People have preconceived notions about the prophets of God, which may not be true. Prophets are the mouthpiece of God. They speak what they hear from God and what He speaks or shows them in visions and dreams. They speak not out of their own will but the will of God. They are constantly in communion with God and led by the Holy Spirit.
Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)
Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)
I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (Deuteronomy 18:18)
I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.” (Hosea 12:10)
The new prophetic generation will be spiritually aggressive and not hold back. Their tongues will be aggressive, their preaching will be aggressive, their prayers will be aggressive, their language will be aggressive, and their way of speaking may not be soft. But they are chosen by God.
But when he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7)
For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” (Matthew 14:3-4)
But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him [John the Baptist] concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, (Luke 3:19)
You may not understand their language, their dressing style, their haircut, their choice of clothing, their choice of food, or the way they speak. You may say, “Why does this prophet talk like that?” They may not fit in your box, your criteria, or your category for prophets.
Yet, God says they are my prophets and I Am their God.
In your head, a prophet may be someone who wears a suit, boot, and a tie. But they may not embrace that dressing style. You may say a prophet should only prophesy goody-goody, nice-nice things. But they may not do so. You may think they are not prophets but are evil. But they are still the prophets of God.
John the Baptist
The father of John the Baptist was a priest in Israel. As a priest, he may have been honored in Israel, have a good house to live in, have a good diet, and have worn clothes that an Israeli priest usually wears – a long white robe with special ornaments. But you may not understand why John the Baptist had an unusual lifestyle and lived a life different from what we expect, considering his father’s life.
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. (Luke 1:5)
So it was, that while he [Zacharias] was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. (Luke 1:8-9)
You may not understand why John the Baptist wore camel’s hair and leather belt (made of sheepskin or goatskin as some have speculated). You may not understand why he ate locusts (plural – which means John ate different types of locusts because if locusts are your staple diet, you don’t eat just one locust but many locusts. And in the wilderness where John spent most of his time, chances of finding just one type of locust are very low) and wild honey.
Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4)
Yet, God says they are my prophets and I Am their God.
You may not understand why some prophets have a long beard and why some a clean-shaven face. You may say, “Most prophets wear a beard, so this person is not a prophet,” “This person has a dense beard. He is unkept and ill-mannered. He may not be a prophet,” or “Oh, he is too young to be a prophet.” Today, it’s so silly to hear who people presume to be a prophet.
You may not understand why John the Baptist preached and prophesied in the wilderness. Who was present in the wilderness to listen to him? He might as well would have preached in cities where people are actually there to listen to him.
So the child [John the Baptist] grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel. (Luke 1:80)
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. (Luke 3:4)
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (Matthew 3:1)
Why would John the Baptist live in the wilderness, leaving a nice, cozy house and a life with honor from both God and man, considering his priestly background? His ministry could have flourished better in non-secluded places. Why would he confront the government officials of his city? Couldn’t he play it safe? Why would he meddle into someone else’s life and lose his own life? Why was he so judgmental?
Yet, the Bible says there is no greater prophet than John the Baptist.
For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28)
“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11)
There are a lot of things you may think about John the Baptist, but he simply did what God told him to do. He was committed to the life and ministry God gave him.
Elijah and Elisha the Prophets
You may not understand why Prophet Elijah demanded the last meal of the widow and her child. Was not there anybody else in the city whom he could have asked for food? Why was he so selfish? But God had instructed him to do so.
And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. (1 Kings 17:13)
You may think that’s not what a prophet does. Yet, God brought the child back to life through the same Prophet Elijah. He brought fire down from heaven and shut the heavens so that it wouldn’t rain for three and a half years.
Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. (1 Kings 17:22)
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. (James 5:17)
Prophet Elijah ran away from Jezebel, became suicidal, and was low in faith at one point in time. Yet, God did a miracle and took him in a whirlwind. He never tasted death (I love this truth).
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)
Furthermore, he is probably one of the two witnesses (the other probably being Prophet Moses) God is going to send to Jerusalem in the future.
These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (Revelation 11:6)
Prophet Elisha cursed a bunch of young hooligans (this word is not used in the Bible, but that’s what I call them). And 42 of them were devoured by only two wild animals because they mocked him.
Then he [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” (2 Kings 2:23)
Yet, a dead body became alive when it touched just the bones of Prophet Elisha. God used him mightily and anointed him with double portion of Prophet Elijah’s anointing. The anointing was alive and strong on Prophet Elisha, even after his death.
So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. (2 Kings 13:21)