God puts a prophet through a process of refinement. God purges the prophet and develops their character. The prophet has to respond to the dealings of God in his or her own life before they can effectively deal with the problems in the lives of others.
Sometimes as a prophet you will feel as if you are in a furnace. You may find yourself saying, "God, why are You dealing so strongly with me? Why don't You deal with everyone else like this?" Don't give up, prophet. Go through the process.
A prophet is a vessel. God purges His vessels. God will take the dross (impurities) out of your life. You have to become the raw material to be a prophetic vessel. Go through the process. Let the fire burn.
Prophet, don't allow guilt, shame and condemnation to prevent you from accepting and walking in your calling. Many prophets struggle with feelings of inadequacy as a result of their past. Isaiah was purged and sent. Allow the Lord to purge you from sins of the past, walk clean before the Lord and fulfill your call.
Moses distinguished himself as a prophet by his faithfulness (Num. 12:7). Be faithful to the call and commission.
The Prophet's Anointing
Prophets understand grace. They know God's strength is by grace. They understand that they cannot do this in their own strength (1 Cor. 15:10). Prophets depend on the grace of God—His strength, favor, power and ability. They understand that without God, they can do nothing (John 5:30). Prophets will find themselves in situations in which they have to depend on grace.
God calls all kinds of people to be prophets. The Lord chose the foolish things to confound the things that are wise (1 Cor. 1:27-29). David was an obscure shepherd boy. Amos was not a prophet or a prophet's son. God calls people who would not qualify by the standards of men. Prophets are not determined by men but by God. God's choice is a challenge and rebuke against the pride of men.
There are things that you can learn directly from God. This is what happens to prophets. Prophets know things that are not taught by men. Jesus knew more than all the religious leaders of His day. They marveled at His knowledge (John 7:15). Jesus had not attended their schools.
The prophet's words are anointed and carry power. When prophets speak, things happen. When prophets speak, things change. When prophets speak, God moves. Open your mouth, prophet, and speak. God will back you up. He will confirm the words of His servants (Is. 44:26).
God commands His prophets to prophesy. When they do, there is a noise, a shaking, a coming together. Dead things come to life. Dry bones live again. The prophets' words bring life. They release breath.
When God is speaking, who can keep from prophesying? Some may want the prophets to be quiet, but they can't help but prophesy (Amos 3:8). This release can happen in the form of weeping, speaking, writing, singing, dancing or praying.
You cannot make prophets do what you want them to do. They are not to be used for your benefit and desire, but they are created for God's purposes. You are in trouble when you try to make them see and say what you want them to see and say. Prophets are independent spokesmen.
Prophets don't preach what is popular. Neither do they preach to be popular. They often preach a truth that makes them unpopular. They are not owned by people and organizations; they are owned only by God. The prophet is devoted to God and truth, not institutions, organizations, religions, doctrines and creeds.
You Must Overcome Fear
The Lord will put you in situations where you must overcome fear. You will have to learn to overcome criticism, rejection, jealous people and the like. This is part of the making of a prophet. The Lord is building courage in you. You will have to make decisions some people won't agree with. You will have to take a stand. You cannot please everyone. You may lose some relationships.
Prophets must overcome the fear of man. This can be a major battle for some. The fear of man brings a snare. You cannot fear man, the call, criticism, rejection, persecution or intimidation and be strong in the prophetic. Fear will short-circuit your prophetic flow. Everyone has to overcome some kind of fear. You are not alone. God will deliver you from all your fears and give you the courage you need (Jer. 1:8).
The prophet's desire is to please God, not men. You cannot be a servant of Christ and please men (Gal. 1:10). Prophets don't seek the approval of men. The prophet's priority is to please God. Inordinate people-pleasing brings you into bondage by enslaving you to everyone whom you desire to please.
Jesus did not look for or receive honor from men (John 5:41). Jesus received honor from the Father. Prophets have always had to live without honor from men. God does not want you to depend on man's honor. The Father's honor is the most important thing to prophets (John 8:54).
Some of the early church leaders were excommunicated. Martin Luther, Jan Hus and other reformers were excommunicated. Are you willing to be rejected because of the truth?
How to Handle Opposition
Demons hate prophets. Witches and warlocks hate prophets. Jezebel hates prophets. Prophets are a threat to the works of darkness. They expose the works of the enemy. Prophets are on the enemy's hit list. God protects His prophets, so don't be afraid of the enemy. No weapon formed against you will prosper (Is. 54:17).
God sustains His prophets. They don't have to depend on men and religious systems to survive. Prophets depend on God. They must be free to speak for the Lord. True prophets don't eat at Jezebel's table.
Elijah was fed by ravens (1 Kin. 17:3-5). God was his source and provider. Prophets depend on God for sustenance. Prophets need God's sustenance because they are often rejected by men. Prophet, expect to receive miraculous provision from God.
God hates when His prophets are mistreated (Ps. 105:15). Prophets can be mistreated, persecuted, ignored, called crazy, rejected, overlooked, isolated, muzzled and passed over. Prophets are often persecuted by the systems they cry out against. This is nothing new. God vindicates His prophets, defends them and deals with the systems that mistreat them.
