Signs of the Prophetic Calling
By: Colette Toach
I have had the wonderful opportunity of being able to travel different parts of the world because of the ministry that we are in. One thing that always interested and fascinated me was that the road signs are pretty much the same everywhere you go.
I am not quite sure what I expected, but I guess maybe I expected that every country had its own road signs and rules.
In some places they do, but as a whole you will find that the road signs look pretty much the same. The stop sign for instance, I have seen it in so many different parts of the world and it looks pretty much the same - with the small difference of the language of course.
So when you are driving along you don't have a problem recognizing that sign or knowing what it means. It doesn't matter what country you go to, it's always red and looks the same.
Prophets are the Same Worldwide
And so the prophet is the same as well. Perhaps you have had this strange idea that depending on where you go, a prophet looks a little different.
However, a prophet is pretty much like the stop sign. It looks the same, is arrogant and jumps up when you least expect it.
That's why I think the stop sign is a pretty good picture of what a prophet is. Short of the language difference, they look the same all over the world.
That was probably also one of the most interesting things we discovered as we started training the prophets internationally. A prophet in Mexico looks the same as the prophet in the United States – he looks the same as the prophet who speaks German, French or Italian. So why is that?
It is because what makes a prophet is not based on what they do, the language they speak or clothes they wear, but rather the things that burn in them.
The Ten Signs of the Prophetic Calling
I would like to look at the ten signs of the prophetic calling very specifically in this teaching. I really want you to know those ten signs by heart. So memorize them – because as you start identifying those in your own life, you will be able to identify them in others also!
So, let's define this stop sign. Let's find out what it looks like. Let's look at every angle and shape and by the end let's see if you fit with it as we start putting it together.
1. The Prophet's Ministry is to the Church
Perhaps this is obvious to you, but the Word says that the Lord set the fivefold ministry in the Church for edifying the body – for bringing the Bride to a place without spot and wrinkle.
Now, perhaps you have walked along and it seems that the only people you ever minister to are believers. Just when you think that you finally found an unbeliever to share with, it turns out that they are a backslider.
That is one of the first clear signs of the prophetic calling. Now, it might not seem like such a big sign to you. However, this sign also distinguishes the difference between the evangelistic and prophetic ministries.
You see, the evangelist will have an orientation towards the lost. They also minister to the Body of Christ, but a prophet specifically has an orientation towards the Body of Christ.
So say for example you see a minister standing up who is sharing the gospel. As he is sharing, he is receiving prophetic revelation. The sole purpose of this is tough to get the lost saved. The man is not a prophet but an evangelist.
This description at all should smash the belief of "because I get revelation I must be a prophet". It is not at all like that. Do you know that each of the fivefold ministry functions in all of the gifts?
You see, it's not the functioning in the gifts that defines you but how you function in them. We will look at that more as we go on.
So again, in the prophet, you will see a ministry orientation towards believers. The revelation God gives you, the impressions you receive, the dreams and visions and prophetic words you get will be towards believers.
When you see somebody standing up and prophesying to the unsaved, prophesying to the nations or getting revelation for the lost to bring them to salvation, you are not looking at a prophet but an evangelist.
Hopefully that sets a very clear picture in your mind. A prophet has a one hundred percent ministry orientation towards believers.
I have seen a bit of a trend lately. It seems that everybody is prophesying to the nations. Everybody is giving their big prophetic words to America, Europe, Germany and every other little place. You need to understand the difference between an Old Testament and a New Testament prophet more clearly.
So if you have looked at this trend and then felt that in this case you must not be a prophet, don't get stressed out.
We will look at that more as we go on but that's not the sign of a prophetic ministry. That's just a sign of somebody that can flow a bit in the spiritual gifts but probably has more of an evangelistic orientation.
I hope that I am challenging you and I hope that I am smashing some pictures on my very first chapter in this book because there is more to come.
2. The Prophet has a Unique Approach!
This one is not a surprise. Perhaps this has been the story of your life. You have a way of seeing things that other people just don't see. You are in a church meeting for instance and you are thinking, "Okay, is nobody else here noticing that there is just no anointing?!"
Perhaps you are one of those who think, "Why don't we try something new? Why don't we move all of the chairs out so that we can just worship and praise the Lord for hours instead of having that boring sermon…?"
