Thursday, August 17, 2006


CONCLUSION on Prophets

The ministry of a prophet in our present age has the distinction ofbeing a vocal utterance of reiteration of the already recordedScriptures, as opposed to the ministry of the Old Testament andearly apostolic age prophets.Their ministry was a ministry of both future and prophetic revelations.

However, when the canon was closed, there was no longer needed any further New revelations from God! In the Old Testament, God had spoken through His prophets, and in the New Testament, he spoke through His Son Jesus Christ who was the Divine incarnation of God Himself!

Those who witnessed the ministryof Jesus Christ recorded those events for all future believer's toread and examine for themselves. John stated that fact in 1 John 1:1-4. "That which was from the beginning which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life; (For the life was manifested and we have seen and bearwitness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may befull."

When Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent the Comforter (John 14:16) to abide with them forever and bring to their remembrance everything(John 14:26) they had seen, heard, and experienced of Jesus during His presence among them. They were to accurately record everything for all future believers. After the death of the last apostle, all revelatory prophecy was completed. The ministry of all future prophets was to take the already recorded message inspired by God and expound it, or preach and teach it to the body of Christ. One of the ministries of the indwelling Holy Spirit from that time to now, was to illuminate the recorded revelations in order to reveal Christ and glorify Him!

The sole purpose of the gift of prophecy was a communication gift given by God to edify the church,and bring souls into the kingdom.The gift of prophecy is being confused today, in part of the church, between the gifts of the words of knowledge and wisdom. The revelatory aspect of these two gifts have not ceased with the revelatory aspect of the gift of prophecy, because those two giftsare still given by God, on occasion, for the ministry to the body of Christ.

These gifts, when used for "body ministry" are usually used to reveal certain present and future things in certain peoples lives which, after revealed to them, will turn them closer to God, and are given to correct them.

The readers might ask why those functions of the gifts would benecessary, seeing that all of the answer to man's problems are recorded in the Bible already for anyone's correction, reproof and instruction in doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16).

However, the fact remains, not everyone is born with the same mental capabilities to understand it. Also, the fact remains that even though a believer has come to salvation through Christ by faith through God's grace, his understanding may be completely undeveloped, and unable to even be able to know how to study scripture for a period.

That's why Paul instructed the Roman Church, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."(Romans 12:2)

So, there may be times when some of god's children need the gift of the word of knowledge ministered to them for their edification. As far as ministering those gifts by the gifted recipient, I feel it is much safer and generates much less pridewhen the phrase "I feel led of the Lord to tell you" rather than tosay, "The Lord told me to tell you", or rattle off the message endedby "Thus saith the Lord".

Naturally, there are many false prophets who are deceived Christians who think they have the gift of prophecy, when they do not. The only safe way to test the prophets is to test them by the authenticity and doctrinal content of their ties to even read the Bible, much less study it and understand the messages in order to see if they line up with the Bible.

Before we can do that, we must know the word of God! And, the only way we can know it is, is to follow Paul's instruction: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the wordof truth." (2 Timothy 2:15) "Beloved, believe not every Spirit, buttry the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophet sare gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)




A new period of revelation in the New Testament required a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy! The focal point of all OldTestament prophecy was on the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ! The central character of the New Testament, Jesus Christ, is the greatest prophet of all.

He was promised by God in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. "The Lord God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; ...I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."Although Jesus has the office of Priest and King, the office of His absolute prophetic authority should not be overlooked! He is referred to as "prophet" at least a dozen times in the NewTestament. In that capacity, He made man know he was a sinner, and showed him the way of salvation through trust in Himself.

Jesus encouraged, revealed God's nature greater than ever before, and showed believer's authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew7:29).

John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of Christ was actually an Old Testament prophet in the transition between the Old and New Covenants. He taught them as one who had between the old sin, and new grace, and baptised those who would repent. John's father, Zechariah (Luke 1:67) was also said to have prophesied on occasion. Other New Testament prophets were Agabus(Acts 11:28; 21:10), Barnabas, Symeon, Lucius and Manean (Acts13:1), Judas and Silas (Acts 15:32).There were even females who, on occasion were allowed to prophesy;such as the daughters of Philip the evangelist. (Acts 21:9).The high priest Ciaphas, prophesied. (John 11:51) Caiaphas was one of Christ's opponents, and God used him to utter words whichrevealed a truth different from anything that Caiaphus would haveever voluntarily have uttered of his own volition!

Paul speaks of apostles and prophets as Gods gifts to the church(Ephesians 2:20;3,5;4:1). And, of course, as previously mentioned, Paul speaks of various levels of prophets in 1 Corinthians 11:14,who either claimed to be spokesman for God or who were simply givingforth messages of God that they had received through a portion ofHis word.Bar-Jesus was a false prophet mentioned in Acts 13:6. Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, is mentioned in Revelations 2:20. Also,there were many Old Testament prophets mentioned, or quoted in theNew Testament.




In studying the Old Testament, it does not take long to discoverthat the Hebrew prophets experienced ecstatic activity in theirvarious ministries. They had visions, dreams, went into trances,fell on their faces, etc. By the very fact of these occurrences intheir lives are the reasons they felt they were divinely directed!

In fact, the Hebrew prophets activities have even been compared tothe actions of the whirling dervishes of Islam, and many other pagan rites by various sects of their time. Ecstasy was first introduced by the Bible prophets in 1 Kings 18, talking about the actions of the prophets of Baal, who "called onthe name of Baal from morning until noon, saying "0 Baal, answer us!"...and they limped about the altar nd they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them." (vv.26-28). These were a weird bunch of people, to say the least, however there are prophets in various sects today that still practice very similar acts.!

