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Do prophets still exist today?

14 Sep
Quadruple combination opened to the Book of Is...

The Bible: God’s Final Special Revelation

Do prophets still exist today? My answer: Yes and No. Please allow me to explain.

Yes: Basing on Scripture we see that prophets were the men called by God to speak on behalf of God. In other words, prophets took a word from God and gave it to God’s people. In this sense, I would say that prophets still exists in form of preachers of God’s Word. Every time, a preacher stands up to preach from the Bible (God’s Word) he is actually saying: “Thus says the Lord in the Bible.” So in this case, prophets (preachers) still exist today.

No: Prophets both in the Old and New Testament got their revelation directly from God in various forms. So, in this sense, prophets of the caliber of Old  and New Testament (who directly get special revelations from God) do not exist anymore. Why? Because God’s special revelation ceased with the completion of the Bible (66 books: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament).

I know the statement ‘God’s special revelation ceased’ has sent cold chills down the spine of some and probably you have began to agitate in anger against me but I beg you to hear me out. So, please read on.

God’s giving of special revelation (the Bible) had to with the redemption or salvation of man after man sinned. From Genesis, God revealed his plan of salvation little by little until when Christ came and completed the plan of saving man through his birth, death, burial and resurrection. So, when God completed his work of saving man through Jesus Christ, God also completed the work of giving out special revelation with the last book of Revelation.

F. Fowler White is right when he writes in his article, “Does God Speak Today Apart from the Bible”

“God’s giving of revelation, spoken and written, is always historically joined and qualified by God’s work of redemption. Now that God has accomplished salvation once-for-all, in Christ, He has also spoken His word, once-for-all, in Christ and in those whom Christ has authorized and empowered by His Spirit (Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:3, 4; Matthew 16:15-19; John 14:26; Ephesians 2:19, 20). With the completion of salvation in Christ comes the cessation of revelation. Consequently, the church now lives by a ‘Scripture only’ principle of authority,” (Reformed Perspective Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 15, April 8-14, 2007).

Today, we cannot get any special revelation apart from the one that God has revealed to us through the Bible. Please consider this. Suppose a person calling himself a prophet comes to you with a book in which he has written all ‘the revelations’ he has got from God, will you add that book to the Bible so that you have a Bible with 67 books? Would you call that book the Word of God as you call the Bible? Certainly not! Yet what God revealed to the prophets of the old is contained in the Bible as God’s own word. I hope you get my point there!

Also ponder with me on this. When I ask those who believe that prophets still exist on how they know whether a prophecy is true, they say that they weigh it against the Bible. If what is said is supported by the Bible they take it. If what that man calling himself a prophet says anything that contradicts the Scripture, they leave it.

Now, if you always have to compare any ‘new revelation’ with the Bible, it means that there is no single new revelation that can come to you besides the Bible. In other words, you are in essence saying that God’s final revelation is the Bible and whatever ‘revelation’ that is outside the Bible is not God’s revelation at all, isn’t it? By this, you, further,  agree with me that there are no new ‘revelations’ apart from the Bible hence no new prophecies apart from those contained in the Bible consequently also no prophets like those we read in the Bible.

But some would argue for the existence of prophets today by quoting  that familiar verse about various ministries in the church, Ephesians 4:11, 12: which reads: “And he (Christ) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”

But before you can conclude that prophets still exist basing on these verses, please just go back to chapter 2 of the same Letter to Ephesians and read verses 19 to 21:

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,” (Underscoring added).

The same Apostle Paul who tells us that God gave the gifts of apostle and prophets to the Church also reminds us that these apostles and prophets are the foundation of the Church. Now, let me ask you. After you have laid the foundation of a house, do you still use the same foundation materials to build the wall of the house as well as roof it? NO! The foundation remains down.

Similarly, the apostles and prophets being foundation of the church are no longer needed today unless we say that the church is still at its foundational level. But most certainly, after almost 2, 000 years since the birth of the New Testament Church no one would say that the Church is still at its foundation level. The church of Christ has grown and it continues to grow.

But what about the ‘predictions’ that the men called ‘prophets’ make and they come to pass, aren’t these a sign that prophets still exist today? First, we should not confuse prophecy with prediction. In as much as prediction is part of prophecy, prophecy is more than prediction. The prophets of the Bible rebuked, taught, encouraged and also predicted.

Secondly, we should realize that the ability to predict does not always and solely come from God. In Acts 16:16-18, we read of a girl who could predict out of powers of a demon. Recently also, during the 2010 World Cup Soccer Finals, there was an octopus called Paul in Germany that also predicted outcome of games before they were played. Did this ability to predict, in the two cases cited, come due to revelations directly from God? No! Would you call the girl and the octopus, prophets? God forbid!

