A Study on the Characteristics of Prophets by Sister Kathy Garner
Ephesians 4:11-1611And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
We will take a look into the characteristics of the Prophets in the Bible
1. Strong Prophets are strong in God. In Numbers 12:3 we read, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) The word meek means: to have power under control. Moses had great authority from God and had a gift to handle the power.
2. Sensitive to the Spirit of God All prophets, those listed in the word of God and those working to build the Church of today have to be sensitive to the moving of the God to be able to flow in the anointing. Note: Prophetic people have to guard their spirits. Don’t allow just any music, talking, movies, etc. into your spirit.
All Christians open their spirits with their listening ears, seeing eyes and minds. Be careful what you allow in your eyes, ears and mind.
3. Judgmental/opinionated Prophets seem judgmental and opinionated because the spirit of God is so strong in their lives that it makes sinners uncomfortable to be in their presence. Matthew 3:7-8 says, “ 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: John was bold for the Lord and seemed judgmental.
4. Bold /Stubborn True prophets seem stubborn because they hear the voice of God and if it lines up with the word of God, no one will change their minds. In I Kings 18, Elijah hears the voice of God and calls boldly for the prophets of Baal to come forth and eventually destroys them. Note: We also see the Lord using here Elijah in what seemed a very judgmental way. Prophets are not known for being politically correct.
5. Mouthpieces for God I Samuel 2 is one of many examples where prophets hear the voice of God and expound to the people what they have heard. Another example is where the Lord tells Samuel to go and anoint David as king and tells him who David is and what to do.
6. Psalmist/song leaders Of course we think of David as we think on the psalmist leading in worship but, don’t forget Miriam in Exodus 15: 20And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 22So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
7. Known for dreams/visions Miriam and Aaron were told in Numbers 12: 4And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream
Also remember Joseph the dreamer: Gen: 37 5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed Gen 37: 19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
8. Leaders Abraham was a leader, Moses in Exodus 6 known as their leader. David, Samuel, Deborah, Isaiah, etc., all were known for being leaders. All through the word of God we see Prophets hearing the voice and God and leading the people.
9. Hermits In I Kings 19 :9-10 (Elijah goes to a cave to think about Jezebel’s threats). 9And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. Prophets like to be alone and meditate on the word and hear the voice of God in prayer.
10. Very dramatic/see only black and white I Kings 18 15And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day. 16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Leaders that followed God as King David loved the prophets but those that sinned dreaded the prophets and the judgment that followed.
11. Chosen/called Prophets are called by God. Only God chooses who will be a prophet. I Corinthians 12: 27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
12. Obedient to the Lord and His cause I cannot conclude this study without recognizing the obedience in the prophets’ life. It is not easy being different or being sensitive in a sinful world, thank God for the vessels of honor that will hear the voice of God and boldly proclaim what He says.
Father we thank you for the 5 fold ministries in operation building your church. A-men