Leonard Ravenhill: What Are the Signs of a True Prophet?

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James Lasher

Confusion and deception run rampant in the world today, and people are seeking ways to differentiate truth from falsehood.

As many search for these answers, there are those who would manipulate and take advantage of the lost seeking their shepherd.

In times of great turmoil, God has sent prophets to declare to nations that they need to repent and turn away from their sins. Some have heeded this warning, such as the city of Nineveh, while others have rejected God’s call for repentance, like ancient Israel.

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In a YouTube short highlighting a resurfaced message from the late Leonard Ravenhill, he gives his take on what defines a true prophet.

“Prophets are God’s emergency men for crisis hours,” Ravenhill explains. “And then it’s true of all of them, the prophets walk alone. Prophets are antagonized by the declension and apostasy around them. They refuse to bow to it; they stand up against it.”

If one were to compare the world when Ravenhill was preaching to what is acceptable by societal standards today, it would appear that a great apostasy has taken place in America. Somewhere, at some time, something went horribly wrong.

This would be especially true for the churches that have not only accepted apostate positions on issues but embraced them wholeheartedly.

“In fact, God only raises prophets in days of declension and apostasy,” Ravenhill continues. “You never find a prophet sponsored by men. You never find a prophet begging for money over TV. Usually, the message of a prophet is only accepted by a minority. No prophet, however great or successful, has ever become the ‘Man of the Year.’ I get a little disturbed when I receive letters, almost every week, sometimes every day, saying, ‘God has called me to be a prophet’ or ‘God has called me to be a John the Baptist,'” he adds.

“When a random man says that, I say, ‘Are you insured?’ and he says, ‘What do I need insurance for?’ because you’re only going to live six months.”

Throughout Scripture, the life of a prophet was one of difficulty. Elijah suffered greatly, so much so that he wished death would take him in 1 Kings 19:4.

As Christians, we look to the ultimate example in Jesus Christ who uttered many prophecies, yet the world hated Him, rejected Him and ultimately crucified Him.

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Ravenhill emphasizes that a true prophet will not have an easy time of things. There will be spiritual warfare against the prophet and difficult times ahead.

“But there’s the law, ‘he that loses his life for Thy sake shall find it, and he that preserves his life shall lose it,'” Ravenhill concludes. His warning about a true prophet comes from the inerrant Scriptures and echoes the warning in 1 John 4, which reads:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

By studying the Word of God and meditating on it day and night, we develop biblical wisdom and discernment to recognize what is true and good in a rapidly darkening culture.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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