MY INVITATION, CALLING, AND PERSONAL EXPIRIENCE IN THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY.
By Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
About five years ago, the Lord granted me a rare opportunity within the vastness of his grace to train and interact with few brethren back then with regards to some of the core character components, the nature and function of the prophetic ministry.
Somehow, after the training, I was not opportune nor permitted to speak, nor to publish the material on my blog which I will usually do with most of my materials for reasons only known to the father.
Not too long ago, I began to sense and feel the urgency in my spirit to revisit the subject, but I must admit that I have somewhat, unduly procrastinated on the matter until late 2015 when I received a message from a very dear brother who wanted my view on the ministry of a prophet.
I felt convicted, and instantly recognized that it was the Holy Spirit indirectly prompting me to update and release the material for the spiritual edification of those who might need certain fundamental understanding, or clarification regarding the subject on the prophetic.
I could still remember the very first time I tried putting a comprehensive material together relating to this subject, was about two decades plus ago.
This was just before the apostolic reformation stream began to gain popularity in some part of the [Nigerian] West African church community where I have had the opportunity to pioneer a work for the lord for about two decades plus.
Back then in the early 80s when I gave my heart to the Lord, the subject or the ministry of the prophets was at his pick in terms of giftens and manifestation. The focus then was mainly founded on two premise; 1] the use of the gift for personal [material and emotional] blessing. 2]
The use of the gift for eschatological end time events. The intensity of global political realignment caused many to major the prophetic on not just the coming of Christ but also on the manifestation of the anti-Christ-known as the man of Sin.
Back then, I was doing a series of study on the fivefold ministry gifts, and of cause, my major was in the prophetic office and its various organs of ministry, but unfortunately the material got missing in one of the commercial computer centers we were using back then for our ministry stuff.
Those were still in the days of floppy disk storage, and of cause virus infection was quite high back then. The truth was, losing those resourceful materials was quite painful and I could not just summon up courage and motivation to rewrite the material again after the incident.
Having operated in the prophetic grace for almost three decades, I have witnessed few extreme of the prophetic, and I have been graciously opportune to also see various seasons of prophetic shifts and emphasis function both within the body of Christ and across the nations respectively.
And if I may quickly add, I Have also witness lots of gimmicks, weird, unbiblical and satanic stuff imported into the house of God in the name of Christ and the prophetic ministry just as we can see today.
This misrepresentation has caused a huge dysfunctionality and damage to the image of Christ and his Body across the globe that when people today hear that you are a prophet, their immediate reaction is to look at you first with a very suspicious perception, and I truly do not blame them because many have sadly been injured and hurt to the point of almost been destroyed by these impostors who send themselves and represent their own selfish interest in the name of a prophet.
The truth is, there is a lot the body of Christ is yet to know and thoroughly understand in terms of the precise footing and foundation of the character nature and functionality of all the ascended ministry gifts, but in particular, the office and gift of the prophet.
Through this note, my aim is to introduce you to the office and ministry of a prophet from the point of one who is graced with a watchman’s spirit and priestly prophetic teaching foundation, and maybe, you can journey with me on a narrow, ancient route that may possibly recalibrate your heart, sight and hearing capability.
It is indeed my desire that your faith and that of many within the present kingdom advance will gets energized with the capacity to press beyond the boundaries men and religious system has set in both defining and measuring what they assume as the prophetic ministry.
This resource should help in identifying what I call a prophetic spirit, a prophetic gift and the office of prophet. I have through the grace of God used my own personal experience and revelatory insight in the word of God to highlight the office of the prophet, built on a solid foundation of biblical truth and its guiding doctrines.
I pray and hope that you will open your heart to the truths locked in the material because it has been written through the divine guidance and inspiration of the Spirit. There is nothing of self-glorification or man’s agenda here.
My desire is to see that the corporate body of Christ quickly and accurately return to the apostolic pattern given to her at the ascension of our lord. The prophetic ministry, like the rest of the ascension ministry gifts are the very extension of Christ life and desire for the building up of the saints and the restoration of creation from the bondage of the fallen Adamic nature.
Meaning, they are not the idea of some religious groups or denominational system. Neither are they the figment of some intellectual humanistic ideologies that has been allowed to infiltrate and almost replace the function of the ascended ministry gifts today in some church communities. This is Christ very life, expressing himself in some very unique dimensions without division or friction of intent. Here are some ways or forms the life and ministry of Christ is expressed through the prophetic spirit:
MY INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY
I was early introduced to the prophetic ministry in the 80s when I gave my life to Christ in what can be referred to as a hybrid Pentecostal Charismatic community setting.
My pastor was a highly-gifted faith-prosperity preacher who was much connected to the Oklahoma faith-prosperity movement in America.
