I believe the prophetic ministry is dying a slow death and it the people from within that is killing it, not the critics. We have been slowly part of its’ death and we look in the mirror thinking it is growing. In reality, it is just growing flaky.
I believe in the prophetic. I was raised in it. I flow in it. I was baptized in it. I was part of the prophetic ministry team at the International House of Prayer back when they was just starting the prophetic rooms. I lived it. I breathed it. I slept it. I would even travel to church to teach on prophetic evangelism.
I have for years felt a line out of a song by Jason Upton told the condition of the prophetic movement,” The Church is sick and need of God alone.” We do not need more prophetic conferences. We do not need more prophetic gatherings. We do not need any more prophetic words, either. Most of us have enough “words” to last a religious Hindu for many re-carnations. We need the power of God alone.
The reason that this is not popular is simple: it won’t sell DVDs of the conferences and the book sales will tank. The prophetic ministry has become an industry; not a ministry of the prophet such as it was in the Early Church.
Recovering the prophetic ministry
What will it take to bring life back to the prophetic movement? The answer is simple: repentance! We need to repent for making the voice of the Holy Spirit into an industry, not a ministry.
What is missing is the type of prophetic ministry that we read about in 1 Kings 17. Where are the people only care about having the Word of the Lord and being in the presence of God?
When King Jeroboam cried against the prophetic word, he was deal with the Holy judgement of God and when he repented, he recieved the mercy of God. Where is that today among the prophets? I do not see it.
When the King asked the prophet to come home with him for a meal, the man of God did not come. This would be like be invited to dine at the White House, who would refuse that?
The prophet simply told the King,
Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. 9 For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’
Later in the chapter, a prophet told him (lying) that he could come to a meal. This would be like a prophetic roundtable. The prophet did so. It cost him his anointing and his life.
Here is what the older prophet from Bethel told him and what happened later.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”
When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. Some people who passed by saw the body lying there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
What would happen if the prophetic ministry was had the anointing on it that if we did not test the spirits, it would cost us our anointing and even our lives? Would we have a much more pure prophetic Church? I think so.
Caring for the prophetic?
However, the story does not end there. The old man that is a prophet from Bethel went and found the younger prophet. He had him bought to his house and he mourned for him. He mourned for the man that believed his own “prophetic word” without testing the spirit. Do you catch that? If he had only test the prophetic word against what he knew the Lord had already shown him; he would not have died.
Nevertheless, the old man cared for the young prophet and even had him buried in the tomb for himself. That is care for a prophet!
If you go to that tomb today, they share it. For all of history, he cared for the young man….even in the tomb.
This care for a prophetic ministry, even when they fall short of God’s holiness (moral failure) is lacking in the movement. I could point to many “ministers” that we have destroyed because of a failure. We seem to forget that loves covers us, not exposes us.
What happened in the land with corrupt prophets?
In the end of 1 Kings 17, we read about how the King would anoint anyone who wanted to be a priest, prophet or anything. This is what we are seeing in the prophetic movement today. If you just join this network, you get their “impartation.” If you sow into this ministry, you will receive this mantle. It is all non-sense and it makes the prophetic ministry look foolish.
Just like the House of Jeroboam was destroyed and the whole Kingdom went to ashes; the same can happened to the American Church and the prophetic movement if keep up this silliness of cheap mantles and easy impartation. As Leonard Ravenhill said, “Everyone wants my mantle but no one wants my sack cloth.”
As the chapter closes,
Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.