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Month 10:20, Week 3:5 (Chamshee/Teruah), Year 5935:278 AM
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 13 January 2012
Yahweh's Prophets Today
How Can We Identify Them?

      "Oh, that all Yahweh's people were prophets and that Yahweh would put His Ruach (Spirit) upon them!" (Num.11:29, NKJV).

    There are an extraordinary number of believers today claiming to be prophets, seers and revelators. You may even be one of those who subscribes to their newsletters hoping that they will have a direct prophetic word from Yahweh for you to help guide you in these perilous times.

    To seek for such a word is not, of course, a bad thing. Indeed we are commanded to seek for His will each and every day - every one of us, but particularly husbands and fathers for their families, mothers for their children, and congregational heads for their congregations...as they are needed and as Yahweh provides them. Indeed, does not Scripture teach that the prophets of Israel are to bring prophetic words to the people every Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat? For those are the the times the prophets are suppoded to make themselves available for the people to give inspired councel, which of course they cannot do if they are not following the divine calendar because Yahweh promises special anointings on these days.

    In the Bible we find that there are essentially who types of revelator:

    • 1. Prophets with a message from Yahweh to the Covenant Nation of Israel. There were never more than a small handfull at any one time, usually only one (like Elijah) and sometimes two or three. And when there were more, they were a part of a school of the prophets (1 Sam.10:11-12). In other words, they knew each other and their message was in total agreement. This was the state of affairs in Tanakh (Old Testament) times; and

    • 2. Apostles and evangelists of Messianic Israel with a prophetic message who were recognised by the various assemblies and congregations in New Testament times, and local prophets attached to individual congregations.

    In both of these situations there were plenty of false prophets - always. And when the Assembly of Yahweh was in apostacy - in Old and New Testament times alike - true prophets were either scarce or non-existant.

    Why should we expect anything different today?

    If you were to assemble the prophecies, visions and revelations of those claiming to be prophets, seers and revelators today you would find as many variations in teachings as there are denominations. Do you think this is consistent with the classical prophets of the Bible? And should we be surprised?

    As I have taught many times over the years, not only are those with the prophetic gift coloured by their theology, but there are in all men - whether they claim prophetic titles for themselves or not - three possible streams of 'revelation' or inspiration that influence what they experience, see or hear from 'God':

    • 1. Yahweh Himself speaking through the Ruach (Spirit);
    • 2. The fallen human flesh; and
    • 3. The devil and his demons.

    The purity of revelation flowing through a man is therefore a function of his purity which is a function of his submission and obedience to Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Davar (Word) and a function of whether he has crucified the flesh or not (Gal.2:20; 5:24). And we are all, by definition, tainted in our perception of the divine will so long as there is sin in our life.

    A mistake nearly all of the modern 'prophets' make is that they assume that because they have the 'gift' that they are de facto automatic conduits to Heaven. Some self-styled prophets spew out 'revelations' from 'God' or 'Yahweh' every day. Just ask yourself the question: if Isaiah or any of the Old Testament prophets had spewed out as many 'prophetic words' as some of the modern 'prophets' do, just how big do you think the Bible would be? It would be as big as several modern Encyclopedias! And who would want to read all that? And imagine having to carry that around with you!

    The Talmudic Jews evidently think this is alright, and though most of their writings are contradictory commentaries, their Talmud is encyclopedic, as I discovered to my astonishment when years ago I cycled down Blackwells the bookseller in Oxford, England, planning to buy 'it' and bring it home. The Talmud a library in itself! Orthodox Jews spend their whole life studying this vast collection of writings and remain as deep in darkness concerning the Emet (Truth) as they were when their forefathers put the Messiah to death.

    Yahweh has providentially provided His written Davar (Word) in the form of our Protestant Bible. It's by no means all He has to say but it is the essential distillation of the Emet (Truth) that the Body of Messiah needs and has ever needed. And it was obviously a lot smaller over the years that it was being written by prophets and apostles. We really don't need an awful lot to be properly acquainted with general, saving emet (truth).

    Yahweh taught me this lesson in the early years of this ministry. Back then revelation was streaming down from Heaven. We amassed a collection of it as big as the Bible in ten years. It's called the Olive Branch. But there was a problem. Before long people were turning to the Olive Branch more than they were to the Bible because it was contemporary. As much as I tried to prevail upon our early members to base their studies on the Bible, they invariably turned to what was newer and (as they erroneously supposed) fresher and therefore 'better'. For this and other reasons, we were forced to suspend use of the Olive Branch and for many years and studied only the Bible. We became sola scriptura like other Protestants but at the same time not closed to more revelation that might, one day in the future (probably when Yah'shua/Jesus returns), be more to add to it. The written, published revelations slowed to a trickle, and then to all intents and purposes, stopped altogether. Did this mean that revelation was at an end? No, for we keep volumes of visions and other revelations written down which are shared in sermons and devotionals from time to time, but we don't issue them as 'scripture': it meant simply that we were being reminded that we are all supposed to be our own written revelations - every individual, every father, every congregational leader, and to be satisfied with the Bible. As Moses bewailed:

      "Oh, that all Yahweh's people were prophets and that Yahweh would put His Ruach (Spirit) upon them!" (Num.11:29, NKJV).

