Read: Exodus 20:1-19 and Deuteronomy 18: 15-22 

The Office of Prophets was instituted by God in response to the actions of the Children of Israel at the giving of the law. Because the children of Israel refused to hear the voice of the Lord but would only hear the words of men God raised up Prophets from among His people. 


Read: Joel 2:28-32 

The gift was promised to the Church as an on going ministry in the New Testament. 

Read: Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, and Ephesians 4:11 

Prophets and Prophecy is the only gift to be mentioned in every list of gifts in the New Testament. Note that Paul also places an importance upon the gift's operation within the Church. 


The enduring purpose of the Prophetic Ministry appears to be to act as God's Spokesman in all ages. 

Note what Deuteronomy 18:18 says. "I will raise up from among them a Prophet and will put My words in his mouth and he shall speak to them all that I command him (says the Lord)". 


The function of the Prophet within the Church appears to be: 

  1. To build up the Church in Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 14:3-4,22).
  2. To lay open the secrets of the hearts of men (1 Corinthians 14:25)
  3. To convict and "Judge" unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:24)
  4. To verify the Word of the Lord to both the Church and to individuals (1 Corinthians 14:29,37).
  5. To be an instrument of on-going revelation to the Body (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 2:20, Ephesians 3:5)
  6. To bring warnings from God and to foreshadow His actions in the Church (Amos 3:7, Acts 11:27-30, Acts 21:11)
  7. To call other ministries and confirm their appointment from the Lord (Acts 13:1-3).
  8. To give on-going direction to other ministries as the Lord sees fit (Acts 16:6, Acts 20:23, 1 Timothy 1:18)


There are four basic controls over the operation of Prophet's Ministry within the Church as outlined in the Word. 

  1. The Lord Himself (Deuteronomy 18:22, Ephesians 1:22) 
  2. Other Ministries (Hebrews 13:7) .  Note: It should be noted that Pastors and Elders are also subject to the Prophetic Ministry as well because they should be subject to the Word of God which came by the mouth of the Prophets (2 Peter 1:19-21). 
  3. Other Prophets (1 Corinthians 14:29,32). 
  4. The Body as a whole (Ephesians 5:21). 


There seems to be three basic limitations on the operation of the gift and ministry of prophets. 

  1. Faith (Romans 12:6). 
  2. Our Love for each other (1 Corinthians 13:2). 
  3. The realisation that we as Prophets do not know everything and therefore can not prophecy everything (1 Corinthians 13:9). 
Some examples of the ministry of Prophets in the New Testament are: 
Acts 11:27-28, Acts 13:1, Acts 15:32, Acts 21:10-11. 

Some of the instances when it may be implied that a Word was brought by the ministry of a Prophet and acted upon by some other ministry are: 
Acts 16:6, Acts 20:23, Acts 21:4, 1 Timothy 4:1. 

The Prophet holds a very important part in the Body, and requires refining to fully  develop. 
The Prophet must be in tune with the Spirit of God. Humility is vital for there to be a pure flow of the living waters of the Spirit. The Prophet will be a broken man. He will have to walk alone with God. He will be often misunderstood. He will be tried and proven before he can be used by the Lord as He desires. The Prophet will be a man "acquainted with sorrow" because he will be walking with the Lord. 

The office of Prophet requires a man who has been totally burned up by the Holy Spirit, yet not consumed. He will be like the burning bush seen by Moses in the wilderness. 
The  Prophet also  has an endowment  of  authority  from  the  Lord, expressing in the Body the Divine Holiness of the Lord himself. 

The Prophet is using the same "Word of God"  which created the  world in the beginning (Genesis Chapter  1).  So the Lord can create something new through  the Word spoken by a Prophet. 
For example the  Prophet confirms the "call" to ministry (1  Sam 10:1; Acts 13:1-3) as the Lord works out his purpose in a believer's life. The prophet is a channel for the Lord to  actively create his purpose in a place through the power of his Word.  "The Lord does nothing without  first   telling   his   servants  the prophets" (Amos 3:7). The  Prophet  also   gives  direction  and rebuke to  individuals within the  Body (2 Samuel 12:1-12). 

The ultimate Prophet is Jesus who is the "Word of God, made flesh and dwelling among us" (John 1:14). The purpose of the Prophetic office is to express within the Body of Christ the "Divine Word in the flesh". 

Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.
Last modified: 18 - Sept - 1998.
Copyright © 1998, Graham Brodie.

Maintainer: Graham Brodie, Email