The Ministry of the Prophet
I have spent years and years, probably decades learning about the ministry of a prophet. I am not saying I am a prophet, I am an intercessor. When I ask God what He calls me, He says I am His mouthpiece. I realize that is what He called Aaron. Aaron was an intercessor for Moses and spoke for Moses.
Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. TLB (Exodus 4:16)
I believe this is the ministry of the prophet to speak to leaders and help equip the people with the vision that God has given to the leaders, who are apostles.
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.(1 Corinthians 12:28–31)
I love God with all my heart! He tells me so many things because I am His friend and faithful to tell others what He is saying.
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you (John 15:14)
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord GOD has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?(Amos 3:7–8)
I find the more I share the more He speaks to me and the more I respond to put action to His words He trusts me with more. I believe if someone is a prophet they would be His friend and do what He says!
What most of the church has taught about prophets is different than what I see in the bible and different than what I personally experience in my fellowship with the Lord Jesus. For the sake of this message let me call this, what Aaron was to Moses, the prophet’s ministry because that is how I feel impressed to share it.
The purpose of the message is to call the next generation to this ministry. Some call it messengers. When I look across the body of Christ the Lord speaks to me about the youth and calls many of them prophets. I think that in the earth today there are men like Moses leading the body of Christ, out of bondage into the promised land, but they may be hindered by their anger and compromise God is raising up a generation that can carry the message and help those leaders.
What I see is a very young tender generation that needs to know the Love of a true Father, our Heavenly Father and the majestic leadership of Jesus Christ. He is speaking to them and calling them to leadership at a very young age. They will have the power to confront what leaders like Moses refused to confront. They will call out the sin of the nation and release justice in the earth through uncompromising lives. I find that Holy and it makes me fall on my face in prayer contending for their future, that they would not be hindered in loving Him with all their heart and strength.
19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:19–21)
I agree with the message of End time messengers, I think it gives freedom from the religious mindset of prophets but I long for truth and wisdom and for the calling of prophets and apostles as Paul described. Although Messengers is another name for it, I think drawing directly from scripture helps to equip the body. Another word for apostle is messenger but I think the body may be confused when they hear “messenger” and the work of an apostle is different than the work of an apostle. I believe the body may consider “preachers” messengers which could be a teacher or a pastor or evangelist. In fact the Messenger most often taught could be anyone carrying the message of God. It helps to delineate by scripture for clarity.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.(Ephesians 4:11–16)
It is sad that the body of Christ is so ‘title conscience’ to the point they exalt men instead of the one the prophet is supposed to express, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true Prophet and Jesus is the true Apostle that is who we give expression to, He is the leader and it is His ministry these gifts give expression to. He places the gifts in men because He trusts them to lead and equip the body of Christ, not prostitute the gift for the pleasure of self-seeking and self-exaltation.
I believe the only way a prophet is expressed is if he or she is set in the body of Christ. This gift is expressed through the local church. If someone is called a prophet the first thing I look for is the church where they are set. The reason why is the bible is clear about how Jesus sets the gifts of the five-fold ministry.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Ephesians 4:7–8)
3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. (Ephesians 3:3-7)
The true office gift of a prophet is going to reveal the knowledge of Christ, the mystery of Christ. There will be revelation continually flowing from their ministry that enables the body of Christ to become partakers of His grace and His power, partakers of the Promise Jesus Christ. The ministry of the prophet will cause you to become more Christlike, become more like Him, come closer to Him because you see Him and it causes you to want to know Him more. Knowledge puffs up but partakers of the nature of Christ, that is fruit.
Often the today we see men not Christ, men are exalted because they have a gift. You can see it on their websites, their picture is all over the front, it is all about their accomplishments, their speaking itineraries, their conferences and tv shows, their books and their wealth. I think the ministry of the prophet is a little more hidden that that. I think the ministry of a prophet weeps and travails, that isn’t something you see on a website. I think the ministry of a prophet is extremely difficult and painful because of the burden the Lord places on them to carry His heart. The heart of the Lord for a people who don’t know Him. I picture the days when Jesus came in the flesh and walked in Jerusalem and it says, “they knew Him not.”