Perhaps you have had some good ideas and perhaps sometimes not such good ones but all in all you have always had a very unique approach. A prophet comes up with new ideas and he has a way of seeing things the average believer doesn't see.
It is because God has put an understanding and ability in you to discern and sense things that are not the norm. People might call you unique, strange or different. Unique is really just their "politically correct" way of saying that you are weird.
You have a weird way of doing and seeing things. Hallelujah, because that is your second sign of the prophetic calling!
3. Swinging the Pendulum
If you are a prophet this is you through and through. Have you ever seen a pendulum that swings from one end to the other? It swings up and down indefinitely. Well, that is the prophet for you.
Just look at good old Elijah. One day he wants to take on the king and all the prophets of Baal and then the next thing you know he wants to die and runs away into the desert because Jezebel is after him.
I think that really sums up the prophet right there. One day you say, "Yes, Lord. Send me. I will go and speak your word!" Then the Lord sends you and you speak the word but nobody receives it. Then you say, "Oh Lord, I want to die. Why did you call me to be a prophet?"
The next day you are on the other side of the pendulum again and suddenly all excited afresh to be His prophet. However, a few days later the cycle starts all over again.
That is called swinging the pendulum. Let me tell you, you are not alone. Every prophet does it!
However, it doesn't mean that because you are a violent pendulum swinger, that the Lord will keep you there. Also, even though it is a very clear sign of the prophetic calling, as you mature in your calling and go up further into prophetic office, you will notice that the swinging will become a little less dramatic.
I will confess, I still have a few days when it is there, but it is definitely less dramatic. You know, everybody makes jokes about the flaky prophet. Let's be honest here we can be a pretty flaky lot, but that doesn't mean that God wants us to stay there.
So you are a pendulum swinger; you are flaky, wild and crazy. If you want to mature and lay a solid foundation in your prophetic calling though, you will need to move on from this.
For now though, seeing as though you are still at the beginning stages, we will say that the swinging is okay. I will calm you down later on but for now you can swing as wildly as you want!
4. The Prophet has a Magnetic Personality - he Attracts Humiliation like a Magnet
Everywhere he goes he has this horrible habit of putting his foot in it. This is a fantastic English expression – you are always putting your foot in it and saying things that you shouldn't!
I said of myself once that I feel like I got my foot in my mouth more often than I have it on the floor. Every five minutes you are jumping in and saying things you really shouldn't. Why is that? I think the pendulum swinging and the unique approach has something to do with that.
Not only do you have a way of seeing things that shouldn't be but you have this terrible habit of opening up your big mouth and expressing these wonderful pearls of revelation that you expect everyone to respond to positively. However, they don't, do they?
Instead they humiliate and tear you down. They stand behind the pulpit and preach against you until you want to crawl under your chair hoping for the ground to open up and swallow you.
This is the fourth sign of a prophetic call. You know what is fantastic about humiliation? It causes you to really rely on the Lord 100%. It really brings your flesh to a place where you don't care what people think.
Not in a negative way, where you snatch at everybody and tell them how you don't care what they think. No, I am talking about the kind of rest that you come to, like the Lord said to poor Jeremiah (nobody ever wants to be Jeremiah) "Jeremiah, I am sending you to a people that are not going to receive your word. They will treat you badly and they won't listen to you!"
He still got up and went there because he knew the power of the Lord. He knew that this word burned in him so much. It burned in him more than his need for acceptance. What the Lord said burned in him more than what other people said.
If you could just use that humiliation you have experienced in your life to become stronger and more dependent on the Lord that sign of the prophetic calling would then become part of your foundation to shape you into a true prophet.
How you respond to humiliation, will depend on the kind of maturity you will have as a prophet. Will you allow them to speak at you and then get all upset, justify yourself and fight back or will you see it as a sign of your calling and realize that it is sent of God to shape you?
Will you be open to see that this is happening so that you can become more dependent on His word and more secure in Him than what other people have to say?
So next time you are humiliated and rejected, I want you to do the praise project! Say something like, "Thank you Lord! Not only is this once again a sign of my prophetic calling but it also has a purpose to make me into something very significant for your body!"
