PROPHET for PROFIT ?
Prevaricating spirits may enter a church and take the form and function of God-given spiritual entities, often operating
unnoticed even by those in leadership.  A
rent (tear) must exist in the spiritual covering of a church in order for counterfeit
spirits to masquerade and imitate the authentic. Two such illegitimate spirits, which most often operate in tandem, are a
self-seeking spirit of prophecy and a self-aggrandizing spirit of prosperity.  In such an atmosphere we have a
prophetic-type prompting and a profit-driven motive working hand-in-hand, often under the rubric of "for the purpose of
spiritual-edification".  
Let it be quickly added here that the Gift of Prophecy [1 Cor. 12:10] and the Office of the Prophet
[Eph. 4:11] are both operating in the Church in this era, with the latter being much less prevalent now compared to what is
to come in the every last hours of the Church Age.
When counterfeit religious practices are permitted, if not even encouraged, to operate in the church the pursuit of
prophecy and prosperity oft-times supplants the quest for holiness and humility, as well as repentance and righteousness.
The proliferation of various glossy 'Prophecy Conferences', 'Prosperity Seminars' and Prophetic/Prosperity-centered TV
ministrations bears witness to the alarming increase in these 'self-seeking' ministry-type promotions.  Certain church  
affiliations and religious enclaves seem to be more receptive than others to entertaining these 'sidebar ministries'.   Of
recent concern is the number of 'self-seeking' type ministries being conducted outside of any church auspices or even any
real 'spiritual accountability' oversight authority.  
Scripture does not support individual en masse prophetic utterances nor does it justify 'Prophets' soliciting or being paid for
the release of their God-given gift.  Does and can the Holy Spirit bring a clarifying
Word during a church service through
one sanctioned with the
gift of prophecy?   Does He give a Word of encouragement to the body-at-large and does He issue
directive proclamations regarding this Age (era)? ... the evidence is overwhelming that He surely does.  Can those with the
gift of prophecy bring an edifying word to those inside as well as outside of the church proper? ... again a qualified yes.  It
is the 'commercialization' and 'entertainment-centered' aspects of the
recent Prophetic Movement, so many trumpet and
even establish churches around, which is of great concern.  
There certainly can be Pigs in the Parlor [viz. Hammond, ICB] with spiritual forces attempting to counterfeit the Holy
Spirit's ministry to and in the Church.  So often these 'happenings' include deceiving manifestations which are offered up
as evidence of a particular ministry's anointing and spiritual authenticity.  We truly have entered those days of "
wolves in
sheep's clothing"
[Matt. 7:15] and at times it requires a spiritually-discerning eye/ear to tell the difference.  The deceptions,
witchcraft and sorceries which will be loosed by the forces of darkness in the last days will be the most sophisticated and
honed charlatanism man has ever witnessed ... they have had 6,000 years to develop such deceit and treachery.  God is
beginning to uncover long-standing deceptive practices in the business arena, political bastions, various denominations as  
well as in the lives of individuals steeped in unrighteous and abominable human behaviors.   
The Church in America needs a spiritual shaking to bring a cleansing which can not be orchestrated by man or any of his
religious contrivances.  Nothing less than the Spirit's shaking intervention can dislodge a Laodicean complacency,
Nineveh-esque self-satisfied and laissez-faire contentment run rampant in so many present-day houses of worship.  The
'twin spirits' of
self-seeking prophecy and self-aggrandizing prosperity, if not confronted by the corporate church
leadership, will (are) make way for echelons of dark-sided spiritual forces to inundate the Body-of-Christ and her end-time
purpose (Eph. 1:10).  The
Merry Church Melody of "We are All Ok, bringing in the harvest and doing God's work ... He
surely is pleased with His Saints this day" ... is a misnomer promulgated to instill a sense of spiritual well-being and allay
any possible angst of coming judgment.  And that judgment is coming  upon the Jew and gentile, alike.
Don't be victimized by self-seeking and aggrandizing spirits running rampant across the 'pastureland of the church' ...
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" [Matt.
