Excerpt from: Chapter 02 - A Lesson On: Identifying the Prophet
Prophet: What's That?
When I was a little girl I sneaked into my mother's bedroom and went to her dresser where she kept her cosmetics. Then one by one I pulled out all the powders, lipsticks and lotions. I had a plan and a purpose... I wanted to look like a lady! I thought that I looked rather pretty with that smear of red lipstick and smudge of mascara, but I came to a startling reality when my mother entered the room - less than amused that I had demolished most of her beauty cabinet!
I felt that if I could try and put on make-up like I saw her do every morning that I would look like a lady and that everyone would think I was big. But it took a few years to learn that it takes more to being a lady than just wearing cosmetics. I had to grow up a bit first. I had to face the pains of adolescence and only then did I begin shaping into the lady I had dreamed of as a child.
Now before you discount this as some personal tip on the art of cosmetics, let me show you something. When the Lord first calls you to be a prophet you will likely have a picture in your mind of what a prophet is and that picture will be based on what you have seen in others and the picture you get from the Old Testament prophets and John the Baptist. And so as you form these pictures you feel that in order to become the prophet the Lord has called you to be, you need to clothe yourself in the camel's hair, eat locusts and look and act like a wild man!
And so you find something like this taking place...
Beady little eyes, hair wild in the wind, wearing sack cloth and ashes, stick waving in hand, volatile and wildeyed...the prophet burst into the church to deliver the message that God had to give to him. He could not however understand why the word was not received and why found himself being thrust out of the church as quickly as he had entered it!
Now if you were not a prophet you might even find that picture amusing. But if you have walked along the road called prophetic preparation that image might bring back a few memories of your own!
So what went wrong? You knew you were called; you had a true word from God. Why was it not received? Well your presentation was as well received as mine was when my mother saw the mess I had made with her cosmetics! You needed to grow up a little first. You tried acting out a role and tried to fit into shoes that were not yours to wear. You tried to put on a mask of what you thought you should be instead of being what the Lord had called you to be.
It is Time to Grow Up! It is around this time that the Lord will take you through training to deal with all those things. As He brings to death all your ideas about what you think a prophet is, He can begin maturing you. But while you are still trying to match yourself up to your preconceived ideas, you will be nothing but that little girl playing with cosmetics and thinking she is doing great, or that little boy pretending to shave just like daddy and emptying out his bottle of aftershave! If you did not get the hint the first time, then you will not get it until you finally realize, "You do not look so good! You are messing up! It is time to grow up."
So if you are putting aside all these preconceived ideas, then what does a prophet really look like? How should you be acting? Well you are about to find out that you have had the signs of the prophet all along and that all you have needed to do is grow into them! You see, I was a little girl and I had all the 'equipment' that would make me a lady one day but I just had to grow into it! And you may have been a little boy with the potential to shave - you just needed to experience a phase called adolescence first!
You do not need to try and put on the camel's hair and be wild and hairy to be a prophet! You are already a prophet; now just learn to grow into what was ordained for you since the womb. Look, if you did not show the signs from the womb, you are not about to suddenly show them now! A prophet is called from the moment conception takes place. So take a load off yourself and as I take you through each of these signs rest in the knowledge that you are called and anointed for this office and then as we progress through these teachings you will come to use and mature in what the Holy Spirit has given you!
What a Prophet Looks Like
Let me paint a picture for you of what a prophet looks like and then I will give you a list of ten of the most common signs to watch out for in someone called to be a prophet.
So far I have told you what a prophet is NOT. So what DOES a prophet look like? I know you are dying to know, so I want to share a couple of principles here that we have learned from experience as we have trained the fivefold ministry. Apostle Les D. Crause covers this extensively in his book "Identifying the Fivefold Ministry." If you want additional Word-based answers then just pick up that book and read it. What I am going to share with you here is based on personal experience and what we have come to learn in the Word and in the spirit.
Okay, let's see what a prophet looks like...
"Take, my brothers, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience." James 5:10
Patience? ...I Think Not! I am sure that you know the suffering affliction part, but many have to work on the 'and of patience' part? I think that Paul put that in just to be sarcastic. Because I have yet got to see the "patience" he speaks of here in a prophet!
A prophet sees in black or white. It is either yes or it is no, black or white, night or day. You are a sinner or you're not. It is either right or it's wrong. The program is either correct or it is incorrect. That prophecy was either anointed or it was not anointed. It was either of God or not of God. That is just the way it is. There is no middle line with the prophet.
Prophets can be very frustrating to be around when you are trying to find your way sometimes, because you are still feeling your way around and they are saying, "No, that's not good enough. You're either here or there. You're either committed or you're not committed. You're either on fire or you are not on fire. Make up your mind. We don't have time to mess around here. You decide now." They see in black and white.
Your Middle Name... Rejection!
A prophet has the desire to set the captives free. We have a question that goes:
"What burns in you for ministry?"
Everybody answers that question with something like, "I have a desire to set the captives free, to see the hurting healed. To see those who have been broken restored, and to see the people who have been abused get healing."
Do you know people like that? That is the motivation of a prophet. He wants to set the captives free. He wants to see those in bondage set free. He wants to see the broken healed. He wants to see those who have been hurt by the church restored. He wants to go out on the highways and byways and find all the sheep that have fallen along the wayside. He wants to get the rejects, the little nobodies, and he wants to bring them in to mend and heal them. This is a very strong passion and desire in the heart of a prophet.
Rejection is the middle name of the prophet. Call me Colette Rejection Toach. That is the prophet. They know rejection better than they know anything else in this world. From the day that they were born rejection is something that they have faced all their lives. They couldn't fit in here, they couldn't fit in there. You would think that growing up in a Christian home I would have found it comfortable in Christian circles. But you know I didn't fit neither here nor there. I did not fit in the world because I was one of those Christian people, you know with my dad being the preacher and all, so I had that stigma to carry around.
They said to me, "So what does your dad do?"
"Well, he's a preacher."
You are labeled! "That's the preacher's kid!"
As a result I didn't fit in with the world. And yet when it came to church I thought, "Well here is where I should fit in. Here is where I should be comfortable." No. I didn't fit in there either. I did not seem to have a place. I was just kind of tossed here and there. Does it sound familiar? It is the prophet and rejection. He does not fit in anywhere, and even when he should fit in he doesn't fit in. He has likely been kicked out of, or left the church for a season. That is just such a trademark of the prophet. People think I have revelation when I say to them, "You've been kicked out of your church haven't you?"
"How did you know that?"
If you are a prophet, the chances are you have left the church system for a while. You have either rebelled against the system, or you have been thrown out of the system. In fact it has happened, probably a couple of times, depending on how many times it took you to learn the lesson the first time. If you are hard headed it has probably happened a good many times. The prophet has had conflict with the local church and needs to have it because it is part of the training. And then the Lord brings them back changed.