There are few things that can ignite passion and zeal for the Lord and His work like authentic prophetic ministry. In the Book of Ezra we see that the work of restoring the house of God ceased until Haggai and Zechariah the prophets started prophesying. It says in Ezra 6:14 that “the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.” This is a prophetic parallel of where the Church is today. Many had the vision of seeing the Church restored to all of its glory but got discouraged and distracted from the work. It will require the prophets to arise as Haggai and Zechariah did to again awaken and inspire the people to finish the work they began.

Just as there are few things that can inspire zeal for the Lord and His purposes as authentic prophetic ministry, there are few things that can be more devastating to the work of the Lord than false or pseudo prophetic ministry. Therefore a key issue is how do we recognize and receive from the real, and how do we recognize and reject the false.

We see in Scripture that virtually every prophet of God had to deal with false prophets. We can also note that there were many more false prophets than true ones. We also can see that in virtually every case the false ones were prophesying what the people, or the leaders, wanted to hear, and the true prophets often stood alone with their counterpoint.

So how do we distinguish the real from the false? How do we receive the true and reject the false? This should begin with recognizing that this will not be easy because Satan is a skilled counterfeiter. Even more challenging is how the Lord seemed to want to make distinguishing the true from the false difficult. When the devil sowed tares in the midst of His wheat, His command was to “let them grow up together.” Why would God do this?”

In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares we have several important factors. First, the Lord only planted the wheat; the tares were planted by the devil. There are some whom the Lord sends, and there are some whom the devil sends. Even so, we must consider that the only way the devil could have done this is for the Lord to allow it. Why would He allow it? It seems that learning to deal with tares is part of His curriculum for His people. This is likely a reason why He would even allow someone like Judas in His own inner circle.

Wheat and tares look so much alike that it is almost impossible to distinguish them before they mature. Those who are true can be just as arrogant, foolish, and sinful as the tares until they mature.

Second, the Lord said to let the wheat and the tares grow up together so that the wheat will not be damaged when we try to separate them. Many prophets whom the Lord sent carry the wounds caused by the disregard of the Lord’s command to let the wheat and tares grow together by leaders who thought they were wise enough to discern between the wheat and tares before they matured. Many of these leaders would end up throwing out the wheat, and keeping the tares, and then blame the prophetic movement for the chaos they caused by their own works.

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