Brethren, I'm sure you learned something new from our previous teaching on signs you are chosen by God. Today, we will build upon that teaching by learning about the signs of a prophetic calling. I believe for a long time now, many have been expecting this teaching. So brace up as we go on this adventure with the Lord.
Since many in the world and in the end time Church have developed much interest in the prophetic ministry, it is important we bring to light certain truths concerning this ministry. This is not only for our enlightenment, but also for our equipping to rightly understand, harness and appreciate the prophetic ministry in our time.
Jeremiah 1:5 NIVBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
I'm aware that many in the Church today are eager to acquire every available information concerning the prophetic. So this teaching also comes to meet that need. In this article, we will discuss some of the following:
- Signs of prophetic calling
- How do I know if I have a prophetic gift
- How to know if you are a prophet
- Challenges of being a prophet
- The process of a prophet
- Stages of a prophetic call
Different people have diverse questions concerning the prophetic. We do not promise to provide answers to all the questions out there concerning the prophetic ministry in a single blog post, but before we delve into the teaching proper, let's briefly answer a few questions as follows:
- How are prophets chosen? True prophets are chosen by God Himself, not by man (Numbers 12:6). This is by divine election.
- What qualifies a person to be a prophet? Since prophets are chosen by God Himself, we are disallowed to draft out a list of requirements for choosing a prophet. We have no right to instruct God (1 Corinthians 2:16). If there are qualifications for the choosing of a prophet, only God knows those qualifications.
- Can everyone become a prophet? Everyone cannot become a prophet. Not even the professing “prophetic schools” can produce a genuine prophet. Everyone cannot be a prophet, but every genuine Christian can be “prophetic.” There's a world of difference between the two, and I'll throw more light as we progress.
What Is The Prophetic Ministry
The prophetic ministry belongs to God and emanated from Him. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all callings and ministries distributed among men. We can say that the prophetic ministry did not “come into being” but has always existed in God. Jesus Christ Himself has always been a prophet.
I would also say that the first human prophet who appeared in the Bible was Enoch, but since the Bible doesn't say much about this man, we'll give that to Abraham.
The first human to be identified as a prophet in the bible happens to be Abraham. In Genesis 20:7, we saw God bring this to light through His words to Abimelech in a dream: “for he is a prophet; he will pray for you and you will live.”
Apart from the fact that some say there are major and minor prophets, we can further classify prophets in the bible into two groups: the old testament and new testament prophets.
1. The Old Testament Prophets
In the old testament, you'll notice that the operations of prophets were a bit bizarre—quite different from how prophets are expected to function today.
- Some prophets could call down fire and have it manifest physically (2 Kings 1:10).
- Elijah could run faster than a horse (2 Kings 18:46).
- A prophet could marry an unrepentant prostitute (Hosea 1:2).
- A prophet was instructed to bake bread with human excrement (Ezekiel 4:9-17), and the list goes on.
But the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ changed so many things. There's so much difference in the new testament prophetic ministry from that of the old.
God doesn't run the new testament prophetic ministry using the old dispensation system. There is therefore no excuse for anyone to do some of the odd things the old testament prophets were instructed to do, claiming it's from God.
2. The New Testament Prophets
Most of the things that were active in the old covenant became redundant under the new covenant, and were overturned by Jesus Christ. The operations of new testament prophets are as well expected to differ. At least, no genuine and sane prophet today would bake bread with feces.
Contrary to a false notion propagated by many, that “prophets do not exist today,” true prophets do exist today. In this generation, prophets are still called, Anointed and sent by God. We see in the book of Acts that there were prophets in the early Church; among them were Agabus and Barnabas.
Acts 11:27-30Now 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.
If the Bible states categorically that there were prophets in the early Church, apparently, there are also genuine prophets in the end time Church. The new testament scriptures outrightly refutes the claim that prophets do not exist today.
How To Become A Prophetess
Prophetesses are prophets in female bodies. Scriptures reveal that the likes of Deborah (Judges 4:4), Anna (Luke 2:36) and Miriam (Exodus 15:20) were all prophetesses.
The calling of the prophetess is not different from that of the male counterpart (the prophet). But I can't find anywhere in the bible that says Deborah attended a school of prophets and graduated in order to become a prophetess.
One can study to become a doctor or an engineer, but no one becomes a prophet (or prophetess) by their own doing, merit or qualifications. Neither the “prophet” nor “prophetess” is something a person can “become,” but only elected by God into.
