at the time) wanting nothing to do with such (and thinking a prophet- from what had been seen- was just another way of saying "nut job."
God gave me the giftings appropriate and then (virtually) shoved me into the office.
(As far as the operation of gifts work here, the discerning of spirits predominates, and the others work according to His Spirit's unction. None of these thing operate according to how i dictate and i cannot turn them on and off at will. More often than not, the discerning of spirits leads into worshipping Jesus and then intercession. After this, through the gift of faith following His speaking to me, things are spoken and done accordingly.
It's prayed these words add to and promote this discussion and do not stifle honesty, openness, and transparency in those partaking in this thread.
Shalom and grace to you,
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. 9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
| 2010/12/2 21:34|
| Re: Reasons for the failure of prophetic movements|
I am so glad you brought this subject up. recently I was watching GodTV. It was a revival service with the pastor from the Brownsville revival.
As I was watching the music was great but when speakeers would get up they would have a word from God in prophecy.
My heart would sink.
More music and another prophecy. again my heart would sink with sadness. I am not talking about my physical heart but my spiritual heart. I don't know why? I am not one to judge anothers gift or callings.
I really wanted to hear the message from the old brownsville revival pastor. He began talking about how next week would be the last week this year for the revival. But it would beggin again in January at another location. this is the point when I turn off the tv.
I have such sorrow in my heart about this. I prayed to God about why this is. I have recieved from the Lord about this and it is "true Revival can't be schedualed".
When true revival starts it is like a match on dry straw. the poeple will spread the word through out the community.
I believe there are prophets. How many are there on the earth today? It seems that there are millions of them. When I see a prophetic confrence on the internet or on tv, it seems almost every one there are prophets.
How can this be? If there are so many prophets on the earth today, why hasn't the world been evangelized?
I am still reading when I can a book called "The Seer" by Jim Goll. Acording to Jim, almost anyone can say they are a prophet, if they have opened eye visions, dream visions ect.
Now I have had open eye visions (that have come to pass and some that are begining to come to pass). I have had dreams of Heaven and spiritual thing since I was a little boy. I have seen demonic spirits and heard the voices of heavenly Angels. I have even been touched by an Angel of God before.
I have had a word from the Lord concerning another person that I didn't know and it came to pass.
Even after all of this I still do not consider myself a prophet. I have been called to the ministry, but I do not believe at this point I have been called to be a prophet and may never be.
I do believe that I am working in the Gifts of the Spirit and Annointing.
Can you explain this?why aare ther so many Prophets today than there were in the entire Bible?
| 2010/12/2 21:53||Profile|
| Re: yes indeed... But not quite|
Thank you all for answering so honestly and openly. I know the people on this forum are serious God-fearing people and don't post lightly the things they do. I have in fact remained on SI reading the posts over the years and mostly downloading sermons. It is as KingJimmy said, there are many teachings on the subject which I myself enjoy for example from Art Katz, A. W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Zac Poonen, Austin T. Sparks, David Wilkerson and so on and so on. I want to phrase myself very carefully here so I'm not misunderstood. I love these men of God and I still listen to them almost everyday and no doubt I will continue to listen to them as they are mature holy men of God who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. However on the subject of the prophetic, it is precisely sermons from these men I respect so much that have made my journey that much more difficult.
I must explain myself. In summary I would say that most sermons on the subject are based on the old-Testament model of a prophet. This is a very general summary but, I hope, a sufficient one. The new Testament prophet is very different from the old Testament one. In the new testament for example, Christians are never meant to live in the romanticized loneliness. Where are one body whether one member has a gifting or not, we should have healthy fellowship consistantly.
In the old Testament, the prophet was frequently not only the the lone man with public anointing in the Nation but also in in the whole world. Everything that God wanted to express publically to Israel or the world for that matter would be through this single prophet. There were no pastors, teachers, evangelists or apostles even to back up the man of God. That was it all rolled up into one. For this reason the anointing level on their lives had to be much, much higher.
