There are two brief things I would like to cover in this interpretation. This interpretation’s focus is on the office of the ministry of the prophet but I believe its information could edify all Christians. I want to outline the expectations required of a prophet and then explain how a prophet should rise up in faith to meet those expectations.
It is not God’s job to prophesy to the Church.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 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 fulness 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;
It is the prophet’s job to prophesy to the Church. God gives perfect gifts (James 1:17). The bible says the gifts of God and the calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29). God came and lived a servant’s life for us. God then died a horrible death for us. Through this death God empowered us greatly, with the intent that we would be complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-15) and would use the gifts He has given us faithfully for His Glory (John 14:12-14). Every day we look to the heavens with the gifts of God and the call of God beaming behind our eyes and we wonder what God is going to do with us. Wonder when God is going to get things moving. Wondering when our prayers are going to be answered… all along the gifts and calling of God are right inside of us and God has already given us the faith (Romans 12:3) and the power (Luke 10:19, Matthew 11:12, 16:19) to exercise them for His kingdom purposes.
God did not call and give gifts unto a prophet so that God himself would come down here and prophesy to the Church. God gave gifts to the prophet so that the prophet himself would prophesy to the Church. When was the last time you saw a pastor in prayer asking God to come down so he could begin his pastorate? When was the last time you saw a teacher deep in prayer waiting and asking God to simply “teach through him…?” When was the last time you saw an evangelist sitting around and waiting for God to create a platform so he could begin evangelizing? I didn’t think so…
1 Corinthians 14:32
And the spirits of the prophets are subject unto the prophets.
God has already given the prophet authority into the spiritual realms (1 Corinthians 14:32). With this authority the prophet has the ability to control his God given ministry, and is accountable to God. He has the power to bind up, and he has the power to loose (Matthew 16:19), he has the power to edify, exhort and comfort (Acts 15:32-33), and he has the power to yield authority for edification (Judges 8:1-3). It is appalling now-a-days to think it is God’s responsibility to prophesy to the Church. It is not His responsibility at all. His responsibility was to die on the cross and by doing so fulfilling and establishing prophecy (Revelation 19:10). The gifts He gave us through that death are inside of us by his gifting (Ephesians 4:7). Now we must use faith, wisdom and unification with the Body to put these gifts into action.
There is a difference between someone who holds the office of a prophet and someone who has the gift of prophecy. This interpretation is geared toward someone who holds the office, not the gift. We all have various gifts, and some do have the gift of prophecy, to prophesy (1 Corinthians 13:2, Romans 12:6). I am not trying to say to those with the gift of prophecy that they should just automatically open their mouths and let something come out by faith. Anyone who has the gift of prophecy knows they must wait on the Lord… through dreams, visions or a word (Acts 2:17-18). You can’t rush or control the gift but the office must be accounted for. For this reason, someone called as a prophet must use diligence to become accountable and faithful within their office just like a pastor, teacher and evangelist must (Ephesians 4:7-14).
The wisdom of God is a tool the prophet uses for the edification of the Body of Christ. It comes through direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. Below are a few verses regarding the wisdom (knowledge) in the mystery of Christ.
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
This wisdom is prophetic because the process that begets it is prophetic. A teacher reads the bible and teaches. A pastor reads a bible and pastors his congregation. An evangelist reads the bible and evangelizes. A prophet reads the bible and prophesies. The prophet, as stated in the above bible verses, also has access to the direct revelation of the mystery of Christ (I will explain later). Thus, when knowledge and wisdom is yielded from this abiding process, it is prophetic. Its intention is to edify, exhort and comfort the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3, Acts 9:31). It is a direct revelation into the things of God and if you believe you are called as a prophet (1 Corinthians 14:37) then this wisdom or revelation is directly subject to the authority God has already given you (1 Corinthians 14:32). It is another interpretation to explain how to abide in the revelation of the mystery of Christ, but just understand the underlining principle of using the authority God has given you in order to seek these mysteries is the expectation of a prophet. Just in case you are still questioning or confused. The same process I just explained is exactly how all of the epistles in the New Testament were written. All of the apostles of the New Testament abode in the revelation of the mystery of Christ to the extent they were able to receive dutiful knowledge and wisdom. Once this wisdom was consecrated by example in the apostle’s life, the apostle would then write letters to fellow churches (or people) urging them regarding such wisdom. This is exactly what Paul meant in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:1-5). He was offering them the wisdom and knowledge he received as he abode in the revelation of the mystery of Christ (…the revelation of the mystery of Christ is a fancy way of saying - God’s answer regarding the mystery and purpose of the church). A prophet who abides in the revelation of the mystery of Christ is abiding in God’s answer for everything… but more specifically… God’s answers for the church. Don’t be deceived, Christ is everything (Colossians 1:15-18). Therefore, a prophet who abides in the revelation of the mystery of Christ is abiding in God’s answer (revelation) for everything (Christ).