As I wrap up, I would like to highlight that there are some good and well meaning Christians, some of them are my good friends and even relatives, who believe that prophets still exist, probably basing on what is happening, especially, in the African Church today. Of course, I would not call them heretics. However, I would encourage them to sincerely and prayerfully study Scripture and they will find out that prophets no longer exists today except in cases in which a prophet means a preacher of God’s Word.  Bill Crouse says it better:

“The men who challenge the Church to revive the gift of prophecy have good intentions. They want to see significant growth in the Kingdom; they want to see believers have a vital mystical relationship with Christ. They are not heretics, but they are proposing major doctrinal shifts that we sincerely believe will lead to confusion and dangerous consequences. Regardless of spectacular experience being reported by godly men, we must resist the temptation to satisfy our spiritual thirst for anything other than the certainty of the written Word of God” (C.I.M. Outline #57, The Gift of Prophecy: Is it for today?).

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28 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Christianity and theology

 

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28 responses to “Do prophets still exist today?

  1. robind333

    September 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I do not believe prophets exist today, but I do believe God “allows” individuals the ability to experience dreams of future events. God knows “many” Christians will be deceived by false Christianity, religion and occult’s and often Christians do need guidance are they find themselves wandering. God has always and will continue to use individuals for his will. If he didn’t, there would be no teachers, no pastors, no Godly government. But that’s just my opinion, afterall, I’m one who happens to experience just such dreams…

    Many, many blessings to you…Robin

     
    • conmakhalira

      September 16, 2012 at 2:18 am

      Thanks Robin for taking your time to comment. Many blessings to you too, brother.

       
  2. prettytalkative angel51

    December 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Yes, according to the definition of a prophet :
    1.a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration.
    2.a person regarded as, or claiming to be, an inspired teacher or leader.
    God is always in the business of using someone. I always think of Moses when one asks this question.

     
    • conmakhalira

      December 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

      Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving your comment. May God bless you.

       
  3. newheavenonearth

    December 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I believe the only person we need to listen to now is the Voice of the Shepherd, the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent us when he ascended. On the mount of transfiguration Elijah, representing the prophets and Moses, representing the law, both left, leaving Jesus alone shining like the sun, the same One who in Revelation 1:13 is described as “one like a son of man…white as snow…eyes like flames of fire…voice like the sound of the many waters…his face like the sun shining in full strength.” We need nothing, lack nothing, and need no more external light or lights (prophets), for we have been given the sun that shines brighter than 7 suns within us in the person of Jesus! Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, many waters, voice of Father, white as snow fire, and the Son of God, a sun shining within us. The sheep hear only the Shepherd’s Voice!!!

     
    • conmakhalira

      December 20, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Thanks newheavenonearth for your comment. May God bless you.

       
      • newheavenonearth

        December 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

        Of course that Voice of the Shepherd, Christ’s Spirit, is in us so we can discern when the one Voice is the Spirit of God speaking in others or not. The Holy Spirit detector lets us know whether to listen to an earthly prophet or not and allows us to receive other’s teaching or not. God bless you!

         
  4. roma560320

    December 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Ephesians 4:11

    11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    if there’s no prophets- there’s no church

     
    • conmakhalira

      January 3, 2013 at 9:22 am

      roma560320,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I have already tackled this text in my article. Prophets and Apostles were needed at the beginning of the church and God used them as a foundation but today we no longer need them. Please read Ephesians 2:20

       
  5. Pakwach Footlight

    January 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Prophets no longer exist only that some men give themselves the title prophet because they exalt themselves as God Himself for purpose of earning. They workout miracles, signs , and wonders. Some of the words they prophesy can come to pass. That does not mean that they are Prophets. Our great prophet was Jesus now KING,He taught His congregation the KOG that would come and that’s now the present kingdom that people enter into, when they hear the Gospel of it.Unfortunately the church is being mislead due to the lack of knowledge of the Kingdom that Jesus rules.

     
    • conmakhalira

      January 24, 2013 at 6:54 am

      Thanks Pakwach for your comment. I can’t agree more with you. Christ is our greatest prophet and we no longer need any now. Once again, thanks for visiting the blog and leaving a comment.

       
      • Pakwach Footlight

        January 26, 2013 at 6:12 am

        Oonmakhalira, U’ve already agreed with me if say that Christ is our prophet.Read my message carefully and understand it. But the way,Prophets ARE FOR Israelite, NOT FOR Gentiles.When U say ‘WE’ in ur quote, means U are an Israelite. Please clarify. Secondly, Jesus is no longer a Prophet but a King, Do U believe with me ? H’ve U entered His Kingdom?. If so can U tell me what are available in His Kingdom where He reigns? Remember we should agree with one another but with Christ. O.K.?

         
      • conmakhalira

        January 28, 2013 at 9:56 am

        Pakwach, I am in agreement with you. When I say “I can’t agree with you more” I mean that I am in “total agreement with you.”

        Of course, I would disagree with you that Christ is no longer a prophet because all the three offices in the old testament namely priest, prophet and king were fulfilled in Christ. As our greatest priest, we approach the Father through him. As our greatest prophet, God speaks to us through him (Heb. 1:1, 2) and as our greatest king, he reigns at the right hand of God the Father.

