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The Ministry of a Prophet
by Segun Olumide
11/03/2014 / Prophecy
With Prophetess Tosin Olumide
Ministry Gift Series
SPECIAL! SPECIAL! SPECIAL!
A MUST READING/VIEW
(Google the following free of charge on the Internet and God will change your life forever.)
1. Holiness Required For Heaven by Carillo from Bolivia
2. Eternal Destinations: Godly Attire and Adornment
3. Another Warning by Kingsley Ubani
4. Time Is Over : Run For Your Life by Kingsley Ubani
5. 9 Testimonies on Tithing from Heaven and Hell Visions
6. The Dangers of Eating Gods Tithes and Offerings
7. The Visitation of Jesus to Samuel Oghenetega
(Crosscheck these testimonies with the Scriptures and if you have questions you may send us an email.)
Table of Contents
1. The Meaning of a Prophet.
2. The Signs of a Prophet ..
3. Ten Vital Things You Should Know about the Ministry of a Prophet ..
4. Ten Wrong Notions about the Ministry of a Prophet .
5. Executing the Ministry of a Prophet Effectively ..
6. Interpretation of Visions and Dreams .
7. Warning for Prophets .
8. Woe unto the Prophets of Mammon
9. Seven Differences between Old and New Testament Prophets ..
10. The Office of a Prophet
11. The Foundation of My Prophetic Ministry by Tosin Olumide
12. A Prophetic Message to the Nation ..
THE MEANING OF A PROPHET
The word prophet has three different meanings in Hebrew. The first meaning has to do with the Hebrew word nabi which means one whose utterances burst forth or bubble out spontaneously, like a fountain.
The second one is derived from the Hebrew word roeh and the third one from the Hebrew word chozeh which both mean a seer or one who has inspired visions, but with a little difference in their meanings.
1 Chronicles 29:29 is one of the best Scriptures that explain these three Hebrew words.
It reads, Samuel the seer Nathan the prophet Gad the seer.
First, the Hebrew word used for seer in connection with Samuel is roeh which basically connotes one who receives information or instructions supernaturally by seeing them in an open vision. One who sees visions with his physical eyes wide open.
Second, the Hebrew word used for prophet with respect to Nathan here is nabiy which indicates someone who is a mouthpiece or spokesperson of another. One who speaks forth the mind of another person.
Third, chozeh is the Hebrew word for seer used in conjunction with Gad in this Scripture, and it means one who sees visions,[mostly] not with his physical eyes but with his spiritual eyes.
So we can write this above Scripture as, Samuel the open visionary Nathan the prophesier Gad the spiritual visionary [see also Is 30:10, Hos 12:10].
In other words, the Bible speaks of a nabi prophet (or simply a prophesier), a roeh prophet (an open visionary) and a chozeh prophet (a spiritual visionary).
There are three types of supernatural conscious vision, namely:
i. Open vision (received with your natural eyes open)
ii. Spiritual vision (received with your spiritual eyes open while your natural eyes may be closed)
iii. Trance (received when it seems you are asleep though awake)
The only type of supernatural unconscious vision the Bible points us to is night vision or dream.
[Also our natural sight is called natural vision; our imagination referred to as mental vision; and ones purpose or plan in life known as lifes vision.]
You see, Old Testament characters like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Moses, Daniel, Zechariah and so on seemed to be seers while figures such as Jeremiah, David, Joshua and the like appeared to be prophesiers.
A seer has more of visions and dreams of all kinds and of course some degree of prophesying (both simple and complex manifestation of the gift of prophecy), while a prophesier has more of simple and complex prophesying with a little occurrence of visions.
For example, prophets like Kenneth E. Hagin, Marion William Braham, Paul Cain, Tunde Bakare, Rick Joyner, Bob Jones, and Timothy O. Obadare, among others exemplify the seer while Bill Hamon, David Schoch, Emmanuel Cannistraci, and so on typify the nabi prophet (prophesier).
Bill Hamon threw more light on it when he wrote:
I am a Nabi prophet; when I prophesy to numerous people one right after the other, I do not minister by vision, dreams or other knowledge previously received. Instead, I receive the words directly from my divinely enabled spirit just as I do when I speak in tongues (1 Cor 14:14, 15).
I see the thoughts about to be expressed in words only micro-seconds before they are spoken − just enough time to decide whether I have faith to speak it, whether I am using the proper phrasing, and whether it would be wise to speak what I am perceiving (1 Cor 14:32; Rom 12:6).
Personally, I rarely receive much revelation knowledge about a person before I lay hands on that person and begin to prophesy. My natural mind has no way of knowing whether or not the things being prophesied are accurate.
I have envied prophets like William Braham, Kenneth Hagin and more recently, Paul Cain, who have received their prophetic information in a vivid dream or vision, or from an angel.
But in their case as in mine, faith is necessary: They must have faith to repeat what they have seen or heard, while I must have faith to open my mouth moment by moment and minister out of the Holy Spirits gifting.
I have even fasted and prayed, begging God to give me more visions, dreams and divine facts in the natural understanding. But He has continually told me that He has not called me to function as that type of prophet.
Instead, He has called me to be a prophet that will function in the way that enables people to be taught, activated, trained and matured in their divinely-ordained ministry. 1
THE SIGNS OF A PROPHET
1. HE HAS THE SIMPLE GIFT OF PROPHECY MANIFESTING ON A CONTINUED BASIS.
Prophecy is one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is a divinely inspired utterance or speech (not in an unknown tongue) but in a known tongue or language.
1 Cor 14:3 reads:
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation and comfort.
You see, this simple gift of prophecy is mainly to edify (build up), exhort (draw near to God) and comfort others. It usually does not foretell or predict future events. Rather its full of rhema that will strengthen, encourage and comfort ones spirit.
A true prophet must have the manifestation of the Spirit in the area of prophecy on a continued basis. He is inspired by God to speak His Mind in a known tongue so that others can be built up, drawn near to God and comforted!
Not everyone who prophesies, however, is a prophet! The Bible speaks of Philips four daughters who prophesied. Does that mean they were prophetesses? No, a million times no! (see Acts 21:9).
Actually any believer can prophesy as the Spirit wills but not every believer is a prophet (see 1 Cor.12:29, 1 Cor. 14:24).
Even a prophet cant prophesy at will. He cant operate it like an engine which one turns on and off as one wishes. This gift of prophecy comes into manifestation as the Spirit wills. After all, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit − manifestation of the Spirit!
