Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Prophets & Apostles Today? (Hebrews 1:1, 2 NKJV)

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; (Hebrews 1:1, 2 NKJV)

God spoke in the past by the prophets but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, Jesus Christ.

What does this tell us about those churches and individuals that believe there are modern day prophets who tell the future?  

God has spoken through the prophets of old, foretelling the coming of Jesus.  Jesus came and those prophets were no longer needed because now we have the words of Jesus Christ.

In Ephesians, it talks about God having given the church prophets.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (Ephesians 4:11-15 NKJV)

Ephesians was written by Paul. He was an apostle. Several of the apostles were still living and ministering to the churches at this writing.  So it should come as no surprise that Paul would say that God gave apostles to the church.  They still speak with authority today to the church in the pages of Scripture.

God gave prophets...the Old Testament prophets who foretold the coming of Christ as well as other future events.  There were also some New Testament prophets such as John the Baptist who foretold Christ's coming.  

God gave evangelists...those who are not apostles but proclaim the Gospel to others.

God gave pastors...those who are overseers of the congregation.

God gave teachers...those who are well suited to teaching others the word of God.

These are the types of people mentioned by Paul in Ephesians.  How does this fit with Hebrews?  

Well, we know that the office of apostle did not continue.  There is no Biblical record of the Apostles commissioning other men to carry on in that office after them.  Where the Bible is silent, we need to be silent also.

The office of prophet, does not continue in the sense of men foretelling the future of things to come except that which the Bible has already revealed to us.  

All the author of Hebrews is doing then is explaining that Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and now He takes the place of those prophets and His word is the final word on these matters.  

Yes, God has given prophets to the church....He gave us the prophets of old who foretold Christ's coming to encourage us in our faith.  He gave us the prophecy of John in Revelation, again, to encourage us in our faith.

Those who preach about what the Bible says concerning things to come are prophets because they are warning people of judgement to come and of the true way of salvation.

I do not believe there are prophets today that tell future events that are not already written about in the Bible.  This would be adding to Scripture things that are not already there.  This is dangerous territory.  This is where false teachers come in to lead people away from the Bible.

So has God given the church apostles?  Yes!  
Has God given the church prophets?  Yes!

Are they with us today?  Only in and through the pages of the Bible are they with us today.  They still speak to the church just as Christ speaks to the church in the pages of Scripture.  Scripture is our authority and if we begin to listen to anyone who claims authority as an apostle or prophet today, beware.  They will not lead you to the Word of God as the final authority. They will lead you to listen to THEM and to take their authority over the Bible's authority.

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