The ministry of the prophet is also a gift from ‘the same Lord’ (1Cor 12:5) and are given to ‘some’ for the perfecting (maturing) of the saints and for the edifying of the body… The true prophet of God does not speak “presumptuously”, but through edification, exhortation and comfort of the written Word alone the prophet speaks and confirms “the things which are written”:
By Larry Groenewald and Mike Vinson
See a list of all the studies in this series
The ministry gift of the Prophet
The ministry of the prophet is also a gift from ‘the same Lord’ (1Cor 12:5) and are given to ‘some’ for the perfecting (maturing) of the saints and for the edifying of the body (please read the role of overseers or leaders in the church at this link: http://aionios.com/2012-08/women-in-the-body-part-9/):
Eph 4:11-12 And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
1Co 12:28 (MKJV) And God set some in the church, firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers, then works of power, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of languages.
We already dealt with the general gift of prophecy in a previous session (part 8 in this series) and here are links about prophecy on aionios.com:
As with the overseeing ministry of the apostle in the “household of God”, the prophet is also used by the Lord to lay the spiritual foundations of the Truth of the doctrine of Christ in our lives (The Greek “prophētēs” means “to speak before”):
Eph 2:19-20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
We know there is only one truth and one foundation, Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and His doctrine:
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The ministry of the prophecy reveals the secrets of our natural hearts and thereby expose our old foundation and bring our old house to a fall:
1Co 14:24-25 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
When we follow the outward carnal “coming to pass” prophecies we are shown our own carnal idols (“other gods”) in our hearts:
Deu 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
Deu 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
The natural heart is deceitful and desperately wicked and in need of destruction:
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The ministry of the prophet reveals the true condition of our natural heart (which is the carnal mind) where the “man of sin” is sitting:
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
False prophets always speak from their own fertile imagination (idols of the heart – Ezek 14:3-9) and after the lusts of their followers / listeners – they “go beyond the things which are written”:
Jer 5:30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
1Co 4:6 (ASV) Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.
The true prophet of God does not speak “presumptuously”, but through edification, exhortation and comfort of the written Word alone the prophet speaks and confirms “the things which are written”:
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The spirits in the “many” false prophets are also to be tried by the ONE true spirit – the Word of God alone:
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The true spirit of prophecy will always focus on the testimony of Jesus Christ and His works in us:
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The ministry of the prophet reveals and confirms that “the time is at hand” for those IN whom the “things [must] shortly come to pass”:
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
A true prophet acknowledges that all the things written contain the spiritual commandments of the Lord:
1Co 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.