Anatomy of a Prophet
Do Prophets of God Still Exist?
"...A prophet is not without honour,
in his own country, and in his own house...."
We read in the Bible how in ancient times Prophets
of God roamed the earth. However, the question we want to address
here is, do the Prophets of God still exist today? The way scholars
and teachers describe them, they appear mystical, almost like
prehistoric mythological creatures. They make them seem far removed
from our modern life. They do the same when they teach of when angels
appeared unto men.
As a pre-schooler, I would listen with fascination
as pastors would describe the prophets of God. But sometimes it
sounded more like a school teacher reading a fairy tale, than a man
of God preaching from the Word of God. Perhaps with so many small
children in the audience, they felt they had to “dumb it down”
so to speak. I may be wrong, but that's how I remember it.
Then in June of 1955, a Pentecostal evangelist named
“Jack Coe” came to town. He held revival meetings in this
huge canvas tent. Some claimed it was bigger than the Ringling
Brothers “Big Top” circus tent.
I was four years old and witnessed the awesome power
of God demonstrated for the first time in my life. I got saved one
night during those meetings. I remember it as if it happened just
yesterday. I can still smell the fresh wood shavings and saw dust
that covered the dirt floor.
I can still see my uncle after being struck by the
power of God and rolling and writhing on the saw dust floor, and
violently shaking. He stood 6'1”, around 220 pounds, and a hard
core heathen. He had wood shavings from head to toe, in his hair,
everywhere. Only God could have demonstrated such power to subdue a
man as big, strong, and wild as my uncle. I was captivated by all
that. We all could feel an unseen presence in that tent. You'd need
help misunderstanding that scene.
I can still hear Jack's booming voice, and see him
practice that “dangerous faith" he was so famous
When the Spirit began to move, Jack would call for
everyone who had faith for their healing to run forward for prayer.
Sometimes the Spirit would move so powerfully he would say “...if
you don't have faith, come on down anyway; I've got enough faith for
all of us....”
Sometimes he would grab people up off their
stretchers and out of their wheel chairs. He'd even shake them as if
he were trying to shake the unbelief out of them. I guess he figured
if he couldn't cast the devil out of the he'd shake him out.
One woman came on the platform laden with abdominal
tumors, she was huge. Jack got angry at the devil for doing that to
such a sweet sister in Christ. Suddenly everyone gasped as he drew
back his fist. Then he threw his nearly 300 pounds of weight into it
as he punched her right in the gut. As the tumors vanished her belly
collapsed like air from a ruptured balloon. In fact it happened so
quickly that her slip fell down around her ankles, right there in
front of several thousand Miamians; critics and newspaper reporters
Note: I feel I must go
on record protesting this so-called “dangerous faith” as it was
called back in 1955. My academic studies and supernatural experiences
since my ordination in the early 1970s earns me the right to an
opinion here. I have never found any example in scripture where Jesus
or His Apostles ever punched anyone in the stomach, or anywhere else.
In most cases they just spoke the word and the person was healed, and
in a few cases they healed by the laying on of hands. While I admire
Jack Coe's faith, and I'm grateful to God for using him to first
reveal God's awesome power to me; I find the so-called “dangerous
faith” to actually be “reckless faith”, and something to be
renounced and not embraced.
Experiences No One Could Forget!
It wasn't long until our family fled to the
Pentecostal church seeking “...asylum”. During those years we
discovered a family friend had become a pastor who followed Brother
William Branham. My life was changed forever. That began a process
where academic theory would become supernatural experience. The
saying is true, “a man with an experience is not at the mercy of a
man with a theory”. After sixty years of it, I can tell you
experiencing the supernatural is different from reading about the
supernatural experience of others two thousand years ago. It's as
different as reading a food critic's review of a five-star
restaurant's signature version of “Foie de Veau a la Lyonnaise”
and actually sitting down in that restaurant and eating it.
NOTE: The only people I've ever heard criticize
any supernatural experience with God are those who have never had a
real one. The Apostle Paul once held that view until suddenly he was
stricken to the ground by God's power. Amazingly, he changed his
view. No one who has ever been immersed into His Shekinah presence,
and who's witnessed the transfiguration would dare to blaspheme such
an experience. I know whereof I speak. Those who criticize healings,
and the demonstration of Spirit and power; are those who have no
healings, no demonstration of Spirit, and no power.
