In this video Stephen talks about a burden He’s been carrying of late concerning what it means to be a pure, uncompromised, untainted prophetic voice in the church and in culture. When we read in the bible about prophets we understand that yes, the church wasn’t around for most of the era that prophets operated in (most of what we know about the prophet comes from the Old Testament), and yes, we understand that to try and mimic everything about biblical prophets would be contrary to God’s purposes of the church coming together as a spiritual community joined through the healthy bond of the spirit. We get that. But that doesn’t mean that everything about the biblical prophet should be dismissed just because the times have changed.
Biblical prophets were often loners, separated from the masses (by the Lord may I remind you), and this wasn’t because God enjoys developing introverts. This is because prophets have to say and do things that no one else is willing to say and do. They have to perform certain tasks that many times put them at odds with the people, at odds with the popular trends of the day, and in many cases make them hated and reviled. But it is our conviction that this is in fact the purest function of the prophet.
Elijah, Elisha, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and yes Jesus of Nazareth, all challenged the status quo of the day and spoke boldly in the name of the Lord outside of man’s systems of control, in order to fulfill the purpose of God and stand in the gap for the people. Is this essential prophetic function being fulfilled in the church today? Do we welcome the ministry of the prophet or are we quick to excommunicate and stamp labels on people like “rebellious”, “unteachable”, and “rogue” if they begin walking in this lofty call? What if God is going against the grain, what if the Lord is the one that has initiated a movement that’s against the flow of common thought and common persuasion? What if Martin Luther would have given into the pressure that was put on him to conform, to not be “rebellious” as He was accused of being, to be “teachable” in the things that the Pope said was truth? Where would we be today? Still in the dark ages?
God is calling his prophets and prophetic people to arise and shine and boldly proclaim the word of the Lord, exactly where the Lord has placed them, which in many cases is on the outside looking in. In the words of Messianic Jewish Prophet Jonathon Cahn, “Only by standing independent from the surrounding culture can the prophet be a light to the darkness”. It’s time for prophets to quit being ashamed of who God has made them and start fulfilling their vital function in the church and in culture. The church and the world needs prophets, maybe now more than ever.
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