Prophets are people who are set aside and are only held onto account by God alone. In most instances the prophet was expected to convey the message of God without expecting appraisal from the people. At the same time, there are instances where in the message presented by him or she may receive opposition. This is most often an indication that, his message is of God since, it is po9stulated by Jesus Christ that, Prophet are less often welcomed and rejection for sake of word of God is part and parcel of the divine ministry.
In the co temporal tines, there are many self proclaimed prophet who have mistaken the knowledge of God for prophecy. Even though they are largely gifted in religious knowledge and wisdom they are always unable to take their religious flock through a spiritual breakthrough.
The prophet of God or rather true prophets are called .these calling can be done through numerous modes such as visions, dreams, intimate experience with the divine being and excreta.
Prophets can only be called by God himself. This is due to the fact that, the obligation of calling a prophet is God’s sovereign decision and the calling is usually sudden and can happen to anyone since God is not respecter of persons of men per se (Rowley, 1956)
For example, Prophet Isaiah needed serious conviction that later on had to sustain him in the course of his ministry. Likewise prophet Jeremiah, calling came through a silent voice from God when he was still young. The voice did indicate to him, the he was known long before he was even conceived.
He Bible says that, ‘’God’s word came to me saying that, before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." "Ah, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, and to build and to plant" (Jer 1:4-10).
Similarly, Amos was very mindful over his business and day to day activities when his call beckoned. His background was far off from all attachments to prophetic works. It is therefore imperative to make an assumption that prophetic ministry was the least of his extortions.
After the call, Amos found his earthly ambitions hit a brick wall or hitting a dead end. The Bible record that, ‘’Then Amaziah said to Amos, get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don't prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king's sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom." Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, 'Go, and prophesy to my people Israel.' Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say, " 'Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the house of Isaac' (Amos 7:12-16).
Marks of a Prophet
There are modalities of identifying a true prophet of God such as, it is expected that a prophet of God should not only live on the high planes of dignity and discipline and principle, but they must also bear the following marks; they should be passionate about the will of God, they should have the gift of foresight into God’s intended plan as well as have a great insight into the intentions of God to his creation and people.
Confirmation of a Prophet
It is largely put forward that, The Almighty God prepares his prophets through a season. It is this mode of preparation through which a prophet is confirmed. Call is confirmed by preparation. It is equally emphatic to make note of the fact that, there is a very long period between the time when the calling is done and when the ministry is commenced. Those who are called to be prophets are always expected therefore exercise patience be able to cultivate a culture that can meet the high standard of God.
It is therefore imperative that those who are called to the ministry of prophecy should be well able to pay the price. This ids because the ministry comes along with, humiliation, ridicule, lack and excreta. (Helm, June.).
For example, before /one becomes a prophet, there must be the existence of Royal or a Divine command. The Bible asserts that, to the surprise of many among the living, that is despised and ignored are /in most cases chosen to disapprove of the things that are of men. This is out of the fact that, God almighty does not think like mankind does. This is drawn from the fact that, men asses or judge by the facial outlook or from what they can see while, God judges from an individuals spiritual orientation.
This underscores the reason as to why most prophets are often unwelcomed by their peers and community members. They equally face an outrage from the people they are to preach to. Lars admits that, to make a prophet acceptable and popular among the people is to disarm him or her from the body message that he or she is supposed to proselytize.( Christopher Forbes).
In addition go the above biblical annunciated; prophets are gifted with an ability to prophesying on our lives .Apostle Paul writes that prophecy is guided by faith. ( 1 Corinthians 12: 7 }
It is imperative to assert that, the call to the ministry of prophecy is sacred or divine. It is individual based, sudden and at the same time it calls on the individuals to maintain their life on the high planes of dignity and discipline. In the course of their ministry, they are to come to terms with rejection, humiliation and disappointments as well as lack for the sake of the gospel.
However, the training through which God takes them before they are called is adequate enough to give them the valor required to overcome t5he challenges of their ministry.
H. H. Rowley. 1956. Prophecy and Religion in Ancient China and Israel. New York: Harper & Brothers.
David Edward Aune. 1963. Prophecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.
Christopher Forbes. 1997. Prophecy and Inspired Speech: in Early Christianity and Its Hellenistic Environment. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickso
Helm, June., Prophecy and Power among the Dogrib Indians, University of Nebraska Press, 1994