Besides that, the calling to be a prophet is not something anyone should desire. Genuine prophets understand that being a prophet is neither impressive nor glamorous. Others may see it as impressive, but the prophet knows what he's been through. It's a difficult task with very high expectations from God.
Prophet Amos admitted that he was on his own when God reached out to him with the calling to be a prophet. He never asked for it and he didn't get it by learning how to become a prophet.
Amos 7:14-15 ESVThen Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’
Jonah the recalcitrant prophet understood the weight of the calling to be a prophet, and wasn't really ready for it. That was why he tried to flee from it. His resistance against the calling wasn't due to shyness, naivety or childishness.
If God calls you to be a prophet, you don't have any other choice anyway, but reaching out by yourself and desiring to become a prophet is the destructive path no one should tread.
There are many self-acclaimed prophets in the end time Church who called themselves, attended prophetic schools and got ordained by man. But that doesn't mean God has approved them.
We can desire and receive spiritual gifts, but not callings—especially the calling to be a prophet. We are instructed to desire spiritual gifts—especially prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1), but not to desire becoming a prophet. There is a remarkable difference between the two.
Recall that I earlier said that every Christian can be prophetic; and this is in the sense that, every Christian can learn and grow in their ability to hear God's voice. Every Christian can also see prophetic dreams. Christians can as well receive the spiritual gift of prophecy. But hearing God and communicating what is heard back to people doesn't make anyone a prophet.
Apparently, the Church today has been lied to and misled to believe that if someone can prophesy “accurately” it means they are a prophet. That is just one of the reasons for the high rate of deception and abuse of the prophetic ministry we are witnessing today.
The gift of prophecy is rampant in the end time Church, but prophets are not that easy to come by. Prophecy in the new testament exists as a common spiritual gift, while “the prophet” exists as a rare calling to one of the fivefold ministries:
Ephesians 4:11 BSBAnd it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.
One cannot desire and receive the calling to be a prophet. It's either you're called to it or you're not called. Period!
Ministry Of The New Testament Prophet
In the old testament, prophets performed strange acts and there were lots of “prophesying” taking place. One of the major reasons for this was that not many were privileged to have the Holy Spirit come upon them, talk less of residing in them. But we as beneficiaries of the former and latter rain do not necessarily need someone else to hear God on our behalf.
Every genuine Christian today can hear God's voice (John 10:27)—and that reduces the need for prophecies through other people. This isn't me trying to deny the fact that God still speaks through prophecies today. It's always great to receive a genuine prophecy from another brethren, but we also cannot deny the fact that many have been deceived and led astray by supposed “prophecies” from wolves in sheep's clothing.
Although the new testament prophet always has the gift of prophecy—just as one of the tools in his toolkit, his major assignment isn't prophesying.
Jeremiah 35:11 NKJVI have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.
The true new testament prophetic ministry is more about the following:
1. Dividing, Simplifying And Feeding God's Word To The Church
A genuine new testament prophet is well-versed in scriptures. I've never seen a true prophet who doesn't love and know God's word.
There are layers upon layers of depths in God's word. A genuine prophet is gifted to access those depths and dig out the revelations therein for the benefit of the Church. If your prophet struggles when it comes to understanding and accurately interpreting God's word, but can prophesy accurately, maybe it's time you take to your heels!
Prophecy is good, but God's word is superior—it is paramount, and a genuine prophet must have it in abundance. The true prophet has the word of power with which the Lord works through to impact and transform lives as he ministers.
If we all gathered around to prophesy and not divide into the word, then at the end of the day, people will go back pumped up in their emotions but empty. No conviction, no transformation, no intimacy with God and no growth in Christ. Even Jesus Christ the original owner of prophecies, during His ministry on earth, wasn't gathering people to prophesy to them but to teach them.
Acts 1:1 KJVThe former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.
All we read in the four gospels are the teachings of Jesus Christ, not the “prophecies” of Jesus. If they were ordinary acts of prophesying, the Bible would have told us so.
When Jesus said, “the words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63), He was referring to the life-changing sermons He fed the multitude that followed Him wherever He went.
We've heard of Jesus' “sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5-7), but not His prophesies on the mount. Jesus elevated the ministry of the word above every other ministry work He did on earth. Even in the Great Commission to the Church, He clearly stated, “go and teach, make disciples of all nations.....teach them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). He didn't say, “go give them prophecies, but neglect and avoid the word.”
