A Call to the Prophetic Ministry


Understanding the Prophetic Ministry

1 Corinthians 14:4: He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

Today, there is no doubt that God is restoring the prophetic ministry to the church as never seen before. Prophets are springing up from everywhere and people are more than ever aware of the prophetic ministry as never before. Of course this situation, which is quite new to the church in these end times, leads to many questions. Both simple church members as well as those called to the prophetic ministry have questions. Some of those questions are:

What is the prophetic ministry? What is the purpose and function of the prophetic ministry in the church today? What is a prophet? What does the word prophetic actually means? Is someone who prophesies every Sunday in church a prophet? How do I know that I am called to the prophetic ministry? What are the signs that I should look for? If I am called to the prophetic ministry how will it be manifested in me? How will God train me? What sort of preparation will I have to go through? How long does it take to be trained as a prophet?

As you can see there are many questions and I am sure you have got your own, you can add your own list. I don’t intend to answer all these questions here; I just want to give you an overview of what the prophetic ministry is all about and what it involves.

The first thing that I want to look at is the word prophetic. Obviously prophetic is an adjective related to two words prophecy and prophet. Here is how Strong’s concordance defines the two terms according to the Greek

 Prophecy: a discourse (speech) emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by revealing the past events and foretelling future events

Prophet: one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God

The key thing to remember here is that prophecy involves an utterance or communication through words. In a nutshell, prophecy is speaking ahead of time, what God is planning to do. It can also involve preparing the ground for what God is planning to do. 

Because prophecy is an utterance it actually covers a lot of what goes as normal preaching. Whenever a person speaks forth under inspiration what God is saying to others at the present time, they are exercising a prophetic ministry; so prophecy can also fall under inspired preaching. But it is of course a lot more than that.

From the above definitions you may be tempted to believe that a prophet is someone who just has a gift of prophecy or who prophesies. But the prophetic ministry is actually more than that as said. Keep reading and you will understand why.

But I think this is where many people get confused. The confusion comes from the failure to distinguish between three biblical concepts: gifts of the spirit, body ministries and leadership ministries also referred to as the fivefold ministry.

Body ministries can be found in Roman 12: 4-8 and include: Prophecy, Servanthood, Teaching, Exhortation and encouragement, Giving to others and meeting their needs, Ruling or taking charge or leading others, Compassion and mercy and taking care of people. These are called body ministries because they are ministries that every single member of the body of Christ is called to function and operate in. Every believer has got a ministry because the word ministry simply means service; so to minister means to serve. And you will agree that every believer is called to serve the Lord. There is no particular training needed, believers receive them from the Lord and function naturally in them.

 We see prophetic ministry often in the Old Testament, as God raised up prophets to encourage and rebuke the nation of Israel in times of trouble or rebellion. During King David’s reign (2 Samuel), the prophet Nathan, among others, spoke the word of the Lord to David, giving him guidance and direction as well as confronting him concerning his sin with Bathsheba. Of course, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Zechariah, etc., also had a prophetic ministry—they were prophets, after all. The calling of a prophet was to speak for God. A prophet would teach, give guidance, counsel, or rebuke as necessary.

In the New Testament, we find others who had a prophetic ministry. Certain people were gifted as prophets to give guidance, direction, counsel, etc., to God’s people. The gift of prophecy is specifically mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10 and Ephesians 4:11. Please note that this gift was given for the building up of the church (Ephesians 4:12). Thus, prophets were to speak the Word of God to the church so that believers would know the mind of the Lord and how the church should function.

There are many Christians today who believe they are involved in prophetic ministry, who believe that prophecy is ongoing, and who present themselves as conduits of new revelation from heaven. Churches who believe in prophetic ministry typically attempt to interpret dreams, predict the future, healing, and speak in tongues

The bottom line on prophetic ministry is that the Bible is complete. Scripture even warns against adding to the Word of God (Revelation 22:18).

What Is A Prophet?

Called by God and filled with God’s Spirit, a prophet spoke God’s word to people who had in one way or another distanced themselves from God. In one sense, a prophet is a preacher. But in marketplace terms, a prophet is often a whistle-blower, particularly when an entire family, tribe or nation has turned away from God.

The prophets peopled the pages of Israel’s history. Moses was God’s prophet, used to rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt and then to lead them to the land God had promised them. Again and again, these people turned away from God. Moses was God’s first mouthpiece to bring them back into a relationship with God. In the Old Testament history books (Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah), prophets such as Deborah, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, and others came forward to speak God’s word to a rebellious people.

Israel’s religious worship was organized around the labor of priests, first in the tabernacle and later in the temple. The day-to-day job description of priests lay in slaughtering, butchering, and roasting the sacrificial animals brought by worshipers. But a priest’s tasks went beyond the heavy physical work of dealing with thousands of animal sacrifices. A priest was also responsible to be a spiritual and moral guide to the people. While the priest was often seen primarily as the mediator between the people and God in the temple sacrifices, his larger duty was to teach God’s law to the people (Lev. 10:11; Deut.17:8-10; 33:10; Ezra 7:10).

In Israel’s history, however, the priests themselves often became corrupt and turned away from God, leading the people in the worship of idols. Prophets arose when the priests failed to teach God’s law to the people, and kings and judges failed to govern the country justly. In a sense, God called and spoke through prophets as whistle-blowers when the whole Israelite enterprise was on the brink of self-destruction.

One of the stunning tragedies of the people of God was their persistence in pursuing the worship of the many gods of their pagan neighbors. The common practices of this idolatrous worship included offering their children in the fires of Moloch and ritual prostitution with every imaginable lewd practice “on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree” (2 Chr. 28:4). But an even greater evil in forsaking Yahweh came in forsaking God’s structure for living in community as a distinct and holy people of God.

Concern for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger in the land was replaced by oppression. Business practices overturned God’s standard so that extortion, taking bribes, and dishonest gain became commonplace. Leaders used power to destroy lives, and religious leaders despised God’s holy things. Far from enriching the nation, these ungodly practices led to the downfall of the nation. The prophets were often the last voices in the land, calling people back to God and to a just and healthy community.

In most cases, the prophets were not “professional” in the sense of earning a living from their prophetic activities. God tapped them for special duty while in the midst of other professions. Some prophets (e.g., Jeremiah and Ezekiel) were priests with the duties described above. Others were shepherds, including Moses and Amos. Deborah was a judge adjudicating issues for the Israelites. Huldah was probably a teacher in the scholarly sector of Jerusalem. The task of a prophet overlaid other jobs.

This question is very important; “What do we mean when we speak of prophets, and who are prophets?” We must find what the Bible says about this subject.

The first person in the Bible to be called a prophet was Abraham, the “Father of the Faithful.” It is important to notice also, that it was God who gave him this title. The story is found in Genesis 20:6-7. A heathen prince had taken Abraham’s wife, and God commanded him to restore her, saying of Abraham, “he is a prophet. . . .” (the Hebrew word is “nabi” as it is also in Arabic). Without doubt there were other men before Abraham who were prophets. Enoch was one, for instance (compare Genesis 5:24 with Jude 14). But Abraham was the first person to be designated a prophet by the clear Word of God.

Many God-appointed prophets arose after Abraham. They were chosen from many walks of life. Moses was adopted in infancy by an Egyptian princess and thus received a prince’s education. (Read in your Bible, for example, Exodus 2:5-10; Acts 7:21-22.) Ezekiel and Jeremiah were priests as well as prophets. David was first a shepherd, then warrior, king and poet and a prophet as well. Amos was a herdsman (Amos 1:1). Elisha was a plowman (1 Kings 19:15-21). Daniel was a government administrator (Daniel 2:48). From such diverse backgrounds, God chose His prophets. Their influence and authority did not come from their rank, education, wisdom or wealth, but entirely from the fact that God chose them to be His messengers. So we may define a prophet as one appointed by God Himself to be His messenger. Now we must examine the Bible to expand this brief definition. Notice first that God chose His messengers. Read Genesis 12:1-4, Exodus 3:1-12, 1 Samuel 3:10-11, Jeremiah 1:5-10.

God in His wisdom chose men who would obey Him faithfully and He gave them authority to speak on His behalf. Prophets were not chosen or elected by men, and they were not permitted to inherit the title or regard it as an official post to be filled by a man specially trained for it.

Notice also that God told them what to do. We may find example of the work of a true prophet in a number of references as follows. Their work was:

1. To reveal the nature and attributes of God to men. Deuteronomy 5:4-10, Leviticus 19:1-4

2. To make known to men the laws of God. For example Exodus 20:1-17

3. To call the people back to obedience to God’s laws. Read 2 Chronicles 24:19

4. To exhort the people to sincerity in worship. An example of this is found in Jeremiah 7:1-11:

5. To warn them of Divine judgment upon sin, both personal and national. See Jeremiah 36:30-31:

6. To foretell future events which God had willed. A good illustration of this would be Jeremiah 30:1-3:

7. To foretell the coming of the Messiah, the Savior. See for example Isaiah 9:6:

8. To record the history of God’s dealings with men. An example of this is in Deuteronomy 31:9-13:

9. To record the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures. Take these examples: (Exodus 17:14, Exodus 34:27, Deuteronomy 31:22-26, Jeremiah 36:1-2, Jeremiah 36:27-28).

“What is a prophet in the Bible?”

In a general sense, a prophet is a person who speaks God’s truth to others. The English word prophet comes from the Greek word prophetess, which can mean “one who speaks forth” or “advocate.” Prophets are also called “seers,” because of their spiritual insight or their ability to “see” the future.

In the Bible, prophets often had both a teaching and revelatory role, declaring God’s truth on contemporary issues while also revealing details about the future. Isaiah’s ministry, for example, touched on both the present and the future. He preached boldly against the corruption of his day (Isaiah 1:4) and delivered grand visions of the future of Israel (Isaiah 25:8).

Prophets had the task of faithfully speaking God’s Word to the people. They were instrumental in guiding the nation of Israel and establishing the church. God’s household is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).

More than 133 named prophets are mentioned in the Bible, including 16 women. In addition, numerous others prophesied, such as the 70 elders of Israel (Numbers 11:25) and the 100 prophets rescued by Obadiah (1 Kings 18:4). The first named prophet in the Bible is Abraham. In Genesis 20:7 God spoke to Abimelech in dream, saying, “Now then, return [Abraham’s] wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you will live.” God had revealed Himself to Abraham on numerous occasions.

Jacob and Joseph, descendants of Abraham, both had dreams regarding the future that could be categorized as prophetic. Moses was called a “man of God” and was considered a great prophet (Deuteronomy 34:10). Joshua and many of the judges served as prophets, with the last judge, Samuel, hearing the voice of God as a young boy (1 Samuel 3:4). He would later anoint David, who served as both king and prophet in Israel.

The time of Elijah and Elisha was marked by a high level of prophetic activity. In fact, a school for prophets thrived during their lifetimes (see 1 Kings 20:35). Both Elijah and Elisha performed many miracles as well.

In the New Testament, John the Baptist foretold the Messiah (Matthew 3:1). Jesus Himself came as prophet, priest, king, and Messiah, fulfilling many of the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.

The early church also included prophets. For example, Ananias was given a prophecy about the Apostle Paul’s future (Acts 9:10–18). Acts 21:9 mentions four daughters of Philip who could prophesy. Prophecy is listed as a spiritual gift in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. In the end times, two “witnesses” will prophesy from Jerusalem (Revelation 11).

Usually, the prophets God sends are despised and their message unheeded. Isaiah described his nation as a “rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions’” (Isaiah 30:9–10). Jesus lamented that Jerusalem had killed the prophets God sent to them (Luke 13:34).

Of course, not everyone who “speaks forth” a message is actually a prophet of God. The Bible warns against false prophets who claim to speak for God but who actually deceive the people they purport to inform. King Ahab kept 400 such false prophets in his employ to tell him what he wanted to hear (2 Chronicles 18:4; cf. 2 Timothy 4:3). In the New Testament we have many warnings against false prophets. Jesus taught, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). He later noted that, in the end times, “false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Revelation speaks of a false prophet who will arise in the Tribulation and deceive people around the world (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). To avoid being led astray, we must always “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).

A true prophet of God will be committed to speaking God’s truth. He or she will never contradict God’s revealed Word. A true prophet will say, with the prophet Micah just before his fateful confrontation with Ahab, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says” (2 Chronicles 18:13).

Qualification for prophets:

Prophets are simply inspired servants of God. They are chosen by God who commissions them into ministry. They are similar to the Apostles. The twelve apostles were ordinary men whom God used in an extraordinary manner. Among the twelve were fishermen, a tax collector, and a revolutionary. The Gospels record the constant failings, struggles, and doubts of these twelve men who followed God’s instructions. After witnessing Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit transformed the apostles into powerful men of God who turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

These men became the pioneering leaders of the New Testament church, but they were not without faults and shortcomings. Interestingly, not one of the chosen 12 disciples was a scholar or highly educated. They had no extraordinary skills. Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me.

But God chose them for a purpose—to fan the flames of the gospel that would spread across the face of the earth and continue to burn down through the centuries. He selected and used each of these regular guys to carry out his exceptional plan.

The roles of a prophet:

A prophet is a spokesperson for God. The prophet admonishes, warns, directs, encourages, intercedes, teaches and counsels. He brings the word of God to the people of God and calls the people to respond.

The prophetic ministry begins in the presence of the Lord. This aspect of the ministry is well described in Jeremiah’s challenge to the false prophets.

Which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? If they had stood in his council they would have proclaimed his words to his people and they would have turned from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. Jeremiah 23:18, 22.

When the prophet knows the heart and mind of the Lord, he speaks the word of the Lord to his people. He stands before the people as one who have stood before God. Because his words come from the heart of God they are powerful and effective.

A prophet can undertake a huge variety of roles. This is an expression of the creativity of God. A prophet may act in every role occasionally, but mostly he will move in one or two of these roles. Prayer will be important for every ministry. No two prophets should be the same, but each should be a reflection of God’s creativity and calling.

The call of a prophet usually but not always includes his job description. Some of the roles that a prophet can function in are outlined in the following sections.

1.      Prayer

An important part of the prophet’s task is prayer. Because he knows the mind of the Lord, he is in a position to pray effectively. He has a clear picture of what God is doing, so he knows where prayer is needed most. The prophet watches over the word of the Lord and prays it into being. He must not rest until God has fulfilled his word (Isaiah 62:6).

An important part of the prophet’s task is unceasing prayer for the Christian Community. The prophets, because they knew what the mind of the Lord was, were in a position to pray more effectually than other men. They had a clearer picture of what God was doing and so they knew when prayer was needed most. They were also able to pray true ‘prophetic prayers’ in which the Holy Spirit directed and guided their very manner and words (Isa 62:6)

Prayer belongs in a very high and important sense to the prophetic ministry. Praying prophets have frequently been at a premium in the history of God’s people. God’s watchmen must always and everywhere be men of prayer. Praying preachers are the true prophets of the Lord, and are they who stand as mouth pieces of God to a generation of wicked and worldly-minded men and women. They are the boldest and truest, and swiftest ministers of God

Prayer was essential to the prophetic ministry. It came naturally to the prophets and was the life-blood of their ministry. Prayer was their principal means of communication with God and lay at the heart of their personal relationship with God

The prophet is also a mediator. Moses stood between the people and God. Time after time, Moses stood in the gap on behalf of the nation before an angry God. Consequently, intercession played a vital part in Moses life. As a prophet Moses felt in his heart the burden of the message he brought to the people. He was deeply moved when Israel did not respond to the command of God

People have always looked to prophetic people when they needed prayer – they still do today. Out of their request for prayer will often come the very signs that confirm the word of God prophets speak. Be bold! Be vigilant! Be fervent! Anything might happen!

A prophet and his message is born before the Lord. Prophets are men of prayer. A man who has learnt to sit in quietness before the Lord cannot but be contaminated by his pain regarding the situation of the oppressed.

Prophetic burden-bearers are called to pray. These are the prophetic intercessors. They can feel the grief of the Lord over the things that are not right. These prophets seem to live in the doldrums much of the time, but they are called there to pray “right” again those things that are wrong. God bless them!

Men of prayer must be men of steel, for they will be assaulted by Satan even before they attempt to assault his kingdom.

I believe prophetic ministry is the gas that fuels the tank of intercession and purity. It’s the prophetic hope that causes our prayers for a coming great visitation of God to be persistent through the many years and the diverse seasons of hardship.

2.      Receiving the Word of the Lord

A key role of the prophet is waiting in the presence of God to receive the word of God. God is sovereign so we cannot tell him when he should speak. Hearing will always require waiting.

The task of the prophets was to know the will of God, so that they could convey it to the nation. Their ministry consisted in handling revelation, i.e. the knowledge that God has revealed to them. From the earliest times prophecy was conceived as being the activity of God, rather than the activity of man. This is true not only for the receiving of prophecy but also for it’s delivery. When the prophet actually conveyed the word of the Lord to the people he was deemed to be under the power of God. The hand of the Lord was upon him, empowering and directing the delivery of the word. The Prophet stood before men, as man who had been made to stand before God.

3.      Suffering

A prophet is often called to suffering. Deep dealing at the hand of God will often be needed to prepare the prophet for receiving the word of God. Sometimes he may actually have to experience beforehand, something of what his people will experience. Jeremiah spent many years in captivity before his people went into captivity. He was often rejected and ostracized; he was even accused of being a traitor. Ezekiel had to lie on his side for 390 days to symbolize the judgment that would come upon his nation. This suffering made the prophets extremely aware of their human frailty (Jer 20:7-10).

It also equipped the prophet to give what was often a very harsh message in a spirit of compassion. A true message is nullified if it is spoken in the wrong spirit. Suffering softens the prophet’s spirit, so that he can give the hardest word, in a spirit of love. Suffering contributed to Jeremiah’s compassion.

When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the chief officer in the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord ‘s temple (Jer 20:1,2).

There is an especial message in the ministry of Jeremiah for those who are compelled to stand alone, who fall into the ground to die, who fill up what is behind of the sufferings of Christ, and through death arise to bear fruit in the great world of men, which they passionately love.

In the fifth chapter of Hebrews, a number of prophets are recorded as heroes who suffered for their calling.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground (Heb 11:32-38).

A prophetic ministry involves having a foretaste of the suffering and judgment that will come as a result of the sins of the church and the whole world, since iniquity would soon be universal. In such commission one must be willing to pay the price involved in foreseeing the coming events, in suffering and experiencing them in advance. Only then can the warning be passed on. A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury and wrath of God, than his love and tenderness

A messenger who has not been willing to move into close combat with reality, with the pain of the downtrodden, will not be able to bring a message of relief and healing. A painless message cannot ease the pain. A painless message cannot carry a burden. A true messenger of the Lord begins every voyage at the Cross. Each and every piece brought forth from his mouth is marked by the Cross.

Many are eager to wear the Prophet’s mantle, but are reluctant to bear the Christian’s cross. This cannot be. Given the choice between Christian or Prophet, choose Christian.

There is a burden in being a prophet, which the OT prophets found that they could not always bear.

4.      Worship

The prophetic ministry can often play an important part in worship. A prophecy that speaks of the glory and wonder of God will inspire his people to worship. 1 Chronicles 24 lists a number of men who were set aside for the ministry of prophesying to the accompaniment of musical instruments as part of the temple worship. This ministry is needed today. In small fellowships, it can be provided by the gift of prophecy. Large meetings for celebration will benefit from prophets who can bring a word from the Lord to build the worship. Miriam, the prophetess led the children of Israel in worship after they had crossed the Red Sea.

Paul said that when the church gathered together, two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged: The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets; for God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Cor 14:29-33).

When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. Then Miriam the prophetess took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them, “sing to the Lord for he is highly exalted.” (Exodus 15:19-21).

In the temple, there were people whose role was to prophesy as part of the worship. They were professional worshippers and prophets, responsible for leading the worship in the house of God.

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service:  All these men were under the supervision of their fathers for the music of the temple of the Lord, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the supervision of the king. Along with their relatives- all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord- they numbered 288 (1 Chron 25, 1,6).

5.      Encouragement

Encouragement of the brethren is an important aspect of the prophetic ministry. Everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who prophesies edifies the church (1 Cor 14:3, 4)

The words of the prophets will build up and strengthen the church. This will be especially important in times of trial and tribulation. Silas and Judas were two prophets who encouraged the church in Antioch. Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers (Acts 15:32).

The scriptures give a number of examples of prophets who encouraged the leaders of their nation to act boldly. When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. (2 Chron 15:1,).

Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius (Hag 1:13-15).

Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, helping them (Ezra 5:1, 2).

So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia (Ezra 6:14).

The prophetic ministry is to alert the church to the “now-ness” of the Holy Spirit. It awakens us to the will and purpose of God for us in the present – what He specifically wants to do in us and through us.

6.      Foretelling the Future

Prediction of the future is part of the prophetic ministry. Almost every prophet in the Old Testament appeared first as a foreteller. Through his fellowship with the eternal God, the prophet has access to the future. He is the seer who has insight into God’s purposes for history. However, whatever he sees for the future is always related to the present. He warns of future judgments so that people will change their behaviour now. He speaks of future blessing to give hope for the present.

The prophet speaks to the present, in light of the future that God has revealed to him. For example, Isaiah warned Hezekiah, that he would die.

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord (2 Kings 20:1, 2).

Calls to repentance and calls to practical holiness are based on a word concerning the future; the vision of wrath to come is the basis of a present seeking of the mercy of God.

Prophets must know God and understand the world and bring God’s revelation to bear to show people where it is going. They should show people what to do next

History becomes revelation because there was added to the historical situation a man prepared beforehand to say what it meant. The prophets were not left to struggle with the meaning of events as or after they happened, they apprehend them beforehand and were warned by God of their significance

Almost every prophet first appears as a foreteller. Repentance and practical holiness are based on a word concerning the future; the vision of wrath to come is the basis of a present seeking of the mercy of God; the vision of bliss to come is a call to a walking in the light now.