5. The Prophet has Singleness of Purpose
This is the prophet right down the line. This means that when they have a direction they will go down that direction regardless of what happens along the way. They have a very black and white kind of attitude. Either something is right or it is wrong.
There is no gray happening – you are either in sin or not. You are either walking in the flesh or you are not. You know you either did it right or you did it wrong. You were either anointed or you weren't.
They either love something or they hate it. There is no in between for the prophet. They have a one hundred percent singleness of purpose attitude.
Once they know God's word then that's the direction they are taking and there is no other. When God spoke, God spoke and there is just no adding to it.
This has gotten you into trouble, hasn't it? You opened your big mouth in the humiliation part and you said, "Well, that's not what the Word says. No, that's not right…!" Well, people haven't taken too kindly to it.
I suspect this is why you are reading this book so that you can realize that there are other people who think like you! We understand each other here.
The prophet doesn't see the need for a middle road! We are establishing a foundation for the Body of Christ here. We are issuing decrees that will uproot, build or tear down. You know, you don't half tear down a building or half plant a seed. You either do it or don't!
So, are you the kind of person that will do it and follow through from here on? If you do want to follow through then you fulfill this 5th sign.
And so I will pull on this sign right throughout this book to make sure you keep on track, okay?
6. Unconscious Revelation
The prophet has this ability to just sense things. Perhaps you haven't even fully begun to flow in the gifts of the spirit yet, perhaps you have. However, if you think back on your Christian walk you realize that you just always sensed things. You would go into a place and just feel uncomfortable there. You were sensing a demonic presence there. You got revelation.
Perhaps someone was sharing their life story or something they are going through with you and you told them, "I feel that you just need to hang in there because the Lord is going to open a door for you over there."
Perhaps this is so normal to you that you don't even realize it. It is a clear sign of a prophetic call that you automatically have a consciousness of the spiritual realm. You get revelation and they just come out of your mouth. You have people say to you, "You know, I never thought of that before. Thank you for this good direction."
In turn you actually wonder where that all came from. It's a sign of the prophetic call. Already the Holy Spirit is stirring you up inside to be able to minister to others.
7. Allegorical Thinking
You likely already identified this in your childhood. You know there is one thing about us prophets - we love to be in the glory cloud; we love to worship and see visions. Perhaps you were one of those children that walked around in a fantasy world.
Perhaps your life was so tough when you were growing up that you preferred to put your nose in a book or go somewhere else to pretend that you were someone else… this is sign number seven of the prophetic calling.
The prophet has to think allegorically and see in pictures. This is because the Lord speaks in types and shadows. Even throughout the Old and the New Testament you will see how the Lord spoke in many ways and how he always spoke in types and shadows and pictures.
So prophets already have a natural ability for allegorical thinking. Perhaps this has gotten you into trouble. Perhaps at school you were so busy fantasizing about something, so busy imagining that you were somebody else that you ended up getting into trouble for not submitting your homework.
You know, it's a sign of your prophetic call and instead of using that now to escape your problems in life you need to learn how to take that allegorical thinking and start to use it towards your prophetic calling. That's the problem here – yes, this is a sign of the prophetic calling but you have to learn how to apply it properly!
That is why you are reading this book. It is good that you already like to fantasize and get into the realm of the spirit. It is great that you like to get into worship with the Lord. However, you can't stay there 24 hours a day. There comes a time when you have to enter the real world and face real people.
The key here is to be able to take that allegorical thinking and those pictures and use them to minister to other people. It is fantastic! You know, what you thought was a hang-up and a problem, God will use to raise you up!
The only thing you need to do is to step out of your fantasy world a bit and to give some of what God has given you to others. It's great to have the times with the Lord, feel His presence and receive the visions. Until you use this sign of the prophetic calling in your ministry though, you won't start to edify the Body of Christ.
8. The Prophet has a Prayer Orientation
Let me let you in on a secret. If you walk into a local church, where will you find the prophet? I will have to be honest the first place you will find the prophet is likely behind the overhead projector. You know the poor guy that puts on the transparencies on the overhead machine? I know this is not scriptural at all but we had this joke amongst ourselves.
When we started our first prophetic school, all our students got together and they discussed the jobs they did in their church. It was shocking to realize that every single one had been the projectionist in the church and so we concluded that this must be sign number eleven of the prophetic call!
