One of the most influential ministries in God’s kingdom is also the most misunderstood, the most misappropriated and the most uncomfortable. However it is among the charismata to be coveted if the church is to be consoled, edified and exhorted, 1 Corinthians 14:1-4. And yet, like most ministries appointed by the Lord Himself to function in the church (1 Cor. 12:28-30, Eph. 4:11-16, Romans 12:3-8), it has been replaced by the solo preaching act of the “senior pastor” and a staff of executives overseen by a board of directors or board of elders. This is not scriptural! It is not acceptable! It is not effective! Such worldly clerical appointments never have, nor will they ever produce lasting results in any country; especially among idol worshippers or Islamists.
There can be no true consoling, edifying, comforting in the Body of Christ if the ministries God Himself appointed within the church are resisted by men and women with power agendas or who fear to welcome God to be Himself in their midst. The world sees only the religion of men in such institutions and the power of God is, at best, limited among them.
From among Pentecostal believers to the most orthodox of the religious, prophets have been silenced. And yet, if ever there was a time in history for prophets to be heard it is now. The prophetic ministry (not preaching ministry as some advocate 1 Cor 14:4 means) must be allowed to function in the Body of Christ. The great thing about the prophet’s role is that they cannot deceive anyone, for if what they declare does not come to pass or has no substance of truth in it, they are exposed as frauds. Other ministry roles though can deceive believers and non-believers and there are so many elders, pastors, teachers, apostles, evangelists and psuedo-prophets out there who look good and sound good and are hard to distinguish from the real thing. This alone is one good reason why the prophet is needed today – to reveal the corrupt fruit so many fraudsters deceitfully bare.
When the church begins to recognize the God ordained role of the prophet once again, elders who are not spiritually qualified will be removed from their politically appointed offices, teachers who fail to exegete God’s word correctly will be stood down, preachers who tickle ears will find no one to preach to, and finally the clerical mindset will be removed. Only then shall all who come to assemblies where God’s truly appointed ministry roles are active, including that of the genuine prophet, will have the secrets of their hearts revealed and declare God is with the believers in that place, 1 Corinthians 14:25.
Why has the Body of Christ gone so far away from these simple principles? Why doesn’t it let God reveal those He has called to the various offices of ministry that He has designate in order to console, edify and comfort the Body of Christ while it waits for the marriage feast of the Lamb? The answer is FEAR in the first instance and the loss of humanistic POWER in the second. The fear I speak of is the fear of letting God be God in the lives of the assembled saints as they gather to surrender to God’s will in His ministry of reconcilation, 2 Cor. 5:17-6:2. The humanistic power I speak of exists in virtually every assembly of believers on the planet and is a hideous abomination that binds the saint and impedes the work of God’s Holy Spirit among them and the lost in the world, Acts 7:51-53.
Yet a simple solution exists. Just recognize the role of the genuine prophet again and allow God to speak when He wants to once more to assemblies through those whom He appoints to this role and God's kingdom will be as it is supposed to be in this present world, 1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:26-33.
Bob Chapman MA