Prophets see more than others the continuing influences that issue from the past and profoundly affect the present and the ultimate future. They see the continuum, the unbroken span of past, present and future as few see it.

7.      Direction and Guidance

Prophets bring the word of the Lord to the church. Christians can get so caught up in the events of the world that they do not see what God is doing. This is particularly true in tumultuous times, when it can be very hard to see the hand of God at work. Prophets will give direction and vision in these situations, so that God’s people know what is happening, and what they should do. For example, the prophet Gad provided guidance to David and showed him how to avoid trouble.

But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth (1 Sam 22:5).

Prophets can give direction to those who are seeking the will of God. Sometimes the prophetic word will be for the church as a whole or for the leadership of the church.

The Prophet admonishes, warns, directs, intercedes, teaches and counsels. Far more importantly he stands at the walls to see what the Lord is doing that he may call the body to respond.

A prophet is called to stand in the councils of the Lord. He stands before the living God. Having stood before God he is sent to stand for God, before his people and speak his word.

To prophesy is to communicate the mind and heart of God to a person, a group of people or a territory; therefore, prophecy is linked with the promise of God over our lives. God’s promise is an announcement of His plan of salvation and blessing to His people. A promise embraces both declaration and deed. God’s promise begins with a declaration by God and covers His future plan.

Personal prophecy must be treated with caution. The gift of prophecy is not usually directive, so it is dangerous to make life changing decisions on the basis of a prophecy uttered by a person who has not been recognised as a prophet. Prophets will sometimes give direction, but generally this should come as a confirmation of something that God has already spoken to the person concerned. God wants to lead his people by his Spirit. He desires that every believer should learn to hear the Spirit’s voice. A message from a prophet should normally come as a confirmation of something that the Spirit has already spoken.

Getting confirmation from a prophet before we act can be really encouraging, but we need to be very careful. A personal prophecy can be misleading if we have let our own plans and desires control our thinking. Ezekiel gives a surprising warning about this.

When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the Lord will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry (Ezek 14:4).

If a person has let something that they want to do become an idol of their heart, God may prophesy to them what they want to hear. If the person acts on the prophecy, it will lead to disaster. God does this to reveal the idol and recapture the person’s heart. This means that we must be careful with personal prophecy. If a prophecy confirms what we want to do, it may just be a sign that we have made our own plans into an “idol in our hearts”.

The major thrust of these servants was to declare God’s heart to his people, pricking their hearts that they might Return to His ways. The purpose of all of His prophets sent to Israel and Judah. In fulfilling this they may have spoken of things to come or given a personal word to an individual. However, these were minor components of their ministry, which helped to accomplish the major. Too often we are deceived or led astray by majoring on that on which God minors, while minoring on that on which God majors. It would seem that the emphasis of today’s prophetic ministries is focused on the minor, the giving of personal prophecy and foretelling of the future. We’ve drawn our definition of a prophet from limited and specific scriptures rather than stepping Back to capture the overall picture. An erroneous view of a prophet has left the church vulnerable to deception.

Christian prophets do not tell people what to do; they confirm what God is saying. Telling the people what they want to hear at the expense of what they need to hear weakens the church. It causes people to seek the gifts and manifestations to the neglect of pursuing the character of God.

For far too long the prophetic ministry has only been seen as a blessing ministry. Prophets come into the church, take a few meetings, bless people and then move on.

8.      Interpreting Dreams and Visions

An important aspect of the prophetic ministry is interpreting dreams and visions. God often speaks in dreams to people who are not listening. We must learn to interpret these to understand what he is saying. Prophets are sometimes skilled in interpreting dreams.

This is that time in history in which God is raising His prophets for His end-time purposes. “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you… (Deuteronomy 13:1),” makes it unequivocal that the Lord regards prophets and dreamers as one and the same. Unfortunately, the Body of Christ, for the most part, has not yet grasped that. It is imperative that at least His prophets, and hopefully the entire Body, come to comprehend how important this aspect of prophets’ equipment actually is, and that all His prophets become adept both in having their own dreams and in interpreting theirs and those of others.

Daniel was a prophet who was skilled in interpreting dreams (Daniel 2:1-28). During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers; you have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king” (Dan 2:19-23).

Dreams often include people and objects with which we are familiar used in symbolic ways. We must not assume that they will be fulfilled literally. For example, Joseph saw the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing before him. This was not literally fulfilled, but he eventually saw his father and eleven brothers bowing before him. (Genesis 37:5-12; 40:5-22; 44:11-32). Dreams should be interpreted like parables.

Kings and rulers will often hear God through dreams. Prophets can help them to understand what God is saying. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of Kings (Prov 25:2).

Those particularly gifted with dreams, visions, prophecies and revelation need to be careful not to think of themselves too highly, as being the prophetic group. They serve only one dimension of the church’s greater calling as a prophetic community.

9.      Correction and Admonition

There is also a negative side to the ministry of the prophet. This can be seen in the calling of Jeremiah: See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow to build and to plant.

Four of the six expressions used by God to describe Jeremiah’s ministry are negative. God often has to up root and tear down, destroy and overthrow, before he can begin to plant and build. Prophets co-operate with God in breaking down all that is not built on the true foundation. They do this by announcing his judgment. At the same time they watch over all that God is building to see that it is built according to his Word. This is an awesome task but God cannot complete his restoration work until the prophetic ministry is restored. Two thirds of his work was therefore in the direction of destruction. It is not pleasant or easy work

It was Jeremiah’s lot to prophesy at a time when all things in Judah were running down in a final and mournful catastrophe, when political excitement was at its height and the most fatal counsels prevailed. It was his stand in the way, over which his nation was pushing headlong to destruction: to make an heroic effort to arrest it and to turn it back; and to fail and be compelled to step to one side and see his own people, whom he loved with the tenderness of a woman plunge over the precipice into the wide weltering ruin.

Paul described a prophetic ministry that cut to the hearts of the people.  But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” (1 Cor 14:24,25).

When Jeremiah was first summoned to the work of prophet, it was summarized under six distinct divisions. He was set over nations and to overthrow; to build and to plant (Jer 1:10).

No Compromise; that’s a prophets heart when he sees the thing that needs to be opposed, and hears God’s word he is merciless.

The leader is rarely a prophet who sounds the initial warning: he is an early listener who obeys the prophet. The prophet’s job is lonely. He is usually a one-man verbal demolition team. He must attack the root of the evil, which goes very deep and affects everything. He does not criticize this or that evil; he criticizes the system that produced a forest of bad trees and bad fruit. He is not a tree-trimmer; he is in the tree-uprooting business.

Elijah prayed a terrible prayer. But there is something far more dreadful than physical calamities and suffering, namely moral delinquency and spiritual apostasy. This is very rarely perceived. Desperate diseases call for drastic measures.

Elijah was a confrontation prophet. God used him to confront the evils of his time. One element of Christian compassion is outrage. If we see what is wrong as God sees it, we feel about it as God feels it. Moses was outraged when he looked on the burdens of his people. His nation was immature but his outrage was natural. In the time of the prophets, as Israel’s national decadence brought in its wake violent social injustice and inhumanity the outrage of prophets is searing. Amos was furious when he saw the poor sold for the price of shoes.

The prophetic voice of Israel was primarily a word of judgment upon the people of God. So the prophetic voice of the church must be a word which warns of impending judgment upon the church. Warning to the world is secondary (Ez 3:5, 21; Ez 33:7)

Amos was a prophet who understood the condition of his nation, and knew the issues in Israel with which God took exception. It is not the worldly society, but God’s people with whom God is primarily concerned and with whom he will first enter into judgment.

Like most prophets, Amos was not welcomed in his own society. When a genuine prophet arrives on the scene, he tends to make people uncomfortable. The people of Amos’ day were affluent and religiously devout- as well as being military secure and governmentally sound. The last thing they wanted was a prophet to meddle their well-ordered lives.

10.  Exposing Rotten Leadership

Rotten leadership has done terrible damage in the church. It has imparted sin (and perhaps evil spirits) to hundreds and thousands of ordinary people who trusted their leaders and were vulnerable because they submitted to them. When the leadership of a church is rotten, the prophets should be exposing it.

The reality is that a prophet is not needed to expose most problems within church leadership. The people who are close to the leader, usually know what is going on. The problem is that they are too loyal to challenge the leader that they look up to. The prophet is usually the only one tough enough to call the leader on their faults.

God has provided a way to protect leaders and people, but the church consistently refuses to adopt it. Leadership incidents will only stop when the church goes back to Balanced Ministry, with churches led by a team of pastors, prophets and evangelists working together in submission to each other. As long as we perpetuate the myth that one guy must be top dog, embarrassing incidents will continue to shame the church and hurt innocent Christians. God cannot protect his people from evil, while the leaders of his church refuse to adopt the Spiritual Protection he has provided. Prophets should be exposing this problem.

11.  Announcing Judgments

God raised up the prophetic ministry to speak to evil people and nations and warn them of approaching judgments. God’s purposes in judgment are clearer, if a prophet announces them in advance.

The prophet’s declaration and intercession gives God authority to deal with evil. When a situation turns sour and God needs to take action, his prophet announce God’s condemnation of the evil. This prophetic declaration would give God permission to send judgment event against the evil that the prophet had pronounced judgment against. The prophet’s declaration expresses God’s judgment/verdict on the evil. God’s action against the evil represents his sentence against the evil.

Prophets and judgments go together. Without the prophets, God does not have authority to bring preventive judgments against evil. Unless God sends judgments against emerging evil, the prophets would be just crying in the wind. Prophets and judgments were God’s strategy for constraining evil in the world.

The modern world thinks of judgment as a grumpy god going round waking people. However, most people in the world do not get justice. Their life is full of injustice. Various empires and political leaders have promised to get them justice, but the ordinary people never receive it. Fair judgment is good news for most people.

If we want to understand God’s judgment we should read the Beatitudes. The poor will be blessed. The rich will be disappointed, because they have already received their comfort. Those who have had plenty and privilege might miss out.

12.  Warning of Danger

When Paul was going up to Jerusalem the prophet Agabus warned him of danger that he would face there (Acts 21:10, 11). God often prepares his people in this way. The prophet is a watchman, who warns God’s people of coming trouble.

Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground where no snare has been set? Does a trap spring up from the earth when there is nothing to catch? When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:5-7).

13.  Interpreting the Signs of the Times

Jesus criticized the Jews because they could understand the weather, but they could not interpret the signs of the times.

He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 12:54-56).

Prophets are able to understand the signs of the times and interpret them to the world.

The seer is one who has understanding of the times. This person has the ability to perceive and discern the spiritual significance of a situation and can give the Lord’s perspective on a given situation. This person’s strengths are gifts of illumination and discernment, though they may or may not communicate what they see in any one set or particular manner. This kind of prophet is extremely valuable as a watchman and intercessor in the midst of the Church.

Within the long, circuitous, often delayed progress in understanding, there were sudden explosions of saving activity. It is to the prophets that God revealed the coming and meaning of such times; indeed from one point of view, the prophet may be described as the person who, more than anyone else, knows what time it is.

The prophet knows what time it is, knows what kind of time it is. He holds prophetic understanding of the mentality and mood of this present time. He identifies and knows the trends of a society by looking at its roots. He is able to analyze trends and upcoming events by judging foundations. His words are a force against the mentality of the day.

The seer is made able to read the spiritual climate. He is made able to identify the prevalent motivational force. His role is to see through masks and veils of pretension, to expose man’s folly and evil, for the sake of seeing the poor and needy through. The watchman is set over men’s hearts to discern motivation, and to pray for and to call forth correction. The seer is set over men’s hearts to call them to heavenly living. The prophet is a seer. The basic nature of his commission is observation and watchfulness. He is prone to contemplation and skilled in the art of deduction.

14.  The Meaning of History

Prophets have a role in explaining the meaning of history. When a culture loses an understanding of its history, it loses its sense of direction.

The church has been unable to give an effective lead in secular society due to the loss of a sense of mission and direction. Without a clear sense of its own purpose, identity and destiny the church has been powerless to influence an increasingly secular society. A major cause of the church’s loss of direction has been due to the lack of a clear concept of the meaning of history. Mankind is crying out for an understanding of history. This is of fundamental importance for grappling with the underlying issues concerning the meaning and purpose of life itself. The church will never be able to satisfy the deepest longings of mankind and give a lead to secular nations or point the way to creative policies promoting health, happiness and the well-being of mankind until Christians recover an understanding of history.

God’s actions in human history had to be interpreted and this was one of the major roles of the prophets. The Bible reveals a God who has plans for the whole world, which cannot be thwarted. Once God has announced his purposes nothing can stand against him or prevent him from fulfilling his word. This understanding of God as the Lord of history is something that has very largely been lost by the western church. It has resulted in powerlessness to declare the word of God with prophetic power and conviction in the second half of the twentieth century when all the nations have been shaken. When God stretches out his hand and says that the time has come for a nation or a people, they can no longer stand.

God’s plan for history is revealed through his prophets. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets (Eph 3:4,5).

15.  Testing of Prophecy

Prophets are called to speak God’s word. Another important part of their ministry, which we need to see developed, is testing prophecy. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said (1 Cor 14:29).

Part of the prophetic role is to sit and listen to prophecies and “weigh carefully” the words that are spoken. This is something that two or three should do together. If a prophecy does not get a consensus of support it should be discarded. If it was God’s message He will make it clear to you.

Testing prophecies is a very important aspect of the prophetic ministry. We are now hearing more and more prophetic words being spoken to the church, but the quality is still very mixed. Christians do not know which words they should take seriously. Many warnings of disasters have not been fulfilled. This unclear sounding of the trumpet is producing confusion in the church. The solution is for prophets to get more involved in testing of prophecies and sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Churches that are moving in prophecy should set up processes for this to happen.

16.  Watchman

Some prophets are watchmen or men of vision who stand on the walls of the city of God to see what God is doing. They look into the distance to see what is coming. They often see a long way ahead. Several scriptures describe the role of the watchman.

The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God (Hos 9:8).

Ezekiel was called to be a watchman.  word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.

Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

“Son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offences and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?” ‘ Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’ (Ezek 33:1-11).

The prophet was called a watchman because he basically functioned in the spiritual realm just as the literal watchmen did in the natural realm. The natural watchmen were stationed at specific posts on the walls of the city that gave them the visibility to watch for the king or other members of the nobility to announce their coming. They were also to look for enemies from without, or disorder arising within the city, or camp of Israel.

The watchman should not be in the city eating and drinking with the townsfolk. He should be out on the watchtower looking into the night.

The watchman, like the eagle must be free to fly as he or she wills (in God) and to flow prophetically in all the prophetic function and not be restricted by man. Without the freedom to fly like an eagle the watchman will become a controlled, chained prisoner of the Church, unable to report even abuse, error and sin seen within the church itself.

The true church could not have become the “institution” it has, if the watchmen had not been rendered impotent

Elijah’s servant needed to have his eyes opened to see the full reality of his situation. This is something we all need.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).

17.  Challenging the Nation

The primary responsibility of the prophet is to speak to the people of God. He brings both direction and correction to the Church. But a prophet may also be called to speak to his nation. Many of the prophets of the Old Testament found themselves confronting kings, and taking an important role in national affairs. Some also addressed their words to foreign nations. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel each prophesied to the surrounding nations (Is 13-12, Jer 46-51, Ezek 25-32). The church will always be the prophet’s main concern, but this wider prophetic role urgently needs restoring.

The prophets of Israel did not live in isolation -they were acutely aware of international politics and the rise and fall of nations. Some of them pronounced messages against the nations of their times. All of them were concerned about the world situation, and it was part of their calling to issue prophecies against the other nations of the world.

Having matured in their prophetic gifting through years of faithful obedience to God, prophets will begin to operate on new levels of prophetic authority. Worldwide, prophets will speak before civil governments, delivering powerful prophetic speeches to nations, literally shaking their existing political foundations.

The march of nations, the rise and fall of earthly powers, and the rule and reign of kings and sovereigns all comes under the overview of God’s heart for the earth. He sees the end from the beginning.

18.  Initiating God’s Action

God does nothing without warning his people first. Part of the prophetic role is to release God’s activity by providing these warnings (Amos 3:7). Isaiah spoke of God stretching out his hand according to his plan.

The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand… This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (Is 14:24-27).

The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God (Is 52:10).

Prophetic hearts, not prophetic charts, will change the course of history and bring God’s prophesied will into actual effect.

19.  Explaining What Must Be Done

Many prophets are warning of future disastrous events, but very few are explaining what God is doing and how he will work through these events to bring change. Seeing from within the dark cloud of events seems to prevent them from seeing what God is seeing.

A related problem is that many Christians to enjoy warnings of judgment on the world, more than they want strategies that would require them to take action to bring in the victory of God.

God does not cause troubles and calamities; they are rooted in human evil or folly with a bit of demonic mischief thrown in. During a judgment, God takes this human mess and works it for good to achieve his purposes. One role of the prophet is to warn of troubles before they come, so God’s people can prepare. Their more important task is to explain what God is doing through the event, so his people can participate in his purposes. Prophets can only accomplish the later task, if they are standing outside the dark cloud of human events and seeing with the eyes of God.

When a prophet receives a warning of a calamitous event, their task has just begun. The next step is to find out what God plans to achieve through the event and his strategy for the people who want to participate in his purposes during that event. We need more of eyes of God and less of the dark cloud.

According to Romans12:6; Christians with the gift of prophesying should prophesy in proportion to their faith. Prophesying judgment to a nation in decline does not take much faith. Prophesying the strategy by which God will use the judgment to change the nation and bring a great victory takes much more faith. That is a challenge for modern prophets.

20.  Theology

Prophets should be experts on God. Part of their role is to pass on theological and biblical insights to the church. A prophet should also be a theologian.

Jeremiah was of all the prophets of the Old Testament, the supreme prophet of the human heart… Jeremiah would have nothing from his hearers and readers but their hearts. Let other prophets negotiate and send ambassadors as they pleased. Jeremiah, in season and out of season; for a long lifetime laid siege to the heart of his hearers. Seers are men of revelation. Seers are men of enlightenment. Seers are men of intellectual maturity.

21.  Healing the Sick

Some prophets are used in healing the sick. Elijah was a prophet who moved effectively in the gift of healing. Elisha followed in his mentor’s footsteps.

When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes (2 Kings 4:32-35).

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!” When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” (2 Kings 5:7-10).

22.  Appointing and Anointing Leaders

In Old Testament times, God often used a prophet to appoint and anoint a king. Samuel anointed Saul and then David as King. A prophet anointed Solomon as his successor.

So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and put Solomon on King David’s mule and escorted him to Gihon. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” (1 Kings 1:38-39).

Elijah was told to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel (1 Kings 19:16). The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘this is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!” So the young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said. “For which of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander,” he replied. Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people Israel.’ ” ..Then he opened the door and ran (2 Kings 9:1-10).

In a godly nation prophets may have a role in the appointment of political leaders. Prophets also have a role in anointing other prophets for ministry Anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him (1 Kings 19:16, 19).

23.  Advising Kings and Political Rulers

Prophets have a powerful role in providing advice to kings and rulers. When God wanted to give guidance to a ruler, he often gave it through a prophet. David had the prophets Nathan and Gad in his palace. They advised him about a whole range of matters.

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.” That night the word of the Lord came to Nathan Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation (2 Sam 7:1-4, 17).

But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth (1 Sam 22:5).

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘this is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’ “So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come upon you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” (2 Sam 24:10-14).

A prophet advised Ahab as he went into battle. Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.’ “But who will do this?” asked Ahab. The prophet replied, “This is what the Lord says: ‘The young officers of the provincial commanders will do it.’  “And who will start the battle?” he asked. The prophet answered, “You will”.. The king of Israel advanced and overpowered the horses and chariots and inflicted heavy losses on the Arameans. Afterward, the prophet came to the king of Israel and said, “Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next spring the king of Aram will attack you again. The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the Lord says, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord. The Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the Aramean foot soldiers in one day (1 Kings 20:13-29).

Elisha provided guidance to the army of Israel that frustrated it’s enemies. The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom” (2 Kings 6:9-12).

24.  Historian

Some Prophets are historians. Their interest in the future rolls over into an interest in history. Many of the historic books of the Old Testament were written by prophets who recorded the works of God.

The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz (2 Chron 26:22). The other events of Abijah’s reign, what he did and what he said, are written in the annotations of the prophet Iddo (2 Chron 13:22).

As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophet and the records of Gad the seer, together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and the kingdoms of all the other lands (1 Chron 29:29, 30).

25.  Guiding Angels

Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve God’s children (Heb 1:14). They are sent by God. They serve God’s people.

The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, you His angels,
Who excel in strength,
who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His,
who do His pleasure. (Psalm 103:19-21).

Angels are created for obedience. They do not have the friendship with God that is opened up to prophets through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Angels often do not know as much about what is on the Father’s heart as prophets do. They often “excel in strength”, far more than they excel in wisdom and decision making.

Angels move between heaven and earth. When they are in heaven, they know what God is doing, because his Kingdom is established there. When they are on earth, they are dependent on other messengers from heaven to keep them up-to-date with what God is doing.

Angels are sent to earth to serve us, but as events change develop, they often do not know what to do next. They sometimes have to wait for prophetic declarations before they know what to do. When they hear the Holy Spirit’s word through prophets, they do it. They recognize his voice and obey it. They listen to a prophetic word and work to accomplish it. That is one reason why God does nothing without first revealing his plan to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).

Speaking in the language of angels is good (1 Cor 13:1), because it helps the angels to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Levels of Prophet’s Activity

Prophets can minister at different levels.

1.      People

Some prophets specialize in speaking to individual people. Personal prophecy provides:

  1. guidance
  2. correction

2.      Church

Other prophets speak primarily to their church. As they develop in this ministry, they may also speak into other churches. Prophets provide a church with:

  1. guidance
  2. vision
  3. warnings
  4. purity

Loren Cunningham said that pastors are like wet cement. They are very accepting and draw everything together. He said that prophets are like reinforcing steel. They give the concrete strength by keeping it pure. A strong building needs both cement and steel.