What Happened to the Prophets?
"...O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest
and stonest them (prophets) that are sent unto
But the question remains, “do prophets of God
still exist” today? And, upon what and whose authority does one
predicate their conclusion? Were my early childhood pastors correct
in their presentations? Were “prophets” merely ancient mystical
figures from distant biblical ages? Have they gone the way of the
dinosaurs, and are now extinct?
I am not aware of any respected scholar or teacher
who would dispute that “true prophets of God” existed in the
church, in the first century. But they also claim those prophets
faded into extinction sometime around the end of the first century
CE. I call this the “extinction theory”. If they are extinct,
then how do these scholars know “prophets” ever existed to begin
with? Have they excavated “prophet fossils” or something? What
proof do they have of the “prophets of God” ever existing, or
Obviously, the only reliable historical sources for
“prophets of God” existing in the early church are scripture and
early church history....
…Most who embrace the foregoing “extinction
theory” also believe “apostles” became extinct at the same time
as the “prophets”. How do they explain this theorem?
Maybe it was caused by some mysterious
ecclesiastical ice age. I know of churches who've been in an ice age
for years, and come to think of it they have no “apostles or true
prophets of God”. So maybe that's what happened....
...How did the “evangelists and pastor-teachers”
miraculously survive whatever catastrophe wiped out the “apostles
and true prophets of God”?
...Do these scholars and teachers reason the
“evangelists and pastor-teachers” were just a stronger species
causing them to survive the catastrophic events that destroyed the
“apostles and true prophets”? Do they believe it's a survival of
the fittest thing? What possible textual gymnastics can they come up
with to explain all this?
Should These Arguments Be Taken
Turn the Argument Around
I purposely wrote the foregoing “tongue and cheek”
hoping that poking a little fun might make my point. My only purpose
is to show the absurdity of this part of the “cessationist
Now I have no bone to pick with the cessationist
crowd. Some of the greatest academic influences in my life embrace
this theory. I love and respect each of them as essential facets of
my academic pedigree. But I firmly disagree with them on this
Turn the argument around and present it as “apostles
or prophets of God” remained and the “evangelists and
pastor-teachers” suddenly vanished, once the first century had
elapsed. See how far you get with that one.
There exists no scriptural evidence (properly
interpreted and applied) to support the “extinction theory” of
the “apostle and prophet gifts”; or for that matter any other of
the so-called “Gifts if the Spirit”. But there are
scriptural and historical evidence to show none of them ceased, they
are all represented in the Ante Nicene era, and they all still exist
to this day....
...So to conclude this sub-point, I've never heard
any scripturally based explanation as to how “apostles and
prophets” could suddenly vanish without the “evangelists and
pastor-teachers” vanishing as well? Scripture does not support any
such thesis. The text is clear that these gifts will all cease at the
same time, and for the same reason! It cannot be over-stated, there
is no plausible scriptural explanation for why the “evangelist and
pastor-teacher gifts” would remain for 2,000 years, while the
“apostle and prophet gifts” would suddenly vanished without a
scriptural or historical trace, after less than 70 years.
Actually, there is an historical trace. There is a
record of these ministries still operating according to the
scriptural directive, during the Ante Nicene period. And in spite of
any occasional “end time fraud”, we still see the legitimate
“apostle and prophet gifts” operating today, just as we see the
legitimate “evangelist and pastor-teacher gifts” operating.
Both “apostle and prophet gifts” and “evangelist
and pastor-teachers” were subjected to the same persecutions, and
neither were stronger than the other.
I've read and heard the best of the cessationist
arguments for most of my life. In my opinion, and by all appearance,
the entire cessationist argument is based on prejudicial conjecture,
relying on fragments of scant anecdotal evidence and theory.
If anyone produced an argument regarding soteriology
using the principles they use for cessation, those embracing
cessation would label such an argument an heresy....
...The “cessationist theory” is just
that, a theory; and a seriously flawed one at that.
We plan to post our teaching on what is generally
referred to in “full gospel” circles as the “Five Fold
Ministry”. When we do, in all likelihood it will really get things
stirred up; that is if this little treatise hasn't already done so.
