Spirits, gifts and offices

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”2375″ img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]I need to sort out a few things about prophecy before we go on.

There are four elements of the prophetic.

The spirit of prophecy

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy[1] and is inherent in all Christ-followers. In addition, many are enabled to speak prophetically, beyond words of wisdom and knowledge. God has also called a few Christ-followers to the prophetic office which, along with the apostolic office, serve as “the foundation” of his household, with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone.[2]

What about Luke’s statement in the book of Acts that seems to indicate that everyone can prophesy?

The gift of prophecy

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.[3]

God is pouring out his Spirit on all people. But the Holy Spirit manifests differently with each. Some, not all, will prophesy, some will see visions and some will dream dreams.

God’s marvelous grace imparts to each one of us varying gifts and ministries that are uniquely ours. So if God has given you the grace-gift of prophecy, you must activate your gift by using the proportion of faith you have to prophesy.[4]

The same uniqueness holds true for all the other grace-gifts, including serving, teaching, meeting needs, leadership and compassion.

Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth includes another verse that some take out of context and cite as evidence that every Christ-follower should be able to prophesy. This has cause a great deal of confusion and hurt to those who have been given other supernatural gifts.

For you can all prophesy in turn and in an environment where all present can be instructed, encouraged, and strengthened.[5]

But Paul was instructing those who had received the grace-gift of prophecy. He was not speaking to everyone.

The prophetic ministry

Moving on to the prophetic ministry, T. Austin Sparks described it as “the ministry of spiritual interpretation.” It’s function, he said, is “to hold things to the full thought of God, and therefore it is usually a reactionary thing. We usually find that the prophets arose as a reaction from God to the course and drift of things amongst His people; a call back, a re-declaration, a re-pronouncement of God’s mind, a bringing into clear view again of the thoughts of God.”[6]

The office of the prophet

The prophetic office, on the other hand, is pretty much all of the above, in addition to what I described in the “What is a prophet” blog.

As we continue, I will share much more about both the prophetic gift and the prophetic office, as well as what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me concerning the new era that is just beginning.

~ Photograph by Sharon McCutcheon


[1] Revelation 19:10.

[2] Ephesians 2:19-20.

[3] Acts 2:17-18.

[4] Romans 12:6.

[5] 1 Corinthians 14:31.

[6] Sparks, T. Austin (1888-1971), Prophetic Ministry: A Classic Study of the Nature of a Prophet, 1954, p. 2, 3.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]