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Click here to read Jeremiah 29 on BibleGateway.com

One of the trickier aspects of the Christian life is the relationship of modern prophets to our everyday walk with the Lord. In the Bible, prophets seem to pop up fairly frequently, and the true believers know them and follow them. But in our time, it seems often difficult to tell the phonies from the realies. Especially when so many people that claim to have received a divine mandate to take up the mantle of prophet are…um…unique.

If only there was a way to weed out the pretenders. In the book of Jeremiah, we read “you should put any maniac who acts like a prophet into the stocks and neck-irons.” That’s an idea. Maybe there’d be a few less self-appointed prophets around if they knew that all the maniacs would be put in stocks and neck irons; I know i’ve been around a few churches that could have benefitted from a stock or two.

This isn’t to diminish the role of the true prophet; by following a few simple rules, we could eliminate a few of the glory hounds, and open the airways for authentic messages from God to his people.

Number One: Beware the Joyful Judge

Abraham Lincoln once said “the problem with brutally honest people is that they often enjoy the brutality as much as the honesty.” Most of the prophets in the Bible, particularly Jeremiah and Ezekiel, did not relish their jobs as much as many modern “prophets” do. The true prophets seem to genuinely beg God to pick somebody else. If someone has “Prophet” on their business card or facebook profile, or if they have “PrFit” on their license plates, let the buyer beware.

Number Two: Check the Facts

According to Jeremiah 28:9, true prophets always predict accurately (in the rare instances when they actually predict the future; a fairly small percentage of prophecies in the Bible are forecasts.) If your local Prophet o’ the Day is not consistently proven correct, time to move along.

Number Three: Watch Out for Innovation

Isaiah 8:20 says “they speak not according to this word, because [there is] no light in them.” If a prophet suddenly starts with a new teaching or a new vision that goes against the Bible, make sure you keep a firm hand on your loved ones. This is usually the making of a cult, not a divine messenger.

Number Four: Stay on Target

True Godly prophecy always has as its aim to glorify God and edify others. If a prophet proclaims things such as “Thus the Lord says, listen to this man, for he is awesome” or “All of the people in this church are blind stumbling sheep except myself,” you might want to take their words with a grain of salt the size of a volkswagon.

While it may be true that the majority of our local prophets have…um….difficulties, we shouldn’t throw out the little prophet baby with the bath water. God is clear in his Word that prophets are a gift to communicate to His people. We just need to ensure that is God speaking, and not the author of today’s entry in Chicken Soup for the Prophet’s Soul.

Speak Lord, for your servants are listening.

One Response to “August 2nd , 2012 – Jeremiah 29”

  1. Joshua Says:

    Chicken soup, lol! Good points.

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