By Karen Zerby
AM; ML#3728; August 2008
Using the Spiritual Weapon of Prophecy Professionally in Our Witnessing and Winning!
"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Corinthians 10:4).
1. The weapon of prophecy, aka hearing from the Lord, is one of the main ways in which He communicates with us, and is a very important means of knowing His will. Through prophecy we can receive direction, instruction, encouragement, counsel, battle plans for fighting the Enemy, revelations, predictions, and much more. Prophecy is a powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled user.
2. The battlefield of the witnesser is a fluid place. Circumstances and conditions are complex and constantly changing, and that's why you have to be tuned in to Headquarters, to get your instructions and orders. Witnessing and winning isn't a simple 1-2-3-step plan that always works out as you intend. There are a lot of variables and things are regularly changing. So you need to be flexible and adaptable. But in order to know how to proceed at every turn, you need prophecy—to be able to get clear, specific direction whenever you need it.
3. Prophecy is an asset when it comes to witnessing and winning. By using prophecy, you're going about things the easy way instead of the hard way. Your percentage of success will be higher, because you'll have secret intelligence. You'll be open to the Lord's checks, you'll be asking Him everything, you'll be communicating with Him about where to go, who to talk to, what to talk about, how to present yourself, what the key to someone's heart will be, and all kinds of other specifics, and He will guide you wisely.
4. Using prophecy is smart and it's efficient. You're all busy people, so you don't want to spend the limited time you have on outreach just knocking on closed doors or talking with people who don't want what you have to offer. Of course, there's always some element of that—there will always be some closed doors and some people who aren't interested, and it's not even good for everything to come to you so easily. But your aim is to spend as much time as possible going through the open doors and talking with the interested and potential people—the ones who are worth the investment of your time—and as little time as possible with those who are not worth your while.
5. So if you want your outreach to be more targeted and effective, and if you want to avoid timewasters, then use prophecy. The Lord can do all kinds of favors for you as you use this weapon. He'll guide you. He might speak to you in specifics—about someone you're going to meet, or something that's going to happen that day. He'll let you know if your plans for the day are spot on. He'll show you where to go, or tell you if you're going to the wrong place. He'll set up miraculous meetings and open doors for you, if He knows He'll be able to guide you to them when you check in with Him.
6. Prophecy is a versatile spiritual weapon, and can be used anywhere and anytime in the process of building a flock or reaching the rich. You can use it when you go out to meet new potential sheep or kings, and you can continue using it throughout the whole process—as you feed and teach and train them, and as you draw them closer to the Family and challenge them to become supporters or disciples. You can and should use prophecy each step of the way as you bring those you're ministering to along; it's a valuable disciple-winning tool, and will also give you enhanced wisdom, discernment, insight, and direction when reaching the rich.
7. You can use prophecy as a mind-reading tool by asking the Lord what's going on in people's hearts and minds, so that you can better help them and train them and be an effective teacher. Prophecy is also a great tool for planning classes, seminars, and mapping out the plan for moving your sheep along in their spiritual progress. It can be used as a means of encouraging and feeding your sheep, when you receive messages for them through your channel, or when you teach them how to receive and use their own gifts.
8. Prophecy can also be used proactively. It's not just a weapon to use to guide you through your immediate witnessing urgencies and emergencies. The Lord's counsel through the gift of prophecy can keep you a step ahead of the present, giving you a tremendous edge in the spirit. The Lord can save you time and trouble by informing you of new factors and surprises in advance. He can prepare you for what's to come. He can give you valuable overall direction, insight, information, and revelations on the big picture of your witnessing and winning, which will help you to keep your goals in focus and ensure that you're always moving in the right direction.
9. Another great benefit to using prophecy in your witnessing, winning, and building your flock, is that it helps to keep you a new bottle—flexible and not stuck in a rut. It's impossible to be stuck in a rut if you're asking the Lord for up-to-the-minute instruction and you're obeying it. Using prophecy helps you to "follow God" and to continue to flow with His nudges throughout the day, through every witnessing and training experience.
