God desires that all His people move in the prophetic (1 Corinthians 14:1, 5, 31). The prophet Joel (2:28, Acts 2:17-18) stated that as part of the last day outpouring of the Holy Spirit “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” The Church will only begin to fulfill Jesus’ promise of doing even greater works (John 14:12) by embracing and walking in the prophetic.
This is why the devil has worked so hard to discredit the prophetic ministry. Most pastors have been subjected to false prophecies or come in contact with a false prophet(s). With the recent restoration of the office of the prophet, abuses accompanied the real thing. The devil seeks to magnify the abuses and instill fear in the hearts of God’s people, especially leaders, so they will not give proper place to the prophetic.
There are different levels of the prophetic flow:
1) The Spirit of Prophecy: (Numbers 11:24-30;
1 Samuel 19:20-24; 1 Corinthians 14:24, 31) This refers to a corporate anointing that can rest over a body of believers that enables anyone exercising faith to prophesy.
2) The Gift of Prophecy: (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:3) At times God will give an individual the gift of prophecy for a specific occasion. There is a vast difference between one who exercises the prophetic gift from time to time and the office of a prophet.
3) The Office of the Prophet: (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29) God chooses specific individuals to function in this ministry role.
4) The Prophecy of Scripture: (2 Timothy 3:16) No new prophecy of Scripture is taking place. In addition, all prophecy is to be compared with Scripture for accuracy.
The Function of the Prophet:
1) to operate in the office of a prophet by foretelling and telling forth (interpreting) God’s word
2) to travel in team ministry with apostles confirming existing churches
3) to help establish and ground new churches
4) to impart vision to God’s people and help them learn to hear God’s voice
According to 1 Corinthians 14:3, when prophetic ministry is released properly in the Church it will:
Edify: build up or confirm church members
Exhort: call, encourage, and excite people to duty
Comfort: strengthen, bring ease, help, and encourage – like a healing balm to a wounded spirit
The following areas may also be evidenced through the prophet’s ministry:
Direction: God-given revelation concerning His plans for an individual or a congregation
Conferral: when God imparts spiritual gifts to an individual through prophecy, prayer, and laying on of hands (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; Romans 1:11)
Confirmation: when God confirms a matter through another individual unrelated to the situation
(Acts 21:4, 11)
Correction: setting things right in a spirit of love
Judgment: bringing the reverential fear of God in a redemptive manner. This is not common.
Equipping: bringing order to the Body of Christ by matching gifted people with appropriate ministries, making the congregation more effective