#PROPHETS are individuals who are regarded as being in contact with a divine being and are said to speak on that entity’s behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering oracles, or messages/teachings from the supernatural source to other people. Prophets seek God’s face and heart in order to give instruction and direction to people who are seeking to inquire of God.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Nevi’im (Hebrew for “spokesperson” aka prophet) are often known to prophecy:
- Divine Judgment (on God’s people as well as on the world because of their sins),
- Comfort, and
- Hope for a future glory that is to be experienced by God’s people under the reign of Christ the Messiah.
At a great personal sacrifice, and accompanied with much hate, rejection, opposition, persecution and even death, prophets are empowered by God to boldly deliver the messages He’s given them.
God uses the life of a prophet and events that happen in their lives as a physical example to make a spiritual point. God will tell the prophet to say or do unusual things that doesn’t always make sense in the natural just to make a spiritual point. God speaks to prophets very clearly and often using parables, analogies, metaphors, allegory, and symbolism to further clarify his point. God also gives prophets vivid dreams and visions that they are to write down and share with others.
God is the one who calls prophets to their office and not they themselves. God often appoints prophets over certain nations, kingdoms, territories or demographics of people and gives them an assignment to tear down and build up; to uproot and plant; or to overthrow principalities in that region based on their persistence in or their repentance of sins.
Prophets, through fervent intercessory prayers, plead with God in an attempt to offset the impeding judgement of the people. Prophets can be very emotional as they are often burdened with a heavy task to pray for others. They can spend hours lamenting, or crying and weeping because of the condition of the world and the Church. Their heart is to see people repent from sin, idolatry, and false gods and to return to the one true God.
Prophets come with the gift of discernment to read spirits and the hearts of men. As seers, God shows prophets things about others so they can pray and intercede on their behalf or to rebuke and expose them and bring them into correction. They can sometimes feel lonely and misunderstood, as they are often rejected and face opposition from those they prophecy to. Prophets often have to encourage themselves in the Lord.
Prophets existed in both the Old and New Testament, and both men and women have been gifted with the role of a prophet (women are often called a prophetess). Though some are gifted to be a “full time” prophet, not all who prophecy are, or will be prophets. God can use anyone to prophecy, and some have the gift of prophecy given to them by the will of the Holy Spirit, where they operate in the gift “part time.” The spirit of prophecy comes over them and they speak as the Spirit of God gives them the utterance. This ability comes and goes as God chooses to use the vessel. However, prophets have a larger assignment on their life that requires them to constantly flow in the prophetic. As examples show in the Bible, prophets can have a prophecy for the cooperate congregation, or they can deliver personal messages to specific individuals. Prophets aren’t always speaking in the prophetic, though. For many prophets, their very life is prophetic, and the assignment God has given them to carry out is prophetic. For some, they do more acting than talking.
Some believe that the gift of the prophet is no longer needed and that the gifting ceased at the close of the Biblical cannon of Scriptures. But according to “Ephesians 4:11-13:
“Christ himself gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
In order for the body of Christ to be effective and fully equipped, built up, and made mature, all of the offices would need to exist in these modern times. But there are many false prophets that exist, who speak presumptuously yet nothing they say come to pass. They prophecy out of their own heart and tell the people what they want to hear. They are soothsayers, practice divination, and lead people away from God — pointing people to themselves instead of the Most High. They often charge for prophecies or convince the people that they need to do certain things to hear from God. These false prophets causes people to doubt the real ones. But God does have a remnant of true prophets.
I get a lot of heat from certain religious Christians for saying this, but I believe that God has called me to be a modern day prophet. I have had vivid dreams where God called me a prophet, and a dream where he’s given me an assignment to carry out (to take a stand against sexual immorality and to minister a revival of purity and holiness before the Lord). I have had several dozen people over the years who don’t know each other, but who all profess to be prophets themselves prophecy this mantle over my life. (Often prophecy is a confirmation of what has already revealed to you.) I hear from God clearly (more so in my spirit/thoughts than audibly, though I have heard him speak audibly). He uses me frequently to prophecy to members at my church and elsewhere, and he has given me an intercessory prayer life, where he’s had me to pray on specific targets. I have dreams that come to past and believe everything about my life is prophetic. There’s a lot that I’m still learning and allowing God to train me in, but this is all of what I know so far. I don’t go around carrying the title, trying to convince everyone, or prove that I’m a prophet because God said those with discernment will see my fruit and know. Also, I know and understand that the prophetic is my gift, but sonship is my identity. Prophet is my assignment, but winning souls to Christ is my purpose.