10. (Jesus:) Prophecy is the guidance mechanism in the spiritual attack weapon that will zero in on the needy souls and potential disciples, and guide you directly to them. It will make your outreach more effective, more directed, more conclusive, and more fruitful.
11. (Jesus:) I've asked you to do some pretty amazing and challenging things for Me, and I've said that you must succeed. So of course I intend to give you My full support, backing, and help. If I didn't, what kind of manager or commander would I be? I am more interested in seeing the job get done effectively, efficiently, and right than you ever could be. After all, this is My plan, these are My orders, and I'm the One Who wants to see them carried out.
12. I don't want you going out there in the war zone haphazardly feeling for mines in the spirit. Instead, I want to give you a roadmap and a three-dimensional view of the battlefield, as well as X-ray vision to see through obstacles, so that you can avoid the dangers that the Enemy has set up to derail you—and so that you can find what you're looking for.
13. You're in urban warfare, the most deadly and difficult form of warfare there is. You won't know what window a sniper is hiding behind, what houses are booby-trapped, or where the Enemy is waiting in ambush—unless you hook up with My advanced warrior systems, which can watch over you and help you to plan and attack with pinpoint accuracy, and survive to fight another day.
14. Going into any witnessing endeavor with your channel switched off is like walking down the center of a battlefield with a neon target on your head. You cannot—and I repeat, cannot—be fully successful in the Offensive and do all that I want you to do, nor will you see all of the supernatural answers to prayer and lives changed, without using the weapon of prophecy. There's no way around it, and no way to win without it.
15. I have made you into the most elite and effective strike force ever known to mankind. Every one of you can do more damage to the Enemy than 10,000 untrained recruits in the regular army. You are the sort of whom it is said, "one can chase a thousand," and "two can put ten thousand to flight." But in order to do that, you must use your training; you must use your specialized communications equipment, including prophecy.
16. Decisive victory is all about precision attacks at the points that do the most damage to the Enemy. It's not about brute force; it's about doing the most damage in the shortest amount of time, which causes the opposing force to be overwhelmed and collapse on itself. If you want to win decisive victories, you must avail yourself of prophecy, because it's through prophecy that I will tell you when to strike, what to strike, and how to strike.
17. (Jesus:) Prophecy is a heavenly communicator implanted in your mind that acts as a two-way communications device between you and all of the answers that you'll ever need. It is the link between you and scoring 100% on your test. It makes a vital difference in your service for Me.
18. * When you're out witnessing, don't try to reason out who to talk to next or what shop to go to next, etc. Ask the Lord. If you're with a partner, take turns asking the Lord who to approach next, or where to go next, and how to get there.
19. * Watch for a change of circumstances; be flexible, and pray as you go. A wise warrior not only prays and plans before the battle, but during it too. Although the general plan should be implemented, through prayer, stay open to the checks of the Lord's Spirit and how to adapt to battlefield conditions. Radio in every so often and check with the Lord and determine if any on-the-spot changes in the plan need to be made, and then follow through accordingly.
20. * Before talking to someone—whether it's someone that you've never met before, or someone that you are already acquainted with and are following up on—ask the Lord if there's something specific He wants you to say to them, or if He has something to tell you that will help you to reach them better. Ask the Lord for the key to their heart. Ideally it would be best to hear from the Lord before you leave home, but if you didn't get a chance, doing so on the spot is better than not at all.
21. * Don't limit yourself to communicating with the Lord only before speaking to people. During any witnessing opportunity, make a point of asking the Lord about it in your mind—where to steer the conversation; if the current topic or direction is effective; if the person is worth your time; if you should move on, etc.
