1 Corinthians 12:27-31- “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.” NASU
Ephesians 4:11-16 – “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” NASU
I personally cannot fathom life, in any dimension in which there was the absence of the direction of the Lord. That life would not be effective or effectual. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament continually referred to the Great Body of Believers as “The Body of Christ” and thereby identified particular functions for each of the many members or organs within that body (as in the human body). Jesus established and identified a plan to function through His Body (made up of multitudes of believers) in numerous passages, the two above or just examples.
We have A LIFE and that LIFE involves the spiritual, mental, physical, relational, political, and practical. We are not cats we do not have “nine lives” nor “compartmentalized lives” we have A LIFE! It is the sum total of what we are and who we are. It is the expression of our relationship with Him and the world around us. He is the basis, the foundation, and the guide for all our decisions, moral foundation, political ideology, and spiritual relationship. To assume anything else flies in the face of Scripture.
Not to address every individual gift ministry in this short devotion but suffice it to say that His purpose in giving those gifts, functions, and/or ministries was to “equip”, “train”, “unify”, and “mature” the Church to become a fully functional manifestation of Him in this present world. These gifts/ministries were to last UNTIL we all come to the UNITY OF THE FAITH. Since it is quite clear we are not there, then one can conclude without fear of contradiction that they are valid today. Are there abuses? Of course! Are there misunderstanding and misinterpretations of their role, authority, and function? Of course! Does that invalidate them? Absolutely not!
The ministry of the New Testament Prophet is one largely of being a confirming or correcting voice. The prophet is not the rudder of the Ship of Zion, Jesus and His Word are. He/She are not the psychic to eliminate the need to seek God’s face for ourselves they are directional – pointing us to Him who is our foundation. The prophet “warns” us when we are making wrong decisions. He/she “encourages” us when we are under stress and duress and need to be encouraged to stay the course. Likewise, this ministry/function is vital to keep us on course identifying spirits at work, help develop plans of action and empower the Church to “fight the good fight of faith” with foreknowledge and even revelation. He is called a “seer” in the Old Testament for good reason – – He/she “SEES” into the Realm of the Spirit and comprehends things that the human mind misses or ignores. We need the Prophet today and the prophet must be held accountable to the strict guidelines and parameters of Scripture. He/she MUST be men/women of impeccable integrity. They do not speak of their own but declare the very Words of the Lord to the situation, at the time, for the purpose at hand.
I have no idea why anyone would desire that be eliminated from daily life, the church body as a whole and the oversight of the nation? We need to hear God in every aspect and dimension of life not as a State Run or State Controlled Religion but as a fresh unrestricted expression of the mind of God I all matters. The “true prophet’s” ministry is often a lonely one and often he is the source of ridicule and scorn but to dares declare “thus says the Lord” and places himself directly between God and man and face the most severe consequences of God if spoken out of personal bias, prejudice, doctrinal interpretation, or preference rather than the actual speaking of God to that situation. A history of accuracy lends authenticity to the voice of the prophet and will demonstrate a growing humility in the speaker, knowing that God has spoken through them not because they were special but because they were a willing vessel and obedient to Him.
EVERYTHING is to be “tested” through the Word of God! EVERYTHING! When confirmed it is the Word of God for the moment it is to be heeded implicitly with gladness as well as “fear and trembling”. We need each member, gift, function, and ministry as we need EVERY ORGAN in the natural body to function to perfection as is God’s expressed desire for His Church! Treasure the gifts and allow God to cultivate them and demonstrate them in your lives and local congregations.
May God bless you as you reach an even higher plane in the Kingdom in your pursuit of excellence in the Spirit!