24:24]. This is not a prophecy for the morrow, but one that is being fulfilled this very day.  Pray for spiritual discernment
and stand confidently "... I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted
to Him ..." [2 Tim. 1:12]. "Now is the day of salvation" [2 Cor. 6:2] and the day for spiritual discernment, watchfulness
and a time to "Avoid every kind of evil" present in your life and this age. [1 Thes.5:22].  This is not a time to be taken in
by
parlor trickeries or stage extravaganzas and those which practice religious sorcery ... "prophecy for profit" is not the
environ in which you want to seek that
word you believe God is holding for you ... if it is there for you, it will be pro bono
(without cost to you) and there will be no "quid pro quo" (meaning, if you honor the prophet with a profit he will bring
you your prophetic utterance). Do not be mistaken, there are some extraordinarily clairvoyant persons operating in viz.,
prophetic-type ministries, and it may take a very discerning spiritual eye/ear, or two, in order to detect their deception
before damage is done and a misleading word is received and accepted.  
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
www.aamen.org
Freelance prophetic ministries are abounding everywhere, are promoted in a variety of contemporary Christian
publications and sponsored by some
independent christian internet sites. "Parlor  Prophecy" is just what the name implies:
entertainment-centered religious shenanigans meant to amuse, and if possible, cause wonderment and awe.  It makes no
difference if the place is a home-based cell group, invitational 'prophetic' meeting, or in a convention center auditorium - the
Parlor Prophecy stratagem is the same.  Two earmarks of such charades are "we will have a word for everyone" and the
heavy handed 'love offerings' solicited for the '
prophet' (or is that 'profiteer'?).
Will the Office of the Prophet be reestablished in the final hours of the end-time days?  We believe again an
unequivocal yes, and we may even be witnessing the beginning of this corporate blessing today in selected quarters.
The frequent justification for giving offerings (and tithes) to a 'prophetic ministry' is 1 Timothy 5:18: "
Do not muzzle the
ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages'.
This scripture is most often considered to
embrace the five-fold ministry Offices as opposed to those operating in one or more of the Gifts [1 Cor. 12:10] for personal
gain (i.e., profit).  The 1 Timothy verse ostensibly addressed 'apostolic' ministry of that day - and there are regrettably
precious few true apostolic ministries operating today. Calling oneself
apostolic or even ordaining an apostolic label onto a
ministry is no assurance such operate in this calling or Office.
Man has believed in his craftiness to hide much of his sin from the eyes of his fellowman, yet "Nothing in all creation
is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give
accordingly
.[Heb. 4:13]  Ashamedly, this scriptural admonition is either discounted or ignored by so many forged ministry
offerings and churches which embrace unwise practices in an effort to keep 'the mystical' before the 'faithful' and offer
something more spectacular than those across the street or down the block. The recent outing of several self-declared
prophets testifies to God's continuing purging of the counterfeit.  On the other hand, Churches which shy away from
manifestation of the 'spiritual  gifts' so often go overboard in the direction of holiday Pageant extravagances, grandiose
illustrated sermons and contemporary pop-theatrical productions to fill the pews.
The Book of Revelation describes near-coming days like none other since the beginning of time.  Unless the pre-tribulation
eschatology is correct, the Church will soon be drawn into a time of great 'spiritual' examination and critical assay as the
Father prepares the
bride-in-waiting for His Son, Christ Jesus.  This is an hour for each believer to get his house in order
with The Lord, and believe that "... all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose".  There are 'things', however. which attempt to not work for 'the good' (God determined 'good')
and are practiced by 'those' not ordered according to His purposes (Eph. 1:10, Eph. 2:15-17). If 'prophetic utterances' and
'mammon' are our 'things working together' for 'the good' (our individual good, only), then we  have a very tenuous grasp
on the promises of God and the outworking of His end-time Plan of Salvation.
Amen Ministries of Austin believes the prophetic gifts of The Spirit and the Office of The Prophet are operative today,
yet they are becoming two of the most abused and corrupted ministry venues available to the endtime church.  If you find
yourself in a religious environment where you seldom, if never, hear about
Sin, Redemption, Blood of the Cross,
Forgiveness, Repentance, and to Pray in the Name of Jesus,
frequently, then you are in the wrong spiritual house.  Amen