22. (Jesus:) I didn't just create the weapon of prophecy so that we could chat on your day off and feel good and happy. That's a pleasant use of it, but the primary purpose of the weapon of prophecy is to make it possible for you to defeat the Devil on this Earth in the battles you face. If you don't use it, you're giving him an advantage over you in the spiritual warfare.
23. * Every so often, at the end of a witnessing day, ask the Lord to talk to you about your use of prophecy—to assess your performance, and to show you ways that you can improve in your use of it. It doesn't have to be a serious, sit-down prophecy session. You can communicate with the Lord in your mind as you ride home, when you're in the shower, or before bed. Ask Him, "How am I doing with my gift of prophecy in my outreach? Am I using it enough? How can I improve in my use of it?"
24. You can do the same thing with your witnessing, asking the Lord to speak to you, assess your performance, and to show you ways you can improve.
25. * Strike out and try something new. Instead of answering a sheep's question with your own words, offer to hear from the Lord on it right then and there with the sheep or the person you're ministering to. This can be a short prophecy or a longer one, depending on the situation and circumstances.
26. * Before you go out witnessing, ask the Lord if your choice of clothing is appropriate for the plans He has for you that day. It could be very important to be dressed a certain way on a given day, in order to be able to walk through an open door that the Lord may present to you.
27. * Ask the Lord about specific details before you go out witnessing, such as what Family products or tracts to take with you, what transportation you should take to your witnessing location, if and when you should take a break during the day, where you should stop for lunch, and other such specifics.
28. * Use prophecy before each witnessing or follow-up appointment or class. Ask the Lord specifically what you should talk about, what topic would be feeding for the sheep, and how to make the appointment or class as feeding as possible. If you are going to be presenting a need or an appeal, ask Him how to best present it.
29. * Ask the Lord regularly about your sheep and what to feed them next, what their current needs are, what challenges they need for their growth, what battles they're facing, and how to motivate them to go further in their relationship and walk with the Lord.
30. (From a witnesser:) In our Home we have a scheduled weekly "Building a Flock" follow-up meeting with a follow-up team of three people who meet about our church growth and Active members. We also have another team that meets about the "Reach the Rich" follow-up. We focus on two or three of our sheep each week, and ask the Lord for some counsel and direction for their next couple of months of growth. Then in our next weekly meeting, we hear from the Lord about three other sheep. With this plan, we are able to hear from the Lord specifically about 12 sheep in a month. So if you have 24 sheep on the line, you can hear from the Lord regarding them at least once during a two-month period. We have more counsel from the Lord than we are able to implement, and are never short on His direction. Of course, when a particular sheep is going through something, we are open to giving them more time, and they get extra shepherding and focus. But the other sheep also need attention and focus, and having this plan has worked well for us. (Note: This testimony was written before the publication of LNF 300, which asks each FD Home to form a witnessing committee. Some or all of the suggestions above could probably be handled by the witnessing committee.)
31. * Develop a habit of receiving prophecies for those you minister to, such as prophecies of encouragement or instruction. Many witnessers have testified that most people love to receive a personal message from the Lord, and it has proven to spark an interest in the spirit and a hunger to learn and experience more. Some sheep who have a very traditional and distant concept of God have immediately grown to recognize Him as a friend and have developed a personal relationship with Him, through being influenced by the prophecies that were received for them. Prophecy can be used as early as a second meeting with a sheep, or at times even the first.
32. * Use your gift of prophecy to help your sheep and supporters when they are making important decisions—such as medical, financial, or business decisions. They may often ask you to ask the Lord for His counsel to them on these matters, and it's an important part of using the weapon of prophecy in your witnessing and winning. However, it's good to include them in the prophecy session, if possible, and it's important to explain that the final decision rests in their hands and is according to their faith. If you are the one hearing from the Lord for them, often the Lord might not tell them through that prophecy exactly what to do, but He can give them important input or factors for them to consider, as well as promises and counsel once they make a final decision. (Note: For more on this, please see Link #1, an excerpt of a PMA class, on page 8.)
