There is a rise of rebellious and false prophets. In fact, false prophets will try and spiritually mug you in the name of Jesus. More on this in a minute. After the ascension of Christ, he gave five gifts to equip saints for the work of ministry. We call these the five-fold ascension gifts. These gifts are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:10).
These gifts are “set in the church” to equip Disciples of Christ for victory (1 Corinthians 12:28). Notice these gifts are directly connected to a church. A church is not two or three people praying together over at the coffee shop. That’s a prayer meeting. A church is not a church until the spiritual government is set in place. This is something believers have to come to grips with. The spiritual government is built around someone that is called by Christ into one of these five-fold ascension gift offices not just someone that loves Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:1). Scripture says,
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:1-3).
It’s interesting there are five names written such as Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, and Saul. Notice it doesn’t say these were in the body of Christ, on the street, in the Church universal, or in the coffee shop, but in the church. These five-fold ascension gift prophets and teachers were in the church in Antioch, a local assembly of called out of the world ones, not to lord themselves over the people of God but called by Christ to serve in the church according to their divine gifting (1 Timothy 5:17).
When it came time to appoint elders and deacons within a local church body five-fold ascension gifts were always involved. “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3; 14:23; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 15). Prophets, like all the five-fold ascension gifts, are set in and sent out from a local church, not just roaming the city doing their own thing. That’s hard for the rebellious to take, but it’s true anyway. I know some have been hurt in bad churches and use that as a reason to avoid participation in any church. Just because someone was hurt or rejected doesn’t take away from the importance of the local church.
The local church is home base. It’s the place you are equipped and sent. The local church was the place Paul and Barnabas received their instruction from the Holy Ghost while fasting and praying, and through the ministry of the laying on of hands were sent.
When speaking of false prophets we are not talking about good Christian Brothers and Sisters operating in one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit outside the local church in the public square. Equipping (perfecting) and sending the saints into the harvest field with the power of the Holy Ghost is part of the very ministry of the five-fold ascension gifts. That is part of the apostolic model of ministry.
The purpose of a local Apostolic church is not to bring men into subjection to the local church but rather in training and maturing disciples that are well able to bring the world into subjection to Christ the King. In other words, spiritual authority within a local church is not legislative because the Word of God already contains our governing statutes and sanctions, but rather spiritual authority within the local church is ministerial in the sense of serving, protecting, feeding, and equipping the congregation. Here we are referring to false or rebellious prophets that are accountable to absolutely no one. You know who they are.
I love the Word of God, Christ’s Church, His five-fold ascension gifts, the Holy Ghost, prophecy, and Disciples of Christ, but I see a rise of rebellious prophets full of error and abusing people in the name of Jesus. This needs to be addressed especially by those within the apostolic and prophetic leadership. Apostle Paul wrote, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). Grievous wolves use Christian lingo, are dangerous, and attack sheep. One of their identifying marks is accountability to no one.
Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits...” (Matthew 7:15-16). Some say you should not judge. Knowing people by their fruits is not passing judgment on them. Knowing people by their fruits is simply measuring what they say, do, and produce against the Word of God. Knowing those that labor among you and trying the spirits is biblical (1 John 4:1). When you meet one, ask what church they attend because the most dangerous do not attend any church. One said he didn’t attend any church because “they are just pastors, and he was a prophet.” He forgot “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:44).
Grievous wolves are full of pride, accusation, arrogance, deceit, lies, lust, witchcraft, condemnation, division, judgment, false prophecies and are accountable to no one. Folks, you don’t have to be abused by malcontent prophets. They are not true representatives of Christ. The Lord has given loving leaders within the five-fold ascension gifts that will help you fulfill purpose and destiny. Stay away from rebellious prophets and seek the safety found in a good local church with loving leadership.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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