Accuracy in prophetic ministry is important and should be pursued and cultivated in a prophet and prophetic ministers life but it is not the litmus test of a true prophet. I would look at the life of Balaam who was an accurate prophesier but a false prophet.
The errors of Balaam
New King James Version (NKJV)
11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
Balaam is a perfect example of a prophet who didn’t take the steps to overcome the roadblock of lust, respect of person and self will. Balaam had a lust for power, prestige, money and honor that enticed him down a road of falsehood. These demonic assignments found common ground in his heart. Jesus state in when the devil comes he finds nothing of himself in me. Entice means to draw on, by exciting hope or desire; to allure; to attract; as, the bait enticed the fishes. Often in a bad sense: To lead astray; to induce to evil; to tempt; as, the sirens enticed them to listen. Balaam lust and self-will led down a road of destruction that cause die as soothsayer. Joshua 13:22 Death is also the end result of lust and self-will. James 1
Lets take a close look in scripture at the life of balaam. The are many character flaw that must be avoided.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 The Israelites journeyed and encamped in the plains of Moab, on the east side of the Jordan [River] at Jericho.
2 And Balak [the king of Moab] son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
3 And Moab was terrified at the people and full of dread, because they were many. Moab was distressed and overcome with fear because of the Israelites.
4 And Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now will this multitude lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. So Balak son of Zippor, the king of the Moabites at that time,
5 Sent messengers to Balaam [a foreteller of events] son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the [Euphrates] River, even to the land of the children of his people, to say to him, There is a people come out from Egypt; behold, they cover the face of the earth and they have settled down and dwell opposite me.
6 Now come, I beg of you, curse this people for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.
7 And the elders of Moab and of Midian departed with the rewards of foretelling in their hands; and they came to Balaam and told him the words of Balak.
Balaam had an accurate gift that got the attention of King Balak. He developed a reputation for making predictions that were fulfilled. His fame reached Balak hundreds miles away. He was known for accurately prophesying and pronouncing a blessing or curse on people. There was something in the way that Balaam administered his prophetic gift that indicated to the King Balak the he could be bought. His methods of ministry didn’t distinguished as a prophet of Lord. We must be in the world but not of the world. There must be clear lines of demarcation regarding the source of our prophetic ministry. Our prophetic ministry should not mimic the world I Sam 3:20 states that Samuel was established as prophet in all of Israel. Elijah fearlessly and boldly announces to King Ahab that he stood in obedient service to the God of Israel. I king 17:1 (message). There is a requirement to being a prophet of the Lord and it is Holiness. Holiness means to separated and consecrated to the Lord.
The elders enticed Balaam with reward of foretelling or as the king James version of numbers 22:7 states the rewards of divination. The rewards of divination were commonly know as money that procures divination or as interpreted in 2 peter 2:15 the wages of unrighteousness When a true prophet develops a reputation accurately ministering words from the Lord temptation can arise to sell the gift for money. I call this prostituting the gift.
8 And he said to them, Lodge here tonight and I will bring you word as the Lord may speak to me. And the princes of Moab abode with Balaam [that night].
This a perfect example of knowing the actions of God but not the ways of God. Ps 103:7
That God made known his ways to Moses and his acts to children of men. Balaam knew how to demonstrate and operate in the acts of God. Balaam did not have an intimate knowledge of God himself. Prophets can’t live out of their gift they must spend time in the presence of the Lord learning His ways. God loves his covenant people. Balaam should have known that it was the power of Lord that caused the children to destroy Amorites, multiply and possess the land. God was the very source of King Balaak’s fear. (Numbers 21:33-35)
9 And God came to Balaam, and said, What men are these with you?
10 And Balaam said to God, Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,
11 Behold, the people who came out of Egypt cover the face of the earth; come now, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.
12 And God said to Balaam, You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.
The Lord asked Balaam a question, but do you really think that the God who knows everything did not already know the answer to His question? God wasn’t looking for an answer he was measuring the motives of Balaam heart. The was question that should have provoked self-examination. Prophets must understand that when the omniscience God asks you a question its your responsibility to find out the answer.
13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, Go back to your own land, for the Lord refuses to permit me to go with you.
14 So the princes of Moab rose up and went to Balak, and said, Balaam refuses to come with us.
15 Then Balak again sent princes, more of them and more honorable than the first ones.
16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus says Balak son of Zippor, I beg of you, let nothing hinder you from coming to me.
17 For I will promote you to very great honor and I will do whatever you tell me; so come, I beg of you, curse this people for me.
18 And Balaam answered the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry here again tonight that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.
Here in verse 19 we see the heart of the matter of Balaam’s idolatry. Idolatry is simply This is the very essence of the Error of Balaam. Notice Balaam had previously heard the word of the Lord in the matter. The will of the Lord was clear and concise. Balaam already knew the Lord’s desire, which told him NOT to go with the men. But Balaam sought a further word from, thinking the Lord might have nullified the word He had spoken previously. He was faithful to reject such worldly honors the first time, not to disobey Him for riches, However, by agreeing to inquire again of Jehovah after already knowing the will of God revealed a secret desire for the reward of divination. Balaam lust for promotion, influence and wealth enticed him to inquire God of Israel instead of cutting the negotiation. Prophets must guard their hearts from idolatry. Idolatry is in the heart perverts our hearing purely from the Lord. Instead of living for God, we began to live for ourselves, or our ministry or our reputation, or for material goods.