    The only reason we have stand-alone 'prophets' today is because the people are walking in sin. And when there are thousands of stand-alone prophets it's often because the prophets themselves are walking in sin.

    We still have revelations, visions, prophetic dreams - thousands of them - and were we publish them, we would have encyclopedias full of them. But what would be the point? We would then be so absorbed in reading the written Davar (Word) of Yahweh that there wouldn't be time to do anything else. We would become full-time students. Besides, some revelations are for local use and for individuals; and also revelations need time to be tested, so old and tested is better that new and untested. Thus the Olive Branch has not expanded very much and probably never will, and we rarely, if ever, ever study it in public - mostly it's for private use. Indeed, Yahweh showed me a vision of the Olive Branch as it would look like in the future and it was about a fifth of its present size. Clearly a huge chunk of it is not needed for the general ministry.

    To walk in Yahweh is to walk in prophetic revelation 24/7. Were you to try and write everything down that Yahweh ever showed you, you would need a dozen lifetimes to do it and not have time to do anything else. And what would be the point in that?

    The goal is that all Yahweh's people become living prophets and to walk in His moment-for-moment Word. Then the prophecy will be fulfilled:

      "No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know Yahweh,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jer.31:34, NKJV).

    Until that condition arises, there will be only a very few prophets for the whole Body of Messiah, but many for the local congregations and even more for each family (each father, in fact). That is the proper order.

    I used to be on the mailing lists of several 'prophets' who would produce daily or weekly words and digests of words claiming to be from Yahweh. Most of it was regurgitated woffle that was already in the Bible and totally superflous. It read more like sermons - which is fine so long as it is recongised as such. I used to seek these men out because I was either too lazy to find out what Yahweh's will was for myself or because I was not willing to deal with the sin issues that prevented me from hearing Him Himself. Yahweh does not provide oracles for lazy and willfully sinful believers - He calls them to repent and to hear Him for themselves, and to do so before going around telling others what to do!

      "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles (revelations) of Elohim (God); and you have come to need milk and not solid food" (Heb.5:12, NKJV).

    This brings me to another concern that I have and that is people with itching ears looking for 'new teachings' or 'mysteries'. Some ministers feel they absolutely must regularly bring a 'new teaching' to keep their members' attention. This is carnality. I am not saying that there aren't great and wonderful mysteries to be discovered and applied in our lives, for there are absolutely are - I can testify of that! But it is to say that such things are useless if we don't have the basics in place in our lives first. And that's another lesson I learned in the early days of this ministry - people wanted revelation for knowledge's sake, not because they wanted to repent, change their lives or use this as an aid to witnessing the basic truths. The wanted revelation to consume upon their lusts, to boast of what they 'possessed' and which others didn't. In other words, revelation and prophecy were worn as badges of pride. They wanted to be 'special' and set-apart from other believers because of what they knew. And Yahweh hates pride.

    That is not to say that there aren't many well intentioned and humble 'prophets' out there who honestly want to bless the Body of Messiah, for there are. The desire to bless others isn't the problem. The problem is whether they are actually called to do that or not, whether it's the right time, or whether there aren't other priorities. For a prophet must have his doctrine correct. If he doesn't, it will taint everything he receives, and this will mislead people. And one of the most common errors that abounds in our own time, when people are looking for prophetic markets in events, is misidentifying Israel. You have no idea how much junk prophecy there is out there because of this one error!

    For one thing, most of these prophets are not even Israelites, because they don't obey Torah, especially if they're Evangelical Pentecostals and Charismatics. And if you have got the tongues question wrong, then you are going to get a lot of false prophecy in its wake. (See The Wild Charismatic West: Dismantling Falsehood for All Truth).

    Not that the Torah-observant messianics aren't guiltless in this matter too, for they are not, but in a different way. The problem witrh their 'prophets' is that they tend to be so absorbed with the letter of the Law that they have precious little of the Ruach (Spirit). Half of them squabble over how to spell or pronounce the Names of Deity and condemn to hell all those who use 'Jesus' or other spellings. Such don't even have the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) or love in the hearts for Christians but are possessed by the spirit of the old Pharisees. In some respects they are more dangerous than the lawless Evangelical counterparts who are at least regurgitating the simple message of salvation, however woolley and padded out, and are bringing souls to the milk Besorah (Gospel).

