First, let us state there is no scripture giving pastors sole authority over a group of God's people.
Am I against pastors then? -NO! I love real pastors but today most only function as hirelings.
We are missing ministries in the church.
Only once in the New Testament is the word "pastor" used (Eph. 4:11), yet pastors dominate evangelical Christianity. Prophets are mentioned in 45 NT verses yet are practicaly non-existent except for a few that prophesy for pay in the church world, and a plethora of prophet-watchmen" on the internet.
Many prophets are paid to speak to churches and most always prophecy prosperity, larger ministries, and a bigger name. We heard plenty of these types and they were welcome guest speakers in our assembly on a regular basis and usually were paid very generously.
Now consider the role of the prophet, of which God said He placed in the church also. The real ones do not seek the limelight but will speak when the Lord puts His Word in them. They are more loners and isolated as they are called to be somewhat remote as he does not have the warm and chummy personality of the pastor. (people tend to be drawn to pastors and intimidated by prophets).
The prophet will "see" things others don't. For that he may be mocked, scorned, and rejected, he is by nature a watchman.
Caution!: It often falls on the prophet to bring correction to pastors, ministers, and God's people.
Why do we caution? Because the wannabe correctors' of others better be fully ordained by and sent from God to do so, and not in the will of self.
When you do so, it better be with the utmost humility, meekness, and love.
-And without any anger, revenge, malice, or assertive flesh-driven angst.
Your spirit must be clean and before you go checking the mote in another's eye, the beam must be out of yours.
2Timothy 2:25 in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves;
if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,
Titus 3:2 to speak evil of no man, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all meekness
toward all men.
Gal. 6:1 Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual,
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Those verses should close the mouth of a lot of critical, angry watchmen. But if God sends us, we need to go.
I have been sent a few times in this manner and in each case, I did not want to go to the person with God's corrective Word. The Lord spoke to me in one instance that if I did not that He (God), would put their punishment on me also.
Another time I was sent to a local pastor. Again, in no way did I want to share with him what the Lord had given me as I knew he would not receive it. I counseled with other elders who agreed I needed to go.
Of course it turned out exactly as I foresaw and I was rejected and labeled a "false prophet" by him.
But on the way home the Lord spoke to me and said "I cannot send judgement before I send them a prophet first".
The "part" is part the spirit of the man and part the spirit of God. In other words, he can get his prophecy right but get some of his own knowledge mixed in.. That is why you see a lot of prophets prophesying by the news..
When he walks in the Spirit, he is passionate for God's Word and calling people to seek the Lord.
He will be perceived as harsh, moody, difficult, and unsociable,which is often true because he just does not conform to the church "system" unless he gives himself over to gain and pleasing people.
He is also called to be a minister and servant to the body of Christ, not a glorified idol of spiritual mysteries that prostitutes his gift for the reward of a Name or filthy lucre.
In this respect, he ought to be able to minister and pray for people, often "hearing" the Holy Spirit direct him and revealing to him the afflictions and infirmities of the people he ministers to.
Prophets are more likely to be discerned first by Spiritual people, other prophets, and later acknowledged by others. John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet...
He can be carnal and he hates his own failures.
He is zealous for people to repent and be holy.
He seeks spiritual things from above, visions, and dreams.
He is very sensitive and perceptive of spiritual atmosheres.
He will shout the truth from the rooftop then hide.
He is excited by revelation from scripture.
He may miss a prophecy and it fail when flesh or emotions get in the way.
His prophecies are disdained.
He is rejected but he loves people..
He is known for his personal flaws and weaknesses.
He makes people uncomfortable when he speaks about God.
He is against the establishment order of man-made ministry,
a contrarian who is stifled by ritual and routine.
He has a fiery heart and speaks fiery words. Sometimes to his regret.
He talks to many about God.
He carries the Word and truth, but is scorned as a lone ranger Christian.
He is modest and not flashy.
He is not comfortable taking money from people for ministry.
He is called to suffer affliction.
He is without honor in his own house and country.
He is called to suffer. Take, brethren, .. an example of suffering and of patience
the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord. -james 5:10
He dies when he is conformed to another man's ministry and loses his own Spiritual identity.
He is better for staying home and hearing from God than hearing a 3-point Bible College sermon.
He knows he is "different", but does not know why.
He rejoices when demons are cast out and people healed.
He positively grieves for what promotes itself as Christian.
He does not follow the mainstream crowd.
He hears from God and it is usually different from what is commonly taught.
He thinks something is wrong with himself when the reality is it is the church that has apostasized
and it is his calling to examine themselves in the light of Scripture.
For this he is marginalized, tolerated (as long as he financially participates), and very seldom recognized in the assembly as a gift of ministry from the Lord.
The missing minister of the prophet in the local church is tragic.
He has been homogenized into the mainstream milk that calls itself Christian. Typically he sits in a pew or is molded into the job of a pastor, but inside there is a burning fire that wants to speak for the Lord.
He is not seeker sensitive in the stagnant water of the typical church service.
When mature, he rejects being hired for money, reputation, or popularity.
He is non self-glorying, non self- promoting.
Forget the "Prophet Appreciation Month" -he does not want it.
If you have been around church very long, you have met prophets, pastors, teachers, and perhaps an apostle.
Most of them became nameless, faceless followers conformed to the image of their fellowship.
But God has them, oh yes, and the ones who come out from among them and follow the Lord "outside the camp" of modern Christianity will be as candles in the night
Next post: Watchmen Warning! -how "knowledge pollutes the gift.