How did you feel the last time you realized that you had been fooled?
Imagine investing a significant amount of money into gold to later find out it was fake gold, and there was no way to get a refund!
Would you get on an airplane if you knew the pilot was absolutely NOT QUALIFIED?
Everyone knows that what you don’t know sometimes can really hurt or cost you!
So what could it cost you if you ended up following and supporting someone who claimed to be a prophet, who was merely speaking with the gift of prophecy, and not actually a TRUE Prophet in the OFFICE of a prophet?
OFFICE OR GIFT?
Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the critical difference between the office of a prophet and the gift of prophecy.
Do YOU know the difference?
The sad fact is that the ignorance of the Word of God is so prevalent that most people, including many in the clergy, do not know the difference between The Office of a Prophet and The Gift of Prophecy under the Holy Spirit.
Let's look at several passages explaining THE GIFTS OF MINISTRY given by Jesus Christ Himself:
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Now let's read scripture describing THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
1 Corinthians 12:8-11
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Corinthians 14:3
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
The Bible is actually one book. It is incorrect to divide it between the Old and New Testament. A person cannot understand the New Testament unless they first understand the Old Testament.
In algebra, one does not go over what was already taught and learned in elementary mathematics or in business arithmetics.
Neither did the authors of the New Testament think it was necessary to reiterate what was already known in the Old Testament.
The consequences of Sin was already established in the Old Testament as was the Office of a Prophet. One can find mercy, grace and the forgiveness of sins and many examples throughout the Old Testament continuing into the New Testament.
Christ Himself, “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:11).
Not all men are given these positions in the body of Jesus Christ. He knows those He can use. He knows who will be faithful in the area of stewardship to properly and effectively carry out the responsibilities to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry and the edification of the body.
When man puts into position people that are not called by Christ into the gifts of ministry, the church is not effectively served.
The effectiveness of people
who are chosen by Jesus to
serve the body through the gifts
of ministry is continually based
on their personal heart attitude
and on-going, determined
relationship with God.
As they continue to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts, He continues to increase their ministry and give additional gifts.
Some churches remain small because the pastors themselves are not willing to pay the price of self-denial in different areas of their lives. Consequently, their ministry cannot grow.
God cannot add numbers to their churches because they are not qualified in their spiritual development to feed the flock.
The Holy Spirit cannot add any more of the gifts of the Spirit than they already possess because they are not seeking first (coveting) the kingdom of God and His righteousness (His ways/will).
As a result, they could even loose the effectiveness and gifts they might already possess.
A clay pot
does not have an
but people do.
God looks at the heart (attitude) of the vessel before choosing them for the gifts of ministry for leading the church.
A clay pot does not have an attitude, but people do.
God takes a person’s attitude into account before He calls that person into ministry.
Like John the Baptist whom the Lord called into ministry while he was still in his mother’s womb, He calls a person today. God knew, because He could see the end of John the Baptist’s life even before it had begun, that his life (heart, attitude and will) would be conducive to God’s molding. He would not be constantly resisting God’s will for his development, so God chose him.
Yes, a person does have
something to do with being
chosen of God and called by
Jesus Christ for the gifts of
For example, “some apostles and some prophets”, Christ gave gifts of ministry to lead the church.
They are called because God sees their inward qualities (1 Samuel 16:1-13; Acts 22:14), and they are prepared (with their cooperation) and given to the body to lead His church for the perfecting of the saints.
To become an apostle or prophet is not an easy task nor is the job and responsibilities that come with the ministry.
One is first called, then prepared of God for His service. The person being prepared of God might not even realize what position in the gifts of ministry for which God is preparing him.
I believe the gifts are overlapping, and God wants us humbly to submit ourselves one to another for the perfecting of the minister so that he is better qualified holistically to minister to the body.
Apostles and prophets are not ready-made;
“...many are called; few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
Many are not willing to suffer as may be necessary in preparation for their calling. Those who are willing to suffer persecution for righteousness sake and truly in reality pick up their cross are the ones from which the Lord is able to choose.
For in these two positions of ministry they will be misjudged, gossiped about, slandered and falsely accused by not only the unbeliever, but also by the church and the other ministers of the gifts (pastors, teacher and evangelists), more than any other position in the body of Christ.
Jesus knows these two positions will have to be willing to submit to a life of self-denial, sacrifice, and suffering, as He Himself had to bear in leadership. Thus, He has few from which to choose.
These two positions are not only leading and molding (correcting) the church, but along with the other gifts of ministry, exhorting them continually to higher levels of serving the Lord and allowing the Lord to change their lives into His very image.
Thus, they are in a constant battle between the devil and the carnal will of man.
Let us be very honest with ourselves.
We sing the words, “I’ll do what you want me to do, dear Lord, I’ll be what you want me to be, I’ll go where you want me to go...”, but in reality few of us are really willing to be faithful to the words of the song.
The apostle and prophet will be forced by God to come closer than any other position, if they are to be chosen by God for their ministry.
