The prophetic is the only one of the 5 offices that has a long and scripturally detailed history reaching back into the early origins of the Old Testament and God’s people, Israel. Understanding the historic origins of the prophet helps us understand how we are to operate in this ministry today.
There is a vast difference between one who stands in the office and one who prophesies in the moment. When God gives someone a word for the moment, the person is not responsible post the delivery of the word to stand in the office but a true prophet is called to wear a mantle that cannot be removed.
The word prophet comes from the Hebrew word nabi meaning ‘speaker’, one whose mouth has been touched to speak for God. Some think that a prophet is one who only foretells the future or speaks of things only God could know.The truth is, when prophets are called to speak, it is about anything God wants to address, the past, present or future, revealing things hidden or merely speaking of what is mundane and well-known.
The word ‘prophet’ was first mentioned in Genesis 20:6-7, describing Abraham as a prophet, in the context of healing. After Abraham we see the prophetic office established in Moses ministry, as the purpose of prophets was revealed: to listen to God for the people.
Today, it is still the same. God wants to have fellowship with his children and he wants us to listen to him. But some will not and others seemingly find it very difficult to hear God and this is where prophets are needed, because in God’s wisdom he speaks to his prophets on issues that he does not reveal and discuss with every one of his people. Until that time in the future when the perfect one comes and all will know him, from the least to the greatest, prophets and their office are necessary.
Don’t despise the Lord’s servants, the Prophets and their prophetic utterances but hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches.