The ministry of the Apostle and Prophet embedded in the spirit of Christ is infused within some parts of His Body even in this 21st century. The parts of His body bearing these gifts are obviously mortal men. They are not angels. There is much for which they can be despised for by those who intently want to do so.
However, the apostles’ ministry has enjoyed some measure of acceptance among other parts of Christ’s body bearing His other ministries and spiritual gifts but it has not been so for the prophets’ ministry and prophtic gift.
In this article, I intend to show how this is the case for the prophets ministry and prophetic gift, the main difference between the prophet and the prophetic gift and finally, exhort you the reader and the Church that God is encouraging a change in this attitude by hastening His workings of love, mercy and grace in the midst of the bride of His beloved Son.
The case for the Prophets’ Ministry and Gift
Firstly, without arguments the prophet and prophetic have been beaten down in the assemblies of God’s people over an immense period of time. It will be needless I think to recount in specific details how it has happened over the years. I have made mention of it that we may repent and stop it carrying-on. That said, it would be unwise not to mention that justifiably, some of the beating down that happened, is happening and will happen is necessary because many who claimed, are claiming and will claim to be Prophets and prophetic were, are and will be mere liars. So, their mouths needed, need and will need to be stopped.
The main difference between the Prophet and the Prophetic gift
It is important to state that the spirit of Christ at work in the prophet(s) is the same spirit at work in the prophetic person(s). The major difference between the two that I have understood through study of the Bible and my experience is this:
Prophets have a prior knowledge of what they have to say. The knowledge is not from what some humans told them, not from analyzing a situation and not from stumbling upon some governmental “white papers”. The knowledge is given to them by God speaking to them like man to man, via visions, dreams, trances, angels and the study of His word (Torah/Bible). Whatever God has said to them by any of these means is crystal clear to them and they say it boldly with gracious faith. All of these means can happen to them instantaneously in the midst of a given situation. Though God reveal things to them by these powerful means, it is still within their control to speak or not to speak. So, though they appear driven by His power and zeal, they are not men out of control. Therefore, it is said, “the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophet” 1 Corinthians 14:32NLT.
The prophetic gift
Unlike the prophet(s), the prophetic person(s) is or are mostly without prior knowledge of what they say. They can address a situation through utterance (not prophesying) and or action(s) in their own lives or others without even knowing they did. It is mainly impromptu.
The truth that the churches are heading nowhere without the operation of Christ’s ministry of apostles and prophets is obvious beyond doubt. The abandonment of these two ministries and the prophetic gift means refusing Christ to reign in His church purchased with His blood. It is a grievous sin! The churches of God are paying dearly for it as we see the devils right in our noses. I am not saying the devils will not try to operate in the assemblies or church but, they shouldn’t operate with the gatherings or church at the very least. For this benefit to come to us we need to grow in honoring Christ’s spirit that laid and is still laying our foundation and building the church Ephesians 2:20.
There are no grounds for competition within the ministry gifts or between the ministry gifts and the spiritual gifts. For clarity and emphasis, by ministry gifts, I mean those referenced in Ephesians 4:11.
The reason for the ministry gifts is firstly, to lay a firm foundation of Christ in the heart of the Church. Secondly, it is to take the gospel to those without God in this world. In the same vein, by spiritual gifts, I mean the different manifestations of Christ’s spirit operating in and from different parts of His body to edify the bride at the different places she gathers.
So, in every sense and way Christ’s ministry and gifts operate in the different parts of His body for one purpose and one purpose alone which is for the bride to exalt the bridegroom (Christ) by adorning herself with Him and glorify God by submitting to the Holy Spirit. This is why, paraphrased “where two or three are gathered in Christ’s name (have Christ in them), they are honored by His presence in their midst (not in them but in their midst)”. Therefore, the importance of community is this: Christ in them evidenced by His presence amongst them.
The logic: The evidence of Christ’s presence is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Without His presence amongst them, there is no evidence He is in them.
Where there is self (selfish ambition), the person present is full of all manner of evil. Who will that be? Satan. Therefore, He evidences his presence by the manifestation of his evils Galatians 5:19-21.
Whose presence is at work in our gatherings? We know how to find out now by discerning the manifesting presence.
Christ will keep coming to His fiancée (church) through the apostles and apostolic and the prophets and prophetic till the marriage supper (consummation). This keeps the body of Christ alert, exhorted, comforted and admonished.