B. Childress
Aug 9, 2007

Whenever we study church government, we should go to the Word of God to understand how God wants His church to
be established:  God has given us his guidelines and principals in His Word, but He leaves the responsibility of how to
apply those guidelines and principals to us.

What is the origin of the word "church."  The word "church" in 1 Corinthians 12:28, comes from the Greek word
ekklesia.  Ekklesia comes from another Greek word ekkaleo.  Ekkaleo is a compound word .  It is made from two word
ek-  and kaleo. Ek means "out" and kaleo mean "to call."  Thus, what the word "church" really means is "the called out
ones" or the "chosen ones" as translated in Ephesians 1:4.  When Paul said we were chosen in Him before the
foundation of the world, the same word is used (

What is church?  First Corinthians 12:27-28 says, "
Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular."  Today,
the word "church" is loosely used to describe a building made of brick and mortar, which could also house a disco,
school, industry, or retail store.  The universal church is made up of every born-again believer on the face of the
earth.  Every group of believers who worships together is a segment of the "universal church."  Those segments that
meet together are "local churches."

The church has been called out.  If the church is the "called out" or "chosen" ones, there has to be someone calling or
choosing.  "God hath set some in the church." 1Corinthians 12:28  God is doing the calling or choosing.  Ephesians 4:
11 says,
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"
- but who is "he."  To understand, we can look at Ephesians 4:8-10, "WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, HE LED
CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended
first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens,
that he might fill all things)."  The Lord Jesus Christ if the "he" who ascended, and the He Who gave gifts to men.

Referring back to 1Corinthians 12:28, God the Father is the One who sets the ministry gifts in the church:  these
ministry gifts are chosen by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in combined authority.  Jesus is the One who
calls and appoints the ministry gifts.  The One (Jesus) who does the calling has authority over the one He calls -
whoever chooses the ministry gift has authority over the one He calls - whoever chooses the ministry gift has authority
over the one who is chosen.  So, who is head of the church?  Ephesians 1:22-23 says,
"And hath put all things under
his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body the fullness of him that filleth all in
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church.  He was given that position by God the Father.  He was given
authority over the church by God the Father as well all ministry gifts He chooses to distribute.


A prophet speaks by direct divine inspiration, an immediate revelation - not something he thought of, but
something given at the spur of the moment by sudden inspiration.  To stand in the office of prophet, one is first of all a
minister of the Gospel, separated and called to the ministry with the calling of God upon his life.

The second ministerial office is that of the prophet.  In the Old Testament, the position of prophet was one of divine
guidance - the prophet was called a "seer."  The Hebrew word
ra' ah - to see or to perceive - tells us what the ministry
of the prophet is all about.  Also the word
chozeh - a beholder of visions is used as that of a seer or prophet.  Under
the New Covenant it is unscriptural to seek guidance through the ministry of the prophet because, 1)  The Presence of
God is living within us- our bodies are the temple of God under the New Covenant, 2)  He is within us to lead us,
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.:"
Romans 8:14  3)  Every believer needs to learn to
follow the Spirit of God for himself.  He shouldn't have to go to anyone else for guidance, 4) Know in your own spirit
that God is leading you.  If whatever someone else says confirms what you have in your spirit, fine.  If it doesn't, forget

The office of prophet cannot be filled through a democratic election.  A prophet is called of God and set apart by God.  
The person God picks to fill this office is not chosen on the basis of personality, education, or public standing.  When
God appoints a prophet in the land, the people have nothing to do with it.  So, no group of men and no individual man
can choose and create a prophet - only the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father can choose and create a minister.

Jesus stood in all of the five-fold ministries (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher) as Jesus had the Spirit
without measure. He is our example.  In John 4:17-19, the woman of Samaria identified Jesus as a prophet,
woman answered and said, I have not husband.  Jesus said unto her,
Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For
thou has had five husbands; and he whom thou now has is not thy husband:  in that saidst thou truly.
 The woman
saith unto him, Sir, I
perceive that thou art a PROPHET."

The Bible lists about 78 prophets and prophetesses:

Some Old Testament prophets

Adam (Genesis 2:19); Enoch (Genesis 5:21); Noah (Genesis 6:8,9); Abraham (Genesis 24:6,7); Jacob (Genesis 49:1);
Joseph (Genesis 41:15,16); Moses (Exodus 11:4,5); Elijah (1 Kings 17:1).

