We have no shortage of prophets; at least no shortage of those who wanting to play prophet.
The problem with many of those who want to play around like they have God’s Word for others is that all too often, they themselves have not spiritually matured and are not grounded in the written Word of God.
The apostle Paul instructed Timothy not to put a novice in a position of leadership because one who is not firmly grounded in Christ can be ruined by pride.
There is a big difference in having the calling of a prophet and being actually set in the office of a prophet.
In Acts 9, God told Ananias to go and pray for Paul, who had just had an encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. God said, “He is A CHOSEN VESSEL OF MINE” (v.15).
Almost immediately (after his conversion) Paul began to preach the gospel. Yet it wasn’t until later that Paul was set in the office of apostle (see Acts 13;1-4).
Too many people are playing prophet, while others have no real understanding of the ministry of a prophet and this opens the door to sorcery. Unsespecting people unknowingly think prophets have a direct line of communication with God to tell them about their future or secret things that God wants them to know.
Seeking a word from God through a prophet is nothing different than seeking counsel from a fortune teller.
If you are a child of God you have the Spirit of God in you and He will lead you and guide you into all truth. God may use a prophet occasionally to confirm things, but generally speaking, the prophet’s ministry is expressed through his preaching and/or teaching ministry.
A prophet’s preaching and/or teaching ministry prepares people for things in a way the other ministry gifts may not. For example, a prophet may sense that persecution, or maybe lean times are coming and will be urged by the Lord to preach on that topic in advance.
The prophet will seek God and scripturally prepare the people, even if they don’t recognize that he is a prophet and God is preparing them through his teachings.
A true prophet doesn’t need to be called “prophet.” A true prophet ministers to the people by the gift of God to edify God’s people and to equip them with the Word of God. In this vein (or setting) God will sometimes speak directly through the prophet to an individual to confirm things regarding their personal life.
A new testament prophet doesn’t hold the same status as an old testament prophet because every believer can hear God’s voice under the new.
There is an old saying; the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, and when it comes to prophecy many folks carry the same kind of thinking about prophecy as they do about the prophet’s ministry.
They tend to elevate prophecy as the pinnacle of ‘hearing God’ so that prophecy even trumps the clear teaching of the Bible. They think that through prophecy God is talking directly esteeming prophecy above sound Biblical teaching, This sort of ideology leads many into spiritual error.
The sound doctrine of scripture must always come first and anyone who thinks he is a prophet should be very cautious to grow in understanding the scriptures and in true humility and grace.
Prophets must walk circumspectly as they too can get off into error just as any other minister can.
If a person truly is a prophet, his top priority should be prayfully ministering the written Word of God accurately, otherwise he may lead people into error by ministering out of his own pride and the deception of occult spirits, rather than the Spirit of the Lord.