What is the Role of the Prophetic Ministry Today?
Many today try to depict the role of the prophet of the New Testament as being different than the role of the prophet of the Old Testament. All of these are mistaken. The ONLY difference between the role of the prophet in the new versus the old is that in the new, the prophet is NOT the ONLY source of God’s word. We have been given the gift of the five-fold ministry of which the prophet continues in that role previously established by God, only with reinforcements added.
The same judgments against the Old Testament prophets hold true to the New Testament prophets. Only now, the prophets are not stoned as in the old when they prophecy falsely. This judgment is reserved for God ALONE and NOT mankind.
It is important now, more than ever, since everyone may prophecy as given them by Holy Spirit, that the prophetic role as part of the five-fold ministry, is recognized for what it is. Because everyone may prophecy at one time or another, the role of the Prophetic Minister seems to have diminished in its importance. This is only true in the eyes of whom that role is diminished but NOT TRUE in God’s eyes.
If anything, the role of the Prophetic Minister is greatly enhanced as it is through these ministers of the prophetic that deception and the waywardness of the church is exposed. If you are able to hear this, the role of the prophetic ministry is used to keep the church on course in their journey to perfection, this journey of sanctification.
These prophetic ministers have this ability to SEE when the church is off course and speak out to correct their course. For what these prophetic ministers all have in common is the HEART of The Lord ALWAYS in their sight. That promise spoken by the Word of The Lord Himself, says that God does NOTHING unless He reveals what He is doing to His friends the prophets. This was true in the Old Testament and remains true in the New Testament.
The role of the New Testament prophet is still to confirm God’s calling and anointing, to speak correction and restoration, to tear down strongholds and mindsets, to uproot traditions of men and the strongholds of unbelief in men.
These roles continue as before and the importance of these are made manifest by the sheer number of errors we hear from the pulpits of today. This is part of what God seeks to restore as well as the full functionality of the five-fold ministry. The church has for far too long decided they did not need the entire armor of God but chose which parts they felt they needed. As a result, the effectiveness of the leaders are greatly diminished and the church, as a whole, has suffered greatly in its inability to mature in a full man where every joint supplies.
As far as personal prophetic ministry, it is still necessary today as everyone does not walk in that place where they should. I want to say something that strongly disagrees with the popular notion of today. The prophet does not NEED to know anything about a person in order to prophecy. It is preferred to not know anything as to not have that prophetic word tainted with human knowledge.
Only God still sees the heart of a man in the manner in which it is true. No man can know another’s heart unless God gives it to him and then he is to speak ONLY what he hears from the mouth of the Spirit of The Lord.
As a prophet myself, I refuse to hear anything about the one I am to minister to as I prefer to hear God’s perspective rather than man’s. This too is offered as proof whether a prophet is speaking from God or his own spirit. If what is said is true, then it came from God but if it is not true, then it came from that prophet’s own spirit and should not be received. Jesus warned of many false prophets. A prophet is either known or not known by what they speak.
Leaders today know of certain prophets and have been influenced by many who prophecy according to what they know of the people. These prophets are not the true prophets. They may have the gift but in themselves, they have refused the chastisement of The Lord and continue to prophecy out of their own spirits.
To learn the difference, a leader must fast and pray in order to hear from The Lord Himself whether they are being influenced through an error or whether they are receiving from God. Again, ALL may prophecy. In this, we all have access to the same Holy Spirit these prophets are speaking from. Confirm the truth. Prophets DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SOMEONE THEY ARE MINISTERING TO. If a prophet requires this knowledge, he or she is not a true prophet. Extreme caution is advised!
The same test for whether a prophet speaks by the Word of The Lord or not is the same as in the Old Testament. If what is said comes to pass and points the way to God, then that is a true prophet. If what they say does not come true, then appropriate steps should be taken to insure this one does not minister to the body of Christ for they speak not of God’s Spirit but by their own and these are subject to being deceived in themselves.
A true prophet has the same fear of The Lord as did those prophets of old. They have laid down their lives for their Lord and desire to speak only that which they hear by adding or taking away nothing from what they hear. These are not respecter of persons but fear God only. These are not the “yes” men and women that is so often being depicted today. Every leader of God will have those around him or her that will prophecy what they want to hear or what God wants them to hear. It is the leader’s responsibility to discern the true from the false but if they are given to self-serving, then what they gather around them are those who have not crucified the flesh as well.
If a leader speaks what he does not know and says that a prophet does not have to speak by the Spirit of the Living God, then it is best for all concerned to withdraw from such a leader. For we are taught in the scriptures that only those who are led by the Spirit of the God are the sons of God. In order to be led, one must be able to HEAR what the Spirit of God is saying.
A true prophet will not exalt himself and require others to call him by his title. If a prophet falls by the way side and requires others to call him Prophet So and So, then do not listen to him or her.
The true prophet is the most humble of men and prefer not to be seen by men but rather desires that the name of The Lord be exalted above all things, including above himself. Jesus also warned of those who gather for themselves by titles. He tells His followers to be called brother or sister but not to do as the pharisees and the hypocrites do.
John the Baptist refused to give his own name to those inquiring who he was but chose to give only that which he was called and anointed to do. He chose to be called by that word of God that has been given to him to accomplish. In this, he has proven that his words were true for by his own testimony, he was a messenger only and was not the Christ.
Today’s prophets should also be of no name or reputation but seek only the glory of Him who sent them. In this way, their testimony is true for they do not speak of themselves but of another, greater than themselves. These speak of the Father who sent them and refuse to receive any earthly rewards but seek only the rewards given by God who promises to be their inheritance.
The true prophets of The Lord do not seek physical rewards as they are all viewed as temporary. Their’s is a reward that is eternal. They do not seek the wealth of this world and those that do, have turned away from The Lord their God and have fallen in the way of Balaam, serving God for their own profit. These will receive of their own iniquity. Do not hear them for these are wolves in sheep’s clothing, seeking to make merchandise of God’s people for their own profit.
The true prophet remains as a watchman of the wall, to warn of approaching danger or to call out a warning of danger from within. He will speak only what he hears and not add to it or take way from it. If the danger is from within, then he is required to give warning from the mouth of the Spirit of The Lord to those inside the walls of that city. If they give ear to what he warns and repent, then they shall be delivered but if they refuse his words of warning, then their sin shall find them out and they will be taken away as God has warned. A true prophet cannot be bribed or persuaded away from what God has said. He will remain true even at the cost of his own life.
The true prophet will live according to what he preaches. He will lead by example. He will not be of those who say do what I say and not what I do. His life will be a demonstration of what a Christian life is to be. He will say, “Follow me as I follow The Lord.” His is a life of total submission to the will of God and seeks Him day and night, meditates day and night in His word in order to do according to all that God commands. A prophet is the most faithful of all men and yet knows that even the least of these his brethren can be greater than he. A true prophet promotes others instead of himself and seeks that others abound in the goodness of The Lord for he is secure in his relationship with The Lord and does not fear or concern himself what men concern themselves with. He is a man of faith and humility. A true prophet walks in that testimony of Jesus!