Some New Testament writing prophets

Peter (Acts 2:16); Paul (Acts 17:31); James (5:1-7); John (1 John 2:17,18).

Some New Testament speaking prophets

John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11); Zacharias (Luke 1:67-71); Agabus (Acts 11:27,28); Ananias (Acts 9:11,17).

Prophets in Groups

The Seventy (Numbers 11:25); A Company of Prophets (1 Samuel 10:5-10)


Miriam (Exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4);  Huldah (2 Kings 22:14);  Isaiah's wife (Isaiah 8:3); Anna (Luke 2:36-38).

  • In the Old Testament, only the prophet, priest, and king were anointed by the Spirit.  People did not have the
    anointing of the Spirit of God unless God especially called them.  If they needed to inquire of the Lord
    concerning some matter, they had to inquire through the prophet, whose ministry was different during that

  • In the establishing of the universal Church following the resurrection of Jesus, the apostles and prophets were
    obviously the most important ministry offices because they were the first ministry gifts to be developed or "set in"
    the body of Christ.  They were foundational apostles and prophets - they laid the foundation for the New
    Testament, they brought forth the revelation of The New Testament, which is the foundation upon which the
    Church in all generations is to be established.

  • - Paul stood in the office of prophet because he had visions and revelations.  A prophet is one who has visions
    and revelations among other things.  All of the Gospel Paul learned he learned through visions and revelations.

  •  Like Paul, some will stand in more than one office weaving in and out of these offices as the Spirit leads -
    dependent on the plans and purposes of God.

General Characteristics of a Prophet:

There is a difference between standing in the office of a prophet and the simple gift of prophesy:

  • Every Spirit-filled believer could prophesy (and should know something about the anointing to prophesy, "For
    ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." 1 Corinthians 14:31).

  • The simple gift of prophesy is speaking to man to edification, exhortation, and comfort.  A good testimony,
    inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the simple gift of prophecy.

  • The prophetic office always predicts the future; the gift of prophecy never predicts the future.

  • The anointing of the prophet is the same Holy Spirit, but a different anointing.  It is much deeper than the
    anointing to prophesy - it is the same anointing because it is the same Spirit, but multiplied about a hundred-
    fold.    Kenneth E. Hagin describes his experience, "Thank God I had the anointing to preach and then to teach...
    I spoke in tongues and prophesied, but I never stood in the office of prophet until 1952...I don't have the
    anointing of the apostle or pastor - I never had them, but I recognize those anointings on others." (p. 65)  Note:  
    the office of teacher was Kenneth E. Hagin's primary office.

  • The New Testament Greek says concerning the prophet that "He speaks from the impulse of a sudden
    inspiration, from the light of a sudden revelation at the relating either to future events or the mind of
    the Spirit in general."  A prophet speaks by direct divine inspiration, an immediate revelation - not something he
    thought of , but something given at the spur of the moment by sudden inspiration.

  • One who stands in the office of the prophet does not stand in (or function) that office all the time - having
    visions and handing out revelations all the time.  People think you can turn it on and off as you want, but it is as
    the Spirit wills.  The anointing is there potentially, but it is not in manifestation constantly.

  • You really could not bear to stand in the office of a prophet 24 hours a day, even though the call and the
    potential anointing might be there.  The human body cannot contain that degree of spiritual power over a long
    period of time.  We do not control the anointing.  We must learn to flow with the Spirit.

  • One can be more anointed than others in the same office.  Elijah was anointed by the Holy Spirit to stand in the
    office of prophet, but Elisha had twice the measure of the same anointing - a double portion - to stand in that

Signs and Wonders accompany a prophet's ministry...

The laying on of hands goes with the prophet's ministry. A healing ministry goes along with the prophet's office. When
the prophet exercises the gifts of healings (or any ministry function), it is a prophet's ministry in operation.

