BIBLE READING: ACTS 21:10-15; ACTS 13:1-4
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all come to the Unity of the Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the Measure of the Stature of the Fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV).
In the letter to the Church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul listed five offices that are referred to as the Five-Fold Ministry: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers. We will look briefly today at who the Prophet is and the responsibilities of his office.
We should know that though every believer can have the gift of prophecy since the Word of God says we should desire the gift of prophecy (see 1 Cor14:1), not every believer is called into the office of the Prophet.
There are also certain Spiritual Gifts that back the office of the Prophet especially the Revelational Gifts i.e., the Gift of the Word Knowledge, the Gift of the Word of Wisdom and the Discerning of Spirits as well as the Utterance Gifts (the Gift of Prophecy, the Gift of Diverse Kinds of Tongues and the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues).
A prophet is a man or woman who represents the Interests of God to the people. In other words, he serves as God’s Mouthpiece to the people (see Amos 3:7). The Prophet stands in the Counsel of God (see Jer.23:22) and releases a clarion call to the people of what is in God’s Heart at the moment. Prophets reveal God’s Heart to His people, giving guidance to the Body of Christ through Divine Revelation, Interpretation, Application and Timing. They achieve this through Forth-telling (speaking forth the Mind of God) and/or Foretelling (prophetic prediction of the future). We see several examples in the Book of Acts. In Acts 21:10 -14, The Prophet Agabus is a good example of where the simple Gift of Prophecy serves as a vehicle which conveys foretelling i.e., the Word of Wisdom. Here, Paul was urged not to go to Jerusalem in order to escape the predictive prophecy of his fate.
With the recent acceptance and recognition of the office of a prophet over the past twenty years, believers turning to them as fortune-tellers have become a real problem that has driven many to totally reject prophets. God has established prophets in His Church and the Body of Christ will not be complete if we reject their ministry out of fear.
Many pastors live in fear of prophets, feeling threatened by what they might say to the church or even themselves and at times rightly so since too many prophetic people exalt themselves and the words they speak instead of being humble servants to the Body, allowing leadership to weigh their words and judge them as commanded by Scripture (see 1Cor.14:29-33)
The Bible in 1Thessalonians 5:20 (AMP) says; “Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning]. But the Bible also says in 1 Thessalonians 5: 21(AMP); “But test and prove all things [until you can recognize ] what is good; [to that ] hold fast .”
In these last days, we should be able to judge Prophetic Words with Scriptures so that we will not fall into deception or be misguided.
Lord, I pray that You give me a revelation of the Office of the Prophet and help me to be able to judge prophecy according to Your Word in Jesus’ Name. Amen.