There seems to be three different kinds of prophets that have been given to us: The occasional, the operational and the administrative prophet.
Last time I talked about how to discern between true prophets and false ones. As I continue my studies on prophets, I want to share what seems to be 3 different kinds of prophets. Let me take you to scripture to show you what I’m talking about.
Three persons—three sets of abilities
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all (1 Cor 12:4-6).
What I see in scripture is each person of the Godhead distributing different abilities, callings and skills to each member of the body of Christ:
- Holy Spirit: gifts (or manifestations)
- Lord Jesus Christ: administrations (or offices)
- God the Father: operations (or functions)
In all these groups, you find prophecy. See the proof below:
The manifestation of the Holy Spirit
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will (1 Cor 12:7-11).
So we see that the Spirit shows himself in 9 different ways through every man as he wills. One of these is prophecy.
Diversity of operations from the Father
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office [function or operation]: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness (Rom 12:4-8).
So we see here that God assigns 7 different functions to all members of body of Christ. One of these is prophecy.
Different “administrations” from the Lord Jesus Christ
And he [Jesus] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11).
So we see that Jesus Christ sets up 5 different administrators in his church. One being the prophet.
Now, administrator is defined by the American dictionary as: to manage and be responsible for the running of a business or organization; in the case, Jesus’ church. The Strongs Greek dictionary defines it as: service, ministry, especially of those who execute the commands of others. Those commands of others, I would say, would be of Jesus Christ.
Now, the Bible is specific that Jesus only gives some this administrative work, meaning, all aren’t qualified or called to do it. So this leads me to believe that all these prophets, while similar, are different. Here’s how, I believe, they’re different.
3 Kinds of prophets
1. The occasional prophet
This is the person who prophesies on occasion as the Holy Spirit leads. Their prophecies are more of a personal nature for the encouragement and edification of individual saints. We all can prophesy, but only as the Spirit gives us utterance, but this doesn’t happen all the time to all of us (Joel 2:28). It’s a gift of the Spirit that’s activated as the Spirit wills. An example prophecy would be: “Be encouraged, your daughter with cancer will be healed by the end of this month.”
2. The operational prophet
This person is just like the first prophet except he/she does it all the time. It’s their God-given function in the body of Christ. They’re inspired speakers giving encouragement and edification for each member of the body. An example prophecy would be: “God will bless you in this specific area if you do this or that.”
3. The administrative prophet
Appointed by Jesus Christ, this prophet has a greater responsibility. Along with the abilities of the first two, he watches over the other prophets and keeps them in line (1 Cor 14:29-33). The administrative prophet helps oversee the church and the direction its going. He hears the heart of God and expresses how he feels. He helps prepare God’s people for trials and tribulations on a grand scale.
When there’s sin in the church, and nothing is being done about it, this prophet is the one to expose it. He’ll call for repentance and restoration, and in the worst case, remove such people (Jeremiah 1:9-10). When I think of the administrative prophet, I think of the major prophets of Israel’s who were committed to God’s will in the face of adversity from their own kinsmen.
So there you have it: 3 different kinds of prophets. What’s your take on all this? My studies on prophets will continue.