They also travel to local churches to strengthen and support them (Acts 15:32, 41). They play a part in sending forth other ministries for missionary purposes (Acts 13:1-3).
- A prophet often ministers with other prophets (and apostles) as a team.
Many counselors bring safety (Prov 11:14). The ministry of a team of prophets brings balance to God’s message (Acts 11:27-30; Acts 13:1). It is also a safeguard against human error, for the prophets would judge each other’s word (l Cor 14:29).
F. Warnings About The Prophetic Ministry
The Scripture gives two kinds of warnings about the prophetic ministry. One is to the people, and the other is to the prophets.
- God’s warnings to His people:
a. Receive the ministry of the prophet (Matt 10:41).
Sometimes a prophet is not well received by his own people (Matt 13:57; Mark 6:4). This is sad because without prophetic ministry, the Church cannot grow as it should (Eph 4:11-13).
b. Be on guard against false prophets (Jer 5:30, 31; 14:13-18; 23:9-40; Ezek 13:1-23; Matt 7:15; 24:11, 24).
We cannot judge a prophecy by how loud, how long or how fine or forceful its words are. It must be judged by God’s Word, by God’s Spirit, and by other godly leaders if there is any doubt (Isa 8:20; I Thess 5:20, 21; l John 4:1).
- God’s warnings to His prophets:
a. They are warned to control themselves
Only through self-control can they rightly build up the people of God. They must be sensitive to God’s Spirit, and minister in divine order (l Cor 14:32).
b. They are warned that they should allow their ministry to be judged (I Cor 14:29).
No one is free from making mistakes. The Bible teaches that all prophecy should be judged. There are six questions that will help judge a prophetic ministry (l John 4:1):
- Does the prophecy agree with God’s Word? (Isa 8:20)
- Is the prophecy given in a good spirit? (I Cor 13:2)
- Do the prophet’s words come to pass? (Deut 18:22)
- Does the prophet live a godly life? (Jer 23:13-16)
- Does the Holy Spirit bear witness (agree) that the prophecy is true? (2Pet 1:21)
- Do other godly leaders agree that the prophecy is true? (2Cor 13:1)
- Do the prophet’s words lead people toward the Lord or away from Him? (Deut13:14)
IF ANY PROPHET INSISTS THAT YOU FOLLOW HIM WITHOUT ANY QUESTIONS, JUDGE HIM A FALSE PROPHET.
THE MINISTRY GIFT OF EVANGELIST
Many people in the Body of Christ have not had a clear idea about the role of the apostle and prophet. However, they do believe they understand the functions of the evangelist, pastor and teacher. Sadly, it is possible to have a viewpoint that is shaped more by tradition or personal opinion than by God’s Word.
There is much more in the Bible about the other four ministries of Ephesians 4:11 than there is about the evangelist. Apart from Jesus, Philip is the only good example of an evangelist we can find in the New Testament. Still, we have enough information from these sources to make our study most worthwhile.
A. Definition Of Terms
There are three main Greek terms which relate to the ministry of the evangelist. They all come from the same root-word, as we shall see:
- Euaggelizo: This word means “to preach, proclaim or declare good news”. It tells us what an evangelist does – what his ministry is (Acts 13:42; Rom 10:15; 2Cor 10:16; Eph 3:8; Col 1:27, 28; Heb 4:2). It was often used of Christ’s ministry (Matt 11:5). In a sense we all have this calling. For the evangelist, however, it is the main ministry of his life.
- Euaggelion: This word means ”the gospel or good news and glad message”. It tells us about the message of the evangelist. It is the good news about God’s saving grace. It is about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus – our Savior (Matt 24:14; Acts 20:24; Rom 1:16; l Cor 4:15; Eph 1:13)
- Euaggelistes: This word means “a preacher or messenger of good news”. It tells us about the man who preaches the Gospel. The term is usually translated as “evangelist”. It is used only three times in the New Testament:
a. It is used of Philip (Acts 21:8)