Here this and hear it well, America! God’s anointed and appointed prophets, not politicians, are and have always been God’s change agents whose divinely inspired announcements and pronouncements are what bring change on earth and in the affairs of men! God’s prophets are His Watchmen and Warriors operating in the unseen Spirit realm, where all things are upheld by the Word of His power, who by their unveiling and revealing, decreeing and declaring of the Secret Counsel of God establish and set into motion all that God is doing and establishing upon the earth at any given moment and season in time! “Change” is their middle name, and “new things” is their game!
This article is Part 2 of a series regarding the “new things” God is decreeing for the days ahead. I believe the topic of this series is both prophetic and timely, in that God is right now decreeing and effecting major and in some cases paradigmic changes both in the world and the church, and causing particular events to transpire that have never happened before; i.e., “new things.” God is “suddenly” releasing and launching much that has been held in abeyance for many years. He is also bringing a sudden end to much that has been for many years as well.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.
Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
I proclaim to you new things from this time,
Even hidden things which you have not known.
They are created now and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard them,
So that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
You have not heard, you have not known.
One of the tribes of Israel, the sons of Issachar, were “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chrn. 12:32). Prophets are spiritual “sons of Issachar.” The spiritual inheritance of that tribe is alive within them. They have a special anointing for discerning the times and knowing when God is bringing forth new things, new paradigms, and bringing the Church into new dimensions of the Spirit.
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer“; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.) (1 Sam. 9:9)
Because they are discerners of these things, prophets often “see” things others don’t see or before others do, including other leaders. Because they see and discern things before others do, there is a pioneering aspect to the personality and gifting of prophets. They are also predictive, rather than reactive, vis-à-vis most other people. Most people believe it when they see it. Prophets believe it before other people see it, because they’ve already seen it and its outcome in the Spirit. Prophets are still “seers.” They perceive things in the Spirit realm others do not, at least not yet. They specialize in revealing the “secret counsel” of God in His timing.
Surely the Lord God does NOTHING unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
Like it or not (and there’s plenty, especially cessationists, who don’t), it is Biblically irrefutable that announcing and proclaiming His secret counsel through prophets not only was but still is one of God’s unchanging ways. He testifies of Himself, “I, the Lord, do not change…” (Mal. 3:6).
According to Scripture, God’s way is to first reveal His “secret counsel” to those He has anointed and appointed as prophets, then, only in strict accordance with divine timing, those “counsel carriers” — i.e., those prophets — reveal what hitherto had been secret counsel from God to the Lord’s Betrothed, the Body of Christ. Once the secret counsel is revealed by God’s messengers, the prophets, it then becomes revealed knowledge that is consigned to the Body of Christ who are then the “corporate carriers” of the revelation, who in turn are charged with “shouting it from the rooftops,” thereby proclaiming it to the whole world!
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Deut. 29:29)
When a prophet prophesies over you, he sometimes is speaking of those things that be not as though they were, or as the Darby Translation expresses it, God “calls the things which be not as being” (Rom. 4:17) Many people do not understand prophecies spoken over themselves or others because they do not understand this about prophecy. In fact, prophetic naysayers or critics, along with those who have “seated themselves in the chair of Moses” as judges over their fellows, all of whom are invariably ignorant of prophetic language, will cite some particular portion of a prophetic word spoken over a person who they know (or arrogantly think they know) that appears to be contrary or sometimes even diametrically opposite of how things are or have been in what they know of that person’s history, and based on that make their own carnal judgment that the prophetic speaker is a “false prophet” and that the whole prophetic thing is false. But, again, that is carnal, ungodly judgment rooted in ignorance, because the first lesson we learn in the very first chapter of “His Story,” Scripture, is that in the beginning God spoke of those things that were not, or did not currently exist, as though they “were” in order to make them so! When He decreed into the darkness, “Let there be Light!” Light suddenly WAS! and dispelled the darkness!