Or is it a gift or manifestation of any man or woman? Thank God we dont have to operate it but the Spirit operates it through us as he wishes or desires (see 1 Cor. 12:4, 7, 11).
2. HE ALSO HAS ANY TWO OF THE SEEING OR 'HEARING' GIFTS MANIFESTING ON A CONTINUED BASIS.
On one occasion, the Lord appeared to Kenneth E. Hagin and told him that a New Testament prophet should have the gift of prophecy as well as two of the three 'seeing' or 'hearing' gifts (that is, any two of these: word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits) operating consistently in his life.
Hosea 12:10 reads:
I have also spoken by the prophets and I have multiplied VISIONS, and used SIMILITUDES, BY THE MINISTRY OF THE PROPHETS.
It can be inferred from the scripture above that a prophet has visions [inspired pictures] and revelations [similitudes].
Paul moved in the prophetic ministry as an apostle because all true apostles can move in the other four of the five-fold ministry offices as the Spirit leads.
So he wrote, I will come to VISIONS and REVELATIONS of the Lord (2 Cor 12:1).
The Greek word translated revelations here is apokalupsis which means uncovering, unveiling or disclosing the hidden knowledge of God by God to His people, because it cannot be known in any other way but by Gods help.
Dr Vine summarized it thus: (It) depicts the progressive and immediate unveiling of the otherwise unknown and unknowable God to His church.
Some prophets have more visions and fewer revelations while some others have more revelations and fewer visions.
Visions are seeings (or pictures) while revelations are sayings (or words). So visions are pictures you see, but revelations are words you hear!
I love the way the NIV puts Hosea 12:10, I spoke to the prophets, gave them any VISIONS and told PARABLES through them.
What are prophetic parables? They are inspired sayings or revelations. [Please see the prophetic parable and prophecy of Nathan used to rebuke David after he had killed Uriah and taken his wife in 2 Samuel 12:1-14.]
The word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits usually come in a vision form. They also come in form of words or voices.
The word of knowledge is a supernatural insight about people and their present or past activities or experiences, while the word of wisdom is a supernatural insight using 'objects' like plants, animals, numbers,, and so on to bring about coded messages with hidden meanings about future events or happenings (see Dan 7-8, Zechariah 4-5).
I have dealt with how to interpret some coded messages with hidden meanings in visions and dreams in a later chapter.
Furthermore, the discerning of spirits is a supernatural insight into the spirit realm. Hence it may involve seeing Gods Spirit, angels (for they are ministering spirits − Hebrews 1:14), Satan and his demons, human spirits, and so on.
3. HE HAS COMPLEX GIFT OF PROPHECY − THE WORD OF THE LORD.
1 Sam 3:7, 20-21 reads:
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was THE WORD OF THE LORD yet revealed unto him
And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that SAMUEL WAS ESTABLISHED TO BE A PROPHET OF THE LORD.
And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by THE WORD OF THE LORD.
Just as there is a simple gift of prophecy, so is there a complex gift of it. That complex gift is a distinguishing hallmark borne by Gods prophets.
This complex gift of prophecy is the word of the LORD as shown in the Scripture above. Thats why the prophets would say: And THE WORD OF THE LORD came to me saying
Remember that the word of the LORD (or of God) came to John the Baptist in the wilderness and he became a prophetic crying voice right in the wilderness. He was an inspired preacher (see Luke 3:2-6, 7-8).
This complex gift can foretell future events or give exact and detailed revelations about people or things. It transcends the simple gift (of prophecy) which basically edifies, exhorts and comforts.
So it is revelatory in nature. In other words, while the simple gift of prophecy is forth telling in nature, the complex gift is foretelling in nature.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul began with the simple gift and wound up with the complex gift − which is a mark of a prophet.
Prophets can reveal the past, present or future by the word of the LORD through the Spirit of God (see 1 Cor. 14:1-6, 29-33).
4. HE BRINGS DIVINE DIRECTION TO PEOPLE (ESPECIALLY GODS PEOPLE) INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY.
The mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been REVEALED by the Spirit to Gods Holy APOSTLES AND PROPHETS (Eph 3:4-5, NIV).
Surely the sovereign LORD does nothing without REVEALING his plan to his servants THE PROPHETS (Amos 3:7, NIV).
Prophets generally have revelations and visions as already explained. A prophet can receive revelations and see visions. In other words, God speaks revelations to him or through him, but shows him visions.
We see from these scriptures above and many others that God can bring direction to the saints and the sinners through the prophetic ministry. God reveals His mind to prophets and they reveal it to individuals or groups as God leads them.
But some may say, A prophet should not give divine direction to people, especially saints in the New Testament. That is not scriptural.
Barnabas and Saul were separated (commissioned unto the Gospel) through the ministry of one or more prophets (see Acts 13:1-3).
Agabus, a prophet in the Early Church directed the saints away from being overwhelmed by a severe famine. He did not direct them away from the famine itself but from its devastating effect! His prophecy got them prepared for it so much so that they even sent relief to their brethren in Judea (see Acts 11:27-30).
Sometimes, a preventive prophecy can help to avert famine, death, drought, war, accident, earthquake, and so on if we would repent of our sins, obey God and pray fervently!
Much later the same Agabus directed Paul to prepare himself for the oppositions awaiting him in Jerusalem. Neither Agabus nor JESUS told Paul not to go Jerusalem (see Acts 21:10-15, Acts 23:11).
A careful study of the books of the New Testament reveals that we are neither to seek prophets nor worship them for prophecies or guidance. We are to seek and worship God and be led by His Spirit (see Rom 8:14).
As we seek and worship Him individually and collectively, however, His mind is made known to us.
I believe each believer needs to spend enough time seeking and worshipping God in private, and then we can receive guidance from him as individuals.
More than that, one of the great needs in the Church world today is worship or praise meeting where the saints can seek and worship or praise God together, and then expect Him to minister to them especially via prophets by the Spirit of prophecy (Acts 13:1-4, Revelation 19:10).
We also need prophetic meetings in which prophets are ministering with genuine prophetic anointing to perfect [that is, mature] the saints, prepare and release them for their work of ministry and to edify [that is, build up] the body of Christ, not to defraud them of their money or what money can buy (see Eph 4:11-12, 16).
5. HE BRINGS DIVINE TIMELY WARNING TOWARDS REPENTANCE TO PEOPLE (ESPECIALLY GODS PEOPLE) INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY.
Whenever Israel went astray, God usually sent one or more prophets to bring divine timely warning towards repentance to them.
