I believe that just like there are different types of people, there are also different types of prophets. There are prophets of judgment, edification, exhortation, comfort and so on.
Jeremiah was referred to as the weeping prophet. John the Baptist was known for calling the people to repent. Anna the Prophetess was known as a worshipper (Luke 2:37). Nathan was a prophet of council, especially to those in authority (King David).
All were prophets, but their functionality and purpose were not the same. Prophets are called to distinct areas that line up with their expertise and experience. I believe that they are groomed by God to walk in specific mandates. Where one is quick to confront, another may be called to pray. While a certain prophet may be led into the wilderness for ministry, another is placed in position within the king's council. They are all prophets, but they have different assignments and personalities.
Balance in Ministry
We must always remember that just like there are different types of churches, there are different types of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. They all have distinct personalities and functions.
For example, some prophets are judgment-based ("Repent; the kingdom of God is at hand!" types). Others are encouragement-based ("Exhort, edify and comfort" types). Neither one is wrong—just different from one another, despite the fact that their calling is the same.
When we put forth our way of doing prophetic ministry on others as the "correct way," it reeks of arrogance and religion. To think that every prophet has to be hard, or every one encouraging, is a false assumption. I've seen prophets who are almost always angry, and I've seen others who are overwhelmingly encouraging. The key to both is balance.
Balance both in the office (gift) and the church. The problem is that many people don't want to hear the true gospel in churches. When it's preached in its full power, many will leave, saying that you're being too hard on them. Ask me how I know! The key to ministry is balance. There's a time for ministering repentance and such, but there's also a time for encouragement and blessings.
Be Balanced Personally
Proverbs 11:1 talks about true and false balances. I had to learn this. When I first started, repentance was all I preached. I was consistently telling people that they were going to hell if they didn't get it right with God. "Repent!" was one of my most used words.
The result, surprisingly, was that sin increased in the church. People said I was being too hard and some left the church. I guess that I was expressing my prophetic side over my pastoral aspect. This taught me about balance and using uplifting words to get my points across concerning repentance.
Medicine goes down much more easily when sweetness is added. Just ask any kid that you know!
Just because one decrees blessings over or above curses, doesn't mean that they are false. To say otherwise or speak negatively about prophets who are not always negative is arrogance. It is establishing their single voice as the one of the few or only true one that speaks on behalf of the Lord.
I seem to remember a prophet in the Bible thinking that he was the only one who hadn't bowed to a false god. The Lord quickly reminded him that he wasn't the only one who hadn't. Many others hadn't as well.
There are some prophets today who have a similar mindset. Prophets of God, you're not the only one. As prophets and prophetic people, we cannot afford to be divisive at the present moment. Yet some prophetic voices are causing division. They do this by demonizing others and their associations, while sanctifying themselves and their affiliations.
Different Parts of a Whole
True prophetic ministries represent different parts of a whole. In the Gospels, there are different accounts based on personal perspectives, but all are true. Scripture lets us know that we see in part.
Each prophet gives a different piece of the puzzle. When the puzzle is complete, it gives us a whole picture. While some saw COVID-19 and others didn't, it doesn't make them false. I, for one, still believe that God will cause His people to be fruitful in a land of affliction. For many of you, I believe He's already done this. I also believe that He will continue to.
Not the Only One
"I'm the only one" prophets hide under a guise of humility, constantly pointing the finger at others, but never themselves. Their messages are full of self-centered jargon disguised as modesty. What I see is a desire for bigger platforms over a true love or concern for the people of God. Being overly critical of others is not a sign of humility, but conceit.
Prophets Have to Fight Being Consistently Negative
A prophet's natural proclivity is to be negative. I had to learn how to encourage through words of knowledge, prophecy and wisdom. It was difficult, initially. I also had to learn balance when dealing with the prophetic. Even when things look terrible, I'm going to decree an end to the terror.
If someone is ill, I'm going to speak healing. I strongly believe that the Lord graciously honors my prophetic decrees and allows many of them to come to pass. So even in the greatest darkness, I'm going to see and speak light. Selah!
Dr. John Veal is the senior pastor/prophet of Enduring Faith Christian Center and the CEO of John Veal Ministries Inc. He is passionate about pursuing God's mandate to preach, teach, impart and activate people within the prophetic. John is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine online, The Elijah List, IMAG, Spirit Fuel, Reformation Today and others. John has been featured on various media outlets, including appearances on Sid Roth's It's Supernatural, Something More and Elijah Streams. Dr. Veal is a highly sought-after conference speaker due to his uncanny prophetic accuracy, humor, candor and unconventional preaching style. He has traveled the nations, presenting myriad prophetic training and ministry. John currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife, Elisa, and their three children. For more about Dr. Veal, visit JohnVeal.org.
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