WHAT THE LORD SAID TO ME TODAY
PROPHECY TEACHING: Christian Prophets and Mistakes
March 27, 2001
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I believe there are Christian prophets. I'm one, but first, I'm a
servant of the Lord. I'm one because the Lord called me to it, and
then proved it to me first. Little by little, since June 24, 1992,
He's been proving it to others too. I gave up trying to prove it
years ago. There are pastors in the Church, and there are prophets in
the church. It is simply body life.
There is a gift of prophecy, but it does not operate in the same
detail, specificity or frequency as it does in the life of the
Christian prophet. Because every believer can prophesy if he or she
has the faith for it, this lessens the reliance that the church must
place upon prophets.
Yes, there have been many abuses and deceivers in the last 30 years.
Jesus warned us three times in Matthew 24 that deceivers would come in
His name. I see this as the devil's smokescreen, to cause people to
ignore all true prophets, because there are so many false ones.
Can a true prophet make a mistake? Certainly. That's why Elijah had
a school of the prophets. Those young prophets made their mistakes in
school, because once you began to prophesy publicly in those days, one
mistake led to your death. How many churches provide a school for
prophets, where they can err and receive correction. Not many!
How about today. Can a true prophet make a mistake? Well, God
doesn't make any mistakes, but men sure do. When you are sure that
you've heard God, you can take it to the bank. The problem for the
prophet is simply stopping at what God says. God always speaks in
part and darkly. We prophets can be tempted to fill in what is
missing. I believe that is where most mistakes come from: adding to
what God has shown.
Then also, there are deceiving spirits that work to hoodwink the
prophet. I recently wrote about the "old testament prophet spirit".
There are others as well.
And then, we have the Y2K debacle. There were a few of us who
publicly called it right, but there were dozens of books sold by
doomsayers. Nobody sold a book saying that nothing would happen. Y2K
gave Christian prophecy a double black eye.
I recall, early in 1999, when these warnings began to proliferate, we
met as men in our church to decide what to do. I was even preparing
lists of items to gather for preparedness. I had no word from the
Lord at that time. After a few meetings, our pastor simply said that
he just wanted to wait, and give no written warnings because the Lord
just wasn't pressing him to do it. That was the start of my eyes
opening to the truth that all these Christian authors had been
deceived. Regarding preparation in the natural, it is always good to
be as prepared for as much trouble as you can possibly forsee. So, we
just gave general advice on preparedness, because we live in Florida.
What of these book selling prophets? I was interviewed by a major
prophecy ministry in mid 1999, for the purpose of putting me on a
speaking tour of US cities. As I was being evaluated, it became clear
that the opinion of me that was present regarding what the Lord had
showed me was that since I had only had about 20 words and visions
from the Lord at that time, there was not enough to work with, ie. to
make a book from it. Pressure is placed upon these book selling
prophets to produce material, and that pressure is not coming from the
As for me, I had a dry period from 1995 to 1998, where I heard very
little in the "prophet" area. I just served my Lord. Thank God I
didn't have a book publisher breathing down my neck for the next "word
from the Lord".
Finally, we must remember that predicting is only part of what
prophets are supposed to do in the church. It is probably not the
most important thing, as the prophet must constantly be watching and
hearing from the Lord regarding the operation of the church. Pastors
need advice from prophets regarding current activities in the church.
Predictive prophecy does get the most attention though.
Those of you who know me are aware that I talk about my failures and
my mistakes. I can tell you that my enemies can't remember a single
one of the many, many predictive things the Lord has revealed to me,
but they can sure tell you that the Kitty Hawk has not been destroyed
by nuclear attack yet in the Persian Gulf, as I prophesied in 1993. I
gave no date for the attack, and yet, as time marches on, and even
though the first 4 out of 5 parts of the vision have already happened,
I still hear about it from time to time. Those people won't even be
convinced when it comes to pass, so why pay it any mind? Then, there
was one other time where I posted a word of prophecy from someone else
on my site. The prophecy predicted a hurricane that did not come, and
I received the blame for the failed prophecy, even though it wasn't
even my own. Yes, I should have discerned that it was false, but I
made a mistake by posting it on my web site. I lent my credibility to
that word and suffered for it.
Why this mistake? I didn't seek the Lord. Israel got into trouble
too when they failed to seek the Lord.
Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ
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