In the Old Testament, prophets played an important role in not only the religious affairs of life but also in the social and political makeup of Israel. Israel was run by a king with the input of the priest and the prophet. There were leading prophets like Elijah and Elisha but there were other prophets that did not operate with as large a ministry, if you will, as these two prophets. It is the same in this day under the new covenant. There are ministers that are nationally prominent and those that are known only locally. Each has a job to do and with that job comes the anointing from the Holy Spirit. Prophets are normal people who have a very abnormal or unusual call placed on their life. You may live next door to a prophet, you may have gone to school with a prophet. You may even work with a prophet and not realize it. God calls people from all walks of life.
In the winter of 1983 and 1984, I was working as a pumper in the oilfield. It was my duty to make sure the oil and gas wells under my control continued to produce. I had been working long hours from early in the morning to late at night, seven days a week in the freezing cold Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Sometime before this, I had made a vow that I would study my Bible and pray every night no matter what and I honored that commitment. I had arrived home from work one evening and sat down at my kitchen table to read the Bible. As I began to read, the Lord guided me to several passages of scripture. The chair next to me was pulled out and it was almost as if Jesus was sitting right there. After reading the scriptures, the Lord spoke to me and said, "I have called you to the ministry of a prophet." My answer was, "Okay Lord, but I don't know what that is. You will have to teach me."
I became a Christian in between my eighth grade year and my freshman year of high school. I was twelve years old. I tried really hard to be a Christian and to be a witness to my friends but I just didn't have the power. After about a year I slipped back into the same old life. Then in 1979 I rededicated my life to the Lord. Two weeks later I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Immediately there was a new power in my life. God proceeded to show me things in the spiritual realm that I would have never believed before. My life was completely changed. And now, five years later, the Lord was telling me He had called me to the ministry of a prophet.
Carolyn Taylor, whom I consider to be my spiritual mother, walked up to me the next night at church and handed me a book entitled, "The Ministry of the Prophet." I looked at her and asked her why she had given me that book. Without batting an eye she replied, "Because you are called to the ministry of a prophet." I hadn't even told my wife and here was my spiritual mother confirming the words the Lord had spoken to me twenty-four hours before! I read the booklet she had given me and was probably more confused when I got through reading it than I had been before. But I think that booklet opened my eyes to the fact that there are modern day prophets. I just had to wait on God to show me what their purpose is and what my purpose was.
Later that year, I applied to and was accepted into Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It was during this time that there were incredible spiritual attacks on my family and me. I grew immensely in the spirit and probably matured some as well. While attending Rhema, I worked for the Broken Arrow Police Department as a jailor and also ran their photo lab. I worked the three o'clock to eleven o'clock shift at the jail and when I would get home it would take me some time to wind down. During my second year of school, Satan was really attacking me. One night, as I was lying in bed I began to hear people screaming in torment. I opened my eyes and what I saw is impossible to describe in any human language. As far as I could see was a place yet it was in total darkness. It was more empty than anything I had ever seen, yet it was tangible. There is no other way to describe it than terrible. Immediately I asked, "God?" As quickly as I had asked that, a voice rang in my spirit, "NO! God does not torment His children!" I closed my eyes and began to pray in the spirit and fell asleep. The Bible speaks of a place called outer darkness which I believe is hell.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
There had been other Satanic attacks before this but nothing quite as dramatic. I believe that is the night that Satan tried to get a complete victory over my life but because of God's grace and mercy he failed. Satan does not want you to fulfill your ministry! He will try all he can do to stop you before you even begin because he knows the power there is in the ministry gifts.
After school God allowed me to pastor a church in southeastern Colorado. The church had been broken apart by the previous pastor who had fallen into adultery with a woman in the church. At the end of 1986 I was praying and asking God what was in store for the church in the coming year. God spoke two things to me. The first was that the church would see a "purging in the Body". Not very long after this, the world was shocked by the Jim Bakker/PTL debacle. I still remember watching the noted evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart on "Larry King Live" speaking of Bakker and his demise. Swaggart stated that Bakker was, "a cancer in the Body of Christ that needed to be excised." Not long after that, Swaggart was exposed for allegedly visiting prostitutes on a regular basis.
The second thing the Lord told me was that He would begin to bring unity to the Body of Christ. I know that the church will not gain perfect unity until Christ returns to take us out of this earth but I do believe in the spiritual realm, God used the destruction of these huge ministries to begin a work in unity. I truly do believe the work was begun in that year.
