A teacher takes revealed truth from the Word and expounds on it
In last few articles, we discussed the function of a prophet, but how does that work in the day to day affairs of people.
In the Old Testament prophets received what they had to say by direct revelation from the Lord, and some of what they had to say foretold the future and dealt with present concerns of the nation and people.
They also revealed doctrine not previously known or understood and they ministered in all areas of life.
Some were prophets assigned to the reigning king and some were not.
In the New Testament there is no change in the character and focus of their ministry.
They still receive direct revelation and 1Cor 13.9 and Eph 2.20 states that prophets are the foundation of the congregation of the Lord and upon which it is built.
God built a congregation in the Old Testament and He is building and eschatological congregation in the New Testament.
Both buildings need an "architect" who sees the plan of the builder and can put it down so others can bring it into reality.
That is the role of a prophet in the Old and New Testament. They "see it" before it is even written down.
Now, the gift of prophecy is not to be confused with the gift of teaching, although they "overlap" somewhat and are related.
A teacher takes revealed truth from the Word and expounds on it according to their level of understanding.
Their authority only goes as far as their interpretation is correct.
One is not obligated to obey or even listen a teacher who is wrong and has a false interpretation of the Scriptures.
Also, a teacher can only take their people as far as their understanding of the Scriptures and so what they say is limited.
On the other hand, a prophet has no "script" to go by but delivers new revelation and truth as the Lord has revealed it.
There are many New Testament examples of this, and Agabus in Acts 21.11 and Ananias in Acts 9.10-19 come to mind.
Their authority lies in the message itself and they are judged by whether it is correct or comes true.
Therefore, prophecy is ranked above teaching (1Cor 12.2-8) and it must be proved.
That’s why the gift of discernment is given to the congregation.
It is a "check and balance" against false prophecies.
During the Tribulation period, these gifts will be operating at a level never seen before, and for good reason.
As false prophets will increase, so will the true prophets of the Lord increase and they will be anointed by the Lord to counteract the works of the evil one who will try to distort the Scriptures and lead many astray.
The enemy will try to use illusion and delusion at an unprecedented level.
Now, an illusion is when you think you see something but it’s not really there.
A delusion is where you see something, but have the wrong interpretation of it. Delusion will be the main tool of the enemy in the last days, therefore true prophets of God will be needed as never before. There is so much more that can be said about the function and ministry of a prophet, but hopefully you have a better idea about it as a result of these articles. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try and get back to you or use your question in succeeding articles.