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Understanding the Prophetic Ministry

Prophecy is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to tell people what God's Spirit is saying to them.  It is God's way of speaking through His servants the Prophets, "Nabiy" according to the Hebrew language, and "Prophetes" in the Greek language, as His spokesmen in the earth, to share with people things that will happen in the future as well as to bring repentance from past sins in order to return unto God for His purposes to prevail in their lives.
 
There are over 227 references concerning "prophets and prophetess" in the Bible with approximately 38 references to the ministry of "prophets" in the masculine form, with 6 references to the term "prophetess" and their ministries in the feminine form.  (Note: The 227 references mentioned in the Old and New Testaments are located within the various illustrations and real life stories of these servants of God, such as Joseph, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Nathan, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, John the Baptist, Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah, Anna, and the daughters of Phillip, just to name a few.)
 
While prophets are seen throughout the Old Testament, today the ministry office of the prophet as referred to in Ephesians 4:11, is still relevant and will often accompany the Apostolic ministry in order to provide balance within the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a governmental ministry office that releases the inspiration of God in such a way that brings encouragement, correction and anointed instruction to the people with the purpose of causing righteous fruit to be manifested in their lives.
 
"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers." (NKJV)
 
Prophecy, however, doesn't operate in the church only. It is also a Kingdom ministry, which means that those who are called to the office of the prophet may also minister to nations, leaders of nations, kings, presidents, and prime ministers alike.  The influence of a true prophet, one who is seasoned and mature through the process of submission to divine order, spiritual covering, and observation is different from the "gift of prophecy" in that it is one of the five "gifts" spoken of in Ephesians 4:11.  The office of a prophet is one which serves to build up, equip and mature the people of God, through sound doctrine, to carry out the purposes of God for the church.  In essence a prophet holds people accountable by the Word of God, and also speaks into their destiny by the same word, as guided by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
 
The "gift of prophecy" as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14:1-3; Joel 2:28; and Acts 2:17, ministers edification, exhortation and comfort to
others, but is not a governmental ministry office as seen in Ephesians 4:11.  Whenever individuals operate in the gift of prophecy they are allowing the river of "living water" or unction of the Holy Spirit to flow out of their inner man into the church bringing encouragement, hope, and comfort.  Anyone can actually prophecy in the church in accordance with the gift of prophecy, but it must be submitted, tested, permitted and overseen by the senior leaders of the ministry.  While we encourage prophesying it is important to remember that all ministry gifts should start at home first, and the individuals character and lifestyle should reflect the image of God.
 
During my interview with Dr. Beatrice Redmond, we discussed the subject of prophecy and how to nurture it.  In doing so, she encouraged the audience to embrace prophecy by nurturing the gift at home with your children as a family, and develop the gift further by journaling what you believe God is speaking to you.  Journaling will allow you to recognize the distinction between your personal thoughts in contrast to what God is actually speaking.  When journaling it is important to date each time you receive a word and when it is fulfilled.  This will allow you to develop recognition of divine timing.  I have personally accumulated journals for nearly thirty years. The most notable thing I have observed and discovered about journaling is that the vast majority of the prophecies I've received are not from my own intellect, but are of a divine origin and have come to pass.  On a personal level, there are many times when I have received prophecies and held them until the time when the Lord released me to share them with the person or group of individuals intended with praiseworthy results.
 
Now, in order to avoid confusion and prevent abuses and misuses from taking place it is important to remember that "the spirits of the prophets  are subject to the prophets.  For God is not the author of confusion." (1 Corinthians 14:32, 33a)  We must also understand that all true prophecy will be in alignment with the Word of God, and will never contradict it.  If someone were to tell you to commit sin, I believe you should be knowledgeable of Scripture enough to recognize that this constitutes a false prophecy, and should be ignored.  However, it is also just as important to qualify that not all prophetic utterance is false.  There may be instances when the individual sharing the prophecy is not mature enough and doesn't understand proper timing, and shares a word prematurely.  It is for this reason that all prophecy and those desiring to prophecy should always be submitted and accountable to spiritual coverings and mentors to help judge (monitor), train, instruct and activate those who believe God has given them a particular gift to release to others.  It is much better to be in alignment than to suffer undue and needless reproach or do harm to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
"And we have also a more sure word of prophecy; Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation."  (2 Peter 1:19-20)
 
When the Holy Spirit inspires a person to speak it will always be consistent and in alignment with the Scripture.  So, while everyone is not called to the office of a prophet, everyone can decree the word of God and get results because He will always endorse His Word. 
 
