MINISTRY SERIES (Every Wednesday)
Wednesday 17th June, 2020
[Released on Thursday 18th June, 2020]
Ministering: Segun Olumide
LESSON 15: THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY — PART 2
SUBTITLE: HOW TO IDENTIFY A PROPHET
(WHO IS A PROPHET? — PART 2)
HOW TO IDENTIFY A PROPHET
(1) HE HAS A SPECIFIC CALL OF GOD TO BE A PROPHET
WHAT A PROPHETIC CALL IS NOT
1. IT’S NOT A LIKING FOR THE PROPHETIC OFFICE
Hebrews 5:4 KJV
And no man taketh this honour unto himself, BUT HE THAT IS CALLED OF GOD, AS WAS AARON.
Having a liking for the prophetic ministry does not make one a prophet.
An average preacher has a great liking for the prophetic ministry.
Generally, human beings like the prophetic. They want to associate with prophets. They want to know the future as well as understand the past and interpret the present correctly.
This is one of the reasons why many people who are never called of God to be prophets have made themselves compulsory prophets by natural or demonic means.
These prophets of circumstances, or simply compulsory prophets like the prophetic ministry, and they are wrongly feeding the liking in the hearts of those seeking prophets to minister to their needs.
Judgment is knocking on their door!
2. IT’S NOT ASSOCIATION WITH PROPHETS
1 Samuel 10:5-6,10-12 KJV
After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a COMPANY OF PROPHETS coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:  And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.  And when they came thither to the hill, behold, A COMPANY OF PROPHETS met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.  And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? IS SAUL ALSO AMONG THE PROPHETS?  And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, IS SAUL ALSO AMONG THE PROPHETS?
Samuel prophesied that Saul would come into the company of prophets, and prophesy among them (see verse 10).
He never said he would become a prophet through such an association!
Therefore, the answer to the proverbial question: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” or “Is Saul also one of the prophets?” is a big “NO!”
Friend, associating with the leading prophets on earth today would never make you a prophet!
There must be a specific call from God to be a prophet.
3. IT’S NOT ATTENDING THE SCHOOL OF PROPHETS
Everyone who becomes a prophet by merely attending any so-called school of prophets without a genuine call from God to be a prophet is a false or fake prophet.
I don’t care the certificate of the school of prophets he or she has without heaven’s certificate or approval as a prophet!
He or she needs to repent now, or else judgment would come upon him or her!
Even attending a Bible School and getting ordained there as a prophet or prophetess does not make you one unless God has called you to be one.
4. IT’S NOT BEING A SON OR DAUGHTER OF A PROPHET
That your dad is a prophet or your mum is a prophetess does not make you a prophet!
It’s never an inherited call.
1 Chronicles 6:27-28 KJV
Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.  And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn VASHNI, and ABIAH.
Why didn’t the two sons of Samuel the prophet, namely Vashni and Abiah inherit his prophetic call, office and mantle?
Why didn’t they replace or complement Nathan and Gad who were the other two prophets of David?
2 Chronicles 29:25 KJV
And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of GAD THE KING’S SEER, and NATHAN THE PROPHET: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. (See also 1 Chronicles 29:29).
I know the Scripture talks about the sons of the prophets (see 1 Kings 20:35-43, 2 Kings 2:3-15).
But, in the light of other Scriptures, they would be either the natural sons of prophets who carried prophetic calls like their natural fathers or spiritual sons of prophets who carried prophetic calls like their spiritual fathers.
Elisha was a servant of Elijah, but he ended up as his spiritual or ministerial son, and not his biological or natural son!
That was why when Elijah was about to be taken to heaven Elisha did not cry out: “My master, my master…,” rather “he cried, MY FATHER, MY FATHER, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof” (2 Kings 2:12 KJV).
5. IT’S NOT SERVING A PROPHET
Some may argue that Elisha got Elijah’s prophetic mantle because he served him faithfully for a season and also requested it before his master was taken to heaven.
It’s true, but that’s half truth, which is very dangerous.
1 Kings 19:16 NLT
Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and ANOINT ELISHA son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah TO REPLACE YOU AS MY PROPHET.
You see, the Lord specifically commanded Elijah to anoint Elisha as His prophet to replace him.