However, the above was not describing the action of Hebrew prophets, but of false prophets. The prophet Elijah's activities were in great contrast to those ofthe false prophets of Baal. His manners were quite dignified andquiet compared to the ecstatic and orgiastic actions of Baal'sprophets!In numbers 11:24-30 is recorded an incident, whereby Moses was complaining to the Lord he could not handle the burden of being the spokesman for God to all the people alone. He could not handle the people all complaining to him about all of their gripes, etc. To rectify the situation, God said to appoint 70 elders amongst the congregation whom their people had respect for, and that God would take a portion of the same to the 70 elders who Moses appointed.Moses gave the names to God and summoned the elders. All but two came, with the other two remaining in the courtyard. The Lord did what He said He would do, and the passage states that all of the elders prophesied! Joshua, who was outside the camp, came running reporting to Moses that there were two men prophesying out in the courtyard, and told Moses to stop them! He was jealous of them! However, Moses answered, "Would that all the Lord's people were prophets." The ministry of Moses, who was God's prophet for that time, produced noreal ecstatic occurrences, in his personal ministry.

In 1 Samuel, Samuel was God's prophet for that time. He even carried authority over King Saul, and being God's spokesman. However, therewere other prophets present besides Samuel. There were times wheneven Saul himself thought he was a prophet! In 1 Samuel 10:5b,6 is recorded," you come to the city, you will meet a band of prophets comingdown from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyrebefore them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will come mightily upon you, and you will prophesy with them and he turned unto another man." (This was a prophecy given to King Saul) Thefulfillment of this prophecy is recorded in 1 Samuel 10:10,11. "Whenthey came to Gibeah, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them. And when all who knew him before saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said one to another, "what has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"

Usually the work of aprophet is an individual activity, so Samuel, the original prophet who gave the first prophecy to Saul was the only genuine prophet,and all the rest, including Saul himself, were not called by God to prophesy.Tradition teaches from 1 Samuel 19:18-24, that Samuel headed a "prophet school" where men were studying to be prophets, under Samuel's direction as their teacher. However, in the Biblical accounts of all their activities, although there was alot of worship and praising of God going on in their meetings, there is no particular statement which suggests that any of them fell into a trance, or did any dancing like dervishes. Saul was the only one who is indicated to have experienced any ecstasy. In fact, in the account, when Saul finally came to Samuel's home to see what had happened to his messengers, he was so carried away with the meeting, that he removed his garments and joined in the songs of praise,staying there for many hours and finally falling asleep from sheer exhaustion, forgetting for the time being his hatred against David who was thus afforded an opportunity to escape. The fact is, Saul had always been an emotional person, and he eventually turned completely against God, even going to a fortune teller for advice,and ended his life by committing suicide! He obviously cannot beconsidered as a prophet of God!

Another one of God's prophets, Elisha, who inherited the mantle of Elijah, in an incident recorded in 2 Kings. It states, "And when the minstrel played, the power of the Lord came upon him." Some scholars have said this indicates evidence that a Hebrew prophet required music as a stimulus to produce an ecstatic state and thus enable himto prophesy. However, in studying the entire context of that particular incident, it could be just as well understood that music was a help to Elisha in composing his Spirit so that he could listen to the quiet voice of the Lord and overcome his antipathy at facing the wicked Jehoram.

The prophet Ezekiel was the prophet who seemed to take the lead of all prophets of falling into what might 3:15, called fora minstrel before he would declare the fact, in the account, when Saul finally came to Samuel's home to seewhat had happened to his messengers he was so carried away with the meeting, that he removed his garments and joined in the songs of praise, staying there for many hours and finally falling asleep from sheer exhaustion, forgetting for the time being his hatred against David who was thus afforded an opportunity to escape. The fact is,Saul had always been an emotional person, and he eventually turned completely against God, even going to a fortune teller for advice, and ended his life by committing suicide! He obviously cannot beconsidered as a prophet of God!

These instructions, were to attract the attention of the people he was to prophesy to. These occurences,however, do not necessarily prove that Ezekiel was in a distortedmental state. However, incidences from Ezekiel 8-11 seem to indicatethat Ezekiel was transported across the desert to Jerusalem in avision and saw strange events there, which he recounted after beingagain brought back to Chaldea in a vision. While in his vision, he certainly can be considered to have been in a trance, as I cannot think of any other better way to describe the unusual mentalsituation he was in!

There are many good Bible scholars who deny altogether, that any ofthe Bible prophets ever fell into complete trances, and givereasonable explanations for every event, even includingthe "unusual" behavior of Ezekiel. They say that one does not haveto be "in a trance" to communicate with God. If a person believes in a personal God, there is no problem in the acceptance of the Biblical claim. If that possibility is rejected, there can be no end to the othermountain of possible explanations which people can dream up whichmay make them, feel that they can speak to God whenever they feellike by going into a trance, and having a one on one conversation!




Naturally, not all Christians have the gift of prophecy. However,all Christians are taught by the scriptures to prophesy. The sign ofthe new covenant is, that the indwelling Holy Spirit withineach believer, will make them spokesmen for God.

That does not mean they will all be prophets though, as only a select number are given the gift of prophecy by God's grace. The prophet is one of God's gifts to the church. (Ephesians 4:1). The prophet's job is to help equip God's people for the work of the ministry until everyone comes to the unity of the faith. Since all will never come to the unity of the faith until Jesus Christ returns to earth, the office of the prophet will remain open as a gift from God to the church until that time.

We, as a church need prophecy, because none of us can understand all of Gods word as we should. We all have a little understanding. But all together, if all our bits and pieces are put together, we have a more, complete understanding, but eventhen, never have the full message, and will not have it until we see Christ.

Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see through glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; butthen shall I know even as also I am known."Since God has chosen to reveal Himself to men, and the scriptures are the record of that divine revelation, the church as a guide tomeasure all other prophecy claimed to be divine.The prophet stirs the church to action through his ministry, and the body of Christ hears the voice of God and moves out to spread the Gospel. If prophets are in the midst of the church, that church cannot remain passive.

Believers must either obey the voice of God speaking through His prophets, or silence them! It is impossible to listen to a prophet for any length of time without either repenting and moving on with God, or finally rejecting the prophets ministry.

The voice of a prophet sent from God will bring results one way oranother. In the positive effect, God's saints will be equipped for service.In the negative, the reprobate will be further hardened, and drivenanother step closer to perdition.




New Testament prophecy appears to have had two levels of prophets,or with several different descriptions. There seemed to be a slightdifference between prophecy in the Palestinian Christian Circles andthe Pauline churches. Also, there was a sort of "apocaliptic"prophecy in Thessalonica. There were also "missionary prophets", and "itinerant prophets".

There were also "community prophets". Those considered to have the professional gift, or lasting gift,were the apostles, in contrast to those others who only prophesied occasionally. Also, it should be kept in mind, as I previously stated, that there was a distinction of authority between the various levels of prophets. Some of the New Testament prophets were not given the authority by the early church, as it did to the prophets who wrote the canonical Old Testament. In fact, none of the New Testament prophets, whether revelatory or not, enjoyed the authority which the Old Testament prophets had. It should be kept in mind, that in the New Testament, there was adifference in the authority the prophet thought he had, vs. the actual authority which others allowed him.

So, the New Testament prophet could have either been an impostor, genuine, or self deceived!In First Corinthians, the apostle Paul claimed to have the most authority, both as a prophet and apostle. This is the reason he wastrying to correct their church, which included other prophets. Paul told them that when he came to them, his "speech and preaching wasnot with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." (1 Corinthians 2:4) He claimed divine authority in that church! He stated, "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." (1 Corinthians 4:15,16)He finally claims his rightful authority in 1 Corinthians 9:1,2, when he says, "Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubltless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord."

There is a strong indication that in 1 Corinthians, there were prophets who were giving messages, but which were questionable as to whether they were divinely inspired or not. The reasons are because of the message Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 14. He says in vs.29, "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.Then he goes on to say in vs. 30, "If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace." So, there must have been real strong questions in their midst of whether anyof the prophets messages were really divinely inspired, direct from God, because how could they dare interrupt each other right in themiddle of each others messages. If one prophet was giving a message, another had a right to interrupt him before he finished. Then that prophet's message stood a very good chance of being permanentlyterminated right there, without him even having the chance to come back to it and finish it! Therefore, it is highly unlikely that those who claimed to be prophets were sure their prophesies were directly from God, otherwise, they certainly would not have dared to stop a message of God! The Holy Spirit would not have interrupted Himself to suddenly give another message leaving His other unfinished. Also in vs. 32, Paul explained, "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." Notice the word spirits is with a small s, denoting the human spirit, and not the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is neversubject to any prophet. So, it can be certain that in the Corinthian church, the prophets did not claim Divine authority as "Thus saith the Lord". They were just exercising their faith by prophesying fromtheir own human spirits. After each of them prophesied, they were tojudge the authenticity and doctrinal content of each other's messages.

That did not necessarily mean that one prophet would give a message, and another would stand up and verbally critique the message and correct any errors he may have thought he heard in front of the remaining of the congregation.The Greek word for "judge" can just as well mean "evaluate",indicating that what Paul had in mind was where each person would evaluate in his own mind, or weigh what was said, either acceptingthe prophecy as being helpful or good; or rejecting some of it as being misleading or erroneous. The fact is, that some of the message may have been inspirational, while part of it may have been carnal. The same applies today with preaching. Not all of every message is Divinely inspired. Part of most messages are carnal, or from men's wisdom. It is very likely that the prophets were not judging each other, but they were evaluating the content of each others messages. The lesson Jesus had given His disciples in Matthew 7:1, was most likely to have been recorded bythat time for their teaching.

Jesus had stated, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with that judgement whether the prophet was false or not, would have required a congregational vote which would have taken some time, so it is very unlikely that they were judging the authenticity of the prophets office or authority, but the content of his doctrine or message. Matthew had warned about false prophets "who came to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "These will be known by their fruits." (Matthew7:15-20, Matthew 24:11,24).




(1 Corinthians 12:8a).

This gift is a supernatural revelation from God given to the recipient He chooses to give it to. The revelation points toward the future, and although confused with the gift of the word of knowledge, is completely different.

The Greek word for wisdom is Sophia, and is used in many different ways in the New Testament. Sometimes it refers to revelation, and many other times it is not. In the early church, the gift was used more in a revelatory sense than it is presently used in our day. Today, it is usually used as a supernatural skill given by God to apply facts which have been discovered by someone with the gift of knowledge and use it for the edification of the church. In many cases, the same person has both of the gifts, but in many other instances, has only one or the other of the gifts.

The gift of the word of wisdom differs from knowledge in the sense that wisdom emphasizes the skill of application rather than the knowledge of facts. Wisdom is the ability to take the facts that the gift of knowledge has brought out and make a skillful application of it. A Christian counselor might be given this gift to identify a problem, and with his knowledge of the word of God, draw out the principles that could be applied to solve the problem. An expositor might use this gift in taking the word of God, studying commentaries, by reading the work of those who have the gift of knowledge, and draw out of that work specific principles to edify the church. However, of the many ways the word wisdom is used in the New Testament the primary use of the gift is the ability to understand God's will and make an application to obedience. So, a good definition of the gift might be: "The Spirit given ability to show us the principles that we need to know and obey to fulfill God's will." So knowledge is collecting the facts, and wisdom is the application of those facts.

