The Prophet And His Ministry
REFERENCE SCRIPTURES: Ephesians 4:10-16
The prophetic ministry is shown in both testaments in the Bible. We see demonstrations of prophets in both the Old and New Testaments.
Who is a prophet?
The office of a prophet is to reveal the mind and declarations of God. A prophet is someone who reveals the heart of God to man, seeing ahead the mind of God and being a representative of God on the earth. He speaks the mind of God on earth and has access to the secrets of God.
A prophet is a spokesman or interpreter of divine truth. They are people who reveal the mind and heart of God through word and deed. We can define the prophetic ministry as connecting people to the Presence of God so they see, hear, and feel Him for themselves. It reveals the heart of God through words and actions.
Look at the salient points in the ministry, connecting people to God, so that these people can hear, see, and feel Him for themselves. Anything other than that is out of purpose.
Through the influence of one or more prophets, a healthy church receives prophetic ministry that creates an atmosphere primed for spiritual encounters with God. People will be hungry to experience the love and power of God for themselves because of what they see, hear, and feel God doing within and through others.
The ministry of the Prophet, therefore, is designed to draw men to God rather than to the “prophet.” The prophet does not suppose to have his own word. He speaks the mind of God. Every prophet has the tendency to speak his own words if not fully yielded to God.
That a man says something starting with “thus says the Lord” doesn’t make what he says true. The word of the prophet must be consistent with the nature of God to be taken as a word from God, like Prophet Jonah.
A prophet’s prophecy can be verified and confirmed to be in consonance with the nature of God. God is Just, Merciful, Loves righteousness, and hates sin and disobedience. There’s no one single personality or group that has been endowed with the position of a prophet. A prophet is rather an office.
As we saw in the text that we read, it has a purpose to edify the church and not to make one person famous or rich. People have idolized the word “prophet” today, to the point that they seek after them and not after God. It’s so embarrassing that so-called Christians have bastardized the office; both the ones holding the office and the people who patronize them for personal gain and gratification.
Prophecy is not a profession. It’s not a career, especially in the dispensation that we are now. This is the dispensation of the body of Christ where everyone is to be discipled to hear, see, and feel God for himself until we meet him face to face. Prophecy is for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ – Ephesians 4:12-13. One thing that characterizes today’s prophet and his ministry is that it draws people away from God and draws people to men.
Jesus, while on earth, manifested and operated in the office of a Prophet, and he pointed everyone to God. The likes of John the Baptist would point everyone to Jesus as he must decrease for Jesus to increase. So back to the prophet and his ministry, we shall be considering a number of ways a prophet will serve the body of Christ.
So we see the office is not out of the person of the prophet; rather, it’s out of the purpose he/she is to serve.
Duties or Works of the prophet in the church (Body of Christ):
1. They are to edify and encourage the church- Acts 11:28-29.
2. Another way a prophet serves in the body of Christ is by cultivating an encounter atmosphere.
3. Fore-telling is another duty of the prophet in the body of Christ, which is revealing God’s mind, especially concerning future events – Acts 21:10-11.
4. Forth-telling is another work of the prophet in the body of Christ, which has to do with exhortation, revealing God’s mind about His word and interpretation of scriptural truths- Acts 15:32, Acts 21:9.
5. Prophets also serve in Discerning times and seasons.
6. Prophets challenge spiritual drift that is
7. Prophets are passionate about connection with God, meaning they care about areas of idolatry, immorality, and all other sinful deeds. They’ll challenge anything that shows spiritual backsliding, drift, or stagnancy, whether that is individually or corporately. Hypocrisy will not be tolerated. Prophets will also frequently and regularly remind people of the covenant, love, and commitment of God and stir the church to respond in kind with faithfulness and holiness via repentance if necessary.
That someone can see the future doesn’t make him a Prophet. Even that someone speaks the fact doesn’t make him of God. Check the motive and who is glorified in all.
Remember the girl that spoke about Paul for three days through the spirit of divination. Even though she was correct, she didn’t have the license to. Not everyone who knows how to drive should drive. You must need a license. That license is that your driving must edify the body of Christ and glorify God. Otherwise, you are against the power and purpose and sovereignty of God.
Prophets identify injustice; that is prophets are passionate about righteousness and holiness, which means they rail against unrighteousness, especially injustice. Prophets will speak out and give voice to causes and concerns that grieve the heart of God, whilst prepared to speak truth in power. This can be regarding issues on a societal level or on a church level or personal level. They can be political, religious, or economic injustices. Irrespective, prophets feel the heart of God and often carry the same burdens and cares as he does, due to their unique connection. The office of the prophet exists to ensure the church remains experientially connected to God’s love and power. Without it, the church could be mission-al without power, educated without experience, or pastored without transformation.
Jesus was recognized as a prophet by those he interacted with. He was passionate about what it was to live in connection with God, and he was equally adamant in opposition to anything that interfered with that relationship, whether religious or licentious. He opposed injustice and ministered in love, power, and truth. God is a Father, and a God of love and power. He speaks, and things change. He acts, and situations are transformed. He is passionate about His people and seeks to minister to them, so they can minister to the world in His name and in His strength. These traits are embodied by the ministry of the prophet in the modern prophetic age.
What are the main differences between the Old Testament prophetic office and the New Testament prophetic office?
If we understand the differences in the operations of priests in the old covenant and now, we will also understand that of the prophets.
For Example, Old Testament prophets had the singular role of bringing God’s word, instruction, warnings, prophecies, and so on directly to His people.
By contrast, in the New Testament, all believers have a relationship with God and can hear Him speaking to them personally. Therefore, prophecy is confirmation of what is already heard through our relationship with Him.
The Old Testament was an era of law and judgment. In the Old Testament, prophets pronounced warnings and judgments upon people and nations who were in disobedience to God.
The New Testament, however, is an era of God’s grace. New Testament prophecy is for strengthening, encouragement, and comfort (1 Cor 14:3). Here is an example from Acts 15:32: “Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.” New Testament prophecy is consistent with the ministry of Jesus and His revelation of the Father’s nature – Ephesians 4:13. So the prophet doesn’t stand outside as of the old covenant but is within. He is part of the “we all.”
In conclusion, Lord, I pray that this word we’ve shared together will profit us. I pray for understanding for everyone one of us and the grace to move closer to God for all of Him so we can reveal Christ to our generation. Bestow on us in Jesus’ name, Amen. Thank you for today. Bless the anchor with more grace. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.