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Hank Kunneman: "The Marks of a True Prophet: A Call to Come up Higher"

Hank Kunneman
Nov 9, 2020

From the Desk of Steve Shultz:

Steve ShultzMany have heard me say how Hank Kunneman is perhaps the closest to the type and style of prophet that our joint friend, Kim Clement, was (before he went to be with the Lord.)

This prophetic article by Hank is mostly about the call of a TRUE PROPHET and how it is different than some people make it.

Prepare to learn, in both story form and teaching, what it means to really, honestly and truly be walking as a PROPHET on Earth.

In addition, you will learn how many of the same qualities and tasks are similar for those who want to prophesy accurately to God's people and others.

Grab a cup of coffee. This is a long article, but it's worth every minute you spend with it...I promise. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in Heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." (Revelation 4:1)

On the night I was filled with the Holy Spirit in 1984, I had a spiritual encounter that deeply impacted my walk with the Lord and changed me forever. This encounter began my journey into knowing and communicating the heart of the One who is seated on the throne.

In June of 1984, I had given my life to the Lord in my parents' basement after my high school graduation. I was so on fire for the Lord, and I knew in my heart what I had with my salvation was real. I was so hungry to know God and to be used of Him. I can honestly say that that zeal has never left me in over thirty-five years of serving Him. On the night I was gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit, I spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave me the utterance, and I had a miraculous, heavenly encounter.

I had been asked to come to a church service and, after the service, to be baptized in the Holy Ghost. I had no knowledge of such a thing, nor had I had any teaching about it. I just figured if it was of the Lord, then I wanted it!

There was an older woman there who became my spiritual mother in that season, mentoring me in the Scriptures and the things of God three to four times a week for several years. She lived to be a hundred years of age and just got promoted to Heaven a few years ago. When the service ended that night, she and a few others joined her by laying their hands upon me and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

I immediately began to speak in other tongues like a fluent river. It was not just one word but sentences and paragraphs it seemed. I felt lit up on the inside and so very full of His Spirit, with a sense of supernatural power in me. I couldn't stop this unction of praying in this awesome, unknown heavenly language.

I went home and looked in the mirror and my countenance was lit up. I laid down on my bed and continued to let it flow. I can honestly say I prayed in my new heavenly language the whole night, and it was then that the most amazing thing happened. I was caught up to what I believe was a small glimpse of the throne room. I immediately was in a room—not my bedroom, but another room. I heard the most beautiful voices singing and the light, oh the glorious light I saw and experienced all around me! The light initially was so bright that it didn't allow me to see but only to hear and feel such an amazing presence that I'd never felt before.

As this experience continued, I could then see multitudes gathered around me as I was part of a massive crowd, a choir you could say, that was part of this brilliant light. I could see a river that reflected this bright light, but the amazing part was having the feeling of being pulled into something that was drawing me closer to what I believe was the One who sits upon the throne, God Himself! I could see a figure seated on something big and magnificent, but I could not see the figure's face or what He was sitting on clearly, just His form, because of the brilliant light that caused me to hide my face.

I am not sure how long I was there; it really didn't matter as far as natural time was concerned. I awakened from this experience hearing my mom's voice at the top of the stairs yelling my name, and that's when I suddenly realized it was morning. I'd spent the entire night in the presence of the Lord, and I had been changed!

A Call to the Throne Room

I realized that the spiritual experience I had the night I was filled with the Holy Spirit was a call to the throne room. It has marked my life ever since with a strong passion to intimately know the Lord and the awesome responsibility of being entrusted with what He reveals to me to share with others. I also believe that this experience is where I received from Him the call to be one of His throne room prophetic vessels in the earth. This is important, as no prophetic gifting or office can come by self-calling or choosing; it only comes by His choosing.

This kind of throne room experience is what happened to the apostle John in Revelation 4: "...Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Revelation 4:1). John was being called to the throne room. This same call is upon us, especially those who stand in the land to be His throne room prophets. In fact, three powerful words that John heard are still being echoed today: "Come up here!" This is an invitation by the Lord to be taken in the Spirit into the presence of God, so He can deepen our relationship with Him and also show us prophetic things that must come hereafter.

