THE JOB OF AN OFFICE PROPHET
by Pam Clark
There is a lot of confusion in the Body today on what constitutes an office prophet. Many think that just because one has the ability to prophesy that they are office prophets. That is not necessarily so.
I believe they all mean well, in desiring to bless the Body of Christ, and in authority there is power and deliverance, something we all crave in our desires to be delivered from the bondages of sin, death and captivity. How we do long for the freedom of serving God without persecution, mockery and struggles, and come into that place where maturity, growth and blessings come without facing a loss at the same time.
Many believe that we should just know "that is just the way it is," but the gift of discernment is lacking when good things are called evil and evil things are called good. We may face persecution but that does not mean persecution is good for us. I watched a television program tonight where Christians in Sudan had hands, arms, feet, legs and ears cut off because they were Christians. How can that be good? It's not!
The disciples in Acts rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ, but was the suffering right? No! But for them it was a willing sacrifice. And it's true that sometimes we must sacrifice unwillingly, and God can work through it.
But how we need discernment in these areas! For some it's a willing sacrifice, for others it may be forced giving and forced giving is never right when God wants us to have the heart of a cheerful giver.
Yes, the Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution and some may go looking for persecutions in their zeal to honor God. But what really seems to be lacking in the Kingdom of God on earth today is the standards of righteousness established, and this is where God's prophets come in.
What is a prophet? A prophet is one who has the ability to speak or sing or demonstrate an expression of God. In that sense, we all can be prophets. But there is the ministry leadership gift to the Church of the prophet, and these are they whose call and vocation is to serve God in the standard of holiness. These are they who will stand when all "the flow" is going against them. I heard Lou Engle say that anyone can prophesy, but a prophet embodies the Word in their life and actions.
These ministry leaders have a supernatural ability to demonstrate an authority of God with signs and wonders following. It may not always be a "wow" sign, but it will set forth a standard for Godly living that preserves. They will carry the fear of God with them in their demonstrations as an anointing, not as a flesh forced enforcement. The office prophets in this anointing set forth standards of righteousness, as declared in the Word of God.
So sadly right now we are hearing of many marriage failures and of other failures in the Body of Christ among its leadership. It breaks my heart and yours, too. Often people don't realize that they way they judge leadership will also come and visit them in the same or similar conflicts. If the Body fails their leaders, by not praying or supporting the leader in their need or God given vision, then when they need the support for their family or personal situation, it won't be there because the standard has fallen and the hedge was broken.
We can think it doesn't matter until we need God to come through for us, but our lack of agreement has broken down the strength that we needed when we become the targets. If you fail the leader, the leader may not be there for you!
We need to be wise in how we give and stand with people, and while it's good to cast your bread on many waters, we may not be right that we should give on every water. We need to pray and ask God, not for a feeling, but for a reasonable witness as to what we should do in many areas.
Leaders set the standards for the people. It just will always be that way. God Himself planted the seed of His leadership in His disciples to lead others, and the gift is transferred that same way, by implanting the Word of God and not just a fresh sprout out of the earth. The Source is Jesus, not a new thing or new doctrine or new way of living holy. God may have a new sound but it will still ring "Holiness unto the Lord!"
But the issue goes far beyond something like musical tastes. It goes to what makes for life, and causes it to be lived or not lived. When the quality of life deteriorates, life diminishes and is threatened and is even lost. Compromise in marriage and living can cause fruitfulness to not be available later in life, when you would so desire and long for it. It may cost you your grandchildren, your health, your income, or your relationships - that is a high price!
God does miracles but not at the expense of His character. He will redeem that which is seen to be redeemed, but He does not save or work miracles for those whose hearts are against Him. We need to know how God works and what He cares about! He will get the glory! And we need to know it through our personal relationship with Him and the understanding of order.
In both of these areas, we are not experts. None of us are, because God is increasing continually by His supernatural abilities. There is no dimension of God that man can say he has laid hold of and grasped in its completeness. God will just not be caught! If you can box up the stars in the sky, then you can box up God! It just can't be done.
Prophets don't know everything, but they are given the gift ability to hold the standard in the certain areas that make for life. And not even all prophets are the same or always right, but they work together by His anointing to hold fast the things that do make for life and peace in a world that has an enemy against that very thing.