3.      The Nations

Some people will be called to be a prophet to their nation. They may also develop to speak to other nations. A prophet to a nation provides:

  1. advice to rulers
  2. interpretation of God’s law
  3. warning of judgment

It is for this reason that the prophets so often appear in the presence of rulers. It would sometimes seem as though they were primarily sent to kings. For through the king, they might best influence the welfare of the nation. Hence also their closeness to the priest. It would be a grave mistake, however to assume that, because of the great interest of the prophets in the monarchy, they were themselves primarily politicians. Their political activity is always subservient to a religious end. They did serve as the counsellors, but they did so in order that the theocratic kingdom might prosper.

Daniel would be an example of a prophet of government. His prophecies spoke of monumental changes in world order. There are just such prophets today. Some of these prophets are actually in governmental positions. I have found that God places His gifts in people from all walks of life. Prophets seem to be sent to various institutions of society, such as legal, educational and governmental offices. Governmental prophets may not give as many personal prophecies. They also understand trends and are watchmen on the wall for their nations.

The prophetic institution as such may be regarded as the guardian of this theocracy. The prophets were to build upon the foundation of the Mosaic Law, and to expound that law unto the nation. They would thus be the preservers and defenders of the principles upon which the theocracy had been founded.

The Prophet as a Deliverer

Aspects of the Prophetic Office – The Deliverer 1. Salvation is wholly of God. He alone is the author and perfecter of our faith, Hebr 12:1-2. God is certainly our redeemer, and he will return to Zion to deliver his people, Isa 59:20. Indeed, there is no other name given unto man, through which he will be able to obtain relief. No other methods are valid in securing forgiveness and the deliverance from sin than the method of divine substitution, Lev 17:11. No sacrifice will satisfy the demands of God almighty than the one given once and for all at the Cross, Heb 9. Yet, salvation is a matter of careful examination and inquiry. Salvation is substantial. Salvation is meant to bring tangible results. Redemption and deliverance set up sharp and clear borderlines. So does the process of sanctification. Salvation is to be practically applied and worked out, Phil 2:12. Examination and inquiry. Within what limits can I expect God to operate? What does He want to accomplish? How does He do it? How am I to be involved? Salvation is to be prayed for, while probing and searching the rich and long texts of prescriptions and promises.

2. A prophet is recognized by his pursuit for truth. A prophet’s eye might see through you but only to try to see you through. He is occupied with probing and testing for the sake of relevant expressions of the salvation so costly to our Lord. 1 Pet 1:10-11. Timely expressions. Christ painted before our eyes by the use of proper colours, royalty and redemption, a praying priest.

Christian faith is basically a matter of worship and revelation. Christianity is all a matter of registering and applying what is pursued during long hours of listening. Christianity is the religion of probing, measuring and weighing. A Christian has to learn to read, read the 1189 chapters of revelation and instruction. He has to align himself properly to all that is possible to take in from all of those texts. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart, Ps 119:2.

3. The prophetic dimension is the realm of listening, of careful examination. Revelation demand two things: The searching, inquiring mind of man and the revealing Spirit of God. Revelation leaves no room for man’s passivity and complacency. What kind of salvation is it that the true prophets so eagerly pursue? Salvation is wholly of God; why try to understand and lay hold of the process of deliverance? Why spend time and energy on categorizing the sources and mechanisms of bondage and slavery and the way to freedom. Instruction, preaching the Word of God, brings deliverance. Lack of insight brings devastation, Hos 4:6. A prophet’s task is to bring deliverance, Hos 12:13. They heal the brokenness of the daughter of my people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace. Jer 8:11. Revivalism is but an illusion. The folly of fantasy is bondage and slavery.

4. Instruction, a relevant call to repentance is bitter medicine to the deceived as well as to the deceiver. “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.” Ephesians 4:17-19.

Salvation offers a delivered thought life. Salvation re-establishes the will to and the ability to think, to understand and to examine. Anyone telling you not to think is a false prophet. Anyone telling you to obey without questions or to just let go emotionally is inviting you to live under a delusion. Revelation, the prophetic dimension, brings instruction and ability to take proper measure.

5. Any betrayal, any falsification of true religion has its root in man’s distorted view of the Cross. Thinking and relating rightly as to the fact of the Cross brings deliverance.

Downplaying its importance, treating it in a derogatory fashion, redefining its role is the point of beginning of any man’s folly. A friend of ours was lost when he stated that he had been at the Cross once and never had to return to it anymore. The open rebellion was a fact. The following quote brings optimized rebellion into light: ”If the death of Jesus on the Cross paid for man’s sin, then every man could die for himself”, E. W. Kenyon. Lack of insight brings devastation. Prophets give themselves to careful examination and inquiry to be able to describe the process and mechanisms of salvation.

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chron 16:9. A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, declares the LORD. Isa 59:20. When he comes, he does so to present a practical plan and program to bring his people out of bondage. God states in a most practical and definite way the reasons for captivity. In the same manner he sets forth his program for deliverance. Love is unconditional, but holiness is not optional. Deliverance is brought about according to appropriate patterns related to the specific settings and conditions of the captives. God has his Cyrus. He secures the foundation of worship by igniting men’s heats with fiery desire to build the temple according to the set plan.

6. Spiritual bondage and deliverance requires definition. Each and every illness reacts only to its own cure and remedy. Holiness is not optional. The way to holiness is not optional. The way to holiness is set as to course and events, carefully planned for each and every individual according to his character and final goal. Deliverance aims at moral action. It profits us to quote C. G. Finney: ”Here is one grand mistake of the Church. They suppose that revivals consist mostly in a state of excited emotion rather than in conformity of the human will to the will of God. Hence when the reasons for the excitement have ceased and the public mind begins to grow more calm, they begin immediately to say that the revival is on the decline, when in fact with much less excited emotion there may be vastly more real religion in the community.” – The promise of the Spirit.

7. Prophecy authentifies God’s presence. It defines and brings identity to the listener, the receiver, in relation to God and his goals. Prophecy provides a framework within which God intends to bring deliverance. It sets standards and goals. Prophecy is relevant, not dreamy. God speaks to his children by name. He does not work in an impersonal way, emitting waves and flows to accomplish some unspecified results in a body without definition. A Church is a Church, it is marked out and defined geographically as well as socially. Each Church need to be treated as a local unit according to its specific needs and flaws.

The seven Churches – Rev 2-3 – received each a personal letter from the Lord, no duplicates, no copy machines. Prophecy, its aims and results can and must be measured and taken through a process of discernment. The expected repentance and the result of repentance are utterly sharp in its contours.

The spiritistic prophecy machinery sounds like God – benevolent clichés, theologically tolerable – but is pumping out generalities as if God is graciously looking at his nice children but having nothing in particular to say. ”Everything is fine and it is going to get better and I am OK and you are OK.” Prophecy brings definition, aiming towards integrity and holiness. Prophecy brings definition and judgment but is not judgmental. Mind you, pearls are not to be cast before swine – how to discern and to identify swine if you are not to judge. For what reason is the gift of discernment given to the Church? Prophecy comes in power, but not as a dreamy flow lifting you up into rosy bliss.

8. The prophet’s mouth is not the law and truth, but law and truth have to be found in a prophet’s mouth. Prophets must make sure that their words really belong to the Lord, 1 Pet 4:11. Prophets cannot demand obedience based on blind faith. Prophets are not the law, they have no right to re-define law, or the truth as revealed in the Bible. Our faith is based on truth. Truth is our deliverer, Joh 8:32. Obedience related to truth purifies souls and prepares for sincere love for brethren, 1 Pet 1:22. Revelation, true prophecy allows you to gird your mind for action, 1 Pet 1:13. Holiness is not harsh. A prophet brings you back to the Book.

9. True prophecy has learnt to understand the necessity of living and applying the Cross. True prophecy has learnt to explain and to enforce the law of sacrifice as revealed in the pouring out unto death of the first Seed-grain, Jesus Christ. The prophet, the deliverer takes you back to the only possible freedom that leads to a blessed life – the freedom of obedience – Ps 119:2. From where does the blessing come which is flowing like rivers over a disobedient people? Judgment begins at the house of the Lord, 1 Pet 4:17.

The product of proper prophecy is the dividing of the spiritual and the soulish, Heb 4:12, for the sake of true worship, Joh 4:23. Prophecy brings division. Prophecy does not generate excitement, it prepares minds to become girded. It never exaggerates, it never stirs for the sake of an arousal, rather it brings peace and order. Prophecy brings revelation rather than revival. Prophecy without moral consequence leads to death. Revival without moral consequence says ”I am rich” thus revealing its true nature, which is utter poverty. A revival which leads a person to love the Lord in a greater measure but allows her to continue without change, living according to her traditional values and standards is but deception.

10. Deliverance brings you face to face with a thorough re-evaluation, most certainly in relation to the position God has been allowed to have in your life. He will break away from the pattern established which rules in favour with the old nature. The Cross killed Christ, and it is going to kill every sinner. It dethrones you and installs the Lord on the throne of your heart. This is what we find at the core of the prophetic dimension.

Prophets bring the people back to reality, back to order. Their message calls the people to build the Temple and to forsake their own comfort. Words focusing on personal affluence distract and confuse the aim of the people of the Lord. The law of sacrifice cannot be compromised. The altar has to be restored. Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal, and their message of prosperity. Haggai rebukes the minds set on building mansions on earth. Ezra restores the dignity of a nation by forcefully preaching moral law. Man brought back to God is man brought back to Servanthood. Poor nations are those who have a Church where God is treated as a waiter. Deliverance brings order. Deliverance is the beginning of God’s holiness made to be seen among his people.

Jesus, the Deliverer and the Prophet

The subject is “prophecy”; however, before dealing with prophecy, and in order to understand the theme of the essay well, it is necessary to have a general and brief survey of the political and historical background of the whole area which concerns us, that is, the Middle East, Judea, Israel, and the surrounding peoples.

The world’s political center was in that area for a long time; and from the very beginning, two major powers were struggling against each other for supremacy: one was in Egypt, and the other was in Mesopotamia. I guess that all of us have heard a great deal about Pharaohs and the pyramids. A huge number of tourists from all over the world pour into Egypt every year to have a look at the marvelous work of the ancient world, which still stands proudly, challenging time and the power of nature.

Egypt, for a long time, 4000-2000 B.C., was the supreme power in Africa, and it is still trying to play the same role in these modern times. Its territories extended all along the Nile Valley, including what we now call Sudan and Ethiopia. The rulers of Egypt conquered all the small kingdoms along the eastern Mediterranean Sea. A visitor to Lebanon may notice the trace of the Egyptian con­quest, and the picture of Ramses engraved in the histor­ical rock of the Dog River.

On the other hand, another world power arose in Babylonia, Iraq of today, and it seems that Egypt and Iraq are now struggling for supremacy in that area. Ac­cording to recent discoveries, the first sign of human civilization is found in this area. We have no documents whatsoever of the earlier settlers. In the light of history many tribes immigrated to this area; the first was Sumer, then huge and successive waves of Semite tribes mi­grated, one after the other. The first people to form a mighty kingdom were the Babylonians. Babylonia lasted for more than one thousand years, 220-960 B.C. These people were the real masters of the Fertile Crescent.

(Mesopotamia, part of Asia Minor, Phoenicia, Aram, (Syria) Israel, Judea, Philistia, and Moab). A new power appeared in the political scene, Assyria. Nineveh became the new center of political power in the time of Hamo­rabi, and thus the kingdom of old Babylonia disappeared forever into the realm of the past.

Here in the Bible we meet prominent names, such as Shalmanasar, Sergon, Assir-Hoddon, Senneharib, all these mighty Assyrian rulers came to power between 606-100 B.C., and were the true masters of the Fertile Crescent, including Israel and Judea.

In the year 606 B. C., Nineveh collapsed for good and a new power arose and established the kingdom of the new Babylonia, though this kingdom did not last long. It wiped out Israel and Judea from the face of the earth as a political power and did not rise again until 1947 A.D.

Nebuchadnezzar put an end of Judea by destroying Jerusalem and carrying away its people into captivity (606-539 B.C.). Again and again a new power arose, this time it was Persia. Cyrus, the King destroyed Babylonia and permitted the Jews to go back to their country, but not to form any state of any kind. The whole history of the Jews is really a dramatic one. A history of suffering, slavery, and pain. From the time of the Pharaohs, they struggled against the power of nature as well as against human tyranny, but they never attained a state of se­curity and independence. In Egypt, they were in slavery, so in the desert, and even after they conquered Palestine. The very small period of independence during the time of David and Solomon was but one exceptional phase of their long history. After the death of Solomon, the king­dom was divided into two parts, Judea in the south and Israel to the North. Those two kingdoms were looking for a deliverer.

The history of humanity is a struggle against an un­known factor. Birth, growth, and end; nations rise and grow, then diminish in the course of history. Humanity, in its struggle, is looking for an ideal: for a deliverer. But this deliverer is not Solomon or David of Israel. He is not Alexander the Great of Greece, or Augustus of Rome, or Napoleon of France, or Hitler of the last world war, or Marx or Lenin. He is the one the prophets spoke about who will crush the seed of the serpent.

Because of the fact that Israel and Judea were sur­rounded by pagan people, many customs, habits, and cults were introduced into the religion of Israel and the worshipping of God was profaned by worshipping other Gods. Corruption prevailed all over, even in the “milieu” of the hierarchy (the priests) and the rulers. So God, who revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, had to reveal himself once again. This time He chose to reveal Himself through the prophets and not through a mighty and worldly kingdom. These prophets are to pre­pare the way to the great and only Deliverer, Jesus, not another Solomon or David.

What Do We Mean By The Prophet?

The word, “prophet”, Nabi, in the Old Testament is derived from a root that means to speak, or better, to speak by delegated authority. The Nabi is not a man who speaks his own words, but the word of one who has au­thorized him to speak.

The prophets, thus, spoke the revealed will of Yahweh as it concerns the life of the nation and the wider world. They were the interpreters of events. Things did not sim­ply happen, but all that happened was part of the Divine Plan.

The prophets, to a great extent, were reformers. The hierarchy and the monarchy worked together for their own interests, but the prophets were fired with the theo­cratic principle—Samuel, Elijah, Nathan, and Jeremiah rebuked kings and priests alike. They spoke with authority and good judgment.

There were prophets at least as early as the time of Moses, but beginning with Samuel, they grew in number and in influence. The last prophet of the Old Testament was St. John the Baptist.

Prophets of Special Vocation

The vocation of prophetism was not reserved to the members of any one tribe. God called His prophets ac­cording to His own good pleasure. Amos was a country­man. Jeremiah was a priest, and Isaiah was a nobleman. The prophets were the confidants and spokesmen of God: they were counselors, and, above all, preachers. They made known the will of God and events of the future.

The authenticity of the ministry of the prophets chosen by God is determined by various criteria, chief among which is their moral standard.

The Message of the Prophets

The first element of the message of the prophets is the ethical monotheism. It began with Moses. The God of the moral law is the God of Israel.

The moral character of God they stressed in several ways: I ) Holiness 2 ) Righteousness. On this attribute, the prophets rest their confidence that God will not only punish sin, but also pardon and restore the penitent. If we go further with the teachings of the prophets, we meet the following topics:

1) SIN: It is a voluntary, personal act: it is a rebellion against God. It stems from a deep-lying evil condition in the heart of man. It is disloyalty, ingratitude, pride, idolatry, greed, injustice, and oppression of the poor and weak, unbrotherliness, governmental corruption, giving and taking a bribe, cruelty, murder, dishonesty, and treachery.

2) REPENTANCE: The call to repentance is one of the major notes in the preaching of the prophets. It is the only way to regain God’s favor and secure his help and salvation. The elements of true repentance are rec­ognition and acknowledgement of guilt, regret, and sorrow for the iniquity done, renouncing sin and turn away from evil. But the most characteristic expression of repentance is return to God. The prophets empha­size that ceremonies of worship without righteousness of life are unacceptable to God.

3) LOVE: This brings to us what we call the positive side of the prophets’ teaching about God. The main exponents of the Divine Love are Hosea, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. They show that God is basically compassionate, that He grieves over His children that He longs for their return to Him, that He is willing to forgive the penitent, and that His love reaches out without limi­tation to all His creatures.

4) THE MESSIANIC SALVATION: Here we reach the climax and the heart of the teachings of the prophets. The Divine Love is not a mere sentiment, but a creative energy. God has a plan of Salvation, as He had a plan to Creation. What kind of salvation is it going to be? We find two meanings: Deliverance from oppression from foreign occupation, but in the prophetic usage, it is deliverance from the sins that bring punishments, and more specifically, peace and blessing. These hopes found their highest development in the Messianic prospect.

A great Deliverer had to come, in what form, for what purpose? The answer is in the writings of the prophets. Here we have the theme not only of the prophets, but of the whole Bible. Messiah is to come and deliver His people, and deliver all mankind. Yes, there is a plan for Sal­vation. The Jews did not understand the contents and meaning of the whole plan, and they still, until this very day, are waiting for the Deliverer. That deliverer may be personified in the person of Ben Gurion, who is trying to establish the Jewish kingdom in Palestine in a new form. Yes, the deliverer would be an Israelite, a descendant of David, but his activity would not be restricted to his own people. Yehovah would enter into another covenant with a cleansed, purified people, a redeemer had to come. This redeemer is the heart of the whole human history, and all the ancient history is nothing but an arrangement for the coming of Jesus, a new Kingdom to be established, a Kingdom of a new meaning, a spiritual one, a Kingdom of righteousness, love, unity, a Kingdom which will last forever: it is the Kingdom of God on earth which will transcend us and elevate us and unify us with God. This Kingdom has not yet attained its full and final perfection…. “Thy Kingdom come”.

This kingdom is in our hearts and begins with Baptism. A kingdom not to raise our standard of living, not to pro­vide us with all material things. It is not based upon the same principle of our modern concepts of a kingdom, but it is the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of love, beauty, sal­vation, restoration, and its final object is union with God. It is a struggle against sin, corruption, and every vice. It is the kingdom established by the Incarnate God, the real deliverer of Mankind.

(Isaiah 11: l-2)——”That He is from the descent of David.” How it was literally prophesied by Isaiah that He would be born of a Virgin, he said, “Emmanuel” God is among us (Is. 7:14.) Here, also, in what part of the earth was He to be born, “But you, O Bethlehem” (Micah 5: 2) How He was to come and to be the true Ruler, (Is. 9:67.) How He was crucified, (Psalms 22, 16-18.) His glorious coming to Jerusalem, (Zecharia 9: 9.) How Jesus was rejected by Israel, (Is. 1:3-4.) Here the prophetic spirit speaks of the character of Christ, (Is. 65:2.) and again (Is. 50:6-8.) Now, how predictions were made about those who were to pro­claim His teaching and testify to His manifestation, (Psalms 19:2-6.) How it was prophesied that Christ would heal all diseases and raise the dead, (Is. 35:5-6.) That His mission is a general one for all and that He is to die for our sins, (Is. 53:8-12.) How He was to as­cend into Heaven, (Psalms 24:7-8.) Finally, about the general resurrection and judgment. (Ezech. 37.)

How to Exercise your Prophetic Gift; How to Deliver a Prophesy?

Let us begin by identifying 5 links in the process of prophecy:

1. We receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit

2. We assess the revelation and how to best communicate it in a prophetic message

3. We then deliver the prophecy to the person or group God is speaking to

4. The recipient(s) of the prophecy assess the message

5. The recipient(s) of the prophecy respond to the prophecy.

At this stage, you believe you have received a message from God for a person, group or church that you have been praying for. It is time to deliver the prophecy God has given you.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that you are delivering the prophecy using words, whether spoken, written or in song.

During delivery, you are framing your revelation from God (picture, word, scripture, impression, or feeling) with words. There are two ways that you can do this:

  • Describe the revelation
  • Unfold the revelation

1. Describe the Revelation

Describing the revelation is sharing the impression as you receive it, without elaboration. You may choose to simply describe the picture or vision, pass on the word or impression, or share the Bible verse or story that has come to mind.

The advantages of sharing a prophetic revelation just as you received it are:

  • It is easier when you are beginning in prophecy
  • The revelation runs less danger of being tainted by your own opinion about what it means
  • The revelation may have special significance for the person that you are unaware of
  • It aids the recipient in remembering the prophecy, especially if the revelation was a picture, verse or Bible story.

Simply describing a revelation also has limitations:

  • The person may not have the Biblical knowledge to understand any symbolism in your revelation
  • There may be more insight about the revelation that you have received, or could receive, but are not sharing
  • This method does not require a high level of faith
  • If you always use this method, you will limit your growth in the gift of prophecy.

2. Unfolding the Revelation

Another way you can share a revelation is to use the impression you received to launch into a more detailed prophecy.

When you unfold a revelation, you are bringing an interpretation of the revelation, and enlarging upon it, as the Holy Spirit illuminates it to you. By faith, you are also allowing the Spirit to direct the flow of your expression.

As you grow in prophetic ministry, you will find more revelation comes to mind as you are prophesying, enabling you to share an extended prophecy. You are assessing the new revelation during the process of prophesying.

The advantages of this kind of prophetic ministry are:

  • It enables the recipient to receive a greater clarification of the prophetic word
  • The impact and impartation of the prophecy increases due to the higher level of faith and boldness required to deliver this kind of prophetic message
  • It suits maturing prophetic ministry.

Some cautions about unfolding revelation in this way are:

  • At this stage, if not careful, you are prone to filter God’s word with your own ideas, judgments, history and experience (especially if the recipient of the prophecy is known to you)
  • If you step into this kind of prophecy when you are not ready, the prophecy can go awry!

I believe that it is usually best—if you feel confident enough to do so—to bothdescribe and unfold the revelation you have received. For example, you may say, ‘I had a picture of… and I believe the Lord is saying…’

This way, the recipient receives the benefits of both the initial revelation and the extension of the prophecy. I have seen mature prophets deliver prophecies in this way that have had a high impact on the recipient.

