Are there modern-day prophets? I know many of us see wild predictions being made by other Christians. Most of the time, these predictions are about the end of the world or the return of Jesus. And while heavily popularized such as those made by the late Harold Camping always seem to fail, there are other less publicized accounts that seem to be true cases of someone having prior knowledge of future events. So, what should Christians make of this?
What’s A Prophet?
As we look at this question, it’s important to make a distinction between a prophet and someone having the gift of prophecy. While someone may claim the gift of prophecy, they should not be confused with one of the Old Testament prophets. What’s the distinction?
The Old Testament prophets were giving new revelations from God. They also had the authority to deliver specific messages to a certain group of people at a certain time in history. Their messages and teachings were directed by God himself, and they were completely accurate in their messages. And they met the standards for prophets laid out in Deuteronomy 13 and 18 and Acts 1:21-22. All of these sections give stern warnings about uttering false prophecies in the name of God.
Now, I’m not saying that there is no gift of prophecy present in today’s Church. My faith background doesn’t have much experience with this, however. I’ve encountered a few people that claimed the gift of prophecy, but can’t speak to their accuracy.
What does seem clear is that we should not be receiving new revelation from God. We are told in both Galatians 1:8 and Revelation 22:18 that no one is to further add to Gods Word. The time for new revelations and teachings has passed.
How Do We Make Sense Of This?
So where does that leave us? Scripture is quite clear that we are to expect no new prophets in the sense of receiving new revelations or teaching. There are also scriptural guidelines on what is required for someone to be labeled a messenger from God. Scripture also gives stern warnings about falsely presenting a message as being from God when it is not.
Christians should be receiving guidance from God. Through prayer and study of scripture, God’s desire for us will become clearer. We should always check to make sure the guidance we believe we are getting aligns with Gods existing revelation, and that we are not adding to or taking away from His word.
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