"The Hand of the Lord" referred to in the Old Testament, is actually the Spirit of God - the anointing; the other terms
used are the "Spirit," "double portion of thy Spirit," and "mantle."  We find the terminology the "hand of the Lord" used
quite frequently in the ministry of Ezekiel, the prophet, "
And it came to pass in the sixth year, the sixth month, the fifth
day of the month As I sat in mine house, the elders of Judah set before me, that the hand of the Lord fell there upon
 Ezekiel 8:1

"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of
the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in
the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.  And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?  And I answered,
O Lord GOD, thou knowest.  Again he said unto, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones,
hear the word of the LORD.  Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you,
and ye shall live:  And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put
breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.  So I prophesied as I was commanded:  as I
prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.  And when I
beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in
them.  Then he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the win, Thus saith the Lord
GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.  So I prophesied as he
commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army."

Ezekiel 37:1-10

These excerpts from Ezekiel point out, 1)  the call of God was already upon Ezekiel - the
"hand of God" was upon
him to minister potentially - but his prophetic ministry was not in manifestation until the
"hand of the Lord" fell upon
him, 2)  Ezekiel detailed the exact dates and details of each one of these experiences.  Kenneth E. Hagin recounts
being able to remember exact dates, times, and specific details surrounding certain experiences in his ministry.  The
ability to do so goes along with the apostle's ministry.

In Ezekiel 33:22, we find that the "Spirit" was again upon Ezekiel, but in a different way,
"Now the hand of the Lord was
upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came:  and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the
morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb."
Ezekiel 33:22  The prophet went all night with his
mouth open, never saying a word. He was speechless until that fellow (escapee) came and then he could speak.

John the Baptist's father, Zacharias, who was a priest, did not believe the angel Gabriel's message that a son was to
be born to him and his wife.  He became speechless and remained speechless until John the Baptist was born (Luke
1).  Zacharias was not mute from sickness or disease - the hand of the Lord was upon him.

Elymas, the sorcerer who withstood Paul on one of his missionary journeys was made blind.  Paul said,
"And now,
behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season."
 Acts 13:11.  
Elymas was not struck with disease, Elymas was blind because of the power of God that had come upon him.

Kenneth E. Hagin speaks about how the hand of the Lord came upon him as he was laying hands on the sick.  When
the anointing came upon him on this particular occasion, he could no longer speak in English - only tongues.  The
anointing was so intense he had to "pass" the anointing on to another minister, " I turned around and said in tongues
to Fred ( Fred Price), 'You go ahead and lay hands on the people and finish the healing line.'  Fred understood me as
if I had spoken to him in English.  He said to me in tongues - and I heard it as if he were speaking in English. ' All right,
you lay your finger in my hands that I may minister with the same anointing, and I will pray for them.'  I did so, he began
to minister, and it seemed as if there were a stronger surge of power than before.  I stood there and watched the whole
thing but couldn't speak in English...When I first came back over into English at Fred Price's home an hour and a half
later, I could only speak a word or two.  I still couldn't even put sentences together."  (p. 83)

  • If there is jealousy, envy, or sensitivity - especially being easily offended in someone's soul nature in another,
    the brightness of the Spirit of God in the prophet (or apostle)  will bring a reactionary manifestation because the
    power of that anointing is Jesus Christ in His servant. The presence of the prophet (or apostle) may cause
    others to feel uncomfortable, cause them to verbally attack the prophet (or apostle), cry, etc. especially where
    there is wrong spirit.

  • The revelation (word of wisdom and/or word of knowledge) given forth in a prophet's ministry may sometimes be
    discomforting because it sometimes brings with it correction or conviction of sin.

  • Anything that a true prophet foretells will come to pass because the Holy Spirit, Who told it to him, cannot lie.  
    The Bible says that God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).

  • Prophets speak to individuals, groups, entire nations, and even the whole world.

  • There are no prophets among what we call the laity - because a prophet is one who is called to the full-time


  • Prophets are spokesmen for God.  The prophetic office includes anything that speaks for God which
    also includes all of the teaching and preaching offices.

  • A prophet is chosen of God  and anointed by the Lord on earth and in heaven.  They are ordained and
    commissioned by the Lord for the work of the ministry to that office.  Their anointing is confirmed in supernatural
    ways to those who need to have this confirmation.

  • The ministry of the Seer.  The prophet is sometimes called a "seer" in scripture.  Seers see and know things.
    Prophets experience dreams and visions on a continual basis.  It takes a word of knowledge, wisdom, or visual
    revelation to know the root of a problem, corporately or individually - spiritually, emotionally, physically, or
    financially.  The visionaries function in this realm and speak the Word of the Lord to alleviate the problem.  Just
    as there are three revelation gifts, there are also three types of visions: 1) A spiritual vision - A vision in your
    spirit or see in your spirit, 2)  A trance - your physical senses are suspended for the moment, you are not
    aware of where your are or anything that contacts the physical realm, 3)  An open vision - your physical
    senses are not suspended.  You possess all physical capabilities, yet you see and hear in the realm of the spirit.