Like John, though not as dramatic, in my spiritual experience I was being called to "Come up here!" I have come to realize how important that experience was and is, as a call to come up higher and to know the One seated on the throne. I must know Him so He can entrust me with things He wants to say or reveal.

In addition, it was also to teach me how to receive those precious words from the Lord and to hear His secrets. This comes by establishing a consistent relationship that must go beyond what we can receive of Him, through a longing to know who He is. In turn, He then entrusts us with His heart—the most sacred part of who He is. His heart contains His feelings, His thoughts, His likes and dislikes, His intents, and His agenda, to name a few aspects. These wonderful things of His heart are entrusted to us and have been given to us so we can communicate and demonstrate them to others.

How is this done? It happens through the gift of prophecy, the office of the prophet, as well as through other ministry gifts and functions. This is why answering the call to come up higher to the throne room must be treated with a reverent fear, honor, and respect of not only the place we are being summoned to but, most importantly, the Holy One Himself—the Lord.

It is not hard to discern those who carry the heart of God because they are in a constant state of fellowship with Him and only want to do things that please Him. They model His heart, His character, and His ways. You can sense they have been with God, and what they minister carries the presence of having been in the throne room. Their words are filled with power, their character reflects Him, they have His moral standards, and they are jealous with what makes Him jealous. As they speak for Him and minister for Him, it will be said of them as it was of the disciples that these men have spent time with the Lord.

It is from this call to the throne room that true throne room prophets and prophecy are born and maintained. It is not a one-time pursuit but a lifestyle where everything they desire to speak, to minister, and to reveal has been a result of this call to the throne room with Him.

This call to come up higher to the throne room is to summon God's people—sons, daughters, men, women, young, and old—to go another level in hearing and speaking for the Lord. This can only be done if we choose to respond to Him. It is especially necessary that we answer the call to the throne room so we can effectively discern what are right words, wrong words, wishful words, and false words. (Photo via Pikrepo)

When one spends quality time with God, it is not hard to discern if they are speaking from Heaven or not. Those who have been in the throne room speak words that carry the sound and weight of Heaven. It cannot be stressed enough that the call to the throne room is about spending time with God and learning His ways. Our desire must be to know the One who sits on the throne. Intimacy and relationship must be first and foremost if we are to be entrusted with the sacred heart and words of the Lord.

When throne room prophets and prophecy fall short is when the focus is on the prophetic words given rather than on Him. This is why there is a lack of accuracy and even character among those who say they have heard from the Lord. A life committed to knowing Him and spending time with Him in the throne room is imperative, especially if we want to be effective ministers for Him.

Knowing the importance of this heavenly place and passionately pursuing God is ultimately the emphasis of John's call to come up higher. We see this in Revelation 4 simply by how many times the throne of God and the One seated on that throne are mentioned. It not only shows the importance of the throne of God but, most importantly, Him who is seated on that throne. All ministry, especially prophecy, must follow this, not precede it.

Come Up Higher

There is a call to come up higher in true throne room prophecy. It is as if Heaven is asking, "Who will answer the call to the throne room? Who will answer the call to come up higher, to be shown things the Lord wants to tell us to come hereafter?" If we choose to answer like John did, it will require us to raise a higher standard in our lives and in the prophetic words we receive and share.

In addition, it will require from us a deeper, consistent pursuit and a passionate desire to know Him greater and to be used of Him at a higher level. How do we do this? We need to once again consider the apostle John. He had already been in the Spirit since Revelation 1—the beginning of his encounter with Jesus. This example is the same for anyone who is called as a throne room prophet, as well as for all who desire to deliver throne room prophecy.

We can see that the Lord wanted John to come up even higher, meaning there are deeper levels and standards that we are being summoned to. We must also keep in mind that John was being called to a higher place as a result of decisions he made while he walked with the Lord on Earth. Leaning his head upon Jesus' breast was the foundation that preceded him now being called higher.

That same call is going out from the throne room in this day, and it is being offered to those who, like John, want the heart of the Lord first and foremost in their daily walk. In this call, God wants the standard, the precision, the revelation, and the demonstration of what we receive from Him to come to another level so that the world will know we are speaking and representing Him.

