Prophetic Brouhaha: Rev. Owusu Bempah vs. Bishop Agyin Asare
Feature Article of Thursday, 14 February 2013
Columnist: Tufuor, Adom
The current brouhaha over who is who among the men of God stem from the misconstrued definitions or meanings of the words, prophet, prophecy, and the revelation gifts as listed in the Bible.
A Prophet is one who is divinely inspired to communicate God’s will to His people and to disclose the future to them.
1. Frank Damazio states in his book “Developing the Prophetic Ministry”, that prophets are vessels whom Christ chooses to function in the realm of the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and the discernment of spirits,…………..and in ministry confirmation.
2. Merril F.Unger also says a “prophet is an announcer, a declarer, one who utters a communication.”
3. Prophecy is the oral or written communicated word of a prophet. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:3 “But he who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation, and comfort to men.”
4. So we see here that the prophetic word should not, and cannot contain anything other than a word which edifies, exhorts and comforts.
Theologians accept 4 basic realms of prophecy:
1. The Spirit of Prophecy: This is where the anointing of the Holy Spirit empowers a person who does not have the gift of prophecy to speak a word of inspiration.
2. As the frequency of the spirit of prophecy increases, the person is moved up to the second realm called the gift of prophecy.
3. When the one operating in the gift of prophecy increases in revelation anointing, he begins to operate in the prophetic ministry.
4. Finally, when the prophetic ministry begins to impact whole people groups, nations and governments, the believer moves into the final stage called the Office of the Prophet. God in His infinite wisdom has made nine(9) gifts of the Holy Spirit available to all believers for the work of ministry. These are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
The nine gifts are sub-divided into three(3) groups: a. The vocal gifts (which cause people to speak forth), b. the power gifts for healings and deliverances, and c. the revelations gifts which, as the name implies, reveals secret things to the believers.
It is this third category which is on a collision course with prophecy. The revealed word is generally called a prophetic word and is not necessarily prophecy. Therefore it does not have to satisfy the biblical requirement of edification, exhortation or comforting to men (1 Corinthians 14:3).
This is where the confusion comes from. A man of God receives a word from God through the revelation gifts of the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and the gift of the discernment of spirits, and the word is wrongly tagged “prophecy”.
Let us take a look at a few examples in the Bible.
Through the gift of the discernment of spirits, Jesus knew what was in Nathaniel’s heart when He said “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit” (John 1:47).
Through the gift of the word of knowledge Jesus said to Nathaniel, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Again in John 4:18, Jesus told the Samaritan woman that she had had five husbands and that the one she now has is not her husband. Another example is in Acts 21:11 where Agabus used a prophetic act to demonstrate the problem that the Apostle Paul would face in Jerusalem. And yet another example is the young woman in Acts 16:18 where even though the young woman said truthful things about Paul and Silas, Paul knew through the gift of the discernment of spirits that the woman was under the power of the spirit of divination (Pneuma Pythona in Greek). When the Prophet Nathan confronted King David about his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, Nathan did not prophesy. He gave a revealed or prophetic word.(2 Samuel 12:1-14).
The Prophet Nathan said that the child who was to be born from the adulterous relationship “shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:14). You can deduce from the foregoing that the revealed word from the revelation gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 was not always meant to edify, exhort, or comfort its hearers. Why? Watch out for Part Two where I will touch on the use of the revelation gifts.
By the way, did Rev. Owusu Bempah prophesy in the case of President Mahama or he simply gave a revealed word?
Dr. Adom Tufuor is a Theologian, a Communication Consultant, an Author, and a member of the US National Communication Association Honor Society. His book, “Praying Effective Prayers” is available from www.creativepress.org or from the CFNI Bookshop @cfni.org
Works Cited 1. Unger, Merril F. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Moody Press. 1988. Page 1040. 2. Damazio, Frank. Developing the Prophetic Ministry. City Bible Publishing. Page 10. 3. Unger, Merril F. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Moody Press. 1988. Page 1040. 4. New King James Bible.© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.