33. * Practice asking the Lord specifics in other realms of your life and work, so that when your sheep ask you to hear from the Lord about something specific, you're practiced in doing so, and you have the faith to receive an answer. One sheep, right off the bat, brought out three pens and three pieces of paper and asked an outreach team to hear from the Lord with him about some important business decision. Thank the Lord, He came through with His counsel, and that man has been drawn very close as a result of it.
34. * Use prophecy to help you to remain flexible and to "follow God" while you're on outreach. There will be days when you have everything well planned, and then everything falls through, or your appointments get cancelled, or the Lord wants to change plans as you go. So remain flexible and constantly ask the Lord at each step.
35. * Be faithful not just to receive prophecies, but to follow through on what the Lord tells you to do in those prophecies.
36. * Give prophecies to the members of your flock during special times in their lives, such as when someone has a new baby, or on their birthday, or on their wedding day, or on other special occasions.
37. * Receive prophecies to share with your flock during your meetings, retreats, or classes with them, either as a keynote or closing message, or as a supplement to other material you'll be sharing with them.
38. * Teach your sheep to hear from the Lord themselves. Helpful aids: "Hearing from Heaven" (Get Activated book); the Letters on prayer and prophecy in God Online; 12FS classes 4A and 4B on prophecy.
39. * Once the members of your flock have received the gift of prophecy, work on helping them to receive things from the Lord as regularly as possible via their own channels, and encourage consistent use of this gift in their lives—such as by asking them to share with you the things that the Lord has spoken to them about, etc.
40. * When someone you're ministering to asks you a question, decide whether it's something you'd need to research in the Word or to ask the Lord about. If it's something the Lord can answer in prophecy, tell them that you'll get back to them. Then ask Him about it as soon as you get a chance, and pass on the message or counsel to your sheep. When it comes to something major that could have big consequences in the other person's life, ask a fellow witnesser or shepherd to get a confirmation from the Lord. Make sure that the counsel you pass on is accurate and complete, and seek the Lord about how to present it.
41. * Hear from the Lord together with the members of your flock, as a group, whenever possible.
42. * If there's a problem or issue that one of your sheep faces, help them to research the Word on the topic, and encourage them to ask the Lord about it and receive an "official" prophecy (one that they actually write down or record somehow). You could start by offering to receive something for them through your channel, but the goal should be to get them to receive answers through their own channel, to become comfortable with personally receiving counsel directly from the Lord.
43. * Encourage and promote the use of prophecy with your flock by sharing one or more messages that you personally received from the Lord regarding an area of your life that you're progressing in, or a decision that you prayed about, etc. This can help to encourage those you're ministering to to want to try to exercise their gift more, so that they can likewise receive practical counsel from the Lord for their everyday lives.
44. * If one of the members of your flock shares a message with you that they received from the Lord, be as enthusiastic and commending as possible. Even if their gift is at the "baby" stage, encourage them for their faith to exercise it, to take steps to use it, and this will help to build their confidence in their channel.
45. * Your sheep should see you suggest, "Let's ask the Lord," whenever you or they need to make a decision.
46. * Setting an example is the best way to teach others the value of the gift of prophecy. Make an effort to strengthen this weapon in your life to the point that using it becomes very natural for you, a part of your everyday life and actions. Form a habit of receiving daily prophecies and using this weapon faithfully in order to become more skilled in using it, and you will be better prepared to teach others.
47. * Study the CGO Handbook for more information and helps on the use of prophecy in your witnessing and winning. (See CGO Handbook 4.b.v: Hearing from the Lord for or with those you minister to. For you who are PMA students, you'll find more on this topic in class 7.7 of the "Cultivating Supporters" course and class 7.1 of the "Building a Flock" course.") (Note: For more on this, please see Link #2, an excerpt of a PMA class, on page 11.)