         
  6. Pakwach Footlight

    January 26, 2013 at 6:19 am

    When we keep on making comments about prophecies and Prophets, we can forget the important thing that has brought Jesus from heaven to earth, the KOG.

     
    • conmakhalira

      January 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

      I agree, Christ is the center of Christianity. It’s all about Him but that should not stop us from correcting other errors in the church. God calls us to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). I believe this is my calling just like any other Christian and I will continue to do that until God calls me into glory.

       
      • Pakwach Footlight

        February 2, 2013 at 8:22 am

        The error that’s in the Church is leaving aside the preaching of the gospel of the KOG. in which mankind is dieing before entering the KOG. The water Baptism is preached but that of Baptism of the HS to make one enter the KOG IS FORSAKEN.What do think about tha?

         
  7. dtrichards

    March 15, 2013 at 5:27 am

    conmakhalira, you made some very good arguments in your post. I was one of those who got cold chills when you said “God’s special revelation ceased”, but you do go on to make it clear what you mean by ‘special revelation’ and ‘new revelation’. I agree with you that the whole revelation of our salvation is contained in God’s word to us, but we need interpreters (what you call preachers) to speak the truth of that revelation into our lives. (The word “prophesy” means “truth-telling”, not just “predicting”, as you rightly point out later.)

    There are many self-styled prophets in Asia and Africa who preach, as if God told them, revelations that are not in, and are not even in the spirit of God’s special revelation. However there are many other faithful servants to whom God will give a specific revelation for a specific need of his church. That revelation may involve present or future events, but is always safely grounded in both the Word and the spirit of the Word. I see no problem in churches embracing the latter as long as they avoid the former.

     
  8. kyrian777

    March 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing

     
    • conmakhalira

      March 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

      You are welcome, my friend. God bless.

       
  9. robert

    September 5, 2013 at 3:36 am

    There is so much judgment on this topic…it is so sad that all this separates the body..and causes people to be lost..

     
  10. Theresa Fleer

    January 19, 2014 at 5:13 am

    I truly beleive you are a true seeker of Christ…but your understanding of this scripture is incorrect…there are still apostles today for the church is still being built, there are still prophets, not as of the Old Testament , but who build up the church and give direction, there are evangelist who seek the lost , pastors who stay and feed and protect the flock, and teachers who help to clarify the word of God…all are needed today, until the comming of our Lord!

     
    • conmakhalira

      January 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Theresa for your comment. I still stand by what I have written and I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture that this is correct and true. Grace and peace.

       
  11. Marshal

    January 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Prophets are not future tellers. They are ordained by God to talk to people behalf of them. In Ephesians 2.19-21 Paul is talking about GLOBAL CHURCH and he says that It happens by joining several other buildings ( different churches in different places all around the world) together. If there is no “single church”, there is no “The Church”. Thats why I say it’s because of IGNORANCE that we say we don’t need things we used for foundation anymore. Every time “single church” happens, we need all of them again and again.

    In Ephesians 4:11- 13 its clear that church need them to grow to the head, that is Christ. If prophets wasn’t a need, trust me, Paul wouldn’t have add them in the list – the list of God’s BUILDERS OF THE CHURCH.`

     
    • conmakhalira

      January 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks for your comment my brother. A couple of things:

      First, we agree that prophecy is not always about forth-telling but speaking on the behalf of God as he has revealed his will in Scripture. This post addresses this point very well, I believe.

      Secondly, I have a problem with your definition of the church. It seems to me that your differentiation of the invisible and visible church is a bit shaky. The Church in Eph. 2:20 is the invisible not the visible one. The visible church had its foundation laid once for all by Christ as the cornerstone and the prophets and apostles as the foundation. This church doesn’t “happen” as you put it any more ever since this foundation was laid but it continues to grow and expand every day as the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of unbelievers and convicts them on sin and lead them to Christ for salvation.

      The invisible church which you call the “Global Church”, I believe, is not made up of buildings but believers: those who have gone to be with the Lord, those who are on earth now, and those who will believe in Christ for their salvation. This church does not need any new foundation because it was already laid. That’s the teaching of Ephesians 2:20. The visible church on the other hand, is what we see gathering together in buildings or any other place. In the visible church, we have both believers and non-believers.

      In regard to the visible church which people start or plant, there is the Word (The Canon) which is sufficient for that church. They don’t need prophecy but the Bible.

      Thirdly, the challenge that you face in insisting the need of prophets in the church today is this: Do you believe that the Bible is sufficient will of God for man and his church? If yes, then you don’t need any other revelation of his will. If no, surely you need more revelations now and again.

      Thank you for you comment. Grace and peace.

       
  12. bb

    February 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I’m convince they are preachers today not prophets emmmmmmmmmmmm God save us all

     
    • conmakhalira

      February 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks bb for your comment. Grace and peace.

       

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