DID GOD INTEND
THAT THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY
God never intended for the office of prophet to cease.
"And He gave some...prophets..."
When Jesus described John the Baptist as the greatest of all the prophets of the past, He said that all the saints were to be greater than John had been.
"Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
Moses had prayed many years before:
"Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!"
The Lord has answered that prayer of Moses, and poured out His Spirit in this church age upon all who will ask. Then the Lord has commanded that we are to greatly desire and seek the gift and office of prophet.
I Corinthians 14:39
"...covet to prophesy..."
I Corinthians 14:1
"...desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy..."
Many interpret these verses on "prophesying" to refer to short "thus saith the Lord"- type messages in a worship service. I am sure these verses do, in part, refer to that. However, that is only a small part of the larger gift and office of prophet. Often the prophets of the Old Testament stood and gave longer "thus saith the Lord" messages. The prophets were confronters of sin, and defenders of victims of sinners. They stood up to kings, to false prophets, to deceived religious people, and to blatant sinners. They spoke for God, and issued His pronouncements against sin, and gave His warnings of judgment. This type of ministry is vital for today. In these last days before God's wrath is outpoured on the church, and then the world -- the office of prophet must be expanded. As it was just before the fall of Judah to Babylon, many prophets came on the scene with God's warnings and pronouncements. In the same way, just before God's wrath is outpoured in these last days, an expanded ministry of prophets must come.
Prophets are those who speak for God. They are to be primarily preachers of righteousness. Sometimes they are given prophetic events to foretell. Without any further revelation of future events, the prophecies already revealed in the Bible give us much foretelling prophecy to reveal to the world. Thus, it is an important office. It is vital to these last days. We, as prophets, have a tremendous job to fulfil. We need to accept the office of prophet, and seek the gift of prophecy. We must have the outpouring of the Spirit on our lives as we go out onto the harvest fields to reap the final harvest before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many of the past had the gift of prophet. We notice only a few outstanding ones usually. Yet, Samuel had gathered a company of young men. He trained this school of prophets, and they worshiped God and prophesied. The Lord had Elijah and Elisha train schools of young prophets also. Isaiah had a group of disciples. On the day of Pentecost, multitudes of men and women received the power of the Holy Spirit and prophesied (Acts 13:1, 21:9-10).
Since most prophets have written no books and are unnamed in the Bible, many have thought that the office of prophet is a rare gift. It is not rare. Many of the prophets in our day have been intimidated to possess their gift in secret. They fear to speak of the gift and office, that deep within, they know God has given them.
The multitudes of prophets of today are somewhat confused by a great misconception that they would be presumptuous to ask for this ministry. Yet, we have been commanded to seek this gift and office more than any other gift or office. God has put His call upon many for this office, and they are greatly unaware of the office, its meaning, its responsibility, and its characteristics. The devil delights in the misconceptions and illusions that he has perpetrated upon Christianity. He has blinded many to the great calling of God. The ones who realize that they have a call and a gift of a prophet are often untaught in the ministry they have been given.
Remember that the prophets of the Bible were chosen of the Lord. Not one wanted the job. Jonah wanted to go anywhere other than Nineveh. Moses tried to talk God out of his calling. Jeremiah was very reluctant. God overruled their objections, their sense of insufficiency, and their feelings of weakness.
Perhaps God chose them because of their distrust of self. That trait alone, found in all God's true prophets, makes a prophet more able to step out on God's Word, and act in obedience to God alone. This study will show the Bible's teaching on the office of a prophet. Without doubt, one will become more reluctant about accepting a prophetic ministry, as this study is absorbed. Yet, it will also reveal God's great desire for us to assume the heavy responsibility of a prophetic ministry. Hopefully, in the end, people will obediently "covet" this ministry - even though they feel an even greater reluctance than before.
Of the twelve disciples, Jesus said:
"Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you."
Later, the Holy Spirit said:
"Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."
The office of prophet is a calling. God knows that the prophet is going to face great trials. Therefore, in these last days, when even the "least in the kingdom of heaven" is to be a greater prophet than John the Baptist, the Lord has given the Holy Spirit to all who ask. This Spirit will immerse each saint with the dynamic power and authority that is needed for the office.
"...your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions..."
Joel 2 is a last day prophecy, and we should be more expectant of dreams, visions, and other revelations from God to aid in the prophetic ministry. We should become more educated in prophetic manifestations. This book will explain much that the last day prophets need to learn from Jeremiah, who was a God-given example of a last day prophetic minister.