How frequently do we here of someone in the new Testament receiving their calling like Ezekiel who had visions of God as his call into ministry. Sure there are divine encounters these days but not of the same magnitude and not as a calling.
The anointing upon these men had to be stronger also because of the lack of anointing within. They did not have the risen and ascended life of Christ and thus their anointing upon (which is the spiritual gifting) had to make up for the lack of having Jesus in the heart of these servants.
Moses was so anointed in fact that when he said that he was overwhelmed God took the very anointing on him and placed it on 70 others! They did not need a new outpouring but the anointing on Moses was in essence strong enough to gift 70 men at once and still have plently left over to see the glory of God.
My argument also, let me reiterate, is not in defense of some public ministries which have failed, that's another thread altogether he we want to discuss that. My thrust is actually aimed at the younger ministries, many of which will never see the light of day. I am saying that as a church our support structures are not adequate. I have over the years ministered to many young people with prophetic gifts and all too often I can see that they are just doomed and will never get the help they need.
Every Christian offer character and holiness, not just the prophets. Remember we're talking of young prophets here not just the public ones. In my own experience I went to many, many pastors and men of God to get advice for the prophetic but the overwhelming response was one of, "you know you may not actually have a calling at all, just a gift operating". These days I'm experiencing the other extreme of having people literally stalking me.
Apparently as young man I didn't quite look like a prophet so everyone dismissed me, also my gifting wasn't strong enough at the time to prove that God was speaking to me. It is in light of this that I feel the church is not prepared as a whole for prophetic movements. Now the other extreme is even worse, once the gift in a young prophet's life takes off there is so much hype and it's hard for young christian to handle that without falling into error. Suddenly everyone becomes a "yes man". Selah.
Sonsigns, thank you for your contribution. You are am example of exactly what I'm talking about. You've had experiences that are awesome for us as church but you tell me where do you go to discuss meeting an angel. The only people who talk about the subject can be so extreme and so lacking in character that you really wonder what to do. There are for instance, three levels of visions. Inner vision (almost like you're imaging things), open vision (where you see the spirit realm and natural realm with the same intensity) and closed vision (where you are completely unaware of the natural realm such as out-of-body experiences). One needs training in these areas as they all have different laws of operation.
Another spoke of differences between having a word and having am office. Let me explain my understanding on the subject briefly. There are prophetic gifts which anyone can have without a calling to any office. These operate less frequently as the Spirit wills. There is a prophetic ministry where one person my very frequently receive words for people and they seen to be able to prophesy almost at will. This is where most young prophets lie. Finally there is prophetic office and this is very rare indeed and it operates with signs following it.
One cannot chose the content of their prophecies. I may feel the church needs words of judgement but if I am not gifted in that area I cannot prophesy on it. I may preach or teach on the subject if I have the gift but not prophesy. Each christian has a specific design and there are those called specifically to speak harsh words. These ones need special training as well.
There is nothing wrong with having a simple personal word for someone. This may be your calling in the church, it may be another persons calling to have words for the whole church, and yet another may have correctional. This business of trying to have someone with a prophetic calling being the sum of all spiritual things is not only unfair but it is unscriptural.
I believe prophets should work closely with teachers and pastors if they want to minister to a congregation. In this way we do not sacrifice word content for prophetic gift. I don't believe it should be either or, but both should work in conjunction. Strong prophetic gifts need stronger teachings on Christ and holiness as a counterbalance. We are in danger of throwing out the proverbial baby with the water when we reject certain styles of prophecy altogether. Every good gift is from God and these are good gifts but it takes training to wield them, training for the prophet and training for the church.
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
| 2010/12/3 0:21||Profile|
| Re: |
I have noticed this same attitude of Prophecy essentially becoming a trial-and-error spirituality. The gifts of the Spirit are being interpreted as spiritual muscles that just need to be exercised until they start working right.