Finally, prayer and worship are major keys to cultivating and releasing the prophetic anointing.  Communion with God cultivated through prayer trains and tunes a person's ear spiritually to recognize and hear the voice of the Father, while worship creates an atmosphere that releases His presence in such a special way making it easier to both hear and speak what the individual has heard God speak to them.  Anointed atmospheres and prayer should be cultivated and encouraged in churches and homes.  It is out of this that relationship with God is developed, and the fruit (character of Christ) is developed above all forms of ministry, because the main qualifier of all ministry is Christ like character first, then comes the gifts and offices.  You should never export what is not working at home first, but put the emphasis on serving God in secret before public ministry.  Then God will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:4)
 
"Thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly."
KJV Holy Bible
 
I hope that you've gleaned insight from the subject of understanding the prophetic that will enable and allow you to embrace it as a genuine gift to the world and lives of God people for today.  I also want to encourage you to share your comments regarding this subject and share our blog with your friends. Please note:  This is not an exhaustive study on the gift of prophecy or the prophetic office, and is not intended to encourage anyone to operate in any ministry or church without prior approval by the leaders of that particular organization.  What we encourage is to submit your gift and abilities to your leader(s) and allow them to confirm the authenticity of the gift so that everyone can benefit from it. "All things must be done decently and in order." (1 Corinthians 14:40)  God bless you.
 
I would like to encourage everyone to visit the MPLI Radio Network page, and listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of my interview with Dr. Beatrice Redmond.  I am confident that it will be a tremendous blessing to you.
 
 

40 Comments to Understanding the Prophetic Ministry:

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Toiya Moffatt on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 11:12 PM
Thank you so much Apostle Beth for the focus on the "prophetic"in this week's blog. I have gleamed and thoroughly enjoyed the insight you have shared both through this blog and the radio broadcast with special guest Dr.Beatrice Redmond. I appreciate the fact of you taking the time to distinguish to us the audience, the difference between the gift of prophecy and the office of the prophet, allowing one to see clearly that prophecy itself as a gift is something that all of us as believers have the option to flow in, within the confines of God's laws and spiritual principles of course. The "Office" of a prophet on the other hand holds a heavier and costly weight because of where and how one is used, which is why one must wait to be first appointed by God and then recognized by spiritual leaders. The emphasis on how to cultivate the gift of prophesy was also especially important as you pointed out the keys to do this was through prayer and worship before God so that you develop an ear for his voice. Lastly I wish to comment on an area you covered pertaining to operating in the gift of prophecy within the home first and how to cultivate it within our children, it really gave clarity in that our families are a form of ministry and as we build it we are building the body of Christ, the church. God bless you.
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Dr. Bethtina Williams on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 11:42 PM
Hello Toiya, Thank you for sharing how the blog benefitted you and has served to deepen your understanding of the prophetic ministry. I am glad to know that a difference is being made not only in your life, but also in the lives of others via the community blog. Optimum Blessings!


