I recently read The Prophets of God, by John Finkbeiner,G and was impressed enough that I decided to write a review.
The premise for this book is that in the last days God is going to call some to the true office of the prophet. In the past, those called to this office had a specific purpose. Their job was to warn the people of God of impending disciplinary judgment, and to declare God’s coming wrath to unbelieving nations. They were watchmen on the wall.
There is a difference between a prophet, and a person who operates in the spiritual prophetic gifts (1 Corinthians 12). Those who operate in the gifts typically build up or rebuke individual believers through the gifts of knowledge or wisdom. Sometimes, they will also receive insight from God of future events or trends. However, the prophet stands guard to protect and warn the body of believers, and warn the world. They sometimes address individuals, but their primary ministry is wider than that.
One advantage you will gain by reading this book, is learning how to recognize a true prophet of God, and to distinguish them from the many false prophets that are so popular in the modern church. John does not do this by exposing the false prophets of today, but by describing what true prophets of God taught in contrast to the false prophets from the Bible.
John shows the manner in which the prophets lived. They did not seek to exalt themselves, but to exalt God at all times. They did not prophesy for financial gain or prosperity, and in fact often refused money when it was offered to them. He leaves it to the discerning Christian to compare this to the self-proclaimed prophets of today.
There are a couple of points with which I must disagree with him, but they are relatively minor points in his book. First, he thinks there will be many thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, who are called into this office in the last days. I do believe that some will be called to that office, but question the numbers he projects.
Second, he believes the task of these prophets, and of the last days church, is to find the lost tribes of Israel. He believes that the ten tribes who broke off from Judah and were lead away captive by Assyria are lost among the nations. While certainly some of Hebrew descent were assimilated by the Gentiles, there are no lost tribes. There is no reason to think that all the Jews today are from the tribes of Judah and Manasseh. As a corollary to this, he believes that the church is included in the 144,000 (Revelation 7, 14). I disagree, and believe they only consist of the tribes of Israel.
Aside from these two points, John’s book is “spot on.” I highly recommend that every believer read this book. I also highly recommend another book of his I have read, Lifesaver.