To abide --> to wait in ministering
In the revelation --> regarding God’s answer
Of the mystery of Christ --> for everything… but more specifically, God’s purposes for and through the Church
To abide in the revelation of the mystery of Christ is to wait in ministering regarding God’s answer for everything… but more specifically, God’s purposes for and through the Church. God has the ability to share everything (all mysteries)… but that would not be edifying so He doesn’t do that. The things that are edifying for the Church are knowledge and wisdom that pertain directly to the Church and its purposes on earth, which is Christ. Nothing else should be focused on.
Take a look at this next verse:
1 Corinthians 2:7-16
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things (1 Corinthians 14:37-38), yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
All of us in the Body of Christ have a measure of this wisdom (the revelation of the mystery of Christ); the Holy Spirit helps us receive it so that we can combat ignorance and not become deceived (1 John 2:20, 27) …ignorance of course being a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). But for accountability sake, and because of the grace of God for His specific purposes, it is the apostle and the prophet who receive and have access to a more dutiful revelation into the mystery of Christ (for more about this, read Apostle Milkshake in Volume 2). This is solely for the edification of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 3:2-11). And notice… to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:47-48, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2). For this reason, God expects diligence and faith out of His prophets with regard to the mystery. They are much more accountable because they have been granted access to a heavier revelation into the mystery of Christ.
With all this in mind, I am going to repeat that it is not God’s responsibility to prophesy to the Church. If God were to hold a prophet’s hand and basically prophesy for him then a prophet would never learn accountability regarding his office (1 Corinthians 14:26-33). You could see how this would not only be self defeating, regarding God’s desire to use man, but it would require no burden of faith from the prophet. How would the prophets ever learn faith? How would the prophets ever grow? Go ask any pastor how he did his first five years as an ordained pastor. The pastor will probably laugh. He will then tell you the first five years where sketchy, but once they learned… they eventually found an even flow and become rooted and sustained within their ministry. Please tell me how a prophet is any different with regard to his expected office? They learn just like pastors do, and they grow just like pastors do. We have evidence from the bible that even the apostles learned and grew (Galatians 2:11-16… Acts 15:37-40 vs. 2 Timothy 4:11). How is this any different for the prophets?
To take this point in a different direction, God’s anointing doing all the work would actually destroy the Church’s relationship with God as well as their ability to be effective witnesses toward the world. If God’s Spirit were to fall with incredible anointing and all of God’s people were to be heavy in the Spirit then this would actually kill the Churches effectiveness toward the world. The Church body would then be useless… never learning how to use their God given gifts effectively for His Kingdom. We would be a drunken Body… God did not call us simply to anoint us; (remember Samson) he called us to be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). This conforming process involves wrestling within our gifts (Ephesians 4:7-13). An anointed people with manifestations won’t wrestle. Because of this truth, God will often withhold His anointing so that within our wrestling and chastening we will gain the fruits of the Spirit and be conformed into the image of His Son (Galatians 5:22-26, 1 Samuel 30:6, Romans 8:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). By exercising thus we will become established within Christ’s character. Only then will God effectively anoint us because at that point we will be a mature people who can be trusted with God’s anointing (Acts 9:31). A prophet’s place in all this is to be faithful within his office just like a pastor must be faithful within his office. It is not a prophet’s job to let the Church know he is a prophet… it is a prophets job to simply be a prophet by abiding in the revelation of the mystery of Christ faithfully. This takes us to the second point of this interpretation:
I want you to notice something as you read the faith chapter of the book of Hebrews. In all cases it was the action of faith that actually demonstrated the faith itself (James 2:14-26).
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent
sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God
testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should
not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before
his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please
him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved
with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he
condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go
out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed;
and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,
dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same
promise: For he looked for a city
which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received
strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age,
because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him
as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand
which is by the sea shore innumerable.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having
seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and
confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly
that they seek a country. And truly, if
they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might
have had opportunity to have returned.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore
God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a
city. By faith Abraham, when he was
tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered
up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be
called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead;
from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed
Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph;
and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he
died, made mention of the departing of the children of
This is how the prophet rises to meet the expectations required of him, faithful action. Even the apostle James bears witness to these things when he says faith without works is dead. James then goes on to mention Rahab and how she acted by hiding the spies. She didn’t merely have faith (Joshua 2:9-13)… her actions of hiding the spies demonstrated that faith (Joshua 2:6). If Rahab’s people caught her hiding the spy’s they would have killed her and her entire family. So Rahab obviously feared the God she heard about more than man. It was her action that God honored, not her faith… had Rahab never acted on that initial faith, then as far as God was concerned, there would not have been any faith. Faith is an action. Do you have faith God has called you as a prophet? Great… what are you doing about it? How are you living to show God you believe He has given you this office? Remember, you never have to impress anyone, just impress God and He will do what needs to be done in order to use you for his purposes (Matthew 6:6, 23:12, James 4:10).
