Have you ever run into an abrasive person who speaks the truth but seems to sap the sanctification right out of you? You know who I’m talking about, yep, them. He or she constantly invades your Christian world and life view in seemingly inappropriate times, or in inappropriate ways… Crusaders of sorts, beckoning what God has placed on their hearts “for you.”
When singled out and censured, they use the excuse, “Well… I’m more of a Prophet.”
To that, you think, but might never say out loud, “No, You’re more of an Ass!”
To claim to the personality and gifting of the Old Testament prophets as a biblical demeanor in this era, may not be, in itself, biblical. Here’s why:
1. We have clear examples of practicing prophets in the New Testament. – The demeanor of new testament prophets is clearly different post Christ. We don’t have prophets like Elisha cursing some children resulting in them getting mauled by bears. ”Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them.” 2 Kings 2:24 NLT Nor like Nehemiah who physically beat, smote, and pulled the hair out of some of his listeners. Nehemiah 13:25 I could list more, but you get the point.
2. The gift of prophecy is to be exercised in and with love. – “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2 People who feel like they are nothing are noisy in attempt to be something, often at the expense of others. ”Truthing in love,” Ephesians 4:15 is the evidence of Christ’s presence within a New Testament Prophet.
3. Barnabas (the son of encouragement) was a contemporary New Testament prophet. - Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. The Name “Barnabas,” means “son of encouragement,” “son of consolation,”and even “son of the prophet.” Anyone who claims to be gifted in the prophetic should get to know Barnabas the Prophet in the New Testament.
4. John’s prophecy in Revelation, while harsh at times, is wrapped in love. – Certainly John was an Apostle, but the entire nature of Revelation is prophetic. ”Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy..” Revelation 1:3 And while there is a clear sternness to his messages, they are constantly accompanied by loving, edifying, encouraging, and challenging words. If the result of prophetic behavior is loathing, tearing down, or discouragement, then chances are there is something else going on.
5. The prophetic gift is for the edification, exhortation, and equipping of the church. – Like any of the gifts in Ephesians 4:11, they have a momentum towards the equipping, preparation, edification, and unification of the church for ministry. ”Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13 De-equipping and Dis-unity in the church are contra-prophetic. A Prophets equipping Naturally evolves into biblical influence.
Some faulty assumptions made by those who think they are gifted in the prophetic:
- No one likes me, so I must be a prophet. No one like the prophets in the bible, and a prophet isn’t honored in his/her home.
- People get angry when I speak into their lives, the truth hurts, so it’s definitely a sign that I’m operating in the prophetic.
- I don’t have to worry about how people feel about what I say because I’m just speaking what the Lord lays on my heart.
- I don’t need other’s permission to speak into other’s people lives, because I have God’s permission.
- A prophet does the dirty work in a community and leaves where a Pastor consoles, cares for, and stays.
What other faulty assumptions are made by those who think they are gifted in the prophetic? While it may be difficult to deal with these seemingly aggressive and arrogant “Clanging Imbeciles,” 1 Corinthians 13:1, and while we may consider them our enemies in the moment, the church is obligated to love them into their gifting. So, the next time someone mistreats you and says it’s because they’re gifted in the prophetic, even though you think they are gifted in the idiotic, don’t respond in like form. Overcome darkness with light. Truthing them into love Ephesians 4:15 will not only correct their path, but equip them to better operate in the prophetic if that indeed is their gift.
What is the proper course of action when someone is abrasively being prophetic to you?
How do you determine whether someone is being prophetic or asinine?
What other New Testament Prophets can we use to better understand what should be the biblical demeanor of someone who is genuinely gifted in the Prophetic?