So Elisha had a prophet call upon him and was a divine replacement of Elijah, which pre-qualified him for Elijah’s prophetic mantle. And he eventually got the mantle through service, request and seeking!
[But one with a prophetic call needs to be very careful so as to serve the right prophet or minister as led by God. Also you may get the mantle of someone you had never met, known, heard of, seen or served. It depends on your assignment among other things.]
6. IT’S NOT APPOINTMENT BY THE CHURCH
No Church has the authority to appoint anyone as a prophet or prophetess.
Even the Church of the God Prophecy or the Church of the Prophets cannot appoint anyone as a prophet or prophetess without a prophetic call.
Only the Head of the Church — Jesus Christ — appoints genuine prophets and prophetesses to continue His earthly prophetic ministry.
Ephesians 4:10 KJV
THAT HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS (see also Ephesians 4: 8-11).
The same applies to all the fivefold ministry.
7. IT’S NOT LAYING ON OF HANDS OF A PROPHET OR ANOINTING WITH OIL BY A PROPHET
Psalm 127:1 KJV
EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
I believe except the Lord anoints a man as a prophet or a woman as a prophetess, they labour in vain that anoint him or her as one!
Meeting a great prophet to lay hands on you or anoint you with oil does not make you a prophet or prophetess unless you are called by God to be one.
John 3:27 KJV
John answered and said, A MAN CAN RECEIVE NOTHING, EXCEPT IT BE GIVEN HIM FROM HEAVEN.
No one can receive a prophetic call, assignment and anointing except it’s given him or her from above.
8. IT’S NOT ADOPTION OF THE TITLE OF A PROPHET
Job 32:21-22 KJV
Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give FLATTERING TITLES unto man.  For I know not to give FLATTERING TITLES; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
These are dangerous times when flattering titles are now for sale or given out to honour people.
So buying the title of a prophet or prophetess by cash or by kind will give you false identity and self-promotion.
It’s foolish and unScriptural to accept to be called a prophet as an honorary title or degree!
Jesus said: “I RECEIVE NOT HONOUR FROM MEN” (John 5:41 KJV).
Some of the people who claim to be prophets and demand to be addressed as such do not have the divine call to be prophets; they just wear titles — flattering titles — deceptive titles — wrong titles!
“To flatter” someone is “to praise him excessively.”
9. IT’S NOT A VOLUNTEER CALL
Isaiah 6:8 KJV
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US? Then said I, HERE AM I; SEND ME.
A school of thought wrongly believe that this verse above shows that Isaiah volunteered to be a prophet and so, the Lord sent him.
But this is wrong because if you read from Isaiah Chapter 1 to Chapter 6, you will see that he had been a prophet before this time.
He simply had a prophetic vision in which he received a specific assignment, which he willingly accepted unlike Jonah who stubbornly refused to go to Nineveh until he passed through severe affliction in the school of maritime!
Friend, God has never ordained volunteers to be prophets.
1 Corinthians 12:28 AMPC
SO GOD HAS APPOINTED SOME IN THE CHURCH [FOR HIS OWN USE]: first apostles (special messengers); second PROPHETS (INSPIRED PREACHERS AND EXPOUNDERS); third teachers; then …
Ephesians 4:11 AMPC
And His gifts were [varied; HE HIMSELF APPOINTED AND GAVE MEN TO US] some to be apostles (special messengers), SOME PROPHETS (INSPIRED PREACHERS AND EXPOUNDERS), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
So these two verses above acertain that it’s a divine appointment, and not a human volunteer call.
10. IT’S NOT ASSISTING ONESELF TO SEE VISIONS OR PROPHESY
A. NATURAL MEANS
Someone said there is secretion from a particular animal that when put in the human eyes, one will begin to see visions.
That’s totally strange!
I don’t know how true that is but he said it so confidently. He used to be in training as a demonic traditional herbalist or witch doctor.
But he dropped that to answer God’s call upon his life.
He also seemed to tell me that there was a particular leaf that when used people will start seeing visions.
I could hardly believe that people can take an ordinary leaf without demonic incantation and begin to see visions!
Whether or not both are true, they should be avoided like a plague. Jesus never used such. They are unScriptural!
