“All true seers are prophets but not all prophets are seers.”
Perhaps you have heard this and taken it as a quote from the Bible. This is actually a quote from a well-known prophet of this generation. Unfortunately, the Word of God does not support this conclusion. To fully understand why, we must look at three of the most misunderstood members of the body of Christ often linked together in their application and mistaken for one another. Perhaps this is because individually these can be hard to understand without knowing about the others.
There are two Hebrew words, ro’eh and chozeh. Both mean “seer.” Two Bible verses will fully explain the difference in these two words:
Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was before time called a Seer. (1 Samuel 9:9 AKJV)
This “seer” is ro’eh and was used at this point in the Word of God to refer to both seers and prophets. The word nabiy’ has just one meaning—"prophet” and can refer to either a false or true prophet.
Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers... (2 Kings 17:13 AKJV)
In this verse we see that there are two kinds of people mentioned: a prophet (nabiy’) and a seer (chozeh). Ro’eh is no longer used after this. It is clear that not ALL seers are prophets, because they are mentioned as two separate groups. If all seers were prophets, it wouldn’t have been necessary to mention seers at all.
The gift of seeing into the spirit realm often causes individuals to be labelled as prophets when they are really operating in the gift of the word of wisdom or word of knowledge. We also refer to them as “seers.” This title is misleading, for information received from the spiritual realm isn’t simply limited to seeing.
This gift, often given at birth, allows someone to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things that are happening in the spirit realm. For them, the veil between this world and heaven is very thin and they can peer into it. This shouldn’t be confused with those referred to as “seers” in the Old Testament before there were prophets. Those were men and women called by God as prophets before there was a nation of Israel and distinct titles given to different jobs.
Psychics, witch doctors, shamans, and mystics are often born with this gift. It is from whom they receive their gifts that makes the difference. Without Jesus in the picture, providing them with a bridge to Him, seers are hearing from demons instead of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, it is imperative to know how to “test the spirits.”
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. (1 John 4:1-3)
While having a conversation with someone you can see or not see, you should always ask, “Do you admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh?” If it is the Holy Spirit or another one sent from God, they will excitedly agree. Spirits sent from the enemy will ignore the question, hedge around it, or flee because if they admit this, then they are admitting that He has authority over them.
Seeing and hearing aren’t the only ways God communicates with seers, but all seers will be able to view things in the spirit realm. If you receive information in other ways, most likely it is a gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit. It takes time to become a mature seer because all five senses are involved. You will have to learn how to discern your feelings, because there will be times when feelings come to you as you operate as a seer and they’re not your feelings. If you take them personally it can cause you much trouble.
The one thing the Church has taught against is relying on feelings, and for good reason. Even if you are a Christian, you can pick up signals from the enemy rather than the Holy Spirit. You should be watchful and take foreign feelings as a “head’s up,” but not as gospel. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for more information. In some cases, you may know which spirit is motivating a person; the Holy Spirit, a demonic spirit, or their wounded human spirit. This is a gift any Christian may have: the “discerning of spirits.”
At times you may sense how other people are feeling and know exactly how to minister to them. What emotions are at the root of their issue: depression, self-rejection, joy, anger, happiness? You can feel where they’re coming from and know exactly what to ask for as you pray for them. You’ll know where there is self-rejection, because of what you feel. If you’re ministering to somebody who has self-rejection, you’ll feel it coming at yourself, and you must never take any of these things personally.
A seer may be able to feel the strongholds of any given town. If you enter a town and feel a sense of lust, lust owns that town. If you feel depression, it’s a depressed place. As you come to a particular place, you’ll take on the feelings of that town, country, or even a person, whether they are good or bad. One of the hardest things to minister to is the spirits of self-rejection. Suicidal thoughts come through these spirits. A seer will feel these things. If you think they are coming from yourself, you will be totally unproductive. You need to have all these senses attuned to the Holy Spirit and be able to recognize and say, “This is not me. I am not in self-rejection. I love myself. I can taste and see that He is good.”
You can also smell what’s happening. You can discern what’s wrong with a person, church, city, or even a nation, because you can smell it. You can smell sin, corruption, and holiness. That’s what 2 Corinthians 2:14 says: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” So, you can smell the sweet incense of the Lord. You can smell His presence when He “comes out of” people, for the kingdom is inside us. You can actually smell when a person really yields to God. You may also smell rotten eggs, ammonia, or other odors that reveal demonic activity.
