Sat, March 3, 2012 4:11:03 PM

The Article to the Challenger


Living In The Prophetic Realm


Douglas Stewart

The World is not Worthy of Prophets

Throughout history there have been men and women who sensed the presence of God in an extraordinary way. Their ability to recognize the ultimate reality behind the physical world became the driving force in their lives. With an almost insane passion, such individuals began to pursue a life of discipline that eventually gave them direct access to God. Such people were rejected by the world not only because of their peculiarity, but because they had separated themselves from the world. Such behavior was believed to be pathological in nature and was often equated with madness.

One may call such people mystics, saints, or prophets but it is clear that these people of faith were walking in the prophetic realm. The Bible says that "some of these faced jeers (or cruel mockings KJV) and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground" (Hebrews 11:36-38 NIV).

The world rejected them because they were able to see beyond the physical realm. Their discovery was the realization that they were "spiritual beings having the capacity to transcend ordinary me-in-here/you-out-there ways of knowing." Those who walk in the prophetic are not out of their minds, in fact, they are IN the Spirit. They are drowning in waters deep enough to swim in. Walking in the prophetic is more than being called into a special branch of apostolic ministry. It is more that just being able to tell people their inner most secrets and pronounce a blessing over them. A person who actually lives in the prophetic is constantly "IN God, SURROUNDED by God, ENCOMPASSED by God, and SWIMMING in God." True prophets may look like ordinary people but their lives do not begin and end in a pulpit. They are not showmen who entertain cheering crowds of people who are hoping to see a display of God’s power.

Being A Prophet is Not as Glamorous as it Seems!

It is not like that at all. It is not glamorous. Jesus and the apostles make it very clear that people who walk in this dimension of reality are generally unknown, feared, rejected, ignored, talked about, isolated, and in some incidents are actually killed. In order to be a prophet one must live in the prophetic. Living in this state of being will not bring you popularity, a following, or make you an admired hero. Living and walking in such close proximity to God’s eternal presence will only bring you humility and a life of separation.

A Fresh Prospective

It is unfortunate that the modern prophetic movement among many spirit-filled groups has become distorted and turned around backwards. It is almost as if modern Apostolics are drawn to such ministries in the same way that a child looks forward to going to a circus. It seems that everyone has a word from the Lord or wants a word from the Lord, but no one really wants a WORD FROM THE Lord. Those who are being used in this capacity understand that in order for them to make a living, be popular with the people, or sell their latest book they must deliver a vague message of mercy. However, people who are living in the prophetic realm understand that justice and mercy must come together in holiness. Sometimes a Word from the Lord may not always be sugarcoated, but if it is from God it will be edifying.

Anointed or Insane?

How then is a man lured into such a difficult life style. You will find if you study Scripture, most if not all of the prophets, did not choose "seerer" as a career path. Let us be honest. It is not normal for anyone in their right mind to actively pursue a prophetic lifestyle. Those who do either have delusions of grandeur or simply lack understanding. Living and walking in the supernatural realm is not for people seeking ego validations. Elijah did not win an Academy Award for his performance at Mount Carmel. He ended up at Little Brook Mental Institute at Cherith, isolated and with a good case of depression and paranoia.

It is time for us to face the facts of Scripture. Prophets of the Lord are not always warm, fuzzy, cheery, individuals who are always positive and excited about everything. They are called to be intercessors who stand in the gap between the world of God and the dangerous sinful reality of man’s world. As an intercessor a true prophet experiences sin, death, trauma, sickness, and disease of those around him. As an intercessor he SEES, he FEELS, he SENSES, and he POINTS the way to healing and deliverance. Consider Jonah’s predicament as an intercessor for the city of Nineveh. God gave him a word. It was not a pleasant word. God gave him a task. It was an overwhelming task. Jonah, filled with fear, saw it as one prophet against a large city of evil sinners. Taking a slow boat to Tarshish under these circumstance was really a good idea. You know the rest of the story. Nineveh was saved and edified, but Jonah was suffering from self-induced paranoia, anger issues, and depression at Gourd Vine Institute for the Mentally Insane. That is what it feels like to many wonderful ministers whom God uses in this manner.

How did I Get into This Mess?

I don’t mean to be facetious or negative about a prophetic ministry or anyone who walks in the prophetic realm. I respect and admire this brave people. My purpose in writing this essay is to bring some prospective to those of us who have been blessed by men who have given their lives to this kind of ministry. And I do mean GIVEN their lives. The weeping prophet had no choice in the matter of life styles. "Before God formed Jeremiah in the womb He knew him; and before the prophet was born God had already sanctified and ordained him to be a prophet to all the nation"(Jeremiah 1:5). What a responsibility! Pastors and their congregations need to understand the weight of responsibility that God has placed upon the shoulder of the prophetic ministry.

