THINK ABOUT THIS! TRUE VERSUS FALSE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES
I was watching a particular Pentecostal Christian television program today with interest and was somewhat amused, as a minister myself, when the rather conservative host, of whom I have a great deal of respect, made the following observation. In essence the head of this ministry was chastising the church world as a whole for rejecting certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Of course, he was right. The problem was, however, I had personally witnessed and heard some of his own ministers in his organization previously do the same thing....both on TV and in at least one of the local churches in my immediate area...the very thing he condemned. Now it was immediately obvious to me even at the various multiple times I heard them doing so that these ministers I heard make contrary comments were simply unlearned or ignorant on the subject of which they were speaking of. So I basically ignored it at the time but today I was very relieved so see the host bring correction to the situation. He even spoke of the need for the Church today to recognize God's use of Apostles and Prophets in the current New Testament Church. And believe me, in being one of those ministries, I was glad to hear him say it. But the problem was that some of his ministers who were sitting on the very television panel of the program he was speaking from and who were now in lock and step agreement with the host who was speaking, were also some of the same men I personally witnessed on several occasions make the contrary comments and hold the views he was now openly critical of. And at least one local church apparently heard those comments and their pastor was mimicking what they erroneously had to say from his own pulpit too, setting himself up as some kind of authority on the Holy Spirit, how one should or should not minister to others in church and the falsification or skepticism of apostolic ministries in general...all because none of these things met his limited criteria of understanding. Not wanting to be unkind, I believe this young and inexperienced pastor I am referring to loves the Lord, but he...as many do...has taken on a somewhat Pharisaic spirit at times and because of unbridled legalism has allowed his own limited or faulty personal views and teaching to interfere with sound doctrine on these subjects. And perhaps to no real fault of his own, he did what many do and based his stance on these issues upon what heard some of those he looked up to erroneously teach. Many make the mistake of tarring and feathering good ministries and also misleading others in the same way because they are more influenced by the opinions and speculations of others they look to as examples, who themselves may be misled, rather than the Word of God.
In continuing, as I watched this television program panel discussion, my mind wandered from the topic of various manifestations of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts to the thought that so many are also guilty of doing the same thing to some of the 5-fold ministry gifting to the Body of Christ that God has provided; namely the present day ministry of Apostles and Prophets. In fact I had also heard the minister in our local area church attack these! And as I was in prayer, the Holy Spirit prompted me to elaborate further and write this article under His anointing. My purpose is not "to pile on" those misstating the facts but rather to simply provide an informed writing and teaching on the subject because these things must be expressed and elaborated upon and today seems like the right time to do it.
In like manner as some of the diverse manifestations of the Holy Spirit, so many Pentecostals and others say they also believe there still are Apostles and Prophets in the world today too. I agree. Yet, when a legitimate one actually appears they...the religious... are often the quickest of all to reject such a person as a false Prophet or false Apostle. So in essence, they are no different than the fathers of the Pharisees or of the Pharisees themselves who stoned the Prophets and other powerful men (or women) of God.
These same people will be quick though to tell you that someone now dead was a true Apostle or Prophet, preaching about them and giving their so called accolades. Yet, if they were living back then, they most likely would have rejected these same men or women they give their accolades to today! Such people are unfortunately those the Bible speaks of when it says essentially YOUR FATHERS STONED THE PROPHETS AND YET YOU BUILD THEIR MONUMENTS. Wow! Think of that. That is the problem with many Pharasaic church members today. They profess to believe everything they read about but when they come face to face with it in reality, they look at the flesh, miss the Spirit and reject it as being false...also encouraging others to do the same.
Jesus Himself was no stranger to this. He walked about throughout Judea and elsewhere doing great miracles and proclaiming He was the Son of God. You would think perhaps all that He did and His accurate, flawless fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecy was enough. But it wasn't...and it never is enough either for so-called Christians with a religious or pharasaic spirit....and such people are nothing but modern day Pharasees, no matter what "message" they preach or who they choose to mimic. Yet we continue and see that when Jesus visits His home town of Nazareth the Bible tells us He could scarcely do any miracles at all except heal a very few because of the unbelief of the people. They had known Jesus as the son of Joseph while He grew up and referred to Him as Jesus the Carpenter or carpenter's son. They were thinking, "I don't care what He says about Himself or who He says that He is....He is no Messiah...He is not the Son of God." They could only relate to Him after the flesh.
Additionally, if you read 1st and 2nd Corinthians, you will see that the Apostle Paul had to continuously defend his apostleship. He did so against religious, deceived skeptics and troublemakers who had entered his churches and were trying to discredit his ministry to others.
Now, it is true that not everyone who calls themselves a Prophet is one. And it is true that not everyone who calls themselves an Apostle is one either. But they do still exist. And if you believe that they do, they have to be "someone", if you get my point; maybe even the person next door, a visitor to your church or someone in the town next to yours. In other words they certainly may be among you whether you recognize them, want to recognize them as such or not.
So what I am saying, folks, is while you are trying to be careful about what you accept, also be very careful about what or whom you may reject. Pray. Find out what God is saying about that person. What are the fruits of their ministry? Wisdom is to simply admit you do not know one way or the other, if that is the case rather than jumping to and expressing to others the wrong conclusion and in so doing, bring judgment on yourself, your church, your own ministry or hurt to the Body of Christ as a whole by sowing seeds of discord. Blessings!
By Mischa S. Safdie'