Posted Apr 29, 2021 by Michael L. Brown

Throughout the Bible, prophetic ministry played a central role to the point that, if you take it out of the Bible, you no longer have a Bible. At the same time, prophetic ministry presented many challenges, with false prophets doing as much damage as true prophets did good.

The apostle Paul summed up the possibilities and the problems associated with prophecy in a few short verses, writing, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21).

So, on the one hand, prophetic ministry should be encouraged, not suppressed. On the other hand, it must be tested.

Unfortunately, in church circles where prophetic ministry is still accepted, we tend to go to one extreme or the other, either welcoming prophecy with little or no discernment or virtually shutting it down with a hyper-cautious attitude.

Today, in light of the failed Trump prophecies, which received widespread media attention, and which followed on the heels of the failed end-of-Covid prophecies, prophetic ministry has a bad name. Not only so, but many believers have become spiritually disoriented while many pastors are asking, “Who cleans up the mess now?”

In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, amid a storm of pro-Trump prophecies, Bishop Joseph Mattera and I began to discuss the need to convene a number of charismatic leaders, sensing the fallout that would come should Trump not win reelection.

The first conference call took place on February 8, with about 20 leaders participating, and without names being released. That led to the drafting of a “Prophetic Standards” document, which was then submitted for discussion during a second call on March 15, involving most of the same leaders and some others who had not been part of the first call.

During that second call, the document was reviewed line by line, resulting in many changes and improvements. Then, it was sent to a number of other key charismatic leaders who were not part of either call, resulting in further sharpening of the statement.

It is, therefore, a group statement rather than that of any individual or denomination or stream or network or group.

As for the initial signers, they too represent different denominations, streams, networks, and groups, including megachurch pastors, biblical scholars, theologians, evangelists, leaders of apostolic networks, recognized prophetic ministers, and local church leaders.

It is our hope that this statement will both honor and encourage prophetic ministry while at the same time calling for greater accountability, since unaccountable prophecy has been a bane on the modern Pentecostal-charismatic movement for decades.

As the statement begins, “At a time when there are many questions in the Body concerning the gift of prophecy and the ministry of the prophet, and in light of the needs of local pastors as well as individual believers to have practical guidelines for processing prophetic words, as Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders, we felt that now was the opportune moment to produce this current document.

“It is not the purpose of this statement to condemn or accuse. Instead, our purpose is to help provide scriptural guidelines for the operation of the gift of prophecy and the functioning of the ministry of the prophet, while at the same time affirming the importance of these gifts and ministries.”

To read the full statement, go here. To see the initial list of signers, which represent different nations including the USA, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Israel, go here. If you are a ministry leader, you can add your name to the list of those who affirm the document here.

As you will see, the statement addresses the question of responsibility for failed prophecies, circles of local and national accountability, assessing prophetic words delivered in unfiltered form on the internet, joining our faith with prophecies, and the definition of a false prophet.

Note also that no judgment should be made on those whose names do not appear on this first list, since the statement was not sent out to multiplied hundreds of leaders, let alone multiplied thousands, to join the initial signatories. However, we invite all leaders to add their names to the document now, giving their affirmation.

We also encourage all interested believers to send this statement to their pastors or spiritual overseers, asking for their affirmation. And we encourage believers to send the statement to prophetic ministers whom they follow, asking for their affirmation as well.

Let us use this unique moment in history to cultivate sound prophetic ministry since “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). It is a great gift to the Church, and should neither be neglected nor abused.

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Comments

BW posted a comment · May 03, 2021
You always miss the point! the intent! ___________________________________________________________________________ “It is not the purpose of this statement to condemn or accuse."
BW posted a comment · May 03, 2021
GOD'S GRACE _________________________________________________________________________ Don't You think an unknowable God knows the difference between a person who is so ready for God to deal with evil in the world and set this nation on a path of correction some pray for it ! so they see someone that comes along and thy see God in everything, They are so ready for God to move! anticipating his response to their Prayers! all the the naysayers who cant see God in anything ! my faith(a gift) helps me see God in everything! Who are you to limit how God does anything and say what is or isn't God or who God can or can't use or will use or won't use Skwh(dog initials)310 stop talking for God you argue in circles! your points are tiresome, God says in His word He is unsearchable. _________________________________________________________________________ Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”Romans 11:33-36
BW posted a comment · May 03, 2021
What a bunch of bosh ___________________________________________________________________________ /bäSH/ something regarded as absurd; nonsense. "I think it's a load of bosh"
mcarcach posted a comment · May 02, 2021
Presently, I am developing a series on 1 Corinthians (preaching on chapter 7 today). I have deliberated much on the gifts of tongues and prophesy, and I was pleasantly surprised to come accross this document today—which I believe is much needed. I agree: the ministry of Old Testament prophets was different from the ministry of New Testament prophets. Christian prophets are members of the body of Christ, and they must be held accountable by their local churches.
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Swkh310 posted a comment · May 01, 2021
Bravo, skeptic. Well stated. Here’s another point of view, from”Friendly Atheist.” https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2021/04/30/christians-created-a-laughable-set-of-standards-for-so-called-prophets/
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skepticalchristian posted a comment · May 01, 2021
(so i'm not accused of being anti-charismatic or cessationist - I would say that my heart is in that "radical middle" between evangelical and pentecostal that's how I see myself as a believer.) I am so glad that there is this call for accountability among Christian leaders. So many were duped and whether they know it or not -- this idea that Trump is still our president, or our "president in heaven" right now, and that we need to "follow the plan" and that Trump will be back in office by August. All of this is pure hogwash (and I'm saying this as someone who voted for D.T. and don't regret it). These Christian leaders were deceived by a movement that seems Christian on the surface but is really anything but -- QAnon. I wasn't paid by any organization nor did I do this in any official capacity -- but I spent the last couple months investigating QAnon by following their #1 channel on Telegram with over 350,000 followers. I never found them advocating violence. Some of the content shared was a stretch politically, some made me laugh, and some was quite insane (like high profile democrats wipe abortion blood on their faces daily, high profile democrats are involved in pedophilia, and that many people who appear on TV are not the real people but they are CGI -- computer generated images). None of this seemed violent to me and I think in a free society people should have a right to express those views -- but I could see how this could be very seductive and dangerous, drawing in a lot of committed Christians. However, lately especially because we are thinking about Holocaust Remembrance -- I found out some of the real evils of these QAnon'ers. At their core they hate the Jewish people and they deny the Holocaust. They are Nazi sympathizers and believe Hitler was good and allowed Christianity to flourish. How wrong they are. We Christians must stand for accountability and against the evils of hatred being promoted by QAnon.
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Apr 30, 2021
Few things hurt Christianity more than the deluge of self proclaimed prophets who are nothing more than thinly disguised con artists.