When you talk to Graham Cooke, you can sense he’s been hanging out with God.
He’s at the same time down-to-earth and full of spiritual wisdom on everything
from prayer to spiritual warfare to prophecy to intimacy with God. Cooke is well
known for his prophetic training programs and has a passion to build prototype
churches that can reach our postmodern society. God also uses him to help
transition churches into higher levels of vision and ministry.
Cooke is a building prophet. A British native, he is part of the pastoral
ministry leadership team at The Mission in Vacaville, Calif. Cooke’s ministry,
the Future Training Institute, sends resources to the poor around the world, and
his books and
— Graham Cooke —
interactive journals, including
“Approaching the Heart of Prophecy,” “Developing Your Prophetic
Gifting” and “Permission Granted,” are helping to equip
thousands of believers for the work of the ministry.
The Voice magazine caught up with Cooke to talk about the state
of the prophetic ministry today.
The Voice: What should we be doing as prophets in this time?
Well, first of all there is a biblical link
between apostles and prophets laying foundation in the church.
The role of a New Testament prophet primarily is not to
prophesy. It’s to teach people how to hear the voice of God
themselves because Jesus said ‘My sheep know My voice.’ We
actually need millions of Christians released to hear the voice
of God for themselves.
New Testament prophets therefore are essentially prophets of
confirmation. They bring new words and so forth, but their role
is to teach people how to hear the voice of God, to teach people
how to live, find, discover, and live in the will of God and
create a church as a prophetic community. In the process of all
of that prophets teach people how to handle the different levels
of prophecy, like edification, exhortation, comfort, words of
revelation, words of warning and so on. Prophets should model
how people should prophesy; they model who Jesus is. So we
produce this prophetic community that really understands about
grace, mercy and reconciliation.
THE VOICE: I’m seeing a lot of curses and judgment being
pronounced in prophetic circles. What’s your view on that?
John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament
prophets. Jesus was the first of the New Testament. But John had
to come and bow the knee, which is the Old Testament model
bowing the knee to the New Testament model. So think of it this
way: Do you think Jesus was punished enough for sin? Do you
think the Father judged Jesus thoroughly? Did He spend every
last ounce of anger and wrath on Christ on the cross?
THE VOICE: Absolutely.
So then there’s no judgment left, no anger left,
no punishment left. God is fully satisfied. Between Calvary,
which was judgment on Christ, and the Judgment Day when all the
books will be opened, there is no place for judgment in this
world. What does judgment look like? We’re not judging humanity.
We do sit in judgment on authority over the demonic. We cast out
devils. But when it comes to a sin sick world, we are
ambassadors of reconciliation. We’re saying a price has been
paid. You cannot say on the one hand the price has been paid and
be reconciled to God and then be judging people for their sin on
the other hand. If all the judgment has been put on Christ,
there is no judgment for us to enter into. It’s the goodness and
kindness of God that brings people to repentance. We’re
ambassadors of reconciliation and we have to move in the grace
and mercy of Christ. When we look at a person who’s in sin we
are assessing them not about their sin, we are assessing them in
terms of Father. We are asking how much grace and mercy do we
need to show to this person in order for them to be reconciled?
THE VOICE: That’s beautiful.
As the Church we are stepping into the gap with
Jesus and we are praying for mercy, not judgment. We want God to
rain down mercy so the love that covers a multitude of sin can
come into the community and people can see what God is really
like and fall in love with Him. That’s our job and I think
that’s a huge part of prophetic ministry in the earth. What if
the biggest problem in America is the lack of goodness? The
Bible says we overcome evil with good. What if the biggest
problem in America right now is that the Church does not
understand the true Gospel message? And it doesn’t understand
the true nature of God. So she is not positioned to pull down
favor from heaven because we’re in this other mindset, which is
God is wrathful. And He’s not. He vented all of His anger on
THE VOICE: I’ve had people tell me I’m a fool for saying similar
things. Do you get backlash for this stance?
