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Do we have prophets in the church today? Certainly yes! It all depends on the understanding of the role of New Testament prophecy. The principal purpose of the prophetic ministry in the last days concerns the proclamation of God’s Word and declaring the consequences of rejecting the atoning grace of Christ. Every believer has a prophetic mandate to witness to the finished works of Christ at Calvary and about his soon return to judge the living and the dead. The second purpose of prophecy is to communicate the will of the Holy Spirit in the church. There is evidence in the New Testament church that the Spirit often spoke, giving direction in ministry work. After intense prayer and fasting the Holy Ghost gave instructions most probably through a person with prophetic gifting or through one of the apostles (Acts 13:2). The Holy Spirit also warned the church through Agabus about imminent danger of persecution that awaited Paul in Jerusalem as well as concerning the coming drought in Judea (Acts 11:28). Paul expounds on the prophetic ministry of the church in his first letter to the Corinthians. He teaches about the distribution of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:10 “…to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits…” the same gift is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14:4 “…but he that prophesieth edifieth the church…”. Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit endows the believers with divers gifts all of which should be used for the edification of the church. The idea that prophetic ministry concerns itself about the unknown or unrevealed truth is often false and misleading. Do we have prophets who are authorized to “speak into the lives” of believers and declare their future outside the context of the revelation of Scripture? No we don’t and neither do we require them. The Word of God contains sufficient prophetic proclamation on our future, our life in Christ and the divine destiny that God has set for his church. It is all in the Word of God. The Bible warns that we should test every spirit or prophecy. 1 John 4:1 cautions “My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world.” John also goes on to explain the tools by which we may authenticate true prophecy. True prophecy must be aligned to and agree with the Word of God. No true preacher can “see” into anyone’s life except without the aid of God’s Word and neither can they speak anything into one’s life anything which does not agree with the Word. Any such preacher is simply a false prophet. Can we have a new revelation from an “apostle” or prophet? Certainly not! The Revelation of God is completed and sealed in Christ and in his Word. The church is not to expect any further revelation from God than we have received and any person purporting to possess such revelation is a false prophet and must be rejected by the church. No writings by a church minister however captivating and inspiring can take the place of the Word of God or become books of authority alongside it. Millions of people have been deceived by lying spirits which claim to speak the mind of God but are in fact agents of Satan out to deceive and consign them in eternal doom. Some of these false preachers have used these “spiritual” tags and titles as means by which to enrich themselves and their families in the name of church ministry, The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times some will desert the faith and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from devils, 2 seduced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are branded as though with a red-hot iron:” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). These are the false prophets we see today who proclaim a different gospel than what Scripture holds; whose ears are plugged and cannot receive correction for their error.
There are two types of “Prophets” found in both the Old and New Testament. First one, is a Prophet that foretells of events to come in the future, that God has chosen to make known. Usually these events are not good, but sometimes can be. Do these still exist? Yes, I believe they do, but are not as common. But as the “End Times” get closer, we will see a rise in this kind of Prophet. They will “Rise Again”. The Second is the Prophet that warns the people of Sin and Repentance. But like the Jewish people of old, we also do not like these Prophets. Let's be honest, we do not like to be told we are “walking in sin” and need to “repent”: Stop doing it or else! For example: 1 Samuel 12: Nathan the Prophet is sent to King David to expose David's sin with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband. Acts 5: Ananias and Sapphira their lie. We simply do not like this kind of Prophet, they make us very uncomfortable and nervous. They kill the 'party'. They are not 'fun' and they do not give us 'goose bumps', like being told about the future. Which by the way, was not always 'warm and fuzzy' either, if we stop to think about it. But, none the less, not much 'fun' being told we are walking in sin and need to repent: Stop doing the specific sin(s)! Nope not fun at all. But these do exist in the church today, but we tend, more often then not, to ignore them! * They are not Politically Correct. * They are not “good” for the “Social Gospel” * They make us sinners seriously uncomfortable. * They tell us the Bible is the Word of God and should be followed as such! * They tell us, That the Bible IS God's Standard! Yup, that is this kind of Prophet at work. And like the Jewish people of old, we too do NOT like them. Could this be why we see the Church of Christ so fragmented, so broken, so dark and empty? Because the church has turned a deaf ear to these Prophets, I submit that is why we see the church in the position it is in today. No not all churches, but more them then not. What do we see: Sin is watered down and Righteousness is water downed to such a point that we cannot tell one from the other. The Prophet is ignored, and that is why we see the world as we do today: Right is Wrong and Wrong is Right, or more to the point: Sin is “Righteousness” and Righteousness is “Sin”. All because we do not listen to the Prophets of today. They are not 'good' for the Church. They do not bring people in! They are bad for the offering plate! Yes, we have this kind of Prophet today, but more often then not, we ignore them for the very same reasons the Jewish people of the Old Testament did. They were not “pleasing to the ears”, they did/do not “tickle our ears”. They make us squirm, feel uncomfortable, feel awkward and expose our sins, to ourselves. We do not like this! Now on the flip side, we also have False Prophets of this sort. They do “tickle our ears” - they do tell us, “Sin is okay, because God 'understands' and will not hold sin against us.” Or other such words that water down sin, water down righteousness and most seriously, water down the Word and Standard of God! I close as to what will happen to these False Prophets and those that listen and follow them. No, this is not “Socially Acceptable”. No, it is not “Politically Correct”, No, it is not 'warm and fuzzy'. Please read: Matt 7:13-27 Note the words “Watch out for False Prophets! And note specifically what Jesus warns us to look for and take note of. Note the words of Jesus: Matt 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' Yes, I think there are Prophets, today. We just don't like them.
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