You can’t have prophets! What if they miss it? We would have to stone them if they miss it!
Have you ever heard that? It’s usually followed by a quoting of this verse.
Duet 18:20 , “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”
This blog is not long enough to do a full discussion but I do want to try an overview. So put on your thinking caps.
Reasons We Don’t Stone Prophets
1. The verse above was talking about a specific instance of God raising up a man for a specific cause. It is not to be applied generally. How do I know this? Because there is no recording in the Bible of someone be stoned for false prophecies. There were general commands for stoning for adultery and being a rebellious teenager. There were instances in the Bible for this punishment being carried out.
2. There were instances of God appointed prophets in the Old Testament making mistakes who weren’t stoned. King David asked Nathan the prophet if he could build a house (temple) for the Lord. Nathan told him to do all that was in his heart. Later, though God told Nathan that He made a mistake and to tell David no. He could only get the materials and his son could build it.
3. In the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 14:29 it says to judge the prophets not kill them.
“Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.”
4. There were other 5 fold ministers in the scriptures who made mistakes without stoning so why would we single out prophets? Apostles according to the scriptures is actually the higher office. Remember the story of Peter where he would not eat with the uncircumcised believers when the Jerusalem leaders were around. What happened? Paul openly rebuked him. Peter wasn’t stoned, only humbled.
Hopefully this quick overview kills the practice of not allowing prophetic words based on one verse from the Old Testament. Living your life out of fear is not of God but faith is.
Let’s have faith to let the prophetic words flow – humbly! Just judge them with grace by other seasoned prophetic people. We will all be blessed then and we can save our rocks for our gardens