I want to quickly point out another aspect of a prophet’s call in proportion to faith.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
A prophet is called to move in the faith distributed to him by the grace of God. Faith is not an opinion on the part of a prophet, it is his lifeblood. Do you see what the scripture says, “…let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;” It is impossible to abide in the revelation of the mystery of Christ without standing in great faith. It is simply impossible! When Stephen was used to buffet the Jews what do the scriptures say regarding him? They say he was full of faith and power (Acts 6:8). This faith opened up the door for the revelation of God to come through him powerfully. When a prophet is able to prophesy with great power it is because he is standing in great faith. There is no other element. A prophet’s power is his faith. A prophet has faith distributed to him by the Holy Spirit but it is how he chooses to abide in that faith that will determine the Holy Ghost’s empowerment inside of him. I have a nice closet with many articles of clothing… but if I don’t live in or wear the clothes then I won’t know them. Do you have a favorite shirt, or favorite pair of shorts you like to relax in? The only reason you know it is because you have made a choice to wear that article and now you are familiar with it. Prophets who abide in their faith also know and understand their faith. As a blessed consequence, they also know their God (Daniel 11:32). You could use the same example with a basketball. You might have received a basketball for Christmas three years ago, but if you throw it in the closet and never play with it, you won’t be much of a basketball player. Many Christians (including prophets) have faith they don’t live in. They say they have faith but they really threw that faith into the closet a long time ago (right after salvation) and never looked back. On the Day of Judgment, God is going to pull that faith out of the closet and shake the dust off and ask you how well you know it. If you don’t know it, it will be required of you. It’s a simple example… God has given us faith, but we still have our part to play. God gave Michael Jordan six extra inches and an incredible physical talent… but it is not God who sweats on the court for 60 minutes or who watches his diet. We absolutely have our part to play within the faith and gifts God has given us (Matthew 25:14-30), and more especially the prophet. So… back to the question. What are you doing in order to exercise your faith and gifts? For example, I am writing this interpretation. I am writing this interpretation with the intent that it will be part of a foundation God will use to edify, exhort and comfort the Body of Christ in the future. I write all my interpretations with the belief God will someday use them for His solemn purposes toward the Church. This is one way I am exercising my faith. This is one way I am showing God I believe in His calling on my life. I am being diligent in order to train myself regarding my faith, gifts and office. Because I have sought to faithfully train myself… By faith… I believe I am growing spiritually and finding favor with God (Matthew 6). Everyday I am trained by the Holy Ghost and it is because I am backing my belief that God has called me to this office and I am backing that belief By my actions. This is how a prophet rises to meet the expectations required of him, he rises in faithful action.
In this interpretation I have chosen not to expound on how a prophet will move in faith. I have simply demonstrated that a prophet must move. My purpose in this interpretation was to help the prophet understand that God has already empowered him with the faith and the gifts to abide in the revelation of the mystery of Christ. Once a prophet understands and believes this, then half the battle is already won. The basic problem now-a-days is that the prophets think it is God’s job to initiate everything… this is just not accurate. God did not give the prophets an office, gifts, faith and empowerment so He could come down here and do all the work. Jesus already did his work… and He has given us the keys (Matthew 16:19)… and we need to use them faithfully. As soon as a prophet truly believes this, he will become free to do the work of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
NOTE: I would like to add that many times ministers of Christ are called to wait and be found faithful. I am hoping the readers will use common sense when understanding the focus of this interpretation. Although I am faithfully abiding in the revelation of the mystery of Christ, working out its knowledge, applying that knowledge to my life and receiving wisdom and understanding regarding that knowledge, and even writing these interpretations and helping the people around me. I am still waiting for many things that can only come from God. These things will be unfolded in His time, and I must be faithful and just wait. In the above interpretation, I am stressing a prophet’s obedience regarding the things God has already placed into his hands. A prophet’s office (Acts 1:20, Romans 11:13, 12:4), gifts (Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:7-14), faith (Acts 6:8, Romans 12:6) and empowerment (Acts 6:8) are all ready at his disposal. A prophet will not be justified if he does not faithfully exercise himself in these areas as he waits upon God to establish his ministry. Before Stephan was stoned… he was waiting on tables and God was forming within him a servant’s heart. What are you doing?