"A true prophet must be sent by God with a word from God. A true prophet of God calls people to repentance of sin or evil and to renewed faith." - Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary
"It is a rare thing to find one who is fit to go for God, and carry His messages to the children of men...Such a degree of courage for God and concern for the souls of men as is necessary to make a man faithful, and withal such an insight into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven as is necessary to make a man skillful, are seldom to be met with. Such an interpreter of the mind of God is one of a thousand...None are allowed to go for God but those who are sent by Him; He will own none but those whom He appoints...It is Christ's work to put men into the ministry..." - Matthew Henry Commentary
"Divine call and commission are prerequisites to fulfilling a true prophetic role." - Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary
Before going further in this study, let's take note of the one statement made in the quote above - "...None are allowed to go for God but those who are sent by Him..."
Presently, we - in the church - are facing a terrible crisis. There are many running with a so-called message from God, yet He never sent them. They were never commissioned or called to the task and resultantly, they are causing much confusion and turmoil within the Body of Christ. The results are devastating - even to the point of causing many to believe a lie and ultimately lose their eternal souls.
"A true prophet must be sent by God with a word from God..."
"It is a rare thing to find one who is fit to go for God, and carry His messages to the children of men..."
"A true prophet of God calls people to repentance of sin or evil and to renewed faith."
Oh, where...oh, where are those who have been called and commissioned by God and are truly sent by Holy Spirit to carry on the work which Christ began?
The Scriptures clearly illustrate that God honors and upholds a certain principle of appointment to a sacred office. By His Holy Spirit, He separates, calls, and commissions individuals while the church, in turn - (a) recognizes and confirms the call by "recommending them to the grace of God" which is evident in their lives for the given task (b) and "brings them forward on their journey" (3 John 1:6) by furnishing and supplying the means to get the job done.
Several Scriptures confirm this thought -
In John 20:21, we see how the Lord Jesus commissioned others to carry on the task that He began - which is to bear witness to the Truth - "...as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you."
Acts 13:4 tells us of Barnabas and Saul moving at the influence, authority, and direction of the Holy Spirit - "So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost..."
In Romans 10:15, the Apostle Paul establishes the fact that no one has any right to proclaim a divine message unless he is commissioned and qualified by God for that purpose - "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them, that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things?"
And lastly, Isaiah 6:8 clearly demonstrates from whence the call comes - "Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."
It is the church's responsibility to entrust these laborers to the Lord, while placing them - through prayer and oftentimes the laying on of hands - under the protection and guidance of His grace which will work upon them and with them.
Acts 13:1-3 relates - "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers...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 14:26-27 verifies - "And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."
Acts 15:40 says - "And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God."
It cannot be stressed enough that the necessary prerequisite or equipment for the task that lay ahead always had to be the influence and power of the Holy Spirit as exemplified in our Lord's own words found in John 20:21-22 - "...as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
Unfortunately, this pattern has not always been followed. Hence, the same indictments which were made in Jeremiah's day to the False Prophets could be issued today to all Preachers who are speaking when God never sent them - and sad but true - there are many of them.
The Scriptures bear this out -
In Jeremiah 14:14, God said - "Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them..."
In Jeremiah 23:21, He said - "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied."
Jeremiah 23:32 says - "Behold, I am against them, that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 27:15 says - "For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in My name..."
Jeremiah 28:15 adds - "Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but Thou makest this people to trust in a lie."
Ezekiel 13:6 says of the False Prophets - "They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them..."
The False Prophets whom Jeremiah and Ezekiel addressed were very forward and bold in soothing the people in their sins and rocking them asleep in their false security. They flattered them with a vain hope that judgment for their evil ways would never come to pass. Instead of turning them from sin, they hardened them by promising them peace while they were breaking God's Holy commands. Their main interest was not in saving souls but in profiting themselves.
The truth of the matter was - God never employed them...sent them on any errand...or gave them any message to speak. Yet they ran. The result? His people believed and trusted a lie and, resultantly, erred from the faith.
One thing we must understand - The Holy Spirit never leads a man or a woman to preach or teach a Gospel which twists the Truth or teaches rebellion against His Holy Word. He never soothes people in their sin... gives any an excuse for their sin... nor offers them a false hope of escaping the just wrath of God - unless they repent. He is the Spirit of Truth - leading all to embrace the Truth. He has nothing to do with a lie. And all who are sent by Him will do likewise.
"A true prophet must be sent by God with a word from God. A true prophet of God calls people to repentance of sin or evil and to renewed faith."
How many Preachers today are really sent by God?