When beginning in prophecy it is best to start with simple sharing and work up to stronger prophecy as you grow in experience and wisdom, taking small steps forward at a time. This is where growing your prophetic gift in the safe community of a church is valuable.

Some Other Thoughts about Delivering a Prophecy:

It is vital that we use wisdom as to the means, context, place, manner, and timing of delivering a prophecy. I’ve often heard it said that the church car park is the wrong place to bring a prophecy!

  • Verbalizing a prophecy is only one way in which it can be delivered. Other ways you can share a prophecy include in writing, through prophetic song, prophetic art, multi-media and through symbolic action. Ensure that you are gifted in the media that you decide to use!
  • Deliver the word clearly. If the message is delivered in an unclear or ambiguous manner, it will obscure its meaning. Also remember that what is clear to you may not be clear to someone else and that you may need to adapt your approach at times;
  • Delivery also involves how you bring the message. It includes your style, the tone of your voice and your attitude as you give it (if you write a prophecy, this includes your writing style).Your attitude and manner of speech should reflect the heart of God towards the recipient;
  • Be sure to share the prophecy in a way that gives them room to weigh up whether the message is from God, and receive or release the word

Delivering the Word

Receiving a word from the Lord is the easy part of the prophetic ministry. The hardest part is learning how to communicate the word once it has been received. The OT prophets communicated in a variety of ways. We have many more communication tools available to us today. We need to learn how and when to use them in obedience to the Lord. If we can receive a word from the Lord, we are capable of receiving guidance about how it should be communicated.

When God gives a prophetic word, he also gives instructions about how it should be delivered. Prophets must make sure that they get his instructions and act on them. A word that is delivered in an incorrect way is nullified, and effectively becomes a false prophecy.

A wicked envoy falls into trouble, but a trustworthy courier brings healing (Prov 13:17).

So a prophet needs to know more than what to say. He needs also to discover how God wants him to say it (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah Task p.90).

Many times the biggest challenge for prophets is not necessarily in hearing the voice of God, but in learning how to minister the word in wisdom. This speaks of the timing, the manner, the place, the wording, the intent, the context, and the attitude of heart when ministering figures (Tom Hamon – The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation).

Prophetic Methods

A word can be delivered in a variety of ways. We must be open to all the creativity of God in the delivery of his word. These are some of the methods that God uses:

1.      Speaking

The most common method for delivering a prophecy is for the prophet to speak directly to the recipient(s). God is a god who speaks. He will give instructions about the right time and the right place to speak. Getting the time and place right is really important.

2.      Talking

Sometimes a word may be quietly spoken to the person receiving it.

I never cease to be amazed at the number of persons who tell me that God spoke through me, giving them specific directions for their lives of great encouragement in the midst of personal tribulation. When I reflect on our time together, I remember only table conversation, but they recall prophetic truth. I had shared what I felt at the moment but they had heard the voice of God in that communication. Since I was but the channel- not the source- of the communication, I didn’t share their awareness of God’s involvement.

3.      Proxy

God may get another person to speak out the prophecy. When Jeremiah was in prison he would write the word down and Baruch would read it to the recipient (Jer 36:4).

4.      Preaching

A message from God may sometime be given in a sermon. Some of the most prophetic words that I have heard were delivered as sermons.

5.      Writing

A word can be written down and delivered to the recipients. Isaiah and Jeremiah were writing prophets. The scriptures promise a blessing for those who read prophecy.

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near (Rev 1:3).

6.      Parables

Nathan told a story to get his message across to King David. He probably would not have received a direct work from Nathan.

The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! (2 Sam 12:1-7).

7.      Prophetic Action

Sometimes God asks a prophet to take an action that will illustrate the word being brought. The prophet becomes a living parable or visual aid. For example, Ezekiel lay on his side tied up with ropes for many days as a warning of the exile to Babylon (Ezek 4). Jeremiah bought a piece of land to bring home a prophetic message (Jer 32:1-9). Isaiah walked naked in the street to demonstrate the shame of Israel (Is 20).

The key people sometimes become actors in a living parable.

By the word of the Lord one of the sons of the prophets said to his companion, “Strike me with your weapon,” but the man refused. So the prophet said, “Because you have not obeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.” And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him. The prophet found another man and said, “Strike me, please.” So the man struck him and wounded him. Then the prophet went and stood by the road waiting for the king. He disguised himself with his headband down over his eyes. As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, “Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent of silver.’ While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.” “That is your sentence,” the king of Israel said. “You have pronounced it yourself.” Then the prophet quickly removed the headband from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. He said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people’ ” (1 Kings 20:35-42).

8.      Sealing the Word

Sometimes a word must be sealed up for delivery at a later time. Daniel was told to seal up some of his words for the future.

He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end (Dan 12:9).

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay (Hab 2:3,4).

We should not assume that because we have been given a word that we have permission to share it. We must ask what he wants us to do.

Even if we hear right (and I think that most of the time we do hear right) we can still destroy the effect of the word by wrong delivery – wrong wording or wrong timing. If we get the timing and the wording wrong then the prophecy does not have the effect for which it was intended. If it doesn’t have the right effect then it is not the word of the Lord. So – a word is only “right” when all three come together (Africa Prophecy).

One of the lessons I have learned the hard way over the years is to not give a word prematurely. Often, the Lord will give a word well before the appointed time of release. This may be because intercessory prayer is necessary as part of the preparation or it may be that it will take the hearer of the word a bit of time to get the whole word. And on occasion it is because the Lord wants to let the messenger of that word to grow into the reality of the word before it’s released to others (Marc A Dupont).

The seer gathers experience, not like those with ears itching, not like those who never care to draw conclusions and never learn. Prophets are old men, experienced men, men who have taken time and opportunity to unveil and unmask the glittery and sensual moves and modes of the world without and within the Church. The seer has learnt to stay silent until the proper work of defining and labeling is finished. Prophets wait until they have received a word from the Lord, and they keep on waiting for proper timing (Lars Widerberg – The Seer).

Getting the delivery instructions right
is just as important as getting the word right.

It is a good thing not to get locked into one methodology. Try to have a variety of ways to deliver prophetic words; God is full of infinite variety (Graham Cooke – Developing Your Prophetic Gifting p.83).

How do we discharge the burden of the Lord? After we have received revelation, and made intercession, we will know the best course. Sometimes we will find release through writing, such as Isaiah. On other occasions we may compose a song, as David. Or we may write poems and verse, as Jeremiah. We may act out the word dramatically, as Ezekiel. Or we may thunderously speak the word as Moses, Elijah, or John the Baptist. We may speak in parables as the Lord Jesus. The tools, methods, and ways are different, but the underlying principle is the same. God will give different expression to the proclamation of the Word, and He will be pleased to use the prophets differently in accordance with their unique gifts and personalities (Chip Brogden – The Ministry of the Watchman).

The prophets of the Old Testament sometimes did weird things like wearing ox yokes (Jer 27,28), but these were by the command of the Lord to startle the conscience of the people. Old Testament prophets were men of discipline, wisdom and counsel and insight, not of wild ecstasy (Sanfords).

“For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?”(1 Corinthians 14:8) When you can produce a distinct sound, the church will hear you (Rick Joyner – The Prophetic Ministry).

We desperately need oracles from God who can say what this hour means, and what we are tending to, and what God is requiring in the light of the things that point to the consummation of the age. We need men who can communicate the word. If a prophet is not distinguished by his speaking, then do not look for his credentials on the basis of his gifting or his miracles or his gift of knowledge (Art Katz – The Prophetic Church).

The prophets always came forward openly and spoke in the name of the Lord. They did not engage in subterfuge, but evidenced a holy boldness. They believed that God had spoken to them, and consequently, they delivered his words fearlessly. Whatever else may be said about the prophets of Israel, they were men of conviction and they boldly expressed their convictions (Edward J Young – My servants the Prophets p.15).

The prophet stood before men as a man who had been to stand before God (J A Motyer-Prophets and Prophecy).

On the other side, while there are occasions when the prophet must rebuke sharply, we are often guilty of shooting canaries with shotguns (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah Task p.95).

Jeremiah wept much and yet wished he could weep more, that he might affect a stupid people and rouse them to do sense of the hand of God gone out against them. It becomes us while we are here in this vase of tears (Matthew Henry).

There is no prophecy, which is not linked with tears, for the future is nearly always heavy with nameless terror (Nigg).

Four principles for the delivery of prophetic words

  1. Ask the Lord how he wants the word delivered. If he is able to deliver a prophetic word, he is also able to give instructions about how he wants it delivered.
  2. The speaker’s only responsibility is to deliver the word in the way that he guides. Prophetic people are not accountable for the success or failure of the word, or the distance it travels.
  3. The Holy Spirit is responsible for watching over his word and ensuring that it gets to those who need to hear it. He can achieve that in a multitude of ways. If a word is pure and clear, he will get it to those who need to hear it. He is an expert at getting the word of a voice crying in the wilderness into the anterooms of kings.
  4. Communicate clearly and precisely. The first task of the prophet is to listen to the Lord and get the word clear. A confused or impure word will go nowhere.

Power of the Spirit

A prophetic word must be spoken in the power of the Spirit. A word that is not anointed by the Holy Spirit will fall flat and will be wasted, even if it is true.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy (Acts 2:17,18).

This anointing will come from lives who have endured the test of their calling. And they yet stand! (Undrai Fizer Substance: The Anointing to Stand and Endure).

Speak Boldly

A prophet should also speak boldly. They should avoid the temptation to soften God’s word. They must make certain it is heard clearly.

The prophets were men of the market place rather than the study. Indeed prophecy throughout the History of Israel was always oral; it was the declared word of God. The prophets were not men who composed carefully considered theological dissertations. The words that came from them were white hot. They were the words of God into the contemporary situation (Clifford Hill – Prophecy, Past and Present p.24).

The most important impartation you should receive in your journey of destiny is not just an ability to speak or preach. The most powerful thing you will have received is an ability to stand. Anyone can speak, but everyone cannot stand. All of the blows, “spiritual rapids” and mazes you have gone through (because of your purpose and destiny) should have built within your soul a certain, prophetic resilience and foundation, one that will be the imparter of anointing into others.

Anyone can speak, and speak well. But it will take more than speaking well to ignite the life-altering dreams in others. It will take prophetic substance (a God developed foundation of understanding and true settling in the will and purposes of God. It is a foundation that was built by fire, rejection, and pain.) You must have substance. You impart from substance. Some individuals crave an impartation of the “external gifts” or the “obvious flow.” But, the anointing is birthed and released from a deep well, dug deeply in the trenches of a soul that has been connected to God’s appointed destiny for life. This process transcends a traditional, religious experience.

Prophetic substance brings maturity. You can ask for wisdom, but maturity is something you must arrive at. Substance runs deep, very deep. It is the root of anointing that is embedded within you. It is where the river flows from. It is where the revelation and the power comes from. It is the resting place of the Holy Ghost that resides within you. This anointing keeps you from being “tossed about” in unbelief, faithlessness, and spiritual confusion. It causes you to become “full grown” in the experience of the Spirit.

But the servant of God should never threaten (1 Pet. 2:23). A true prophet must stand mute and meek before the will of another. He must never force another to do his own will (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah Task p.77).

The mature prophet is, as we said before, mute and meek before the will of the other person, and he is a silent observer of what God does. It is God who acts. To be a watchman or a witness is to see what God is doing (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah Task).

Those who have messages from God must not be afraid of the faces of men (Matthew Henry).

Speak Clearly

A prophet should speak simply and clearly. There is no benefit in using King James English.

Joseph said to Pharaoh, Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them (Gen 41:29-30).

Joseph was accepted by Pharaoh, because had received a clear straightforward message from the Holy Spirit.

Daniel said to the King, This is what these words mean: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians (Dan 5:26-28). The Spirit gave him words that the King could understand.

God wants his prophets to speak to political and business leaders. They will only listen, if the prophets bring clear words. If prophets bring confusion and mystery, or use religious words, they will be ignored. Prophets must learn to hear what the Spirit is saying to the political and business leaders.

The best speakers for God are frequently they who are least gifted with human eloquence; for if that be richly present the mighty power of moving men-there is an imminent peril of relying on it, and attributing the results to its magnetic spell. God cannot give his glory to another. He may not share his praise with man (F.B Meyer – Jeremiah p.12).

True prophets leave nothing to speculation, as their speech is precise and sometimes very blunt. Prophets of integrity do not concern themselves with what people think and they are willing to die for what they speak (Kingsley A Fletcher – The True Prophet in the Local Church).

Precise Prophecies

No one likes to be wrong. A fear of being proved wrong can affect the presentation of prophecies. Two common ways are:

  • Vague prophecies with precise timing
  • Precise prophecies with vague timing.

The problem with these types of words is that no one will know if they have been fulfilled, so God is not honored. On the other hand, they can never be proved wrong. Giving dates is not necessary, but listeners need to know, if the word is for the next few months (urgent), the next few years (get prepared), or later in the century (hope for long-term victory).

Jesus message in Matthew 24 is a wonderful example of a clear precise prophecy. He explained,

  • What would happen;
  • Why;
  • When, with signs
  • Instructions.

Jesus was very clear about what would happen. The walls of the temple would be smashed and destroyed. This prophecy was fulfilled.

Jesus explained clearly why these events would happen. They would be the consequence of the stuff described in the previous chapter.

When asked when these things would happen, he gave a very precise answer. They would not happen immediately, but they would come in the lifetime of most of the people listening.

Jesus gave good advice about what people should do when the troubles started. They should flee to the mountains. Those who heeded this warning were kept safe (Acts 4:36-37).

Jesus also gave a couple of signs that would show them when the time for action was close (Jerusalem surrounded by an army). This prophecy was fulfilled, too.

Jesus also warned them not to be deceived by wars, famines, earthquakes and false religions. These types of event are ubiquitous in every age, so they are not a sign of anything, except that a people have lost the blessing of God.

When asked about the second coming, Jesus said two things. First he did not know when it would happen. Second, there would be no signs of the second coming. It would occur when life was going on as normal on earth, so most people including Christians will not be expecting it.

Jesus also explained that this lack of signs does not matter. He told several parables, which explain what they should do. “Get on with doing the job you are called to do, so you will be ready when Jesus returns”.

This is all very clear and precise, and gave Jesus listeners everything that they needed to know. Nothing is missing. No unanswered questions. But many Christians cannot accept Jesus’ clear precise message and turn it into something confusing, with multiple fulfillments, so that they can get what they want.

  • They ignore Jesus’ statement that there will be no signs before the second coming and try to find signs.
  • They ignore Jesus’ statement that he does not know the day and the hour, and claim that they can know the month and the year and the season.
  • They ignore Jesus’ explanation that famines, earthquakes and wars are common in every unrighteous generation, and turn them into the true signs of the second coming.

No wonder many Christians are confused.

Every prophet should be aiming for clear precise prophecy. This is not easy, but it is a goal to aspire to. The church has been crippled by too much prophetic mush.

Spontaneous v Deliberate

Precision is an essential value for prophetic people, because truth is important and there has been too much prophetic mush masquerading as prophetic truth.

The modern church tends to assume that spontaneous prophecy is more accurate. This is also a crossover from the gift of prophecy, where spontaneity is the norm. However, there is nothing in the scriptures that says that a spontaneous prophecy is superior to one that is pondered for a time and edited to sharpen the delivery of the message.

The Holy Spirit can do both spontaneous and deliberate, and he is free to choose how he will operate in any situation. To shake us out of our comfort zones, he will sometimes be spontaneous, when we want to be deliberate, and he will often be more deliberate, when we want to be spontaneous.

The benefit of a spontaneous word is that the Holy Spirit can drop it into our hearts unexpectedly, before our minds get going and before the flesh starts getting in the way. This is fine for beginners, but it not the basis for developing into a prophetic ministry. The person who wants to be used by God in prophecy must learn to quiet their minds and put their flesh to death. They must learn to distinguish between their own thoughts and the voice of the Spirit. This is difficult and takes time, but essential for developing a prophetic gifting. Relying on the Holy Spirit to beat our minds with spontaneous words is not a long-term solution.

The Holy Spirit loves to surprise us, so he will continue to give us words when we are not expecting it, but we must never fall into the trap of thinking that spontaneous words are superior to those that are received in a more deliberate, careful process. Clinging to the spontaneous will keep us locked in immaturity. Those who want to be used in prophecy will need to work hard at learning to shut out their own mind and flesh and deliberately and carefully seek the words of the Lord.

Sometimes precision is worth waiting for.

“Rapid fire” prophecy is not superior to a quieter, more measured approach.

Many prophecies would be clearer, if they were reviewed and edited by the prophet and other prophetic people. Many prophecies are spot on for the first few sentences, but then the speaker loses the plot towards the end. Someone should probably have put the editor’s pencil through the last few sentences.

Seeing in Part

1 Cor 13:9-12 is often used as an excuse for mediocre prophecy.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Paul is explaining our human situation, not providing an excuse for weak prophecy. We see in part, because God does not reveal everything to his people. He only gives each person the small part that he wants them to have.

The common saying that we always see through a “dark glass”. That is not what Paul is saying. He is actually explaining the difference between our situation now and that in the next life. Because we live in the physical world, we miss most of the important spiritual stuff that is going in. Human minds just cannot comprehend the reality of the new heaven and new earth.

The Lord speaks clearly. He only gives us each person a small part of the big picture, be he gives it to us very clearly. Because, we are human, we may not always receive it as clearly as he has given it, but often if our heart is right, we do. We can often get our small part of his total revelation very clearly.

The prophet’s role is to share their part clearly, not explain to explain all parts dimly. If all the prophets give their part clearly, God’s people will get what we need. If every prophet give the entire picture dimly, we will just get confusion.

Mixing Prophecy and Application

A prophecy and its application must not be confused. The application of a prophecy can be unclear, especially if it is intended for a different person or a different time, or the listeners have hard hearts. The prophecy itself should be clear and precise.

This principle is evident from the scriptures. The application of many prophecies is unclear. Often the application is not clear until they have been fulfilled. This is also true of Revelation. Much of the application of this book is still not clear.

The prophetic word itself is always very clear and precise. The prophets did not just dictate what they heard the Holy Spirit saying, like automatons. They received a revelation from God and wrote down or spoke what they had received. It is clear that what they wrote is very carefully honed. Much of Jeremiah’s prophecy is presented as poetry. John recorded the revelations he received on Patmos with an amazing economy of words, yet what he saw is vividly and precisely described.

Jesus never rambled. The beatitudes themselves are amazingly precise and clear. The application of them is much more difficult. Jesus could tell a complicated parable in just a few words, because his communication was precise and clear. His listeners understood the story clearly, their problem was with the application.

Isaiah 53 is a good example. The application of this prophecy was totally unclear, until Jesus had died on the cross. However, the prophecy itself was very clear and precise. Reading now, it is clear that every word was important and is exactly where the Holy Spirit wanted it to be.

Many modern prophets are quite different. They often ramble and their messages are often confused and vague. Quantity of words often seems to be more important than quality. When I look at the prophecies on the various prophetic websites, I find that many of them to be ambiguous and imprecise. Vague words benefit the prophet, because it means that no one can prove that they have spoken a word that is not true. With some prophecies that are said to be fulfilled, it is hard to be sure, because the wording is so loose that you could drive a truck through it.

I am sure that many of these people have received a revelation. They have just not taken the trouble to hone the word and ensure that they are communicating what they have received precisely and accurately. If prophecy is going to be taken seriously, prophetic people will need to communicate much more clearly.

The biblical prophets were very precise and clear in the way they wrote and spoke their words. They knew they would quite likely be misunderstood by a people with hardened hearts, so they made sure that they did not give them an excuse, by speaking vaguely. The application of a prophecy will often be unclear. People with hardened hearts will just not get it, but that is not an excuse for prophets to be lazy with their presentation. I am not surprised that much modern prophecy is ignored, because the wording is often just too sloppy.

Sharing Visions

The Holy Spirit often shows the prophet an image or a vision. This is just another way of communicating. God uses images to strengthen the power of communication, because audio-visual communication is often more effective than written words.

God does not speak in images just to suit the learning style of the seer. He communicates this way for the benefit of all his people, so the images are not the property of the seer.

If a Christian has been given words or shown images by the Holy Spirit, the vision should be recorded as accurately as possible. This is what the biblical prophets did. Daniel and John described what they saw (sometimes not very well, because human language was not up to it).

The Christian should pray about whether and when to share the vision. Often the Lord does not give permission to share until some time after the vision is received. Receiving a vision does not constitute permission to share.

Once permission to share has been given, the vision should be described as accurately possible. The best practice is to describe what was seen “I saw..” Any contextual information or interpretation should be presented separately. “I believe this means” This approach has several benefits.

  1. Other Christians can test the seer’s seeing (Maybe they ate too much ketchup with their fries last night).
  2. Readers are encouraged to think about the nature of what the seer has seen,
  1. an exact description of what will happen (1 Kings 22:17),
  2. symbolic of a real entity like Daniel’s beast, or
  3. a symbolic presentation of a spiritual truth like Amos’s lion hiding in the thicket (Amos 3:5).

Seers often confuse these three different types of seeing when interpreting what they have seen.

  • People can then apply what the seer has seen to their situation. It may be different from the seer’s.
  • Readers are free to decide about the timing of the fulfillment, because that is not usually contained in the vision.
  • Readers can test the interpretation of the vision. Sometimes another people will provide a better interpretation of a dream and vision than the seer. Daniel understood the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream better than he did. Some seers are not gifted at interpretations of visions.

In these experiences, distinguishing what the Spirit is showing from what the person already knows is difficult, but it is also really important. Just as it can be difficult to distinguish the voice of the Spirit from the words that pop out of our mind. However, learning to distinguish the two is critical for sharpening the prophetic gifting. Unfortunately many prophetic people do not bother trying.

If the seer has struggled to distinguish the two, there is nothing wrong with saying that to the readers. It does not diminish a gifting to be humble. The Holy Spirit is capable of highlighting what he wants people to see or hear (that should not be taken as an excuse for prophetic laziness).

