Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Your Spiritual Gifts - The Role of a Prophet

Ephesians 4:11

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, PROPHETS; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

There are five principle roles that God has anointed today's believers to fulfill in today's Church. As a young believer who is strong in the faith I have been called into the role of a Prophet. I was called to the role of a Prophet in a vision, and my role was later confirmed by three ordained Ministers. I have been asked by a number of my readers and others I know to explain the role of a Prophet; I hope this inspired article supported with scripture will help you understand the role of a Prophet.
The Role of a Prophet

In Acts 21:10-11, we see a demonstration of one of the roles of a Prophet, as the Prophet Agabus predicts Paul's future imprisonment. A Prophet often gets revelations of the future and we see in Acts 21:10-11, how the Prophet Agabus gets a revelation from God about the future of Paul. The revelation given to Agabus was to prepare the church for a coming event; God in His mercy gave Agabus this revelation to inform the church of a significant coming event of Paul's imprisonment. The word Prophet means "one who speaks forth", in the case of Agabus we see him speaking forth the future as he gets a direct revelation from God and Paul's future.

God's Prophets are there to assist the church and give them direct messages from God; the role of a Prophet involves being a direct mouthpiece for God in certain circumstances. We also must make the distinction between a Christian who prophesies and the role of a Prophet, because they are two completely different roles. A Christian who prophesies does so for: edification, exhortation and consolation (1 Corinthians 14:3), however someone who in the role of Prophet may exercise the above, but they will also speak Gods revelation, rebuke, direction and predict the future. A person in the role of a Prophet will exercise the basic gift of prophecy as seen in 1 Corinthians 14:3, but their ministry will be extended well beyond the basic gift of prophecy as described in 1 Corinthians 14:3, their ministry can turn whole churches and nations in a completely different direction. The Role of a Prophet is much more powerful and diverse than simply being a Christian who prophecies; the role of a Prophet is an ordained ministry that God has directly called that person into.

The role of a Prophet can have varying tasks; we saw Jonah's primary objective in the role of Prophet was to bring the nation of Nineveh into repentance under the threat of impending doom. Nehemiah's task as a Prophet was to rebuild Jerusalem and turn the whole nation around and stop all the corruption and excess usury, John the Baptist had one task as a Prophet and that was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ, Joseph's role as Prophet was to interpret the Pharaoh's dream and predict a future famine in Egypt. We see how these roles had powerful effects on not only the church, but they had powerful effects on nations. A Prophet will not only have an effect on the four walls within a church and its congregation, but a Prophet will have an effect on a whole community and beyond. A Christian who prophecies does so to: edify, exhort the church, and sometimes to evangelize, but someone in the role of Prophet will be there to affect not only the church, but the broader community, other churches, other organizations and nation(s).

A Prophet may also have a vision or dream and be ordained a Prophet by God Himself, "Then He said, "Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream."(Numbers 12:6) When you are called into the role of a Prophet, you will usually be called by God and then have ministers of the faith and others confirmed the calling. After about 12 months of being a Christian, I had a vision of God the Father and Jesus, and in that vision they called me to be a Prophet, within 12 months of that event; I had three ordained ministers in different denominations tell me that they believed I was a Prophet.

The Prophet - God's spokesman: from "pro" = on behalf of / "phet" = to speak. Simply defined, the Prophet is God's spokesman. The Prophet is a Fivefold Minister who has been set apart, appointed, and anointed with the ministry gifting of a Prophet, and has been permanently set into that office. Though every believer has a vital function he has been anointed and appointed by the Lord to perform, it must be understood that no amount of zeal, enthusiasm, fervor, prayer, or even Bible study, can vaunt a person into any ministry office, including that of Prophet. It is only the appointing and anointing of the Lord that makes a prophet a prophet. Fivefold ministry starts with a calling, not a desire, and that calling must be from God. Your mother, your father, or your wife cannot call you to the ministry; you can't even call yourself; only God can call a person to the ministry.

True prophets are not novices, neither are they mere aspiring ministers. It is wise to refer to those in training in a prophetic calling as "prophets in training," if they indeed are, or a "prophetic person in training," if they are "one who prophesies," rather than a "prophet," per se. A true prophet is not someone trying to become or in the process of becoming a prophet, rather he IS a prophet, and has always been a prophet before he was formed in his mother's womb. While "schools of prophets" can be helpful in developing those that have been anointed by God with the anointing of a prophet, one cannot simply take a course to "learn" to be a prophet. No one can really "teach" someone to be a prophet. Prophets are not "taught," but are usually "caught" and then "made" by the Lord. No one can intrude into any ministry office successfully, especially the office of the prophet. We describe the ministry offices merely for the sake of understanding them better, but merely calling yourself something, whether it be: "a prophet," or "a teacher," or "a '37 Oldsmobile," for that matter, does not make you one. Any minister is what he is because of what he does and is, not because of what he calls himself. The best approach for any minister is to simply do all that God has equipped him and allows him to do, and let his ministry functionings define who he is. Ministry offices are not titles or positions to which anyone can be appointed by any human, including themselves, or any human agency, but rather they are functions for which Christ as the Head of the Church anoints and to which He appoints certain believers of His choosing.

THE FUNCTION OF PROPHETS

Jer. 1:10 In this verse God gives the general functions of the prophet. The different facets of the prophet's ministry can be summed up in this six-fold description (I have given a brief description of what I believe to be the general application of each of these facets):

1) to pluck (root) up - "weeds," both in the lives of individual believers, as well as "weeds" growing in the Church, which is false teaching and brethren.

2) to break down - resistances and rebellion to God's Word, Will, and Way by believers.

3) to destroy - vain philosophies and imaginations raised up against the knowledge of God; and, Satan's works.

4) to overthrow - the kingdoms of men; and strongholds of the devil.

5) to build - the Church spiritually upon the foundation of the Life of Christ.

6) to plant - Christ as the Seed of God in the Church and in the individual lives of believers; and, along with Apostles - plant Churches.


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