Also some so-called prophets are guilty of psychological prophecy. They are fond of just studying people and guessing their problems or challenges presenting them as prophecies, and suggesting possible solutions.
In addition, some are guilty of research prophecy.
For instance, a particular preacher reportedly used one or more informants to gather sensitive data of some of the people attending the meeting where he was a guest speaker.
I learnt he would then come to the pulpit to publicly give out those sensitive data as prophecies to excite the people and collect their money!
Moreover, one or more of these false prophets are guilty of quickly turning breaking news to prophecies!
For example, a particular repentant woman confessed that her prophet used to utilize or employ information or news got on TV to quickly release prophecies to the astonishment of the world!
This popular prophet is said to monitor breaking or current news on TV via different stations.
So as it’s coming out fresh, he quickly turns it into a prophecy from God and release to the world. He has a popular TV station already attracting the attention of the world!
B. DEMONIC MEANS
Matthew 24:24 AMPC
For false Christs and FALSE PROPHETS will arise, and they will show GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS SO AS TO DECEIVE AND LEAD ASTRAY, IF POSSIBLE, EVEN THE ELECT (GOD’S CHOSEN ONES).
How many people have gone to India, Ghana, or some parts of Nigeria in search of demonic power to see visions?
How many people have done abominable sacrifices, rituals and practices in questionable places and at questionable time just to see visions?
Judgment awaits all false prophets and prophetesses unless they repent fast.
WHAT IS THE PROPHETIC CALL?
It’s a specific call by God to be His prophet or prophetess.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 NIV
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5 “Before 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.”
Jeremiah had a predestined call to be a prophet to the nations.
He did not decide that call himself, rather he only discovered what God had already pre-decided, pre-purposed and pre-planned for him!
God made it clear to him that he was a prophet, not to a nation, but to different nations.
For example, one may be called as a prophet to all the continents, another as a prophet to Africa, another as a prophet to West Africa, yet another as a prophet to Nigeria, yet another as a prophet to Lagos State, and so on.
Ezekiel 2:3-5, NIV
3 He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day.
4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ’This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’
5 And whether they listen or fail to listen —for they are a rebellious people —they will know that A PROPHET has been among them.
Similarly, Ezekiel was called to be a prophet. God told him inferentially that he was a prophet (see verse 5 above).
One who has a genuine prophetic call does not necessarily need to know initially through an angel, God’s audible voice, vision, dream, prophecy or some spectacular strange experiences.
It may all begin with a witness of the Holy Spirit, peace and joy in your heart.
Romans 8:14 KJV
FOR AS MANY AS ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THEY ARE THE SONS OF GOD. (see also Isaiah 55:12, Proverbs 20:27).
But eventually, more clarity will come through any means the Lord chooses as time rolls by.
It’s very possible for one to have a prophetic call without knowing or being sure of it.
But if one will continue to serve and seek God faithfully, then it will become clearer.
Even William Branham who had an unusual prophetic call did not understand that call initially until many years later.
(2). 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 it’s full of rhema Word of God that will strengthen, encourage and comfort one’s 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 Philip’s 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 can’t prophesy at will. He can’t 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 don’t have to operate it but the Spirit operates it through us as he wishes or desires (see 1 Cor. 12:4, 7, 11).
(3). HE ALSO HAS AT LEAST 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 at least two of these: word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits (the seeing or hearing gifts) operating consistently in his life.¹
Hosea 12:10 KJV 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 God’s 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 hearings (or words).
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 hearings (revelations) or sometimes sayings. [Please see the prophetic parable and prophecy of Nathan 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 can come in a vision form. They also come in form of words or a voice.
The word of knowledge is a supernatural uncoded insight or revelation about people (or things) and their present or past activities or experiences, while the word of wisdom is a supernatural insight or revelation using objects like plants, animals, and so on to bring about coded messages with hidden meanings about future events or happenings (see Dan 7-8, Zechariah 4-5).
We shall be dealing with how to interpret some coded messages with hidden meanings in visions and dreams later.
Furthermore, the discerning of spirits is a supernatural insight or revelation into the spirit realm.
Hence it may involve seeing or hearing God’s Spirit, angels (for they are ministering spirits − Hebrews 1:14), Satan and his demons, human spirits or other spirit beings.