    Don't misunderstand me. We do need prophetic voices only we need less stand-alone prophets who aren't tested by anyone except themselves and more local prophets who are surrendered to Messiah and Torah-obedient who are subject to the discipline required of collective responsibility toward Yahweh and each other.

    Our ambition should be the same as Moses' - that all Israel become prophets. And the only way to do that is to teach, preach and live holiness or set-apartness through proper surrender of the soul to Elohim (God) and to discern correct doctrine. We must walk in proper tavnith (pattern) or we will continue to be plagued by false prophecy in the Body of Messiah.

    As far as the instruments of the latter are concerned, they will be exposed only as the true believers walk perfectly, as we are commanded. The onus then falls upon each of us individually to get right with Yahweh. And the only way we are ever going to do that is by abandoning the traditions of the Romanists and Talmudists and getting the raw emet (truth) from the Bible and embracing it, no matter how much it upsets us because of the false traditions we have inherited from our religious, however well-intentioned, forefathers.

    That means a lot - most, in fact - of self-styled 'prophets' have got to stand down and get re-educated in biblical emet (truth) and to seek Yahweh anew in that living emet (truth).

    We have dissolved the ministry and our congregations several times over our history in order to do that (which is why our name has changed so many times) as we "seek Yahweh and His strength... [and] seek His face evermore!" (1 Chron.16:11, NKJV). We're still learning and still repenting. We don't have the 'complete package' yet but we are getting there - and that is why Messianic Israel remains in disapora, the attempts to authoritatively 'restore Israel' viā various groups notwithstanding. There are lots of well-intentioned believers out there but I'm afraid they have first got to be brought down a few pegs before Yahweh can move in them mightily and a true prophetic voice be heard once again. There are far too many 'mighty men', as they suppose, and not enough humble ones.

    It is for each and every one of us to seek Yahweh and know Him. Yes, we may occasionally need a prophetic word from others but never so much that we can't get any of our own any longer. The opposite is required - the true prophets will be showing us how we can do it for ourselves! Isn't that what a true father does for his sons? Of course it is. So let's follow the biblical tavnith (pattern) in this matter.

    Finally, not all true prophecy is for the world so we are not to share everything that Yahweh tells us with the world. It could be for you personally, your family, your local congregation, or some other individual. A lot of 'prophets' share the words given to them in order to have their label or title validated in the eyes of men. Remember also that the spirit of prophecy is given to all true believers:

      "The testimony of Yah'shua (Jesus) is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev.19:10, NKJV).

    This does not make everyone a 'prophet' in the classical sense, though. One who has the spirit of prophecy has received that portion of the Ruach (Spirit) that gives them a testimony of Messiah and enables them to share that testimony supernaturally with others. Teachers and preachers are also given the spirit of prophecy but in another aspect, namely, to forthtell the Davar (Word) and so make complete talmidim (disciples). Only those who occupy the office of a Prophet are additionally able to foretell Yahweh's Davar (Word) by unfolding it further and by opening the veils to the future.

    So there are different kinds of prophecy:

    • 1. Testifying of Yah'shua (Jesus) and His salvation - given to all;
    • 2. Teaching the Davar (Word) of Yahweh's Torah (Teaching, Law) - given to some; and
    • 3. Bringing forth revelation and foretelling the future, as Yahweh wills - given to a very few.

    One would suppose that Moses' ambition was that His people possess all of these eventually and that this is the condition of the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem which is the place where the saved dwell in an eternal sphere seeing and knowing all.

    Let us therefore be prophetic in bearing our witness of Messiah first of all, then be good teachers of the Biblical word, and only then be prepared for the deeper stuff. There are always more pretenders to prophethood than those who He calls, and even some of the called are not chosen because they move beyond their allotted sphere:

      "For prophecy never came by the will of man, but set-apart (holy) men of Elohim (God) spoke as they were moved by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)" (2 Peter 1:21, NKJV).

    All prophecy is Yahweh's, not ours. If we will remember that, we and others won't step beyond the mark. Expect more and more false prophets to arise, in and outside the Body of Messiah, and recognise they are ravening wolves (Mt.7:15) seeking their own following and not the emet (truth) of Elohim. Everything a pretended prophet says must be measured against the Bible and if it contradicts it, it - and the 'prophet' - must be rejected. But we also need the spirit of discernment ourselves, which means we absolutely must have the spirit of prophecy that comes with the testimony of Yah'shua (Jesus)! Amen.

    P.S. The fact that it is Friday 13th in the Gregorian calendar doesn't mean a thing prophetically!

    Further Reading

    [1] Yahweh's Distribution of the Gifts
    [2] Understanding the Gift of Prophecy and Revelation
    [3] Prophecies of Centuries Fulfilled in a Day
    [4] Yahweh's Call to the Prophets
    [5] Prophecy Today - Index of Articles

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    This page was created on 13 January 2012
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