For many years I believed that the prophetic was a gift exercised by an elite unit of divinely identified and isolated individuals whose daily diet consisted of wild shrubs, honey and locusts.
To make matters worse, I was then informed by people around me that I possibly had this “gift.” While I had some form of biblical knowledge concerning the prophetic, I lacked the practical training. In my immaturity, I believed my prophetic gift was for my own use, and that whatever prophetic revelation I had was the most important revelation in the universe. Fortunately, God didn’t leave me as I was, and through good, solid teaching times (like the Four12 School of Prophecy), I grew in my understanding on the prophetic immensely.
All of us, as saints and members of the body of Christ, have a role to play
We are All Gifted
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says that there are different kinds of gifts, ministries and activities that have been distributed across the body of Christ for the common good of the church. Furthermore, these gifts are for the service of others and for the stewardship of God’s grace. Each of these gifts fulfil their role when working in partnership and team with other gifts in the body of Christ. All of us, as saints and members of the body of Christ, have a role to play as ‘we are co-workers in God’s service’.
While there are numerous possibilities and various combinations of the different gifts and ministries working together, what I want to focus on is what I have learned about the partnership between the apostolic and the prophetic. I believe that this is a powerful partnership and one of the greatest weapons the church has.
The role of the prophetic is to unveil and reveal what is “unseen”
Understanding the Role of Apostles and Prophets
Apostles are chosen by Jesus to serve the body of Christ as His delegated authority over the church. Apostles’ key roles in the church include charting the course and direction of the church and establishing doctrine.
The role of the prophetic is to unveil and reveal what is “unseen” with the natural eye and to provide revelation of what is unknown or what is to come. Prophecy is for building up, encouraging and consoling the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3).
…when the apostolic and prophetic work together in partnership, a solid cornerstone and foundation is built for the body of Christ.
The Power of the Apostolic and Prophetic Working Together
Ephesians 2:20 says that God’s household is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets. This verse is still applicable today: when the apostolic and prophetic work together in partnership, a solid cornerstone and foundation is built for the body of Christ.
There is a story in Acts which tells of Agabus, a prophet who released a prophetic word predicting that a famine that would spread across the entire Roman world. In response to this prophetic word, the saints collected an offering and sent it to the elders as a gift, in preparation for the famine. This is a powerful, practical example of when the prophetic comes alongside the apostolic and reveals the “unseen” – the body of Christ is truly built up, encouraged and comforted.
…prophetic teams work closely with and in submission to the apostolic and eldership of local churches.
Practical Examples of This Partnership
Across Four12, I have seen various examples of the apostolic and the prophetic working together. This is typically when prophetic teams work closely with and in submission to the apostolic and eldership of local churches.
- Prophetic teams ministering across different congregations e.g. prophetic teams from one congregation ministering to another congregation or church or denomination.
- Prophetic teams ministering to other specific ministries or teams e.g. prophetic teams ministering to business people’s meetings, ministering children’s church.
- Prophetic teams gathering at specific times to intercede, seek the Lord’s face and direction pertaining to a particular congregation.
My encouragement to you is that if you feel you are gifted in the prophetic, knit in closely with your local elders and other saints.
My Journey in The Prophetic
My journey in the prophetic did not end with me roaming the desert and eating shrubs (or even begin there, to be honest).
I was privileged enough to attend the 2017 Four12 School of Prophecy (SOPSA) in South Africa. SOPSA gave me a solid biblical and practical understanding of the prophetic. I was equipped and released to work in team with others and alongside the apostolic to serve the body of Christ. This has impacted my own life greatly, and I have seen my gift grow significantly as I partnered with others in church family. I have truly seen that the body of Christ goes further when all of us use our gifts in team. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
My encouragement to you is that if you feel you are gifted in the prophetic, knit in closely with your local elders and other saints. Submit what you feel or hear to those entrusted with the leadership and direction of your local congregation (or across Four12), and remember that God makes a way for the gifts He entrusts to people. You don’t need to worry about being the ‘full package’ or prophetic superstar, because God wants to use us in team! Prophecy, just like the gifts of hospitality or teaching, is always about others, for others and entrusted to us by God for His purposes.
 Four12 School of Prophecy 2016. The Prophetic As A Tool In the Life Of The Church. Notes compiled by Jenny Fraser.