Dear co-laborer and leader in the Kingdom of God,
During the summer months of last year the Lord spoke a very similar ‘burden’ independently to both myself, and John Paul Jackson, of Streams Ministries. The message had, and has, to do with some problematic issues which have surfaced in the overall situation of current prophetic ministry. Neither John Paul, nor myself, feel any sense of having “arrived” at a place of prophetic ministry where we believe we have the right to police, or judge. We both find ourselves in an unenviable position of carrying a prophetic burden for the overall situation while being very aware of our own shortcomings. However, in order to be obedient to the Lord we teamed up to put together what would amount to a six-page document entitled “Prophetic Ministry Principles-and-Protocols”.
In early December we presented a rough copy to a larger team including Jim Goll, Loren Sandford, John Sandford, and Bobby Connors. Together the six of us spent time both editing and adding to the article. Later, that we week, we presented the article in detail to a gathering of some 35 international prophetic ministries. For the most part the feedback was positive with encouragement to let the document go mainstream. We have spent the last four months going over the document again and again for the sake of both readability and conforming to what we believe the Lord was indicating were His concerns. Finally, we believe we have the document ready for release.
I would like to ask you to read it and consider two possible follow up steps:
1) Most likely, the article is going to be published in several international Christian magazines. As well, it will be put out to the church at large via the internet. Would you consider “signing on” as in endorsing the document. If so, please respond to appropriately back to me.
2) Additionally, if you are in general agreement with the articles would you prayerfully consider how this can be used within your own spheres of influence as you interact with prophetic ministries. Please keep in mind that while most, if not all, of these points may be some what applicable to ‘in house” prophetic voices we have primarily written it for trans-local prophets and prophetic ministries which minister to the church at large.
Additionally, any feedback you may want to give me, or John Paul, would be very appreciated.
Yours in Christ,
Marc A. Dupont
April 9, 2012
Biblical Principles Concerning Ethics and Protocols Relating to New Testament Prophetic Ministry
Within the contemporary church the term, “prophetic ministry,” can mean a great many things. Therefore we have attempted to outline a brief description of biblically based values and practices for New Testament prophetic ministers and prophets. The following are intended primarily for those called to trans-local ministries to the church at large. However, we also acknowledge many of these principles can be applied to individuals whose prophetic work does not extend beyond their local church.
Some persons labeled as “prophets” may be more accurately categorized as “prophetic ministries.” While they may minister to the church at large, they primarily operate within the occasional “charisma” gift of prophecy. Others are called to bear the ministry of a prophet consistently as a primary calling.
An established prophet will not only operate in the gift of prophecy, but will carry seasonal prophetic burdens and messages from God the Father to the wider church, and sometimes even to nations. His or her emphasis may be much more “the word of the Lord,” as opposed to “words from the Lord.” They may, at times, even give a prophetic rebuke or warning to the church, which should always be a message of grace, postured within the Father heart of God.
Our heart in preparing and submitting these values is neither to police, nor to correct any known individuals or situations. Rather, we are simply endeavoring to articulate biblical standards that can help ensure long-term fruitfulness both for prophetic ministries and the recipients of those ministries.
Revelation 19:10 states: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Therefore, we wholeheartedly believe that the overriding theme, goal and vision of any biblically based New Testament prophetic ministry should be to make known the Person and ways of Christ Jesus. And while a prophetic ministry may often be accompanied by revelatory words, signs and wonders, healings and miracles, a true prophet will always seek to champion the Person of Christ, the gift-giver, more than the gifts. Because God’s will is for each disciple of Christ to be conformed to the image of Christ, we believe, as well, that God calls those who represent His will, voice, and ways to be living testimonies of Christ-like integrity, lived out within the context of healthy relationships that provide accountability.
The goal of our presentation is Christ-like love and service from a pure heart. We do not present these principles and protocols from an assumed posture of authority or elitism. The spirit in which we present them is two-fold; Firstly, we desire to offer this as an appeal for Christ-centered unity of purpose among current prophetic ministries. Secondly, we wholeheartedly desire to see our co-laborers bear witness to who Jesus is in every facet of ministry as they seek to prophetically serve the Body of Christ.
Principles and Protocol
Biblical Principles Concerning Ethics and Protocols
Originally compiled by John Paul Jackson and Marc Dupont
I. Concerning Beliefs and Practices
2. God values His Word as the expression of His name and nature (Psalms 138:2). Therefore, we hold truth as a necessity in prophecy.
3. I believe that prophetic accuracy is essential. I believe that the method and manner of delivery (the heart) of a prophecy is also important.
4. If I do give an errant prophecy, I commit to full repentance. This will include:
5. Concerning supernatural manifestations, I will not substitute the seeking of angels, angelic activity, or other supernatural manifestations, over the seeking of God, His presence, and the truths contained in Scripture. The source of all truth is the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 11:14; Col 2:18-19).
6. Understanding a prophetic word is vital to its implementation. Therefore, I commit to being open to discuss, with appropriate leaders within the Body of Christ, the prophetic words I receive and interpretations of those words. I will endeavor to do so because prophetic gifts are given to serve the people, not to promote the one who prophesies.
7. Words from God should encourage, train and equip the Body of Christ to conform to the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16). I will endeavor to always help the Body of Christ perceive the Person of Christ more clearly and to hunger for Him and His ways (Col. 1: 8-10, Eph. 1:17-18).
8. Ephesians 4 ministries are to equip the Body of Christ to receive, develop and mature, rather than to cultivate an audience of spectators for our gifting. Thus, we hold in high regard the priesthood of each believer in Christ (1 Peter 2:5; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 61:6).
10. I commit to refusing to prostitute the revelatory gifting God has given me by attaching a fee to a prophetic word* (Micah 3:11).
II. Concerning My Life in Representing Christ Jesus Prophetically
1. I commit to living, modeling and championing the character of Christ. I believe Christ-like character to be more important than operating out of gifting (2 Cor. 7:1).
2. I believe that wisdom from above is “reasonable and peaceable.” I will place high value on Christ-like humility, and shun prophetic arrogance (James 3:17).
3. I commit to having an accountability group in place to whom I will hold my lifestyle, marriage and ministry accountable.
4. I commit to being free from both the love of money and the love of appearing successful in the eyes of man. I commit to choosing venues to host my ministry, based on the leading of the Holy Spirit as opposed to the size of the crowd or financial remuneration.
5. I commit to being not only a person of prayer and worship but a continual student of the Bible and the ways of God.
6. I commit to honor the Lord by honoring and strengthening His delegated authority in the Body of Christ.
7. I commit to perceiving myself as a servant to both the church at large and the local church as God gives me opportunity.
8. I commit to financial, ethical and moral purity, and will not use the Body of Christ to advance my ministry nor build my own empire. My endeavor is to imitate Jesus’ example of servanthood, and only do as I see the Father doing.
The Nature of Prophetic Ministry
III. The Nature of Authentic Prophetic Ministry
• Bible-centric —Bear/bare witness, expose, declare and establish the truth of Scripture.