While stirring things up is not our purpose, it seems a stirring
stick is always found at the scene of every exegetical crime. What we
hope to accomplish is to prove beyond mere reasonable doubt that the
cessationist position is scripturally and historically infirm.
Someone please describe a Prophet of God
"...ye shall know them by their fruits...."
Years ago, when teaching on this subject I would ask
if someone in the crowd could describe a true prophet. Inevitably,
some zealot would arise and elaborate ad nauseam. They'd begin calmly
regurgitating the most recent teaching or view they'd heard. Before
they were finished, they'd be spewing it out like water from a fire
hose. In short, it would begin with sincerity and end like an
infomercial. Their recipe always contained the same ingredients,
obeying the word, faithful tithing, being accountable to some
super-sonic-spiritual-christian, and inevitably they would end up
describing a creature closely resembling themselves.
NOTE: I am not disparaging the aforementioned
characteristics or attributes when properly applied and in balance. I
am merely describing the typical contextual scenario.
On one such occasion, a fellow arose who loved the
preeminence. He interrupted and began expectorating all he thought he
knew about the true prophet's profile. His rant began with things,
like the true prophet would keep the law of God to the letter, he'd
never miss church, he'd tithe and follow the ten commandments, he'd
have impeccable moral credentials, he'd carry himself like a leader,
he'd have a following, and we would know him by his fruits because he
would produce the fruit of the Spirit. He seemed to infer his good
fruit was essentially where he went to church, the person(s) he would
be accountable to (his covering), his righteous works, etc. When he
finally concluded his lengthy unstructured discourse I said,
“Congratulations, you just described a Pharisee”. Later I
would learn that the person he had described that day was actually
how he viewed himself.
It is difficult to reconcile “conduct”
meaning “their fruits” with other facts like “outwardly”
the Pharisees were notorious for keeping “the letter of the Law”
with impeccability; while their hearts were filled with evil. I do
not believe that is what Jesus meant to say was a true prophet's
Note: We will profile the “False Profile” in detail in
Not a Fruit Cocktail!
Ironically, out of all the times I asked for that
description, never once did anyone correctly state what scripture
defines as the fruit of the true prophet of God. So when all the
speculation ended, I would read Matthew 7:15-16, and then go on to
describe how an orange tree will naturally produce oranges, and apple
trees apples, etc.
While Jesus uses the plural here in citing a tree's
"fruits", it is usually misunderstood by the novice
bible student. The use of plural "fruits" is not
referring to many kinds of fruit. Yet the novice usually assumes
Jesus is referring to the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
While every believer should be naturally producing those fruits, that
is not what Jesus is referring to here. Jesus is presuming a normal
tree will produce more than one piece of fruit. In other words, it is
reasonable to anticipate an orange tree will produce more than one
orange per lifetime. The only reference Jesus makes to distinguish
kinds of fruit is "good fruit" and "corrupt
fruit". So remember this very important point, these are the
two genotypes we are to observe to distinguish a true prophet from a
An orange tree doesn't struggle for years before it
acts like an orange tree. Upon germination, the orange tree begins
its life "being" an orange tree. It doesn't have to
be discipled by the husbandman how to produce oranges. It is an
orange tree and naturally produces oranges. It would be unnatural if
it did not produce oranges, or if it produced any fruit other than
oranges. It doesn't produce a variety of fruit, it produces one
fruit, and that is oranges. It's fruit is how we know it's an orange
What Jesus is saying in the instant case is, while
it will produce one fruit (oranges), it will either produce
good oranges 100% of the time, or it's a corrupt orange tree. It
doesn't have to prove to anyone what kind of tree it is, its fruit is
its only scriptural proof! So Jesus said that the fruit of a tree is
how we are to determine its genotype; and not what the tree's beauty,
what grove it grows in, its seed lineage, whose husbandry it is
under, its size, its shape, or any other thing. Oranges are the only
fruit, and the only proof an orange tree needs to show us who and
what it is. And only a tree that produces 100% good oranges qualifies
for “good tree” status.
