Of all the gifts and offices in the Church today, the office of the prophet is the most abused. These days it's very common to see upcoming ministers of the gospel claim they are prophets. The worse part of it is when people hide under this title to deceive, extort and milk saints of the substance. Our Lord Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:7 concerning the ever increasing number of false prophets rising in our generation and the strange practices we constantly witness coming from them. We shouldn't be ignorant of the fact that this will keep increasing as we draw closer to the end of the age.
In this brief teaching, I am going to analyse for you (based on the light the LORD has shed on His holy scriptures for me) on the difference between saints who are prophets, those who are blessed with the gift of prophecy and those who are prophetic.
A Prophetic People
Every genuine Christian is prophetic. This came as an answer to the prayer Moses prayed in Numbers 11:29 (I wish that all were prophets, and the Lord would put His Spirit upon them). All are not prophets, but yes, the Spirit of the Lord is now upon all saints. That grants us the ability to hear God. Every true Christian should be able to hear God for themselves(John 10:27). But the fact that all believers are collectively prophetic doesn't automatically make us all Prophets. It doesn't automatically usher us into the office of a prophet.
We should be careful not to attempt functioning where we are not called to. Let's leave that for false brethren, because it's a very risky decision.
The Gift of Prophecy
The gift of prophecy is widely distributed to many saints in the Body of Christ today, and has much to do with exhortation, edification and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV
"But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort."
What's prevalent today is that many saints who are blessed with this gift have mistaken themselves to be prophets and that alone has led to much chaos in the Church. Many in the Body now assume that if you can prophesy, that means you're a prophet. With this misconception being circulated and accepted by many, false brethren have seen an open door to slip into the Church to deceive. So long Christians keep believing everyone who can accurately tell them facts concerning them is a prophet, then many people can and are doing that now through various means other than the Holy Spirit. These people are even being celebrated and reverenced by many more than God Almighty.
If the girl who followed the Apostles prophesying by the spirit of divination were to be in existence today, I bet she would own a large auditorium with thousands of members where she would be delivering accurate facts about people and getting celebrated and showered with cash. But Apostle Paul's reaction to her telling them FACTS concerning them was different.
Acts 16:16-18 KJV
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Paul was armed with truth and filled with the Spirit. He knew what to look for in a prophet and those who operate with the gift of prophecy. He knew the fruits they must manifest. He didn't just let anyone deliver a message to him while he nodded in approval, simply because it's accurate.
The Holy Scripture is very specific when pointing out prophets and those who operate with the gift of prophecy in the Church.
Acts 21:8-9 KJV
And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.  And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
From the above Scripture we can see that Evangelist Philip had four daughters who could prophesy(had the gift of prophecy). If they were prophets we would had been clearly told. Deborah was a prophet(ess). Scripture was very specific in calling her that. Philip's daughters only had and operated with the gift of prophecy. Which automatically means 90% of what they could do was prophesying, like most saints who are blessed with this gift today. So, having the gift of prophecy does not make one a prophet, but every part is useful and IMPORTANT in the Body. Be sure to ask the LORD again whether you are a prophet or you're just blessed with the gift of prophecy to edify, exhort and comfort. It's needful that Christians know their gifts, callings and function within that sphere!
A Prophet is called to the fivefold.
Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Acts 21:10 KJV
And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
Acts 13:1 KJV
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Notice that Scripture is very specific in calling those called to this fivefold office, prophets. Prophets, though they also have a gift of prophecy, carry a greater responsibility that a gift of prophecy alone can't withstand. How much prophesying did Deborah do? The Church is built upon the foundation of true Apostles and Prophets.
Ephesians 2:20 KJV
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
* Prophets are for today, contrary to some who think they aren't(I don't know where they got that from).
* Prophets are few.
* Prophets carry an Assignment that goes far beyond the exhortation, edification and comfort that the gift of prophecy rdoes.
* Prophets teach the word of God with keen accuracy and power.
* Prophets fetch out and correct doctrinal and lifestyle errors in the Church.
* Prophets live holy lives.
* Prophets don't sugarcoat; they say it the way it is, either black or white.
* Prophets lead the Church in holiness.
* Prophets can impart spiritual gifts.
* Prophets are Intercessors(but not all intercessors are prophets).
* Prophets are at the warfront with Apostles.
* Prophets, together with Apostles are spearheads of the Church.
* Prophets are usually unpredictable.
Now I believe you can spot a prophet if you see one.
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