When does Prophetic Training Start?
If you have already read about prophetic preparation, you know that prophetic training starts when prophetic preparation comes to an end. You will be called to prophetic training when the Lord considers you to have been dealt with enough to come to an acceptable level of trustworthiness. At this point, the Lord is prepared to trust you with His secrets; He is prepared to put in anointing in you and make you His spokesman. This is when He calls you to prophetic training.
How do you know your Prophetic Training has started?
In addition to what I have said above, you will know that your training has started by receiving a very important key called the prophetic key. So what is the prophetic key? It is the symbol of the authority that the Lord has given the prophet. It is the key that Elijah used to lock the heavens to stop the rain falling on Israel; it is the same key that he used to unlock heaven and release the rain. Jeremiah 1: 10 describe the power of the prophetic key or authority better.
“See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and To pull down, To destroy and To throw down, To build and To plant.”
Can you see it? You understand now why the Lord does not give it to just anyone. You understand why the prophetic preparation is so difficult.
So how do you receive the prophetic key? You can receive the prophetic key either from another prophet in office or an apostle.
Purpose of Prophetic Training
Ok, so now you have received the prophetic key that signals the start of your prophetic training. What happens next? What is the purpose of the prophetic training? As already stated, the purpose of the prophetic preparation was to make you worthy to receive the prophetic key. What about the prophetic training? The purpose of the prophetic training is to give you the prophetic key and teach you how to use it. Did you think that God was going to just give you the authority to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant and then let you use it as you wish? No, having the key doesn’t mean that you automatically know how to use. You need training to help you learn how to use it properly to build the kingdom of God and not to tear it down. This is why during training you will face many tests to ensure that you will indeed use the key or the authority properly.
I used the words stripping and breaking to describe prophetic preparation, which is not really pleasant. But I have got good news for you. The word for prophetic training is building. You see during preparation the Lord was stripping you off all the junk and nonsense that prevents you from being a vessel of honour. But in prophetic training He builds you up and turns you into a beautiful vessel for His glory. He takes your natural strengths and abilities away during preparation in order to give you His power and ability. So that when you start ministering to His people, you are able to say with apostle Paul,
“ “ 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
That’s what it is all about, that the faith of God’s people may be based on the power of God and not on your own wisdom and natural abilities. It is about God receiving the full and total glory and not you. Remember, you are but a vessel in His hands.
God’s Pattern for Prophetic Training
Before getting into God's pattern for prophetic training, I would like to introduce you to something very important. Consider this passage,
“Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews8:5
This tells us something very important about God and the way He works. He always works according to blueprints and patterns. In fact He is very fussy about it.
God didn’t just ask Moses, but He gave Him a warning about the way the tabernacle should be built. This tells you how serious He is about His patterns.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well you need to understand just as God does everything according to His pattern, He trains His servant according to a specific pattern. Prophetic training is not an exception, it follows God’s pattern for training.
So what is God’s pattern for prophetic training?
Three Categories of Prophets
When it comes to prophetic training, you need to understand that there are three categories of prophets. In 2King2:3, we read,
“Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”
I have already highlighted the three categories in the verse for you: the sons of the prophets, Elisha and Elijah (Elisha’s master).
The sons of the prophets are simply people who have prophetic gifts, the revelation gifts. They have a prophetic ministry and can function like a prophet. But they do not have the level of authority or leadership position as Elisha and Elijah. In other words, they cannot carry the title of prophet as such. It is a bit like a civil servant working in the ministry of defence. Their job description is related to the ministry of defence but they are not the Defence Secretary. I hope you understand.
It is important to understand this because the preparation and training of each prophetic category is different.
The Elijah prophets are the masters and trainers. They are called and trained by the Lord alone in secret. They carry a very heavy mantle of authority. Just read about Elijah and you will understand what I mean. The prophets under the category of Elijah are called to train and raise up the Elisha prophets. The Elisha prophets, although they start as servants of the Elijahs, at the end of their training, they carry the double portion of the anointing the Elijahs. They are the elite in the prophetic arena.
If the Lord has sent you here to be trained then you are likely to fall under the category of Elisha. So in order to help you understand what is involved in prophetic training, I will be using the example of Elisha’ training to show you what to expect.
Stages and Principles of Prophetic Training
There are seven stages and principles involved in God’s order or pattern for training or discipleship or mentorship. This pattern for training is not new and you can find it throughout the Bible. If you want to study the word for yourself and find out the stages involved, then consider the following Bible heros: Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus and the disciples, Paul and Timothy.
One thing that you have certainly noticed is that there is always a master or trainer and a disciple. As I said, since we are dealing with prophetic training here, the best example to use to illustrate the stages of prophetic training is Elijah and Elisha since they are prophets.