If you are a prophet, you will have to develop some toughness. Prophets have to learn how to "shake off the dust" (Matt. 10:14). Prophets want everyone to receive the truth and be blessed, but sometimes it just does not happen that way. You can't make people do what the Lord says. Sometimes you have to leave and "shake off the dust."
If you are rejected, don't pick up demons of hurt and rejection. Don't let those demons in your life. Remember the word of the Lord to Samuel: "It is not you they have rejected, but Me they have rejected from reigning over them" (1 Sam. 8:7).
It's not about you; it's about the Lord. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.
General Functions of a Prophet
Prophets pull down that which God did not build, root up that which God did not plant and destroy what God wants destroyed.
God uses prophets to send out ministries. Prophets enjoy releasing and seeing ministers released. Prophets love to see people activated and released into their God-given destinies. They love to see the plans and purposes of God come to pass in peoples' lives.
Prophets don't like being in ministries where no one is released. Prophets don't like seeing the wrong people released.
It is the ministry of prophets to pray over and lay hands on those being separated unto special ministry (Acts 13:2). The prophets and teachers at Antioch heard the Spirit say to separate Paul and Barnabas. They separated them, laid hands on them and sent them out. Prophets help us release ministries.
Some prophets are also scribes (Matt. 23:34). They write down their dreams, visions, prophetic words and insights. They often love journaling. The scribal prophet is not limited to writing, but can release the word through audio, video, print and other media. They have a desire to record what God is saying.
Scribal prophets, go back and read the things you wrote down years ago, and you might be shocked at what the Lord has done to bring those words to pass. Some of you have journals that you have written over the years. God is faithful.
Scribes can also be persecuted. Religious systems of control hate scribes. This is because their writings challenge these systems. Truth and revelation can be imparted and released through writing. Writing has always been a powerful tool of reformation.
Some prophets are musicians and singers; others may express themselves through dance. Both Miriam and David expressed themselves in the dance (Ex. 15:20; 2 Sam. 6:14). Prophets are expressive, and the dance is one of the most powerful ways to express God's power, victory, love and mercy.
The Unusual Life of a Prophet
Prophets can find themselves in the most unusual places and circumstances, and wonder, "How did I get here?" Prophet, God can place you there to release His wisdom and His word. Don't be surprised where you find yourself ministering. God will open doors for you, send you and place you with people who you ordinarily would never meet. They need what you have.
Prophets can speak to people of power and those in positions of power. This is because power is so easily abused and misused. Nathan spoke to David. This is an example of speaking to power. Sometimes power does not want to hear what prophets say. Jesus spoke to power when He challenged the religious leaders of His day for their hypocrisy and abuse.
Yet beware. Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." This famous quote addresses the fact that men have a difficult time handling power. Pride tends to corrupt men of power, and this is why we need prophets who will speak to and challenge power.
Moses is the exception. He was a man of great power, but he's called the meekest man of the earth (Num. 12:3). He never needed a prophet to correct him.
Prophets are not normal, and their experiences are not normal. Prophets are different because they have visitations. Unusual salvations, deliverances, dreams, visions and divine encounters are the prophet's portion. When a person encounters God, he or she cannot remain the same.
Moses encountered a burning bush, Isaiah saw the Lord in His glory, Ezekiel had visions of God, and Daniel had angelic visitations. Jeremiah encountered God at a young age, John was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb, and God appeared to Jacob in a dream.
Prophets are different because they encounter God in unusual ways. They have unusual testimonies. If you tell people some of your experiences, they might think you are crazy and spooky.
Prophets do most of their work in secret. Prophets don't have to have platforms, although God may give them one. Prophets don't have to be seen, although God may highlight them.
Prophets pray, weep, minister to the Lord and study in secret. What God shows them in secret, they speak to the world. Prophets love the solitary place. Prophets hate the hype and sensationalism they see on many platforms.
Prophets are often hidden from view. They do much of their work in the secret place.
The hidden ones are the "secret ones," "the precious ones" and "the treasured ones" (Ps. 83:3).
I drove from Illinois to Iowa some time ago and passed a town by the name of Prophetstown in Illinois. I have lived in Illinois all my life, and I have never heard of this town. I researched it, and this is what I found:
"Prophetstown is named for Wabokieshiek (White Cloud), a medicine man known as 'the Prophet.' (He was) also friend and adviser to Chief Black Hawk. Born in 1794, he presided over the village known as 'prophet's village' on the Rock River. He was half Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) and half Sauk and had great influence over both tribes."
I pray that the Lord would raise up "Prophetstowns" in every region across the globe. Let true prophets arise and come forth in every town and city. Let the cloud of glory be in these towns.
John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries in Chicago. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas. He is an international conference speaker, produces a weekly television program, Perfecting the Saints, and has written more than 20 books. Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his family.
Apostle John Eckhardt shares his excitement for his new book, Prophet Arise, on Brian Carn Live at eckhardt.charismamag.com.
If you liked THE article, you'll love the book
In Prophet Arise: Your Call to Boldly Speak the Word of the Lord (Charisma House), apostle John Eckhardt teaches how to use the prophetic gifts. Discover the prophet's call and how to find healing when you are misunderstood. You can find this book at amazon.com, christianbook.com or wherever Christian books are sold.
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