A. The word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits can come in any of these VISIONARY forms:
(i) Spiritual Vision — seen in your human spirit
(ii) Open Vision — seen with your physical eyes open
(iii) Trance — seen when it seems you dreaming while semi-conscious (partly conscious of the spiritual realm and partly conscious of the physical realm)
B. The word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits can come in any of these REVELATORY forms:
1 Corinthians 14:10-11 KJV
THERE ARE, it may be, SO MANY KINDS OF VOICES IN THE WORLD, and none of them is without signification.  Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
(i) Audible Voice or Outward Voice
This is a voice or voices heard supernaturally with one or both of the physical human ears.
It could be the voice of the Father, the Son, angels, demons, human beings, animals, and so on.
1 Samuel 9:15-16 KJV
NOW THE LORD HAD TOLD SAMUEL IN HIS EAR a day before Saul came, saying,  To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.
John 12:28-30 KJV
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a VOICE from heaven, saying , I have both glorified it , and will glorify it again.  THE PEOPLE THEREFORE, THAT STOOD BY, AND HEARD it , SAID THAT IT THUNDERED: others said, An angel spake to him.  Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
David Babajide, a prophet, was said to hear, understand and interpret messages conveyed by the voices of babies and animals.²
(ii) Inaudible Voice or Inward Voice
This is not heard with the physical ear or ears, but with the inner or spiritual ear.
1. Voice of the Human Spirit
This is a gentle voice within.
Proverbs 20:27 KJV
The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord , searching all the inward parts of the belly.
2. Voice of the Holy Spirit
This is a commanding or authoritative voice of the Holy Spirit within a believer’s heart.
It’s noteworthy that the Holy Spirit cannot speak to a believer’s outer ears, because He is in his heart. Rather, He will speak within his human spirit to his same human spirit!
It’s much more common with some prophets or prophetesses than with apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
Acts 8:29 KJV
THEN THE SPIRIT SAID UNTO PHILIP, GO NEAR, AND JOIN THYSELF TO THIS CHARIOT.
Acts 10:19-20 KJV
While Peter thought on the vision, THE SPIRIT SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THREE MEN SEEK THEE.  ARISE THEREFORE, AND GET THEE DOWN, AND GO WITH THEM, DOUBTING NOTHING: FOR I HAVE SENT THEM.
Acts 13:1-2 KJV
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain PROPHETS and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, THE HOLY GHOST SAID, SEPARATE ME BARNABAS AND SAUL FOR THE WORK WHEREUNTO I HAVE CALLED THEM.
We have seen above how Philip the evangelist, Peter the apostle and most likely a prophet heard the commanding voice of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church.
It’s interesting to note that in each case, He gave an instruction to be obeyed. He gave a command or order.
Most of the times, if not every time, the voice of the Holy Ghost in our heart will give a command or order to be obeyed.
3. Voices of others
This is the voice of others heard supernaturally in your human spirit. It may be a human or non-human voice!
Sometimes, word of knowledge, word of wisdom or discerning of spirits comes simply as a vision. One only sees something!
Some other times, it comes simply as a revelation. One only hears something!
Yet, at times, it comes as both vision and revelation in a single experience. One both sees something and hears something!
(4). 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 as complex gift of it.
That complex gift is a distinguishing hallmark borne by God’s prophets.
This complex gift of prophecy is the word of the LORD as shown in the Scripture above.
That’s 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).
(5). HE BRINGS DIVINE DIRECTION TO PEOPLE (ESPECIALLY GOD’S 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 God’s Holy APOSTLES AND PROPHETS” (Eph 3:4-5, NIV).
“Surely the sovereign LORD does nothing without REVEALING his plan to his servants THE PROHETS” (Amos 3:7, NIV).
Prophets generally have revelations and visions as already explained. A prophet can receive revelations (hearings or things heard) and see visions (seeings or things seen).
In other words, God speaks revelations to him or 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 will say, “A prophet should not give divine direction to people, especially saints in the New Testament.”
That is not scriptural.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, two of the meanings of the phrase “to direct” are “to cause (someone or something) to turn, move, or point in a particular way” and “to cause (someone’s attention, thoughts, emotions, etc.) to relate to a particular person, thing, goal, etc.”