Therefore, it is obvious that the gifts of prophecy, word of knowledge and wisdom still exist in the today. If prophecy was eliminated, what are people doing who proclaim the word of God? If knowledge has has already been done away with, what are the theologians who dig out the deep truths of the word of God doing? If wisdom has been already done away with, what can we
call the gift people are using who take the truth and apply it to life? The measuring rod to keep all three of these gifts in a Christian prospective is they must line up with the already written inspired word of God, the Bible. The Canon is closed! There are no more new revelations.


What does "the inspiration of the Holy Spirit" really mean? Is the Lord still giving new Divine revelation today, as many claim? Charismatics claim the 29th chapter of Acts is still being written! Roman Catholics are accepting any new revelation the Popes have given through the centuries, as being the absolute "infallible word of God". Does the Holy Spirit still inspire Christians by direct revelation to write, preach, church sin, teach, or make special decisions? Are Christians "naturally" led by the indwelling Holy Spirit, or do they receive personal, divine revelations? Charismatics, and Pentecostals as a whole, believe in direct revelation from God, and most avid Charismatics could even be referred to as "mystics".

Mystics are people who claim to have the ability to enter into direct communication with God in a ONE on one conversation. Naturally, new revelations usually are the result of the communications most of the cults have been started by individuals who have heard "extra Biblical" revelations, supposedly of God or one of His messengers, and have made a doctrine out of it.

An ex-dean of Melodyland School of Theology, a charismatic college wrote: "The Bible truly has become a fellow witness to God's present activity... If someone today perhaps has a vision of God, of Christ, it is good to know that it has happened before; if one has a revelation from God, to know that for the early Christians revelation also occurred in the community; if one speaks a "Thus says the Lord" and dares to address the fellowship in the first person - even going beyond the words of Scripture that this was happening long ago. How strange and remarkable it is! If one speaks in the fellowship of the Spirit the word of truth, it is neither his own thoughts and reflections (e.g. , on some topic of the day) nor simply some exposition of Scripture, for the Spirit, transcends personal observation, however interesting or profound they may be. The Spirit as the living God moves through and beyond the records of past witness, however valuable such records are as a model for what happens today. The Bible is not our final source of God's revelation to us! it is only a witness to additional revelation He is giving us today! He is saying we can add to the Bible, because it is only a model for the actions of the Holy Spirit today in His inspiration of believers."

The Greek word for "inspiration" is theopneutos, and means "God breathed". In 2 Timothy 3:16, we are told "all scripture is given by inspiration of God... So scripture is not men's works of which God gave divine life, but Scripture is the actual breath of God! Scripture is God speaking! We are told in 2 Peter 1:21, "For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men
we are told: "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." So this verse looks forward to the complete canon of the scripture, the one and only faith! There is no other. Paul stated in 1 Timothy 4:1, "In later times some will fall away from the faith." The So, in actuality, what this man is indicating is that moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

Also, in Jude 3, in the Greek, is an aorist passive participle, and indicates an act completed in the past with no continuing element. In this instance the passive voice means the faith was not discovered by men but was given to men by God!

So the Scriptures are the all sufficient teaching on salvation by grace through faith in Christ, that is final and complete. Our faith must rest on historical revelation, therefore rules out all new revelation, prophecies, seers, mystics, etc, until God speaks again at His return to earth in the second coming. Therefore, since God's word never changes, any new revelation or doctrine is both false and "extra unneeded baggage".

In arguing for progressive or continuing revelation, the same charismatic writer, J. Rodman Williams, whom I previously quoted (ex-dean of Melodyland School of Theology) stated: "For in the Spirit the present fellowship is as much the arena of "God's vital presence as anything in the biblical account. Indeed, in light of what we may learn from their past witness, and take to heart, we may expect new things to occur in our day and days to come. In prophecy God speaks. It is as simple, and profound, and startling as that! What happens in the fellowship is that the word may suddenly be spoken by anyone present, and so, variously, a "Thus says the Lord" breaks forth in the fellowship. It is usually in the first person (though not always), such as I am with you to bless you. ." and has the directness of an "I-thou" encounter. It comes not in a "heavenly language", but in the native tongue of the person speaking and with his accustomed infections, cadences and manners. In­deed, the speech may even be coarse and ungrammatical; it may be a mixture of "King James" and modern; it may falter as well as flow - such really does not manner. For in prophecy God uses what he finds, and through frail human instruments the Spirit speaks the word of the Lord.

All of this, to repeat, is quite surprising and startling. Most of us, of course, were familiar with prophetic utter­ances as recorded in the bible, and willing to accept it as the word of God. Isaiahs or Jeremiah's "Thus says the Lord...". We were accustomed to, but to hear a Tom or a Mary today, in the twentieth century, speak the same way...! Many of us also had convinced ourselves that prophecy ended with the New Testament (despite all the New Testament evidence to the contrary), until suddenly through the dynamic thrust of the Holy Spirit prophecy comes alive again. Now we wonder how we could have misread the New Testament for so long!"
If these claims could possibly be true, I cannot imagine how the prophetic messages could be checked out as "inspired", or "God-Breathed", without the already revealed Bible. Who would be the prophets we could believe?

How could we distinguish between error and fraud? How could we tell if the messages came from false prophets, without any authority from God to give the message? I also, only being human would like to believe in the authenticity of fresh new messages, but I choose "safe" ground of which to stand on! That ground is the uniqueness of the already cannonized scripture. I cannot allow my emotions to judge the Bible, but I must demand that I judge my emotions or experiences in light of what the Bible says!

Therefore, there can be no question between the distinction of Biblical authority and additional revelation. If I cannot back up any prophetic message by already any revealed Biblical scriptures, then I must make the choice to reject it as not being a direct message from God! I cannot afford to chance the fact, that the message could be from either the person's human spirit, or even that it could be from a false prophet controlled by a spirit of darkness!?