This article (Commando Vision) is a really good example of describing a vision badly. I received this vision in 1978. The text at the link is what I wrote down at the time. You will see that there is not a clear description of what I actually saw. A little bit of description is all mixed up with my interpretation of what it meant. I still believe my interpretation was correct, but because it is all mixed up the vision, and because I did not fully describe what I saw, much of the impact was lost and the message totally misunderstood. The vision was all about commando units and getting prepared for something that would happen. Readers assumed that it was all about an economic crisis and started looking for it, while doing nothing to prepare.

If I had described accurately what I had seen, the importance of the commando army would have come through much more clearly, because that was the way that the Holy Spirit structured the vision. If I had kept the interpretation separate, it would have supported understanding of the vision, rather than distorting it.

The safest way to keep the description of vision accurate is to write it down as soon as it is received. If too much time passes by, the memory dims and extraneous stuff can creep into the description of the vision.

Vision and Context

God speaks into the context of our experience. He uses the images, words and places with which we are familiar when he does speak to us. When prophets communicate their words, they used words and images with which their listeners are familiar. All the prophets did this.

Sometimes God gives a seer a vision that goes beyond familiar words and images. The seer has to translate what he saw using the words and images with which he was familiar. John’s Revelation is a good example of this. Here is a description of something he saw.

At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne (Rev 4:2-3).

I doubt that John saw jaspers, rubies and emeralds. These are physical things and John had been given a glimpse into the spiritual world. He saw things that were beyond is earthly experience, so he was trying to describe the indescribable. He used images of the most beautiful things he knew to describe the wonder of the spiritual world, but this is just a hint of its glory.

The biblical prophets used everyday language and context to describe what they saw, but they were also very clear about what a revelation from God was and what a description of their response or their experience was.

Prophetic Timing

There are two situations with regard to timing in the scriptures.

  1. Some prophecies are conditional, so there is no time attached to them.
  2. In other situations, God is very precise about time.

Therefore we cannot just give up on timing. We actually need to do it better.

When a revelation comes, the prophetic person should ask four questions.

  1. When is the revelation to be communicated?
  2. How is to be communicated?
  3. Is it conditional or does it have a specific timing?
  4. What is the timing?

The need for question 4 depends on the answer to question 3.

The reality is that we do not have a full revelation until we have the answers to all these questions. People get so excited about getting a revelation that they forget to press in and get the rest. They stop before they have the lot.

For the prophecies recorded in the scriptures, the Holy Spirit has to cover the whole of history. So of course many of the prophecies were for times way in the future that the prophet did not have a clue about. The Holy Spirit will give the timing when the timing is right. We are not in the situation of those prophets, so their experience does not give us an excuse to put timing in the too hard basket.

If Christian prophets want to be taken seriously, they will have to do much better on timing. Being vague about timing is really just a “cop out”. God can do better than that. He will not always give precise timings, but we need to be sure that it is not because we have not pressed in to get the full revelation.

Publishing Dreams and Visions

When publishing a dream and a vision, it is important to separate the dream or vision from the interpretation. If the Lord gave some interpretation during the dream, then that should be spelt out clearly, separate from the seer’s interpretation.

The person who had the dream or vision knows what they saw, so there cannot be any debate about the content. They should know what they saw. However, there can be debate about whether the dream came from God, or the forces of evil, or was just the working of the dreamer’s mind. Dreams and vision should be tested by the body of Christ to establish that they have come from God.

Unless the Holy Spirit gives a specific interpretation and application during the dream or vision, the interpretation of a dream or vision can be open to debate. Sometimes the person who receives the dream or vision may not be the best person to provide interpretation. Joseph and Daniel were prophetic people who were skilled in interpreting the dreams of other people.

With many dreams and visions on prophetic websites, the person has received a valid revelation, but seems to have the interpretation wrong. In these situations, someone else in the body of the Christ may have the interpretation. If the interpretation is mixed up with the published account of the dream, it becomes difficult to suggest an alternative interpretation, without questioning the inspiration of what has been published.

The best practice is to record accurately the dream and vision as received, and then give the interpretation separately. This was Daniels approach in Daniel 7 and 8. In the first part of the chapter he describes what he saw. He then gives the interpretation that was given to him by the angel. Not only did he keep the description and the interpretation separate, he did not give his own interpretation or application at all.

The book of Revelation is similar. John recorded all that he saw very carefully and precisely. He rarely gives any interpretation (except for stars are angels, lamp stands are churches, waters are people, heads are kings, hills are kings). I presume that the Holy Spirit did not give John the interpretation of his vision, so he did not give it.

Most Christians who have a dream or vision to share seem to feel bound to give the interpretation and application at the same time. Moreover, the content and the interpretation are often mixed up together, which makes it hard to assess the source of the dream. It also makes it hard to assess the interpretation. Likewise if the dream or vision is not described clearly without interpretation, it is very difficult for a person who is gifted in interpreting dreams and visions to give an alternative vision, because they do not have all the material that they need.

Right Attitude

A prophecy must be delivered in the right attitude. We must speak the truth in love. An incorrect attitude nullifies the truth of the word. Many true prophecies have been made false, because they have been spoken in a harsh or critical attitude.

A prophecy must be delivered in the right attitude. We must speak the truth in love. An incorrect attitude nullifies the truth of the word. Many true prophecies have been made false, because they have been spoken in a harsh or critical attitude.

A bad attitude nullifies the truth of the word.

We can be absolutely correct in the heart of a word and still release it at the wrong time or in a form that the receiver cannot accept. I know of several prophets who found themselves in very hot water – not because the word was wrong but because the delivery broke the rules (Africa Prophecy).

A man can present truth so arrogantly that men will not listen. That man’s truth has failed to find expression in our Lords way; therefore, however factually true it may have been, it has failed to become truth to his fellow men (John and Paula Sanford – The Elijah Task).

When you can produce a distinct sound, the church will hear you (Rick Joyner – The Ministry of a Watchman).

God is showing me that we are missing out on a lot of truth because we become offended in the messenger or the method of delivery. If something is true, let us weigh it, test it, and discern it on its own merit (Chip Brogden -Overcoming Prophetic Offence).

All prophets should note God’s response when he saw the sins of the people who lived during the time of Noah.

The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain (Gen 6:6).

God’s heart was “filled with pain”. A prophet cannot represent God during a time of judgment unless his heart is filled with pain. A person who enjoys speaking judgment cannot speak for God. Only a person speaking with a broken heart can speak for God.

Right Spirit

Some Christians say, “A prophet’s job is to say what God says”. This is true, but it is only part of the truth. I would say, “A prophet’s job is to say what God says in the right spirit“.

I have observed many occasions when a prophetic person has spoken a true word, but it was not heard. Sometimes the true word was not received because the listener’s heart was hard, but more often it was not heard, because the spirit of the prophet was not right.

I remember a woman who was really upset, because her pastor had not received a word that she and a friend had given to him. She could not understand why this had happened, because the word was true. Her word rung true to me too, but I could tell from the tone of her voice why she was not heard. She oozed bitterness, hurt and frustration.

The hard truth for prophets to understand is that being correct is not enough. A true word from God can be nullified by a wrong spirit. In the spiritual dimension, a true word spoken in the wrong spirit is exactly the same as a false word. When God’s heart is “filled with pain” (Gen 6:6), he cannot be represented by just the truth. His truth must be spoken with a broken heart. Jeremiah was a powerful prophet, because he knew the pain on God’s heart.

Most prophets put a lot of effort into hearing what God is saying, but few put the same degree of effort into keeping their spirit right. A prophet can never just say, “I spoke God’s truth, I have done my bit”. Every prophet should be asking, “Did I speak God’s word in God’s way.”

Truth without love is no truth

Giving Bad News

Delivering bad news to a person who has asked for a prophetic word is a tricky situation for a prophetic person. The prophet must keep their heart right. Some young prophets can fall into taking pleasure in giving hard words to groups of people that deserve it. That attitude is detestable. Something is seriously wrong with Christians who take pleasure in giving bad news.

Prophets who find it harder to give bad news than good news should ponder the reason. Maybe they think that if bad news does not eventuate, they will look mean, whereas if they give good news and it does not happen, the person will not mind. Unfortunately giving good news that is not inspired by God can do serious harm to the person receiving it. Prophets should check carefully that they are right, whether they have good news or bad news.

If God gives a prophet a word for someone, he can also tell them how to give it. If he asks them to give bad news, they should ask him how he wants it presented.

  • Micah seemed to use humor or hyperbole to give bad news to Ahab. Despite the funny way that Micah presented his word, Ahab got the message (1 Kings 22:15-23).
  • Nathan told a parable to get David’s attention for a hard word. He told it in a way that sucked David into sympathy for the victim. This made it very difficult for David to reject the bad news (2 Sam 12:1-7).
  • Jeremiah uses symbolic actions to bring bad news, and to give hope. This made people curious, which opened their hearts to the word (Jer 13:1-12).

Asking God how to give a hard word is very important. Whether bringing good news or bad news, the prophet should present it in a humble way. It does not hurt to say, “This is not nice, but it is what I got from the Lord. You are welcome to test it”.

Love is most important of all. If someone knows that they love them, they will find it easier to accept bad news from us.


If a prophecy is for a church, the prophet should find out who God wants it delivered to. Delivering the word to the congregation is wrong, if God intends it to be delivered to the elders and pastor. Prophets should be courteous and abide by the protocols that prevail in a particular church.

If you are a Christian first you will remember that you should walk softly, with meekness and humility, while esteeming others as better than yourself. Then the prophetic word, when and if it comes, will be seasoned with the appropriate amounts of mercy and grace. Remember that without love you will inevitably become as sounding brass – all judgment. If we cannot or will not stay in love, God will set out to humble us shamefully before our brothers and sisters that we may know the depths of our hypocrisy and self-righteousness. That is evidence of his great love for all of us (Chip Brogden – Letter to a Reluctant Prophet).

Prophetic offence is when you say what God tells you to say and people get around it by finding fault with either the message or the one bringing the message. Acting like a jerk or coming to people with the attitude that you’re going to “rattle their cage” is not prophetic offence, it’s just plain being offensive. Such “shock prophets” are high on boldness but typically low on content, which is why they have to resort to such crude methods to get attention (Chip Brogden -Overcoming Prophetic Offence).

I have observed that when Truth arrives on the scene, people either embrace it, run from it, or attack it (Chip Brogden -Overcoming Prophetic Offence).

Perceptions about the one who brings the word inevitably have a bearing on the attitude to the word. Prophetic people resent this – but it is the truth. We are told to judge people by their fruits – and the church takes that very seriously. They are excellent fruit inspectors – and in their eyes those that can’t produce what they are looking for don’t have to be listened to.

Are you a prophet in their eyes? You may have prophetic anointing – you could (in God’s processes) become absolutely anything – but do they see you as being there now? If not there are very distinct limits to what they will accept from you – and you need to observe those limits carefully.

Churches have criteria for prophets – and they are very high! They look for stunning revelations that have come to pass and really changed the course of events; they expect signs, wonders, miracles or healings that endorse your spiritual authority.

The Word belongs to God

Once the word is delivered, the prophet’s task is finished; apart from prayer. Prophets must leave the results to God. A prophet, who nags in support of a word, quickly loses credibility and detracts from the Word. God does not nag. Deliver the word in the right way in the right attitude and God will do the rest.

God is looking for messengers. It is not our job to make people listen; it is just our job to deliver the message, with a right spirit. The prophetic should be a practical part of your everyday lives. It should be used to effect and strengthen the Kingdom (Ed Traut).

Brethren, if we will do God’s work in God’s way at God’s time with God’s power, we shall have God’s blessing and the devil’s curses (Leonard Ravenhill – Why Revival Tarries);

A prophet must be careful to keep the word pure. They must avoid the temptation to add to or improve God’s words.

Frequently people who prophesy will mix their own thoughts in with the word of the Lord in such a way that God’s word is altered or distorted. This happens especially when people are just beginning to exercise the prophetic gift. In one sense, something of our own thought always appears in the prophecies we give, because prophecy operates through us. But when our thoughts add to the word of the Lord, or take something away from it, or distort it’s meaning, the value of our prophecy is greatly diminished. We cannot rely upon impure prophecy as the Lord’s word (Bruce Yocum – Prophecy).

We must also be careful about speaking too much.

Frankly, we talk too much. As long as we are talking, we cannot hear. We cannot both hear and talk at the same time. There needs to be more hearing, and less talking if the prophetic Babel is to come into order out of chaos. Yes, we must speak. But when and how we speak is of great importance. Churning out “red hot” revelations and splitting them on the web is not the way to go. We must speak targetedly and in season. We must speak only as we can do so without losing our internal anchor in the One Who leads us beside still waters. And once we speak, we must immediately return to our place of waiting and abiding in Him. ..James said it well, “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak,” remembering that, as John reported, the Lord “spoke” only as He “heard.” So it should be with us (Anderson C: But I Would Have You Undistracted).

God is still calling prophets, men and woman who will follow Christ fully in the way of the cross, who will call the church to examine its ways and repent, and who will point the way of blessing and prosperity for God’s people. A prophet must live on the cutting edge of the spirit’s move. It can be a harsh and exhilarating experience. A prophet weeps when the church rejoices and he rejoices when the church is weeping, for he is always looking and seeing just a little further into the future.

Thus it is what the prophets greatest task is not preaching but praying. He must intercede in the Spirit so as to prepare a highway for the Lord in the wilderness. It is often a thankless task that means many tears and real suffering, but the results make the rejoicing much greater than the pain (Sanfords).

Any time a prophet is sent by God and has an assignment to take on, address, or confront an idol, a throne, a principality, or a dominion, or is told to rebuke a demonic horde which has become incarnate in a human being who has authority over people (perhaps a dictator), that prophet is walking into a dangerous place with a very specific mission with narrow parameters of safety. The only safe place for prophets of war is a posture of total obedience from start to finish (Ron Wood).

Humble Words

Luke 14:7-10 is relevant to sharing prophecy and vision.

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, Jesus told them this parable: When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this person your seat”. Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place”. Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.

Prophetic people are often tempted to find a higher place at the banquet for their words and vision. They do this in various ways.

  • Turning the text into the first person.
  • Using King James English
  • Adding proof texts
  • Quoting big name prophets
  • Getting them onto the best prophetic lists.
  • Adding dramatic graphics
  • Playing somber musing in the background.

The authority of the prophetic comes from the witness of the Spirit in the heart of the reader/hearer. It is best to present our words and visions in a humble way near the bottom of the table. Then the Holy Spirit can move them up to the top of the table, if he wishes. This does not mean that we should put our words under the table with the dogs. We do not need to grovel.

God’s Word is Powerful and Effective

The word that comes from God will be effective. God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Num 23:19). How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced? (Num 23:8). God will sometimes confirm his word with signs and wonders. Both Elijah and Elisha had their authority confirmed by signs and wonders.

Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these men.” One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it. Elisha said, “Get some flour.” He put it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’ “Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord (2 Kings 4:38-44).

A prophet can never just say,
“I spoke God’s truth,
I have done my bit”.
Every prophet should be asking,
“Did I speak God’s word in God’s way.”

Here’s Everything You want to know about Prophesy

By Alice Clarke

Prophecy can seem like a confusing and mystical thing. There is prophecy in the Bible, and in the present day. But how does it all work? Here is an interview with Lynley to discover a beginner’s guide to prophecy.

Lynley Allan leads Catch the Fire in Auckland, New Zealand, together with her husband Stuart. She also leads the prophetic network for Catch the Fire churches around the world. Lynley has been prophesying for over 30 years. Her heart is to serve the body of Christ with prophecy and raise and train up prophetic voices that are living the value of transformation and steeped in the love of the Father. Lynley also sits on a prophetic round table for the country of New Zealand.

What Is Prophecy?

Prophecy is a supernatural enabling by the Spirit of God to hear His voice and then deliver the message of what that voice is saying. I believe that you cannot prophesy without the unction of the Spirit. If you are prophesying without God then you’re not prophesying from the correct source. The difference between psychics and prophets in the Kingdom of God is the source of their revelation. We get our source directly from the Holy Spirit. Biblical prophecy is speaking the words of God by the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Who Can Prophesy?

1 Corinthians 12 talks about the list of spiritual gifts that are available to us when we have the Holy Spirit, so I believe that everybody has the ability to prophesy but not all people will choose to prophesy. Because it’s the Holy Spirit that gives us revelation in the first place, all believers can do it. Even if it’s a simple picture that is coming directly from God, that can be a profound moment in someone’s life.

The scripture also says that there is grace given by the Holy Spirit as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11). You get a measure of grace upon your life to operate in that gift. So for some people, it comes really naturally and other people have to work at it.

So, what’s the Difference between Someone who can prophesy And Someone who’s A Prophet?

We can all operate in the gift of prophecy like we can operate in the gift of healing and wisdom and discernment. If someone is called as a prophet then you’re looking at a different function. The prophet function in Ephesians 4 is more of a life call. This is God-given. Its part of who you are, you kind of can’t escape it.

I believe true prophets who are walking in the fullness of their call have angelic encounters, they have visions or dreams or both. I’m more of a visions person; I’ve got a woman on our team, who has more of a dream gift. Prophets will have angelic encounters and the supernatural will be flowing through their life. Not everyone who prophesies accurately is a Prophet.

Prophets should be positioned in the body of Christ, in the local church and operate from being part of a family. I don’t believe they should be functioning outside of the local church. It’s really good to be commissioned into your call by leadership who recognize the call and anointing in your life.

The other thing to consider is the prophet’s realm of influence. Is it a local church influence, or is it a city-wide influence, or is it a global influence? Prophets like Cindy Jacobs, Sharon Stone, Rick Joyner and Bobby Conner are all global influence. That level of influence is definitely decided by God, not by us.

How Can A Christian Learn To Prophesy?

I would first say, “Holy Spirit, this is a gift that you’ve given me. I believe in faith that you have given me this gift, so would you teach me how to do this? Would you start to give me pictures or words or scriptures for the people around me?” You’ve got to start with those that are around you. You don’t go from zero to prophesying over the nations in five minutes. Scripture says to prophesy in proportion to your faith, so when you start off, you’ve got a little bit of faith to prophesy and that faith can grow. You also have to build trust in the Holy Spirit that He will speak to you, and you also have to build your trust in yourself that you hear correctly.

Then get some training, read some books, go to a prophetic training course, get activated, have somebody lay hands on you, to impart the gift of faith to prophesy. That would be the starting point.

How Should Someone Respond To A Personal Prophetic Word?

In the exchange of a prophetic word being delivered, there are two powerful people involved. There’s the person that is delivering the prophetic word and there’s the person that is receiving the prophetic word. You have the choice to accept or not accept the word. Just because somebody has delivered a word to you, you don’t have to take it on. The scripture says judge it, sift it, eat what’s good and spit out the bones (1 Thessalonians 5:21). In other words, there may be a mix of God and the person’s soul or flesh in the word. It’s up to us now to learn how to judge it.

A prophetic word is an invitation for a conversation.

I like to listen over and over to the word if it’s recorded, or write it out and read it over and over, pray over it, and ask questions. I ask “Holy Spirit, what is 100% you? What is the fluff or the filler?” When you eat a vitamin pill, you know that in the pill there it’s not all pure vitamins, there are fillers as well that they add. So when you eat the prophetic word, you want to filter out the fluff.

Then I ask, “What is for now, what’s for soon, and what’s for 10 years down the track?” Discerning the timing of the fulfillment of it is important. Get a sense also on the meaning of metaphors, and ask Holy Spirit to unpack it even more.

How About Responding To A Prophecy Over A Group Or Church?

If it’s over a church, and you’re not in leadership, you don’t really have to do anything. It’s the leadership’s responsibility to take that word and to discuss within the leadership whether they believe that it is the word of the Lord or not, and if they believe that it is the word of the Lord then they go through the same process as what I’ve just said: What bits are great? What bits have spiritual weight? Is this a word for now? Where are we feeling God leading us?

It’s about praying, Lord, is this of you, does this witness? The Holy Spirit is so faithful; He’ll give you a strong witness if this is definitely God speaking. And he’ll give you a strong witness if it’s not. He doesn’t want you to live in deception, that’s not His will, it’s not who He is. So if you ask Him for discernment, He’s going to give it to you. He wants us to have understanding. So pray for wisdom and understanding to know what to do with that word.

That’s for a church and for a nation. I think if a national word comes in, then the prophets of that nation have a responsibility to weigh and judge it.

What Else Is Important To Know About The Prophetic?

I think it’s really important that we prophesy from the foundation that God is good. That we prophesy God’s redemptive purpose for people, cities, and churches and for organizations. If we are called to prophesy, we may also discern issues, we may discern things that are not right. But if we sit in the place of judging people, then our prophetic utterance will not outwork the purpose to seed in God’s will, heart, and word to build, to unlock destiny and set the captives free. We must understand the difference between the discernment gift and the prophecy gift. Just because you discern something, doesn’t mean that God gave you that revelation. We must look to the heart of the Father for what He wants to say about that situation.


What are the common characteristics of prophets?

The Common Traits of Prophets

Learn about the characteristics of those with the spiritual gift of prophecy

Following are some traits commonly observed in those who have the motivational spiritual gift of prophecy. These traits can be used to benefit others, or they can be misused and thereby cause discord in the Body of Christ.

When a believer walks according to the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25), his unique perspective (in this case, prophecy) is demonstrated through traits that reflect the character of Christ. However, when a believer walks in “the flesh,” making choices that are determined by his sinful nature, his unique perspective is demonstrated through undesirable, ungodly traits. (See Galatians 5:16–17.)

Read these examples thoughtfully and prayerfully, and ask God to help you discern if your motivational gift is prophecy. If it is, be encouraged as you learn about the special virtue and wisdom that God has given you with this gift. Be warned of the temptation to misapply these Godly traits by failing to walk in the grace God gives you to use them righteously. (See Hebrews 12:15.)

