Present Day Apostolic and Prophetic Ministry 1
(week 01, 2002)
Firstly, we want to wish you all a victorious and prosperous new year in which you will truly experience being triumphant in all things.
You will experience in this New Year your captivity in different areas of your life becoming liberty and a restoring of your fortunes by the sure mercies of David, through habitual practice of obedience and swift repentance when you fall short of the mark.
In these first articles we want to examine present day apostolic and prophetic ministry because it is on the foundation of the apostles and prophets that the church is built (Eph.2: 20)
Also prophetically this year 2002 is the year in which we will experience the dawning of this third day or day of the Lord and the manifestation of the first of the first fruits of the sons of God who will manifest the same character, wisdom, power and glory of God that Christ himself manifested when He was on earth.
To experience this the Christian must understand, appreciate and submit to, and thus receive impartation from present day apostolic and prophetic ministry, hence these articles at the very beginning of this year.
The Prophetic Ministry
All the ministry gifts or offices of Jesus Christ: apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists, preach, teach and heal.
Matthew 9:35 (KJV) And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
The ministry gifts only differ in what they preach and teach and how much they either preach or teach. Some offices like the teacher teach more than preach, while the evangelist and pastor preach more than teach.
Now the prophetic ministry preaches and teaches about the timing of God’s purposes for the church and what the church, individually and collectively: locally or universally, should do at a particular time and season of God’s purposes. So the sons of Issachar typify the prophetic ministry:
1 Chronicles 12:32 (KJV) And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
This is confirmed in the prophetic ministry of Daniel who had understanding of the times of God’s purposes for Israel through the scriptures by the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1:17):
Daniel 9:2 (KJV) In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Daniel 2:20-21 (KJV) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
So, the prophet preaches and teaches to inspire the church individually, locally and universally, as to what is the mind and purpose of God for a particular time and season. This prophetic preaching and teaching imparts to the saints revelation knowledge of God’s mind and purpose for specific times and seasons either present, immediate or in the remote future, inspiring the saints to want to fulfill that revealed purpose of God and so increase and prosper in the Kingdom of God:
2 Chronicles 20:20 (KJV) And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
The prophetic ministry brings forth a word of knowledge of God’s mind and will concerning his purposes for specific times and seasons either present or future.
This word of knowledge can come through 3 avenues:
Preaching and teaching by the spirit of revelation (Eph. 1:17). This is the primary avenue through which the word of knowledge in the prophet ministry comes. For example the word of knowledge that Christ would be born by a virgin came through the avenue of Isaiah’s preaching and teaching:
Isaiah 7:13-14 (KJV) And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Notice here that Isaiah was not prophesying but rather rebuking Ahaz for his unbelief of a prophetic utterance Isaiah had just given. As he brings a word of rebuke in prophetic preaching a word of knowledge comes with it: a virgin would conceive.
Prophetic utterance by gift of prophecy or tongues and interpretation.
Discernings of spirits usually through visions and dreams.
The saints are not to be led by prophets but by the Holy Spirit. However prophets are necessary to give confirmation, clarification and amplification to the witness of the Spirit the saints already have in their hearts, particularly as it concerns the timing of God’s purposes for our lives.
Also the prophetic word that comes to confirm the timing of God’s purposes usually has some corresponding supernatural physical circumstance accompanying it, that is independent of both the prophet and saint so that the saint will know that it is actually God that is leading and confirming the timing of His purpose.
For instance when John the Baptist brought a confirming word concerning the calling of the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah and the Lamb of God, there was a corresponding supernatural circumstance in the heavens opening, the Spirit of God descending in the form of a dove and God speaking in audible voice from heaven.
Matthew 3:11-17 (KJV) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
John 1:29-34 (KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
In our article next week we will be looking at the apostolic ministry.