Jesus reduced the argument to simply an either or
observation. As that acronym used in computer science “WYSIWYG”;
or what you see is what you get. It all boils down to the following
So if a Prophet was a tree what
would his fruit look like?
Why God Sends His Prophets
"...Surely the Lord God will do nothing,
but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the
Our dear Brother Green in the Branham following said
it best, "...God sends prophets to pronounce judgment against
those who will not listen, as well as for the edification of those
eager for the word of God. To the one, the words of the prophet bring
life; to the other they bring death and destruction...."
And I would add to that from my own teachings,
"...God has not changed, and the purpose and mission of His
prophets has not changed, regardless of historic dispensation...."
As it is written, “Jesus Christ the same,
yesterday, today, and forever....” That refers to more than
merely not changing in His essence. If He saved in the first century,
and He still saves in this century, then if healed in the first
century, He will still heal in this century, unless there is a clear
line of demarcation where healing ended. Furthermore, if His
disciples in the first century were required to “love one
another” in order to be saved, He will require believers to
love one another in this century to be saved. You can plead “by
faith and not by works” all you want; that will not change to
truth, nor the standard by which you and I will be judged. The
doctrine of salvation is built on more than just one passage of
scripture. If God does not change, if His doctrine has not changed,
then His true prophet's fruit will not have changed. So let's see
what that fruit is, and how to observe whether his fruit is "good
fruit" or "corrupt fruit". The gravity of
this subject cannot be overstated. Following a false prophet can lead
one to a place they do not want or need to go, and sometimes cannot
get out of....
Well there's a smorgasbord of meat
middle of this sandwich.
So we will skip forward about fifty
and get to the end....
"I'll Close with
"...every soul, which will not hear that
shall be destroyed from among the people...."
I care not one whit whether anyone accepts this
word, or whether I am dismissed as some nut job. Receive this word,
reject it, even laugh at it; it's according to your free will. Just
do what you do deliberately, because you will embrace whatever
consequences, not I. What I write, speak, and declare is what I
believe He has given me to proclaim. I do have a history of hearing
from Him. It's not a coincidence that of all the many prophetic
utterances I've given, ending in the phrase "Thus Saith the
Lord", I don't know of a single one that has ever failed to
come to pass as given.
So if what I write seems harsh, it is not intended
to be so. However, it is certainly meant to be “direct”. If that
bothers weaker brethren, I cannot help that.
We all agree that we cannot stop preaching the
gospel, simply because someone gets offended.
Neither can I stop speaking God's prophetic message,
just because a weaker brother doesn't understand or believe, or may
Otherwise, I'm allowing the devil to control me and
what I say, through the weaker brother who's obviously under some
degree of enemy control.
But you cannot obey the commandment to "love
one another as I have loved you" and be indifferent to one
another at the same time.
You cannot “Love your neighbor as yourself”
and be looking for scriptural loopholes to justify or rationalize
your desire to push away or shun the one who your find burdensome, or
inconvenient. I know whereof I speak.
Note: Don't tell me this does not exist. I know
by the Spirit and by experience that people actually do this. It has
been done to us. People misapply scripture to justify avoiding those
in need. It's been very much like what the Pharisee did to his
brother, in Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan.
In fact, I have been secretly delivered over to
satan a few times, three times that I am aware of. Each of the three
pastors who led these actions experienced bizarre loss of ministry,
calamity, terminal illness, and ultimately disease and death. While I
do not rejoice in any of this, the facts remain. Had these unlearned
people been led by the Spirit, even if delivering me to satan had
been circumstantially appropriate, they would have known to do it
publicly with me present, and never secretly. Part of the divine
discipline is for the subject to know why it is happening to them,
and for others to fear. Doing so secretly is the occult practice of
invoking a curse. Scripture is voluminously clear about that. I'm
convinced that it hastened their demise.
By the way, any time church folks look for excuses
to avoid those in need, and at the same time claims to be walking in
love, they are committing the same offense as Ananias and Sapphira.
So I guess it's good for them that the Holy Spirit's true presence
does not fill their churches on Sunday mornings.
