It’s time for the Church to return to the biblical governmental
that Christ himself laid out for the body of Christ, for the
perfecting of the saints.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the
saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of
In the scripture above we see all
five of the five fold ministry offices listed in order of their rank of
The Office of Prophet:
Both Old and New Testament prophets have
basic similarities. They receive their messages from God and proclaim the Word
of God. They denounce sin and warn against future judgment. They often take a
stand on national issues. They preach messages of repentance and hope, also
foretell future events. The office of Prophet carries with it a level of
authority in the body of Christ. A prophet, one who is used in the ministry
office of prophet may be used to bring correction or warn of impending judgment.
A person who has the simple gift of prophecy is not one who is used to bring
correction to the body of Christ.
The gift of prophecy directed to the
believer brings three responses according to I Corinthians 14:3:
1. It produces the building up of Christian
life and character;
2. encourages discouraged believers and;
3. strengthens believers with hope.
As was stated earlier a prophet does
have the gift of prophecy so you will see these things in the Prophet as well
but in the prophet you will also see correction and warning. A
Prophet will always seek to direct men to
the Lord and bring them into right standing with God. The bible speaks of the
church as being built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. These two
offices are used to keep the church in alignment with God’s plan for the church.
They both carry a level of authority and hence a greater measure of
Moses was a prophet. When Moses’ sister
and brother, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman
whom he had married, they said Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath
he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. And he said, Hear now my words:
If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a
vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
The bible shows us that God will make
himself known to the prophet. The office of Prophet is an office that God alone
can call one to. This is not an office one chooses for himself. Sadly though
there are many self proclaimed prophets who think it is their calling in life to
go about tearing down others for whatever faults they may perceive. These are
they who are convinced that the title Prophet, though it is self assumed,
somehow gives them the right to tear down and rebuke others according to their
hearts desire. And then there are those who think the office of prophet is a
glorified thing that will bring them much popularity and glory as they stand in
the “lime light”.
This is a grievous thing to the heart
of God. I feel it is important to mention here once again that a true prophet
will always seek to turn the hearts of men toward God and not to themselves. It
requires a humble heart that is willing to be despised for the sake of the call.
The office of prophet is a difficult office to stand in and it is not one that
brings one into a place of popularity. On the contrary it is one which will
cause one to receive much affliction. Jesus himself said this regarding prophets
that no prophet had any honor in his own country.
John 4:44 For Jesus himself testified, that
a prophet hath no honour in his own country.
Speaking from experience I can tell you
of a certainty there is a high cost for the anointing of the Prophet. Though the
office of prophet does carry with it a level of authority it does NOT entitle a
person to go about tearing people down and using the title of prophet as a cloak
under which to hide. The prophet’s job and responsibility is to convey the heart
of God as is revealed to him by the Lord Himself.
When we consider God is a God of love
and the heart of God is mercy, we must remember that even when God uses a
prophet to bring correction, he does so in the Spirit of Love with the hope of
turning a person or a church or nation back to the heart of God. Even a warning
is given by a prophet with the hope that it will bring repentance and prevent
judgment. God will send a prophet often as a last resort before judgment comes.
Jeremiah was a weeping prophet. He knew
the heart of the Lord concerning Israel and how God loved them so much and
desired repentance. Jeremiah was called upon to prophesy of impending judgment
because Israel would not turn back to God. Jeremiah speaks here of his sadness
La 1:16 For these things I weep; mine
eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve
my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy
Can you imagine how it must have been
for him to have his own people turn against him because of the times he was
called upon to prophesy to them concerning their sin. Not only was he aware of
the impending judgment of God but he was also rejected as was God. So he knew
God’s heart and was grieved as was God. Considering the Love of God being so
great that the mind of man cannot even fathom the depths thereof one must also
understand that not only is God’s love so great but likewise is his grief when
his people stray away, and will not return to him though he loves them so
The two great wrongs of history regarding
prophecy have been, on the one hand, to lift it to a point of infallibility, and
on the other hand, to "despise" it. While we dare not give it too great
authority and over focus on it, neither do we dare reduce it to natural powers
of man or do away with it altogether.
All spoken prophetic utterances today are
to be judged by the Written Word of God and subject to it. The written Word of
God is to be like a plumb line for us to live by and to compare all things to.
There are various levels or degrees of
inspiration in prophetic utterances in the NT. Concerning Prophets who
prophesy, some have a greater authority because of their personal knowledge of
God and overall maturity as well as their level of intimacy with him. Such
intimacy is gained by fellowship and spending time with God, listening to him
and seeking his will. For example, Moses spoke with greater authority than did
the seventy elders who prophesied (Numbers 11:25-29). There are differing
degrees of unction, or anointing, given by the Holy Spirit for individual
prophecies. Not all prophets prophesy in the same sphere. God uses prophets in
differing ways. Some are used to prophecy to nations, some to people groups,
some to the body as a whole, while others are given prophecies for individuals.
What are some of the different ways
prophecy may come to a person and be expressed?
Prophecies may come in varied
A. As spontaneous
utterances--something revealed on the spot that is totally unpremeditated and
comes bubbling up from the Holy Spirit within. While nothing is actually seen
or heard, strong impressions or thoughts flood from the spirit of the man or
woman and fill his mind. I Corinthians 14:30; 2:9-16. These thoughts are then
spoken in the meeting in a timely and disciplined manner.
B. Through visions or
trances--this may be more in the realm of the prophet's ministry, though it
could happen to anyone. Ananias is an example in Acts 9:10-16. This was a
common experience for the Old Testament prophets: Isaiah 6; Revelation 1:11;
C. Through dreams and
night visions. Daniel 7:1-28; Genesis 37:5-9; Numbers 12:6; Joel 2:8.
D. Through angels.
Revelation 1:1; Acts 10:22; 27:23-26.
There are also different types of prophets.
Some are “seers”, who receive most of the messages through visions and dreams.
Some are “sensors”, who perceive in their spirits what God would say. And some
are hearers who hear the voice of God whether audible or in the spirit. Some are
“knowers”, who simply know in their spirits what God wants to say to his people.
Many prophets are psalmists who are musically gifted as was David the psalmist,
and often receive a prophetic song in their spirits.
. Prophecies may be expressed or
delivered in various ways:
A. By simply speaking or
verbalizing them under the unction (direction) of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians
14:4, 6, 19).
B. Through demonstrative
actions acting them out in a parables or figurative expression. This seems to
be almost exclusively in the realm of the ministry of a prophet; I Samuel
15:26-28; Acts 21:1-11.
C. Through writing them
down--many of the prophecies of the Old Testament were given in advance to the
time they were delivered or written. Again, this seems to relate to a higher
level of prophecy than that which comes from the general congregation for
edification, exhortation and comfort. Revelation 1:11; Jeremiah 36:18. This
type of function should never be considered anything like Scripture, or addition
prophesying in song or with music: II Kings 3:15; I Chronicles 25:3; Colossians
3:16; Ephesians 5:19.
There is so much more that could be said
office of prophet and the gift of prophesy