And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets. I Corinthians 12:28
The prophets are responsible to speak that which God speaks to the body of Christ giving edification, exhortation, comfort and direction. Like the rudder of a great ship the prophetic word guides the vessel through the seas of humanity, giving spiritual insight from the revelation of God directed to the body.
When operated in the Spirit as God designed, prophets speak to the assembly in two's or three and their message is judged by the other prophets keeping the gift pure and undefiled in case a word is not of the Lord. Jesus warned that in the last days there would be many false prophets and to beware lest they be deceived by them. Many have gone out of the church prophesying for their own benefit, making names for themselves and have defiled the gift and that is why it is so important to judge that which is spoken.
The prophetic appointment is one of the most important to the body of Christ, without which, she would stumble blindly through the darkness without the guiding light of the revealed word of God. In the Old Testament Israel dared not make a move without the confirming word of a prophet, whether going out to battle or for direction and the few times they didn't wait, they were defeated by their enemies. We would do well to allow this very important gift to be recognized in the church and listen to what the Lord is saying to us because we are indeed entering some very stormy seas!
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. I Corinthians 14:29-32
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin