After the church leadership has decided to embrace the prophetic it's important to follow the order Jesus set down. Because of this, the prophetic is often getting the blame when in fact it’s because the church hierarchy is out of order.
Jesus himself is the head of the church. Jesus appointed apostles first, prophet's second, and teachers or pastors third. Until this order is restored in the church there will be great confusion and conflict. I have read many books on the prophetic, actually all that I could find. All of them seem to address the issue of the prophetic as if the pastor is in charge of the church. How can it be that we then ask someone who doesn't understand the prophetic, now govern it! I'm assuming of course the pastor is not also a prophet. An apostolic leader or an apostle fully understands the prophetic and often operates in it himself. This is one of the reasons why Jesus appointed apostles first. Apostles have to walk closest to the Lord. They are the ones that lean on his breast to hear his words every day and to feel his passion. They are the ones that are subject to great afflictions and dying to self. They are the ones that are mostly persecuted. It stands to reason that they are the closest to the Lord of any in the body. The prophets of course are second.
To be a prophet demands a close relationship with the Lord in being able to hear his voice daily. It is a close-knit relationship where they are often taken into the heavenlies and shown great things. Speaking from a prophetic point of view, their feet are more in heaven than on earth. They need others around them to keep them grounded.
I had a vivid dream one night. I had been asked to speak at a church. The church was a small congregation of about 200 people in what appeared to be a traditional setting. The pastor was up at the microphone and then invited me up to speak. As I began to climb the three small stairs up on the platform he looked surprised at me and stopped me. He pointed at the floor to a microphone on a stand. He seemed arrogant and cocky and I felt embarrassed by him publicly berating me. Nonetheless I got down to the microphone and was about to speak when I awoke.
The Lord showed me, that the prophetic was not accepted in the church and it has taken second place to the pastor speaking. This church was out of order and this church represented most of the churches of today. I guess at this point I had unknowingly already accepted the current hierarchy in the church. The Lord was making it clear through this dream that it was out of order. The prophetic was like a second-class citizen in the church.
Everyone tells me that the Old Testament prophets are different than the New Testament prophets. I personally see no difference. I often see the message is different but in fact the Prophet himself still has the same calling. They are the mouths of God.
Now the gift of prophecy is a gift given to us by the Holy Spirit. Anybody with the Holy Spirit can then act in this gift. This does not make them a prophet. Just the same way as Balaam’s donkey is not a prophet because it prophesied. Anybody with the gift of the Holy Spirit can act under the Holy Spirit in any capacity the Lord wants to give them. Who are we to judge God and what He's doing?
The office of a prophet is a calling from the Lord himself. No man can call you to be a prophet. When God has called you to be a prophet He himself will show up or take you into the heavenlies to reveal your call to you. Isaiah was called in to the heavenlies and God showed him what he was called to.
When I was in my early 20s I had a prophet named Dick Mills come to me. He prophesied to me that the Lord had given me a great power and in 28 days He Himself would come to me and show me. I counted off the days and indeed Jesus did show up exactly on the 28th day. He walked through my wall and handed me a scroll to eat. When I ate it, it tasted like honey and it made me sick to my stomach later. He touched me on my left ear, my mouth and my left hand. I fell asleep and had seven dreams. The first five dreams showed me the coming years and certain important events. The last two dreams showed me the judgments coming to the church in the last days. He showed me clearly how I was called to this time. I was called to the time of the judgments on the church. So far the first five dreams have been fulfilled. There are only two left. Jesus showed me clearly my calling. Yes indeed I have run from my calling, but He keeps bringing me back.
I've had numerous encounters with the Lord confirming my calling. Even now I operate in the office of a prophet although many people around me don't recognize it. I also operate under an apostolic anointing. But I feel my primary goal right now is to operate in the office of a prophet.
Here is Isaiah’s calling. He was already prophesying at the time.
ISA 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
ISA 6:4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
ISA 6:5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
ISA 6:6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which He had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it He touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
ISA 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
ISA 6:9 He said, "Go and tell this people:
This is the call of Jeremiah.
JER 1:4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
JER 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
JER 1:6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."
JER 1:7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, `I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.
JER 1:9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."