  • To constitute standing in the office of the prophet, a person needs to have at least two of the three revelation
    gifts  (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, or discerning of spirits) operating on a continual basis in his life and
    ministry plus the gift of prophecy.  In addition, he would need to have been called to the five-fold ministry as a
    preacher or teacher of the Word.

  • Prophets and their ministries are strictly Word (Bible) based.  Before anything else, a prophet would be a
    preacher or a teacher of the Word:  John the Baptist was a great prophet, yet we have no record that John ever
    foretold anything.  Rather, he forthtold or preached the message of the Kingdom of God under the inspiration of
    the Holy Spirit. They are able to take the Word of God and express it with simplicity, and apply it with authority.  
    Prophets are "fierce" defenders of the Word of God.

  • A prophet knows the voice of the Lord and moves instantly in obedience to bring it all to fruition.  Their faith has
    already been established through years of training and experience to move as the Lord directs - hesitancy in
    this ministry could bring about many problems.

  • Communion and fellowship with the Lord is constant in every facet of the prophet's (and apostle's) lives.

  • There is a humility bred into the prophet through the breaking process they have already passed through.

  • Prophecy through the office of the prophet carries more authority because of the revelatory nature of the
    prophecies (the spirit of prophecy).

  •  Just as apostles can come from a local church as they did at Antioch, travel, establish churches, and minister
    to the entire body of Christ - Prophets can also come from a local church (Acts 11:27, 13:1), and are for the
    entire body, not just the local church.  They will also travel in their ministry.

  •   Not the pastors, the teachers, or the laymen of the body, but the prophets, "The spirits of the prophets are
    subject to the prophets" 1 Corinthians 14:32. The prophets usually have a strong witness in their spirit to each
    other, as well as the evident expression of love whether male or female.

God does nothing without first revealing His secrets to His servants, the prophets,
"Surely the Lord GOD will do
nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
 Amos 3:7

In summary, the  characteristics of a prophet today are:

1)   Prophets have the ability to fortell the future.

2)   One who experiences visions and revelations.

3)   One who experiences and operates in signs and wonders.

4)   One who operates in the revelation gifts (the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and discerning of spirits) as
well as the gift of prophecy.

5)  Laying on of hands and gifts of healings operate through the prophetic ministry

6)   Proficient in the Word of God. Defenders of the Word of God.

7)   Preachers and teachers.

" Perhaps there is nothing so exciting as prophecy.  In these last days we must have the
prophet's ministry at work among us.  All kinds of people will be reading the stars and
predicting future events.  The Devil will be out to fool as many people as he can regarding the
future, so God's people must take their place against him.  Don't be afraid of the future.  No
matter what happens, I guarantee you a greater move of the supernatural than you have ever
seen before.  Let's get ready for it.  Lets seek it.  Let's love it.  I know that the God of heaven
is going to bless us in it, and I am ready for His blessing!  Let the ministry of the prophet be
heard in the land!"   Lester Sumrall (p. 237)

" I think there are aspects of the anointing we are going to come into in the days ahead that
we haven't experienced yet.  By this I mean the use of the anointing, the purpose of the
anointing, the utilization of the anointing, ministering under the anointing, and transferring or
transmitting the anointing - on the one hand to do good and bring blessing, and on the other
hand to bring judgement on those like Elymas who would stand in the way and hinder the
Gospel. "   Kenneth E. Hagin (p. 84)


The Shaping of an Apostle,  June Newman Davis, Copyright 1981 by Scripture Keys Ministries, Inc.

Understanding the Anointing,  Kenneth E. Hagin,  Copyright 1983 RHEMA Bible Church.

The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit,  Lester Sumrall, Copyright 1982 by Lester Sumrall Evangelical
Association (LeSEA).

Decently and In Order,  Bob Yandian, Copyright 1983, 1987 by Whitaker House.

The Ministry Gifts, Kenneth E. Hagin, Copyright 1998 by Whitaker House.