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Nikki Godbolt on Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:40 PM
The Prophetic Ministry is a beautiful and powerful ministry to me! Its amazing to me when I see how God uses his Prophets and Prophetess to speak on word that totally liberates the life of an individual! How one spoken prophetic word can totally shift the course of an individuals life or even change the course of a nation! But I believe that it is also a ministry of great responsibility, because of the one that you are speaking in behalf of! Because God said in his word,"Woe, to those who say I said and I never said! I believe that it's not an office or an gift to take lightly, but when used correctly, can greatly impact the lives of mankind for the sake of the Kingdom! Thanks Apostle, Love ya and Kingdom Blessings!
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Dr Bethtina Williams on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 2:10 PM
Nikki, Thank you for sharing your response with us on the community blog. The responsibility of the prophetic office is extremely important in carrying out the purposes of God in the world and in the lives of His people. It opens the door and releases the power of God's word that causes lives to be transformed, nations to receive direction and the Kingdom of God to be advanced in the earth realm. What's even more important to understand is whenever an individual says they are speaking on behalf of the Lord God, it had better be Him that told them to do so. Otherwise, the person is speaking falsely, and the message should be dismissed so as not to follow after error. However, when a true word is spoken, it can be extremely beneficial to the individual or group of people receiving it and can help prepare and position them for a better future if it is heeded and obeyed. Optimum Blessings!!


laquitaharmon on Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:06 AM
Listening to the broadcast on thursday was awesome. What I got out of the message was that just because you may feel like God can use you, he can when you open yourself up to the Lord and go after Him, He will use you in ways you never thought and doors you thought were closed will be open and doors you never thought about will be open to you. Never think you not good enough or insignificant cause it doesnt matter to God how you look He will use you as long as you make yourself available to Him and love on Him. Big or small God can and will use you.
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 1:47 PM
Amen, Laquita, I'm glad that you understand how important you are to God. There is no respect of persons in Him, and God will use you if you believe and allow Him to. Keep believing, keep seeking and aiming after the fullness of God's will in your life prophetically. It shall come to pass as you seek Him and obey His voice.


Marsha Wilson on Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:54 AM
The subject of prophecy and/or the prophetic ministry has often been misunderstood. Many times people have received a legitimate word from God to share with an individual or a group and after doing so automatically began to assume that they are a prophet, and they very well may be. As with any gift, calling, or ministry office, it takes time to learn, cultivate, and grow. It's vital that we understand the difference between someone who is a prophet and the gift of prophecy, that is why the teaching in this blog and the 2 part interview with Dr. Beatrice Redmond is important and very much needed. Thank you Apostle, Dr. Bethtina Williams and Dr. Beatrice Redmond. Optimum blessing!
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Apostle Bethtina Williams on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 2:22 PM
Hello Marsha, It is important to understand the difference between the gift of prophecy and the office of the prophet. What is just as important to understand is the process of developing and maturing in the prophetc for each vein of ministry in this awesome area. Journaling, submission to God and leadership, as well as godly character and intigrity are all especially important as prerequisites to operating in the prophetic anointing. The person desiring to function within the propetic must be willing to be observed, tested and proven, and their ministry authenticated by other mature leaders. Adherence to this process helps to illiminate erroneous doctrines, false teaching and needless mistakes that can be damaging to people's lives. On the otherhand, it can be quite beneficial in almost guarantying that the person speaking prophetically is mature and is speaking by the Spirit of God authentically, which can be relied upon and taken to heart. God bless you.


TrACIE FIELDS on Thursday, June 21, 2012 9:04 PM
Thank you for taking the time to explain the gift of prophecy and the office of a prophecy to us. Both the gift and the office can be misunderstood . As Sis. Marsha stated just because we have been given a word from God to speak to over someone does not automatically qualify one as a prophet. The best information given here in this blog is to submit what you believe you’ve been given by God to your leaders who are able to guide and nurture the gift . And as Sis Laquita stated be a willing vessel and opening ourselves up to God allows God to use us to reach his people.
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Dr. Bethtina Williams on Friday, June 22, 2012 1:19 PM
Tracie, thank you for contributing to the community blog. It is a joy to see that you have gained a better understanding of the ministry of the prophet office in contrast to the gift of prophecy. Prophecy is a blessing to the body of Christ and anyone or group of people to whom the Lord desires to speak. It provides clarity and direction for the future, all based upon the principles of God's word. Optimum Blessings!!


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