Need to Express Themselves

Prophets need to express their thoughts and ideas verbally, especially when matters of right and wrong are involved. In the written account of the Gospels, Peter (who clearly had the gift of prophecy) spoke more often than any other disciple. He also became the spokesman for the early Church. (See Acts 2:14, 3:12, 4:8, 11:4.)

Misuse of this traitExposes without restoring: A prophet’s primary concern about stopping the spread of evil tends to motivate him to expose a sinner rather than restore him. However, the Bible instructs us as follows: “If any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). The prophet believes that exposure of sin is the first step of restoration and he should work to complete the process.

Quick Impressions of People

Prophets tend to make quick judgments about what they see and hear. They also tend to express their views before others speak. In the Gospels, Peter spoke first more than any other disciple did. (See Matthew 14:28; 15:15; 16:16, 22; 17:4; 19:27; John 6:68, 13:6.)

Misuse of this traitJumps to conclusions Prophets tend to draw conclusions from a few known facts. Once a hasty conclusion has been made, prophets tend to look for confirming evidence. This action can result in their taking words and actions of the accused out of context in order to prove their points.

Alertness to Dishonesty

Prophets have an amazing ability to sense when someone or something is not what it appears to be. They react strongly to any form of deception or dishonesty. Peter may have sensed deception in Ananias and Sapphira, because he was prompted to question them about it. His condemnation resulted in their deaths. (See Acts 5:3–10.)

Misuse of this traitReacts harshly to sinners When a prophet sees sin, he tends to denounce it so strongly that it can appear to others as “overkill.” After exposing the sin, the prophet tends to expect immediate repentance regardless of whether his rebuke was given in love or was even fully accurate. His motive in magnifying sin is to promote repentance.

Desire for Justice

Prophets tend to cut off those who sin so that justice will be done, others will be warned, and evil will not spread. Peter desired to cut off his offenders, and he asked Jesus how often he would have to forgive them. (See Matthew 18:21.)

Misuse of this traitBeing unforgiving and ending relationships with those who fail It is difficult for a prophet separate the sin from the sinner. Therefore, he tends to reject them both with equal vigor. Those who hear his harshness interpret his denunciations as angry tirades and proud reactions. Peter’s epistles provide a balance of truth and love.

Open About Personal Faults

Prophets are as open about their own failures as they want others to be about theirs. When Christ appeared to the disciples, Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).

Misuse of this traitCondemn themselves The harsh judgments that prophets have for others, they also have for themselves. They tend to be extremely self-critical and feel worthless when they fail. After Peter denied Jesus, the heavenly messenger who proclaimed the Lord’s resurrection knew Peter’s need for extra reassurance of God’s love and said, “Go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see him, as he said unto you” (Mark 16:7).

Wholehearted Involvement

Once prophets are committed to a cause, they are wholeheartedly involved in it. Within the context of their commitment, they are quick to respond to situations and opportunities. When Peter recognized Jesus walking on the water, he asked Jesus to bid him to come. (See Matthew 14:28.)

Misuse of this traitBeing impetuous: Because of his tendency to make quick decisions, a prophet can be impulsive and can vacillate between extremes. At first Peter refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet; then he asked Jesus to wash his whole body! (See John 13:6–10.)

Loyalty to Truth vs. People

Prophets are loyal to truth even if it means cutting off relationships. When Jesus asked the disciples if they were also going to leave Him, Peter replied that he would stay because Christ had the words of eternal life. (See John 6:67–69.)

Misuse of this traitInappropriately speaking out: Whenever prophets see or hear something that is wrong, they feel responsible to speak out against it. It usually does not occur to them to ask, whose responsibility is this? Do I have all the facts? Would it be best for me to take action at this time? Their primary focus is on the sin that needs to be dealt with—not on whether or not it is their responsibility to deal with it.

Willingness to Suffer for Right

Prophets are eager to embrace suffering when it comes as a result of standing for the truth or doing what is right. When he was beaten for obeying God rather than men, Peter rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus. (See Acts 5:29–42.)

Misuse of this traitLack tactfulness in rebuke: Prophets tend to be painfully direct when correcting others, regardless of who they are. This bluntness can cause the prophet embarrassment, as when Peter rebuked Jesus. (See Mark 8:31–33.)

Persuasive in Defining Truth

Prophets have a special ability to be articulate in defining what is right and what is wrong. Great conviction was brought to thousands on the Day of Pentecost when Peter pointed out, “Ye have taken [Jesus], and by wicked hands have crucified and slain [Him]” (Acts 2:23).

Misuse of this traitDwell on the negative: Prophets tend to divide everything into two classes: right or wrong. Once they label a person or activity as evil or wrong, that judgment tends to be fixed in their minds, and they often feel compelled to persuade others to agree with them.

Are You a Prophet?

Do you recognize any of these positive characteristics or their misapplication as ones that you have demonstrated? Do the motivations of a prophet guide your decisions and actions?If so, rejoice, because God has given you a unique responsibility in the Body of Christ!

If these characteristics, and their misuses, do not reflect your motivations, we encourage you to read and study similar information about each of the other six spiritual motivational gifts (servingteachingexhortinggivingorganizing, and mercy). Ask the Lord to reveal your spiritual gift to you. God will show you how He has gifted you. Be diligent!

As each of us identifies his or her motivational gift, he or she will be better equipped to achieve maximum fruitfulness with minimum weariness. As we exercise our gifts, we experience personal fulfillment and a deep sense of joy.

Russell Kelfer, in his excellent book titled Discovering Your Spiritual Gift, gives us an excellent word picture related to the motivational spiritual gifts assigned by God: “This isn’t a gift for you to put on the mantle like a trophy to admire. It is like a certain kind of glove that you put on that allows your hands to do the work of the ministry they were called to do. It is like a certain kind of spiritual shoes you wear to take you where you need to go” (Kelfer, page 10). Let’s put on those custom-designed gloves and shoes and get to work!

What is the spiritual gift of prophecy?

Prophecy as a Spiritual Gift

The characteristics of a motivational gift

A Christian’s motivational spiritual gift represents what God does in him to shape his perspective on life and motivate his words and actions. Romans 12:3–8 describes “basic motivations,” which are characterized by inherent qualities or abilities within a believer—the Creator’s unique workmanship in him or her.

Through the motivational gifts, God makes believers aware of needs that He wants to meet through them, for His glory. Then, believers can minister to others through the ministry and manifestation gifts of the Spirit, in ways beyond mere human capability and ingenuity, with maximum effectiveness and minimum weariness.

Each person’s behavior will vary according to factors such as temperament, background, age, gender, culture, and circumstances. However, it is not unusual for individuals who share the same motivational gift to demonstrate common characteristics. Below are some general characteristics that are typically exhibited by those who have the motivational gift of prophecy.

General Characteristics

A prophet’s basic motivational drive is to apply the Word of God to a situation so that sin is exposedand relationships are restored. Prophets might be considered the “trumpets” of the Body of Christ who sound the alarm in the face of sin and compromise.

  • A prophet calls attention to sin and wrong attitudes.
  • The prophet is passionate about exposing sin, but not primarily so that sinners can be punished. Rather, he is passionate about exposing sin so that truth can be revealed and fellowship with God can be restored.
  • A prophet has a God-given ability to sense when compromises are being made, and his nature demands that action be taken—something must be done. This action may take the form of an overt protest or confrontation, or it may take the form of a conversation or correspondence.
  • For a prophet, any solution that involves compromise is unacceptable.
  • For the prophet, to observe or discern sin and say nothing is, of itself, sin. Naturally, knowing that a prophet has this perspective tends to make some of us feel intimidated or uncomfortable around them—even when we are guiltless! The prophet’s abhorrence of sin can easily be viewed as a judgmental spirit, and no one wants to be the object of that judgment.
  • The prophet often displays the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits; he is able to discern true motives as the Holy Spirit gives him divine insights. As a general rule, the prophet is more interested in whether or not the heart is pure than whether or not the activity in question is acceptable.
  • Prophets are usually outspoken, sometimes brash; they tell it like it is.
  • They tend to see issues as “black or white,” not “gray.”

A Prophet’s Strengths

  • A prophet is confident in his use of Scripture, because he regards Scripture as the only source of truth.
  • A mature prophet easily discerns hypocrisy, because God has gifted him to discern Truth.
  • He is usually more teachable than others, especially when discipline or correction is required. When a wise prophet is confronted with his sin, he sees it as God sees it and consequently is crushed (if he is walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh).
  • The prophet accepts absolutes easily. The rest of us try to explain them away; prophets simply take God at His Word.
  • He isnot easily swayed by emotions.
  • A prophet has a deep capacity to trust God, based on what God has promised. This is the prophet’s attitude: “If it’s right, do it. Trust God for the outcome—it’s His responsibility.”

A Prophet’s Weaknesses

  • A prophet’s need to be “painfully truthful” may result in insensitivity or harshness.
  • Prophets often have little sympathy and patience with people who do not respond objectively.
  • A prophet’s sense of conviction may tempt him or her to become intolerant or prideful.
  • Because of the prophet’s deep consciousness of sin, he sometimes seems to have a negative, “gloomy” approach to life.

The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Prophetic Word

By Robin Morrison:

Discerning the Message

We hear prophetic words given on television and at conferences; we read them in articles and on websites. How do we, as the church and as individual believers, respond to prophetic announcements regarding future events, divine judgments or directions and prophetic comments and perspectives of God that are delivered by high profile figures in the church? My italics indicate that I do not believe that all of these messages are from the Lord. Some of them are, but many of them, I believe, are not. How then do we handle unfulfilled words or competing words that appear in opposition to each other? How do we negotiate the geography of prophetic terminology, coded language, claims of authenticity and validity? The scope of this article is not to debate or denigrate the prophetic gifts or to belittle certain prophetic personalities or their ministries. Let us take a look at the Bible, the Holy Spirit, common sense, and church history.

People often ask whose side is God on or endorsing when there seems to be a struggle or “sides” to take. The following verses give credence to the fact that if we are blessed by God, it is for a larger purpose.

  • James 4:6 — “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore [it] says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
  • Isaiah 66:2 — “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
  • Joshua 5:13–153 — “Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now [as] captain of the host of the Lord.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’ The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

If we are truly blessed it is to be a blessing to all nations.

The Holy Spirit’s Operating Function in Prophecy

In order to understand the gift of prophecy or any of the gifts, we need to understand the nature, role and operation of the Holy Spirit. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4, NAS). The Holy Spirit manifests himself through us. “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7, NAS). “God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Heb 2:4, NAS). The Holy Spirit is a relational being to us and is relational within the Trinity to the Father and the Son.

He is the Helper/Comforter (John 14:16). He is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17). He teaches and reminds us of Jesus’ words (John 14:26). He searches and reveals (I Corinthians 2:10,12). He is grace (Hebrews 10:29). He is the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Ephesians 1:17). He gives orders/direction (Acts 1:2). He leads us (Romans 8:14). He fills us (Acts 4:8,31). He falls on people while hearing the Word (Acts 10:44; 11:15). He is a Baptism of Power and Fire (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8, 2:2–4). He testifies (Romans 9:1; Hebrews 10:15). He appoints offices for the church (Acts 20:28). He is the Spirit of Holiness (Romans 1:4). He gives us the Love of God (Romans 5:5). He sets us free to serve (Romans 8:8). He gives us life and peace (Romans 8:6,11). He helps us put to death the flesh (Romans 8:13). He tells us that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). He helps us pray and intercedes (Ephesians 6:18). He is righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). He gives hope (Romans 15:13). He sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Peter 1:2). He demonstrates the power of God (1 Thessalonians 1:5). He gives boldness to speak God’s word (Acts 4:31). He dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). He is the seal, pledge and promise (2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). He gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). He is liberty and freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). He fellowships with us (Philipians 2:1). We can be in the Spirit (Revelation1:10; 4:2). We can be “snatched away” in the Spirit (Acts 8:39; Revelation 17:3; 21:10). We can have visions and dreams (Acts 16:9; Numbers 12:6; Joel 2:28). We are built together and are a dwelling for Him (Ephesians 2:22). He strengthens us with power (Ephesians 3:16). He gives unity (Ephesians 4:3). We worship in the Spirit (Philipinasn 3:3). He speaks and warns ( 1 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 3:7). The Spirit regenerates and renews us (Titus 3:5). He preaches the gospel through us (1 Peter 1:12). He Speaks to the Churches (Revelation 2:7). He is the Spirit of Glory (1 Peter 4:14). Jesus abides in us by the Spirit (1 John 3:24).

How Does That Involve Us?

We can receive the Spirit through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 9:6,17). He is the Spirit of Jesus that cries out to the Father (Galatians 4:6). He grows and shows forth His fruit through us. “. . .The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self–control” (Galatians 5:22). He is invitational (Revelation 22:17). We live and walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:5). We can sow to the Spirit (Galatians 6:8). In our pride, sin and rebellion, we can resist Him (Acts 7:51), lie to Him (Acts 5:3), test Him (Acts 5:9), grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30), quench Him(1 Thessalonians 5:19); insult Him (Hebrews 10:29). We can be devoid of His Spirit and cause divisions (1 Sam 28:6; Jude 1:19). Biblical and historical symbols of the Holy Spirit are Wind (John 3:8, Acts 2:2), Oil (Revelation 3:18; Hebrews 1:9; Isaiah 61:1), Rain/Dew/Water (John 3:5; 7:38; 4:14), Dove ( Matthew 3:16) Fire (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8, 2:2–4), Voice (Revelation1:10; 4:1) and Sword (Ephesians 6:17). These functions, expressions, characteristics, roles and operations of the Holy Spirit are important to understand and live in since the gifts will be imbued and hued with these characteristics as well!

Communicating Prophetic Words

There is a process regarding how prophetic words are communicated both from the Holy Spirit and through us.

  1. Revelation: The manner in which we receive and the content that we receive as a word/insight/revelation from God.
  2. Interpretation: With the revelation of the word, we use the written revealed word, the spirit of wisdom and discernment, our own experiences and the safety of the counsel of the godly and righteous to understand what is being communicated to us and an interpretation of the word is formed.
  3. Application: To whom we say it, how we say it, when we say it and what we actually say becomes the application of the prophetic word.

The gift operates through jars of clay with personalities. Therefore, you may find an element of the deliverer’s own flavor in the process. Here is where the possibility of a polluting arises. If the deliverer is not in alignment with God, his own desires, agendas, biases, emotional needs and immaturity level can be contained in the process. As earthly vessels, we are in the process of transforming and conforming to Jesus as the Word. My warning is to be merciful to those who, in compassion and care, are trying out their gifts in the local body. Those operating in the gifts need be willing to submit to local leadership and grow through correction, trial and error in a “family” where correction is carried out in love. In the prophetic realm, make offerings, not pronouncements.

Practical Steps in Responding to Prophetic Words

  1. Witness: Is there a quickening or yes in the Spirit and your spirit? Do trusted friends and leaders echo it?
  2. Wait: Wait and see what happens. The Lord’s timing (fullness of time) is perfect. Perhaps God will give you or someone else more revelation, more confirmation/counsel
  3. Watch: If the word is good, watch expectantly and with eyes of hope. In watching, there is a process of plowing, planting, flowering and fruiting which allows a refocus, releases faith and renews desires.
  4. Water: In faith, water the message, pray into it, remind God, remember His faithfulness.
  5. Worship: Worship God for who He is, what He promises, His mysterious ways, his wonderful works.
  6. War: Resist fear and unbelief. Did God really say that? When oh God?
  7. Wrestle: Wrestle against your flesh, your fears/fantasies, striving, desperation, deep desires/dreams.
  8. Wisdom: Wisdom applies and guides, using discretion and discernment for understanding and application.
  9. Willing: Be willing relinquish, release and acknowledge imperfect knowledge/understanding/fears and fantasies in both the giving/receiving of the gift.

Additional Discerning Questions When Filtering a Prophetic Word

Sometimes a word given does not sit well, but we do not know why or what to do with it. Discussing it with someone who knows you and you are accountable to is a great idea, and the following list can be helpful too.

(I will use “word” to indicate a word, message or picture delivered.)

  1. Is the word scriptural, beneficial, timely/orderly, or appropriate? Does it confirm what the Spirit has already revealed to you and other godly leaders?
  2. What is the delivering person conveying with their motive, attitude, body–language, tone, words and general message? Is it a word about me/for me or is it a word that affirms their message/promise/ministry?
  3. Does the word call me to closer intimacy with Jesus and unity with the Body?
  4. Does the word release renewed faith and submission to God’s will or am I filled with fear and confusion? (Some words will highlight our own fears for God to heal and for us to repent of unbelief. Our own emotions are not the sole measure of whether a word is valid.)
  5. Does the declarer have a track record of accuracy which includes acknowledging when the words were not fulfilled or wrong?
  6. Is the declarer under authority and submitted to a local body or board of elders?
  7. Does that person walk in their humanity? Is he or she a fellow believer, broken and open with their journey of redemption and transformation or are there constant appeals to affirmation of their personhood/ministry via spiritual experiences that no one else has had? Do they present as “weird” and without grace and without giving life to others?
  8. Does the ministry practice mercy and compassion in word and deed or is it solely focused on being a “trumpet of judgment and warning?” Even in the Old Testament words of judgment always started with Israel (the house of God for their sins; 1 Peter 4:17 “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.”) but also declared hope, healing and restoration. Israel always came under God’s judgment for leaving their first love (which God considered idolatry) and miscarriage of justice (crushing, depriving and discriminating against the widow, orphan and alien). “. . . For you who judge practice the same things” (Romans 2:1). “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within [the church?] But those who are outside, God judges . ..” (1 Corinthians 5:12–13).
  9. Does the word foster humility, servant–hood and hunger for obedience of God’s will and ways in God’s people or does it identify a select group/demographic as having God’s sole affection/blessing or vindictive wrath?
  10. Are words timed to coincide with appeals for money, faith gifts, support, headlines/news already announced via media outlets? (Titus1:11 talks about. . . “teaching things they should not [teach] for the sake of sordid gain.”)
  11. Is it an attempt to get you to obtain a “religious product” to avoid some declared disastrous outcome or obtain the “promise” and blessing of the prophetic word?
  12. Are the words clear and concise? Can they be measured by Biblical language, imagery, symbolism and doctrine? If predictive is it clear on times, dates, outcomes and meaning?

These filters are not all inclusive, but as we learn more about prophetic words, they are helpful in the discernment process.

Biblical Understanding and Discerning Personal Prophetic Words

The gift of prophecy in the New Testament is defined and operates in I Corinthians 14:1, 3: “Pursue/Press Forward/Suffer love, yet desire earnestly spiritual [gifts], but especially that you may prophesy. But one who prophesies speaks to men for:

  • Edification: (the Bible uses the feminine verb)building–up, a dwelling, family, home, house/temple;
  • Exhortation: encouragement, to call near, invite, implore, console, pray;
  • Consolation: comfort, to relate near, encourage, to come alongside;
  • Maturing (katartismos relates to a complete furnishing) empower/equip for service, instruction, learning, maturing (1 Corinthians 14:31) to teach/instruct with tenderness;
  • Conviction (upon unbeliever/unlearned) sign of God among us (1 Corinthians 14:22–25)

Remember that operations of prophetic gifts are:

  1. Partial (we do not fully know or understand, and we prophesy in part; 1 Corinthians 13:9);
  2. Progressive (God frequently adds understanding, insight, counsel and wisdom as time goes on);
  3. Provisional (invite us to faith, action, a response and prayer as God takes action and intervenes.)

We, as the church, are to be a people who respond first and foremost with mercy and acts of kindness, not scales of simplified spiritual formulas that always set us as Westerners apart as the exception with superior spiritual insights and exclusive blessing and protection from God.

The Holy Spirit is very “sensory” and “emotive.” Our culture is also very sense–oriented. Often a cultural addiction to stimulation and the “new and now” (including eschatology end times signs/wonders) as well as intensity toward the “spiritual experience” sets up both the deliverer and receiver of prophetic words to seek and speak that which lacks wisdom, fruit, “unction and authoring” of the Spirit. We as broken people of God can actually check out emotionally and pollute the word that is prophetically given — the deliverer reads the room, “I sense unbelief,” reads our desire, “You are struggling with something,” responds with recycled clichés, “The Lord says it’s a season of new beginnings.” Our own spirits are capable of reading and generalizing another’s emotions and general thoughts. It is what allows us to empathize and intuit with one another.

Hebrews 13:9 “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace . . .”

We need to understand that certain mentalities and worldviews frame the operation and interpretation of scripture, the Holy Spirit and prophetic words. We process these words through our own cultural and spiritual filters. This is not to say these are wrong or not profitable, but they are the context in which we live. The cultural and spiritual filters to keep in mind when hearing a prophecy or operating in this gifting are related in the following questions:

  • How do we see God’s operation in the larger world? Redeeming, judging, inviting, resisting, restoring, condemning?
  • What do we see as the role of church in the world at large both as a culture unto itself and as influencing, interacting with, redeeming, denying culture? (Where we live and function on a daily basis) and spiritual reality (the world, the flesh, the Devil 1 John 2:15–17).
  • In what church, spiritual climate, theological branch did we come to know Jesus? Where were we Biblically trained, where did we fellowship and participate as well as what are our personality affinities toward certain characteristics of the Holy Spirit?
  • What is our view of the “end–times” or eschatology?

I Kings 22:13–15 says “Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably. But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak. When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth–gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give [it] into the hand of the king.” Verses 19–23 describe a scene in heaven where an evil spirit steps forward, volunteering to entice the king via a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets. 2 Chronicles 18 repeats this narrative.

As Westerners, we have a cultural need to always be “in the know” with information and the “future.” The “foretelling” (future events) eclipses the “forth–telling” (the Father’s heart revealed now). We make our hearts known in the safe intimacy of fellowship and thus develop a relationship of growth and grace with our Heavenly Father and each other within a caring community. A lack of connection and commitment in a caring community disposes us to seek out recognition “from the front” and identification with certain personalities, para–church ministries and platforms where we will be noticed or spoken to in a prophetic avenue. We want “special” blessings, easy steps to freedom and fulfillment and secret heavenly experiences that set us apart from the “crowd” of Christianity. However, as we grow secure in our sonship with the Father, our affirmation grows deeply from Him. The balance of Words of Knowledge and Words of Wisdom is then cultured in a healthy manner. Our need to garner discretion, discernment, God’s counsel, direction, and divine perspective (Words of Wisdom) will outweigh the need for information given by the Holy Spirit that our natural senses could not know (Words of Knowledge).

The Challenge

Just as Hollywood seeks to appeal to the inner desires of our human nature, other filters to consider can include those found in our natural human desires. These desires can included but are not limited to emotional catharsis, individualism, escapism, desire for an alternate reality, immediacy, performance, power, unique label, health, wealth, happiness, independence, rebellion, and a lack of submission to authority.

The Cure

Continue to seek the Lord for His love and truth, asking Him for His interpretation and submitting all wants to Him in order to hear what He is saying.

If you read and listen to Christian mainstream media, there is an identifiable prophetic dichotomy of “bad news” (judgment, wrath, horrific natural disasters, wars, the church under assault, diabolically organized anti–Christian schemes, etc.) and “abundant blessings” (end time revival, power, increased outpouring, miracles, wealth, prosperity, glory) and somewhere in this is a fusion of coming signs and wonders or prophetic interpretation of present events. Sometimes the deliverer of such words identifies with and appeals to apostolic mantles and Old Testament prophetic offices or secret, divinely revealed keys of third heaven experiences. Just as an aside, it always amazes me that there is one verse ( 2 Corinthians 12:2) where Paul references this experience ( 2 Corinthians 12:1–10). He did not seek it out — it happened sovereignly. His comment (versus 4 & 5): “and heard things too sacred to be put into words, things that a person is not permitted to speak.” And he then concludes with, “but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.” John was invited up to Heaven. He did not seek to fly there, be transported or regularly make visitations. “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things (Revelation 4:1).

Prophets did get words about natural events/disasters in the New Testament. Acts 11:27–29 reads “Now at this time some Prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and [began] to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the [reign] of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send [a contribution] for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.” However, there is no prophetic ascription to its symbolism (my people are refusing the food of my word), no time frame given (when the famine will start, how long it will endure or when it will end), no judgment or retribution or secret blessing assigned to a specific people group or region.

There is currently a dangerous trend towards ministers and ministries that lack true relational and biblical accountability, avenues to discern/correct the words and mutual submission to the Body at large (or even a local body where they are not in charge or the source of revenue). We seem to operate in a prophetic system that makes public declarations, but never public retractions nor apologies. Those who speak have a higher level of accountability than those sitting in the pews & parishes. James 3:1 “Let not many {of you} become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” Overuse of the prophetic “escape” clause has abounded: “God changed his mind or everyone prayed enough so this won’t happen now.” Or, they utilize words so nebulous and unclear that they leave no avenue to discern or discuss the content nor hold the declarer of such content accountable. When one tries to dialogue about the content or the speaker it is now fashionable to label such a person asking these questions as critical, judgmental, lacking faith and “heavenly experiences,” having a spirit of offense or unbelief.

There is a mentality that God always reveals all He plans and does to prophets or people with certain levels of prophetic gifting. Amos 3:7 says “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” The question still remains — to whom does he reveal it — only prophets and only a certain type of person who has access to the public eye? Also, what and how much does He reveal? Does He tell every detail of every plan He has for every people group, time period, national and natural event? I ask you these questions so that you are thoughtful when you hear prophetic words not to assume they are always correct and correctly delivered. There is another verse that puts this verse in Amos in creative tension. 2 Kings 4:25–27 says “So she went and came to the man of God [Elisha] to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, there is the Shunammite. Please run now to meet her and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ “ And she answered, “It is well.” When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for her soul is troubled within her; and the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.” Not every plan of the Lord is revealed or even for revealing.

Old Testament prophetic offices ended with Jesus, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church and the closing of the Canon. We are under New Testament grace and all believers are urged to operate in the gifts especially the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1). The Bible clearly states that we “know in part and prophecy in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9) — it is not at the same level as Old Testament prophets who were God’s mouthpieces and scribes of His Word. The Old Testament prophetic was The Word of God. The New Testament prophetic is a word from God (note the use of upper case “W” and lower case “w.” Moses himself said: “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29). The Hebrew words for “prophetic” (oracle) and “burden” are homonyms. Sharing of the burdens that were on God’s heart would be given to lift up in prayer/petition the burdens of the people of God. This is an intercessory position. This is where the prophetic gifts intersect with the healing ministry.When we are able to use our God–given prophetic gifts well, the sick, hurt and demonized can receive comfort, exhortation, and eventually healing. Lord, please bless the understanding, use and delivery of your words as given through prayer ministers today.

There are faceless servants who are humbly offering their prophetic gifts in order to assist the local church in growing towards grace and truth. Moreover, they are assisting in fulfilling the Father’s commission to seek and save the lost, and make us one as He is One. God bless you faithful ones! God honors the hungry and the humble! There is a lot of rattling and background noise being designated as “profound” and “prophetic”… Let us be wise and discerning. Let us grow in grace and community as we build up the local body of believers and be mission minded with our gifts and talents so as to further His Kingdom! Jesus is the One who is to receive all glory and to whom we must give account on how we steward our gifts and talents.

Please do not read this thinking I am against the prophetic gifting for today. I see lives transformed by the prophetic word. I am all in favor of it, I practice it and I am well aware of the benefits and blessings that it gives to people today. As I hear from God, I am also aware of how the prophetic word is used in a way that not only distresses its hearers, but also leads people astray. May God bless you and give you His wisdom as you discern His word for you today.

Warnings against False Prophets

The prophetic mantles of the Old Testament (such as the mantle if Isaiah) are no longer in operation within the gift of prophecy today. If we claim Old Testament mantles then we need to claim Old Testament standards as their repercussions. I make the distinction of capital “P” for prophets of the Old Testament versus the gift of prophecy today resting as a gift, but not seen as the same as the office of the prophet. Deuteronomy 18: 20–22 says ‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the message about which he speaks does not come about or come true, that is the thing “which the LORD has not spoken.” The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Read Jeremiah 28 about Hananiah. The story is a powerful reminder not to claim an office that has not been given. If people claim to have an “Elijah” ministry then they should be “restoring the hearts of the fathers to [their] children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that [the Lord] will not come and smite the land with a curse (Malachi 4:6). Nobody seems to claim Amos’ calling or mantle — “Then Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs (Amos 7:14) — He prophesies for nine chapters and then he goes back to the fields and farm! There were also “unnamed” prophets in the Old Testament: “the sons of the prophets who [were at] Bethel (2 Kings 2:3) and the sons of the prophets who [were] at Jericho (2 Kings 2:5).”

The “code” for prophetic words and messages are very clear in God’s word. We are not to throw stones at the Bride and we are not to stone the Servants of the King! The history of the church is unfortunately full of stoning and being stoned. Israel had to constantly deal with false prophets and prophets with presumption. Isaiah 29:10 says “For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.” Jeremiah 5:13, 31 says “The prophets are [as wind], and the word is not in them. . . .The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their [own] authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?” Isaiah 30:9,10 says “For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, “You must not see [visions]”; and to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions.” Jeremiah 14:14 says “Then the LORD said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.’” Jeremiah 23:16, 21, 25, 26 says “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD… I did not send [these] prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. . . I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long? Is there [anything] in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even [these] prophets of the deception of their own heart?” False prophesy was rampant in Biblical times just as much as it is today.

Jesus mentions earthquakes, wars, rumors, famines, terrible signs, pestilence/plagues as precursors to his return (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11) — birth pangs of the beginning of the Final End of the consummation of the Kingdom . The scriptures include types of prophetic words identifying suffering and martyrdom and exhorting us to hope, patient endurance and kingdom commission. We veer into Christian “magic” and “magical thinking” when we over emphasize external events, signs, symbols and power. This dynamic plays out in two ways. One way is in our thinking and framing of faith and God. We explain things in a formulaic way. ‘This sign always means this.’ We explain things as though God has a hidden code that we must decipher. We start thinking (and people start teaching that there is a secret level I need to attain and pass through in order to receive God’s blessing and gain biblical understanding. An example of this incorrect thinking: If I just recite the right passage in a ritualistic rite of faith God will grant me xy & z. The second way this dynamic plays out is the subtle and incorrect thinking which comes as a seduction to be comic book super heroes with super powers on a secret mission that no one can possibly comprehend nor can anyone explain nor do I need anyone’s assistance. It’s just me and Jesus. All things are moving toward that final day when Jesus returns. NO man knows when that is! People become prophetically fixated on the end and their ministry/anointing/gifting without walking in present peace and grace and commissioning within the Body of Christ. We are not meant to live without the body of Christ, both for their sake and for our own sake.

The following represents some condensed biblical information. This information is not meant to be an exhaustive or detailed explanation, but references in which to frame and root our understanding of the New Testament prophetic gift.

Biblical Forms of Delivery of Prophetic Messages

  • Oracle (Acts 13:1–3)
  • Exhortation (Acts 15:30–35)
  • Prayer (Luke 1:67–69, Ezra 9:6–15, Nehemiah 9:6–37)
  • Song (Deuteronomy 32:1–43, 2 Peter 1:21)
  • Visions (Revelation 4:1–3)
  • Action (Jeremiah 27:2–3)

The Operation of the Prophetic

  • Simple (all)
  • Gifting (public action)
  • Ministry (commissioned by church)
  • Office (God elected)

There are lists of prophets in the New Testament (Acts 13:1, 15:32, 21:10). Prophets in the Book of Acts foretell certain events and even some false prophets are noted (Acts 13:6). There are numerous warnings against False Prophets, Apostles & Dreams: Deuteronomy 13:1–5; 2 Chronicles 18:18–21; Jeremiah 14:14; Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 13:3,6,7; Nehemiah 6:14; Ecclesiastes 5:7, Zechariah 10:2,3; Matthew 7:15–23; Matthew 24:5–14, 24; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15; Colossians 2: 18,19; 2 Peter 2; Jude 1:8; 1 John 4:1–3. Acts 20:29–30.

The implication of these warnings is that the operation and expression of this gift was so “abundant” in the church via the Holy Spirit through His unnamed servants that Paul had to warn the Church to use discernment because not every prophet, prophecy, dream or vision was from God even if they spoke in Jesus’ name. The heart of the Father is to communicate with His children and share His heart with us. John 15:15 says “I am no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” [The Message]

Danger “Keep Out” Warnings

Certain ministers/ministries have “prophetic words” (I use parentheses because I disagree) generically identifying disasters that are quite common to certain regions of the country/world (earthquakes — think California, hurricanes — think Florida), yet do not give dates/times or sequences/significance of these events (let alone words about disasters that have occurred in their own area of residence). There have been a number of publicly released words that were completely wrong! There have also been a serious and significant lack of words regarding certain national and natural events! Prophetic words are not just a description of events, they are to include a prescription of hope, and a response including God’s perspective.

Things to Avoid

There is a trend to politically infuse these “prophetic words” as “God’s agenda, endorsement or judgment.” The call of the prophetic is to reveal God’s heart, his passion for his people and His desire to connect afresh with renewed vigor in order to reveal our hearts. He sees our wounds, weaknesses, fears, bondages and desperate need for Jesus (and His long–suffering compassion toward us). He has set His affection upon us and named us as His own. James 2:13 says “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” (NAS) Being prophetic means actively and daily being Jesus to a dying world rather than a call to weirdness and rudeness.

Mistakes Churches Make

We have skewed the administrative government of the church, resulting in isolation and rejection of those with prophetic gifting or platforming and promoting them to positions outside the grace of their gifting. We need to collaborate and coordinate the healthy shepherding of them as they grow in their gift. Otherwise we set them up to be the sole leaders and voices of the local church, if they haven’t already started their own worldwide ministry. (This is not to say all para–church ministries or worldwide focused ministries are bad or a–biblical.) If we choose not to correct or edit that which is at least immature, or say “no” to that which is at its worst a fleshly fabrication, then we can’t clarify and clearly hear what is authentic. God’s heart and purposes are revealed through the Church. He speaks into who we are as a redeemed, transformed, loving people and what we do related to acts of compassion, kindness, mercy and justice. Ephesians 3:10 speaks about the purpose: “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” God wants to express Himself through redeemed people’s actions.

I believe God does warn His people and is involved in the “natural sphere” of life. I also believe God wants us focused on Him rather than prophetic words, personalities and platforms. It takes much more faith, power and humility to declare life and call God’s people to community and consecrated commitment than it does to declare spiritual warfare, judgment and death over the culture at large. We are to be the salt and light in the world — and if you don’t like the way the world is heading, get out into the world and be His hands and feet! Battle for these changes on your knees, not wrestling against flesh & blood!

May God bless the gift of prophecy in each and every one of you — so that you “eagerly desire it” — and may He also bless you in the discernment process of what you hear from others.

Signs You Are a Prophet of God 

Have you had experiences that you just cannot share with anyone because they will think that you are…well…weird? Has God been speaking to you and showing you things that will happen? Has God told you that you are called but you have been struggling to make sense of your call?

I would like you to consider the possibility that you may be called to one of the oldest and most noble professions that exist. That’s right! You may be called to be a Prophet. The Bible tells us that Abel was a Prophet. God has always used prophets to speak His word.

Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.  – Amos 3:7

To help you remove any guesstimates and uncertainty your call to this office I have outlined various signs that help you will give you the assurance of your call.

  1. You have an investigative spirit (nature). You are very observant. Things others overlook does not get pass you. Your eyes quickly see it.  
  2. You perceive things before they happen. When it happens it is just a confirmation that what you sensed was correct.  
  3. Experience frequent deja vu. That feeling that you have done this before. Everyone and everything looks familiar to you. You can tell the sequence of events that will happen.  
  4. You are a futurist. Constantly envisioning what will happen in the future. Very often with great accuracy. Others may not be uncertain about the future but you can see the vision for the future. 
  5. You think outside the box. Uncommon thinking is easy for you.  
  6. You hate being limited by tradition and stagnancy.  
  7. You can determine outcomes based on patterns.  
  8. You are sensitive to the feeling of others. It makes you seem overly sensitive.  
  9. You love to help others  
  10. You are grieved by injustice  
  11. You are grieved when people are hurt.  
  12. You hate corruption.  
  13. You are a solution provider. You can easily find solutions to problems that confound others, (see Daniel 5:12)  
  14. You are a worshipper.  
  15. You are saddened when worship is cut short.  
  16. You hate sin.  
  17. You like being alone with God.  
  18. You love the Presence of God.  
  19. You love justice, mercy and truth. (Matthew 23:23; Micah 6:8)  
  20. You are willing to speak up in the face of persecution.  
  21. You forgive easily.  
  22. You are drawn to the supernatural.  
  23. You have the spirit of an overcomer. Although you experience many trials you know that you will triumph over everything. (Jude 3; Proverbs 28:4)  
  24. You are a change agent.  
  25. You know the small still voice of God. Even from an early age.  
  26. You are a dreamer.  
  27. You are an optimist.  
  28. You are attacked regularly by the enemy of your soul, the Devil, either directly or through people.   
  29. You have an unshakable faith in the Word of God.  
  30. You hate seeing people suffer from illness.  
  31. You desire to see God’s glory manifested among the saints and anywhere you go.  
  32. The words you speak come to past.  
  33. You know stuff. No has to tell you everything. You just know how things happened.  
  34. You have unnatural bravery. You are willing to charge into situations that others run from.  
  35. You love to be stretched. You enjoy the process of discovery.  
  36. You have the heart of a servant (Amos 3:7).
  37. You can identify the children of the devil.
  38. You love the demonstration of God’s power (1 Corinthians 2:4).
  39. You are a praying person. You enjoy spending lots of time in the Presence of the Lord and interceding on the behalf of others (Psalm 106:3).
  40. You repair the altars – the places of consecration, glory, prayer and dedication to the Lord (1 Kings 18:30; Psalm 43:4).
  41. You are willing to do what is necessary to stir the atmosphere for the flow of the Holy Spirit, even in dead places.
  42. You are willing to go where God sends you.
  43. You bless when you are persecuted, rejected or abused.
  44. You are a person of tremendous faith.
  45. You expose seducers, seducing spirits and foxes (crafty individuals), hypocrisy and hidden things.
  46. You preach prophetically, just by the leading of the Holy Spirit. You will step out in faith to teach or preach without being told what to say. In the moment, you will simply allow the Holy Spirit to use you. While you are preaching the Lord will reveal the mysteries of His Word and the issues facing your audience is revealed by the Holy Spirit.
  47. You can identify what people are experiencing by the feelings that occur in your body.
  48. The Lord sometimes tells you about the dangers facing someone and commissions you to warn them before it is too late.

If you have gone through the list and have ticked yes to most of the points stated above, there is a very strong possibility that God has called you as His Prophet. It is important to undertake the process to become a Prophet.

It is only when you are operating in the Office of the Prophet that you will experience significant joy, satisfaction and a sense of peace.

Other Signs That You are in Prophetic Training

So you are in this place where you have a passion in your heart, and you see what’s being done to the Church of God and you get frustrated. Sure, you flow in this little gift of prophecy and it is so cool to hear God.

Obviously, the pastor doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is analytical and is always trying to figure things out instead of just moving with the Spirit.

Now, you feel called of God to stand up as God’s prophet for the hour and you have it in mind to walk yourself up to that pastor and give him a “thus saith the Lord.”

You are deceived into thinking that he will say to you, “Welcome! Please come on in. I have been waiting for you. Wow! Thank you! I just needed that correction! I was just sitting here this morning asking the Lord to send me somebody to walk through that door to slap me!”

Prophetic Training – Elijah’s Story

Well, that is a bit how King Ahab felt when Elijah strolled into his throne room one day with such a word. Elijah got the same welcome you did… he had to run for his life. Ahab wanted to kill him.

And you sit there praying, “Lord, where did I miss you? Lord, was that not your word?”

Perhaps so, but we need to work a little bit on your delivery. God also needed to work a little bit on Elijah’s delivery. Although he was a prophet speaking for God, I wonder if he could have not used just a smidge more wisdom.

Every single prophet that has “been there” is nodding in agreement with me right now. The first reality you need to come to, is that maybe you are the one who needs change here!

Here is Elijah, he has this “glory hallelujah” moment, and he is expecting the heavens to open, but has to run for his life instead.

God needed to change him and needed to take him through a series of seasons so that he can be equipped to fulfill a greater task.

Seasons Ahead…

Maybe, when Elijah first started out, he had this great idea, “Well, God has called me to be a prophet to the nations so therefore I am called to go and prophesy to all the kings and tell them what to do. That’s what it is! I am called to go to say, ‘thus saith the Lord,’ to this and that person.”

Being a prophet means becoming a vessel that God can use. It means doing more than walking around and just giving prophetic words.

Later on in this book I will share what the exact end goal looks like for you. Right now, however, I want to share the seasons that God will take you through from the moment that He fully confirms your prophetic calling and releases you into training.

I am sure Elijah had been close with God and knew the Word, but there came a defining moment in his life where he faced Ahab. From then, things started happening in his life – a string of events that set the stage for centuries to come.

It is only at the end of these seasons that we see something being established in his ministry. It’s only after these phases that we see Elisha coming into the picture.

At the end of these seasons, God released him to anoint kings and do what God had really called him to do.

Now wouldn’t you think that if he had it together from the beginning, God would just have immediately sent him to go and anoint the kings, and get a hold of Elisha?

Your Next Season

In the same way, when the Lord calls you, there are some seasons to pass through. We have already spoken at length about the preparation phase of the prophet. I shared that this phase ends when you get a conviction of your calling and you are released into prophetic training.

I am going to pick up from there, and lay out each of these phases very clearly. So if you have received a clear conviction of your calling, and the Lord has released you into training, then get prepared for these seasons ahead.

No matter how many countries I travel to, and how many prophets I meet, those who have reached prophetic office have faced each of these seasons. So identify where you are at and take everything from each season that you can.

Making the Transition

Now up until this point you likely functioned in prophetic ministry. Perhaps you found a nice home church and settled in (as settled as a prophet gets anyway). You were of use and even had a few comfortable moments.

Then something happened. You started getting a stronger conviction of your call. You needed more. You wanted more. The level of maturity you had was not good enough. You felt a drawing from the Lord for more training and to become more than what you were.

This was usually coupled by you making a few mistakes. You upset a few people and did something that messed up the picture completely. Your circumstances start to shift.

Perhaps you are an Elisha prophet and an Elijah calls you to training. Your first thought about rising higher is exciting. You think to yourself, “This is going to be amazing! I am going to be challenged, but I am going to get more anointing! I am going to be the best prophet this church has ever seen.”

It is right after that, that you will face-plant a wall and so… your training truly begins. Welcome to prophetic training! It will be a string of phases and seasons that will shape you into the prophet you are called to be.

Well how else did you think it would happen? If you could function at that level of authority already – you would have no need for “more.” It is because you need that “more” that pressures come on you to bring it out.

Key Principle

Each prophet can identify this “switch” from preparation to training. It is a change from just functioning in the gifts, to having a burning desire for the authority of the prophet.

This is coupled by a sudden shift in circumstances and an increase in pressure.

Feeling the burn? Then press on and let us navigate each phase of training together!

1. Phase 1 – Brook Cherith

What is the first thing that happened to Elijah after his glory moment with our senior pastor?

It says in 1 Kings 17:5-6,

So he went and did according to the word of the LORD [Yahweh]: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan.

And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Where is the crowd now? Where are all the people that are asking for that great prophetic word?

You know, you have this crazy idea… you rise up in the Church and your prophetic ministry starts to flourish. You start seeing yourself doing things for the Lord, and you just can’t wait until you are at that stage where God can use you more.

So, you utter those famous words, “Lord, use me! Lord do anything! I am prepared to pay any price!”

