Discussion in 'The Last Days' started by Moxie, Sep 9, 2017.
Not aware of any "office" of prophet or apostle except in man made doctrine.
"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until (the Baptist) John." Mt 11:13.
Christ being the subject of revelatory prophesy, and it's fulfilment, He is the ultimate Prophet and the end of prophecy.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." Heb 1:1,2
John the Apostle and Revelator closes the Apostolic age with an ecstatic prophecy strikingly similar to Old Testament prophecies - and centers on the person and role of Christ as Lord.
During the Apostolic age were clear manifestations of spontaneous prophecy, such as in Corinth, and prophets, as in Acts.
Many believe that the phenomonen of the spiritual gifts of prophecy were temporary and limited to the Apostolic age.
"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." 1Co 13:8
Much tradition equates "Prophet" with "Preacher."
"...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Rev 19:10
So, it's a matter of interpretation and definition.
I do not hold to post-NT prophets.
My use of the term "office" is in this manner defined as: a position of authority, trust, or service.
No need to use the term, but it does shorten things a bit to get the idea that The Apostles, and The Prophets were specific positions of authority that were appointed by God to fulfill His good purpose. Those "offices" were filled and fulfilled as foundation.
Do you completely disagree ?
Just out of interest, who was this person?
There are a few people around who proclaim themselves to be apostles and prophets, and most of them are best used for entertainment purposes (although the sad thing is that many people lap up failed prophecy after failed prophecy and never seem to doubt the next one)
A lot of the so-called prophets use lots of fine sounding words (even to the point of claiming that a "scribe angel" dictated a message that came directly from God, but the message twisted Scripture out of all context. Poor God - obviously he doesn't remember what was in his book...), a few of them use the kind of tactics you'd expect from a dodgy used car salesman (get on board today or you'll miss out on the blessings), and a few of them put a lot of focus on themselves rather than on the God they supposedly represent. Some use soothing words to push their teachings ("God won't let you be deceived" or even "God's power to protect is stronger than the devil's power to misguide") which sounds good but didn't work too well for Adam and Eve and won't work any better for us.
If you fancy a look at some examples of what prophecy doesn't look like, go take a read over at The Elijah List (it's at elijahlist dot com). If your "prophet" appears anywhere on that site you can probably discount everything he says.
On another note, in the OT model the penalty for a false prophecy was execution. It was pretty clear cut - your prophecy came true or it didn't, and if it didn't that was game over for you.
In the NT it's a different picture - 1Co 14:29 talks of "let two or three speak and let the others judge". If it's relevant for the others to judge it suggests that those with a prophetic gift might get it wrong and there's no need to execute them. The big difference is presentation - there's a yawning gap between a declaration that "Thus saith the Lord" and "I think God might be saying...". If I believe God is saying something to me then it's up to me whether or not I follow it. If I believe God is saying something to you then I shouldn't be surprised if you want to take time to pray about it and consider it, as opposed to dropping everything so you can get busy obeying it.
Another good way to spot the false prophets is when they expect to wield the authority of an OT prophet but dodge the associated responsibility so they can get it wrong. And needless to say they will expect you to follow their every word while taking precisely no responsibility for the consequences.
So, you believe God doesn't speak to people any longer and He doesn't give words of knowledge or prophecy to help His people? He just expects us to read the Bible, with no other help from Him, and we're to hope we get things right? I'm not implying EVERY person who claims to hear from God really does, but I don't believe He just dropped other means of communication with us in favor of JUST the Bible. I believe the Bible is a tool for us. It's beneficial. But, it's not the only way He interacts with us.
A friend of mine practiced this for a time with a group of women. They would get together, ask God to speak to them ... and then write everything down they felt they were being given, often pages upon pages. She said it almost felt like she was "channeling".
After some time she realized they were all pretty much either dabbling in the occult or putting themselves in a sort of trance as they checked out mentally in order to produce something "spiritual", and she burned every page she had been "prophesying" and quit that activity altogether.
I think a lot of that has to do with the power of self-suggestion ... I WANT to hear from God, so I'm going to hear SOMETHING, ANYTHING, because if I don't then God doesn't speak to me, and if He doesn't speak to me it must mean He doesn't love me and/or I'm not special. Which is sad, because Christianity is about building a healthy community that helps the downtrodden of the world, not about "look how special God made me and how gifted I am" or about getting special knowledge ... which is Gnosticism, not Christianity.
Some of it definitely has to do with outright money grubbing and ego pandering ... basically the people who "speak into your life" as you "sow into their ministry" (which is Christianese for them selling you their "prophecies"). It's exactly the kind of stuff Paul was complaining about in his letters, the people he was criticizing who ended up being a burden on the churches, because they didn't actually give them anything tangible. Which is why Paul thought it better for him to actually work for a living, and give God's gifts away freely. And if someone like Paul, who actually raised people from the dead, can adopt that philosophy, then who am I to do any different? I ain't ever raised anybody from the dead. Apostles work in the power of the resurrection as they tirelessly labor for the Gospel in the most dangerous areas of the world, and live a life of intense suffering and persecution as the flipside to the amazing powers they are given, to keep them humble. If you wear a Prada suit and drive a Rolls Royce and travel safe churches in first world countries that afford you religious freedom, then you're not an apostle, you're a fraud of the worst sort.
