St asking how or you Pastors & Prophets
Protocol for the Prophetic Ministry
By Apostle Jerry L Woodruff.
This will not be one of my most liked pieces of work, but is one that is well needed. After reading a recent article on this topic I was pressed to study more on this subject of Pastors & Prophets. God has shown me that many times in Apostolic (fivefold ministries) we cannot release certain ministry gifts because we have not structured our ministries to be able to handle them. There are power gifts that were given to the body of Christ, that were intended to help develop the health of the church. However, if these power gifts, here mainly speaking of Prophecy, are not given some guidelines to work within they can be a source of great confusion and division. I know some prophets will be somewhat uneasy with this, but
this is what Paul was doing in 1Corinthinans 14. He was setting order for the proper use of the gifts to be used in the church. As Pastors of the local church you have to be bold,
encouraging and loving when dealing with the prophets within the house and without.
1 Corinthians 14:28-33 KJV  Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
This verse gives us some instructions that have been overlooked and has caused many fivefold ministries to be very unhealthy. We are to allow the prophets to speak in groups of
two or three only.
Matthew 18:16 KJV . . . in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.Then it gives us an instruction that the body of Christ must be bold enough to implement: "and let the others Judge." Pastors, we have to teach our members, mainly our leaders how to judge prophecy and not the prophet. 1 Corinthians 14: If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.What this teaches us is the Prophetic ministry does not have to be Messy. NO one should feel comfortable enough to just stand up in your church and say "Thus saith the Lord" without first conferring with the pastor. Prophecy is to Provide Comfort. 1 Corinthians 14: For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. Paul here teaches us that the prophetic gift is available to every born again believer. However this does not mean that everyone
that prophesies is a prophet or walks in the Office of a prophet (I will ask Apostle Elam to write a piece on that issue). This verse also teaches us the purpose of prophecy, "and all
may be comforted."Allow me to speak to the LWENJ, Pastors. As your Chief Apostle
I warn you not to receive an angry or offended Prophet that
always speaks a word of rebuke. Proverbs 22:24 KJV Make no friendship with an angry
man (or woman); and with a furious man thou shalt not go:As being a leader that loves the people of God I would also say: Don't sit under an angry preacher or listen to a angry
prophet! A good pastor/prophet can even give a word of correction with the love of Christ, without allowing flesh to get involved. Many prophets that will come to your churches will
have been offended because of a rejection that they may have experienced in other churches.
Bitter Offended Spirits The New Testament word for "offended" comes from a Greek,
scadanlon. Scadanlon was a word used in the ancient world to describe the part of the trap on which the bait was set. Many prophets, because of their offended spirit have taken the bait of Satan, bitterness. Un-submitted Prophets1 Corinthians 14: And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. If we are going to allow prophets to operate in our ministries, it can only be the ones that are submitted to the pastoral leadership of a local church. This is not to say that we are to only hear the prophets who are in our fellowships, but the prophet should be submitted to someone. The reason I say this is because even though prophecy is from God it is filtered through the soul (mind, intellect, reasoning and understanding) of that individual prophet. If that person has a rebellious nature eventually they will give someone a word to influence rebellion in them.
Don't let anyone tell you anything, you just need to hear God! You don't need a pastor, God can lead you!
Don't let a man dictate what God is doing in your ministry! Not for Confusion or Controversy.
1 Corinthians 14: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Remember, I said earlier that it is our job to judge prophecies (1 Corinthians 14:29) . In doing so we are not to reject the prophet, but we are to pass a judgment on if they are using their prophetic gift according to Biblical guidelines. Verse 33 says that "God is not the author of Confusion." So why would you tolerate a Prophet who has caused confusion
everywhere else he/she has ministered to come to your church and minister? One time OK, two times perhaps we can pray them through. But three strikes and they should be out.
Pastors, you have to set a standard in your church that will not just kill confusion, but will prevent it. [Deuteronomy 18:22 KJV] When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken,
but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him (her).
[Deuteronomy 18:22 MSG] If what the prophet spoke in God's name doesn't happen, then obviously GOD wasn't behind it; the prophet made it up. Forget about him (her). How many times have we heard prophets say "Thus saith the Lord, such and such is going to happen," and nothing happens or the very opposite occurs! Why would you keep listening to this person? The Bible here is very clear. If they speak it and in the name of the Lord and it does not happen then it was not
God, he/she made it up. We are to disregard their claims to be a prophet. Warning!!! Prophecy is conditional! What that means is before you say a person is a false prophet make sure you look at yourself to see that you have met all the conditions of the particular prophecy that was given to you. To the pastors who are used prophetically and the ones who
may be grooming prophets in their midst's it would be wise to stay away from statements like "Thus saith the Lord" instead "I feel in my spirit that the Lord is saying." What this does is
acknowledge that we understand that we can be wrong at times with our prophetic utterances. NO PROPHET IS INFALLIBLE.
Purpose of Prophecy
1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. I think this verse speaks for itself. Prophecy is to do three
things, and rebuke is not one. if you are not the senior pastor of a local assembly you have no right to fleece another man's sheep. Rebuke has to be left to the Pastor! If anyone is going to rebuke sheep it has to be their shepherd! Any prophet who would do this is totally out of line. As pastor you should stop them immediately! Do not let them finish and say something to them in the back room! The Bibles says; [1 Timothy 5:20 KJV] Them that sin rebuke before all,that others also may fear.