So the first meaning is active while the second one is passive.
For example, Barnabas and Saul were separated (commissioned unto the Gospel through the ministry of one or more prophets (see Acts 13:1-3).
That was a perfect example of a prophet giving an active direction to people: “the Holy Ghost said, SEPARATE ME BARNABAS AND SAUL FOR THE WORK WHEREUNTO I HAVE CALLED THEM.”
On the other hand, Agabus, a prophet in the Early Church gave an indicative prophecy that prevented the saints from being overwhelmed by a severe famine.
The prophecy did not direct them actively away from the famine itself but, somehow 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).
So, he directed them passively, not actively. He caused their attention, thoughts and emotions to relate to preventing themselves and some others from perishing in the famine!
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!
Similarly, much later the same Agabus inspired Paul towards preparing himself for the oppositions awaiting him in Jerusalem. He gave him an indicative prophecy to direct him passively, not actively.
Neither Agabus nor JESUS told Paul not to go Jerusalem (see Acts 21:10-15, Acts 23:11).
So, Agabus’ prophecy to Paul caused his attention, thoughts and emotions to relate to preparing himself for what awaited him in Jerusalem!
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. [But the Lord can lead you specifically to a prophet, or send a prophet to you to give you a timely word.]
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).
(6). HE BRINGS DIVINE TIMELY WARNING TOWARDS REPENTANCE TO PEOPLE (ESPECIALLY GOD’S 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 don’t need to grieve for their sins any more. Repentance is now an old school message.
Someone said that the Nigerian Church is praying and fasting, but not repenting.
People are now being deceived into prosperity without God’s 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 I’d 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 DON’T 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, “Don’t 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 PROPHET’S EMPHASIS IS A CALL TO REPENTANCE
John Bevere has really inspired me along this line.³
“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 don’t 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).
(7). 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 prophet’s 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.
Sad to say, some 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 effectiveness in the ministry.
The prophet’s problem or mistake was that he put too much emphasis on visions.
People could come to him expecting him to see visions about them. But he wasn’t careful enough. He wanted to impress the people. I think he must be regretting it now if he has not changed!
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 of the Spirit through you as He wills.
This prophet didn’t develop his preaching anointing as he should have. He seemed to have an attitude of “I am not a Bible teacher. I am a prophet. I’m not supposed to study the Bible as such in order to preach.”
You see, 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 God’s 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 didn’t 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.
(8) HE STANDS IN THE GAP AND MAKES UP THE HEDGE FOR GOD’S 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 the Israel who are now prophesying…Ye 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 God’s people while to make up the hedge (or wall) is to restore God’s 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).
You see, every prophet is an intercessor; but not every intercessor is a prophet!
One of the prophets 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 Tunde Bakare.
The Bible shows us that a prophet should have a remarkable anointing to pray, preach and prophesy!
In fact, one of the most outstanding prophets in our land today — Isaac Ezeh — has given himself to intercessory prayer for Nigeria.
He’s not very famous yet, but he is a raw and deep prophet carrying a dangerous prophetic anointing!
He started a Church some years ago. But the Lord instructed him to close it down telling him that He did not ask him to start a Church. (He’s not a Church-founding prophet, but a non-Church-founding prophet.)
“By 2012 the Lord instructed him to resign from his law practice and face the ministry of intercession for Nigeria. Now what he does is to meet with people from different denomination on a regular basis to intercede for Nigeria and reach out to churches on how to pray for Nigeria teaching them and giving prophetic guidelines as instructed by the Lord.”⁴
- Hagin, Kenneth E: The Ministry of a Prophet
- Idowu, Moses Oludele: The Last of the Mighty Ones
- Bevere, John: Thus Saith the Lord?
- Osinaike, Gbenga: ‘Pastor Who Had Strange Encounter in German Prison Says, “Nigeria is in the grip of the marine world.” ‘
To be continued.
Source: Part of this message is from: The Ministry of a Prophet — by Segun Olumide with Tosin Olumide
Books By Segun Olumide
(Volumes 1 – 7 are out. God willing, watch out for the last volume soonest.)