It's an amazing thing to see that this is so widely taught. Yet as widely taught as it is, there isn't an ounce of Scriptural truth to it. But, hey, drop $20 on a book, and $119 on a conference, and if you follow a certain guru long enough, you just might learn how to flex those prophetic muscles one day!
It has been my understanding of Scripture that about the only thing one can grow in as a prophetic person is their Christian walk. And while becoming more Christ like day by day might cause one to be more fruitful and powerful in their prophetic ministry, that still doesn't change the fact that the prophetic gift is a gift of God's grace, and is freely given, and is perfect to and through the person who exercises that gift. One does not need to go to a school or sit through a conference to increase the "accuracy" of their gifting, or any such thing. One simply needs to be faithful in speaking the words God puts in your mouth to speak when He gives them to you to speak.
You see, one of the key doctrinal errors of those in the prophetic movement is this conviction that the gift of prophecy is based on one's finite and limited ability to accurately hear from the Lord, and then somehow convey that information. But based off my study of Scripture, you know what I've come to believe is true? The gift of prophecy isn't so much about one's "ability" to "hear," but it's about one's supernaturally given "ability" to "speak."
Yes, of course, the prophet must "hear" from God, and know that it is God that is speaking to Him. But as Christ said, His sheep know His voice. So such isn't exactly rocket science. If you know the Lord, as a result of knowing the Lord, you hear His voice, and can readily identify it. And such a voice is a clear voice, and not some muffled noise which has to be painstakingly discerned. It's simply known to the Christian, because He is a Christian.
Where the rubber meets the road regarding prophecy, is the supernatural ability one is given through the gift to make a supernatural utterance, and declare what one has heard and is hearing. As the Lord said to Moses regarding prophets: "I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak all that I command him to speak." You see, the onus is not placed on man's ability to hear God, but rather, the onus is place on God's ability to give man the words He would have man faithfully convey.
Thus, the prophetic task is not to grow in one's gifting, so that they can go from being a baby prophet to a big boy prophet. Rather, the prophetic task is simply to be faithful in the gift you've been given, and speaking the word God puts in your mouth.
And it's been my personal experience, that anytime the Lord has used me specifically in the gift of prophecy, that the words He wanted me to say were always given, word for word in that moment, and He left me nothing to try to figure out in my speaking. In fact, in most of the utterances I've given over the years (which are very few), I usually had no more than a basic thought in my mind from the Lord when I began to speak. And then, as I spoke, not knowing where I was going with what I was saying, it's as if a stream of words just filled my mind, my heart, and my mouth, and I simply spoke as the Holy Spirit guided me. I simply made myself available to the Lord, and sought to be faithful.
| 2010/12/3 0:33||Profile|
| Prophetic gift vs prophetic office|
Thank you again brother (KingJimmy) for your considered post. I believe we are getting somewhere here.
For you as a mature Christian, faithfulness is second nature but for a baby Christian faithfulness is a fruit of the spirit they still need to develop and even learn about. You say that all that is needed is to simply be faithful, but therein kids the crux of what I'm talking about. We does our faithfulness come from if not from growth in the Holy Spirit? Such growth takes time to develop through worship, meditation on the word, prayer and God's tests. It is during this time of growth a Christian must go through that those I referred to as "young prophets" make mistakes.
Again I want to distance myself from the so called gurus selling books for obscene amounts of money, such books are frequently intended to, as it has been said, "flex spiritual muscle". On these points we are together.
I gather from what you have said my brother that you are not called to the prophetic office? I have frequently encountered those with callings to this office and most of them have some very intense experiences (myself included) on a fairly regular basis.
There are different types of prophecy and one type does not nullify the existance of another. If one may prophesy with hearing the voice of God it does not mean it is therefore impossible to hear his voice during prophetic utterance. Some people see visions of angels as did Daniel and Zechariah. This is not an easy adjustment into a "normal life".
With such a heightened sensitivity to the realm of spirit there are also increased attacks in the area of false visions and false voices. One needs training, just like people go to seminary or bible school, why should this be any different?
