God did not place Prophets in the Body of Christ to direct them. You may be wondering: “If the Church is told in 1 Thessalonians 5:20 not to despise prophesyings why are prophets not to direct us today?”
Note that they are established in the Church. So there’s no way we can despise them. They have their role to play. And in this article, you will discover who they are and their role in the church.
What’s a Prophet?
A Prophet is God’s spokesman. God chooses spokesmen to speak to people on His behalf. The Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ chooses them to also preach and teach.
The chosen person’s gender, tribe and race matters not. We’ve forty nine Prophets; one is a Gentile and 7 prophetesses recorded in the Bible. Daniel wasn’t regarded as a Prophet, according to Judaism, because he never spoke to the people. Check the Tenakh, you wouldn’t find his Book in the Prophets section, but the Writings section.
The root meaning of a Prophet is from the Hebrew word navi. It’s derived from the term “niv Sefatayim,” meaning “fruit of the lips.”
Prophets are seers
They have some or all of the three revelation Offices: the Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, and the Office of Discerning of Spirits.
Predominately, they have the Office of Discerning of Spirits, which is seeing in the Spirit world. The things seen are clearer and more real as it is more amplified than a Christian using the gift.
They’ve the ability to use their natural senses in the Spirit world. Example, a Prophet may use his or her spiritual eyes or ears in the Spirit world. Their natural eyes and ears think they’re seeing and hearing what is seen and heard in the Spirit. No, the natural eyes and ears really aren’t hearing and seeing.
When the Office of the Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge are in operation, the Prophet will have insight and perception into the future of people, things, or places and into the past or present concerning people, things, or places respectively.
The prophetic office and the gift of prophecy
Each gift of the Holy Spirit has an office similar to it. The offices have similar manifestations of the gifts.
Offices are callings of God, ordained by Him. He inspires and initiates their operations. When a Gift is in operation, you initiate it. God has already initiated the Gifts to be in operation for man (2 Peter 1: 3-4).
The gifts are ours. They belong to man and can be obtained by the born again, spirit-filled Christian (1 Corinthians 12:7).
But the Offices are not for all. 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 puts it this way: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”
Now, my question to you is: “Are you a prophet?”
If your answer is NO, I’m telling you today that you can prophecy if you desire to. The secret is desire to do it. God directs us according to the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37: 4). But love must come first. 1 Corinthians 12:2 says: “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”
So, Prophets are established by God in the Church. And the Church can never despise them. In Ephesians 4: 8-12 and 1 Corinthians 12: 28 we can see that God has set in the church Prophets.
Clearly, they’re the second group of people established by God in the Church after those in the Apostolic office (1 Corinthians 12:28).
Now, note that…
Christians can and do prophesy
First, don’t misinterpret 1 Thessalonians 5:20: Notice Paul didn’t say “Despise not Prophets.”
Tradition says that the Body of Christ at Thessalonica was being overwhelmed with prophesying that they almost despised it. So Paul had to intervene.
It means Christians at that time flowed in the gift of prophecy.
John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias, was in the office of a priest. But he prophesied when he was filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:67).
There’s this other high priest, Caiaphas. He prophesied about the death of Jesus for the chosen. In fact, he did it without knowing (John 11:49-52).
Were these two priests Christians? No. Christ had not died, resurrected and ascended at their time. They were in the old dispensation. Were they prophets? No. They weren’t in the prophetic office. They were high priests.
The common thing here is: they were both inspired by the Holy Spirit to prophesy.
Let’s not forget that Paul had laid his hands upon about twelve men in Ephesus, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied (Acts 19:6-7). Were they prophets?
In the same book of Acts, thus chapter 21 verses 8 to 9 Paul entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, and testified that the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. Were these virgins prophets?
The above scenarios are to help you understand that the Holy Ghost wills who to inspire when and where needed (1 Corinthians 12:11).
So, who directs the Church?
The Holy Spirit.
Prophets don’t manage the lives of Christians. They’re there to edify us, the church.
Knowledge is power. God uses them to reveal to us things. But we’re told to judge them when they speak (1 Corinthians 1:29). Yes, we can as Christians.
It’s the work of the Holy Ghost to help manage the life of a believer, not a Prophet.