Christians must test the Spirits, to see if they are from God! John said, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:2) Whenever someone in the congregation stands up and gives "a message", and it seems to be a new revelation which has not been mentioned in Scripture before, we must remember what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:13,14,15.
He said, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. An no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteous­ness; whose end shall be according to their works." So, in light of that warning, as Christians, we must always realize the other possible sources of "new revelations" whenever they cannot be backed up by the Bible! I must make that personal decision to believe that the Bible is Cad's only basis of authority!

Naturally, there are now, as there always has been, those who say that since men are the ones who decided which Scripture, or Holy writings were inspired by God, and they did not even decide upon which books were inspired until the 4th century, then there was much of the word of God left out of the canonized books of the Bible! Therefore, these new revelations may be some of the word of God which was not canonized. The Roman Catholic church accepts the apocrypha books as scripture, but these books cannot be God inspired because of their errors
in geography, theology, and history! Many of the early church fathers accepted them as Scripture, such as Augustine, Polycarp, Origen, Cyprian and Clement. erome (345-419) did not accept the Apocrypha. The reformers of the sixteenth century declared the Bible as supreme and only authority. They did not accept the Aproypha as being God inspired. Catholics and Protestants have been arguing about it ever since!

The Old Testament was completed about 400 B.C., and the criteria used by the Jews to know which books were inspired, was to choose the books written by people who claimed to be inspired by God and claimed to be His spokesmen. They examined those books closely and found them to be free of errors, which were genuine in theology, geography and history.
The church did similar tests to prove which books were God inspired for the New Testament.

Apostolic author­ship was the key. In order to be genuine, each book of the New Testament had to be written by an apostle or a close associate of the apostles. For example, Luke was not an apostle, but obtained his information from the Apostle Paul. Mark was not an apostle, but received his information from Peter. The other thing they did when they got together was to measure up all prophetic utterances or teachings or writings to see if it agreed "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." By doing this, books with doctrinal errors never were accepted by the church, even if they had been brought in by false prophets. with apostolic doctrine.

The Old Testament was completed about 400 B.C., and the criteria used by the Jews to know which books were inspired, was to choose the books written by people who claimed to be inspired by God and claimed to be His spokesmen. They examined those books closely and found them to be free of errors, which were genuine in theology, geography and history.

The church did similar tests to prove which books were God inspired for the New Testament. Apostolic author­ship was the key. In order to be genuine, each book of the New Testament had to be written by an apostle or a close associate of the apostles. For example, Luke was not an apostle, but obtained his information from the apostle Paul. Mark was not an apostle, but received his information from Peter. The other thing they did utterances or teachings or writings to see if it agreed with apostolic doctrine. Luke recorded in Acts 2:42, "and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." By doing this, books with doctrinal errors never were accept­ed by the church, even if they had been brought in by false prophets.

The genuine books were read in the churches, and used for public worship, and lives were being changed as a result. When the books were translated into the when they got together was to measure up all prophetic languages of the people, only the right books got in there.

Since the apostles time, the real church always believed the Bible to be the total completed, word of God. It is infallible, authoritative, inerrant, efficient, sufficient, and complete! Whenever anyone tries to add "new revelation" to the Bible, the body of Christ is weakened, and heresy results, and cults are formed!

Charismatics and Pentecostals do not claim to add to scripture, but their views on gifts of prophecy and new revelation prove otherwise. In order to understand scripture, one must diligently study it, not listen and accept something from someone who thinks he has the gift of prophecy!


Tthe neoorthodox believer says that God is still giving new revelations and inspiring people the same as when He inspired them to write the Bible. The neoorthodox view is that the Bible is not all there is, and that the Bible is not inspired until it creates an experience for you. According to this view, it creates an experience for you. According to this view, God speaks personally in private revelation when we encounter Him, instead of speaking propositionally in the word.
The results of the neoorthodox view is the formation of cults by their extrabiblical revelations.

Most of the founders of the cults have either claimed a personal extra Biblical revelation or accepted a revelation directed toward them by a close associate. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology claimed he received his revelation from God. Edgar Cayce, the physic spiritualist claimed to have gotten his revelations from God. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, got his revelations from the angel "Moroni". He wrote these revelations in the book of Mormon. Mormons put this book of new revelations on the same level of authority as the Bible. Further new revelations resulted with their writing the books "Doctrine and Covenants" and "Pearl of Great Price".

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of "Christian Science", claims to have new revelations. Her paper, which still continues to be published, claims to be extrabiblical revelation. The "Christian Science Journal", July 1975 issue states: "Because it is not human philosophy, but a divine revelation, the divinity-based reason and logic of Christian Science necessarily separates it from all other systems. Mrs. Eddy was certain she was used by god to reveal his truth for today.

The Jehovah's Witness cult claim to have the only true revelation from "Jehovah God".

There are others too numerous to document in the context of this thesis, however, if we are to accept extra-Biblical revelation as being authori­tive, in addition to the Bible, where do we draw the line? There are present charismatic, widely accepted ministries which have been founded by men who have reported to have had direct encounters with God!

Morris Cerullo, a Pentecostal Evangelist, who is had a direct audience with Christ when he was divinely transported into the heavenlies by Christ and given instruc­tion when he was 13 years of age, and in a Jewish orphanage! He claims to have a direct contact with God and claims that "God speaks" to him often giving him instructions and messages to share with his people. Cerullo claims to be a modern day prophet, well known among the Charismatic circles.




