“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: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 fullness of Christ: 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; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 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.” Ephesians 4:11-16, (KJV)
As established in a previous message, we know that Christ possesses the gifts of a 5-Fold ministry and, that if He is in us and our life in Him has become our identity, we have those gifts waiting to be discovered in us, too. He gives those gifts to us according to His grace and our callings and it is our job to discover them and to learn how to properly use them, regardless of where we are on that journey. Today we are beginning a new series entitled “Get to know the 5 Fold” where we will be learning about the most commonly misunderstood gift of Christ, the Gift of Prophet. To better understand, we need to first look at the meaning of the word. Prophet means “One who speaks for God”. The job of Prophet (also known as the office of Prophet) is one who is planted in a local church to equip the saints with encouragement, to edify the body of Christ, to correct, to explain, to confirm the spoken words of God, to teach others how to operate in their own prophetic ministry properly, and to be a supplement voice of the Holy Spirit to the other 4 vital parts of the 5 Fold ministry. Religion teaches that the 5 Fold ministry gifts are a hierarchy of clergy set apart for structured church government. While Jesus comes not to destroy that teaching but to fulfill it, we must realize that these are not higher positions than others have in the church for we are all created equal. The 5 Fold gifts are gifts of servant hood and are foundations for the church to be built upon. When we are called to any of these 5 leadership identities, they are who we are. And, when the Holy Spirit joins us with others operating in the Christ given gifts in a body of Christ, this 5 Fold ministry provides a solid platform for the Holy Spirit to build His church upon. The Holy Spirit speaks to us about our individual callings and when He reveals one of these 5 areas to us, we need to start listening. Just because the Lord reveals to us that we are created to operate in one of these areas does not mean we can jump in and give ourselves any of these labels. It means we need to begin exploring and learning about them and wait on the Lord’s timing to fully begin operating in them. The Lord sends us others to help identify, nurture, edify, empower, and confirm these Christ given gifts as well as to prepare and equip us.
The Christ given gift (or office) of a Prophet is different from the spiritual Holy Spirit gift of prophecy. The difference being one is an identity in Christ (a calling we discover when life with Christ has become our identity) and the other is something we all are to be active in doing as we begin discovering more about our individual identity and calling. Many religions have taught this out of order adding chaos to the body of Christ. The gift of prophecy for generations has been known to be overtly misused, distorted, and abused by so many variations of denominations and the ever present ease of access to the teachings of spiritualism. There is a fear based spirit present in our churches and common in our society designed to twist the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy into a form of fortune telling leaving an unfortunate and irresponsible harm predicting voice speaking over all of our nations (that is not the loving voice of God and does not represent His will for good for us at all) designed to capitalize financially on the fear and ignorance of others. We learn about this demonic spirit of divination and how to deal with it in the book of Acts 16:16-18. To see the difference between the Christ given gifts (offices) and the Holy Spirit given gifts (the 9 service or ministry gifts distributed to the entire body of Christ for the purpose of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through everyone), we need to look at 1 Corinthians 12:1-14.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles (Jesus associated Gentiles with paganism in Matthew 5:47), carried away unto these dumb idols (worshiping other lifeless entities above God), even as ye were led (on the way to your personal discovery of Jesus). Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed (destroyed, speaking harm against Him or His people): and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost (you can not truly confess Jesus or speak for God without the witness of His Holy Spirit). Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the (1) word of wisdom; to another the (2) word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another (3) faith by the same Spirit; to another the (4) gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the (5) working of miracles; to another (6) prophecy; to another (7) discerning of spirits; to another (8) divers kinds of tongues; to another (9) the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
Again, religion keeps us from understanding these gifts so that we never have a chance to learn more or operate in them. The Holy Spirit given gift of Prophecy is given to us when we specifically ask for it. Like any gift God gives, it requires proper handling and stewardship. As we know, our words have power and great harm can come to others from our ignorance in speaking the things God shows us if we are out of order, out of context, speaking to the wrong people, or not in the proper place or timing. We can actually bring further persecution and harm upon ourselves. It is our responsibility as Christians to get the best handle on this as we can before we go speaking for the Holy Spirit to anyone. The Holy Spirit gift of prophecy manifests itself in many ways. In song, poetry, spoken or rhema words, written communications, dance, art, the list goes on. Anyone can operate in the gift of prophecy freely with a little bit of sound Biblical teaching. It is just one aspect that God uses to edify the entire body of Christ. Just as the other gifts of the Holy Spirit are, the gift of prophecy is highly valued and much needed in all of our communities. Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry invests in Christians by regularly writing and speaking on the topic of prophecy. He states that prophecy is meant to be “relevant to our culture” and our prophecies need to focus on “creating world changers verses church changers”. The biggest thing to remember when speaking (or releasing) a word of prophecy is to ask yourself if the word you are delivering represents the same God you have come to know and love yourself. If it doesn’t, your interpretation of the message God intends to send may be tainted by your own personal unknown sin or motives. God loves all of His children and doesn’t want a single one to perish. His words are encouraging, uplifting, inspire hope for the future, thought provoking, and bring revelation and repentance naturally. When speaking for Him, our words should be the same way, too. And, if we really want to get through to others, it is important to learn the culture and language those we are called to speak to are accustomed to using so they can understand what we are saying better. What is intended to be a gift is often times our very own worst stumbling block when it is misused. If we want our efforts to bring God glory, we need to personally invest our attention and time to learning all we can about our Holy Spirit gifts and share our knowledge with others. And we must remember to allow the Holy Spirit to incorporate the Fruit of His spirit when using our gifts. As, without the presence love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance the words we speak for the Holy Spirit can not fully be received or recognized as prophesies.
Let’s pray. Father, we thank you that you have designed all of these gifts as a part of your creative masterpiece. We thank you that when you join us together to operate in the gifts you have given each of us that you get any and all glory. Help us to use our gifts properly, with wisdom, in the right order, and collectively so that we might be used by you to be a better blessing to many, Show us specifically what we each need to learn and help us to wait on your Holy Spirit confirmation before acting on any of the lessons you send. Use our voices to bring you glory in a world that unknowingly intends your people harm. In Jesus Name, Amen.
For a detailed explanation of the difference between the office of Prophet and the gift of prophecy and how this is effected by religion, please watch the highly insightful teaching by Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church and School of Supernatural Ministry.
Notes from the Holy Spirit by Pastor Audra Waters-Leary 7/15/2018 dedicated to the late Prophet Kim Clement
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