“And he gave some,
apostles; and some, PROPHETS; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers;” (Ephesians )
In this lesson we
will study the Prophet’s office. Only those who lack knowledge or
suffer from unbelief could possibly deny the existence of this precious
office today. The Prophet brings the Body to maturity and we do still
need to mature. (Ephesians 4:12-14)
The Greek word for
Prophet is “prophetes.”
It means, “A foreteller and an inspired speaker.” This office, as all
the offices, functions completely through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
It is uncommon
indeed, in fact, exceptionally rare for an individual to start out in the
Prophet’s office. This office and the Apostle’s office require much
training in the lower, yet equally as important, Offices of Teacher, Pastor
or Evangelist. How much training depends upon the individual.
(1Timothy 2:7; 2Timothy ) Once
faithfulness is proven, promotion begins.
Prophets, like all
other Ministry offices, have varying degrees of anointing. Some
Prophets have much stronger anointings than other
Prophets. We see this clearly in the lives of the Prophets Elijah and
Elisha. Whatever level of anointing a Prophet may have, he or she can
increase it through prayer, study and holy living.
Qualifications of the Prophet’s Office
The primary thrust
of a Prophet’s Ministry is preaching and teaching the Bible. This was
true with Jesus. (Matthew 9:35) It was true of the Apostle Paul.
(1Timothy 2:7; 2Timothy ) Jesus and
Paul were first and foremost Preacher/Teachers. John the Baptist was
not a Teacher, but he was a Preacher/Prophet.
Prophets spend much
more time in prayer and study than the average Minister. Their messages
frequently come entirely by inspiration of the Holy Spirit once they are in the pulpit.
They can behave strangely at times, as well. (Mark 7:33; ; John 9:6) Yet somehow the unusual
behavior always sets someone free. Theirs is a unique and
supernatural Ministry indeed.
operate very consistently in the Revelation Gifts. These are the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom and the Discerning of Spirits. Prophets see into
the spirit realm and know things about people, past, present and future,
but only as the Holy Spirit reveals it to them. They do not know all
things about all people at all times. They know only what the Holy
Spirit is showing them at the moment. This happens far more
consistently with the Prophet than with all the other offices. It
also happens in private far more often than it does in public. (1Kings
17:9-24; 18:1-8; 2Kings 4:1-37; John 4:5-19)
visions as well as revelations.
(2Corinthians 12:1) Prophets are not omniscient but they do have visions and revelations far more than the
average Minister or layperson. (2Kings ; -27) This is not the Prophet’s main
job though. He or she is first and foremost a Preacher/Teacher.
When the Holy Spirit does reveal something to the Prophet, it is to be judged
according to the Bible standard. (1Corinthians ,30)
Ministry is also a healing Ministry,
but the Prophet cannot heal anyone at will. However, there is a
consistent healing anointing that accompanies this office. (2Kings 5:1-19;
Matthew 14:36; Luke ; -19; John 9:6,7) Some Prophets
operate more strongly in Revelation Gifts than in the Gifts of Healings and vice
versa. It is all up to the Holy Spirit which Prophet will operate
more strongly in what Gifts and when.
Testament Prophets Are Not in the Guidance Business
Prophet is not in the guidance business. In the Old Testament they
gave guidance to folks, but not in the New Testament. Believers are
to seek their own guidance through the Bible and through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:14; 1 John
Some New Testament
Believers insist on being led by the Prophet’s Ministry. That
violates the New Testament standard and opens one up to evil spirits. (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6,27; Deuteronomy
18:11) When Believers pressure God’s Prophets for guidance, they
motivate Satan! Prophets can confirm what someone already knows the
Lord is saying. (Acts 13:1-3) However, it is rare for a New Testament
Prophet to offer guidance. Occasionally it does happen, but very rarely.
offer guidance all the time are to be shunned like the plague. So are
“Prophets” who prophesy your finances and material possessions into their storehouses. That is
completely unscriptural. (2Kings -27) They may
as well be robbing a convenience store at gunpoint. Just say a bold “No”
to thug “Prophets” who try to “prophesy” your possessions away from you.
The Prophet's Office,
above all other Ministry Offices, is a target rich environment of unending, relentless
persecution of Satan and demon powers.Unfortunately, this commonly manifests through unlearned Christians
and Ministers as well as unbelievers. This is just one reason why no one
should ever attempt to stand in this Office if God has not graced them and
anointed them for it.