Jonah was sent to call the whole city of Nineveh to repentance, Isaiah and Jeremiah called nations to repentance. Jesus and John, his forerunner, came preaching REPENT (have a change of mind and lifestyle) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (see Mt 3:1-2, Mt 4:17).
Interestingly, when Jesus appeared to John the Beloved, on the Island of Patmos, He sent him to the leaders of the seven churches in Asia. He asked him to warn five out of the seven churches with the word 'REPENT' (see Rev 2:4-5, Rev 2:14-16, Rev 2:20-22, Rev 3:1-3, Rev 3:15-20).
Unfortunately, many of the so-called prophets nowadays would hardly mention the word repent. Some of them wrongly believe they are sent to prophesy money into and out of others pockets.
Sad to say, today, people dont need to grieve for their sins any more. Repentance is now an old school message. People are now being deceived into prosperity without Gods eternal purpose in view! I believe God wants His people to be prosperous, in their spirit, soul and body but when we seek first prosperity, rather than seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness expecting God to add other things to us, there is deception (see Mt 6:31-33, Deut 28:1-2).
I remember meeting a prophet who told me what was on my mind. I was shocked because he told me a deep thing about myself which I hardly shared with others. It was a challenge Id been facing for years.
So I was moved that I sowed some money into his life. Many days later, he rang me up on phone and I went to see him; but to my amazement, he wanted to make some money out of me. He should have told me he needed money but he cunningly asked me to do something that would involve money. It was very urgent and difficult! He put pressure on me!
God warned us through Paul, AND DONT GIVE RELUCTANTLY OR IN RESPONSE TO PRESSURE. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully (2Cor 9:7b, NLT).
I left him that day without giving him the money and of course, that was the end of our relationship. Beware of charlatans. Choose the people you associate with because sooner or later their good or bad influence rubs off on you.
1Cor 15:33 (NLT) reads, Dont be fooled by those who say such things, FOR BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD CHARACTER.
The Gospel is not a means to make money, but to make people who and what God had predestined them to be from the foundation of the world so that their lives could be meaningful now in this world and more importantly in eternity!
A PROPHETS EMPHASIS IS A CALL TO REPENTANCE
Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through ALL THE PROPHETS AND ALL THE SEERS, saying, TURN FROM YOUR EVIL WAYS AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS AND MY STATUTES, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers and which I sent to you by MY SERVANTS THE PROPHETS (2 Kings 17:13, AMP).
He said to the LORD, Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You, the Lord, are God, AND HAVE TURNED THEIR HEARTS BACK [TO YOU] (1 Kings 18:37, AMP).
Thus saith the LORD, I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: RETURN UNTO ME; for I have redeemed thee (Is 44:22).
Thus saith the LORD, RETURN, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings (Jer 3:22).
Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; REPENT, and TURN YOURSELF from your idols and TURN AWAY your faces from all your abominations (Ezek 14:6).
Daniel said to the LORD, Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favour of the LORD our God by TURNING FROM OUR SINS AND GIVING ATTENTION TO YOUR TRUTH (Dan 9:13, NIV).
He prophesied, So now COME BACK TO YOUR GOD. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him (Hos 12:6, NLT).
Therefore also now saith the LORD, TURN YE EVEN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
AND REND YOUR HEART, and not your garments, and TURN UNTO THE LORD YOUR GOD: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil (Joel 2:12-13).
Now this is what the LORD says to the family of Israel: COME BACK TO ME AND LIVE (Amos 5:4, NLT).
And the word [of the LORD through Jonah] came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh saying LET MAN AND BEAST BE COVERED WITH SACKCLOTH AND CRY MIGHTILY UNTO GOD. YEA, LET THEM TURN EVERY ONE FROM HIS EVIL WAY, AND FROM THE VIOLENCE THAT IS IN THEIR HANDS (Jonah 3:6-8).
Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; TURN YE UNTO ME, saith the LORD of hosts, and I WILL TURN UNTO YOU, saith the LORD of hosts.
Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; TURN YE NOW FROM YOUR EVIL WAYS, AND FROM YOUR EVIL DOINGS: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD (Zech 1:3-4).
RETURN TO ME, AND I WILL RETURN TO YOU, says the LORD Almighty (Mal 3:7, NIV).
JOHN, THE BAPTIST
He came preaching, REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is near (Mat 3:2, NIV).
From that time on Jesus began to preach, REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is near (Mat 4:17, NIV).
JUDAS AND SILAS
And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, EXHORTED [Greek: parakaleo, which means CALLED NEAR (TO GOD); CALLED TO THE SIDE (OF GOD); DREW NEAR TO (GOD)] the brethren with many words, and confirmed them (Acts 15:32).
JOHN, THE PROPHETIC APOSTLE
TO THE CHURCH LEADER IN EPHESUS
The Lord said, Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! REPENT and do the things you did at first. If you do not REPENT, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place (Rev 2:4-5, NIV).
TO THE CHURCH LEADER IN PERGAMUM
The Lord said, REPENT therefore! Otherwise, I will come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth (Rev 2:16, NIV).
TO THE CHURCH LEADER IN THYATIRA
The Lord said, I have given her [self-acclaimed Prophet Jezebel] time to REPENT of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they REPENT of her ways (Rev 2:21-22, NIV).
TO THE CHURCH LEADER IN SARDIS
The Lord said, Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. REPENT AND TURN TO ME AGAIN. If you dont wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief (Rev 3:3, NLT).
TO THE CHURCH LEADER IN LAODICEA
The Lord said, Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and REPENT (Rev 3:19, NIV).
6. HE PREACHES WITH A CONTINUED DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY.
Worship God! For THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY (Rev 19:10).
And Judas and Silas, BEING PROPHETS ALSO THEMSELVES, EXHORTED THE BRETHREN WITH MANY WORDS, AND CONFIRMED THEM (Acts 15:32).
SO THE ELDERS OF THE JEWS CONTINUED TO BUILD AND PROSPER UNDER THE PREACHING OF HAGGAI THE PROPHET AND ZECHARIAH [the prophet], a descendant of Iddo (Ezra. 6:14, see also Ezra 5:1-2).
Paul acknowledged that he was first a preacher, then an apostle. Similarly all true prophets must realize that they are first preachers, then prophets (see 1Tim 2:7, 2 Tim 1:11).
A prophets primary assignment to others is to preach the Word. Really, God never sent us to work spiritual gifts. Rather, he sent us to preach the word, which He will confirm with signs following through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit and the authority of the name of Jesus (see Mk 16:15-20, Heb 2:1-4).
While the elders were building the house of the LORD, the prophets were busy preaching prophetically. These prophets (Haggai and Zechariah) did not participate directly in the building. How does that translate to our situation today?
This means the pastors are supposed to shepherd the flock while prophets assist them through prophetic preachings, and perhaps teachings, too for those who are prophets-teachers.
Sad to say, many prophets are functioning in the pastoral office which is not their calling. Friend, a prophet is not called to pastor a church, but to preach the word.
Some other prophets have derailed from their calling by putting the gifts of the Spirit before the preaching of the word. That means, in their ministries they emphasize visions, dreams, prophecies, miracles and so on at the expense of preaching the word.
These things are needed but they will cause us great problem if we ever put them above the Word.
I know a prophet who had been a blessing to me personally. God has used him to alter the course of my life and ministry. I have even ministered in their meetings. But over the years, I am sorry to say that he had lost his effective in the ministry.
A pastor friend and I were discussing him when my friend, who knows him better than I do, said the prophets problem was that he put too much emphasis on visions. People could come to him expecting him to see visions about them. But he wasnt careful enough. He wanted to impress the people. I think he must be regretting it now!
If you are called to be a prophet, just preach the Word − develop your preaching ministry study the word to show yourself approved unto God as a workman who needs not be ashamed but rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).
Then expect God to operate the gifts the Spirit through you as He wills. This prophet didnt develop his preaching anointing as he should have. He seemed to have an attitude of I m not a Bible teacher. I am a prophet. Im not supposed to study the Bible as such in order to preach.
All prophets are preachers, but not all prophets are teachers. For example, William Branham was a preacher and prophet but Kenneth E. Hagin was a preacher, prophet and teacher.
Branham got into big trouble when he forced himself into the office of a teacher while Hagin was restless and troubled in his spirit when he did not want to embrace his call to the teaching ministry in those earlier days!
So a prophet should preach with a continued demonstration of the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. The ministry of John the Baptist clearly exemplified this. His preaching was Gods mind for the hour. It was like prophecy. Actually, prophetic preachings and teachings are prophecies in a sense (see Luke 3:3-18, John 1:32-34).
In fact, the Scriptures are a more sure word of prophecy. Peter wrote, WE HAVE ALSO A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; WHEREUNTO YE DO WELL THAT YE TAKE HEED, AS UNTO A LIGHT THAT SHINETH IN A DARK PLACE, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (2 Pet 1:19).
In the second opening Scripture above (Acts 15:32), Prophets Judas and Silas didnt go about giving out prophecies to everyone rather they focused on speaking the word of GOD to the saints in order to exhort and confirm them to draw them nearer to God [not to man or money] and to establish them in the faith. They were truly New Testament prophets.
7. HE STANDS IN THE GAP AND MAKES UP THE HEDGE FOR GODS PEOPLE TO STAND FIRM.
Ezekiel 13:1−2 9 (NIV), 5 (KJV) reads:
The word of LORD came to me: son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesyingYe have not GONE UP INTO THE GAPS, neither MADE UP THE HEDGE for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
We see in the Scripture above that God appoints prophets to stand in the gap as well as make up the hedge for His people His church. Simply put, to stand in the gap is to intercede in prayer for Gods people while to make up the hedge (or wall) is to restore Gods people through the ministry of the word (see also Ezekiel 22:30).
A true prophet has a strong passion for intercession (for the saints). He equally has a burden to see the church restored as he preaches and /or teaches the pure word of God.
Abraham was a prophet who stood in the gap for Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33) and for Abimelech (Genesis 20:1-18).
Samuel interceded ceaselessly for the Israelites and he instructed them faithfully in the way of the Lord (see 1 Sam 12:23-25, 1 Sam 7:5).
Moses was a great intercessor and wonderful preacher and teacher of the words of the Law (Deut 31:19-30, Deut 32:1-2, Exo 32:30-35, Numb 14:1-25).
One of the leading prophetic voices in this nation was once abroad several years ago when God told him to go back to Nigeria (being his primary place of assignment): Go pray, preach and prophesy until revival comes! That was Dr. Tunde Bakare. (Though, I don't like the latest development about his ministry. I just pray God will keep this prophetic voice to our generation from derailing in Jesus' name!)
The Bible shows us that a prophet should have a remarkable anointing to pray, preach and prophesy!
TEN VITAL THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF A PROPHET
1. IN A SENSE, THERE ARE THREE CLASSES OF PROPHETS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The first class is where Jesus Christ belongs. Though he operated under the tail end of the Old Testament (Heb 9:16-17), yet because his ministry continues today through members of His Body, His Church, He is still the Prophet − the Prophet of prophets (Deut 18:17-18, Eph 4:10-11).
The second class of prophets in the New Testament consists of the foundational prophets who helped to lay the foundation of the New Testament Church.
Referring to them, Paul wrote, Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with Gods people and members of Gods household, built on the foundation of the APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone ( Eph 2:19-20).
Such foundational prophets and the foundational apostles helped to establish the New Testament doctrines and practices of the Church.
The third class of prophets is made up of the non-foundational prophets. All true prophets today belong to this class. There are, however, no more foundational prophets today.
But within the second and the third classes, we have different measures and degrees of prophetic anointing.
2. PROPHETS HAVE DIFFERENT (VARYING) MEASURES AND DEGREES OF ANOINTING.
God told Aaron, the High Priest, and Miriam, the prophetess,
When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Num 12:6-8, NIV).
You see, Miriam and Moses were prophets. But God was saying, Miriam, since you are a low-rated prophet, why were you not afraid to speak against a prophet with a higher measure of anointing?
I feel sorry for some upcoming ministers who just open their mouths carelessly to condemn or tongue lash fellow ministers, especially those who are ahead of them (Jer 18:18, Ps 105:14-15, Ps 57:4).
No two prophets have the same measure of anointing. Every prophet has a distinct measure of anointing but only Jesus had the anointing without measure (John 3:34).
God gives a measure of anointing to a prophet according to His sovereign will. So a prophet cant decide the MEASURE of prophetic anointing he will move in.
Within that sovereignly chosen measure of anointing, however, a prophet can decide the DEGREE of prophetic anointing he will flow in.
Though feeding our spirits on the Word as well as prayer and fasting can only release or awaken the anointing, nevertheless using the anointing will increase its degree, not necessarily its measure (see Mat 25:14-29).
Those who refuse to use their degree of prophetic anointing faithfully because of persecution, discouragement or fear will gradually lose that degree of anointing (Mat 25:24-29).
Remember, Jesus said, Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Mat 5:11-12, NIV).
I also believe prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were high-rated prophets with greater measures of anointing while Jonah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Nahum and such like had lesser measures of anointing.
In contemporary times, few prophets have moved in high measure of anointing that Paul Cain walks in. (Recently, there have been some unbecoming reports about him for which some people have labeled him a false prophet. He is a true prophet who missed it. But I pray God will strengthen and restore him fully and forgive those people in Jesus name.)
Even Bob Jones, a co-prophet, referred to Cains prophetic ministry as the terror of the Lord.
One writer put it thus: Cain was given a special place of recognition because of his nearly always-accurateability to see things that no one else could All the other prophetic wannabes aspired to become like Cain and were always having to justify the fact that their prophecies never really ever attained anything near to Cains apparent accuracy. To be sure, Cain has had an occasional slip.
"The Kansas City prophetsreceived him (Cain) as their spiritual father and he was recognized as the chief among all the prophets.
So what is the secret of Paul Cains measure and degree of anointing?
His measure of prophetic anointing is due to Gods grace (unmerited favour) and sovereignty.
In Numbers 12 (NIV), God said of a low-rated prophet, I REVEAL MYSELF TO HIM IN VISIONS, I SPEAK TO HIM IN DREAMS (vs 6), but he said of a particular high-rated prophet, WITH HIM I SPEAK FACE TO FACE, CLEARLY AND NOT IN RIDDLES; HE SEES THE FORM OF THE LORD (vs 8).
Do you notice the expressions, I REVEAL, I SPEAK and I SPEAK FACE TO FACE in the Scriptures above? So its as God chooses (Ro 9:16).
Even Jesus prayed, I thank thee Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; YEA, FATHER FOR SUCH WAS THY GRACIOUS WILL (or so it was well pleasing before thee).
Then turning to his disciples he said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. For I tell you that MANY PROPHETS and kings DESIRED to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it (Luk 10:21, 23-24, RSV).
Moreover, Paul Cains degree (not measure) of anointing is due to his deep consecration, great faithfulness and much diligence.
Similarly, Paul the apostle admitted that though he received grace from God, yet he worked harder than the rest of the apostles to become what he became (1 Cor 15:9-10).
3. NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS DIFFER FROM THEIR OLD TESTAMENT COUNTERPARTS IN MANY WAYS.
The New Testament is a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people
When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether (Heb 8:6b, KJV, 7-8a, NIV, 13, AMP).
From my careful study of the Bible and of other materials, I have found about 6 distinct differences between Old and New Testament prophets. We shall consider them in details in a later chapter.
I believe one of the reasons for the confusion about the prophetic ministry today is that some have failed to differentiate between Old and New Testament prophets.
A present day prophet operating in the Old Testament is several centuries behind the times. He cant be a full blessing to his generation.
4. THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY IS DIFFERENT FROM THE HEALING MINISTRY OR WORKING-OF-MIRACLE MINISTRY, THOUGH, THEY CAN GO HAND-IN-HAND.
1 Cor 12:28 (NIV) reads,
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, SECOND PROPHETS, third teachers, then WORKERS OF MIRACLES, also those having GIFTS OF HEALING
This Scripture shows that the ministry of a prophet is distinct from that of a worker of miracles or one ministering with the gifts of healings.
So, not all prophets have miracle-working or healing ministry just as not all miracle workers or healing ministers are prophets!
For example, the Scripture says about John, the Baptist, one of the greatest prophets that ever walked this earth, John did no miracle (John 10:41).
You see, Prophet John didnt heal a single sick person. He didnt perform a single miracle. Yet he stood in the office of a prophet.
Similarly, the Scriptures refer to David as a prophet (see Acts 2:29-30), nevertheless Prophet David didnt perform miracles like Prophets Moses, Elijah and Elisha. He didnt have the healing anointing as Prophet Jesus did!
Thank God for prophets like William Branham, Kenneth E. Hagin, T.O. Obadare, and so on who shook places with their healing anointing!
On the other hand, a prophet like Rick Joyner doesnt have the healing anointing yet. When the Lord Jesus appeared to him in 1989, great power surged through him as the Lord put His hands on Ricks shoulders.
One of his best friends and he thought the anointing imparted to him was the miracle-working or healing anointing.
They, however, found out later that it wasnt for healings and miracles. Rather it was to help release apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church!
Bill Hamon, one of the leading prophets in this generation was born-again in 1950.
For almost 30 years of walking with God, he saw few people healed through his ministry, and concluded that God had not called him to have a healing or miracle-working ministry.
But in 1979, he began to receive prophecies from different nations that God would use him to bring healing and miracles to others.
Then in 1981, the Lord gave him one of the few visions he had ever seen in his life. (You know, he is a prophesier, not a seer. In other words, he is more of a prophesier and less of a seer.)
While worshipping in a meeting, he saw an inscription across his own forehead, Power over cancer and heart problems.
Before he shared it with anybody, a brother in the same meeting came to him and told him he had seen the exact same words across the prophets forehead as he (the prophet) worshipped God.
The fruits of his ministry thereafter show that he carries a healing anointing for there have been remarkable healing testimonies following his ministrations.
5. THE PROPHETIC MOVEMENT WHICH BEGAN IN 1988 AND ENDED IN THE LATE 1990S RESTORED THE PROPHETS TO THE CHURCH TO A GREAT EXTENT.
God says, And I will restore to you the years (Joel 2:25).
Our God is God of restoration. He promised to restore the wasted years.
The Prophetic Movement began in the USA in 1988. At the peak of it in 1993, I became born-again. So I was part of that movement.
It restored credibility to the office of a prophet. Through it, God raised many prophetic voices with unique prophetic anointing in many nations of the world.
Prophecy, vision, dream, prophetic intercession and prophetic worship regained their Scriptural significance to an extent at this time, as well as did prophetic preaching and teaching.
It has been revealed by a prophetic voice that the prophets as well as the rest of the five-fold ministry will not be fully restored to the Church until the apostles are restored through this ongoing apostolic movement!
For a detailed study on the Prophetic Movement, I will recommend for your reading Dr Bill Hamons book: The Prophetic Movement.
6. ONE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PROPHETIC CHURCH IS TO HAVE PROPHETIC MEETINGS, USUALLY LED BY A PROPHET.
The atmosphere of a prophetic meeting is summarized by: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit SAYS to the churches (Rev 2:11, NIV).
The Living Bible puts it as: Let everyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit IS SAYING to the churches.
John the Baptist had prophetic meetings (see John 1: 22-36). Even Jesus had prophetic meetings, too (see Mat 11:7-15, Lk 4:16-30).
Few weeks after I got born-again, I came in contact with the ministry of a prominent prophet in this nation.
He was invited to minister at a camp meeting I was attending. What a prophetic meeting!
He told us at the meeting, As a matter of fact, all my life, I try not to prepare any message before I go to any church. The reason is: each time I prepare a message; the Holy Ghost has shut my mouth and given me another message.
Now I made a mistake: I prepared a message (before) coming this evening. But as your choir was singing the Holy Ghost cameto whisper the message I would preach.
Can I tell you the truth? I didnt prepare this. I just opened my Bible and was writing what he was saying to me here. So I am relying absolutely on the Holy Ghost to help me tonight.
It is better to know (ahead) what to preach but when He pushes one to you, it is because he wants to minister to you.
God gave this prophet a timely message from 1 Samuel 1 about Elkanah and his two wives. And he disapproved of marrying two wives as unscriptural and evil.
Unknown to him, the host minister (who invited him) had two wives who were seated in the meeting. I believe that message eventually helped the beloved host minister part with his second wife years later.
More than that, it also addressed some issues about the church.
I believe you dont have to be a prophet before you can lead a prophetic meeting, though, it should be more common in a prophets ministry.
Above it all, to have a powerful prophetic meeting, a prophet or minister needs to spend enough time studying the word, worshipping the LORD, and praying with the spirit as well as with the mind, often with fasting.
If he has prepared his heart adequately for the meeting, then he can go ahead and have a prophetic meeting as the Lord leads relying on Scriptures like, Open wide your mouth and I [God] will fill itThe good man brings good things out of the good STORED UP IN HIS HEARTFOR OUT OF THE OVERFLOW [ABUNDANCE] OF HIS HEART HIS MOUTH SPEAKS (Ps 81:10b; Lk 6:45, NIV).
Do you know that an angel will not store up those treasures in his heart for him? He has to labour in the word and in prayer (1 Tim 5:17, Col 4:12, Acts 6:4).
7. APOSTLES AND PROPHETS WILL LEAD THE ENTIRE BODY OF CHRIST THE CHURCH INTO GODS ETERNAL PURPOSES IN THESE LAST MOMENTS OF THE LAST DAYS.
Paul wrote about the mystery or secret of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Gods holy APOSTLES AND PROPHETS (Eph 3:5, NIV).
One of the most striking verses about prophets in the Old Testament is Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7, AMP).
In the Old Testament, the prophets of God were the custodians of the divine revelations of what He was doing in the NOW!
In other words, God would first reveal his secret or plan to his prophets. Then after that, he would execute or carry it out.
The footnote of my Amplified Bible on Amos 3:7 reads, God has always warned the world of coming judgments in order that it may not bring them upon itself.
He warned Noah of the coming flood (Gen 6:13ff); Abraham of the destruction of Sodom (Gen 18:17; 19:14) Moses of ten plagues of Egypt (Exod 7:1ff); Jonah of the destruction of Nineveh (Jonah 1:2; 3:4); Amos of the downfall of Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and Israel (Amos 1and 2).
Various prophets were told in detail about the final events in connection with the captivities of the chosen people, and in every case the warning startlingly executed.
Jonah announced the destruction of Nineveh, but judgment was postponed following repentance. When later generations of Ninevites backslid and reverted to extreme wickedness, the warning of Nahum was carried out completely against them.
Christs coming was foretold throughout the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi. Equally plain and inevitable of fulfillment are the warning of Jesus and the prophets concerning the future that each day comes nearer to every nation on earth.
So Amos 3:7 was relevant to the Old Testament because in the light of Ephesians 3:5, which is our opening Scripture in this segment, we can now say under the New Testament, Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret or plan or strategy to His servants THE APOSTLES AND THE PROPHETS (see also Eph 2:20; Luk 11:49; Rev 18:20).
That was what Paul was trying to say. You see, apostles and prophets are the custodians of divine revelations in the New Testament.
And they impart these revelations to other saints for this is Gods pattern (see Col 1:24-27).
Just as God brought Israel out of Egypt by a prophet, and preserved the entire nation by a prophet (Hosea 12:13), so He founded the Church on the foundation of apostles and prophets, and today, He will lead the same church into His eternal purposes through apostles and prophets, as the spiritual house or building (the church) will be completed with Christ at the centre of everything (Eph 2:19-20)!
Finally, prophets working together with other members of the five-fold ministry, especially with apostles will lead the Church into the greatest move of God towards His eternal purposes for the last days.
8. A PROPHETS EFFECTIVENESS IS NOT MEASURED BY HIS RESULTS IN HIS HOMETOWN, ESPECIALLY AMONG HIS FAMILY MEMBERS.
Luke 4:24 (NIV) reads,
I tell you the truth, he [Jesus] continued, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
Mark 6:4-6 (AMP) reads,
But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honour (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among his relatives and in his [own] house.
And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them.
And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him) [see also Mat 11: 20-24].
From these three Scriptures above, we learn the following:
i. A prophet has honour (Heb 5:4).
ii. He has no honour or acceptance in his hometown, especially among his family members.
(From my study of Greek, Jesus country was his native town of Nazareth while his nation was Israel. So Jesus ministry had boom times in his nation, Israel; but was disregarded in his hometown of Nazareth [Mat 15:24; John 1:12]).
iii. They dishonoured or rejected him because of familiarity which breeds contempt (Mark 6:2-3).
iv. Only a few people in his hometown who looked beyond his natural descent or lineage received him with honour.
v. Most people that benefited from his ministry were not those of his hometown.
vi. Believing in the prophet will make people enjoy the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of his ministry, but those people will never repent and be established in righteousness unless they believe in God (John 14:1, 2 Chr 20:20, Mat 11:20-24)
Note: No one is saved by signs, wonders and miracles but through the preaching of the word (Ro 10:13-15) and their willingness (Mat 11:20-24).
vii. A prophets effectiveness is not measured by his results in his hometown, especially among his family members.
He may have mind-blowing or outstanding testimonies in other places but may be faced with discouraging reports from his own place.
9. A PARTICULAR PROPHET IS SENT TO SOME PARTICULAR PEOPLE, NOT TO EVERYONE.
Jesus said, I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijahs time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed only Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4:25-26, NIV).
Jesus told a Canaanite woman, I am not sent [unto you] but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mat 15:24).
