The Equipped Church: Prophets – Ephesians 4:11
Last week, we began looking at those men that God has called to be prophets in the New Testament church. The word prophet is translated from the Greek word prophetes. It is a compound of pro, “in front of which means “fore” or “prior to”, and phemi (fay-mee) which means to speak or say one’s thoughts. It is one who speaks forth openly. Most people think prophets are like fortune tellers that tell of future events . That is a part of their ministry but it is an extremely small part. Prophets are secondarily fore tellers but primarily forth tellers. The chief function for the prophet is to tell forth what God is saying to the church. They are meant for exhortation, edification, and admonition.
We then asked the question of whether or not prophets are in the church today to which we answered yes…and no.
In the sense of the Old Testament prophets where new revelation from God is given, the answer is an unequivocal “No.” No one is getting new revelation from God because if they are then what they say is equal to Scripture.
However, there are people in the church who are preachers who speak to the church what God is saying in the sense of what He wants them to hear from His written word. Preachers or prophets today preach the Word. It is their primary focus and what they press out within the church. These are the people that are constantly saying, “God says this”, “the Lord Jesus says that”, “the Word of God says this”. They are always appealing to the word and ascribing it directly to what God has spoken. Now, in a general sense, all Christians should be doing that as well because we are the ambassadors of Christ here in the earth. But these are the guys who do it in the church, the ones that do it so much it pretty much gets on people’s nerves. In Scripture, prophets are the most vilified and disliked people because they are not only disliked but unbelievers but believers as well.
With that introduction, this week we’re going to focus on how to discern if someone is a false prophet.