(1) Three Types of Faith
(2) Understanding Real Faith
(3) The Power of Faith
(4) Developing Strong Faith
(5) How To Release Your Faith
(6) The Test of Faith
(7) Faith, Healing and Health Scriptures
(8) From Faith to Faithfulness
Healing & Health Series
(1) Ten Things You Should Know about Healing
(2) Why Some Are Not Healed
(3) How to Receive Your Divine Healing
(4) Healing of Crushed Emotions & Disturbed Minds
Ministry Gifts Series
(1) Unfolding the Fivefold Ministry
(2) The Ministry of an Apostle
(3) The Ministry of a Prophet
(4) The Ministry of an Evangelist
(5) The Ministry of a Pastor
(6) The Ministry of a Teacher
(7) Biblical Ministries Today (Questions & Answers) [coming soon]
Holiness & Heaven Series
(1) Preconditions for
Heaven – Vol 1
(2) Preconditions for Heaven – Vol 2
(1) How to Find The Right Life Partner
(2) Why Marriages Break [12 Things That Can Make or Break Your Marriage]
(1) Basic Bible Course
(2) Certificate in Christian Ministry
How to Interpret Dreams and Visions
Secrets of Financial and Material Prosperity
Passion for the Lost
How to Receive the Holy Spirit
Fulfilling Your Divine Destiny
Day of Reckoning: God’s Formula for Eternal Rewards
Identifying Counterfeit Ministries
Sanctification: Changing from Inside Out
O Suffering, Why Really Me?
Intimacy with God
The Pastor’s Wife
Why Some Churches Won’t Grow!
Just Before You Start a Church
How to Prepare and Deliver Sermons
Finding Your Own Ministry
False Doctrines Exposed!
How to Raise Money for Ministry
GIFTS AND CALLING SERIES (Coming soon)
- UNDERSTANDING THE CALL OF GOD [out]
- PROVING YOUR CALL
- PURSUING YOUR CALL
- WHY SOME MINISTERS FAIL
- FULFILLING YOUR CALL
If you want to become a child of God now, then say this confession:
“I choose to repent today. Also I choose to believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose up for my justification. The scripture says, “If you confess with you mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Therefore, I believe in Jesus with my heart and confess him as my Lord. Now, I am born- again (Amen).”
PRAYER FOR HEALING & DELIVERANCE
So put your hand on the part of your body that needs healing. Also on your chest for inner healing of your spirit or soul. You can also do it on behalf of your loved ones.
Now in the mighty name of Jesus, be healed of cancer, HIV/AIDS, barrenness, insanity, lameness, blindness, deafness, dumbness, fibroid, tumour, broken bone, hypertension, epilepsy, kidney failure, liver failure, weak heart, leprosy, emotional crisis, failed marriages, failed ministries, failed businesses, academic failure, broken heart, depression, wounded conscience, and all manners of sicknesses and diseases.
In the name of Jesus, I command your total deliverance from generational or family curses, spirit of death, bondages, and so on.
Be healed in Jesus’ name! Be healed in Jesus’ name! Be healed in Jesus’ name!
SAY THIS ALOUD TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Also Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8).
And on the day of Pentecost “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Therefore, I receive the Holy Spirit by faith right now and I begin to speak in an unknown tongue (unlearned tongue) as He gives me the utterance.
I command every foul spirit [spirit of fear, spirit of unbelief, spirit of doubt, religious spirit, unforgiving spirit…] wanting to hinder me to stop in its evil operation in my life in Jesus’ name.
Thank you God for filling me with your Spirit in Jesus’ name (Amen).
SPECIAL! SPECIAL! SPECIAL!
(A MUST READING/VIEW)
(Google the following free of charge on the Internet and God will change your life forever.)
- “Holiness Required For Heaven by Carillo from Bolivia”
- “Eternal Destinations: Godly Attire and Adornment”
- “Another Warning by Kingsley Ubani”
- “Time Is Over : Run For Your Life by Kingsley Ubani”
- “9 Testimonies on Tithing from Heaven and Hell Visions”
- “The Dangers of Eating God’s Tithes and Offerings”
- “The Visitation of Jesus to Samuel Oghenetega”
(Crosscheck these testimonies with the Scriptures and if you have questions you may send us an email.)
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