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(38) ... New Testament Prophets

May 20, 2012

I did a survey in which I sent out e-mails to approximately 300 websites that are either "Prophetic" Ministries or have written articles on the "Prophetic." It was a rather exhausting survey. I e-mailed the question “I would like to ask the question about what do you feel is the one thing that a  New Testament "Prophet" absolutely must possess?”

I am convinced that the gift of the "Prophet" to the Church is without question the most misunderstood of all the gifts which Christ has given to the Church.

Out of the approximately 300 websites that I contacted, approximately 140 sent me back a reply to my question. I do want to make it clear, that I really appreciate the sites that sent me back a reply. It is not my intention to belittle anyone. However, I do have a strong desire to share a few points that I hope will bring a little more clarity to the Gift of the New Testament "Prophet" to the Church.

I received back many different answers. There were many answers that I received back that for me were somewhat puzzling. I will not be addressing the answers that were somewhat puzzling for me. I will just address the rest of the answers that were a fairly common response to the question.

The answers that I will address are as follows: Love - Humility - Character - Integrity - Honesty - Contriteness - Obedience - Strong Prayer Life.

Even though these are all wonderful traits for a "Prophet" to possess (as well as for all Christians to possess), they are not a must for the "Prophet." The reason being, that the Lord does not just instantly zap a "Prophet" with these traits. These traits that are hopefully developed in the "Prophet" (as well as all Christians), will be a "lifetime" developing work of the Holy Spirit. 

I would like to share that I am convinced that the one thing (and often overlooked thing) that a New Testament "Prophet" ABSOLUTELY MUST POSSESS, is a "strong desire" to "IMMERSE HIMSELF" into GOD’S WRITTEN WORD. Of course that is very important for each and every Christian, but  it is  ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL  for the New Testament "Prophet". 

In fact, the Lord demands that of a New Testament "Prophet." THE REASON BEING: IT IS CRITICAL for a "Prophet" to have Spiritual Discernment.

It is through a "constant searching for truth" in God's Written Word that a Christian learns about the Lord and "His" ways. This is by far the "greatest tool" that the Holy Spirit uses to develop Spiritual Discernment into the Christian’s life.

There are hundreds of websites that speak about the "Prophetic" gifting of the New Testament "Prophet," and yet, I have found that little emphasis if any at all, is being given to the importance of the "Prophet" "IMMERSING HIMSELF" into God's Written Word, which is the Lord's "FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT STEP" in "His" training of the "Prophet."

In fact, I would challenge anyone to go to their computer and then go to their search engine and key in the wording: A New Testament "Prophet" must be filled with the Written Word of God, or key in some wording that is similar. Good luck with your search. I personally find it "quite disturbing" that "such little emphasis" is being put on such a "VITAL" resource that the Lord uses in "His" development of a New Testament "Prophet."

Out of all the answers that I received back, only 3 individuals sent me back an answer that I felt were insightful answers (according to my understanding) to the question.  This clearly demonstrates the major problem that we have today with understanding the role of the New Testament "Prophet."

Even though the Church may have "Prophetic" training programs that with proper insight can certainly be of benefit to those who have a "Prophetic" gifting, it is of the utmost importance to fully understand that the Lord has "His" own training program for each & every individual to whom "He" has called to be a New Testament "Prophet."
 

There was a Pastor who sent me back this reply: "Good question, but I’m not qualified to answer." My understanding from his answer was that he felt that because he is not a "Prophet," that he is not qualified to answer that question. 

To add to all the confusion concerning the widespread lack of understanding of the gift of the New Testament "Prophet" to the Church, is the fact that there are many "False Prophets," and there are those who have the gift of Prophecy who think that they are "Prophets."  

A lady named Kim, sent be back this reply: "I think the one thing that a New Testament Prophet must absolutely possess, is to really know the Lord, i.e. His character, ways, purposes and desires through spending time reading, studying and meditating on the Word......it is extremely difficult to speak on behalf of someone you don't know or know anything about."

"I also believe
"knowledge of the Word is key," because all "Prophecies" should be passed through the grid of the Word to determine whether their course is indeed from God and not another source, because God will never declare anything that is in violation of His Word."

The thing that really stood out to me about Kim's reply, was her statement  that a New Testament "Prophet" absolutely must know The Lord, which comes from spending time "reading," "studying" and "meditating" on the Word.

Kim and I are in complete agreement on this issue. The Lord has provided us with the Bible so that we can learn about "Him" and "His" ways. This is the way that Spiritual Discernment is developed in the New Testament "Prophet" (as well as all Christians), which is a "must" for the "Prophet."
   
 

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