When my family and I had first moved to Colorado, the local Assembly of God church was having its annual campmeeting. I decided to attend and hoped to get to know some of the other pastors in town. As the minister was closing in the first service, he asked people that needed prayer to come to the front. He then asked that all the ministers in attendance come and pray for them. I was not sure if I should go forward or not since no one there knew me or that I was a minister. As the ministers began praying for the people I noticed one couple by themselves without anyone praying for them. I went down and God gave me some things to say to them and then I prayed for them.
After a year, we closed the church I had come to pastor and my wife and I were helping the minister in the Assembly of God church. At one service the pastor announced that we were going to accept a pastorate in Texas and that we would be moving in a couple of weeks. After the service, the man that I had prayed for caught up with me and said, "I just want to thank you. You may not remember this, but when you first moved here you prayed for my wife and me. I didn't know who you were and you didn't know me but you told us some things that only God could have known and you prayed for exactly what we needed prayer for." I was so blessed by this and the man and his wife were blessed because I was obedient to do something as simple as to go and pray for them. Never take it lightly when you pray for someone or when you speak forth a word from the Lord to someone. God taught me some invaluable lessons during my stay in Colorado.
After Colorado, I took a church in south central Texas. This church was small but had been built on a much better foundation than the one in Colorado. Things went much better there except for my marriage, which had always been a little shaky. After about a year there, my wife left to go to Houston for several weeks to stay with some friends that we had gone to Bible school with. It was during that time that I decided I must leave the ministry to save my failing marriage. I left the pastorate a few weeks later and moved my family to the Houston area.
I was devastated. I loved the ministry even though we barely made enough money to eat. I thought I would never be used in the ministry again. The church we were attending had some incredible people. I had never seen so much talent in one church. Where it seemed that both of the churches I had pastored had no talent, this one had enough to fill twenty churches. People could sing, they could play musical instruments, they volunteered to help in the church. People loved coming to church, they loved being around each other and the church was growing. It wasn't long until I began to see the pastor using people for their talents and then discarding them. It was then that I began to see the ministry of the prophet begin to manifest itself more in my life. I studied all the scriptures that pertained to being a pastor and took them to the pastor of that church. I confronted him on how he had been treating people in the church and he admitted that God had been dealing with him about it. I was really excited that he had received me and that he admitted what I brought up. I thought the problem was fixed but it wasn't long until it happened again. Once again, I approached him. This time he told me that his wife had been dealing with him and he would change. It happened the third time and I mentioned to someone on the staff of the church that I was going to have to talk to the Pastor again. He called me at work that evening and asked if my wife and I would come in the next day to talk to him. As we walked into his office, he and his wife were there and I knew something was up. He said he had heard that I had needed to talk to him. I began, once again, telling him what I had seen and quoted some scriptures that concerned pastors and their dealings with God's flock. He cut me short and explained that he knew what he was doing was wrong and that he couldn't change because of his call to be an apostle. He knew the church, by this time, was falling apart. He then asked me if I would pastor his church. My wife got very excited and thought that was just what the church needed. I didn't feel quite the same way. I preached for a few weeks while I was trying to determine what God had to say on the matter. One morning after delivering my sermon, I called the pastor and his wife to the front so I could pray for them. As I was praying, in my spirit I saw a dam burst and the water began rushing out. Sometimes when God shows you something it is easy to assume what it means without waiting for God to tell you. As I saw this picture, I assumed it meant that the blessings of God were going to burst out and the church was going to be okay. Little did I know that just the opposite would happen. My mother called during this time and said that I could come and stay at her house if I needed to get away and pray for awhile. She would be at work during the days and I would be alone. I drove the long trip to her home in Lubbock, Texas and she told me she had talked to an older minister at her church and she suggested that I should visit with him. After meeting with him I knew that I was not to pastor that church. He confirmed what I had already known in my spirit. Facing the threat of divorce from my wife I told the pastor that I would not pastor his church. Not too long after that the church was finally closed down and the pastor and his wife divorced. Indeed, the dam burst forth as in the vision but it is not what I had assumed it would be.
I found out later that God had used other people with the prophetic call to deliver His message to the pastor of that church. The church failed because he refused to receive the words of the prophets. There were many people hurt by that ministry as a result of the pastor's disobedience.
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Click Here to read Chapter 5
Click Here to read Chapter 6