1. The Trainer or Mentor Chooses The Disciple
Before you can even start your prophetic training, you need to receive a call. Who calls? Of course God does, but for your training God will use a mentor or trainer and so you have to be called by your trainer into training. It is not a decision that you make yourself as such. In the case of Elisha, Elijah called him to training by throwing his mantle on him. 1 Kings 19:19. So if you have been called by the Lord to be a prophet, then don’t worry about your training because when the time is right, he will send you your trainer or lead you to him/her. And who knows, maybe this is why you are here.
2. The Disciple is a Servant
So what happens once you have been called to prophetic training? What is your next step? Your next step is a call to servanthood. You start as a servant; you learn to be a servant. When people think of Elisha, they only see the prophet with the double portion of Elijah’s anointing and the great things that he did as a prophet. But Elisha did not start at the top; he started at the bottom, as a servant first. Here is what happened to Elisha after he was called,
“….Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant. ” 1 Kings 19:21.
3. A Close Working Relationship
The third principle involved in prophetic training or mentorship is a close working relationship between the trainer and the disciple or student. Although Elisha was a servant of Elijah, he had a special place in his life. It was a bit like Jesus and the disciples. In public he will teach the crowd using parables. Sometimes they understood them but other times they didn’t. But you know what? Jesus didn’t always explain it to the crowd. But his disciples always had the opportunity to ask for the explanation in private. This was the kind of privileges that Elisha had. He was watching his master and learning. The kind of input that the sons of the prophets had was similar to what the crowd had with Jesus. You will see the same close relationship between Paul and Timothy.
4. The Trainer/Mentor Imparts All He Has
The fourth principle of prophetic training is that the master imparts everything He has to the disciple without restriction or fear that the student will usurp them. Elijah imparted everything to Elisha and even went beyond and gave Elisha the double portion of his anointing. At the end of the training Elisha not only had what his trainer had but he had double. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus said the same thing to the disciple?
““Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John14-12
This has always been the intention of God regarding training and discipleship. The church has seen so many great men and women of God. But what happened after they died? There was no one to replace them. Why? Because they did not understand this crucial principle of training. At the end of your prophetic training here, our desire is not only that you receive all that we have but also that you will continue to grow and become greater than ourselves. At the end of the day it is the kingdom of God that benefits.
5. The Disciple Becomes Equal to The Trainer/Mentor
As already seen, Elisha did not remain servant. He rose up to became like his master. We read in 2 kings 2:15,
“The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.”
The same spirit that was on Elijah was now resting on Elisha. He has risen up to become equal to his master Elijah and the sons of the prophets could sense it and they bowed before him. This is very important principle of discipleship or mentorship. The end result of your prophetic training is that you become a least equal to your trainer or mentor and operate in the same spirit and anointing. You and your trainer should be equal in knowledge, wisdom and in experience. Anyone who knows or knew your trainer or master should look at you and see something of your trainer in you.
6. The Trainer/Mentor Instructs and Tests
The six principle involved in prophetic training is that the master or trainer instructs and tests until the disciple or student is qualified. Yes you have to qualify before you can take the title of prophet and you know who qualifies you? The Lord, not your trainer, but the Lord. The trainer’s job is to instruct and test, instructs and tests until the disciple qualifies; in other words, until the Lord says he has qualified. This is why the test does not involve intellect or writing a paper or an essay. It is not an academic test that we are talking about here. Otherwise none of Jesus’ disciples would have ever qualified to become apostles. It is not a matter of graduating and having a degree. You can have as many degrees as you like, if you don’t past the tests successfully, you can never rise up.
The tests that the master gives involve seeing how the disciple will handle the knowledge and the wisdom that they have received. Elisha was tested three times by Elijah before he received the double portion of his anointing.
But later Elisha himself had a servant called Gehazi who did not make it. He failed the test that Elisha set before him. Gehazi failed one of the crucial tests that every leader in the kingdom of God should pass before they can be put into office. What was it? A leader should not use their position and anointing to get rich and pursue fame. This was one of temptations that Jesus had to go through in the wilderness.
After Elisha healed Naaman, he refused to take any gift from him. He asked him to go in peace. But at the time something was going through the mind of Gehazi. Here is what happened,
“Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, "My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him." 2kings 5:20
And this is what he did. As a result he never rose up to replace Elisha. He was corrupted by the power before he even had it. This is why you have to be tested and you will be tested and the Lord will do it through your trainer. If you are qualified and put into office without passing the tests, you will abuse your position and use it to exploit God’s people and the Lord cannot allow this to happen. So as you can see, there is a heavy price involved in prophetic training.
7. Trainer/Mentor is Removed
The seventh principle involved in prophetic training is that the master is removed from the disciple just as the Elijah was removed from Elisha. This is very important, there need to be a break or a release from the trainer to allow the disciple to become their own individual. It can happen in different ways. For Elisha and Elijah it was the whirlwind, for Paul and Barnabas, it was an argument. It does matter how it happens, the most important thing here to understand is that there need to be a release where the disciple is treated as an equal and not a servant anymore.
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