Please don't feel like I'm attacking you personally my brother I love you in Christ and I sense that this subject is as close to your heart as it is to mine. Only our perspectives are different. Here in Africa we have people who practice witchcraft openly, we have wizards, warlocks and sorcerery of all sorts. To me these are the false prophets of Baal and baby Chrisitians with prophetic gifts are still just baby Christians.
James Gabriel Gondai Dziya
| 2010/12/3 2:16||Profile|
| Re: Reasons for the failure of prophetic movements|
Hey Jimm; Thanks a bunch for your post. This subject is usually swept under the rug so fast, all you see mostly is the trail of dust.
Really, I see the failure of the prophetic movement as a whole, not in the church receiving them, but the Nicolaitan system receiving false prophets as true. The Jezebel spirit is honored above the holy prophetic, almost always.
I prophesied some years ago, that the prophetic movement, that I was a part of, would become the major enemy to the true. As I look around, at the self proclaimed gaggle, such as THE ELIJAH LIST, BOB JONES, THE K.C. PROPHETS, THE CHILDREN OF THE TORONTO "BLESSING", JIM GOLL, TODD BENTLEY and RICK JOYNER, KIM CLEMENT and the like; we can understand why the movement has been marked with the mark of Cain.
The modern so called prophet in this arena is nothing less than a lying murderer; The sins of Baalim emanating from them.I believe that Satan had a plan; to project these men and women upon the church, with maximum public notoriety to completely discredit the true. He appears to have got the job done; but it's not over yet.
In 1991 I had a prophetic utterance at a home meeting at my house. As we held hands to pray upon breaking up, the Lord put a fiery word in my heart, like molten gold. "WHERE ARE THE FATHERS?, WHERE ARE THE FATHERS?, WHERE ARE THE FATHERS?" It was from the Lord.
I understood. It was an exact reflection of your word. Every other calling, except Apostle, can be mentored in a way. Teaching, Preaching, Shepherding and Evangelizing have been accepted as the Normal christian Life, but who can mentor you when God takes you away in the Spirit and speaks to you, while showing you things to come, or giving you His very own heart on a matter?..or sends an angel, or appears to you Himself?
Only a prophetic Father can, and yet that relationship has to be Providential, sovereign. The called prophet is basically on his own, and must learn to walk with God alone. I sent letters to every prophetic person I knew after that word.
Every prophetic person , in the public limelight , that I knew, from the era, has proven themselves Apostate; each and every one. Do you see how maybe the Lord had been protecting me? I was enamored with some men. They proved themselves TARES; poison look alike wheat plants. It took TIME to expose them; and some of them were my idols.
1.]I think that the true prophetic has some life issues most are not aware of. MISERY! A woe unto me experience in life. 2 Corinthians Chapter 1....The sentence of death upon a man or a woman, so that; "THEY WOULD NOT TRUST IN THEMSELVES, BUT IN GOD WHO RAISES THE DEAD."
This means a life of Crucifixion. Alive to God; dead to the world the flesh, and the temptations of the Devil.
2.]Revelatory. The revelation of God; the heart of God to the church. This is always met with resistance, especially to men who make there living ruling over the church.God wants his church back. He paid for it, with his own blood, and He is jealous for her. The issue is Holiness, for His Name is Holy Spirit, Holy God. The prophet will carry this holy heart, and proclaim it. This guarantees friction, for most of the time, the church is fiercely resisting the Father off on their own kingdom building.
3.] A brother first. Prophets are called, like any Christian to bear fruit to God, and manifest them; love being first, along with a passionate, merciful attitude toward his church. This must always be done without respect of persons, and always unto the least of the brethren, whoever that may be. This is the high calling, and requires the low calling; being made the least, the lessor, underneath the entire body....AS A GOOD BROTHER.
[CONTINUED FOR TIME...]
| 2010/12/3 5:49|