Prophet Or Prophetic?Dec 28, 2017
The more I teach on the Gifts of the Spirit, found in 1 Corinthians 12, the more I realize that there is a lot of confusion that exists amongst Charismatic and Pentecostal believers about prophecy, the gift of prophecy, and especially the office of the Prophet.
If it’s not someone claiming to be a prophet, it’s someone completely disrespecting and disregarding the office of the Prophet as “not for today”. I would like to help the Body of Christ out by unpacking this a little and explaining in a way that will be clear and interesting.
Anyone Can Hear God Speak
Yes you’re reading correctly, ANYONE can hear God’s voice. I’m hearing so many stories of people who became devoted believers after having actual encounters with Jesus in their dreams.
God can choose to speak to anyone. Most people just don’t know what to listen for. Some people already hear Holy Spirit speak, they just write it off as a coincidence or intuition.
5 ways God commonly speaks to people:
1. Scripture. Yes, God speaks through the Bible, but not ONLY through the Bible.
2. Dreams. Many times this is one of the only times when some people are still enough to actually hear God speak. Through dreams, God most often speaks metaphorically through parables of the night, however some dreams can even be a literal prophecy of an event that will take place. Dream interpretation is something that you can learn over time, as you record your dreams and seek an interpretation from experienced dream interpreters, and more importantly, Holy Spirit.
3. Audibly. As we know from scripture, God spoke to Samuel audibly (1 Samuel 3) and Eli helped him figure out what was going on. I personally haven’t heard the audible voice of God but God does still speak this way today.
4. Still small voice. This is the one that many simply write off as their intuition. It can sometimes feel like an “impression” or like a whisper into your spirit. It feels like it comes from within you because Holy Spirit lives within you.
5. Visions. Your mind’s eye, or your imagination can be a sanctified instrument by which God uses to speak to you. Most of us are taught that we can’t trust our mind, but scripture explains that we’ve been given the mind of Christ. Imagine a big screen TV… I can cause that TV to display evil images that are disturbing and dishonoring to God. On the other hand, I can cause it to display good, uplifting, edifying things. The TV is simply an instrument.
The same can apply to your imagination. You might recall having seen something like videos that play on your mind’s eye. This is one form of vision. Another is an open vision. An open vision, for me, looked sort of like a projector that shone in front of me. The images in front of me were definitely there but also it was obvious that it was a vision and not reality.
The Gift of Prophecy
The Gifts of the Spirit can be found in 1 Corinthians 12. The gift of prophecy is one of 9 of those gifts. A more accurate translation, would actually be “manifestations of Holy Spirit” rather than gifts of the Holy Spirit, because these are 9 different ways that Holy Spirit can/and will manifest through you. These are things the Spirit will DO THROUGH YOU. It’s not by your own ability.
Imagine Holy Spirit putting you on like a glove and doing something through you. Pretty cool, huh!
The Office of the Prophet
At this point if you’re picturing a dude in a suit sitting in a fancy office with a name tag, I want you to erase that image from your mind completely. First of all, a prophet can be a man or a woman. There are many women mentioned in scripture as prophetesses. Second of all, when we talk about an “office”, it’s important to note that it’s a word we use to try to describe something, but it doesn’t mean a literal office.
The 5-fold “offices” are the prophet, the apostle, the teacher, pastor, and the evangelist.
Ok pause for a second. Remember how I mentioned that some people don’t even believe there are prophets today? Well verse 13 (above) is precisely why I believe these “offices” are still active in the Earth today. We, the Body of Christ, have NOT reached the unity of the faith, nor attained the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Alright so real quick, here’s a rundown of each office:
Apostle: Equips the equippers, leader to leaders, supreme foot-washer, servant leadership, moves in power, sees the big picture of Kingdom Advancement and helps bring structure.
Prophet: Equips people to hear from God
Evangelist: Equips people to spread the Gospel
Pastor: Shepherds, “nurtures”, and equips people into maturity of their faith
Teacher: Teaches people how to understand scripture, and apply it in a modern day
A prophet is one of the 5-fold gifts mentioned here in Ephesians 4:11, and specifically they equip people to hear from God and prophesy. A prophet is prophetic, but not all prophetic people (people who prophesy well/often) are prophets. Prophets are specifically GIFTS given from God to the Body of Christ, in order to equip the Body to hear God’s voice.
New Covenant Role of a Prophet
The office of the prophet changed when the New Covenant was put into effect. Under the Old Covenant, people did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Not all people had direct access to God. Under the NEW COVENANT, all people have direct access to God because He lives within us (Galatians 2:20 and other verses reiterate this).
Remember when Jesus met the woman at the well? Remember when she said, “People argue because we worship in this temple, and they say we’re supposed to worship in that temple…” What was Jesus’s response to her? He said, “There will come a day when that won’t matter because you will worship in spirit and in truth” (paraphrased from John 4:19-24)……
He was alluding to THIS that you and I have. The “temple of God” is no longer a building. YOU ARE A TEMPLE OF GOD. I AM A TEMPLE OF GOD. God is no longer contained within a building that only special priests have access to. Under the New Covenant, every one of us are kings and priests (see Revelations 1:6).
The old covenant prophet was who you went to when you needed a word from God. A new covenant prophet can still give you a word, but their primary function is to equip regular, normal Christians to hear God’s voice and be able to prophesy.
I pray that this teaching has empowered you and encouraged you.
If this teaching has been a blessing to you, consider sowing a seed into Kingdom Bliss Ministries so that we can continue to effectively serve and equip the Body of Christ.
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