What is a prophet? Basically, a prophet had the ability to receive direct revelation from God and would then communicate that revelation to the people. The controversy today is whether God has new revelations for His church; is He still sending prophets?
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), an offspring of the Latter Rain Movement, promotes the idea that there are modern-day prophets. This movement also supports a social gospel, the belief that some of its apostles can raise the dead, and it also supports pagan, mystical practices such as contemplative prayer and labyrinth walking.
Additionally, NAR claims that Christians must submit to its leadership because God has appointed some in their ranks as apostles and prophets so that the kingdom of God can be established on earth (Christian Domionism).
In the following clip, C Peter Wagner, credited for founding the NAR, is seen here endorsing faith healer Todd Bentley as prophet and apostle. Keep an ear open for Wagner’s dominion theology:
Does Bentley ever stop shaking? Is he in full demonic possession perhaps?
After this endorsement by Wagner who expressed hope that Bentley “bear much and lasting fruit”, Bentley left his disabled wife. That is tragic in itself, but isn’t it odd that a faith healer couldn’t heal his own wife? In fact, I haven’t heard of one documented healing performed by Bentley that has taken place, which is no surprise since he loves to kick people in the face.
Now that we know what’s going on in the NAR movement, let’s look at reasons why God has not sent prophets for the church today.
1. Prophets Were Temporary
The prophets were foundational to the early church (Ephesians 2:20). The completed New Testament was not around back then, so the gift of prophecy revealed additional information. We have a complete Bible, from Genesis to Revelation; we do not need to add to anything.
2. Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)
Hebrews 1:1 tells us God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son. Jesus is the truth (John 14:16), and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13). Since the Holy Spirit helped the apostles write Scripture (John 14:26), it is fitting that the Holy Spirit illumines Scripture for believers (Ephesians 1:17-18).
We are to look to Scripture alone for guidance. 2 Peter 1:3 says we have everything we need for godly living. Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). What more do we need?
3. The Canon is Closed
The principle that we should not add to God’s words appears throughout Scripture:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).
“You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).
“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it” (Deuteronomy 4:2).
“Do add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:6)
One may think that the so-called divine revelation does not necessarily mean adding to anything to Scripture; however, if God spoke, surely those words (if His) would be just as authoritative as the words of Scripture, not so?
Additionally, we are commanded to test everything (1 Thess 5:21). We are to compare what we are told with the Word of God, and we should dismiss anything that’s not found in the Bible. The self-proclaimed prophets of today have given false prophecies. A simple Google search will reveal some of the false messages from those such as Jack Van Impe, Benny Hinn, and John Hagee (pictured above).
In the Old Testament, God said a prophet who spoke things that God had not commanded Him to speak had to be put to death (Deuteronomy 18:20). We would be rather busy today if that command still applied.
It is clear that direct revelation, prophetic hotlines, and personal prophetic words from God are not biblical. There is only one kind of prophet that exists in the church today, and that is the false prophet (Matthew 7:15).
Soli Deo Gloria,
Please note: I’m not suggesting the Holy Spirit cannot bring a Bible verse to recollection for someone or impress upon us a lesson from the Bible.
They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. 7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?”
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
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.
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. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.”