We must not lower the bar of His call by careless prophetic delivery or undisciplined prophets or prophetic ministers. We cannot afford bad pulpit manners or bad manners in general, prophesying words that are wrong, wishful, false, or flaky. A call to come up higher is a call to raise our expectations, our discipline, and our desire to have a sure word of prophecy in our mouths and lives. It is a call to speak words that are filled with the Spirit of Truth, that would never ever want to bring reproach to Him or the gift and giftings He has given us.

God summoned John higher so He could show him things that were to come at a higher level and so John could accurately share them. God's heart or pulse requires a voice, a spokesman to release it in the earth. Remember, the Lord does nothing in the earth without revealing it to His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7).

A call to a higher level and a deeper dimension with Him is what He wants from us. It is what the Lord intended for John, and it's what He desires for His prophets today.

As I mentioned, John was already in the Spirit on the Lord's day, but this was another level of spiritual revelation, manifestation, and experience. John had already had a definitive experience of walking with Jesus on the earth, representing our walk with the Lord in this natural realm. It was thereafter that his experiences deepened with this visitation and manifestation of Jesus in the power of His resurrection, which opened his spiritual eyes to see and experience Him on another level.

This, again, was a higher place, dimension, and manifestation of a spiritual experience that comes through the Holy Spirit and His power. It was an even higher summoning to reveal greater dimensions and levels. It was a call to the throne room to see Jesus not just as the earthly Christ he'd experienced or the resurrected Christ, but the ascended Christ in all His glory! It was from this place in the throne room that a higher level of responsibility, revelation, and spiritual manifestation took place.

This is where the throne room prophets must spend most of their time. It is not so much just ministering and experiencing the Lord on Earth or the manifestations of the anointing; it's not so much the Spirit of resurrection power, though all these things are absolutely vital. This call is to come up higher to a throne room life of encounters with Him and should be the passionate desire of every Believer and prophetic vessel. It is what gives you heavenly accuracy, power, and backing from the Lord God Himself, making your ministry more effective in the earth. Through this throne room life, you can avoid the need to appear "super-spiritual," and you won't be prophetically flaky or act immature in your gifting and function.

An example of Heaven's backing and authority on a life well-grounded in a deep relationship with the Father is when Jesus sat down to speak, teach, and minister. Scripture uses a Greek word kathizo for many of those times when He sat down (Strong's, G2523). This word is used over fifty times in the New Testament and is often used when speaking of seats of authority and power like judicial, governmental, and religious power. This means that when Jesus sat down, though He was on Earth, He was speaking and ministering from the place of the throne room with authority and power, backed by the Father, because He spent daily quality time with Him.

We can clearly see this as Jesus sat in various places, like on a rock and in the boat for example. It was not the only place of authority that He was speaking from or representing, but rather, He was speaking from a position of heavenly authority and backing at the same time!

This is the meaning and understanding of this word kathizo, and it is the prototype of what it means to come up higher. It is what God wants His vessels in the earth to always remember as they are seated with Him or standing to minister for Him. It is who they're representing or speaking for, and their words must come from the throne room with demonstrated authority and power, like Jesus' words! (Photo via Pexels)

Remember, Jesus was able to speak from this higher place of authority and accuracy because of the time He spent with the Father. He was consistently found in prayer—morning, noon, and night. He answered the call to come up higher, the call to the throne room, and so must we!

Again, it is important to remember that the call to come up higher is to take us to another level with Him and with things He chooses to entrust us with. We can see that the Lord has no problem bringing us to a greater level of His glory, as we see in Ezekiel 47. Here we find four different levels of the glory of God and the flow of His power. This was the experience that Ezekiel, a throne room prophet, had when he stepped into the river of God. He found that the depth was ankle, knee, and waist deep, and that which he could swim in. The deeper he was taken in this river of glory, the more skill and understanding of the depth would be required.

For example, he could splash in ankle-deep water without much skill or understanding. However, to enter the deep water where he could only swim would require more skill, technique, and understanding due to the level of the water. It is the same way when it comes to throne room prophecy and going deeper with the Lord and the spiritual words and encounters. It will require less flesh and a more focused understanding of the depth you are being taken into.

