What’s the Difference Between Gift of Prophecy and a Prophet?

What’s the difference between the gift of prophecy and a prophet? Let’s start out by reviewing two verses that talk about these two words:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:7-10

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ Ephesians 4:11-13

These two words have the same word prefix – prope – which causes some confusion. Are they the same thing but slightly different? They are actually 2 different things powered by one spirit – the Holy Spirit.

Gift – Prophecy is a gift given by the Holy Spirit. Office – Prophet is a governmental position that helps govern the church.
Everyone – Anyone can prophesy. Given to all believers just like the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are for everyone. Chosen  Only those chosen by Jesus are prophets.
Do – Prophecy is something you do to others. Are – A prophet does do things but it goes much deeper. It is something they are. They carry an authority to help govern Jesus’ church. It is in their personality, thought process, outlook etc. to think and act like a governing office holder.
Encouragement – It is for encouraging and building up others (1 Corinthians 14:3). Equip – The prophet office is for equipping the saints to do the work they are called to do (Ephesians 4:12) including helping them to maturity. This is a much more involved work.
Ask – How do you get this gift? Ask for it (1 Corinthians 14:1, 39) Given – This position is given by the head of the church Jesus. We may ask for this position but there are no guarantees he will choose us for the position.

These are my thoughts for this week, I hope this helps!

Categories: Gifts - 5 Fold, Gifts - Holy Spirit


  1. Thank you Mr. Cooper. Even though this was written in 2014, it is still relevant now in 2021.

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