From these Scriptures, we understand that every prophet is not sent to everyone. Elijah was not sent to every widow in the time of Naaman. He was sent to only Naaman.
Even though Jesus died for the whole world, yet he was not sent to minister to everyone during his earthly ministry.
So Jesus as an apostle, prophet and so on, was sent to only the Israelites. He was not sent to the non-Israelites.
David was a prophet; nevertheless God used three wonderful prophets to shape his destiny. God sent Samuel, Nathan and Gad to assist him prophetically in fulfilling his calling (1 Chr 29:29).
In fact, Gad was referred to as Davids seer (2 Sam 24:11-12).
I also believe that God positioned the Antioch prophets as well as Prophet Agabus to help Paul fulfil his heavenly vision.
I have observed in my own life that there had been some prophets whom God had sent to me perhaps regularly at different seasons of my journey of faith.
You see, it is fascinating that the Lord put Prophets Paul Cain and Bob Jones in the life of Prophet Rick Joyner to father and mentor him.
I remember some time ago, when Jesus appeared to Rick, He didnt speak with him. He simply touched him five times and said to him, Bob Jones will explain that to you. All of us do not need to have such a spectacular manifestation.
10. THE SPIRITS OF PROPHETS ARE SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL OF PROPHETS AND TO THE PROPORTION OF THEIR FAITH.
Paul wrote, Two or three prophets 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, NIV).
He also wrote, Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the MEASURE OF FAITH GOD HAS GIVEN YOU.
IF A MANS GIFT IS PROPHESYING, LET HIM USE IT IN PROPORTION TO HIS FAITH (Ro 12:3, 6, NIV).
First, a prophet must exercise self-control when flowing in the gift of prophecy. If he is lacking in self-control, then he is immature.
It is unwise and childish for prophets to compete and fight for the microphone because they want to prophesy!
Each prophet should await his turn to prophesy; and if he is not given room to prophesy, he should hold his peace.
Rather than force his way through, he should submit to the authority of the local church remembering that there is a time to speak and a time to keep quiet (Eccl 3:7b).
If a prophet perceives or observes that another prophet has a word from God for the congregation, he should step aside for the other prophet.
You see, the Holy Spirit neither speaks in other tongues nor prophesy rather we speak in other tongues or prophesy as the Spirit gives us utterance (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor 14: 4-5).
Second, a prophet needs to move in the realm of faith without which we cant please God. The stronger his faith, the more easily he can prophesy but the weaker his faith, the harder he can prophesy.
So a prophet must develop his faith and prophesy according to the level to which he has developed that faith (Ro 12:6).
Paul was telling the Roman Church that one couldnt prophesy beyond his faith level.
The same principle of faith is revealed in this statement made by Jesus: ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH BE IT UNTO YOU (Mat 9:26).
The Living Bible puts it as: Because of your faith it will happen.
So a prophet must have expectant faith that the gift of prophecy will operate through him as the Spirit wills, and he must develop his faith so that he can prophesy greater or deeper things.
For example, God can use a prophet to prophesy the removal of a small mountain or the receiving of a small breakthrough because of his small faith.
On the other hand, he can use another prophet to prophesy the removal of a big mountain or the receiving of a big breakthrough because of his big faith.
TEN WRONG NOTIONS ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF A PROPHET
1. WRONG NOTION 1:
HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law (Deut 29:29, NIV).
When the Shunnamite woman came to Elisha to report her sons death, the prophet said to his servant, Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, BUT THE LORD HAS HIDDEN IT FROM ME AND HAS NOT TOLD ME WHY (2Kings 4:27, NIV).
The first Scripture above indicates that GOD knows all things but he will not reveal all things to us.
You see, only God is omniscient − all knowing! No man is given the grace to know all things. A prophet who is omniscient is not yet born!
What is hidden to us becomes a revelation when God uncovers it. But to him, all things are unhidden and known (Heb 4:13,1Jn 3:20).
Some prophets may give the impression that they know everything about everyone. Thats unscriptural and foolish! Some folks expect a prophet to prophesy about any housefly that flies by or see a vision about anybody he sees.
Jesus was the greatest prophet that ever lived. Did he prophesy or have a vision about everyone he met? No. Do you even know that during his earthly ministry, Jesus didnt heal all the sick, he didnt get all sinners saved, he didnt deliver all the oppressed, and he didnt preach to all people (see Mk 6:4-6, Mat 11:20-24)?
Amazingly, He said of his Second Coming, NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THAT DAY OR HOUR, NOT EVEN THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN, NOR THE SON BUT ONLY THE FATHER(Mt 24:36, NIV).
In the second scripture above, God, in his sovereign wisdom concealed a certain thing from Prophet Elisha.
Yes, God, who is all-knowing, conceals certain things from us but reveals some other things to us! Elisha didnt know everything about everybody. He was limited in what he knew supernaturally. Were not unlimited like God!
That was why Paul wrote, For WE KNOW IN PART, and WE PROPHESY IN PART (1Cor 13:9).
You see, none of us know in full nor prophesy in full. The best of prophets know in part and prophesy in part!
Anyone who behaves or talks as if he knew everything about everybody is trying to take the position of God who alone knows everything! And this is very dangerous!
2. WRONG NOTION 2:
WHATEVER HE SAYS MUST COME TO PASS.
Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commanded it not?(Lam 3:27).
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, Jesus said (Mt 24:35).
Moses told the Israelites by the Spirit that if God speaks through a prophet, then it will come to pass; but if a prophet speaks apart from God, then it will not come to pass (see Deut 18:21-22).
A careful study of these three scriptures above reveals that if God speaks through a prophet, it will come to pass but if a prophet speaks on his own volition, it may not come to pass.
The question here is this: is it the word of the LORD or the word of the prophet? If the prophet is trying to use GOD to get something done, even when God has not commanded it, then that word may fail.
But whenever God commands a prophet to speak, then it is certain that he (God) will never allow the prophecy to fall to the ground. That was the secret of the success of great prophets of old.
The Bible says, The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, AND HE LET NONE OF HIS WORDS FALL TO THE GROUND (1 Sam 3:19, NIV).
We see here that God himself made sure that none of Samuels words failed because He was the One behind them!
Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and before the fire of the Lord fell to consume his sacrifice as a sign of acceptance, he prayed: O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant AND HAVE DONE ALL THESE THINGS AT YOUR COMMAND (2 Kings 18:36, NIV).
Sometimes God may grant the request or desire of a prophet, apostle, saint and so on even if it is not His perfect will, however, some other times, we may need to know the mind of God concerning a particular situation because there could be a hindrance to the request from the person praying or from the person being prayed for.
