If you ask most writers why they got started in writing, many will tell you that writing has always been “their thing.” That hasn’t always been the case with David Oh. In fact, writing was one of his least favorite subjects in school. Imagine David’s surprise back in 2009 when the Lord called him to do just that. David struggled to figure how he would even get started writing at first, but after a few others shared with him that they felt the Lord was calling him to write a book, he knew it was something he needed to be committed to. David’s first book, Beginning in the Prophetic is the fruit of those labors.
Beginning in the Prophetic is the first book I’ve ever read on the topic of prophetic ministry. In the church circles I’ve historically run in, this just isn’t a topic that recievd much attention. While my particular church circles haven’t changed in the last year, I do have a number of friends and family members who are involved in the Vineyard church as well as training classes similar to those David went through at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Since much of what they’re learning is outside of my realm of experience, I’ve been seeking out books and lectures that will better help me to understand the theology and biblical support for their ministry. When I read the description for Beginning in the Prophetic, I knew that it was just the introduction to prophetic ministry that I’d been looking for.
The book is divided into eleven chapters. Chapters one (What is Prophecy?), two (The Origins of Prophecy), and three (Obstacles to the Prophetic) lay the foundation for readers who have little to no experience with this subject matter. Prophecy is defined as “communicating what the Father is saying in a way that strengthens, encourages or comforts others.” (p. 2) David references the work of Steve Thompson (You May All Prophesy, MorningStar Publications, 2007) when he defines the scope of spiritual gifts that can be included under the umbrella of prophecy. These include words of knowledge, words of wisdom, discerning of spirits, and the gift of prophecy. The primary focus of this book is the last of these four, namely the gift of prophecy. Since many of us have such limited exposure to the prophetic, it will come as no surprise that there are things that may hinder people from growing in the prophetic. David sees three primary obstacles that hold people back. They are:
- “false beliefs or incorrect theology” (p. 36)
- fear of looking foolish, fear of being deceived, fear of the the unknown, and fear of being wrong (p. 39-42)
- a religious spirit (p. 43-44)
- Inner Voice
- Audible Voice
- Glimpses (pictures)
- Visions – (internal or external
- Being caught up in the Spirit
- Angelic Visitations
- Visitations of the Lord
- The Holy Spirit
- revelation – “ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying over an individual’s life” (p. 110)
- interpretation – “The prophetic revelation we receive may not always be straightforward or clear… If our prophetic revelation is not completely clear, our first response should be to ask the Holy Spirit for greater clarification, then we can simply communicate exactly what He did give us.” (p. 112)
- application – “Application is primarily the responsibility of the person receiving the prophecy… We can encourage the hearer to sincerely pray over the word, meditate on it, and discuss it with the Lord and other trusted leaders so that the word may be properly applied.” (p. 114)
- delivery – “being joyful messengers who communicate God’s words through respect, love, gentleness, and honor” (p. 115)
Prophecy isn’t just limited to the spoken word. It may also be given through prophetic acts. “A prophetic act is a physical action performed, at God’s prompting, that supports His action in the spiritual realm; it is usually enacted to cause a change in the natural realm. Prophetic acts infuse earthly reality with heavenly power and/or foreshadow a greater spiritual reality.” (p. 141-142) Think of the Old Testament accounts of Hosea marrying a prostitute, Isaiah living naked and barefoot for three years, and Ezekiel laying on his left side for 390 days and his right side for 40. In addition to prophetic acts, there is also prophetic art, which may include music, dance, visual art, etc.
The book closes with chapter elven (Growing in the Prophetic). Here are some of the specific suggestions David gives to readers so they can continue moving forward in the gift of prophecy after they are finished with the book:
- “The best way to grow in the prophetic is to spend time with the Holy Spirit and get trained by Him.” (p. 154)
- “Find people who are gifted in the prophetic, and have them lay hands on you and pray for an impartation of their gift. As you do this, activate what you receive by taking greater risks in prophesying to others.” (p. 158)
- “Challenge, train, and push yourself to prophesy over everyone you encounter. Grow your gift.” (p. 159)
As I stated early on in the review, this is the first book I’ve ever read on this subject. Also, prophetic ministry has not been a part of my church experience to date. That being said, I think I’m exactly the type of person David would encourage to read Beginning in the Prophetic. David’s presentation of the material is extremely practical, appropriately cautious, and calls people to exercise great humility as they strive to operate in the gifting of the prophetic. The book is jam-packed full of Scripture and has a number of prayers for readers as they seek direction from God on the gift of prophecy for their own lives. I would heartily recommend Beginning in the Prophetic for readers who are interested in understanding the scriptural support for and theology behind prophetic ministry. I feel strongly that this book would be a great introductory resource for students enrolled in The School of Kingdom Ministry, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and similar training institutions. My only critique of the book is that I would have liked more personal stories and anecdotes from people learning to minister prophetically. There were a number of these included, but I think the book would have been even better with a few more. All things considered, this is a great book from first time author David Oh. My overall rating is a solid four stars.
About the Author:
David Oh and his wife Jenney currently live in Pasadena, CA with their three children Isaac, Abigail, and Anna. David is a graduate of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California; and, is currently on staff at HRock Church in Pasadena under the leadership of Che Ahn.
Where to Buy:
This book was provided by Burning Lamp Media & Publishing. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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