People who practice the aforementioned and think
they're saved are likely to be in for a surprise. The Holy Spirit
impressed upon me a few years ago that most of the people I know are
no saved. Since past Rhema experiences have been heretofore 100%
accurate, I determined to confirm the Rhema by scripture. So I dove
into the Word, and when I came up for air I was stunned. As a result
of that study I plan to publish a book showing the scriptural
evidences of salvation. That study confirmed that Rhema.
If we smash our finger with a hammer, the rest of
our body cannot ignore the pain. The foot will not say to that
finger, you're too much of a burden, be cast away. If saw dust flies
into your eye, the rest of your body will not say get out of the
body. Yet church folks do this perpetually to the outcasts within the
Body of Christ. They not only do not feel the pain of their hurting
brethren, they want them to go away. Again, I know whereof I speak.
These people believe they are saved and eternally
secure. Don't get me wrong, we are not saved by our good works. But
as the Apostle James wrote, “faith without works is dead”!
Our works are the vital signs of our faith. Believing faith it not
simply being intellectually convinced of who God is and what Jesus'
sacrifice on the cross did for us. The demons believe that much. In
fact, they even tremble in reverence of God, something I've rarely
seen from few church folks. No one wants to embrace a doctrine so
liberal that even demons could be saved. Saving faith is absolute
faith in who God is and what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished, AND
our faithfulness TO HIM!
Note: In my lifetime I have observed the doctrine
“without works” evolve into what appears to be “against works”
and that is unfortunate. As stated, a sound doctrine of soteriology
must be built on a foundation of more than one verse of scripture.
What I am saying is exactly what the Apostle James
wrote, saving faith has vital signs. When someone is in a hospital
ICU wired to monitors, and when that oscilloscope “flat lines” as
they call it, that means there are no vital signs. When there are no
EKG, EEG, or respiratory signs, they call it and the patient is
pronounced dead. The vital signs on the screen are not the actual
life. The screen did not cause the vital signs. The life caused the
vital signs which made them to appear on the screen. If vital signs
exist, they will be visible on the screen. If they are not visible on
the screen it's because they are non-existent.
If a body does not feel pain, it is either drugged,
diseased, or dead. So what is the diagnosis of those claiming to be
in the Body of Jesus Christ, yet do not feel the pain of the poor,
the sick, the oppressed, or any of the Lord's suffering servants?
How can anyone be Born Again of the Spirit of God
and act this way? How can anyone believe that a Holy God would
execute such a harsh judgment against Ananias and his wife Sapphira
in a church service for such gross hypocrisy, and yet let the church
in America get a free pass for doing vastly worse? How many hundreds
of times have I heard people declare to the heavens that they give
their all to serve Jesus Christ? When the Spirit is moving, it's easy
to blurt out declarations like, “...He owns everything I
have...I give everything I own to Him....” Or when they're
giving their testimony on television, they say such things into the
camera to millions of viewers. Then when satan challenges them on
that (and he will challenge every one of us who so declares),
they clinch their fists full on money with white knuckles; and then
say, “...if he's not working, let him not eat!”. When the
Spirit is moving, they claim to give all, but when they re-enter the
world they live in, they retreat.
Claiming to have given more than
they actually gave is exactly what Ananias and Sapphira did; and that
got them each killed during a Spirit-Filled Christian church service.
I guess it is a good thing for them that the Holy Spirit doesn't movein
their services the way He did in the first century church.
Brother Branham used to say
similar things about if we truly saw a move of the Spirit like the
early church witnessed, we would see Ananias' and Saphirra's laying all
over the place. I agree with him on that!
every reader, you should observe and note your initial reaction to
the previous statement. If it doesn't cause you some pause or Holy
Spirit conviction, then as Paul warned, so I warn you all;
yourselves whether you be in the faith....”
It is the hireling who will not rescue the lost
It is the Pharisee who abandons the wounded
who crosses the street to avoid him,
and ignores him as if he doesn't exist!
It is the jealous brother who resents the
once miscreant son,
who has repented and come home,
when he receives the Father's forgiveness, love,
Where do you stand in all of this?
As believers, it is our duty to examine
ourselves, whether we be in the faith; not examine each other.