Seers are often not welcomed because they are in possession of the least understood of all the gifts. You may feel like you don’t fit in any place except with other seers, so you move from church to church. Sharing your revelation and dreams and the way God communicates with you might cause people to think you’re a bit odd. Most dreams and visions are metaphorical and need to be interpreted. Not all seers have the gift of interpretation so it is important to find someone who does if you are a seer. If you give a literal interpretation of a dream or a vision that is metaphorical, it will not come to pass, and then your reputation will be tarnished.
Whenever you receive information, you should always put it to the test of scripture. If it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, don’t accept it. Many are being led astray by following signs and revelations that are not biblical in any way. (See examples of this in the free book, “Roadmap to Heaven.”)
It’s time for the seer to come forth. The Church needs you. It is time for the seer to mature and be used.
What is the difference between a seer and a prophet? Being able to discern things in the spirit realm, even things of the future, does not make you a prophet. Prophets are a part of the five-fold ministry.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up… (Ephesians 4:11-12)
Prophets are on the list of people called by Jesus to edify the body, yet most Christians know nothing about this office. Many times those who frequently use the “gift of prophecy” are incorrectly labelled as a prophet. It is mentioned in the list of gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) and Paul tells us that we should all seek this gift (1 Corinthians 14:5) and it should be used to edify the body of Christ. Perhaps because there is a gift of prophecy, many believers think there is no need for prophets. There are some important differences in the two:
The Gift of Prophecy
The gift of prophecy takes place as the Holy Spirit moves upon a believer. It is a declaration about an event or person that God reveals. It is to edify and build up the body of Christ. Anyone who is born again can operate in this gift of the Holy Spirit, who resides inside of us. Someone operating in this gift should always be uplifting. The Holy Spirit brings hope and not despair.
Prophets are called by God in a clear and specific event. They hear God’s voice and are referred to as the mouthpiece of God, which means their words are filled with God and His power. Prophets are sent with revelations, corrections, and information about future events and sometimes about people. Often, they operate as teachers concerning the words they are given from God.
What’s the harm in labelling the prophetic gift as the ministry of prophet? When we confuse the two, we may forget that there are blessings for supporting a prophet, and these are seen throughout the Bible. For example:
I Kings 17:8-24 tells the story of the widow woman who met the prophet Elijah who was sent by God to her so she could support him. To summarize the history of events, the prophet Elijah gives the widow woman an instruction. It is through her act of obeying and supporting God’s prophet that she is blessed miraculously, enabling her to sustain her life and the lives of Elijah and her household.
We can be sustained even if there is a famine with ongoing, life-sustaining provision because of our obedience and acceptance of a prophet’s message through the prophet’s close relationship and connection to God.
In verse 22, this same woman’s son dies, but because she had supported God’s prophet, he brings the son back to life. Here we see that Elijah was being supported by the widow. This allowed him time to pray and concentrate, and to continue to cultivate a relationship with the Almighty God Jehovah from whom all blessings flow. He did not have to worry about a place to stay or about food to eat. Instead, this allowed him to do what prophets do: stay close to God and receive instructions from God for His people so that they could be encouraged, comforted, and strengthened.
Blessing: Healing, even from death.
2 Kings 4 tells the story of a Shunammite woman who provides for the prophet Elisha, first with food then with a room dedicated for his use. After some time, Elisha asks her what she wants. She asks for a son since she is barren. Not only is her wish fulfilled, but when her son becomes sick and dies, Elisha prays for him and brings him back to life.
Blessing: Answered prayers
When joined with a prophet, supporting his physical needs, God honors this contribution by responding quickly to requests made.
Despite all these benefits, most Christians have never heard about modern-day prophets, perhaps because most churches are hesitant in acknowledging them. There is a good reason that this calling has been pushed aside by our leaders. Back in the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s, many who had a prophetic gift and offered words of wisdom or words of knowledge, would automatically proclaim themselves as prophets.
Some would then share things (often by listening to familiar spirits) in order to convince Christians that they were hearing from God by revealing things that only that person would know. Then these unscrupulous men would demand monetary support. This is not how God’s system works. Nor should anyone ever suggest, hint, or tell you what to give. That is the job of the Holy Spirit.
Is it any wonder that when these actions started taking place, prophets were pushed out of churches? Satan took some valuable ground, but it is time to take it back! Seers and prophets need to come forward and use their gifts to help guide the body of Christ.
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