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Do we have prophets today?
Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:57 pm
From a correspondence course response...
a correspondence course student wrote:Do we still have prophets living today? (I Corinthians 13:8): YES
What does the Scriptures say?
Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:05 am
I must kindly disagree with you here. From previous passages we have examined, we see that one generally received miraculous gifts, including prophecy, by the apostles laying their hands on people (Acts 8:12-20). However, Paul was the last of the apostles and the last to see the Lord, even in a vision (I Corinthians 15:4-8). Therefore, there are no more people alive who satisfy the qualifications of apostleship (Acts 1:21-26); therefore, there are no more apostles, and there is no one available to bestow miraculous gifts. Consequently, there are no more prophets.
Furthermore, I Corinthians 13:8 teaches that prophecies will fail, when "that which is perfect is come". The context necessitates that the "perfect" be the complete revelation of God, in contrast to the partial revelation of sporadic prophecies, tongues, and miraculous knowledge. The Bible constitutes that perfect, complete revelation (James 1:22-25; Jude 1:3; II Peter 1:2-3); therefore, there is no more need for prophecies. They have long ceased with all other miraculous gifts from the first century.
Finally, in light of the preceding texts, all modern prophets must provide Scriptural authority for their existence and work. However, they must also past the "test of a prophet" (I John 4:1; Deuteronomy 18:14, 20-22). If any of their prophecies fail, then they are not from God, and we must reject them for that reason alone. Now here's a trivial test: Which of the so-called prophet wants to tell me what I am thinking -- It's a number between 1 and 1 million (I Corinthians 14:24-25) ...
Not only that, but their testimony must never contradict the previously revealed and established Word of God (Galatians 1:6-8; I Corinthians 14:37-38; I John 4:5-6). Even a "lucky prophet", who manages to guess correctly a few times, should be rejected, if he contradicts the Bible. God has already indicated that some false prophets would be permitted to test our faithfulness (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
One last passage: Zechariah foretold that prophecy would cease shortly after the establishment of the Messianic kingdom (Zechariah 13:1-6). I would not consider the continuance of prophets some 2000 years after Christ to fall under the description of "shortly".
What do you think now? Do you still believe that we have prophets? If so, please explain why, because I would like to follow them, if they are truly prophets indeed.
we do have prophets today - just not living ones...
Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:07 pm
I would be inclined to home the correspondent in on the key word, "living". In a sense we have prophets today, just as we in a sense have apostles today (Luke 22:14, 30; Matthew 19:27-28 - note the durative ongoing nature of "will sit ... and judging", coinciding with Christ's reign). They still serve today thru the completed work of their office. Their revelatory work is finished, and it was finished when the age of miracles ended, but they still serve. They serve in a completed, perfect capacity having finished all the work God required for the active time of their office. The church is built on it. A foundation is laid first, completed, and then the buidling continues (Ephesians 2:19-22; I Corinthians 3:9-11). God doesn't keep adding to the foundation - only adding 'lively stones' to the building structure (I Peter 2:4-5)