Prophetic utterance is precisely like that — God dynamically decrees into the darkness of our lives, and suddenly there is Light, illumination! Hallelujah! Concerning that in which we once were blind, now we see! Where there was darkness, there is now illumination! His Rhema-Word is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path! Glory to God!
In other words, “God-speak,” by nature is prophetic, predictive, and certaintly precscient. Thus, prophecy, i.e., speaking on behalf of God, is often predictive, and in fact that is one of the most important aspects of prophecy. I mean, hey, you already know what things are right now, right? What you need to know is either why some things happened that have happened or you need a new “vision” for the future as a guide in your pursuit of God and His purposes for your life. That’s what prophecy does.
That’s why I’m not impressed when people say, “Hey, there’s this prophet at such and so place who is telling people their names and addresses!” Well, friend, if you don’t already know your name and address, you’re suffering either from Alzheimer’s or amnesia, and what you need is a healing, not a prophecy! Now I suppose God could use such things as a sign to confirm the person who is prophesying, but that may not be reliable because psychics can also tap into that kind of information, but their source is Satan.
Primarily, legitimate prophecy deals with what we don’t already know or have been understanding through our own natural knowledge and reasoning, or what God has been speaking to us that we have been ignoring. Legitimate prophecy tells us what we don’t know and only God could know, supernaturally! This is not to deny that there is often a confirmatory aspect to prophecy, especially when it is the gift of prophecy in operation through “one who prophesies” (1 Cor. 14:3,4), but someone who is operating out of the office (Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28) of the prophet will often speak things that are previously unknown to the recipient.
The main point I’m trying to make is that prophets, like God, specialize in “new things.” Instrinsically, the term “new” infers change. Thus, by their very nature, prophets are change agents.
Prophets are also spiritual marines — they’re always moving on from vanquished territories and enemies to charge new beachheads for God. As I said before, because they see/discern things before others do, there is a pioneering aspect to the personality, gifting, and operations of prophets. They are spiritual Daniel Boones — always looking forward in search of new spiritual frontiers and forging Wilderness Roads through Cumberland Gaps into new territory for God. They are antsy, and others often misjudge them as being impatient. They are easily bored with the status quo, are almost obsessed with movement, and detest stagnancy.
They are instigators, “stirrer-up-ers.” The prophetic personality and presence seems to stir up the human spirit without trying or intending to. The prophetic personality and presence certainly stirs up demon spirits and all the powers of hell wherever it is manifest. Prophets are forever stirring things up. They’ll sometimes stir things up, just because they can’t stand inanimateness and lifeless atmospheres. The prophetic personality and anointing is about movement. Just the prophet’s presence stirs things up. Just their presence elicits reaction from people, and it is never indifference. Wherever they go, demons, likewise, always react; it’s as if they have no choice.
When a prophet walks into a room, his presence is always felt. The prophetic anointing operating through a bona fide prophet charges and changes the atmosphere. Like the Apostle Paul, wherever they go, they either start a riot or a revival, and sometimes both, because their anointing is such a strong threat to the forces of hell, satanic strongholds, and the status-quo. I say again, prophets are quintessentially change agents.
Genuine Prophets are provokers. They are constantly provoking people to good works and continual advancement; at times that provoking can seem downright caustic as they fulfill their role of provoking people to good works. There’s no better example of this than Elijah on Mt. Carmel, provoking, taunting, ridiculing, and calling out the 850 false prophets! Yet, the real truth is that the prophetic perspective and personality is well-captured in the quotation Ted Kennedy, in his emotional eulogy of his slain brother, said that Bobby often quoted: “Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.” The prophet sees things as they are and is driven to compel (sometime by what is perceived by others to be brute spiritual force) those things that are to become what they’ve never yet been, but are ordained by God to be! “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force (Mat. 11:12).” Prophets certainly are among those who Jesus called “violent men” as compared to the sea of apathetic and often passionless humanity! The passion of the prophet makes him appear to lesser passionate people as “violent!” But, so be it — the genuine prophet will not be compelled by the opinions of men to in any way back down, back off, back away, or back up! He’s going to keep hacking away with Samuel’s ax of the Spirit until he hacks King Agag to pieces, and keep wielding the prophet’s “threshing sledge” until he pulverizes the mountain and makes the hills like chaff (Is. 41:15)! He can’t help it — that’s what prophets do! They’re going to keep at it until your unrighteous anger rises up in you and you cast him out of your life or church or ministry; but then you’ve refused, rejected, and will not receive “the prophets reward” which he was sent by God to impart to you (Mat. 10:41)! YOUR loss, not the prophet’s!
