I Peter 2:5
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrificesacceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
16 ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins(no longer the lukewarm stones, etched by man, not in the image of the Rock), and I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’
It is He who holds the keys to death and hell, our Creator who can and will renew all things. Thus we have a better understanding of Ephesians 2:20.
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,
Now let us read from Ezekiel 37:27-28.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them(the mature body of Christ); indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people(we will be protected and loved by Him through His government).
28 The nationsalsowill know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, whenMysanctuary is in their midst forevermore(Satan weakened the nations, they will be strengthened once again when governed by God through His priests).”’”
Ephesians 3:2-5explains this method of communication.
2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me(Paul)for you(body of people) (Apostle Paul was the revealer in the age of early Christianity).
3 how that by revelation(his eyes were opened to see scripture as God intended) He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,
4 by which, when you read(this knowledge was to be passed on to the people), you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),
5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit(to Paul who in turn wrote and sent letters) to His holy apostles and prophets:
2 Chronicles 20:20is an example of how an Old Testament King looked at the prophets.
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, OJudah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you
shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
A less received attribute of the prophets however is the fact that they are used of God to point out the sin in the body, as well as in the lives of individuals! Cracks that will eventually cause the foundation of a work to crumble and split, or even bring to a halt an individual's walk with God, are exposed by the prophets. No-one likes to be rebuked, so often the prophet is not the most popular office.
Amos 5:10tells us why.
10 They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.
God not only confronts sin through His prophets, He confronts the powers and principalities causing the sin. Good people, bad devils.
14 He permittedno one to do them wrong;yes, He rebuked kingsfor their sakes,
15 Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.”
So we can say, Prophets have always had a difficult relationship with God’s people, because they speak what God wants to say to them, and not necessarily what they want to hear! People like to have their ears tickled and to be told they are right on with God. God, through His prophets however, eradicates false doctrine and tradition, communicates how He really feels about our personal walks and the walk of the body. People however tend to look at the vessel, rather than Christ the prophet within the person, and therefore do not give credence to what they are saying. Even Jesus had this problem with people that knew Him well.
44 For JesusHimselftestified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
Mark 6:1-5again states,
1 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.
2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Manget these things? And whatwisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!
3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.
4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honorexceptin his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”
5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
For the prophets that have had the challenge of trying to walk in their calling around a people that do not want to grow, or change, or maybe have to minister to people that do not even believe that prophets are for today, be comforted in the fact that the prophets that walked before you experienced the same thing. Here is what God told Ezekiel.
30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of
the houses and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’
31 “So they come to you as people do, they sit before youasMy people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them for with their mouth they show much love,
but their hearts pursue their own gain.
32 “Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.
33 “And when this comes to pass-- surely it will come-- then they will knowthat a prophet has been among them.”
Ezekiel’s prophecy was not only for them, but for the prophetic today as well. The early church trained by Jesus and His disciples, believed in the prophets and acted on their direction.
27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea(they acted wisely on the prophetic word).
Everyone laments that the church today does not walk as powerfully as it should for these end times. Yet this powerful office, along with the Apostolic, is not given the place it deserves by the majority of God's people. Speaking of end times, look what God says in Amos 3:7.
7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secretto His servants the prophets.
Revelation 22:6shows that God will keep His Word to the end.
6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. (We should surely want to be informed!!)
The prophets stand between God's people and the supernatural to see what the Lord is doing, or what it is He wants the body to do so God’s people can respond appropriately. We can be doing good things, but not necessarily the right things so we fail. Many times, as stated before, direction will come through prophetic praise as well as spoken prophecy. The prophecy may be for an individual, the local part of the body, the universal church, or even to the nations. He may speak to their governments, or even address God's enemy Satan and the kingdom of darkness. There is a special fire and anointing in the praise of the apostles and prophets that is renewing, refreshing and exhilarating, but at the same time it can also powerfully pull down the strongholds of the powers of darkness and loose the enemy from its attempts to thwart God’s plans.
1 Corinthians 15:51-54
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep(or die), but weshall all be changed—
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shallbechanged.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So whenthis corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, thenshall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
In closing, in the next blast from the trumpet we will be discussing the office of evangelist from God's perspective today. It is much different than what has previously been taught through man's intellect derived from the world's knowledge.