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. (John 1:11)
Another prophet was on the scene in that day, John the Baptist. His ministry was set apart confronting the culture of the day that rejected the word of God and God’s ways. John prepared the way of the Lord.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light (John 1:6-8)
This is a clear picture of the prophetic ministry “bear witness of that Light”. That means a lifestyle that reflects Christ exalted and magnified, not men and all their talents. We do way too much promotion of ourselves!
The ministry of the Prophet is to bring the people back to the what God has said. That message has often been given to leaders already. In the context of the church, the Lord Jesus will speak to the leader’s His heart for a region or a people, He speaks His plan then gives instruction to the Apostle about bringing that plan to pass. This plan is the building of His Kingdom. The kingdom is not a business, it is in business and transactions can take place that give God glory but the Kingdom is built in the hearts of men where God will tabernacle with them.
I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one–(John 17:22)
We are now the temple of God and within us dwells His Holy Spirit. His presence is in us and on us filling out the atmosphere where He can be tangibly experienced. When God touches man, He does so by touching His mind, His emotions, His will, His body and transcends (overcomes) them with supernatural resurrection power to transform them into His likeness. While in this earth we are building His Kingdom in the hearts of men, preparing them to receive His fullness. When He comes the measure of the Kingdom built in their hearts prepares them to receive more of Him. While on the earth we will be limited to how much we can receive but like Enoch we could just be caught up!
5 Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. (Hebrews 11:5)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)
26″I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27″My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. (Ezekiel 37:26-27)
The ministry then is to keep the vision before the people by reminding them what God said or by saying what God is saying. The majority of the time the Lord is revealing what hinders us from the fullness, from His love being poured out in our lives. The Father wants to walk in the cool of the garden with us fellowshipping every day telling us of His great plan for His Son’s return. We can hear Him ourselves if we spend time with Him. The prophet ministry then would be confirming to us what we hear the Lord saying, maybe giving it context and helping us to see how what we heard is a part of the big picture of His plan and where we fit in it. The ministry of the prophet can not only see what hinders but what helps us to continue strong all the way to the end, unoffended. The prophet’s ministry strengthens the body in our preparation of His habitation, it will always point us to the Lord Jesus not to man. If the ministry leads us to exalt man then that is not the prophet. In fact, the false prophet exalts men and turns eyes to men and women in the place of our hearts that is to belong to Christ Jesus.
When the Lord speaks to man to build a church, to plant a church He gives the man His heart for His people, the Shepherd’s heart. The Lord Jesus is our Great Shepherd and He wants a pasture where the sheep can find rest. This pasture will feed the sheep, help them to grow and mature and work in the Father’s vineyard. This pasture will have still waters for peace when the storms come to destroy the Father’s vineyard. The vineyard is the place of abiding with the Lord in real time. It is walking out the Father’s ministry. In relationship, as sons and daughters, we walk out the International Family located all around the world, different tribes and tongues, one family.
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19)
That is the vineyard where each member of the family bears fruit that reveals the goodness and provision of the Father. This fruit is not for us to just consume but to feed the hungry and clothe and provide for the poor. The vineyard has purpose to lead the family safely to the pasture of the Good Shepherd where they can abide with the Father, cared for, provided for in fullness.
This fullness takes place in our spirit but is witnessed in the earth. In other words, all that takes place in us can be seen on the outside world as a witness to who Christ is and why He came. That means the authority that Jesus placed in us as we are seated with Him is revealed in our life as we drive the enemy out of the land that was promised for pasture and still waters.
10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (Ephesians 3:10–13)
That place of Shepherd’s pasture is much like the Ark was in Noah’s day. It is a place of protection in Christ with the Family of God.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:37–44)
Along with the Pastor/Shepherd who plants the church, the Holy Spirit leads the men and women who Jesus wants planted in that house/pasture. This pasture is a global pasture connecting the body of Christ from around the world. It is a spiritual place in Christ where we abide and to the measure of the knowledge of Christ expressed in that church is to the measure that expression is displayed. Every church should have people of all different races and coming from different backgrounds and walks of life. This is the purest form of the expression of the family of God around the world.