But when He gives a prophecy or vision to a prophet to help someone else with, it is a little bit different, though, the person to be helped may have a part to play in the fulfillment of the prophecy or vision. Some prophecies, which are unconditional, may not require us to do anything to see them fulfilled!
Some years ago, a respected prophet came to the bedside of one of my relations who was sick and unconscious. His presence was a great encouragement to us all. He prayed and gave a message in tongues and interpretation saying that we should not worry because the woman would not die but live. He assured us through his prophetic message that God would heal her.
I left the place for another state within the country after the prayer and the prophetic message. Shockingly, the woman died in the evening of that same day!
3. WRONG NOTION 3:
HE HAS A MINISTRY SECOND IN IMPORTANCE TO THAT OF AN APOSTLE.
And he gave some, APOSTLES; and some, PROPHETS; .. (Eph 4:11).
The ministers above are not listed in the order of importance. They are enumerated in the order of responsibility and evolution as explained earlier in this book. So apostles are neither superior to prophets nor prophets superior to other ministers.
Have you heard the teaching that only an apostle and a prophet can minister to a prophet? Have you heard that a prophet cant minister to an apostle because a prophet is less important than an apostle?
They may try to justify this false notion with Hebrews 7:7, And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater (NIV).
That is not what the Scripture says there. The greater person being referred to here was Melchizedek, who was a type of Christ while the lesser one was Abraham. Were all brethren (please read Mt 23:8-12). Certainly, Christ is greater than all of us the spiritual descendants of Abraham (see Gal 3:29, Heb 2:14-18).
Paul wrote, Submitting yourself one to another in the fear of God (Eph. 5:21).
He urged the Philippian Christian,
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death − even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (Phil 2:3-9, NIV).
You see, the way up in the kingdom of God is down. If you want God to lift you up, then bring yourself low. God can send a new believer to a prophet or apostle. An animal can even minister to and preserve the life of a prophet. Didnt God preserve erring Balaam through his donkey and vibrant Elijah through ravens?
Jesus, the Prophet of prophets, was mightier than John the Baptist, yet he submitted to him to be baptized at Jordan. The Creator submitted to his creature (Mt 3:11-17); how much more should we submit to one another in the fear of God!
A greater calling require greater humility and deeper brokenness. Lets all follow the example of Jesus.
4. WRONG NOTION 4:
HE IS TO GUIDE THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.
If the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ, because those who are LED by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:9, 14, NIV).
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Howbeit when he the Spirit of truth, is come, he will GUIDE you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself: but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will SHOW you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall SHOW it unto you
All things that the Father hath me mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine and shall SHOW it unto you, Jesus said (see John 6:12-15).
There is no doubt that Gods people in the Old Testament were guided by prophets. It was so because the prophets, kings and priests had Gods Spirit coming upon them to minister in their offices.
Gods people in general back then didnt have the Holy Spirit in them as we do today.
Therefore, they had to look to the prophets to guide them and the priest, to offer sacrifices and gifts on their behalf to God for their sins.
But thanks be to God today, we have a New Testament (Covenant) established on better promises. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer at the new birth. Each believer is entitled to be filled with the Spirit through the Holy Spirit baptism experience.
One of the major responsibilities of the Holy Spirit in and upon us is to GUIDE US INTO ALL TRUTH (John 16:13). Does that mean prophets can no longer give direction to Gods people today?
The truth is that the Holy Spirit should lead a believer. The Bible does not say For as many as are led by Gods prophets are the sons to God. (see Ro 8:14). Occasionally, Gods Spirit may lead a prophet to you or lead you to a prophet! (But you dont have to be going from prophet to prophet seeking what is not lost.)
The bottom line is: if God brings a prophet in contact with you or brings you in contact with one, then whatever he has for you must agree with your recreated human spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells.
A prophets message to a believer falls into two categories. The first is something already known to the believers mind while the second is something unknown to the believers mind. Whichever way, it must agree with the believers human spirit.
There is a difference between the spirit of man and the mind of man. Actually, man is a spirit that has a soul and lives in body. The soul comprises mind, will and emotions.
So whether a prophets message is known to a believers mind or unknown to it, it must agree with his spirit for two reasons.
Firstly, the Spirit of God in the believers spirit is the same Spirit is the same Spirit of GOD working through the prophet (if he is a true prophet), and this Spirit of God neither contradicts nor disagrees with himself (1Cor 12:3,4, 11, 2Cor 4:13).
Secondly, the recreated human spirit of the believer knows the truth. A believers spirit (indwelt by Gods Spirit) is attracted by the truth but repelled by a lie. If a prophet is saying the truth, your spirit knows and if he is lying, your spirit knows. Something in your spirit turns on when you hear a true message from God but it turns off when you hear a false one!
Thats why 1Jn 2:20-21, 26-27(NIV) reads:
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit just as it has taught you, remain in him.
In summary, when a prophet gives you a word, you may respond, My spirit agrees to that for I know the truth in my spirit. Also my mind knows it because Ive received a similar or the same thing earlier. This only confirms it to my mind.
Remember that a New Testament saint should not consult a prophet like people who are not born-again tend to do!
On the other hand, you may respond, My spirit agrees to that, I know it in my spirit as the truth. My mind, however, doesnt know it. Ive never received a similar or the same thing earlier. It doesnt confirm it to my mind but to my spirit.
5. WRONG NOTION 5:
GOD ALWAYS SPEAKS TO HIM AUDIBLY OR IN AN OPEN VISION.
God told Moses, Aaron and Miriam:
When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses, he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face of face clearly and not in riddles: he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses (Num 12:6−8).
We can see from the Scripture above that there are prophets and prophets. They are of different ranks in anointing. God is teaching us here that he speaks to his prophets differently. I have come to respect and admire the life and ministry of Rick Joyner over the years. I have read a number of his books.
While teaching about the prophetic ministry, he admitted that he frequently hears Gods voice in his spirit. Some of his friends, however, had acknowledged that God spoke to them in an audible voice in their ears.
So he told the Lord to speak to him through His audible voice, too and He promised to do so. Up until then, he had never heard God speak to him audibly.
And when God eventually spoke to him audibly, it was very wonderful, but he said it was impossible to describe the terror he felt and hence would have God himself decide when he would speak to him in an audible voice again.
I believe God's audible voice is not always accompanied by a sense of terror!
So God does not always speak to His prophets in an open vision or audible voice. Sometimes an
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