Seriously though, if you are looking for the prophet in the Church you are looking for the one who is either leading the intercessory group or at least somehow has a passion for intercession.
A prophet has a prayer orientation naturally! Perhaps prayer means something very different to you than it means to other people. You know prayer to you isn't, "Lord please bless us today. Please don't let the traffic be too bad. Lord please let my boss be happy…!"
No, that's not really what I mean by prayer orientation. I mean the kind of orientation that when you get into His presence you go into the Throne Room and are seated there with Him; the kind of orientation where you are releasing, decreeing and praying on behalf of others; the kind of orientation where when somebody shares a problem you are the first to say, "Let's go to the Lord about this!"
Now, it's not to say that you know how to pray properly. That's okay though because we have a whole book on that also, called Power Packed Prayer.
We will also deal with the higher levels of prophetic intercession later on but the point is that you have that orientation. Just because you have the orientation though, doesn't mean that you are doing it properly.
Keep in mind that even though you have those desires and orientations within you, all the knowledge that you have taken in over the years, all the other examples you have had from other people, have built in this miss matched thing. It's like taking all different kinds of play dough and pushing it together and then trying to make it in the shape of a man.
Sure, at the end it may look a bit like a man but he is all these blobs of different colors. You see, even though you have had those orientations, chances are that you have gone from person to person trying to look for the right picture. As a result you have gotten all these different pieces of play dough. You got a bright yellow one here and a red one there… Then you started to try and put this picture together.
You say, "Look, there you have it. It's a man."
However, to be honest, it's not really a man - it's just something that resembles the shape of it. So again, just because you have this prayer orientation, doesn't mean that you are doing it correctly.
I am challenging you on this early because I want you to be open for what we will talk about in later chapters. Be open to pray differently! If you are a prophet you will love the challenge to go higher with the Lord and to pray more than you have so far; to pray with a greater authority than you ever have before.
This actually applies to every single one of the signs. Just because you have a singleness of purpose doesn't mean that the direction you are heading in is correct.
Just because you are thinking allegorically doesn't mean that all the pictures and allegories you get are based on the Word of God.
So realize that God has put the potential for power inside of you, but what you need is the teaching and training to take that potential and put it in the right direction.
9. Bringing the Presence of God through Music!
This is a sign that I find some can identify with right away, but some only grow into it later.
It's amazing to see how often when somebody in a church service stands up to lead the worship and you feel that sweet presence of Jesus. You know that nice feeling that you get when you have had a tough day and then walk into the meeting and it's like a breath of fresh air. You just feel the Lord right there and you feel like you can let go!
I guarantee that person has a prophetic ministry. The prophet has a unique ability to release the anointing through music. So if you personally have had the desire to flow in music but haven't taken advantage of this sign of the prophetic calling yet then I really encourage you to be open to enter into this new level.
Could you imagine if in the churches we had the prophets leading the praise and worship? Just like it was in the times of the tabernacle of David when they would praise and worship the Lord. Unfortunately it is not so! It makes me angry because I see the pretty boys and the talented ones put up there who have a skill and look good… those are the ones who are being put in charge of the praise and worship in church, right?
Imagine for a moment that they would put the prophets in charge of the praise and worship in church. You know what we would experience? Maybe not a hundred percent professionalism, but it would be a hundred percent power and anointing!
As a prophet, you have that ability. It's one of the signs of the calling. If you haven't fully developed it, by the end of your prophetic studies here at AMI, you would have developed it and you would have discovered a whole new realm there. You will discover it and realize that there is nothing more exciting than coming into His presence and releasing the anointing and seeing it touch the hearts of others.
Perhaps you have a bit of this sign now already, perhaps you don't. The point is that you will bring the presence of God through music.
10. The Prophet has had Tough Experiences in Life
I had some folks come along and say, "That's it! I'm a prophet because I can identify with sign number ten!"
Well, there is a reason why it is sign number ten… Hopefully you can identify with a bunch of the others first! If you only have sign number ten, then maybe you are just a looser with no prophetic call! BUT… if you have the other signs then praise the Lord because you are not just a loser!
