The Scribal Prophet
Copyright 2017 Theresa Harvard Johnson
Yes, scribal prophets are different. (I am still on that topic.)
They not only exist in the atmosphere of the prophetic, but they also live through the scribal realm. In other words, they think and act like a scribe even though they are called to be fully functioning prophets. (See my article, The Way of the Scribal Prophet.)
When we study scribal culture from a biblical perspective, we learn a great deal about how these serious, biblical scribes governed their lives and walked out their assignments. They were extremely loyal to God, disciplined in the midst of the craft… and faithful to the message entrusted to them. These three components are at the heart of scribes dedicated to Christ. They are especially critical for those who consider themselves prophetic at any level.
We must understand, however, that the writing and recording of scripture was an artistic process – in listening, calligraphy and printmaking for temple scribes, royal scribes and scribes who operated by trade. Yes, the first council of scribes consisted of those who made judicial decisions but they were also extremely skilled in the scribal arts. This anointing, as we teach it within The Scribal Anointing book series, is extremely broad… and expands throughout the Bible.
In today’s culture, modern dictionaries define the “scribe” as a WRITER. That definition, however, does not match its biblical use or historical foundations. (I find it interesting that the dictionaries do not present a broader explanation.)I firmly believe God has raised up The School of the Scribe to create a clear path for believers to sort through it all. You see, there is a “writer’s anointing” and then there is “The Scribal AnointingÒ.” What we are referencing here is the full ministry of the scribe from Moses to Ezra to the present day release acknowledged by Christ.
A “prophetic” scribe by nature:
- May be driven by his or her scribal assignment to a point of obsession, and without substantial consideration for other processes or options;
- May develop his or her own process in the midst of their scribal activity of which they guard and protect with a fierceness;
- Operates on a level of autonomy that doesn’t often encourage input or insight from others, group participation except in certain circumstances. If they do, it is generally within an environment of people just like them;
- Can be secretive and protective of his or her scribal projects. They may have a difficult time receiving constructive criticism or being redirected when error is present;
- Often rejects change or correction in their personal creative process, ministry styles, etc.;
- May seek out relationships within other scribal communities that mirror their activities, interests, etc., but may not realize the need for exposure to more avenues – especially as it relates to the prophetic;
- Tends to have set ways of doing things as it relates to their specific calling. If they are prophetic or otherwise super spiritual, it can be difficult helping them recognize the necessity or even the helpfulness of prophetic training and mentorship.
Because a “scribal prophet” might share these unique scribal nuances, there are some roadblocks or pitfalls that could result from their nature or tendencies. They include:
- A desire to operate ONLY as a scribal prophet in a written or demonstrative capacity. In other words, they may reject the more recognized aspects of a prophet’s ministry. This could be a hindrance to their growth, development and maturation. Scribal prophets should be able to operate in environments “outside” of their scribal calling or able to merge their scribal calling into other ministry arenas.
- The scribal prophet may be “more introverted” than the average prophet – resulting in the bookworm syndrome. They might find themselves operating out a closed spirit and an unhealthy desire to be alone, operate in their ministry alone or otherwise avoid contact with other people. (We are not talking about normal alone time here. Rather, we are looking at a negative view of socialization.) New Covenant prophets are called to community – even within the scribal realm. Growth, development and spiritual maturity can be crippled without it.
- They can be closed to Godly counsel, correction, guidance, input and advice concerning their scribal ministries, scribal activities or projects. Sometimes, this is the root of rejection due to not feeling like they belong. They are also apt to be extremely super-spiritual and spooky. The religious mindset and pharisaical stronghold here must be broken. Scribal prophets ALSO NEED TRAINING!
- They tend to think that their way of doing things is the best and only way. There is no room to be stretched in the spirit or in the natural because they “know it all” and believe that there is nothing that can be added to “what God told them.” Pride can be an extreme stronghold as well as haughtiness and confidence in one’s craft. This is very visible among those whose ministry may involve mics and the stage. The need for HUMILITY is a CORE issue among scribal prophets.
Finally, some scribal prophets have grown so dependent on their scribal activity (especially poets, spoken word artists, playwrights, and related areas). As a result, they forsake prophetic community that challenges their growth, professional and spiritual training, and the experience that can be gained there. If not careful, some begin worshipping their own gift. As a result, they can often remain undeveloped, stagnated and extremely deceived concerning where they are in their maturation. This, people of God, really breaks my heart because it doesn’t have to be that way.
Even if a school of the prophets does not have a “scribal component,” scribal prophets can learn a great deal by immersing themselves into live, community courses and workshops to receive sound training on “what a prophet is and is not.” I have met quite a few believers that, in relationship, were mislabeled… and not operating as prophets at all. Training can prevent these types of situations. Further, there must be accountability in the call if at all possible! One of the most critical foundations of the prophetic is accountability. That, people of God, cannot be dismissed.
Of course there are exceptions in the midst of this. However, these five points are pitfalls I challenge you to consider concerning YOURSELF. My insight here is based on nearly two decades of mentoring, guiding and leading prophetic scribes in a dedicated capacity… as well as walking out my own issues. I have lived nearly all of these points… and let me tell you, God had to teach me.
The points mentioned are those that I see most often within my own circle. You might be able to identify others that are not listed here. I have also walked in many of these things and had to be confronted, humbled and at times broken. If I could live my life the way I wanted, I would live in the “writing arena” of the scribal realm… and never come up for air. Had I stayed there, however, I would never have met you… or had the opportunity to meet, teach, train or speak into the lives of prophetic scribes globally. In fact, I would NEVER have walked out the healing or preaching ministry entrusted to me.
My scribal journey began with a poem, but it did not end there. And this is why I warn you of these pitfalls. Without HELP (accountability, mentorship), we can miss the road that leads to PURPOSE, destiny. Do not be that person.... do not leave potential in the wind.
Romans 12:4-5 NIV, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member BELONGS to all the others.”
Hebrews 10:25-24 NIV, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Philippians 2:3 NIV, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Get your copy of Signs of a Scribal Prophet in print or as an ebook at The Book Patch. Also available for Kindle only on Amazon.
- Last Updated: 04 March 2017
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