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The following are pre-edit excerpts
from the revised version of

"Profile of a Prophet of God" 

The original version has been taken down 

for revision and final edit.

We plan to publish this soon on Amazon....
the new book title will be as follows:

The Anatomy of a Prophet




Gerry Phillips



Do Prophets of God Still Exist?

"...A prophet is not without honour,
save in his own country, and in his own house
...."

Matthew 13:57



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 for.

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 included.




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 the prophets,

and stonest them (prophets) that are sent unto thee...."

Matthew 23:37



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 becoming extinct?

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 Seriously?

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 argument”.

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 subject.

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...."

Matthew 7:16



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 fruit.



Note: We will profile the “False Profile” in detail in another study.





One Fruit!

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 false prophet.

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 tree.

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 question:

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 prophets...."

Amos 3:7

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
in the middle of this sandwich.
So we will skip forward about fifty pages
and get to the end....



"I'll Close with

Thus Saith the Lord!"

"...every soul, which will not hear that prophet,
shall be destroyed from among the people
...."
Acts 3:23 

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 get offended.

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.

So 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!

To 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; “...examine yourselves whether you be in the faith....”





Remember,

It is the hireling who will not rescue the lost sheep!



It is the Pharisee who abandons the wounded brother,

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, and affection!

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 "corrupt";

and that will tell whether he is a "true prophet of God",

or a "false prophet" from the other fella!



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 scenario?



You owe it to yourself to answer this question, 

"What do your Vital Signs of your faith say

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 WOUND!



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

BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT!



IF WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD,

WE WILL LOVE ONE ANOTHER

IN THE SAME WAY THAT JESUS LOVES US!



IF WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD,

WE ARE NOT INDIFFERENT TO ANY BODY MEMBER'S PAIN.



IF WE SAY WE ARE BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD

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 COMMANDMENTS;

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 salvation:

"...for 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 deadly...."

That is Thus Saith the Lord!



_________


- GERRY PHILLIPS - 1955-2015
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED