Matthew 9:37-38(NKJV): 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Here, the Lord Jesus tells us that God needs labourers for the end-time harvest.
These labourers include prophets.
In fact every Christian is a potential prophet since the Holy Spirit can show us things to come (John. 16.13), just as they are also potential evangelists, pastors, teachers or Apostles. However they will NOT be called to serve in any of these IF they do not develop themselves to meet the standards required to stand in these offices.
For example, the requirements for the office of a Pastor or Bishop and Deacon (and this applies really to all the offices) are found in
1 Timothy 3:1-13(NKJV): 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Christians are called to grow into the fullness of Christ in all things in this lifetime:
1 John 4:17(NKJV): 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. NKJV
Ephesians 4:13(NKJV): 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Ephesians 4:15(NKJV): 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ‚
Now it is obvious that in the fullness of Christ we will have the fullness of the Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Pastor and Evangelist.
So the Christian who is developing into the fullness of Christ will at some point in time be qualified to stand in each of these offices.
When the spiritual standard or requirement for a particular office is met by his level of spiritual development, God will then anoint him to be able to operate in that office.
God will always do this because the labourers are few and harvest is plenty.
Now it is vital to understand that being anointed to stand in an office does not necessarily mean you have go and start your own church and ministry.
In fact in this 3rd. day many will grow into the fullness of Christ and operate in the fullness of their offices within their local churches and secular careers:
1 Corinthians 7:20(NKJV): 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.
So like Paul who is a pattern (1 Timothy 1.16) disciple, we can be in the spiritual ministry of Christ and yet be in secular employment or business:
Acts 18:3(NIV): 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
Acts 20:33-35(NIV): 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.‘”
In our article next week we will see what the requirements of the prophetic office are and how to develop them.