He used to make lots of trips overseas to invite seasoned ministers of the gospel to come preach and teach in his church, and I can tell you back then, the experience was like heaven on earth.
I could not just have enough of God’s word. We were exposed to books on various topics, tons of tapes and cd’s of great preachers who have had deep revelatory and intimate experience with the Father were available at a very low cost.
The entire system and its general culture was my first spiritual library that taught me things I could never have imagined knowing and understanding in relating to spiritual realities.
I was in my secondary school back then, and things back then were quite difficult for me as a teenager growing up, but I found solace and comfort in the church community until I was finally employed as a staff of the church, and later became the personal assistance to my pastor.
I saw as a divine opportunity in my call to serve him but, I had no clue to the degree of the vastness of this opportunity until as was exposed to my pastor’s personal library. It was a wow moment for me!
Back to the church meetings, the presence of God was quite visible and the ministration of praise, worship, intercession and the word was excellent in terms of the emphasis of the season.
The culture of the house was charged with faith to the degree that anything is possible. People stayed in Sunday service for close to six to seven hours. In some cases, brethren said from morning till evening before leaving for home. The church atmosphere was so rich and inviting that people literally don’t want to leave.
The presence of God was tangible, and miracle was a natural occurrence back then. My spirit yarns and longs for more of the intangibility of the presence of God, and soaked in every word declared, especially those that has to do with the spirit and act of prayer.
Some of those invited guests used to touch on things that sound strange back then to many of our guys, but somehow, they resonate deep within my spiritman. A longed for more of what I was hearing even though I didn’t fully comprehend what was happening in my own life. I could still remember during one of the morning session seminars, we had what was called prophetic impartation.
There were this team of men and women who came from United States to the church and somehow, I found myself standing in front of the head of the team, and a elderly women who was a prophet, and she began prophesying into my life. Wow! I have never in my life seen or experienced such a thing before.
This experience was strange to some the brethren back then, but the impartation of words was like you been heat with a wild wind. I was so fire up that I could stay awake all night just praying and seeking the face of God. I wanted more of God in my life that religion and even that charismatic experience I used to love was no longer satisfying for me.
Sometimes later, I had an encounter that finally did it for me in terms of been called into ministry. I had what was known as an open vision. Please note, this is not a doctrine and should not be seen as a template of anyone’s calling into ministry.
Heaven uses the various dealings and experiences of our lives to shape and fashion how we are called to respond to Gods voice and demands. What works for brother A may not necessarily work for Brother X.
I needed to share this experience to buttress the fact that regardless of how horrible, terrifying or dysfunctional your life’s foundation maybe, if the lord points his finger on you, you cannot run or hide from his call.
I can tell you, I grow up with a much-damaged self-image and identity. This dysfunctional state brought me to a point where I had concluded that there is no God. The image of God painted to me by the church and the highly religious family around me was completely different to the experience I was having, so I decided it was over with the issue of the existence of God.
Anyhow, years later I finally gave my heart to the lord and I was at church auditorium praying with the rest of the brethren on this particular day.
I used to like facing the wall while praying. In the intensity of my prayer with my eyes wild open, I saw the picture of myself projected on the wall I was facing with a megaphone, preaching in a particular street that I can still see as I am writing this note.
It was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. Yet, I was highly trilled and feel with joy at the same time of such an encounter.
While I was still trying to look around if someone else saw what I was seeing, the picture disappeared and that was it. The rest was for me to figure out by the leading of the Spirit of truth what the Lord was saying to me.
And I can tell you that it took me years to begin to gain insight and understanding regarding what the Lord showed me back then. I initially thought I was called to be an evangelist, so, from 4am, I am up praying until around 5am when I usually get ready to go out and preach on streets as people get ready to go to their various workplaces.
Preaching on the street was my work and I loved it with all my heart. My voice was the alarm bells of many back then. I was determined that people must first hear my voice before the Muslim call to prayer starts around pass five in the morning. Talk about zeal, I was highly zealous for God.
Oh, I preached my heart out in meetings and buses. Preaching inside buses was my favorite in those days. God used me mightily in the gifts of faith and miracles, coupled with my psalmist grace. The presence of Jehovah was electrifying back then.
The issue of how God speaks and how we are to listen and respond to him, I think is still a big issue the church corporately still need to devote quality time and space to rediscover. If I had someone around back then who could help in interpreting what I saw, I am very sure I could have gone far in the assignment of heaven for my life.
The spiritual experience I had back then sent me on a journey of trying to discover what on earth I was assigned to do for the lord. I was very much aware that the hand of the Lord was upon me but I was clueless regarding the particular area He wanted me to function.
to be continued