Many today have the gift of speaking before people. Prophecy today is primarily by proclamation, rather than by revelation. The point of prophecy is given in Revelation 19:10 "...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

So the very core of all Christian proclamation is Jesus Christ. Therefore, anyone who gives testimony or proclaims for Christ is fulfilling the spirit of prophecy! So, the very fact that the gift of "speaking about Christ before people" is still going on today is living proof that the gift has not ceased! It goes on everyday. Anyone who denies prophesy today quenches the Spirit of God, because it is the Spirit who has given prophecy.

Paul exhorted in 1Thessalonians 5:16-21: "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks. Quench not the Spirit, dispise not prophesyings, prove all things; hold fast that which is good." So Paul said we are not to hate prophecy, but we are to test it and hold on to what is good. (v.21).

The way we are to examine the content of the given prophecy is stated in 1 Corinthians 14:37. "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." What did Paul write'? He wrote the commandments of the Lord, which were the New Testament epistles.

So, we are to test the spirit of prophecy by the written word of the Bible. We are not to quench the Spirit by denying prophecy. The test is, if the prophet agrees with the Bible, he is right; and if he does not, he is wrong! That test still applies today, and is the acid test to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit prophets!

Paul stated in Romans 12:6, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith."

Other gifts are also mentioned in the following verses, none of them miraculous in nature. Prophecy is in both lists! So this shows that prophecy can be miraculous in the revelation sense, or non miraculous in the proclamation sense. In verse 6, where it says, "let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith", the definite article ispresent in the Greek, so the verse really says, "...according to the measured out amount of the faith."

If you prophesy, make sure your prophesy agrees with the already revealed body of truth called "the faith". The word "proportion" means "the measured out, the limit". That is all there is! It is the proper proportion, or the fullamount. It does not mean how much faith the prophet has or his ability to believe God, but that he has the right message which lines up with the already revealed message in the Bible! "The Faith"is used the same way in Jude 3. "...contend for the faith which was once delivered into the saints." "The faith" is the revealed truth, not our subjective faith, but our objective faith.

The fact is, that in our present age, prophecy is proclaiming the already written word of God! Although the gift of prophecy was revelatory of prophets today, still proclaiming the word of God describes the Office of a Prophet.


(1 Corinthians 12:8b).The Gift of the word of knowledge might be described as a supernatural manifestation from heaven to a believer to let him know the condition of something and the way it is at that very moment or time. I believe this gift is one of the "revelation" gifts, and it is still in the church today. This gift is given by God as a part of His knowledge that comes tothe recipient and lets him know certain information about any subject the Lord wants him to know about right now. This gift is also given to illuminate the scriptures by giving understanding to various passages. This gift, along with the gift of prophecy will be done away with when the perfect is come. (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Since there are many debating what "the perfect" is, each individual will have to seek the Lord in prayer for the answer to what it is,and if it came yet in order to arrive at his or her personal decision whether those gifts were done away with yet! Some say "That which is perfect" refers to Christ, when He returns; some say it was the Bible completed; some say it is the rapture of the church; some say it is the mellenial reign of Christ on earth; and some say it refers to the new heaven and the new earth. I am in agreement with the latter, as I feel the gifts of prophesy and knowledge will continue to be needed and used all through the ages until we finally reach Home with God!

The reason many believe these gifts ceased is because those who want to get rid of tongues have lumped all three gifts together in 1Corinthians 13:8. However, each gift has to be treated separately because of the Greek words involved. Tongues is the only gift said to cease, meaning to stop on its own volition. (and historically if has ceased).

However, the Greek words for "fail" and "vanish", concerning prophesy and knowledge, means that they will be "doneaway with". In his book "The Charismatics", John MacArthur Jr. explains, "It isimportant to note that in 1 Corinthians 13:8 the words used give a clear indication that tongues will cease at a different point in time that prophecy and knowledge. Regarding prophecy and knowledge,we are told that they will be "done away", "rendered inoperative",or "abolished", depending upon one's particular translation. The Greek root word used here for "done away" is katargeo, knowledge, but it is not the verb used when Paul spoke about how tongues would cease. The Greek verb used in "It is also helpful to realize that the verb katargeo is in the passive tense. A rule of grammar is that when a passive verb is in a sentence, the subject receives the action. Something is acting upon the subject, and in this case 1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that something is used to refer to prophecy and regard to tongues is pavo, which simply means "to stop".

That other force Paul called "the perfect thing". It will cause prophecy and knowledge to cease while the gift of tongues will haveceased by itself before the perfect thing. That is why we see tongues disappearing from the text after verse 8 while the references to prophecy and knowledge goes on: "For we know in part,and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away." (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)

It is hard to define the broad meaning of the word "knowledge" but the "word of knowledge" indicates a speaking gift, or utterance ofknowledge. The Greek word for "word" here is "logos", meaning wordswhich can be written or spoken. The greatest use and need of this gift in the church today is the Spirit given ability to observe Biblical information and understand the Bible. Naturally, the gift is only given to some, not all. The great commentators of the Bible have the gift of the word of knowledge. In other words, they have the ability to observe Biblical facts and make conclusions.

There are believers who have never been to Bible school or seminary which have this gift and are able to read a verse of Scripture and immediately interpret this meaning, as God meant for it to be!I believe the gift of the word of knowledge as revelatory was mostly used by the Apostles, especially Paul, in writing Scripture.

Hoewever, today since Scripture is already written for believers, the gift operates mostly by reiteration, or in other words, taking what is already written, and explaining it. Paul said in Colossians 1:9-10, that the Christian is to be filled with knowledge.In 1 Corinthians 13:2, he said, "and thought I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge..." So,when anyone has this gift, they are able to understand the mysteries that have been revealed. Usually, people who have that gift are researchers, teachers, scholars, professors, and those who can understand Scripture immediatly after reading it!

