The Gift, The Ministry, The Office
Within the body of Christ I’ve observed and heard many confusing statements and positions concerning the gift of prophecy. They span the length and breadth from the simple to the “are you serious.” For the most part, they lack clarity. For example some believe that only special people are called to prophesy. Some believe operating within the spiritual gift opens the door to deception. Still others contend that we don’t need the gifts of the Spirit and that we should seek the giver of the gifts only and not the gifts. If these hindrances are no longer part of the believers mind set they can begin to move more powerfully in their ministry.
I’m writing this teaching to offer scriptural proof that will shed more light to any questions or add to the knowledge you may already have. In 1 Corinthians Paul encourages all believers to accept and use the gift of prophecy God is offering them. It is a spiritual gift that is for all who will receive it. In chapter 1 Corinthians chapter 12 there are scattered verses that tell us not to be ignorant concerning spiritual gifts. While there are diversities of gifts they are of the same spirit. These gifts are given to each one for the profit of all and that we are to seek the well-being of others. There is but one body but different members of the body. God has set in motion that there are apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healings, helps, administrations and varieties of tongues. In chapter 13:1 there is a command that must be applied to all gifts…that no gift is profitable without love. Verse nine states “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.”
Within the gift of prophecy there are three distinct spheres. In Cor. 14:1 Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit and tells us to pursue love and desire spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy. This is the gift of prophecy and is available for all. The ministry of prophecy is a call to minister to others as well as being useful for your personal life. The office of prophet is also a call but is not for everyone. It deals with church government, helping to build and guide other churches as well as guiding other people. However along with a calling there must be spiritual growth and maturing in the area of that calling followed by impartation and commissioning.
There is often a period of time between the call and the commissioning a time of waiting and preparation. The gift of prophecy should and must always be tested. To do this one has to be accountable. Being part of a small group setting is perhaps the most productive testing ground for the gift. The atmosphere is safe and non-threatening. If that isn’t possible connecting with one or two mature and proven prophetic people is another option. One must be aware of the differences between the gift, the ministry and the office of prophet. The gift by itself generally isn’t a call to ministry but it can be used in a smaller context of an individual church as long as the prophetic person is accountable to the pastor. Accountability is very important. In conclusion, this simple statement is important to keep in mind….all seers are prophets but not all prophets are seers.
© Mary Ann Kotch, 2015