Yes, it’s a good fight though. The fight is to
move away from the whole religious mindset and to see ourselves
as the beloved of God, that we have favor and God wants to push
His favor through the Church to a hurting world. That’s the
fight we’re in and that’s what we’re contending for in the
THE VOICE: Do you see a time coming when prophets are going to
relate to the Lord differently?
Yeah...I do know a handful of prophetic people
like myself who have been living this stuff for a long time now,
but what I see right now is that the tide is turning. There are
more and more prophetic people coming under this kind of
influence and we’re actually cutting the ground away from the
cowboy prophets who are just out there doing all the usual doom
and gloom stuff. I’m still waiting for a bunch of prophets to
apologize for the Y2K nonsense. Those guys they were so visible
and made so much money and then suddenly its like they are
denying they had that revelation.
The numbers are starting to grow and there is a measure of
accountability coming to the prophetic ministry. We need to get
our act together and really look at whom and how are we
disciplining and mentoring people. That’s the reason really why
I’m rewriting “Developing Your Prophetic Gifting.” Whether or
not I get killed, this is what I’m teaching. This is what I
believe. This is what I want to be known for.
THE VOICE: That religious spirit is a murderous spirit.
Have you ever seen that film “The Apostle”? It
came out years ago and some guy was the star of it. He actually
grew up in Pentecostal religion. In order to study for the role
he attended loads of Pentecostal churches throughout the
country. He brilliantly acted and did an astonishing job, but I
hated the premise of the movie because it was just all the usual
religious nonsense. The deceptions. I remember sitting in the
cinema and hating it so much I wanted to climb on the screen and
punch his lights out. I was so annoyed. In fact, I got up to
leave and the Lord said to me, “Sit down. I want you to see this
and I want you to come back tomorrow night and the following
night because I want you to know. I want you to see your enemy.
I want you to see the religious spirit because that’s what I’ve
raised you up to fight.”
Then I went back and took notes. I want to fight this thing so
badly, I can taste it. I don’t want to fight it the way that it
fights. I want to fight it by living in the opposite spirit. I
don’t want to judge it because there’s no judgment. I want to
say that there is a more excellent way and this is it. I want to
move in the opposite spirit instead because you overcome evil
THE VOICE: Your words are so refreshing. Why don’t we see more
watchmen prophets, more prophets to the nations who are really
standing in the gap and making up a hedge?
I meet a lot of new people on the prophetic scene
and I honestly believe that most of them won’t last the distance
because they have no eternal rest, they have no place of inner
peace or rest. Some of the guys who have been my mentors over
the years, the first things they taught me were not about the
prophetic. They taught me how to live with God. They taught me
how to live from the inside out. One of them taught me that if
you want longevity in the ministry you have to spend 80 percent
of your anointing on God, in intimacy, in worship, in waiting on
Him and in meditation.
Now this is my 33rd year in the ministry and I spend four months
of my year in meditation. I look at some of these people coming
through and some of them are incredibly busy and they’re marked
for ministry, but in the end I’m more about doing than being. I
think that there’s no patience in them, all their prophetic
stuff is about quick, quick, quick. I think, too, that there is
a huge difference between blessing prophets and building
prophets. Right now we have way too many blessing prophets and
not enough building ones. All the blessing prophets, unless they
have adequate training and mentoring, always root their
prophetic ability in the Old Testament and not the New. So
that’s something we need to correct. I’ll still say I’m excited,
Jennifer; it’s a fight, it’s a good fight and it’s one that
we’re going to win.
THE VOICE: What would you say to young or unknown prophets to
Find your tribe. Go through the Scriptures, go
through the New Testament, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you
about what New Testament prophesy is and then look for people
who have that kind of message, who may be ahead of you. Go join
yourself there and build a relationship with those people who
will want to set you free. Go and find your tribe and then go to
a place where you can be celebrated and you can grow and
develop. Don’t stay in a place where you’re merely tolerated and
not really wanted. I do believe that the Lord is digging out
prophetic wells in various regions around the country. Go join
yourself to fathers in the prophetic who can develop you into
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