Proliferation of prophets: Who ordains a prophet, how do they hear from God?
No doubt, prophets are powerful figures in the society. They wield a lot of influence on their congregations, which often include the elite and decision-makers. By virtue of their office, they are supposed to be mediators between the people and their Creator. As such, it is an exalted position that should reflect integrity, dignity, sincerity and selflessness. Today, however, there are all sorts of prophets, who often conduct themselves in a questionable manner. Were these prophets called by God? How are prophets ordained? CHRIS IREKAMBA and ADELOWO ADEBUMITI report.
‘What We Have Today Are Professional Prophets’
(Rev. Sylvester Nmanwoke, Founding Overseer of Ambassadors Mission Int’l Inc./President, The Apostolic Faith Mission Shekinah Int’l Inc., (AFM), Aba, Abia State)
In the days of prophets Moses, Elijah, it was the Lord that called a prophet and by that calling, the nation was ruled by God and not men. So, with the veracity and authenticity of the call of God that time, prophets were to guide the people. It was after Jesus Christ came that core prophets no longer guide people, because the Spirit of God is dwelling in every believer. At that time, prophets were custodians of the presence of the Holy Spirit and they didn’t make mistakes. But now that Jesus Christ has come, prophets can make mistakes, which was why Paul in 1Corithians says we can judge a prophet while he is speaking. And that is to know if what he is saying is true or not.
Many who claim to be prophets today are mere professional prophets. They are prophesying for their stomach and not to lead people to Christ. They are prophesying for money. For instance, I know of one prophet, who said government should see him, and if they fail to do so, this or that would happen. When you prophesy, you’ve done your work, and if it is true, then leave the matter for God to execute. But asking government to come and see you… Who are you? It’s a problem in Nigeria and such prophets ordained themselves. They were not ordained by God. Many of them are so pompous, and God can never use a pompous prophet. The Spirit of Christ does not know pomposity and God is against it. They don’t have value and recognition that Elijah, Elisha and others that enjoyed God’s favour had. Genuine prophets speak against sin and unrighteousness; they speak the truth.
‘We Still Have Genuine And
God-ordained Prophets In The Country’
(Prophet (Dr.) Israel Oladele Ogundipe, presiding Shepherd of Celestial Church of Christ, Genesis Global)
THERE are still good prophets, though there could be fake prophets around. Of course, you know that whatever has original must also have counterfeit. But the truth is that there are still genuine and God-ordained prophets in the country, which also answers the question, who ordains a prophet? Prophets are born; they are not made. For instance, the Bible gives an insight in Jeremiah 1:5, where it says ‘before you were born, I knew you and I called you a prophet.’ The biblical standard of who is a prophet is not so much about you saying a thing and it coming to pass, because even herbalists say some things and they happen. Will you now say they are prophets? No! Even fake prophets make predictions and they happen do. So, do we now call them genuine prophets? The answer is no! And the mere fact that you say something that comes to pass doesn’t make you a prophet. The biblical standard of who a prophet is lies in the ability to dissect the Word of God and preach it as it was given to you from the Throne of Grace. So, your word-base determines your level as a prophet. That is why I have given myself to the Word of God and that is why I tell people anything the Word cannot do we should leave. When you say something and it comes to pass, it is a gift and not everybody possesses such.
There are those who are called into the prophetic office and they are anointed by the Grace of God. The way God relates to a genuine prophet is awesome. He doesn’t just reveal a thing to a prophet, but He interprets life to him. Hearing from God is in many ways. There’s no particular or stereotype way of hearing from God. He speaks in diverse ways. It all depends on how sensitive you are as a prophet to the things of God. God might talk to me in a small still voice, or use a situation to talk to me. If you have been with God over time, you should know when He’s talking. Again, God is all-powerful. He alone is the only One that can say a thing and it comes to pass. He can put His Word in the mouth of a prophet and commands him to say it and turns again to reverse it.
Take, for example, the case of Jonah in the Bible. God sent him to Nineveh to proclaim that they would be utterly destroyed. He waited for God to perform His Word, only for Him to change His mind concerning Nineveh. Unknown to Jonah, however, the people cried overnight to God in their situation and repented from their evil ways by fulfilling the scriptures, ‘If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and seek the face of God in repentance…’ He promised to show mercy. So if a prophet says something and it doesn’t come to pass, that does not mean he is no longer a prophet. He is still a prophet; only that God in His power can change His mind concerning any situation. After all, the prophet is working for His father Who has the power to change and alter things at will.
‘Prophets Of Old Had Value, Not Like Today’
(Bishop Dr. Chris Kwakpovwe, Founder, Manna Prayer Mountain (MPM/ Publisher, Our Daily Manna (ODM)
WHO ordains a prophet? It is difficult to know, especially when there are lying wonders. But then, by their fruits you shall know them. These days, you don’t know who is sincere, who’s born again and who is not. I would just say some of them are outright devilish. They are the ones that carry snakes about and use beer as Holy Communion. Some are even showing love and act of charity, doing miracles. So, what else do you need? And these are the two things that Jesus Christ did — miracles and charity. Some are just obvious, and the things they do are at variance with the Word of God. Of course, such a person cannot come from God. No way! When that person prophesies and it doesn’t come to pass he is not from God. They tell lies to excite politicians in order to collect money from them. Such prophets are not from God.
However, some prophets are from God. There is no doubt God can speak to people through dreams, visions and so on. The dispensation under which Elijah and others operated was quite different from ours. Today, it is the spirit connection. The new birth cancelled the old birth. During the time of Elijah and others, it was a different dispensation and then, people were ruled by the laws of Jehovah. Everything was theocracy. In theocracy, the king is appointed by God and they feared the prophets. Today, it’s quite difficult to know who a prophet is. The prophets of old had value, but today, they don’t have that kind value or recognition. In those days, God ordained them. But today, those claiming to be prophets ordained themselves.
‘God Ordains A Prophet, You Don’t
Go To School To Learn It’
(Primate Theophilus Olabayo, founder, Evangelical Church of Yahweh Worldwide)
IT’S only God that ordains a prophet. You don’t go to school to study it. Some, because they don’t have this gift, turn against themselves, but there are still genuine prophets. We still have value, and that is why politicians have not spoiled us. Even the prophets of old, some of them went into the bush and mountains to pray for days. Now, do you see any of these young people doing that? They don’t even pray or fast. But they are coming up because they want the best things. They have the best houses and cars.
There are many ways a prophet can hear from God. It may come like a voice, at times in a dream, and sometimes when you open your eyes you see visions that God intends for you. To differentiate a fake prophet from a true one, the Bible says, ‘you shall know them by their fruits.’ When a prophet tells you something and it comes to pass, then that is a genuine prophet.A prophet is expected to be sincere in his mode of worship and his lifestyle, not such that should deceive people. He should not compromise and must have the fear of God. He must live a morally upright life, and integrity counts. This time around, they must seek the kingdom of God, as His coming is very near.