Mature prophets and prophetic people who experience the deep are recognized not so much by the deep revelations and experiences that they share, but rather by the things they don't share. In other words, they are disciplined, trained by the Lord, and they don't have to prove anything because they have been changed by Him and are yielded to Him. They aren't sloppy with the prophetic, always having to pull someone aside with a word or push to be seen and heard. The character and the maturity of gifting is revealed in their discipline of holding on to the Word of the Lord and knowing when, how, if, and with whom to share their experiences. They are content in not being the focus of attention or being measured as a deep prophet or prophetic minister by the level of their revelations or experiences.

When Peter, James and John were being taken to a higher level or depth in the things of the Lord, they were overcome with the fear of the Lord.

"While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid." (Matthew 17:5-6)

They were also instructed by Jesus not to share their experience of seeing the Lord transfigured in glory.

"And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." (Matthew 17:9)

Being in His presence, like they were at Jesus' transfiguration and when John was in the Spirit in the throne room, will change you, making you more effective in hearing and delivering throne room prophecy. His powerful presence is the result of answering this call to come up higher and will reveal areas where we are undone and even areas that we need to improve.

Think about this for a moment: Isaiah was a throne room prophet who got a glimpse of the throne room. He said in the midst of his experience, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips..." (Isaiah 6:5). He said this because he was in the presence of God Himself, and this will always bring proper perspective of who He is, who we are, and what we need to become.

Spending time in God's presence is what marks a true throne room prophet and throne room prophecy. They have allowed the Lord to make them, mold them, change them and use them. It is evident not so much in their prophecies or revelation but in the fruit of their ministry, revealed in character and the manifestation of their giftings.

We can learn a valuable lesson from Isaiah about the importance of allowing God to change and shape us. Isaiah realized his human frailty needed the help of God in order to correctly speak for the Lord and minister as His representative.

Speaking the Lord's words comes with a price, especially when called to stand as a throne room prophet. Not everyone who prophesies is a prophet as described in Ephesians 4:11. This verse tells us Jesus gave some to be prophets, not all. Yet if you are called to be a throne room prophet, you must allow the Lord to make and take you through the process of becoming His mouthpiece and spokesman.

The office of the prophet should never be taken lightly as it is one of the most misunderstood and persecuted offices and giftings the Lord has given. I know firsthand the price, the journey, the ups and downs, the misunderstandings, the persecutions, and the awesome fear of being entrusted with His heart and words. As you see with the prophets of Scripture, they didn't have an easy journey in their molding and making to become God's prophetic vessels.

When I hear people identify themselves as prophets, I often take a moment and wonder if they really know the journey, the price of what they identify with. It is no joke, no status symbol, or anything to treat lightly. It should come with a holy fear, awe, and strong desire to have a sure word of prophecy in our mouths that is coupled with the Spirit of Truth. We should rather say nothing than to be wrong or misrepresent the Lord and what He is revealing. Yet, at the same time, we are to be faithful to open our mouths when He speaks and listen to what He tells us, and do it with honor and obedience to Him as servants unto the people to whom He sends us.

Like with Isaiah who saw the Lord high and lifted up in Isaiah 6:1, this needs to be our focus—to see the Lord high and lifted up, not ourselves. We must realize that the things we are being entrusted to receive, whether seen, heard, or perceived, are to glorify Him who sits on the throne. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, meaning that glorifying God and testifying of Him are the real motives behind the throne room prophet. It isn't about taking the credit for healings, fulfilled prophecies, or any other wonderful thing the Lord does. (Photo via Pixabay)

A throne room prophet is unique in character and gifting because they exemplify the heart of God and what He has given them to share with others. It is those who never allow Him to mold them, humble them, and bring them through the often-lonely journey required to represent Him who wind up not lasting long in ministry. This refusal to be shaped by God also often leads to self-promotion, immaturity, an unteachable spirit, lack of accountability, and pride. If these things take center stage, they become the focal points rather than the Lord, and we cannot accurately reflect Him in gifting and character.

Note that Isaiah's call to the throne room and this higher spiritual dimension brought out his weakness and vulnerability and created a deep fear of the Lord as he said, "Woe is me! for I am undone."

The apostle Paul is another example of what happens when we are summoned higher to the throne room. When he was caught up to the third Heaven, it revealed areas in him that required growth. Notice how he speaks about his weakness and his desire, not wanting to be prideful or draw attention to himself, his message, or his experience. He was even reluctant to tell anyone his visions or revelations.

