"Prophecy has been despised before. Moses, finally convinced that God wanted to delegate His governing authority to a larger number, called seventy elders to a "committee meeting" at the tabernacle. Two failed to show up. The Spirit of God fell on the sixty-eight who attended. But the Spirit also came upon the two who remained in the camp who began to prophesy as well.
"Everyone wanted them to stop, uncomfortable at the direct voice of God and jealous for Moses' uniqueness as God's prophet. They reported the incident to Moses and demanded that he stop them. One can almost see Moses chuckling, and then longingly reflecting on the blessedness of the Spirit's presence in his life: 'Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them!' (Numbers 11:29)." – Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
I have been asked many times, as I have participated in prophetic roundtables around the country, what to do if a church is not active in prophetic ministry. Some have wondered if they should just start their own church or move to a different church because the church they attend does not operate in the prophetic anointing. Unless you have a grace to start a church, I wouldn't recommend that you do that.
Starting churches is really an apostolic function, although prophets can start churches. I don't recommend that you become a fringe group away from the local church where you meet only outside the church. Instead get a core group of people together who are also interested in the prophetic gift and pray and study together.
Read books on the subject. Come together and discuss them. Use the group to stay sharpened, connected and inspired so that you won't dry up and die spiritually.
I also recommend that you become activated. You can attend a prophetic conference to receive activation. Then connect with a prophetic association or network so you can consistently stay in contact with mature prophetic people.
ElijahList.com/links has a listing of prophetic ministries you can access. But you still need to be submitted to a local church as well, to be able to hear the Word. Also consider connecting with the authors of the books you are reading to receive activation and impartation.
If your church doesn't flow prophetically, but is a fellowship that preaches and teaches the Word, has good worship and is filled with love, it is important that you remain connected and accountable. You don't want to be a renegade prophet who is not connected or accountable to anybody—not submitted to any authority. Prophets who are all alone and don't listen to anyone are sometimes walking in rebellion. They are proud and independent.
This is when a prophetic person can really get into trouble, because if he is off on his own and is operating in error, no one can correct him. Being a part of a prophetic team, a prophetic company or a prophetic church will bring you into accountability with other prophets. In 1 Corinthians 14:29–30 it says, "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge." Prophets can judge one another because prophets know prophets. They can tell when a prophet is wrong or when he is bitter, rebellious, independent, getting into false doctrine or becoming controlling.
I know prophets can be persecuted and rejected, but if someone is always saying, "Nobody loves me, I am persecuted, nobody trusts me," it could be that they are just rebellious and won't submit to anybody. I am very wary of people who have no friends, no relationships, no accountability, no local church and never submit. They just want to pop up and prophesy.
This goes against God's instruction that prophets are to be a part of the church. "God has put these in the church ... prophets ..." (1 Cor. 12:28). Remember that under the old covenant, prophets were primarily often isolated and alone because they were dealing with an apostate nation. Now under the new covenant, the church is different. The church is a place full of people who are born again, new creatures who are also filled with the Spirit of God. A prophet can never say, "I'm outside the church." You can't be in certain churches because they don't accept it or they fight it, I understand that. But the prophet is supposed to be part of the church, functioning inside the church. The prophet is a part of the body. Your hand does not run off and say, "I'm not part of the body anymore."
I am a pastor. I am a shepherd. I believe in the local church. I love the local church, and even though the local church can vex me, I never separate myself from the local church. Even as an apostle, I am accountable to other leaders, and I am accountable to my elders. I don't say, "I am the apostle. You don't tell me anything." No. If I get off course and if my lifestyle is not right, they have a right to correct me and challenge me.
So it is very important that you remain connected to a good Bible-believing fellowship, where the Word of God is honored and taught. If there is no openness to the prophetic gift, get with other prophetic believers and pray and study together, as I have already stated. Join a network of prophets. Buy prophetic books. Attend prophetic conferences.
Buy CDs, listen to podcasts and follow strong prophetic leaders in social media so that you continue to stir and strengthen your gift. Then pray and believe God to raise the prophetic level in your region.
Remember, even as Elijah thought he was the only one, God reminded him, "I have preserved seven thousand in Israel" (1 Kings 19:18). Sometimes you think you are the only one, but there is always a remnant moving with God.
Excerpted from Prophetic Activation by John Eckhardt (Charisma House, 2016). To purchase the book, click here.
Apostle John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries, located in Chicago, Illinois. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than eighty nations. He is a sought-after international conference speaker and has authored more than twenty books, including Prophet, Arise!, Prayers That Rout Demons, Prayers That Break Curses, and God Still Speaks. Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Wanda, and their five children.
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