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-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Elvi Glass yael062005@yahoo.com
Guest Teacher (lessons 1 and 12):
Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net http://www.godspeak.net
Editors: Teresa Seputis & Bob Hawley

Prophetic Resources Review

Lesson 6
Book Review of Bill Hamon's
Prophets, Pitfalls and Principles

By Elvi Glass

Bill Hamon is the author of several books on prophets, prophetic movement and ministry. He is the founder of Christian International schools and ministries in Florida. He has functioned in the office of prophet for more than 38 years and has personally prophesied to more than 15,000 believers and hundreds of prominent leaders. He established the Christian International Network of Prophetic Ministries in 1988. Dr Hamon was the first prophet I met.

"Prophets, Pitfalls and Principles" is published by Destiny Image, ISPN 0-939868-05-9, copyright 1991.

This book touches on many areas. It is a must-read, so I am not going to tell you everything in the book. Instead, I want to focus on the areas where God will develop our character. Our character plays a major role in the foundation of our ministry. Dr Hamon takes a close look at 10 areas that help mature our character and maintain our ministry.

These areas are:

1. Manhood Or Womanhood

God wants us to reflect the image of Jesus so He can manifest His power through us. This does not mean we are to be "spooky spiritual" or not human, but it means He teaches us how to walk in a "natural way on the earth while walking in a supernatural way in the Spirit." During the process of forming Christ's character in us, God will allow challenges (physical, emotional, financial and social) to come into our lives so He can prepare and mature us.

Often preparation requires a longer time than the time spent in active ministry. This should not surprise us because Jesus spent only 10 percent of His life in active ministry while the 30 years prior to that were preparation time. Hence, it is important that we allow God to take the time needed to prepare us so we can be used by Him effectively.

Dr Hamon says: "Our highest calling and most important goal is not to be the greatest apostle, prophet or prophetic person, but rather to be Christ's type of man or woman that God wants us to be now and forever."

2. Ministry

Matt. 7:15-16 states that we recognize true or false prophets by their fruit. As we evaluate a ministry, we need to evaluate the abiding fruit it produces. In our evaluation we need to consider the following areas:

  • The duration of positive effects of a ministry
  • The extent to which God manifests his anointing
  • Is the preaching productive or has it caused people to stumble?

A New Testament minister is meant to minister in full authority. This means that the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be ministered as easily as the Word of God. Dr Hamon writes: "Those ministers who understand this truth, and are ministering the Spirit the same way they minister the letter of the word, are those I would call 'prophetic ministers.' "

3. Message

A minister's message should be life giving, doctrinally sound, well-balanced and present the Word of God accurately. It is possible to preach, teach and prophecy a scriptural message that is theologically sound yet still reflect an inappropriate spirit. This happens when a message is delivered without divine love. Theology should not be judged by the character of a minister, but solely by biblical standards. It is also not advisable to judge theology by the presence or absence of divine power or demonstration of miracles.

4. Maturity

When we want to put people into leadership roles it is wise to wait until they've had a chance to be proven and to mature. Maturity does not come automatically; it depends on the extent of how much we allow God to form a Christlike character in us. Divine maturity as listed in Galatians 5:22, 23 is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In addition, James 3:17 states that, "The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." A genuine mature minister will reflect God's love. As Paul writes in 1 Cor. 13:4-8, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Another quality of maturity is faithfulness. We cannot impress God with our works. God looks at our goodness and faithfulness. Jesus, in one of His parables, talks about a master who commended his servant for being good and faithful. Additional qualities of maturity are theological maturity and loving Jesus with our entire being as well as allowing Him to be Lord over every area in our lives.

5. Marriage

We also need to evaluate our marriage. Our relationship with our spouse is to reflect the loving relationship Jesus has with His church. This means that our spouse should be our best friend. Dr Hamon warns of a relationship with others that is closer than the relationship we have with our own spouse. He considers such a relationship "emotional adultery" and a possible step that could lead to worse things.

Our family is not to compete with our ministry. It is important that we give our family adequate time to build a healthy relationship and this can be achieved by considering the order of God-set priorities, which are: God first, then family and ministry third. We may need to draw a line at times by turning down an opportunity to preach or attend a popular meeting so we can spend time with our family.

6. Methods

Our ministry methods must be "rigidly righteous." One way we can accomplish this is by putting our flesh to death. It is also important that our actions match what we preach and teach. If we did otherwise, we would be denying Christ through ungodly actions.

This means we must not exaggerate events when recounting them to our listeners. Proper methods do not include stretching the truth. It is important that we walk in absolute integrity in everything we do.

A ministry must reflect honesty and that includes the methods we use in financial matters, especially fund-raising. We must never fabricate some sort of crisis or emergency for the purpose of raising more money. We must never apply pressure on the congregation to make them feel bad if they do not contribute. That is considered manipulation and is not acceptable. In addition, it is proper to pay our bills, treat our staff right, keep accurate records and keep our word.

7. Manners

When we relate to others, love should be the rule. Dr Hamon writes: "Love must be the rule for their relations to others - and love is not just a feeling. Love is a principle, a way of life. Love is gentle, polite, kind, and discreet; self-controlled, peaceable, considerate, and slow-tempered. In short, love is mannerly." Another requirement for ministers is that they aren't guilty of slander. We must guard our tongues when we talk about others, including our enemies. The same requirement applies to the way we talk to people in general. We cannot use coarse language or profanity, vulgarity, blasphemy and other impure language. Language like that should not be included in a minister's or Christian's vocabulary.

8. Money

While money is not evil in itself, the love of money is the root of evil. God wants us to prosper and He loves to give abundantly. He promises that if we seek His kingdom and righteousness first, all other things will be added. What counts is the attitude we have when we handle money, and we need to be sure our motives are righteous and our priorities are biblically ordered. Guidelines to giving and receiving offerings and honorariums are listed in this section.

9. Morality

Obviously, sexual immorality is unacceptable in the Body of Christ and sexual purity in action and in thought is a requirement for every minister. Sexual immorality also includes illicit sexual fantasies, pornography, and sexually arousing films. Even thinking impure thoughts is sinful because thinking them will often lead to the action.

When we relate to the opposite sex, we must treat each other with respect and absolute purity. Body embraces between Christian men and women or full, long kissing on the mouth are inappropriate. Men should treat women as they would treat their female relatives when hugging and give them quick hugs or "pecks" instead.

Jesus states that to lust after somebody in our minds is committing adultery. When we visualize an action and sense the fleshly feeling of a sexual relationship with a person the sin of immorality is committed even though it is only in the mind. It is like a seed that if not rejected will sprout and eventually lead to a harvest of consequences for our sinful act. The solution is to bring every thought and imagination into captivity to the mind of Christ and to use the sword of the Spirit to overcome temptation. Jesus gave us a good example of this when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He overcame every temptation by quoting Scripture.

10. Motive

When we minister we need to be aware of our motives. To minister to gain personal glory is not ministering out of a heart full of God's love. Jesus points out in Matt.6:1 that we must be careful not to do our "acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them." God looks into our hearts where the true motives are revealed. Our motivation needs to be to fulfill God's will and to see Him glorified. When we minister in God's love we are ministering with true motives. 1 Cor. 13.2, 3 states: "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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