This is always a must for those who want to be trusted with a higher level of throne room prophecy. Not every experience is meant to be shared, and out of respect to the Lord we must wait for His leading. A great self-test is not to be too quick to share every vision, dream, and prophecy to every person or audience. Ask yourself, "Does the Lord want me to speak this? How is this going to affect those with whom I share it? What is my motive in sharing what I receive?" In doing so, you will fine tune your ear and skill to operate at an even higher level of prophetic things. It is an example for us who desire to go to another level as a throne room prophet or one who ministers throne room prophecy.

It is important that we are yielded to the Lord in areas where we need adjustment and growth. As we can see with Paul, his weakness was brought out to change him, grow him, and keep him in the right spirit during his time in the throne room.

"This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I was caught up to the third Heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don't know—only God knows.

"Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

"That experience is worth boasting about, but I'm not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won't do it, because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud..." (2 Corinthians 12:1-7 NLT)

When one allows God to take them through the necessary process and preparation to be His prophet or a Believer who prophesies, it should not be hard to discern those who are true throne room prophets or if a prophecy is from the Lord. It becomes easier to discern both what we receive from the Lord and those who deliver a prophetic word. How do we know? We can discern by their fruit, by whether their time with God reflects in their character and not just in their gifting.

When a person is changed by the throne room, instead of pride, conceit, selfish ambition, or a need to be the center of attention, they display qualities like vulnerability, humility, and especially a strong fear of the Lord with a strong reliance upon Him. This will help you to discern the ones ministering as well as the prophetic words given. Those who spend genuine time with God will manifest the fruit and character of having been with Him. Their agenda will not be to impress man or have the most followers on their social media platforms but to glorify, honor, and minister with the fear of the Lord in their hearts. As they stand in awe of Him, the fear of the Lord spills over onto the ones they're ministering to.

I believe we can often tell if a person is spending quality time in the throne room by, first, the focus: is it the Lord or ourselves? Second, what is more important, my gifting, anointing, or how God uses me; or is it ministering effectively to others, making them the priority? Third, what kind of character do we display, as well as the power manifested?

As we saw with the apostle Paul's throne room experience, the Lord is willing to reach out in response to us, but something else also takes place as we spend time in His presence. His presence will humble you, focus you, make you, break you, and mold you. It will give you experiences that you can share with others, encouraging them to answer His consistent call to come up higher into the throne room. Spend time with Him and He will share His secrets with you!

"Ask Me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come." (Jeremiah 33:3 NLT)

Their time with the One who is seated upon the throne as the Lord of all is what sets apart prophets and those who prophesy in the earth. They are changed, trained, and developed in His presence. This is not a one-time glorious experience but a habit that should span our whole lifetime of serving the Lord. It also will be what causes others to trust that the words we are prophesying are truly coming from the Lord.

I want to encourage you to make it your strong daily discipline to walk with the Lord and spend time with Him. Desire for Him to take you higher in the things of His Spirit, to get a true glimpse of who He really is as the One seated on the throne. Ask Him to take you higher in Him and in what He chooses to show you. Then be ready, because He will begin to show you more in-depth things that will not only bless you and others, but He will set you on a journey to be a vessel of honor with true throne room prophecy in your mouth!

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(Used by permission via Destiny Image)

Hank Kunneman
One Voice Ministries


Hank Kunneman is the senior pastor of Lord of Hosts Church, a thriving church in Omaha, Nebraska, and founder of One Voice Ministries. As an uncompromising voice that God is using to stir up the Body of Christ, he is known for a strong prophetic anointing as he preaches. He travels and ministers extensively as he and his wife, Brenda, preach together at conferences, churches, and national television programs throughout the United States and overseas. Together, the Kunneman's also host their own nationally and internationally televised weekly program, New Level with Hank and Brenda, airing on Daystar Television Network, Victory Television Network, and Faith Broadcasting Network. Pastor Hank is a published author with both Destiny Image and Charisma House, with his most recent books being The Lord Himself Is Stepping In, Prophesy with the Wind in Your Mouth, My Heart Cries Abba Father, The Revealer of Secrets, Barrier Breakers, and Don't Leave God Alone. He has also written and created several children's books.

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