These characteristics are what make prophets so needed in many ecclesiastical institutions and ministries, and entrepreneurial enterprises as well, and worth their weight in gold. People with a prophetic personality are advancement agents. They will keep whatever entity they are involved with moving — in the direction of new things and constant improvement and advancement. They prefer evolution, but in places where, for whatever reasons, that has not been occurring, they will initiate revolution! They are relentless motivators of movement. They are the original prototypical “movers and shakers!” They’re going to move something, or somebody! And, if you refuse to move in the direction of advancement they are motivating you towards, they themselves will move — over, on, away, and to someone who will! They can’t help it! That’s who they are!
In the Church, we erroneously “anoint,” appoint, and “knight” some people “leaders” who are not leaders at all, but maintainers or managers of the status quo. The word “lead” implies movement. A leader is a person who motivates a contingency of followers/co-laborers to move toward the attainment of a purpose or goal. That purpose or goal coupled with the plan for achievement is the vision. Thus, a true leader is intrinsically a visionary, who has an internal vision of where he needs and wants to go, and compels others to get on the bus and go with him to apprehend the vision and reach the destination. Genuine, effective leaders are forward-thinking — always looking into the future to new vistas of advancement.
By this definition, many people in the ministry, including many of those who are the chief leaders of churches and ecclesiastical organizations are not really leaders at all, because their mindset and modus operandi does not fit the definition of a leader and they don’t see this definition of leadership as being their job description (and I don’t mean this in a pejorative or critical way). Many of these organization heads are really managers, and certainly managers are very much needed, but managers are just that — they manage what already exists, what’s there now and where it is positioned now — the status quo. They are caretakers. They will take good care of what is there now and manage it well, but they and the organization are right now where they are always going to be. Caretakers are the managers of museums (showplaces of old, obsolete relics and antiques of the past), monuments (statues and sculptures that are tributes to the past), and mausoleums (the final resting place of remains of the dead). The Church is no place for caretakers! The Church Jesus is building is not a museum of obsolete relics, a monument to the past, or a mausoleum for the dead!
A manager- or caretaker-type will never advance the organization toward new horizons and into new territory, because he is incapable of seeing it and not equipped/gifted to generate the movement required for advancement. Vision and advancement is not his forte. Senior leadership of any church or ministry, therefore, should not be in the hands of a manager-/caretaker-type.
Now, every entrepreneur-type needs good managers. But, manager-types make terrible entrepreneurs, because the entity under their leadership will eventually die because it failed to continue to advance and be forward-thinking.
Accountants, for example, are great at accounting for what you have already obtained, but someone who has strictly an accountant mentality, will never advance the entity because advancement involves risk and adventure into the unknown, uncharted, and untraveled, and accountant-types think in terms of safety, security, preservation, and the known. Risk and adventure scare them to death. Entrepreneurial-types, on the other hand, give about as much thought to risk and adventure as they do breathing. Both types have their upsides and their downsides. Now, when entrepreneurial-types connect and partner together in tandem on an enterprise, the result is generally success! Prophets are spiritual entrepreneurial-types.
