I am very sure that if Joab had known that killing Abner would bring a curse to his father’s house that would keep generations yet unborn into perpetual bondage, he would have surely forgiven Abner and avoid the toxic emotion called bitterness which led to the action that brought that curse. Hope we learn from it.

Now, let me touch upon the issue of bitterness in the church. Like we all know, the church is a place where love should reign supreme, yet it is not so. Why?

This is simply because the church has allowed so much evil and wickedness to thrive. Jesus clearly warned that in the last days so much evil will overtake the world such that the love of many people will grow cold.

Matthew 24 vs. 12:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Iniquity also means wickedness, immorality, sin, crime, vice, evil etc. This word spoken by Jesus would be re-echoed in later years as a warning by apostle Paul to his son Timothy.

2 Timothy 3 vs. 1 – 5 (NIV): 

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

I believe that Paul was not telling Timothy of worldly people, but those in the church. Verse 5 makes it expressly clear that it was about believers, as Paul described such people as those who have a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof.

“Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

As a father, Paul warned Timothy to have nothing to do with such people. There is no doubt that we have  people like all over our churches today causing troubles that lead to bitterness in the life of believers.

It is people like these who are in the business of causing strife and division in the house of God. These are the people who hate to see the love and power of God manifest in the life of other believers. Their attitude has caused a lot of pain to so many in the body of Christ.

Now, since I am focusing on bitterness and the prophetic ministry, I would like to touch on few areas this has affected the life of many prophets as well as those they minister too.

Make no mistake; the prophetic call is a call to death. It is not an easy journey. It takes God so many years to train a prophet. I am talking about true prophets called of God, not those who have called themselves.

Truthbetold, true prophets go through a lot of troubles. In the process they get wounded by humans. Those  who refuse to forgive and let go become bitter and it becomes a pitfall for them.

I will give you few reasons why most prophets we know today are bitter.

There are three major points to consider:

1. Emotional wounds

2. Despise and rejection

3. Attack by church leaders (pastors mostly)

In driving my points home, I would quote some people with regard to what they said about prophets.

As we go through this, bear in mind that “bitterness is like poison that contaminates even good water. ” some of this I have been through myself.

Emotional wounds: 

Many prophets have been wounded emotionally, because of the nature of their ministry.

One of the outstanding works of a true prophet is to help us stay on the path of righteousness by prophetically showing us where we have gone wrong for correction. This is something many people do not want because their works are evil. Based on this, many church authorities treat growing prophets with contempt.

A growing prophet without proper understanding of the nature of his calling would be left with emotional wounds when he is treated with contempt.

Below are comments from some men of God on the subject matter, some of whom are Prophets and Pastors.

Tom Marshall:

“Prophets can be uncomfortable people to have around. They can often be hard to take. We must avoid taking offence at their style and manner and missing what God is doing through them. The prophet discerns the state of the human heart. The prophetic insight exposes things that are hidden (1 Cor 14:25). Prophets are never popular people. They are not comfortable to have around, if there is a prophet around, we will be aware of our sins in a new way” (Tom Marshall- The Coming of the Prophets)

Graham Cooke:

“Prophetic people create tension. When God intervenes into our orderly, calm lives, this creates a tension. We need to know how to deal with that and how to fellowship it through. Otherwise prophetic ministry can be an open door for the demonic to enter our churches. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to dismiss the prophecy and cast the prophet in the role of troublemaker.” (Graham Cooke – Developing Your Prophetic Gifting p.96).

Budding prophets who are yet to develop the thick skin of Moses,  Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah and others get emotionally wounded when they are treated unfairly by the brethren.

Without proper mentoring, many young prophets without proper understanding of the ministry never allow these emotional wounds to heal. Consequently, they become bitter prophets. This contaminates both the prophet and the people he ministers to. Solution is to learn to forgive always. That is why humility must be every Prophet’s daily bread.

Young Prophet, be humble. Allow yourself to be mentored by established Prophets. You will learn a lot from their experience. They have been where you are now and will use their experience to help you.

2. Despise and rejection: 

Most prophets in their maturing stage are despised which often lead to rejection of the word the Lord gives to them. This rejection is mostly because of envy from those in authority.

It is sad to say Most church authorities are threatened by the presence of a prophet due to the attention they attract.

Let me also add that most maturing prophets themselves do not also know that “seeking undue attention” is a serious pitfall for prophets.

That is a different matter anyway. I was once labelled a false prophet and a demon possessed person by the head pastor of a church I attended simply because the Lord gave me a correctional word for my pastor which he did not like.

In order to cover up his wrong doing, he had to disgrace me before the entire congregation as he called me a false prophet and demon possessed person who needed deliverance.

Unfortunately, he who was my pastor had no power to deliver me from the demon he claimed was attacking me. This was at the beginning of my ministry. If the hand of the Lord was not strongly upon me, such a thing would have left a serious emotional wound in my spirit which would have done a lot of damage to my ministry.

I once got a prophetic word that said my pastor, (the same pastor)was worried that his members will love me more than him. The prophetess that gave me the message  said my pastor had seen my gifting and was afraid of me.

It was quite funny to me because as at the time in question, I was only a chorister in the church and leader of the intercession team. But the Lord had started using me prophetically and in healing in a small way. But I did not see it as something that would trigger off envy from my Pastor. But it did. Instead of encouraging me, he began to suppress me.

What happens usually is that the Lord will send a young prophet to a church, but the actions of the pastors will sack the prophet because his gifting is usually not allowed to operate. When that happens, the young prophet either leaves or is forbidden from ministering.

My advice is always “leave if you are not wanted.” There is no need to fight the authority over you. A true prophet is humble. He would rather leave than stay and cause trouble. But direction from the Lord is always important. Everything we go through has its own lesson to teach us. We must learn to endure till the Lord asks us to leave.

Again when the maturing prophet is despised and called names added to the fact the message the Lord has given him is rejected, if he is not properly counselled, he becomes bitter all through his ministry which affects those he comes across.

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