part of the what is truth? series

Supposedly Gods Prophet
Many today claim to be God’s prophet. In fact, there is a wide belief in what is referred to as the prophetic ministry. Statements like The most urgent need of the modern church is for the restoration of the prophetic ministry and We all need the prophetic voice to come into the earth that we might have a “living word” imparted to our lives. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) are founded on men like Brigham Young and Joseph Smith that claim to be God’s prophets.

With these claims, “God’s prophets” are claiming to be God’s spokesperson on earth. That was the main role of the prophets of God that we see in Scripture. The question is, do God’s prophets really exist today? Instead of letting a man (or woman) make the claim – which of course, literally anyone could do – let’s see what God has to say through His word.

how Scripture answers "Do Gods prophets exist today?"

Prophets of God, being direct spokesmen for God, played a specific and needed role in disclosing to mankind God’s will1,4,7. In fact, they were serving Christian’s today with their predictions5. However, prophesies were only a part or portion3,6 of God’s message. When the time came that all of God’s message was revealed they would no longer be needed3,5.

God’s revelation to mankind was completed with the coming of Jesus (the “cornerstone”7) and his full gospel message1,3,4,5,6 (a complete “foundation”7). By the time of Peter’s letters, God’s prophets had apparently all past, replaced by teachers2 which were similar in nature (but didn’t literally speak God’s words).

Therefore, prophets of God do not exist today. Any “prophet of God” could only be a false prophet.

the answer above is based on and footnoted with the following Scripture Blocks
1

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

Paul disclosed “the mystery of Christ” to the Ephesians through his letter; a mystery that was not known by men in former times, but was revealed to his (Christ’s) “holy apostles and prophets” through/by the Holy Spirit.

Paul goes on to discuss his ministry of the gospel (the “mystery”) to the gentiles and that through it all are “members of the same body” (vs 6). It was given to him to preach, bringing “the light to everyone” and carried forward by the church (vss 9,10). While “the mystery” is known in Scripture as the gospel (

Col 4:3
), in this context he is highlight the specific point that it (the gospel) is for the Gentiles as well (vs 6).

How does it inform?

Emphasizes the special role that the apostles and prophets had in the 1st century and implies the temporary nature as “the mystery” is revealed.

Does it apply? Yes

2

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Just like false prophets were, greedy false teachers will arise among you and act in secret (infiltrate) to malign the truth, even going so far as to deny Jesus, which will bring them swift destruction.  Many will be persuaded and because of them the gospel message will be blasphemed.  Their greed will cause them to take advantage of you by telling lies.  Don’t be deceived; their destruction is certain.

All three chapters of 2 Peter are really confronting false teaching. Chap 1 confirms the “truth” they already learned and confidence in “all scripture”. Chap 2 further describes false teachers as “bold” and “willful” and their condemnation in the worst ways. In Chap 3 he addresses Paul’s teachings that they will “twist to their own destruction.”

How does it inform?

Prophets and teachers are joined in terms of mission/objective, but also contrasted in terms of time (prophets were and teachers will be).

Does it apply? Yes

3

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

Love never ends, unlike prophecies, tongues and knowledge [certain miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit] which will all pass away. Prophesying was “in part”, so when “the perfect” (or complete) came it would logically no longer be needed.

Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth.  He has just expounded on what Godly love and acts like making the final point that love as he’s defined it (e.g. Godly) never ends. In the immediate context, Paul is clearly speaking of those miraculous gifts from God (prophecies, tongues and [special] knowledge) that are “partial” and “will pass away” when “the perfect [complete] comes.”  He goes on to invoke the logic of a man that gives up childish things as he grows up and matures.

How does it inform?

Prophesying provided “a part” of God’s revelation. Therefore, when the perfect or complete revelation came prophesying would no longer be required.

Does it apply? Yes

4

And on that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness.

A day will come when God will remove idols and prophets.

This is in the midst of a long series of “on that day” prophecies (broader context) that spans from chapter 8 through 14.  When we collect the descriptors and characteristics of these successive “that day” references, we see what appears to be metaphorical descriptions of judgement day.  Consider:

  • God “will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days” (8:11) – new covenant
  • a “sowing of peace” (8:12) – new covenant
  • “many peoples and strong nations…seek the Lord” (8:22) – Gentiles added
  • king coming with “salvation…humble and mounted on a donkey” (9:9) – Jesus
  • God will “save them, as the flock of his people” (9:16) – Jesus
  • “From him shall come the cornerstone” (10:10) – Jesus
  • God “became the shepherd of the flock doomed” (11:4) – Jesus
  • annul the covenant with wages of “thirty pieces of silver” (11:13) – Jesus
  • “feeblest…shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God” (12:8) – joint heirs with Jesus
  • pour out a “spirit of grace” (12:10)
  • mourning when “they look on me, on him whom they have pierced” (12:10) – Jesus
  • a fountain opened “to cleanse them from sin” (13:1) – redemption
  • “every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies” (12:4) – prophecy ceases
  • Lord “king over all the earth” (14:9) – Jesus risen, at right hand of God
How does it inform?

Several “prophet” statements are made in the midst of an extensive series of “in that day” or “on that day” descriptors — including several that were interpreted by New Testament writers to be fulfilled by Christ or the church in the 1st century. It seems difficult not to conclude that Zechariah was pointing to a time — specifically the 1st century — when God would “not deal with the remnant” by removing the prophets.

!! study note: context is extra important here !!

Does it apply? Yes

5
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

The prophets prophesied about the salvation through Christ (or, “grace that was to be yours”) and wondered themselves about the timing and person that would be Jesus as they predicted His sufferings and glories.  Yet, they were told they were serving someone else with the things (prophesies) that have now been fulfilled (“announced”) in the revelation of the gospel by the Holy Spirit.

Peter’s letter(s) of encouragement to the saints that were facing great persecution and longing for their reward in Christ Jesus.

How does it inform?

Peter is speaking of the fulfillment of the prophets’ mission and objective. Their “work” was for the benefit of the Christians at that time, therefore their work was complete (also clear in how Peter writes).

Does it apply? Yes

6
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

In a previous time God spoke to man through the prophets, but now (“these last days”) He has spoken through His son, Jesus Christ. Additionally, God appointed Him heir of all things and through Him created the world.

Opening to the letter of Hebrews, written to Jews that had believed and obeyed the gospel.  The writer is beginning his argument and evidence for why everything is better in Jesus by pointing to the prophets (and angels) that had, in times past, delivered God’s message.

How does it inform?

God’s Son was the fulfillment of God’s message to mankind. Prophets had played a part, but only a part.

Does it apply? Yes

7
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. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

You are no longer set apart, but now are fellow citizens with the saints of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone, in whom the entire building joins together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In Christ, you also are adding together to form a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Paul is pointing out to the Ephesians and Gentile Christians, that though they were at one time “called the uncircumcision by the circumcised” (vs 11), they are now part of the inheritance in Christ as a result of the “peace” that has been preached (vs 18).

How does it inform?

God’s prophets were the “foundation” to a “building” that was already built in the first century, as Christians of that day and since are a part of it.

Does it apply? Yes

Do you agree? If so, share this question and the Bible Study Framework with others.

If you know of some other verses or you have something to add to the verses already listed for this question please leave a comment below! We welcome the public discussion and will incorporate your input into the Framework above. We have nothing to hide and invite your help in considering all that God’s word has to say.

what do you think?

Send Us Your Question