The pasture which feeds the body of Christ is the knowledge of God. This is brought through teachers and preachers, pastors and prophets who reveal Christ and equip the saints for the ministry of the vineyard. The evangelist is particularly used in revealing the ministry of the vineyard, how the knowledge of God is revealed outside of the pasture in the world. This equipping should cover all the Seven mountains of influence in our culture that needs reformation. The vineyard brings forth fruit that leads and influences righteousness, right living, truth that dispels and exposes destruction for the purpose of building the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men and the earth as a witness for what is to come.
The prophet will continually reveal the pathway to fullness as the ministry takes on the assignment given them by Jesus. This pathway is already in the Shepherd’s heart given to them by God as they said yes to planting the church. The prophet comes alongside and continues to bring light to that pathway that builds a witness of the Kingdom in the earth. This kingdom is built on Love. Love is the economy of the Kingdom, love draws men to repentance, love builds the family, Love reveals God’s heart for men. God’s love
The prophet’s ministry is going to expose counterfeit love, abuse and destruction brought on by the enemy. It may be disguised and leading the family to destruction.
In a practical sense, when a prophet comes to the church to minister they will be already planted in the local church. They will be under authority and able to manifest authority. If they are sent to another church to minister then they will be supporting the pastor and strengthening what is already revealed. They clarify what is already the direction, they don’t give direction. Apostles give direction and that would be to redirect if the foundation laid was mislaid or the walls are falling down (no protection) then they come to find out why and help relay the foundation on Christ not on man. Many churches are built on men not Christ the cornerstone. These churches don’t have green pastures, or still waters and the vineyard is without fruit. The apostle is needed to shore up the foundation and this comes in the form of doctrine and teaching often restoring and returning leadership to Christ as the Head and the Chief Cornerstone. The prophet would complement this ministry by revealing a more detailed description of where the leadership of the church got off track in relationship to the vision or the teachings that have been taught or leaders whose lives are not a witness of Christ.
The prophet has no ministry outside of what has been revealed. The revealing of direction comes from the head Jesus Christ. Although the body connects to Jesus Christ the head, leaders are in place to give that direction to the body, never taking Jesus’ place in the heart of the believers. If the believers disagree with the leadership it should be in context of the head of the church, not their opinions or man’s plans. If Jesus isn’t the head of the church it is not a church it is a meeting place for people who have agreement. Agreement with man doesn’t equal agreement with God.
Many men with the desire to lead leave their church to start their own ministry because they don’t feel the leadership of Christ as they see it. This is a tragic injury to the body of Christ. It is likened to divorce in the family. It can weaken the family. What happens is the leaders may no longer be hearing from the head of the church, they may have gotten side tracked or off track. This is why the apostle and prophet are needed to build and equip the church. They can see the body connected where the shepherd or pastor may only see the pasture they originally saw or envisioned when Jesus spoke to them to plant the church. The Lord Jesus gives the gifts and callings to men and women, draws them to the church often mature in an area that the church has not expounded or grown into, and the ministry is not welcomed or valued. This doesn’t negate the ministry but it does not nor should it shut down the ministry. The ministry of the body of Christ should be in the city not just in the four walls of the church. The entire city is the pasture where the body can reveal the ministry that exalts Jesus. There is more than enough work in the vineyard to bring about the lifting up of Jesus Christ that draws men unto Him. We build the Kingdom in the hearts of men. When there are no more unsaved men in the city than perhaps your ministry is validated in planting another church.
We never divorce ourselves from the body no matter if we get sent out or leave to find more wisdom and knowledge of God. This is healthy. Just as sons and daughters leave the nest and build their own family so we grow and connect with other ministries expanding and connecting helps build the family of God around the world. Our expansion should include areas in need of what we have received so that we can be a blessing to the greater body of Christ. We need to see what God sees…when He looks at the church the book of Revelation shows us He sees cities as the church, regions, not man-made buildings.