48. (From a witnesser:) Our Home has a music ministry where we play weekly for a cross section of the top class in our city and business people from abroad. Some months ago we met the family and relatives of the leadership of another country. We got quite close to them, and this gentleman came to our Home for a visit with some ambassadors from his country and gave us a large donation. This happened only after hearing from the Lord and following each step He showed us. It wasn't easy and took quite a bit of time, prayer, and planning. The Lord had even shown us in prophecy not to ask him for anything but to let him offer a donation, and He had also shown us the exact amount this man would give. Amazing! Since then we have been in touch with him through e-mail and the phone, and our communication with him has been very fruitful.
49. When praying about what to approach this gentleman with at this time, as well as how to prepare for his next visit, the Lord chided us a bit. He reminded us that He had already shown us six months ago that He would bring Mr. M. back for a visit as soon as we were ready, and had shown us to get the children's performing team prepared, as well as have our band learn some local language songs. (Every time we would call Mr. M., he would say that he would visit, but that he wasn't sure when.) The Lord showed us again that Mr. M. would come when we fulfilled what He had already shown us—sort of an "if you build it, he will come" or "Noah's ark phenomenon." Needless to say, we have begun the preparations needed and this man has promised to help us with some of our projects this year. Praise the Lord!
50. We are learning that in reaching the rich, we can very quickly lose opportunities the Lord sends our way if we are not sharp in the spirit and desperate to obey what He says instantly. It is sobering to realize that many important sheep may have come and gone and golden opportunities may have flown by without our even realizing it. The Lord's timing is everything, as only He really knows what He is doing, and we are just playing along in the "treasure hunt"—hunting for clues, obeying where they tell us to go, and searching for the prize.
51. (Jesus:) Once you get hooked on hearing from Me specifically about your outreach, and as you are open to My checks, asking Me frequently what to do, where to go, or what to tell those that you meet and minister to, you'll never go back to doing things without the on-the-go assistance of such a powerful weapon.
Optional reading from the PMA:
* "Prophecy Questions You May Have Always Wanted to Ask, Part 1" (ML #3019)
* "Prophecy Questions You May Have Always Wanted to Ask, Part 2" (ML #3035)
* "Prophecy Questions You May Have Always Wanted to Ask, Part 3" (ML #3036)
* "Spirit Stories" (ML #3119)
* "Mama's Surprise, Part 1" (ML #3133)
* "Mama's Surprise, Part 2" (ML #3134)
* "Mama's Surprise, Part 3" (ML #3139)
* "Endtime Prophecy Power" (ML #3140)
* "Hearing from the Lord Step by Step" (ML #3149)
* "Ask Me Everything, Part 1" (ML #3270)
* "Ask Me Everything, Part 2" (ML #3271)
* "Ask Me Everything, Part 3" (ML #3272)
* "Despise Not Prophesying" (ML #244)
* "God's Gifts—The Spirit Revolution!" (ML #1741)
* "Prophecies—How They Come" (ML #1742)
* "Hearing From God" (ML #712)
* "New Life, New Love" (ML #731)
* "Prophecy Lessons" (ML #1743)
* "Turn On, Tune In" (ML #2087)
* "See It and Believe It" (ML #1919)
* "Jesus, Our Good Shepherd!" (ML #3113)
* "The Gift of Heavenly Thought Power" (ML #3377)
* "Understanding Prophecy, Part 1" (ML #3275)
* "Understanding Prophecy, Part 2" (ML #3304)
* "Understanding Prophecy, Part 3A" (ML #3310A)
* "Understanding Prophecy, Part 3B" (ML #3310B)
* "Understanding Prophecy, Part 4" (ML #3343)
* "What the Future Holds, Part 1" (ML #3349)
* "Quiet Time—Your Lifesaver" (ML #3183)
* Verses: Num.11:25; Acts 2:4,18; Acts 19:6; Rom.12:6; 1Cor.12:10; 1Cor.14:3,39; 2Tim.3:16; 2Pet.1:21