The gift of prophecy is regarded by some the same as teaching. However, in 1 Cor 12, St. Paul mentions prophets and teachers as two different categories. Does the Coptic orthodox Church recognize some people as having the gift of prophecy? For example, would we consider Pope Kyrollos VI as having had the gift of prophecy?
Prophets and teachers are not necessarily the same. We need to differentiate between prophecy as a temporary manifestation of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:10) and prophecy as a Church ministry gift (Eph 4:11).
Prophecy as a manifestation is a special gift that enables a person to bring a word or revelation directly from God under the impulse of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 14:24-25,29-31). Prophecy is not primarily foretelling the future, but proclaiming God's will and encouraging God's people to righteousness, faithfulness and endurance. It may expose the condition of a person's heart (1 Cor 14:25) or offer strengthening, encouragement, comfort, warning and judgment (1 Cor 14:3,25-26,31). Pope Kyrillos VI led by the Holy Spirit had the gift of proclaiming God's will.
Prophecy as a ministry is given to the believers who speak under the direct impulse of the Holy Spirit in the name of God, and whose main concern is the church's spiritual life and purity.
In the Old Testament the prophets' primary task was to speak God's Word, by the Spirit, in order to encourage God's people to remain faithful to their Covenant relationship. They also, at times, predicted the future as the Spirit revealed it to them.
In the New Testament, called by God to warn, exhort, comfort and edify, prophets functioned within the early Church as witnesses and interpreters of the Word of God, (Acts 2:14-36; 3:12-26; 1 Cor 12:10; 14:3; Eph 4:11). Like the Old Testament prophets, the New Testament prophets were called to expose sin, proclaim righteousness, warn of judgment to come, and combat worldliness and lukewarmness among God's people (Lk 1:14-17).