Do we really need prophets today? The way God works through people is different than it was in the Old Testament days. God works in this age through the Church, so do we really need prophets today? This very question was address by Sonie Wong, a person who flows in the office of the prophet. She explained on Facebook the purpose of the prophet today in the following post.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
--Goals of a Prophet--
What should prophets be producing in the church?
Why do we need prophets today since we all can hear from the Lord for ourselves through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
Jesus knew His church needed leadership and He gave "gifts" to men according to Ephesians 4:11-16. The New Testament prophet was born that was different than the Old Testament. A new mandate was given. In the OT, the prophets were constantly preaching about turning people back to God. In the NT, every believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and so they have the Lord dwelling in them. It is not a cry to turn the church back to God. It is a cry for God's people to have intimacy with Him. Paul's Prayer for the Ephesians was:
…17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.…
In summary, the goals of the prophets are:
#1- TO MATURE THE SAINTS (1corinthians chapter 13)
When Paul and the other apostles spoke to the churches in His days in the epistles, they were laying down a new foundation and they were coming from the Apostolic oversight. What was the main theme that kept coming up when they would correct the churches or made mention of their progress? They were looking for the fruits of faith, hope and love manifested in the people. They would say something like, "I thank the Lord for your faith in Jesus Christ, and how much you love the saints. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God and perseverance produces hope." There are so many scriptures throughout NT. on faith, hope and love. These are the character marks for true maturity.
#2- TO BRING GOD'S PEOPLE TO FULL KNOWLEDGE OF HIM
Prophets reveal the face to face relationship with Jesus and help God's people experience that intimately.
We are the inheritance of Jesus and He died to give us this love and He desires that His holy people, purchased by the blood, experience this hope and love that comes from Him. He is the bridegroom jealous for His bride. Perfect love cast out all fears and condemnation has no place in the intimacy. Christ have paid the price for sin and His people shall live in victory and hope, not in condemnation or fear. Prophets are sensitive to the things of the spirit and therefore they intimately know the heart of Jesus for His people. Since they flow strongly in revelation gifts such as word of knowledge, gift of prophesy, gift of discerning of spirit and they introduce the supernatural realm to the people of God that the people are drawn to them for these reasons. But this has created an imbalance because emphasis and focus are only in limited goals. So the people only demanded and wanted prophesy and a word. It is the responsibility of the prophet to teach the people how to receive from them and not allow the people to only utilize them in only limited capacity say for example, just flowing in prophesy alone. Prophecy is good and do not despise prophecy and is needed but there has be balance of other responsibilities added. The same problems exist for evangelist as well. They are mostly only known for salvation, saving the lost and planting megachurches. The five-fold ministry leaders are created for much more than these limitations.
#3- TO PREPARE GOD'S PEOPLE FOR MINISTRY CALLING
Prophets can identify the calling and gifting of the people of God. It is a revelation knowledge from the Lord and even if someone does not function in that gifting yet, they can impart the gifts. They help everybody in the body to find their place. Every believer has a purpose in the Kingdom and each one should know how they fit and where they fit by identifying their calling and gifting. They help identify the body ministry leaders and five-fold ministry leaders.
They will release people into training and to also train the leaders up, release people into ministry by laying on of hands and decree. They also are used to place the five-fold ministers in office when people qualify. This requires that the prophet understand all of the five-fold ministry leadership, their roles and functions. They have to be well acquainted with them to know how to train someone up into leadership and to know when training is done and place the people in office. Not all prophets are called to this level of capacity but the more matured prophets you will see them become trainers of leaders. They have to know these leaderships in order to work in unity with them and function in team capacity. True prophets are not lone rangers like in the Old Testament. Prophets in the New Testament work closely with the apostle to establish the foundation that God gives the apostle and then they work with teachers, evangelists and pastors. There is unity and a teamwork flow.
As you can see, a prophet in office is a leader and a "gift" to the church. They can flow in all the gifting as the Holy Spirit wills. Their ministry will look different from each other but the goals above remains the same despite the different mode of operations. The results should be the same. So as you can see, it is not just giving a good word to someone or counseling them. Whatever the methods to reach people, it is to bring results to the goals above.
Do not be discourage if you are the prophet who is not functioning in full capacity. You can increase and fulfill your role as you keep growing and maturing. God bless you.
Johnny Holland's Comments on Facebook:
The spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 1Corinthinans 14:32
This is so there is a balance in the body of Christ as to what truth is and what is not.
God doesn't tell every prophet concerning everything that is going on in the world. He gives revelation to each prophet as it relates to that prophet's spiritual anointing. Each prophet is given a specific job to do inside their anointing as a prophet. God only reveals things to them inside their specific job needs.
However, the prophet's spirit is quicken to know if what another prophet is sharing is truth, or hyper-emotion based on truth, or what that person has built up in their own heart, missing the truths God is wanting revealed.