By experience, I believe the gift of the word of knowledge can be a revelatory gift today also, in the sense, ie that God may tell the recipiant certain facts about other people or things he wants them to know. The gift has operated through my ministry in the past on certain occassions. There were several occasions, (always when I was praying with individuals) that the Lord would reveal to me words of information or knowledge about the individual. At first, I was hesitant to speak what I thought the Lord had given me, but as I exercised the gift, I was astonished to find that the information applied exactly to that individual at that time, and there was no way I would have known it! The Lord would reveal this knowledge to me by a silent, strong impression of one or more words, which really had no meaning whatsoever to me, as I never got the fullmeaning. The gift is the word of knowledge.

To illustrate, there was an occassion when I and about 8 others were praying with a brother who had requested prayer for a "decision" he had to make that the Lord had been dealing with him about. He did not tell any of us what it was. He sat in a chair, and we all gathered around him, laying our hands on his shoulder and head. I can't remember now where, exactly I had my hands, but, I distinctly remember, as we were praying, that the words, or phrase "tithes and offerings blocking blessing". I was not sure it was the Lord or my imagination, but while praying, the phrase persisted in my mind, and since none of the others said anything specific, I was impressed to step out in faith and give the message the gifts of the word of knowledge and wisdom". I do not even know why I prayed in that manner, as the words just flowed in spontaneous prayer. Anyway, when I decided to relay the message to the brother and take a chance of making a fool out of myself, I audibly said, "The Lord would have you know, the thing that is blocking your blessing is in the area of your tithes and offerings." The brother did not say anything, and we soon stopped



The prophets mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14, did not have the authority of the apostles, who also were prophets, and were even under the authority of the Apostle Paul, who was also a prophet aswill be discussed in a later section.


"Propheleia" is the Greek word for prophecy, and is taken from theGreek verb "propheteuo". The basic word comes from "pro" meaning"before",and "phemi" meaning "to speak". The correct meaning is "to speak before". It does not mean "to speak before" in terms of time, but "to speak before" in terms of an audience, or "to speak inpublic, to publicly proclaim". It would be the closest definition of the present gift of prophecy.

It is not necessarily revelation direct from God, nor proclaiming something God already revealed in the past. It primarily is acommunication gift. The idea of predicting the future was only an English addition to the word from the middle ages.

A Greek or a Hebrew knew that prophecy simply meant "to speak publicly". Therefore, the gift of prophecy is the ability given by the Spirit of God to a person to proclaim God's truth to others.

Paul records in 1 Corinthians 14:3, "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men..." That describes the gift in simple terms. He speaks unto men Gods word, or is the gift of proclaiming or speaking before men.

So the gift of prophecy is a "speaking gift", and not a "fortunetelling" gift. Naturally, many are debating today whether the gift still exists. Some claim it passed away, based on 1 Corinthians 13:8, and say that prophecy has been done away because the perfect thing has come (i.e.the Bible). When the Bible was completed, prophecy, tongues, and knowledge passed away.

However, that view does not stand up, because historically, there has never been a time when God was dealing with men that someone has not had this gift, because God has always had someone speaking His word!

The most important job the Old Testament prophet had to do was to proclaim God's word, with some, being future proclamation and some of it, present proclamation, with the remaining being the reiteration of past proclamation. The prophets would speak about what God had done, was doing, and would do!

Prophecy was the most important gift in the Old Testament and carried the most authority with the office, as the entire Old Testament is a proclamation of God!

In the New Testament, God continued to reveal Himself through prophecy by disclosing all of the mysteries (Ephesians 1:9), and revealing His will to the apostles, (Colossians 1:9). The Holy Spirit brought to their rememberance all that Jesus told them so they could record it (John 14:26).

So, when the New Testament wascomplete, it was also a proclamation from God. John recorded inRevelations 1:3, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear thewords of this prophecy...". so this simply meant the proclaimingof Gods truth. This proclamation of God's truth was vital in both the Old and New Testaments.

What is the most important thing Christians can do in the present or past New Testament age? It still is the same primary function. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 14:1, "Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy."

So when assembling together in as a congregation, the most vital thing is to desire prophecy to be the gift that is used. The Corinthians were making the error of assembling, and speaking in the gift of languages instead of proclaiming God's word clearly. Tongues had a purpose, but they focus their attention and desire on prophecy. Paul exhorted them, "wherefore, brethren, covet to prophecy, and forbidnot to speak in tongues.''

So, prophecy was the most vital gift,because it is a proclamation of God's truth. A prophet ministers to unbelievers! "But if all prophecy and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convicted ofall, he is judged of all. And thus are the secrets of his heart mademanifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth." (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

Paul said that if all they did was speak with tongues, any unbeliever who wandered in would think they were crazy! On the other hand, if they were instead prophesying, the unbeliever would fall on his face, repent and believe! So prophesy was the gift to use! A prophet also ministers tobelievers! Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 14:3, "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification."


When a prophet spoke, he not only proclaimed God's word inrevelation, but sometimes he reiterated something already revealed. When they preached the gospel, they could not preach it as direct revelation because it had already been given. So prophecy can be preached by either revelation or reiteration.

A revelation discloses something new, or says something which has not been said before. Sometimes a prophet opened his mouth and spoke something new given that instant by God which had never been spoken before. Those revelations became Holy Scripture! They also could have spoken practical words from God which are not recorded inscripture.Some examples of how prophecy operated in the Old Testament might beas follows: Jeremiah said, "...But His word was in mine heart like aburning fire shut up in my bones..." (Jeremiah 20:9b). Ezekiel said, "Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying" (Ezekiel 7:1).

There were other times when a prophet preached a message God had already given him. Also, at other times, the prophets simply reiterated something that was common knowledge.The New Testament prophet, or apostle, sometimes received divine revelation and exercised the gift of prophecy by speaking somethingfor the first time; other times he might repeat something which had said before. So, prophecy was sometimes practical, sometimes doctrinal.

When Timothy was ordained to the ministry, it is likely a prophecy was given by one of the ordaining elders regarding his future ministry. Paul said in (1 Timothy 1:18; 4:14) "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of hands. As a result of direct revelation, there were several prophecies given, regarding his life. (1 Timothy 1:18).So, there were times during the age when the new Testament was being written that God spoke His word directly through the prophet, andthese were new revelations which had never been spoken before.




Prophecy in today's complicated, multi denominational churchsystems, is a highly controversial subject! The reason it is controversial, is because of its many different interpretations by various Bible scholars in the field of Eschatology, as well as theinterpretations and understanding of what the office of a prophetconsists of.

The objective of this discussion is not to study prophecy in the various eschatology systems, but to discuss the office and function of prophets in our present church age, as compared with the office of prophets in the early church and Old Testament. It is important that we, as Christians, become able to distinguish between genuine prophets and false prophets. Many in the church claim to be prophets of God today, but are they really? Do their claims line up to the Bible discription of theoffice of a prophet?

Is the office and function of prophets in thechurch today the same as they were in the Old Testament, or even inthe early church during the Apostolic era? Prophecy is one of the nine Spiritual gifts mentioned in FirstCorinthians, Chapter 12.

Two other gifts mentioned in that chapterare the Gift of the Word of Knowledge, and the Gift of the Word ofWisdom. Each of these gifts have different functions in the church and although are closely related in appearance, achieve differentend results when exercised by saints of God who are given thosegifts by the Sovereign grace of God. It is my contention that in our churches today, where the so called gift of prophecy is being operated, that there is much misunderstanding and confusion concerning the operation and purposeof the gift, and that the Gifts of the Word of Knowledge and Wisdom are usually being exercised, and being confused with the Gift ofProphecy!

It is not unusual for someone to stand up in the normal Pentecostalor Charismatic worship services today and give what is referred toas "a prophetic message from the Lord." Are we to believe that Godis still speaking directly to us today through prophets, and if so,can they be new revelations?

Did God really complete His revelations to man with the completionof the Canons of Scripture, or has He continued to give us newrevelations since the completion of Canon? In other words, where does the Bible end? Some say today's church is the continuation ofnew revelation, and that the 29th chapter of Acts is being written!If we are to accept that logic, how are we to discern between trueand false prophets?

Most of the cults were started because of somenew prophecy or new revelation of its founding prophet. Not only do the cults claim to be receiving new revelation from God through their prophets, but prophets from the occult are giving new revelations as well! In fact, "fortune tellers" presently sell their "prophecies", which in many cases, give accurate knowledge of the past events of the lives of people seeking this knowledge, as well as foretelling their future!

This is the reason Christians must have a clear understanding of the present office of God's prophets and the functions they are called to perform in todays church. Christians should be able to distinguish between "foretelling"and "forthtelling", which can bring a clearer understanding of the gift of prophecy, distinguishing it from the gifts of the word of knowledge and wisdom.

In this discussion, I will be intermingling these three gifts, while discussing their functions. The objection of the discussion is to take some of the confusion away from distinguishing between the three spiritual gifts, and to bring some light from the Scriptures on the present purpose and operation of each gift.

Christians should be on their guards and weigh heavily any new revelations given by the prophets before accepting them! The last prophecy given in the Bible, which applies to the entire Canon is recorded for all believers to heed: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues.



The Bible teaches that a prophet is a speaker of, or for God. The Bible prophet is also called a "Seer" in the Old Testament, meaningthat he could see into the future. Most of the confusion of understanding what a prophet is can be deciphered by understandingthat there were different kinds of prophets, with different levels of authority revealed throughout the Bible in different dispensational times.

The Old Testament Prophets were specifically chosen by God, and given His highest office or authority. The Old Testament prophets were the actual "mouthpiece" of God. God spoke to His prophets, whatever He wanted revealed to the masses of people and the prophets relayed the message to the people, either orally, or written.

The method is recorded for us in Hebrews 1:1,2. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets; hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,whom He bath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds."

So, to clarify, God used prophets to speak to the Old Testament saints, and used His Son, Jesus Christ to speak to New Testament saints.

Most of the Old Testament was written by Old Testament prophets, while the New Testament writers only recorded what they heard and witnessed from the personal witness of the last prophet, Jesus Christ. Even the last book of the Bible, were the prophecies of Jesus Christ recorded by John, who wrote and recorded "The Revelation ofJesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bore record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw." (Revelation 1:1,2).

Therefore, the entire Bible was written as a prophecy to mankind by God through His servants. The Bible was a history book written in advance, so men of God would never have to be ignorant of Gods plan for their lives!

The prophet Amos stated this fact in Amos 3:7 under inspiration ofGod: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets."

False prophets are not new to the church, but have always been used by Satan, even in the Old Testament to imitate God's real prophets. In the New Testament, Peter stated: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying theLord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)

The genuine way that God spoke to His people in the Old Testament is recorded also by Peter in 2 Peter 1:21. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

And the results of those inspired messages from God, spoken by His prophets were recorded in the Bible, for instruction to mankind to find salvation in Jesus Christ."

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable fordoctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction inrighteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughlyfurnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

Old Testament prophets primarily dealt with "future events", while the office of a New Testament prophet was different. The New Testament prophets, other than Jesus Christ, did not have the office of "forth telling" the future as did the Old Testament prophets, but instead, they had the authority to "foretell" events either as they were happening, or after they happened.

Also, there were different levels of authority of the prophets in the New Testament. The apostles had the most authority, and all held the office of a prophet, except Judas Iscariot, who was a false apostle.