(By Joseph Mattera) The Bible teaches us that true prophecy edifies the church and also exalts the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:3-7, 14:3,4). However, where there are true prophetic gifts, there are also counterfeits and/or the wrong use of God-given gifts. For example, in the Scriptures we see that the prophet Balaam tried to use his gift for financial gain (Num. 22:21-39). We see in this narrative of Balaam, that even though his motives weren’t godly, he still had a bona fide prophetic gift. The bottom line is, all prophetic gifts have to be framed by the intent, the motives and ultimate purpose of the Word of God. As someone who has participated in prophetic ministry since the early 1980s, I’ve seen this gift used for both edification and manipulation. The following are contrasts between prophetic edification and manipulation.

1. Prophetic edification benefits the church; manipulation benefits only the prophet (1 Cor.14:4).

2. Prophetic edification exalts the Lord Jesus; manipulation exalts the one giving the prophetic word (1 Cor.12:3).

3. Prophetic edification advances God’s kingdom; manipulation advances the ministry of the prophet (Matt. 6:33).

4. Prophetic edification advances the vision of the church; manipulation advances the financial provision of the prophet (Num. 22; Rev. 2:14).

5. Prophetic edification points people to the vision of the church; manipulation draws people away from the church and toward the prophet (Acts 20:30). CONTINUE