I've been on a journey with the Lord this past year, wading through some disturbing issues in modern prophetic ministry. Although I see a lot of error and hype, I still believe wholeheartedly in the pure prophetic—and still see plenty of it. The Lord spoke these words to my heart in September, and I'm just now releasing them widely:
I'm about to ignite the prophets. Many have ignored the prophetic voices in this hour, but I'm about to set them on fire so the world can watch them burn with the message that's on My heart. Many have forsaken My prophetic voices in the season, but I'm about to raise them up in an undeniable way so that all can see that I have a voice, and I have a say, and I have a plan, and I have a purpose for My people and for this nation in the season.
So embrace My fire now as I pour it out upon you and understand that I am doing a new thing in the prophetic ministry. Some of the old ways are no longer working because they were seasonal. The new way will be fire, fire, fire. The new way will be intimacy with Me that demonstrates and manifests My love in the midst of the hard days.
Some weeks ago, I pointed out a deadly deception in the prophetic movement. I sounded the alarm in hopes of stemming the tide of this erroneous theology, but I see it rising more rapidly now than ever. Its proponents are defending it vehemently and rebuking those who disagree. I'm grieved.
Let's be clear: If you ignore the devil, the warfare doesn't stop. If you focus solely on Jesus, it does not make you immune from warfare. That violates Scripture on multiple levels. I talk more about this in my book, Waging Prophetic Warfare: Effective Prayer Strategies to Defeat the Enemy.
Yes, we should absolutely be more God-focused than demon-focused. However, if Paul the apostle—a man with deep intimacy with God who received two-thirds of the Bible through direct revelation and prayed in tongues more than anyone—wrestled principalities and powers, who are we to think ignoring this reality will stop demonic attacks?
Prophetic words bring warfare, but that's not the only reason people receive legitimate would-be life-changing prophecies that don't come to pass. Although I believe strongly in waging war with prophetic words, you also have to be careful to understand what the Lord is actually saying to war accurately.
Beyond this, you need a certain maturity to walk out the word by faith. You need the spiritual strength to stand against the tribulation and persecution that will surely come against a potentially life-changing prophecy. And you need to keep your mind focused on God's plans despite the barrage of cares and worries the devil brings to your mind.
At the end of the day, it really does boil down to this: There is a war over the prophetic word over your life. Sometimes that war comes from the wicked one. Sometimes that war comes from our own carnal nature that wars against the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). Either way—and whether in Scripture or via prophecy judged accurate—we must fight the good fight of faith so we can walk in the fullness of God's promises.
When Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, He gave gifts to men. Ephesians 4:11 tells us He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service.
One of the primary mandates of a New Testament prophet is to equip the saints to hear from God and to prophesy accurately. Every believer has the capacity to hear from God. Jesus said His sheep know His voice (John 10:27). But many believers do not discern the voice of the Lord, which is one reason there is an unhealthy dependence on prophets.
Indeed, many treat prophets like psychics—or at least cheap gumball machines that take money for prophecies. Many believers, by contrast, put unhealthy pressure on prophetic people to "gimme a word" or get sucked into pay-for-prophecy scams on the internet.
When Jesus said false prophets would rise in the last days, He wasn't exaggerating. We're certainly in a season of accelerated false prophet activity.
Check out this message I received:
I've made a mistake. In this season of transition, there have been piles of bills, problematic equations and mountains of new financial challenges that seemed poised to try to overtake me. At times it has overwhelmed me, but never has it interfered with me going before the Lord with your situation(s). This morning, as I was in my prayer chambers meditating on the Word of the Lord for you and countless others, the Lord screamed a mighty scream in the form of a strong wind blowing from the north and commanded me to look up from which cometh my help.
The church needs prophets who can rightly discern the moving of the Lord—and the moving of the enemy. We need prophets who will stand in the gap and make up the hedge so the enemy cannot infiltrate.
Anyone with a sensitive spirit can pick up on the rising level of spiritual warfare in this hour. Just look at the attacks on major cities in our nation. Just look at the persecution of Christians. Just look at the number of church leaders who have fallen. Just look at how many churches are closing. Just look. Clearly, darkness is raging against the church.
Spiritual warfare is real, despite some who insist we don't have to fight because the devil is already defeated. Spiritual warfare is biblical, despite those who argue we should ignore the operations of the devil. Spiritual warfare is necessary because principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph. 6:12) and other forces are raging against all those who call Christ Lord.
In this hour of Christianity, God is looking for those who will stand watch, station themselves on the watchtower and keep watch to see what the Lord will say—and answer when they are reproved.
God is looking for those with a Habakkuk spirit who will not only see and hear, but record and proclaim—and keep proclaiming until the people's ears and eyes open to what the Lord is saying and doing. Once, when Habakkuk stood on the wall, He heard the Lord say this:
"Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but it speaks of an end and does not lie. If it delays, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay" (Hab. 2:2-3).
Catch this free download from a recent prophetic message I delivered: We're in a John 5:4 season. Embrace what God is doing in this hour! Click the link to download the audio.
I've seen some disturbing prophetic words on the Internet recently regarding specific dreams and visions over high-profile leaders in the body of Christ.
One of those words described a vision of two publicly named spiritual generals down on their knees repenting to one another, suggesting that another great awakening hinged on this act. A second prophecy suggested a different leader—again, publicly named—was fighting for his life because he did something illegal in the spirit that let the devil attack him.
Needless to say, I was disappointed to read these articles online and more disappointed that others picked up on them and parroted what they read, even adding their own interpretations and speculations. I reached out to some of the authors but the practice continues—and it grieves me.
It violates prophetic protocol to publish dreams, visions and other prophetic expressions about named ministry leaders—and especially when the utterance makes a public cry for repentance or offers a rebuke—without approaching the people you're writing about to get their blessing.
Whether I'm speaking at churches, making intercession at the Awakening House of Prayer at home, or sitting behind my computer, I can count on getting at least one prophetic word every week. It's like clockwork.
That may sound awesome, and it may be if they were accurate. Unfortunately, many of the prophecies that are announced, decreed and declared over my life are absolutely bogus. In other words, these utterances did not emanate from the Spirit of God.
Don't get me wrong. I certainly don't despise prophecy. In a revival setting, I'll prophesy over just about anybody you put in front of me. But I appreciate responsible prophecy—prophecy that the giver has judged before they start announcing massive directional shifts in my life and ministry.