When we think of prophets today, a few popular ones come to mind, like Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church, Cindy Jacobs, Leon du Preez, Bushiri, or Kenneth Copeland.
But when you know your Bible, you’ll know why the most popular prophets of today seem so very different to the prophets of old…
Compare Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Amos to modern day prophets – do you see any resemblance at all?
Old Testament prophets suffered. Sometimes they did strange things because the Lord had instructed them to do so. They walked closely with the Lord and spoke to the people as God directed.
They were largely rejected and called, “doomsday men”.
Today, every Tom, Dick and Harry is a prophet. There are even schools you can go to in order to be trained to be a prophet. Think Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry who trains thousands to “impart” whatever knows what.
But true prophets are not trained in a school; they are trained by God Himself. Sure, they could have mentors like Elijah was to Elisha, but they require special training; hard training, in order to burn off self.
True prophets of God do not look anything like the popular puffed-up celebrity prophets strutting around on stages today, proclaiming all sorts of vague promises of a good life.
While many people may have a prophetic gift, they can’t be called prophets. True prophets of God look very different to what most of us have come to know, because they are not visible on social media.
Here’s a description, to help you make the distinction between a false prophet, and a true.
Qualities of a true prophet
If they’re loved by the world, beware
Firstly, the most visible and popular “prophets” are usually not true prophets. The Bible warns us of them:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. – Matthew 7:15
If a prophet is loved by unbelievers or lukewarm Christians, they are not true prophets of God but instead, ear ticklers: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3
Not just a gift
A true prophet doesn’t just have a gift. A true prophet speaks what God wants them to speak.
You’ll never hear a true prophet say, “I’m sensing….”, or “I feel…” like the most popular prophets of today. They either hear from the Lord, or they don’t. If they don’t, they shut up.
They are not followed by superficial Christians
A true prophet is usually not embraced by the world, or by superficial Christians, because they are totally committed to the will of God, and superficial Christians can’t take the depth.
What I mean by superficial Christians, are those who go to church, but do not SERVE God in their daily lives. You cannot tell them apart from the world.
They may encourage, but they are not people pleasers
True prophets do not speak to make people feel better or nice, but rather what God tells them to say. Because of the tough training they’ve endured from the Lord, He is able to get them to deliver harsh truths; the type that most people do not want to hear. The warnings are due to the great mercy of God for His people.
God Himself trains them
They have been through a lot of suffering as training from God’s hand, to make them strong so that they don’t succumb to man, to cut their own ambitions, and to make them humble.
A true prophet’s training is not something many believers could take because it’s tough, but because it’s tough, it enables them to speak God’s words, even to those who reject them.
They look very different to the popular prophets
They look very, very different to those who call themselves prophets, and those who use “prophet” as a title before their names, and those who are popular and followed by a lot of people.
Those who follow true prophets are usually deep, mature Christians.
Superficial Christians cannot relate to them, and they reject them.
Their primary purpose is to warn
A true prophet warns the body of Jesus Christ of oncoming danger. More than anything, they are watchmen, prayer warriors and protectors of truth.
They are gifted with eyes that see the dangers that others don’t.
They have zeal for the Church
True prophets are wholly committed to the Lord, and therefore His Church. They warn and correct because they love the body of Christ and they do not wish for any to stray from the truth.
God puts a zeal in their hearts for His Church, so they are compelled to warn, even if it results in mockery and disdain.
How to find a true prophet?
If they don’t call themselves prophets, don’t parade themselves on a stage, don’t point to self on social media, how do you find them?
Look for believers who warn the body of Christ of oncoming danger – that’s where you’ll find them.