Today’s apostle is somewhat different, in some respects, than the early apostle. The twelve apostles had a function which no other member in the body of Christ will ever have. They were in the group during the whole time that the Lord was in public ministry on earth. They had a part in the founding of His church in the world, and several of them wrote books which are included in our New Testament.
The gift of ministry called “apostle” was to be a gift through the whole period of building the church, or body. The apostles are given by Christ to His body to do a special work. Men do not decide to be apostles any more than a chunk of clay decides to be a piece of pottery. God (Christ) calls and develops them according to the vessel’s inward qualities (heart/attitude), since the Lord looks into the future and can see what this person will allow the Lord to do in his life before the Lord chooses him. An apostle is one who is sent forth by the Lord to carry, lead, direct, and protect the gospel into new places. His work involves laying the foundation for the body. He is also building up and overseeing the body. 2 Corinthians 12:12 “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.”
The prophet has two main functions. First,...Foretelling...to tell about an event before it happens (predict).
Second,...Forthtelling...to tell forth, to speak out.
A prophet is one who speaks by inspiration. That is, he speaks out as he is breathed upon by the Holy Spirit. He is one who also expounds...he gives the meaning of God’s message as it is given by the Holy Spirit.
The prophet today, as in the New Testament, often brings challenges and encouragement based on truths already known (the Bible).
The prophet’s most important function is to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service in order to build up the body (Ephesians 4:12).
The main difference between the Office of a Prophet and Gift of Prophecy under the Holy Spirit is a true prophet deals with sin that separates a person from God and brings judgment on a person or nation.
Many people today who are called a prophet or prophetess never deal with sin.
They are not concerned with sin or confronting people and leaders over sin.
In reality these type of people operate under The Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Prophecy for exhortation, encouragement and comfort as does a true Prophet but they do not deal with sin.
They don’t have a passion over sins that destroy a person or nation. They even write books but that does not make them a prophet.
Besides God’s direct ways of developing the apostle and prophet through suffering (Acts 9:16), it can be called the wilderness experience (lives of Joseph, Daniel, Moses, David, Elijah, Jesus, Paul and many others).
All were exposed to much suffering, trials and persecution that through their experiences they would be forced to draw nigh unto God, the author and finisher of their strength.
Thus, they would increase in wisdom, stature, grace, knowledge, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Other means by which they would continue to grow and draw nigh unto God were daily prayer, study of and meditation upon the Word of God, fasting at times as a part of one’s diet, and being a faithful steward of the gifts that God has given him.
Usually, the apostle and prophet have an overlap into the other gifts of ministry and can be used in any of the five ministries. At times, God will call them to concentrate on their strongest gift because of the need of the body, which may include the other gifts of ministry at the same time.
“...the gift of speaking God’s message...” (1 Corinthians 12:10).
KJV says, “...to another prophecy...”
Prophecy means “prediction” or foretelling. It also means “public exposition” or “forthtelling”.
In other words, it is speaking in one’s own language in the power of the Holy Spirit, or divine ability to forthtell, as well as to foretell.
The Gift of a Prophet falls under the Gifts of Ministry (usually full time church leadership role), whereas the Gift of Prophecy falls under the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are available to the entire Body.
Another difference is that all that have the Office of the Prophet will prophesy.
But, all that prophesy do not have the Office of a Prophet.
Prophecy, because of its nature, is perhaps the greatest of the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.
Paul says, “Set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially the gift of proclaiming God’s message.” (1 Corinthians 14:1).
KJV says, “Desire spiritual gifts, but rather (most of all) that ye may prophesy.”
It is the greatest of all nine gifts for building up the Body, so Bible scholars' state. Through it, believers are built up and sinners are moved toward God.
I have already discussed briefly this Gift of the Spirit in some of the description of the Office of the Prophet. The two aspects of the Gift of the Spirit called Prophecy which are foretelling and forthtelling are discussed there. God’s work is always to save.
Sometimes, through the Gift of Prophecy, the Holy Spirit saves the Body of Christ from suffering (Acts 11:27-30).
At other times, through the Gift of Prophecy, His Body is prepared for coming suffering (Acts 20:23; 2:10-13).
A person in the Office of a Prophet uses this Gift of Prophecy in a much fuller and deeper way.
He is also usually developed to a greater extent in the other Gifts of the Spirit, since he is ministering under the Gifts of Ministry in church spiritual leadership.
The purpose of this important article is to warn you about making the assumption that someone is a true prophet simply because they claim to be one.
Because if they’re not warning people about sin, the consequences of sin and calling people to repentance, then they are NOT a true prophet and could be misleading you with their foretelling (predictions).
Instead, they are operating simply with the gift of prophecy that consists of FORTHTELLING (edifying, exhorting and comforting - 1 Corinthians 14:3) which certainly is needed.
So I urge you to use your discernment with people calling themselves prophets or prophetesses.
True prophets are warning of the dangers happening today in America and the world and of the certain judgment to follow without repentance.
Can you do me a big favor?
Send me a quick reply to this email and let me know how helpful this information was to you to have this distinction between the gift of prophecy and the office of a prophet, ok?
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Thank you and God bless you!