There are people who say the Bible is the only way God speaks to people. Which I disagree with, because God has spoken to us through His Son according to Hebrews 1. Jesus is the Word of God. He is very much alive and still speaks to people today, most definitely, but we all hear from Him differently, and at the end of the day it's about our faithfulness to His commandments and about doing the things He has already plainly told us to do. God has spoken to me many, many times in the last 25 years. A lot of it had to do with me needing to repent for very specific things. The vast majority of it has had to do with praying for specific people about specific things. A lot of it also has to do with granting me insights into my personal struggles as I seek Him day and night in prayer for guidance, wisdom and support. You don't honestly need a prophet to hear from Jesus. He's very capable of speaking to His own people. Although it's nice to get confirmation, because everything is established with 2-3 witnesses; that principle still holds to this day. Which is also why I wouldn't trust one singular person to speak into my life, especially not a person who doesn't even know me and who has zero rapport with me. That's folly. If you decide to hang your hat on the cottail of one prophet or preacher or "ministry", then you get what you get, honestly, because the Bible is full of warnings against such a thing.
God frequently speaks to and leads me.That does not make me a prophet and I cannot be God's mouthpiece in the prophetic sense.
Word of knowledge is, imo, a feature of the early Apostolic age.
Not to embellish on Kirk's post #2.
No, I was invited by someone from another denomination. She believes he is a prophet and was hoping I would be "excited" to hear him speak in person.
This gentleman put a lot of stock in himself and what Jesus / Mary has told him. His claim is that he has been given almost daily information about the end of the world, and how to survive the tribulation.
Whoops! The fact that this guy believes Mary is communicating ANYTHING to him INSTANTLY disproves his "prophetic" status.
What are you trying to say?
Mary speaks to people all the time. And appears in bread.
Ah. Yes. My mistake.
I thought it was pancakes...
When very young, and a Catholic, I once had a very restless night, wherein I kept returning in my dreams to Mary telling me, over and over, to repeat after her: "Jesus is Lord."
I kept waking to hear myself audibly recite the phrase.
The message was well recieved: Mary is not to be worshipped or prayed to.
Rid rumrody ray ranrakes?
The trouble with so much of this kind of thing is that it gets really difficult to test things unless you're directly involved somehow, and often discerning the difference between listening to God in the sense of being willing to accept that God might be speaking, and listening to God in the sense of zoning out and blindly accepting whatever comes into your head, can be tricky. People who are willing to listen to God could easily be in either group, and of course the theological toxic waste put out by "churches" like Bethel and IHOP and their ilk does nothing to help.
That's actually another good way to spot the dodgy ones. The ones who never seem to do anything useful but always seem to make a lot of money off the backs of others, with fine sounding spiritual words like "sow into the ministry" and "sow love gifts" and so on. As Jesus nearly said, freely you have received so feel free to charge a high price for it. I'm not sure that's quite what he said but you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise, the way some churches operate.
The ego side of it is a really good point - the difference between a bold proclamation from a superior position that "Thus saith the Lord" in a style and tone that clearly states "little person, lesser being than me, listen to what those more mature in the Lord have received", as opposed to getting alongside someone and talking to them in love.
One thing I find really interesting is the way God speaks to people in ways that probably wouldn't make any sense to anyone else, the kind of thing that touches just where you need to be touched but in a way that could potentially be seen as little more than a coincidence. There's no specific reason why God can't use the kind of person who bellows "Thus saith the Lord" from a platform, but as one of many pokes in the same direction. Perhaps just talking to a Christian friend about the Bible verses you've been reading that you found very encouraging could be the confirmation of something they need - you wouldn't necessarily even know the significance of it to them, but they would and God would.
I remember years ago at the small group I attended at the time, we were working through the Scripture for that Sunday's sermon. The session leader added another verse to the end (in the sense that the Scripture was maybe v12-18 and the leader went an extra verse, including v19). As the last verse was read one lady in the group started crying. That verse touched something, it was what she needed to hear. The session leader had no idea that would happen, he had no idea that this particular lady really needed to hear the extra verse, he just thought it was a more logical place to end the reading. Was that a prophetic thing? Was it God just working in the smallest of ways, that meant a lot to one person? You could probably stick all sorts of labels on it, but perhaps it's more important to look at the end result.
I'm not convinced that looking at the end result of the profits prophets in so many places paints them in any better a light.
Almost daily information?
That sounds like a warning bell right there. It reminds me of an event I read about where the profit prophet Cindy Jacobs was going to speak, and apparently her plan was to spend two hours prophesying. I wish I had the authority to dictate to God where and when he was going to speak to me. She must be something really special.
I suspect, if we are expected to survive the tribulation (which in itself dictates a specific end-times view that many would disagree with) we'll do it by the grace of God and he will provide for us. Somehow I don't imagine it's going to be because we remembered to get the right type of holy water, or pray the correct prayers for a designated time beforehand.
If he's putting stock in himself that would be another warning bell for me. If he's about pointing towards Jesus Christ that's a good thing but if he's pointing to himself, that doesn't sound like the kind of thing the Holy Spirit is into.
You didn't mention who this mystery man is?
I think this falls down in the light of 1Co 14:29, "let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge", which suggests that prophets should speak and that they should speak going forward. The text is saying what should be done, as opposed to what should have been done.
I don't think we can conclude from 1Co 13 that prophecies have ceased, only that they will cease. When the perfect comes the imperfect is cast away but the perfect has not yet come. Knowledge has not yet vanished, so why should tongues be silenced and prophecy cease?
When people claim to be prophets in the OT sense, i.e having the kind of authority than an OT prophet commanded, then I'd say they are liars. The only example of such prophets I can see in the NT is the two witnesses of Rev 11 and I think anyone who claims to be one of the witnesses can safely be assumed to be lying, simply because I suspect it will become very apparent who they are without them having to draw attention to themselves.
Much time could be spent discussing what differences there might be between "a prophet" and "a person with a prophetic gift" that would probably end up concluding that the distinction was as much a matter of semantic preference as Scriptural fact. I guess to conclude I would agree with you that there are no more prophets in the OT sense (at least until the two witnesses become known), but I believe there are still people with a gift of prophecy.
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