If the manager-/caretaker-types leading our churches and ecclesiastical institutions would begin to recognize the critical need for the spiritual entrepreneurial mindset that prophet-types bring to the entities they lead, and begin to “receive a prophet in the name (i.e., in accordance with what a genuine prophet is and does) of a prophet,” not trying to “quench the Spirit” by resisting the unique ways He operates through the prophetic personality, gift, and office, but actually “receive the reward (benefit)” of the prophet’s ministry, then the Church and churches would begin to see an unprecedented dimension of “success” in the accomplishment of the purposes and plans of God, particularly those to which they have aspired but thus far been unable to apprehend! And, that is precisely where God is taking us in the new dimensions of the Spirit that lie ahead. New, advanced concinnity (harmonious co-labor and collaboration) among Fivefold Ministers is the only thing that will bring the ultimate fulfillment of the Ephesians Four Objective — maturing the Church to the spiritual place where it is “a (singular) mature (spiritually perfect) man, according to the measure of the stature of Christ!” The results of that Spirit-produced concinnity will exceed by light years anything the most advanced “church growth” concepts ever conceived in the mind of men could possibly ever achieve, as well as any perceived “advancements” the Church has thus far obtained.
Another reason prophets are the quintessential change-agents is because of some things God Himself declared in His Word concerning prophets that distinguish their ministry from all others. One is found in Amos 3:7, where God declares that He does nothing without first revealing His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. As indicated in the passages of Scripture quoted at the outset concerning the “new things” God does, He always brings forth those new things by declaring it, decreeing it, first, and prophets are His special messengers He uses as His spokesmen to declare and decree those things. And, again, because prophets are seers, they are going to see and know the “new things” God is declaring and decreeing before the vast majority of the rest of the Body of Christ. The “secret counsel” God shows prophets also includes new strategies He wants to reveal to churches and ministries that will enable them to destroy strongholds and defeat “the schemes of the devil” (literally, strategic battle plans) he has been perpetrating in their geographic territories in which they operate and assigned spiritual spheres that have been heretofore precluding advancement and vanquishing of the enemy.
If the leadership of churches and ministries really understood the ministry of the prophet, they would be doing all they could to seek out the true, tried, tested, and Spirit-trained, prophets who God has anointed to speak into the atmosphere and the heavenlies to decree change and to reveal the secret counsel of God that will enable those churches and ministries to fully comprehend and apprehend (you can’t apprehend what you don’t first comprehend; comprehension precedes apprehension) the purposes and plans of God for those believers in their sphere of operation. Let us pray that God emblazons this critical need for the blinders to come off the spiritual eyes of leaders around the world upon the hearts of every believer throughout the world called to intercession. For the need is so great and the hour is so late.
The following is a prophetic word the Lord gave me back in the mid-80s concerning the matter of the unique anointing and ministry of the prophet.
In this hour the cloud of My Spirit is moving in a different manner than in times past. I am restoring the ministry of the Prophet to My Church. I am building My Church. These two work in tandem — the pillar of fire (Revelation and Purity in Truth and Doctrine) in the darkness and the cloud of My very Presence (My Glory) by day. I shall reveal more of myself in this coming Glory. I shall release more of My Glory unto the perception of the eyes of men. They shall see more of Me. I shall do it through the revelation which has been stored up and hidden until now, revelation which can only be revealed by My Holy Apostles and Prophets. They can see it. They shall reveal it. Teachers cannot reveal it. Pastors cannot reveal it. Evangelists cannot reveal it. They had not been anointed or appointed unto this work. It is reserved for this time and for My Holy Prophets.
[Click here to read the rest of the above prophecy]###
[The above article was originally posted on the Prophetic Perspective Blog on November 27, 2008]
I invite readers to check out more of the prophetic articles available on this site. Those interested in the prophetic may also want to check out the prophetic course with the textbook I authored, The Prophetic Gifts and Office, for which you can get a certificate of completion.
There’s also a new book I wrote, Dunamis! Power From On High!, which is all about the mighty power available to every believer through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
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