The other five-fold ministries have their places as well, but a big part of the prophet's job is to declare the standards of God. It's one way of discerning if a person has the gift of prophecy (which has personal words for people about incidents in their lives) or the office call where they act governmentally. This true government facilitates life, not quenches it, by holding standards.
The true government of God does not look to encourage warfare among Body members and other leaders, but rather looks for ways to stop the enemy from those things that divide and conquer the workings together of the Body!
When it would seem easier to compromise here or there, a true called office prophet will speak up and exhort people not to compromise for the sake of the Lord's standard and blessing.
God does not hold prophets responsible for the outcome, unless they fail to give the exhortive word. If they give the word and people rebel against the word that brings witness with the Scriptures, the prophet is not to blame nor is the prophet held accountable, but in fact will mostly likely be redeemed out of that situation, while the others fall. Any pride in this area will result in loss for the prophet or the people to whom they are sent, perhaps even both!
The Holy Spirit, Jesus said, will convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. The anointed words of a prophet will do the same thing. There will be conviction as to what is right and what is wrong and the judgment there is to follow, good or bad, if things are or are not done right according to the counsel of Scriptures.
Just because a person saw Sister Susie or Brother Bob three days ago in a vision speaking to someone who would bring them an advantage does not necessarily qualify someone as carrying the office gifting of prophet. That might be a gift of prophesy at work, but is not necessarily an office of prophet.
But on the other hand, God expects all to be prophets when it comes to living right and knowing His Word and Commandments and holding the line or standard, but prophets especially in the Body are the ones who are given to help train and encourage that necessary functioning. All are prophets when it comes to being able to speak about God to someone who needs to hear and understand about the way He works. But the office will equip for the establishing of standards.
We all need that equipping and in this many-membered Body, God has divided the gifts severally (or individually) as He wills, to make it (us) function the way that He wants us to -- for our benefits in Him!
God does not play favorites - He is not a respector of persons. He has a standard, and lying about it is the work of the enemy. But God has overcome the enemy through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, who is the Living Word of God, made manifest in the flesh. That resurrection part is the best part and He saved the best for last!
Prophets will cause you not to forget the Cross and that death that was paid was for our lack of ability to keep the laws of God. Through the work of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit came through and was able to enable us to live the righteous and overcoming life in its proper fullness.
But if standards are broken, life is lost and we all will bear the penalty and loss. When ministers fail and phoney excuses are given, we all suffer. It is the job of the prophet to go in and minister to those needs through the gifts of the Spirit in His power and restore where at all possible.
But not just any prophet can minister just anything. There are many needs but God does not make one prophet responsible for every need. He has given assignments. It may not be my job, but another's to minister to you. But if you have not supported that person or God's work through prayer and faith in what God is doing, they may not be available by reason of your neglect! If you cry out in your need, God will make a way, even if it's not the way you thought it should be.
The five fold ministry CAN work together, while each does their own ministry and has their own individual outreaches. There are many missionary outreaches and apostolic works that can and are being supported and we reap through that. It should not be limited, but should expand to us and through us. Church should be that way. I think that is symbolic of where the Body is right now in many areas.
We are not to look to man but to God for the function of our gifts. We are not the example, God's Word is the pattern and the plan, and we are just working individually to come into place which has made for a corporate anointing and functioning in the demonstration of gifts and power.
We can have a great time, but still have so far to go! We look forward to what God has in His mind and His Plan. We haven't arrived and won't until the whole world is won for Jesus. It's not about what we do, but what He is doing through us if He can!
Prophets get visions of where the Body can go, but they are framed in the standards of God. The best job description of the ministry is still found in Ephesians 4:11-16:
That's a full job description! The different ministry offices and gifts may handle it different ways, but it all works to the same purpose. It doesn't matter what your gift or calling is, it may just be the gift of encouragment, prayer, giving or helps, but it is the doing of it or not doing of it, that will mean success or failure for all concerned.
You may have thought you were an office gift, when you really may be in training still or are a support gift to the ministry. Maybe you've jumped out too soon to find you are not in full order just yet. You will know you are in place when your gift fits for the benefit of all. Don't be discouraged, but press and learn and grow so that we all might overcome the enemy and be like Jesus who came and was manifested to destroy the works of the devil so we would have LIFE!
God bless you,