Prophets and people who seek direct contact with God are driven. They sometimes begin their quest by "seeing the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up" (Isaiah 6:1). Sometimes they are simply sitting beside a river feeling melancholy about life when all of the sudden "the heavens are opened, and the called one sees visions of God" (Ezekiel 1:1). Often in a time of deep prayer and meditation as the chosen one wrestles with his own existential predicament "the word of the LORD comes to him, saying..." (Jeremiah 1:4).

And there are some of us who just can’t ever get over our first profound experience of God’s divine presence. As a five year old child sitting on a Pentecostal pew, I recognized the most awesome, amazing, unbelievably, powerful force in all the universe. First I felt fear, but then I became God intoxicated. The most lonely years of my life were those spent as a teenager exploring God. I sought God all the time with study, many tears, and a passion that still have today. I, like Ezekiel discovered the "roll and began to eat it. So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Doug Stewart, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this roll that I give you. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness" (Ezekiel 3:1-3). Although I am not a prophet, I do walk in the prophetic realm. My time is spent in intercession for people who do not know me. I do understand isolation. I know what it is like to be misunderstood and talked about. But the rewards of such a life are beyond all human comprehension.

What Then are We to do With These Prophets?

So what about those strange, meek, humble, bold, lonely men and women who sometimes cross our paths and speak God’s Word into our lives? What are we to think of them? Are we to set them on a pedestal and make them something they are not? Are we to fear them or isolate ourselves from their presence? If they make a mistake are we to condemn and gossip about them? Or maybe we should take up stones of criticism against them? Someone once told me they were afraid of Brother Barnes. When I asked why they said, "I’m afraid he will tell me I have a demon." I thought, "how stupid you are!" Another person listening to the conversion said, "If it were me I would want to know if I had a demon or not! You are silly!" People do have all kinds of strange ideas about prophets. So then, what are we to do with these people?

Maybe we should build a little room in our heart reserved just for the Prophet of God. Get to know and accept them as ordinary people with extraordinary gifts. The prophet is not the gift and the gift is not the prophet. They are men and women of like passion just as we are. Don’t lift them up and don’t put them down. Support them while they are ministering under the weight of the anointing. Pray for them. Give them courage by letting them know that you love them as people, accept them as God’s anointed, and that you trust their giftings. Remember that when a prophet of the Lord comes down from the high he is often filled with doubts. The boldness he displaced under the anointing often disappears. (Read Your Bible Please!)

Will the Real Prophets of the Lord Please Stand Up.

Yes there are some men and women among us who are real prophets of the Lord. They are part of the five fold Apostolic ministry given to the church in the endtime. They are special although if you talk with them one on one or when the anointing is not there, they will tell you they do not feel very special. I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with several men that I consider to be true Apostolic Prophets of the Lord. If I may be so bold I would like to share with you my personal observations of three modern prophets. Notice I believe them to be prophets in my own heart.

Morton Bustard

The first and only time I ever met Brother Bustard I walked up to him in the Louisiana District Offices held out my hand and said, "I am Douglas Stewart." I did not know who he was. He took my hand shook it, "I’m Morton Bustard." "Oh yes, I’ve read your book" I responded feeling rather stupid because I did not recognize him. I had one other conversation with him that evening after service and this is what I observed. I told my wife that evening that "Morton Bustard is one of the most approachable people I had ever met." There is a humility and simplicity about him that makes you feel comfortable. The Morton Bustard we see on stage is a prophet, but the real Morton Bustard is a man of like passion just as we are.

Wayne Coleman

Brother Coleman first visited our church on a Wednesday night. After the service I went back to meet him. This was the beginning of our friendship. Since that time he has ministered several times to my congregation with some amazing results. The first thing that strikes you when you meet him is his humility. You cannot detect any sense of self importance or arrogance. He is extremely approachable. Although he has a profound understanding of how God moves in the prophetic he is eager to learn. I get the impression that he is constantly studying and reaching for more. The Wayne Coleman who reveals secrets while under anointing is not the same kind simple man who sits at the feet of Jesus daily when the prophetic mantle has lifted.

David Cheramie

My wife and I met Brother Cheramie for the first time at the Sleep Inn in Ruston, Louisiana where we had reserved a room for him and his wife. He was one of those people to whom you are immediately drawn. My very first impression was, "Here is a man who loves people with the compassion of Christ." His simple unassuming demeanor exuded safety and approachability. At lunch he was childlike in his excitement about what God had done in the morning service. The David Cheramie in the pulpit under the anointing of God is a prophet, but as an ordinary man he is a Christian.

Final Words

We are blessed to have many such men among us who have paid the price to enter into this kind of ministry. READ YOUR BIBLE! Such men and women must constantly fight spiritual insecurity and spiritual depression. When the anointing leaves they often struggle with their own ministerial identity. They often wonder if they have really pleased God. What they need more than anything from the Church is understanding, encouragement, compassion and above all personal validation. This authentication will establish their ministries and build the confidence they need to pursue God further. Remember these are strange, special, approachable, compassionate people struggling to find the direction for the endtime church. We need supernatural ministries more than ever.


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