No, you are a loser with a prophetic call. Don't worry we will do something about that and make you into something magnificent. Let's be honest though, us prophets have done and said our fair share of things that people have been upset by. We have ruffled some feathers and the Lord knows sometimes it was really justified but most times it probably wasn't.
As a result we have had some tough experiences in life. Also, when the enemy sees that a prophet is coming into the world then he knows something about you before you know it and so he unleashes all the demons in hell on you.
So you will come to realize that a prophet grew up having had tough experiences in life to the point where they thought that it was normal to struggle for everything and thought it was normal to be rejected all the time; to always be the one on the outside looking in and to have really difficult situations in life.
I realized even in working with the prophets through the years how many of them have suffered abuse. I mean real physical abuse, sexual abuse. It's terrible to see the extent the enemy has gone through to tear down.
However, you know what sets the prophet apart? It's not just the tough experiences in life, but what he did with those experiences! He didn't allow them to get him down, he didn't allow them to stay and he also didn't wallow in self-pity. No, he pushed through those tough experiences and said, "Lord, use me!"
That really is what sets you apart. These signs are a clear indication of your calling, but that passion that is inside of you that says, "Yeah, I have faced the humiliation and said things that I shouldn't, I have had tough experiences and succeeded and failed, but it doesn't matter!" is what sets you apart.
No matter what, this fire that burns inside of. As you have made that commitment he has worked on you. Sure, some of the experiences you have had after making this commitment were the enemy again trying to discourage and tear you down. He whispers his lies into your ears and tells you that you are a loser and an unpopular little black sheep sitting all alone there in the corner… who will ever listen to you?
I tell you who will listen to you – the Lord! He will put His words in your mouth and you will stand out there and all those signs that you thought were negative in your life will become as diamonds in your life. You will realize that this is what defines you as a prophet.
So stop regretting the tough times you have had in life. Stop regretting the mistakes you have made. Stop feeling sorry for yourself because of the humiliation, because these define your calling. Can't you get excited about that?
When you can say, "Hang on a minute… Sure some of it has not been easy but if I can push through, make a commitment, take that singleness of purpose and set it in the right direction I will rise up!"
You will be proud! You will be just like Apostle Paul who said, "I boast in what God has given me. Not in my weaknesses but Hoist strength in me is what I boast in!"
You will come to boast in a positive way. You will be able to say, "Sure, perhaps I have a bit of a unique approach. Perhaps I don't feel like going out with all the other evangelists on the street corner and rather stay at home and have a prayer time. Perhaps I want to just minister to one person and let them know that the Lord Jesus loves them…"
You know what, that's what makes you special and sets you apart. That's what's put you right here. Be proud of what God has put into you. Let it define who you are as a prophet and once you have that picture you can move on to greatness, a clearer picture and into a position of leadership.
However, you can't go forward until you come to a place of accepting what you have right now. Take a good, honest look at yourself. Look at the good and bad things. When you are prepared to do that, the Holy Spirit can then form a picture of what He wants to do in you and where He wants to take you.
Conclusion – What if They Don't all Apply to Me?
Perhaps you go through these signs and you can't identify all of them. Then just stop trying to be something you are not. Just because you are not an allegorical thinker or you don't release the anointing through praise and worship doesn't mean that you are not a prophet. It could just be that you have a spiritual blockage. It could just be that you need the right key in the right place to turn for all that revelation and anointing to come flooding out.
So what will it be? Will you look at all these signs and say, "Oh yeah, it's been really tough for me," or are you will you say, "Yes, that's exactly it! I went through the teaching and even worked through Apostle Les' testimony and that was me! Hallelujah!"
Now that you know that you are a prophet, and you can see signs we can move on!
I teach extensively on this subject in our prophetic school, but I hope that this has already given you a clear picture of the prophet and what burns in them!
If nothing else was clarified I pray that you saw that your difference is actually unique and also matches with all the other prophets out there. A stop sign doesn't look like any of the other sign. It's bright red, it's strange looking and it doesn't match any of the other road signs out there.
However, when you put a bunch of stop signs together, they all look the same. So perhaps even though you are unique and you perhaps feel like you are the only one in the world where you are, I promise that you are not! You have been planted there for a very clear purpose and reason!
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Signs of the Prophetic Ministry