Any prophet who tries hard to replace the ministry of the dunamis word of God with prophesying and other church activities should be treated with holy suspicion.
2. Reproving Sin And Demanding Holiness
Genuine new testament prophets are themselves called to holiness. While they live out the transformed life, they also go on to bring others into the reality of the newness of life in Christ. This newness of life is evident in our separation from the world, in the dying to the flesh and to self.
Genuine prophets are holy men and women of God (2 Peter 1:21), not scandalous self-acclaimed prophets and prophetesses. They passionately hate sin and by example, they teach others to do the same.
3. Pointing People To Christ And Reconciling The World Back To God
The genuine new testament prophet points people to Jesus Christ, not himself. Their messages don't end up causing people to see them as the “number one” and most powerful man or woman of God on earth. They don't steal God's place in people's hearts.
In the old testament, you'll notice that God always sent a prophet when nations turned from Him to idols. God would call a prophet and give him His word for those nations. The prophet then goes forth with that message to bring those nations to repentance and reconcile them back to God.
A genuine prophet today also does a good job in reconciling the world back to God. They have a heart for souls, just like Jesus Christ. Most of those the world sees as “evangelists” today are prophets in disguise who do not want to pin the title “prophet!” on themselves.
4. Bringing Deliverance To The Oppressed
The new testament prophet is Anointed to bring deliverance to the oppressed—through their messages and every other feasible means (including casting out devils).
Luke 4:18 KJVThe Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
You'll always find a true prophet in genuine deliverance ministries.
5. Bringing About Spiritual Growth And Maturity In Christ
The new testament prophet partners with God to bring the Church to maturity in Christ.
Ephesians 2:19-20 NIVConsequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
It is said that the Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. Imagine a scenario where the new testament prophets were called only to prophesy, how would the Church be built? Genuine prophets labour alongside true apostles to perfect and bring the Church to maturity on Christ. They work in tandem to see to it that this is achieved:
Ephesians 4:13 KJVTill we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
6. A Battle Axe In God's Hands
The new testament prophet is trained and skilled in spiritual warfare. Their place in the army of God is at the warfront, after apostles. They are God's battle axe and weapons of war, used for destroying the works of darkness.
Signs God Is Calling You To Be A Prophet
The calling to the office of a prophet is not vague, it always comes with clear and specific instructions.
Because the role is a very delicate and important one, God by Himself takes up the responsibility of announcing the calling to the prophet. He opens up their spiritual senses and speaks vividly to them. Then He goes on to imprint that word in their spirit—in such a manner that they can never forget or doubt it throughout their lifetime. With that being done, they don't need to ask for signs to validate their calling.
Numbers 12:6 NKJVThen He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.
If humans are the ones telling you that you are a prophet, but God hasn't showed up to tell you that by Himself and with His own mouth, I do not advise you take any step towards working on that calling.
God doesn't distance Himself from a prophet. The very first time He calls them, He either shows up directly or speaks explicitly to them, telling them they are a prophet and what they are going to do from that day onward.
If God is calling you to be a prophet, what people say (if accurate) will only align with and confirm what God has already told you in person. You don't need to go to men seeking direction for your calling. If you feel you are called to be a prophet but God hasn't told you anything, simply retrace your steps. That's even safer for you.
The signs of prophetic calling are not hidden. If you are a prophet, God will let you know. You will know you are one and not even Satan can make you doubt it.
Final Words On Signs Of A Prophetic Calling
You see, the prophetic calling is not what many have made it out to be. This calling and ministry is the most abused in the end time Church.
The prophetic gift and the prophetic calling are two different things. One is a spiritual gift that anyone can ask and receive, while the other is a calling that is carefully placed by God on certain individuals.
As vessels of God, we can only do our best to correct the things that need to be corrected in the Church today, while leaving the rest to Jesus Christ the Owner of the Church. We trust that just as He promised, He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18).
Brethren, I believe we have explored much concerning the signs of a prophetic calling in this teaching. This article may not be exhaustive, but I trust that through it, the Holy Spirit has answered most of your questions concerning the prophetic.
If you learned something new once again, go ahead and share this article with someone else. Keep visiting for more teachings like this.
Thanks for reading. God bless you!
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