Before I dive into this topic, let me make one thing clear: I fully embrace, welcome and participate in the prophetic ministry. I believe that the Bible is true when it declares, "Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be supported. Believe His prophets, and you will succeed" (2 Chr. 20:20).
The prophetic ministry is one of the most powerful and often misunderstood in the body of Christ. Yet, I believe that it is a prophetic generation that will empower the effective weapons of war and release God's people to surge forth with divine direction. Prophetic ministry is crucial to the emerging move of God, bringing revival and awakening in the earth. There is a great need for powerful and authentic prophetic ministry.
Unfortunately, the enemy loves to twist and pervert something that God is using. He works very hard to find cracks in a person's armor or a breach in the hedge so that he can come in and create havoc.
I was stunned when a good friend of mine shared the story of a prophetic meeting in which the primary minister would only give a detailed word for a monetary gift. Let me pause and say that I believe a workman is worthy of his hire (1 Tim. 5:18). Historically, prophets have been blessed people because there is a divine attraction related to their gift. As people receive life-giving words, they often desire to sow and support. This is biblical and healthy.
However, prostituting a gift by putting monetary demands upon people in order to allow them to benefit from a gift is a breach of character at best, manipulation and witchcraft at worst! I don't care how many books you have written, hours you've been on television or who has endorsed you. This practice is abusive and creates a tremendous stain upon the prophetic ministry. The body of Christ and leaders in particular need to stop tolerating this and put a stop to it.
Prophetic people have a tendency to walk alone because they are often rejected by those who do not understand their gift. The enemy loves to use the tool of isolation. Spiritual isolation can can create a toxic situation in the life of a prophet. When Elijah was under a spiritual attack, the enemy isolated him so that he retreated into a cave.
"He came to a cave and camped there, and the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, "Why are you here, Elijah?" And he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, Lord of Hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword, and I alone am left, and they seek to take my life" (1 Kings 19:9-10, MEV).
Many times prophets find themselves isolated and feeling rejected. This creates a platform for deception! I believe that this is one of the many reasons why the Lord linked the apostolic and prophetic ministries together. A seasoned spiritual father or mother with integrity would teach a young prophet valuable lessons about stewarding their gift with integrity to avoid deceptive practices.
Yet, many prophets spend much of their time alone and in prayer. Often they travel without being faithful to a local assembly or committed to an apostolic father or mother, lacking any real accountability. When they begin to describe physical conditions, calling out people's names and sharing intimate details of people's lives, their meetings grow and their influence increases. It becomes very easy for them to lose their footing and slip down a path of error.
Again, this is where the body of Christ needs maturity! Why are we so enamored with accurate information? Could this be a revelation as to why the modern-day disciples of Jesus are so spiritually dry? They flock to anyone that they believe is hearing from God because His voice is so dim in their own lives? Has the American and Western church drifted so far from the supernatural that any sign of Holy Spirit life is like a breath of fresh air to God's people? I believe the answer to these questions is a resounding, "Yes."
It is time that passionate devotion, daily prayer, Holy Spirit leading and the believer's ministry be restored to the church. Many large gatherings will reject these thoughts but there is a remnant people who really want to walk with the Father! We must get back to foundational Christianity and New Testament ministry that includes the supernatural! We must also be mature enough to put a stop to abuses and nonsense in the name of the prophetic.
A prophetic gift that is not properly stewarded can easily give way to witchcraft (control and manipulation) in the name of prophecy. I am not accusing prophets who flow in power of any evil motive. Again, I love and embrace the prophetic ministry. I myself spend a lot of time ministering one-on-one and releasing prophetic words by the leading of the Spirit of God. I enjoy revival and wild manifestations of God's power. I am talking very specifically about wrong operations.
Here are four signs of danger in prophetic ministry:
1. Tying a monetary gift to receiving a prophetic word. This should not be tolerated by the body of Christ. It is time to cleanse the oil and rid the body of abusive hirelings. I don't care how famous you are or how accurate your revelation is, if you demand money before you prophesy to someone then you are in sin and need to repent.
2. Prophesying from a soulish realm. This is something that every prophetic minister, including myself, has wrestled with. We must do our very best not to operate out of our own desires or knowledge when ministering prophetically but really tapping into the realm of the spirit. We should avoid speaking in the name of prophecy over situations of which we have an intense amount of knowledge. One example is prophets getting wrapped so deeply in political issues. It is extremely difficult to give a pure word of the Lord when your emotions are actively involved in the outcome.
3. Controlling prophecies. The gift of prophecy should exhort people not tie them down. I believe there can be prophetic warnings and even rebukes but it must not be from a false motive of control. Ministry leaders should not continually prophesy over people their own desires to build their ministries. This is a false operation that needs to be torn down by rooting our hearts deeply in prayer and daily checking our motives.
4. Operating under false fire. The Bible tells us that we are to know them that labor among us (1 Thess. 5:12). We are to know their fruit. We have gotten ourselves into great deception by seeking gifts and not fruit. Many people operating in the spirit of witchcraft and carrying strange fire have been allowed to masquerade as prophets. This has polluted the stream!
I am giving my time and life to stirring fresh fire in God's people and setting the nations ablaze. I see revival hubs being raised up in various territories to host the presence of God and release Holy Fire. I see a new generation of signs and wonders ministries arising in the earth today! I believe that there is a generation that longs for the authentic miracle working power of God.
I am encouraged by the growing hunger that I sense. I am passionately striving to establish a pure generation of apostolic leaders to build the hubs, stoke the fire and release the army. It is an impossible task without the prophetic ministry. We need those who see, hear and know by the Spirit. The church is in dire need of a prophetic release from heaven. We need regional words to empower revival! We need national prophetic voices to speak the heart and plans of the Father.
We need fresh fire not strange fire! We need revelation not manipulation. We must establish sound teaching and guidance concerning prophetic ministry. My question is: Where are the fathers? Where are those who provide guidance, warning and solid teaching to the body of Christ in order to avoid deception? We need your voices to arise!
Let's do this thing with integrity, purity and honor.
Ryan LeStrange has been preaching the gospel for more than half of his life. As a young man, God led him to leave his home and travel to Tennessee to study and train under Dr. Norvel Hayes, who later became his spiritual father. Pastor Ryan shares the apostolic call of Dr. Hayes to establish churches, ministries and Bible colleges, and to train leaders in the body of Christ. Ryan hosts a weekly television show on God TV called Power4Today. Ryan is the apostle and leader of Impact International Apostolic Fellowship, a network of churches and ministries around the world with a single vision to birth revival. He has founded two Bible colleges, served as an associate pastor and traveled as an evangelist. Visit him online at ryanlestrange.com.
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