I live in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, and I suppose that the number of “prophets” per square mile here might be one of the highest in the world.
By their bill board on the streets we know them, by their radio programmes filling the airwaves we know them, by their creative rendering of programme concept we know them, we also know them by the promises they make of what will happen to you when you come to their program.
But two things are common to them: they all trade in fear and they promise to do for you what is already done in Christ. So they feed on the fear and the ignorance of the people.
Why is that so? Since this piece will only address people with some form of genuine desire to serve God as prophets, I will suggest two reasons why they do what they do: their own search for great spiritual significance AND ignorance.
I will however only focus on the latter in this piece that I title the schooling of the prophets.
So ignorance. That is a big deal of a word. And the law people will tell you that ignorance is not an excuse before the law.
Jesus said the servant (remember I am presuming these people are genuine) who does not know his master’s will and does not do it (in other words ‘is ignorant’), and does something else, will be beaten with few stripes.
But it is better not to be given any stripe at all. Or what do you think? So it is better to not be ignorant than to be ignorant. Right?
So there, Jesus established the fact that some may be genuine servants of God, genuinely gifted but do their service in ignorance. That does not mean they will not get some result.
Didn’t Moses get result before the children of Israel when instead of speaking to the rock, he struck it? But was he given some stripes by God afterwards or not?
Me I don’t want that kind of stripe that God gave Moses oh. He would only see the promised land and not enter. No be me and you.
I am just giving you a grid on how to think about the various “ignorant” manifestations of the prophetic we have all over Africa.
Apollos was an ignorant though passionate teacher. He processed everything from the grid of the baptism of John in his teaching ministry. His ignorance was not obvious to the average person. Oh some people can be passionate in their ignorance oh!
Apollo was schooled by Priscilla and Aquila and after that, on the strength of that teaching and an expression of uncommon humility, he launched out.
Still retaining that passion which stood him out but with a greater alignment with truth, as aided by that couple, he became an eternal reference point.
The point I am making is that a prophet needs to be schooled in new creation realities (the spirit of religion and the spirit of fear have schooled many) otherwise he will just be seeing visions (hearing things) from his ignorance and people will not be maturing into the fullness of Christ under his ministry, though there might be a lot of demonstrations.
Some find it confusing that the prophet is actually ignorant of truth but the demonstration still flows.
It should not be confusing. One: the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Swallow that piece of info for a moment.
And mix that with the fact that God allowed himself to manifest water to the Israelites even when Moses was wrong. The result never made it right as shown by the flogging God gave him later.
One thing I have noticed in the development of prophets is that there is a lot of fear in their background.
The devil possibly does that because he could recognise prophets (and prophetesses) in the making and he knows how very very very dangerous a fully trained prophet is to him and kingdom, so he gets at work ensuring that in their growing up, they are a lot of uncertainties (lack of love); that there is a lot of fear.
This is deliberate to ensure that their prophetic flow is corrupted by fear and not love. If it is corrupted by fear, since fear leads to bondage, they will also lead others into the bondage they are in. But perfect love casts out fear.
So the prophet needs to be schooled to receive the love of the father. They need to be schooled in the finished works of Christ (which communicates the love of father). The true prophetic flow is to communicate the love of the Father through Jesus and nothing else.
The Bible says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
A called prophet without being schooled in the things I have mentioned is not allowed (by God, imagine the sword before the tree of life) to enter the realm of the spirit of prophecy.
They can still operate the gift of prophecy, though corrupted by fear. But they will not be able to enter the realm of the spirit of prophecy which is tied to the testimony of Jesus. And the testimony of Jesus cannot be divorced from his finished works on the cross.
But somebody can say that why didn’t God just stop the gift of prophecy until everything was perfect, seeing the great damage an unschooled prophet can cause. But you say that because you do not understand the faithfulness of God. But that is a matter for another time.
Ignorance affected the ultimate effectiveness of Apollos (not his apparent effectiveness) regardless of passion and obvious gifting. That is what we see happening around.
How do I know these things? I absolutely have no idea. And you are free to ignore everything I have written. Thanks.
But before I end this discuss, I want to talk about a young man, who is emerging into a prophet, who came to our Apostolic Training School.
He graduated from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, and attended our three-month Apostolic Training School at Jehiel Prayer and Bible Training Institute.
In that place he understood that certain prophetic experiences (including dreams and visions) he was having do not represent the ultimate dimension of revelation, as they feed on fear and they seem to mean things different from what the finished works of Christ testifies. He was helped by God using the school program to enter into a purer flow of the prophetic.