Home / Leadership / Leadership and Discipleship, Part 3: Prophets, Leaders, Followers, Losers
Print Friendly and PDF

Leadership and Discipleship, Part 3: Prophets, Leaders, Followers, Losers

Written by Gary North on March 26, 2016

You can select one of the four roles listed in the title of this exposition. I recommend the second.

I do not recommend becoming a prophet. A prophet confronts those of his generation with a warning; obey God’s law or come under God’s negative sanctions. Rarely does anyone believe a prophet. Nineveh listened to Jonah, but Nineveh was pagan. A prophet sent by God frightened them. In Israel, prophets were not taken seriously. Israel knew all about God. They believed that God was willing to tolerate anything they did, for old time’s sake, or for the temple’s sake. Jeremiah warned the people of his day: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these” (Jer. 7:3-4).

But as prophets go, Jeremiah was a Jerry-come-lately. He brought the message of destruction to Judah just before Nebuchadnezzar invaded: in 589 B.C. Think about Isaiah and Micah. They brought the same message to Judah sometime in the middle of the eighth century, over a century and a half before Jeremiah came on the scene. Think about it. The prophets of Isaiah’s day were told by God to bring a warning of God’s wrath to a nation that would not experience this wrath for four generations.

Depressing, isn’t it? The prophet is asked by God to preach God’s law and God’s sanctions in history. Nobody pays any attention. They continue to ignore God’s law, generation after generation, and nothing abnormal happens. No sanctions come. This confirms their initial skepticism about the prophet and his message of repentance and obedience to God’s written law.


There are two kinds of prophets: God’s prophets and court prophets. God’s prophets serve as prosecuting attorneys of God’s covenant lawsuit. Court prophets serve as defense attorneys. God’s prophets announce: “Thus saith the Lord!” Court prophets announce: “We’re under grace, not law!”

Court prophets proclaim a message of antinomian deliverance from God’s negative sanctions in history (and very often in eternity). They preach this message to the princes and the people, and the masses of their covenant-bound followers say, “Amen!” The court priests pray whatever comforting and non-specific prayers that covenant-breakers want to hear. Am I exaggerating? Consider the formal prayers of any Chaplain for the U.S. Senate, with the possible exception of Peter Marshall. Meanwhile, court prophets in the United States come to bless each new President when he is inaugurated. Consider the distinguished prophet who comes to Washington to bless the inaugural proceedings every fourth year.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

Continue Reading on www.garynorth.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

Comments are closed.