You feel the word of God and you step up to your pastor and then the next thing you know – you find yourself out on the street, hanging out at Brook Cherith.

Elijah didn’t even have a companion at Brook Cherith. He had only ravens for company and water to feed him. The first thing that will happen when God releases you into prophetic training proper, is that He is going to remove you from the circumstances that you have been in.

1. Everything Will Begin To Die Down

He will take you to a quiet place and your ministry is going to die!

 “Oh Lord, can’t you just train me up in the position I am in? Just use it and I can go through the transition and still be the hotshot at church. I can still stand up and prophesy. I can still stand up and do the stuff. Please just do it on the side. Do it in the back room, Lord.

“You know, I can just die quickly before each meeting and then I can still come in and be God’s man for the hour!”

Nope – it didn’t happen that way for Elijah and it won’t happen for you! The first season you will face will be a season of isolation. Take a note of these points that I am sharing here, because they will come to pass.

The first thing is that your ministry will die down. Suddenly doors will shut, people stop calling and you start wondering to yourself, “Lord, did I miss you? I was up on the hill a minute ago and now suddenly… there is nothing!”

You got this fantastic word, “I have called you to be a prophet to the nations. I have called you to set my people free,” and it sounds so wonderful. You are ready to get in there and do the stuff.

2. Isolation

The next thing you know, there you are, all alone, a bunch of stinky birds. Nobody cares or calls. You are out in the middle of nowhere, and you start wondering to if you really heard God.

You wonder if you missed it, and you are not sure what you are doing there! Your first tendency will be to try and scramble back to what you know. You will try to grab onto what you are familiar with. You will try and push it. You will try to join another church or get hold of another ministry. You will try to get a hold of what you are comfortable with.

Do you think it was cozy for Elijah to hang out at Brook Cherith? Out there in the middle of nowhere?

Now personally, I am just not one of those “let’s-go-and-pitch-a-tent” kind of people. My style is more toward the fancy, in-room dining, and poolside service. My husband – he can hike and do tents, but I’m just not like that.

My heart goes out to poor Elijah there. He probably didn’t even have a tent. He was sitting there all by himself. He didn’t even have anybody to complain to. He didn’t even have a wife to nag him… poor man.

3. Silence

However, it is only when you are taken out of everything that the distractions are removed. You cannot hear the voice of God, and hear what He truly has for you when there are so many distractions in your life that are coming in the way.

The reason why He can’t raise you up in your current circumstance is because if you have ever been in ministry, you know that the one thing that you don’t have – is peace and quiet! There is never a quiet moment in the middle of ministry.

There is always somebody wanting a word or needing you for something.

So you squeeze God in when you can. God reverses the order though in this very first season of training and this is indeed the foundation of the training you will go through.

If you don’t go through this season, you won’t pass on to the others and you won’t rise up to prophetic office.

You will never be sure of the voice of God in your life. You will always doubt and wonder. You will always hope you heard God, because you cannot be sure of yourself. You will continually be dependent on others to hear from God. That is why God removes the distractions.

God is Calling you to Cherith: The first thing He does is take away all the noise – all the ministry opportunities. Suddenly you just don’t feel led to go to church. It’s not like you have a problem with the people, but it’s just that you are drawn into the presence of the Lord.

Maybe you still hang around people for fellowship, but somehow you just feel to tone things down a little and to step aside a bit. You are not sure why. God is calling you to Cherith.

The call to the brook comes from deep within. The dramatic start to your training might have begun with a conflict and “Ahab” chasing you out, but the call to Cherith is a sweet still voice within.

4. Death to Your Ministry Ambition

It is a place to be silent. This is a time where God will remove from you, the ambition of ministry. I often say to people that God needs to take away the need to minister.

You say, “Well, I don’t have a need to minister!”

Okay… then let me take away all your ministry opportunities and then let us have that conversation again. It is very easy to be bold while you are in ministry. It’s very easy to know who and what you are while you are pouring out.

What if you lost it all right now though? What if nobody looked up to you? What if nobody wanted to hear your prophetic words and nobody was interested in what you said? What if nobody cared and you were alone in the middle of nowhere in a room with four walls – would you still be a prophet?

Key Principle

Would you still be content with nothing but Jesus? Or does your ministry fill a need in you that only the Holy Spirit should be meeting?

 Here is some truth – you won’t know that until it’s taken away. You are saying, “Lord, come to me in this time where I am busy and reveal yourself to me, within my situation.”

He says, “If I could have revealed myself in this situation, I would have already! But the situation you are in is blocking my voice.

“I can’t reveal myself in this, so I have to take you out of it so that you can hear me in a way that you have never heard me before. If you could hear me here, you would hear me here, but you can’t… so move!”

5. Face-To-Face With Jesus

It is one of the most life-changing seasons you will ever experience because it is here in this quiet place, that you come face-to-face with Jesus. This is the foundation of your prophetic call.

Without this, you haven’t even begun the first step in your prophetic walk. You haven’t begun to understand what the prophetic purpose is, and you haven’t begun to fulfill even an iota of it. A main focus of the prophet, is to reveal Jesus to His people.

Just because people are born again, doesn’t mean that they know their Savior. Consider any of your relationships – the good ones have taken some investment. If you are married and have a family, you know that relationships don’t just “happen.” Not in the natural, and not in the spiritual either.

Although you may know the person and be familiar with them, it takes a season of really getting close, to truly know them. In a marriage relationship, this is even truer.

A Relationship Takes Time to Build: When I first got married, I thought I knew my husband. However it was only when we were married for 17 years that I could say with confidence, “Now I know my husband!” It seems that each year we are together, I get to know him a little bit more. Now, if this is true with someone that I can touch and see, how much more with the Lord Jesus?

With so much emphasis being put on the gifts of the Spirit, we have quickly bypassed the relationship aspect of our call. Without a relationship with Jesus, the gifts of the Spirit are meaningless.

It would be like me driving around in a Mercedes my husband bought me, wearing the big diamond ring my husband also bought me, but not having an intimate love relationship with him.

What’s the Point of It All? I can have all the goods, but if I don’t have a relationship, what’s the point of being married? We have trained the body of Christ to prophesy and flow in the gifts of the Spirit… they got the diamond ring and all the treasures. I ask you though, without a relationship with Jesus, what is the point of it all?

What if God took all those things from you? Say you lost the ability to prophesy right now. Say you lost the ability to hear the voice of God and all the financial and spiritual blessings that you sought Him for. Would you still know your Jesus?

Would you still follow His tender voice? Would you still know when He was calling you aside and whispering in your ear? Without all the things that satisfy your flesh, would you still know when He was telling you how He feels about you… would you still be able to feel His heart and His passion for the Church?

Could you receive the Lord for His name’s sake and not for the blessings He offers?

Would you be able to smell that sweet fragrance when He calls you into the bridal chamber?

This is the core of what this season is about. You need to know Jesus intimately, not just as your savior, but as your groom.

6. Discovering Your Secret Place

You came to know Him as your savior when you got born again, and He was there to meet your need. He healed you, and He turned your life upside down. That is fantastic, but the kind of relationship He wants with you now, will fill you up so much more on the inside.

When I went through this season in my prophetic training, you could put me in a room with four walls and nothing else and I didn’t care. I was so content and at peace with just being with Him. By feeling Him there, I didn’t care if the world around me fell apart.

During this time the Lord showed me a picture of a cave hidden behind a waterfall. He pointed to the cave and beckoned me to come inside.

A Place to Hide

He said to me, “You will have to leave the outside and leave everything there and come into the secret place where no one can see you. Where you can’t take hold of anything but me!”

It got to a point where I was just so content to just stay there. That’s when He said to me, “The purpose is not just for you to stay here, but to come and become so saturated, that when you go out, you take Me with you!”

What are we called to do as leaders? It is to represent Christ to the Church. Have you noticed that after a couple has been married for a few years, they start to talk the same way? Sometimes they even start to look alike… one starts a sentence and the other finishes it. You see them as one.

Well, that’s what the Lord wants with you. It’s not enough to know His Word – you have got to live His Word. It’s not good enough to just prophesy, you have to feel Him in every fiber of your being. You have to become that prophetic word. You have to become Christ.

Aiming for Perfection

The Word says, that when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part is done away with (1 Corinthians 13:10).

The gifts of the Spirit are amazing. Hearing God through dreams and visions, and prophetic words are some of the best perks of being a prophet. However let’s not make ourselves dependent on these things.

Let our dependence be in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Let Him be our foundation instead of our abilities and our works. Let His finished work on Calvary be our boast.

When that is our boast, we are conformed to the image of Christ. Now how can you stand up and preach to the people of God and say, “You need to be conformed to the image of Christ and not be conformed to the traditions of the world,” when you don’t even know the voice of your loving Savior?

7. Know Him to Become Him

The only way to become Him, is to know Him. It’s to have a face-to-face relationship with Him. When you know Jesus in this way, you see the world with new eyes. You see His people with new eyes, because you are not seeing them through your own misconceptions anymore.

You are now seeing them as Jesus sees them. You don’t even need to ask the Lord anymore, because you just see them as He sees them. You have become Christ. He begins to live His life through you. Is that not what sanctification is all about?

Key Principle

What is the purpose of the death? What is the purpose of the travail? Is it not to give birth and be transformed into the image of Christ?

 Are you not meant to be a light in the world and a city on a hill, the salt and flavor of the world?

How do you think you will achieve all that? Do you think one day somebody is just going to come to you and say, “Have some salt here. Become a city set on a hill there.”

No! I don’t discover intimacy with anybody just overnight. The longer I get to know someone the closer I get to them, and the more we receive from each other. If this is true of our natural relationships, how much more with God?

Don’t Rush This Season

We are so busy doing the business of serving God that we forgot that this begins and ends with relationship, and not with semantics.

That is why even before the deaths and the stripping begin, God will call you aside into this season of silence.

If you skip this season, you are not going to make it the rest of the way. Trust me, the next season will be knocking on your door soon enough. If you don’t have the stability of your relationship with Jesus, you won’t make it.

When we face hard times in our lives, it is the people we love that get us through. It is those that are close to us that give us the strength to carry on. Jesus is calling you into such a relationship.

If God is calling you to be a prophet, this is the first step towards your calling. So then when you face the travail and those hard times, you know you are not facing them alone. You are facing them with, through, and in Jesus.

This brings such a peace. Although it may sometimes hurt, it brings a peace. If you have been going through death after death, struggle after struggle, and thing after thing happens to you and you are feeling confused and frustrated, you need to go back to Brook Cherith.

You need to go back to season 1 and enter into the peace of the Lord. You know what the best way we can teach the body of Christ to discern spirits and to know what is of God and what is not is? It is simply to introduce them to Jesus and to help them to develop a relationship with Him.

Relationship Revolution up Ahead

Many of you have had difficult marriages, or difficult relationships. I daresay that nearly everyone reading this has faced a time in their lives when they wanted to give up. You have been in a place where it’s just hard and you just want to walk away.

At times it is also possible that things just become dry. Then, there are those who even in the middle of all of that, come to a place of falling in love all over again. This is where the Lord will take a marriage and He will cause that couple to fall in love all over again. They will then start from the beginning.

That is exactly what the Lord is calling you to right now. You have been walking a hard road. You have been pushing through, but you have forgotten your first love.

Do you remember how saturated you were when you first got born again? Do you remember the peace and the truth that just flooded you? The butterflies and excitement in your stomach? The hopes and ambitions? That passion doesn’t have to stop!

Can you feel the Call?

Jesus is calling you to that again – to fall in love with Him so that you get butterflies in your stomach when you think about Him. When you tear up just when you consider who He is to you!

Do you want to be a testimony? Do you want to fulfill your destiny in the Church? You could just stay in this phase and you would be accomplishing more than I see the Church experiencing right now through the prophetic ministry.

You would be the face of Jesus and the Church needs to see that – not yours. They don’t need to pay $1000 for a prophetic word – they just need the face of Jesus!

They need to know He is there and what He looks like – they need to hear what He sounds like and that will come from you, out of your mouth.

So you better make sure that when you stand up that you are speaking Jesus, showing Jesus, and not your own agenda.

That is why training begins with this season. He doesn’t just start with the stripping and the smacking. He starts by calling you into the secret place and filling you up on the inside, and bringing you to a place of romance and intimacy.

It is a honeymoon. At first though, you may not be so happy. You had your whole ministry going for you. You had a whole plan for the next five years, had it all together and then next thing you know, you are all on your own. You are frustrated and you yell at God.

The Lord says, “Would you just sit down, and come into my secret place?”

When you finally settle down and embrace this season, you will say, “Lord, what took me so long?”

You know why? You think you have to keep running. You think you have to keep doing. You think that if you are going to fulfill the call of God, you better start ministering and keep prophesying.

Then you wonder why you are running dry? What you are doing should stem from a place of rest in His intimate presence.

It’s only when you get through this season of peace and of really coming to know Him that the next season of training will begin.

Clear Signs Of Cherith:

  1. Ministry doors close
  2. You find yourself isolated from ministry, friends and family
  3. Your desire for ministry fades
  4. You enter into a face-to-face relationship with Jesus
  5. You experience your own “secret place” with the Lord

Peaks and Valleys You’ll Experience in Prophetic Ministry

As you compare scriptural examples as well as contemporary life experiences, you find a variety of times, ways and styles that people have been called into prophetic (or any other) ministry. Some seem to be “born with a gift.” Others are “born again with a gift” or “baptized in the Spirit with a gift.” Still other callings are gradual and emerge later in life even though the person was sovereignly called before they were ever born.

Samuel was called as a child (1 Sam. 3:1-15). Elisha’s call came when he was a man plowing a field (1 Kings 19:19-21). Amos’ call to prophesy came while he was a herdsman and grower of figs (Amos 1:1, 7:12-14). John Baptist’s call came in the womb (Luke 1:41). The following are a few clips from my personal journey of receiving and following after His call upon my life.

In my pilgrimage, I was set apart unto the Lord by the prayers of my mother before I was ever born. As I grew up, Jesus was my best friend and close companion! But it was not until I met the Jesus People in the early ’70s and was introduced into the baptism of the Holy Spirit that I began to operate in the vocal gifts. In fact, before I ever was released into the wonderful gift of speaking in tongues, I prophesied—though I did not even know what the gift was at the time. The visionary side of the prophetic broke forth also, as mental snapshots would invade my mind. But back then, I didn’t know that these were actually visions.

I spent much time in prayer, worship, community and sitting under anointed teaching. But I could not find a prophetic mentor. Nevertheless, for the next 10 years (1973–1983) I cried out to the Lord for the “School of the Prophets” to come forth. Eventually I came across the books Elijah Task and Interpreting Symbols and Types and they, alongside my New American Standard Bible, became my mentors and constant companions.

Those days were filled with abounding zeal, passion for God, and a hunger to impact people through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and an unquenchable thirst for His unfolding destiny in my life.

Peaks and Valleys—the School of Hard Knocks

For many of us, Elijah is a prophet we connect with in a special way. He had great mountain top experiences but he also had some serious valleys he walked through. After a great victory on Mount Carmel where a 3 1/2-year drought ended, he then went and hid in a cave in fear of Jezebel.

Some of us, like Elijah, also have had our share of peaks and valleys in the life of a prophet. I have had my share of lessons learned in the School of Hard Knocks like the necessity of mercy, what to share with whom and when to keep your mouth closed. The following (from a humorous yet truthful side) exhibit some of the pits and pinnacles in the pathway of becoming.

The Pits or the Valleys

1. People treat you like you’re special.

2. People no longer treat you like you’re special.

3. You are treated like you are a jukebox machine or a wind-up toy.

4. You’re not prepared, and you’re “called up front” in a meeting.

5. You think you are ready, and nothing comes to you.

6. You are read, and others don’t want it, like it or respond to it.

7. You are ready, and you aren’t called on.

8. You make messes for yourself and others to clean up.

9. There are so many parameters put in place that you’re afraid to do anything.

10. You’re too afraid to risk your reputation.

11. You’ve exaggerated a word and everyone knows it!

12. You’ve exaggerated a word and no one knows it except you and God.

13. Your gift exceeds your character!

The Peaks or the Pinnacles.

1. When it really works!

2. When character and gifting match up.

3. You learn from past mistakes and failures.

4. Denial is turned into correct identity.

5. The prophetic spirit is imparted to others.

6. You embrace the pits, kiss the cross of Jesus and you are changed.

7. A heart of mercy and penetrating truth is joined together.

8. You step aside long enough for Jesus to be seen.

9. When the lost are impacted and Jesus is glorified.

The Quest Continues—Moving on Out!

There can be many excruciating lessons in our journey of becoming all that He desires. God doesn’t want us to give a message only—He wants us to become a living word. Because a person gifted in the revelatory is often extra-sensitive, the area of character development must be given special attention. But eventually the cross of Christ will become the love of any truly prophetic person.

I have been through many seasons of hurt, misunderstanding and deep anger. But the Lord has redemptively used it all to cultivate a deeper place of mercy within, a genuine love for His body and a high value of releasing the power of blessing to others. The power of forgiveness and displaying honor are both keys that will keep you moving forward. But never lose your desire for “More Lord!” Always be a person of passionate pursuit of the will and ways of God.

The prophetic person must learn to overcome fears and failures of the past. These old fears will influence you less and less as you mature. Seek cleansing and release of fear from past hurts; fear from past deceptions, fear from past defilements; fear from past sins; and fear from past control of men. Keep on keeping on. Walk in the light! Don’t quit. Continue! Press on to the upward call in Christ Jesus!

In life and ministry there can be many progressive times of release and various types of commissioning. We are called, and we continue to be called. We are trained, and we continue to be trained. We are “sent out” and we are brought back again to be re-trained, re-tooled, and re-envisioned so that we can be re-commissioned with fresh purpose and power all over again. Always give the glory to the Lord and continue in your quest!

Casting the Mantle: The Power of Multiplication

A year ago, I was given a dream where I walked into an office that had been vacated for some time. Dust had accumulated on the top of the desk. I took my finger and wiped the dust off the desk. I asked the Lord, “What is the name of this office?” He spoke to me, “This is the room of mentoring. It has been vacated for a long time and it holds the key to the multiplication anointing.”

After 30 years of full time ministry, I am captured with the desire and the need to multiply my life and ministry into the lives of others. It is time for a new generation of fathers and mothers in the prophetic to arise and pour their lives into others. It is time to “cast the mantle.” This should be the goal for all of us as authentic Christians.

Elijah cast the mantle and anointed three in his place—Jehu, Hazael and Elisha (1 Kin. 19:15, 2 Kin. 2:12). Jesus trained the twelve (Luke 10:1-17). Paul mentored many but especially fathered Timothy (1 Tim. 4:14, 2 Tim. 2:6). I too have been graced to have various mentors at different times in my life—each for different purposes.

I have been taught by teachers; received a spirit of supplication while praying with intercessors; empowered by the Holy Spirit when ministering with healing evangelists; received revelation by hanging out with prophets and seers; learned to love the church by strategizing with apostles. On and on it goes. But it is time to continue.

Understanding the Prophetic Deliverance

I get asked all the time, “What is a prophetic deliverance pastor?” and “What does prophetic deliverance mean?” First of all, many hear the term “deliverance” and think of someone yelling forcefully, “come out ye evil spirits! I bind you and I cast you out!”

But I’m a firm believer that deliverance is as simple as exchanging a lie for a truth. The enemy is able to feed on strongholds, which are created when we partner with a lie. It’s the reason we go under demonic attack, have anxiety, or are constantly rejected–there’s usually a lie that we partnered with.

Identifying Strongholds

Many think inner healing is only needed after trauma. Yes, strongholds can come from trauma, but sometimes a stronghold is as simple as a little kid missing a goal at soccer and having a melt down, “I’m not good enough; I suck!” If he truly believes “I’m not good enough,” he’s going to partner with that lie.

This lie leaks into everything he goes after in life: everything at school, every friendship, every relationship, every tryout–everything is going to filter through the lie he partnered with. This lie leads people to feeling like they have something to prove and have to work harder to be better.

When people don’t understand what a stronghold is, they stay under its influence instead of stepping into freedom. One of the biggest things I teach people is, even if it’s your truth, even if it’s what you experience, even if it’s what your parents taught you, even if it’s what’s been spoken over you—if it’s not God’s plan for you than it’s a lie. It’s an absolute lie!

Even if it’s what you’ve believed about yourself for years, if it’s not God’s truth, it’s a lie. Any lie you’ve partnered with becomes a stronghold which allows the enemy to come in and bring you fear, anxiety, and keep you isolated.

Prophetic Deliverance

Prophetic deliverance cuts to the root of where the lies began and the direct partnership was started. The way God works in prophetic deliverance is combing a gifting as a prophet and seer. Thus, I see where the direct partnerships with lies were made. For example, I’ll get visions, pictures, and even know ages of when partnerships occurred. I see very specific things to help people quickly get to the root.

I’m a firm believer that to get healing and move forward you shouldn’t need to take years dissecting your past. Instead, when you invite Jesus in and you let Him go to very strategic moments when a partnership was made, you break that and allow His perfect love and His perfect peace in to bring healing and transformation.

What I see happen time and again is all the negative behaviors you have—self protection, not reaching out because you don’t want to be rejected, insecurities, or anxieties—all those behaviors fall off on their own. I would say 99.99% of all demons and the enemy’s tactics are rooted in fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love,” (1 John 4:18 NIV).

Stepping Into Freedom

Stepping into freedom is as simple as receiving His love to drive out the fear. If you’re ready to step into freedom, avoid getting caught up in dissecting every demon, blaming everything on spirits, and spending years fixing just the symptoms. Instead, turn and find out the truth of what God is saying. When you can make that truth so much louder than any lie, then the lies fall off on their own. Deliverance is that simple!

It’s not about just getting free from demons, but stepping into the fullness of God and His love. God never meant for you to just survive and be without fear. He meant for you to live in fullness, believing in all of His truth. If God says you are powerful, amazing, loved, and chosen, then you should never feel anything less than that! And if you do, that means there’s something not in alignment.