Prophets should be sure and certain that promotion doesn’t come east or west, promotion doesn’t come from anyone on earth it come from God above. Ps 75:6 You cannot connive and manipulate your way into a promotion. You must humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due season. Self-promotion leads to false ministry. One of the judgments of God is to have success in the wrong area.
20 And God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, If the men come to call you, rise up and go with them, but still only what I tell you may you do.
21 And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the [a] Angel of the Lord stood in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
The million-dollar question is why did go give Balaam permission to go and then appear to angered by his actions? The answer is found in how God deals with idols of the heart. God will answer accord to multitudes of Idols in your heart. What the heart has chosen the Lord allows. The Lord will never override the human will. The Lord revealed his will to but Balaam choose not to completely follow the will of the Lord instead he allowed the idol of self-will to take root in his heart, this led him to a place of disobedience.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 Then came certain of the elders of Israel to me and sat before me.
2 And the word of the Lord came to me:
3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and put the stumbling block of their iniquity and guilt before their faces; should I permit Myself to be inquired of at all by them?
4 Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Every man of the house of Israel who takes his idols [of self-will and unsubmissiveness] into his heart and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity [idols of silver and gold] before his face, and yet comes to the prophet [to inquire of him], I the Lord will answer him, answer him according to the multitude of his idols,
5 That I may lay hold of the house of Israel in the thoughts of their own mind and heart, because they are all estranged from Me through their idols.
The calling of a prophet is not about operating in an accurate gift its about the total man representing the will of the Lord. Prophets must become the message to their generation. We cannot allow idols in our heart cause to be estranged from the divine will of the Lord.
Prophets must learn to die self the will cause self will to align with the will of the Lord. The idol of Self-will causes you to stumbling in fulfilling your destiny. Jesus gives some keys to death to self-will. Lets take a look at several verse to gain some vital key to the process of dying to self.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray.
37 And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to [a]show grief and distress of mind and was [b]deeply depressed.
38 Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that [c]I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me.
39 And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.
40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour?
41 All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
First you must to Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means the oil press. This is place where you allow god to purge of all your agenda, opinions and idols out your heart.
Second, you must realize that can be tempted to go another way than the revealed will of the Lord. Jesus asked the Father was there another way to than the cross. He proclaimed nevertheless not my will but your will be done. He die to self so that multitudes my live. The is call of the prophet to die to self that others my live. Balaam was selfish, this king balaak wanted to destroy the people of God he was only concern for own promotion and financial gain. Balaam name means devourer of the people. Jude 12 states that he was feeding himself without fear. True prophets will service people but false people devour the people.
Finally to watch and pray that you don’t come into temptation. This developing a life of devotion to the Lord, keeping your heart on the altar God as a lifestyle.
23 And the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way and His sword drawn in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey to turn her into the way.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
24 But the Angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on this side and a wall on that side.
25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she thrust herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against it, and he struck her again.
26 And the Angel of the Lord went further and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right hand or to the left.
27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam, and Balaam’s anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you should strike me these three times?
29 And Balaam said to the donkey, Because you have ridiculed and provoked me! I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!
30 And the donkey said to Balaam, Am not I your donkey, upon which you have ridden all your life long until this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you? And he said, No.
It is amazing that Balaam believed in such supernatural events as an animal that can talk and reason, but he was blind to the fact he was opposing the Lord. Prophets must understand that just because you’re having dreams, vision and supernatural encounters does mean you’re in the perfect will of the Lord. I am convinced that supernatural encounters alone are not enough to bring transformation to the heart. We must choose life or death. We must choose the will of the Lord.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell on his face.
After Balaam’s eyes were opened, he could then see he was opposing the Lord. He then worshipped the Lord, offering to the Lord a sacrifice of bowing down before Him. I would like to submit this was nothing but lip service his heart was far from the Lord and his bowing down was nothing but ritualistic worship not true fear of the Lord. Isaiah 29:13
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
13 Then the Lord said,
“Because (A) this people draw near with their [a] words
And honor Me with their [b] lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their [c] reverence for Me [d] consists of [e] tradition learned by rote,
32 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? See, I came out to stand against and resist you, for your behavior is willfully obstinate and contrary before Me.
33 And the ass saw Me and turned from Me these three times. If she had not turned from Me, surely I would have slain you and saved her alive.
34 Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. But now, if my going displeases You, I will return.
35 The Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, Go with the men, but you shall speak only what I tell you. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
The angel of the Lord is stand with a sword drawn clearly stating that I have come to kill you and Balaam response is “if I have displeased the Lord” the is self deception, delusion and rebellion at its best. The Angel of the Lord was the to take his head of clearly his lust for honor, promotion and financial prosperity had dulled his spiritual senses. The angel stated that he was obstinate. Obstinate means stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so. Balaam’s rushing headlong or rapidly onward with great haste as that done without due deliberation. Prophets must remember that we are sons of God led by the Spirit God. The Holy Ghost lead and guides not drives and push. If there is a forces driven from the clear concise will of the God stop turn to the way of the Lord Deception has its root in rebellion. The power of the deception is that deceived person believe that they obeying the will of the Lord. Balaam idol of self will lead him to rebel, as the original will of God. This causes him to operate in witchcraft and become a traitor to God of Israel. The end Balaam a true prophet God life’s was that he die a soothsayer. The new testament identifies him as false prophet. What does it profit a man to gain to gain the wealth, riches, honor and prestige of the world and lose your soul.