Remember, "Fruit Inspector" is not a gift of the
Holy Spirit. "Fruit Inspection" is nothing more than
a euphemism for "Judging" someone else; and a forbidden
practice for believers. As one man used to say, “...they just a
usin' it for a license to judge everybody....” Don't listen to bible
teachers who rationalize judging by making it analogous to hiring a
painter, or other forms of social evaluation. Anyone who cannot tell
the difference between judging who is the best house painter and
judging their brethren really needs to go back into their closet
(prayer closet) and not come out until they've learned how to
study the scriptures.
Every Prophet will produce one
kind of fruit,
that fruit will either be "good" or
and that will tell whether he is a
"true prophet of God",
or a "false prophet" from the other
We will know whether a prophet is true or false, not
by judging them, but by observation of the obvious, his
prophetic fruit. Scripture is clear on what that fruit is.
As Jesus and His Apostles all warned,
"...see that no man deceive you...."
Again, where do you stand in this Last Days
You owe it to yourself to answer this question,
"What do your Vital Signs of your faith
about your spiritual health?"
The bottom line is this:
IF WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD,
THEN WE ARE FITLY JOINED TOGETHER AS ONE BODY
BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT!
IF WE ARE FITLY JOINED TOGETHER AS ONE BODY,
THEN WHEN ONE BODY MEMBER IS WOUNDED,
THE REST OF BODY WILL FEEL THE PAIN,
WILL RUSH TO RELIEVE THE PAIN
AND EXHAUST ALL ITS ENERGY AND RESOURCES
TO HEAL THE
THE ONLY EXCEPTION WOULD BE,
THAT THE BODY IN QUESTION IS EITHER
DISEASED, DRUGGED, OR DEAD!
IF HIS HOLY SPIRIT INDWELLS US,
GOD'S LOVE WILL BE SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS
HIS HOLY SPIRIT!
IF WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD,
WE WILL LOVE ONE ANOTHER
IN THE SAME WAY THAT JESUS
IF WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD,
WE ARE NOT INDIFFERENT TO ANY BODY MEMBER'S
IF WE SAY WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF
AND WE SHUT UP OUR BOWELS OF COMPASSION
TO A BROTHER WE KNOW IS IN NEED
HOW CAN WE DARE TO SAY WE ARE BORN AGAIN
OR THAT THE LOVE OF GOD DWELLS IN US?
IF WE ARE BORN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD,
WE WILL HAVE GIVEN ALL WE ARE,
AND ALL WE HAVE TO HIM!
IF WE DECLARE THAT WE HAVE GIVEN ALL TO HIM,
AND YET HOLD BACK MATERIAL POSSESSIONS
IN LIEU OF OBEDIENCE TO HIS
THEN WE HAVE COMMITTED HYPOCRISY
IN THE EXACT WAY THAT
ANANIAS AND SAPHIRRA DID
WHEN THEY WERE STRICKEN DEAD IN CHURCH!
As previously stated, too
often “without works” has morphed into “against
works” in modern American Christianity. James made it clear,
and to put it into a contemporary illustration: “...faith
without works, is like an ICU patient who flat lines...there
is no detectable evidence of life....” Since eternal life is
the ultimate subject under discussion, that should concern each of us.
The sound scriptural doctrine of salvation is built upon more than
one verse of scripture. No one verse turns the entire doctrine, nor
answers all the pertinent questions. The following are excerpts from
a note I wrote a brother recently who was defending his position of
one being able to lose his
this cause I have been writing a book addressing this very
subject...heretofore, procrastination has prevailed in hindering its
completion...this matter was settled for me decades ago...though many
whom I love, vehemently disagree with my position...I always stand
ready to defend it against the power of darkness...however, I would
warn everyone on both sides of this argument; never be presumptuous
about our great salvation...to do so dishonors the Lord who purchased
us with His own blood...anyone who is constantly searching for
technicalities to see just how close to the fence they can walk and
still prove they are saved, probably isn't saved at all...as far as
whether they were once saved and then lost again, or they were never
saved to begin with is a moot point with me, since the end result is
the same for them...another point we must NEVER forget, it wasn't the
self-righteous Pharisee who never did anything wrong who got saved,
it was the filthy sinner who was contrite for his sins who Jesus
said, arose justified...however, reckless conduct for anyone will
almost surely prove to be dangerous at best, and at worst, eternally
That is Thus Saith the Lord!