Project Description

Modern day “prophets” abound. They wear the name in order to imply or outright claim they are speaking for God.

Understanding some fundamental aspects about the prophets of old sheds light on the claims made by so many during these times. Prophets are a fascinating class unto themselves in Scripture that hold many lessons for us today.

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,

Ephesians 2:19-20

sound doctrine: prophets

What was a prophet from God?

A prophet that is truly God’s prophet is sent as His spokesperson1,2,4,6,7. It is someone that God has revealed Himself to8 and sent on a mission to speak His literal words6,7. They have stood in the council of God, seeing His heavenly throne and deliberations among those around the throne5,8.

The message is not usually a happy one3. In fact, it is often a message of mourning and woe1 – effectively one of judgement due to the disobedience of the people.* But sometimes, the message may be a false one – words not consistent with God’s commands – as a way to test the hearer9.

*The majority and central message of what’s recorded in all the books of prophecy in the Old Testament and Revelation.

How could you know the ‘true’ from the false’?

One way that false prophets were identified in Old Testament times was by waiting to see if what they said came to pass1. However, it wasn’t the only way, probably since this would have some very practical limitations as in the case of Jeremiah and Hananiah3. Someone couldn’t wait two or seventy years to see who was speaking the truth!

This “time delay” problem is further compounded by the fact that God could be testing you6. In this, a “prophet” may perform great signs but speak things contrary to God’s word. And it’s in this, along with other examples2,3, that we see a more fundamental rule emerge. We see the prophet’s message being measured against past messages from other proven, true prophets2 – that is, prophets speaking God’s word6. Testing the things prophesied was true in the early church as well5,7. In other words, the consistency of message is paramount (and why wouldn’t it be since God doesn’t change).

Note: A ‘tip-off’ for the hearer that a “prophet of God” was actually a false prophet was someone that is always preaching peace3 (“everything’s going to be okay”). The much more common message of God’s true prophets was one of judgement, condemnation for disobedience and a call to repent. True spokesmen for God are speaking His words/message4.

Do prophets from God still exist today?

Prophets of God, being direct spokesmen for God, played a specific and needed role in disclosing to mankind God’s will1,4. 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 and his gospel message1,3,4,5,6. 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.

getting to truth on prophets is more than a little important, agreed?

Connect with us if you think we’re missing it….our souls depend on it too!

get all of the questions about prophets

answered by scripture with the Bible Study Framework

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