That verse was to local Elders/Bishops, not the ministers or the prophet. Rebuke is reserved for the Elder/Bishop. If a prophet has a constant word of rebuke he or she needs to get their owe sheep that they can beat every Sunday; and their church will not grow. People are hurting and are not willing to be subjected to any extra pain. If they come to your church and
you preach a word that causes them to leave feeling worse than they did when they came, any person in his or her right mind is not coming back. If you find a church with an abusive pastor and yet a lot of people you have a church full of people with some real issues! Prophecy is for: Edification: to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge. Exhortation: language intended to incite and encourage. Comfort: to give strength and hope to.Old Testament Prophets Vs. New Testament/Apostolic Prophets. What has happened is we have prophets who have been taught out of the old wineskin which used the Old Testament prophets as their reference point of identification. I have been in the presence of one prophet (a lady) who when she prophesies it can't be understood because she is always crying (The weeping Prophet). I have been in the presences of prophets whose every word they speak is mean, harsh and judgmental. The reason that the prophet was used in the manner he was was because the church was not established. Isaiah 53:6 KJV] All we like sheep have gone astray; ...
Why had they gone astray! God had not yet called shepherds. [Jeremiah 3:15 KJV] And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and
understanding. The New Testament/Apostolic Prophets have to see they are now in the dispensation of grace and stop talking to people like they are still under the Law. Let's compare the Prophet ministry of Moses and Jesus. Law Grace Moses' (An Old Testament
Prophet) Jesus' (New Testament Prophet and our example) Moses' first miracle was water (life) to blood (death). Ex. 7:19-12 Jesus' first miracle was water (life) to Wine (more Life) John. 2:7:11 Law Produced Darkness; Moses caused a "Thick Darkness" Ex. 10:22-23
Grace gives light; Jesus said- "I am the Light of the World" John 9:5 Moses declared Death
would come to Egypt. Ex 12:29-30; the end of the Law is death Rom. 6:23 Jesus said that He came that we might have life. John 5:40 The first time the Law was proclaimed by Moses 3000 were Killed. Ex. 32:26-28 The first time that Grace, that came by faith in Jesus,was preached 3000 were saved. Act 2:41
Many times the only reason that a pastor will not confront a seasoned prophet who is over stepping his or her bounds is because of insecurities in their life's. So by following the principles that are clearly laid out in scripture as part of your ministry you will know where and how to draw the line with prophetic ministries. With these Biblical boundaries in place it reduces your insecurities. IF A PROPHET WILL GO AGAINST THE BIBLE THEY ARE NOT A PROPHET OF GOD!
If you see a problem with what a person is doing while being used in his or her prophetic ministry, if you feel uneasy about something the prophet is doing or saying, you know others see it. What this does for you as a leader is weaken your influence among the people and your peers and they will lose trust in your ability to lead. Mature Prophets Prophets have to be humble enough to understand that though they see more than the average Christian, what they see is still seen through a glass darkly, and what they see is only in part. To make it plain, they can make mistakes! Mature Prophets urge everyone to whom they give prophecy to judge, test and compare with scripture everything they say. Seasoned Prophets don't get upset when people are careful and take the time to understand and get the right view of prophecy. This is what makes a mature prophet a healer in the body and not a plague.
Not to show genuine respect for the set authority is the last thing a mature prophet would do. A mature prophet understands church government and is very conscious of the principals of a set house. It is in the nature of a prophet to go,
without any disrespect, further than others would. So as a pastor you have to set the guidelines. Mature prophets always know that though they are blessed to be used in one of the power gifts of the church what they do in reference to the local church is only supplemental and their job is not to use their gift to try to control the church, but to complement and support what is already in place. 1 Corinthians 14: And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. No matter how anointed a prophet is, the prerequisite to being called a mature prophet of God, is they know their ministry has to be submissive in word and deeds to the set authorities in the local church. If you are a prophet and you are only submissive in deeds, but in your mind you constantly are saying, I would do this or that differently than the way the pastor did it, check your spirit Marian! Guidelines for Pastors and Prophets I will conclude with a short recap and list of guidelines for prophets and pastors. If this was not something that is needed, I don't think God would have given it to me.So for those under my care in the LWENJ, do not just read this and lay it to the side, then start calling me when your ministry is going crazy because of a messy monster that you ALLOWED to come in. The Prophecy will be conformation of what is already known and not just something revealed to the prophet. 2 Peter 1:20 KJV Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
If someone gives a prophecy to you and it is not in line with what you already know God has confirmed in your spirit by the word of God and by the mouth of your spiritual parent in
the Lord, don't receive it and do not allow that person to continue to speak into your life.
Do not receive Prophecy from a prophet that is not submitted under a covering.Prophets: Do not be arrogant. The Lord has placed the pastor there to be His chisel at times and His midwife at others. Submit in love. Speak with power and then leave the rest with the Holy Spirit. So even if they do get a word from God, if the pastor does not like it...then it is the pastor's call. It is up to him to accept or reject it and take responsibility before the Lord.
Pastors: Do not be hard headed. Utilize this ministry in your church. Do not be afraid to be
firm, but also be extravagant in your love and understanding. The pastor needs to harness the qualities of the prophet and not be intimidated by them. He also needs to be a strong enough
leader to give the prophet room to function, but also be bold enough to give correction if it is needed. Allow the other prophets to judge the words. Do a little bit of studying yourself! Understand that the prophets in your church are in the throes of preparation and need your help to guide them through it
Apostle JL Woodruff