The Bible Speaks of Prophets in our Day
Nowhere does the Bible teach that the gift of prophecy was to ever be withdrawn from the church. Notice instead what it does say.
- In 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 Paul presents in ranking order eight spiritual gifts that God has set in the church, "First apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings," etc. Then Paul encourages us to "covet earnestly the best gifts." According to the stated order, prophecy would be one of the "best gifts" to be earnestly coveted. This agrees with chapter 14, verse 1, which says, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." So the people of God should desire the gift of prophecy.
- According to Ephesians 4:11-14, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are placed in the church for the perfecting of the saints until we all come "unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Since we haven't yet reached that goal, these ministry gifts are still needed. Their presence helps to keep us from being "carried about with every wind of doctrine."
- In Matthew 24:24 Jesus warned us of "false prophets" in the last days. Warnings against a counterfeit usually imply the existence of the genuine. If there were to be no genuine prophets in the last days, Jesus could have simply said so, and His caution against false prophets would have been unecessary.
- According to Joel 2:28-31, "before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come," God was to pour out His spirit upon all flesh. "And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Although Peter recognized a partial fulfillment of this prediction on the day of Pentecost, the sun was not "turned into darkness, and the moon into blood" (v. 31) at that time (See comments on Revelation 6:12). The ultimate fulfillment of Joel's prophecy is yet to take place in the final outpouring of God's spirit as described in Revelation 18:1.
- "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." "By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved." Amos 3:7; Hosea 12:12. Is not the Lord working in these last days to bring out a remnant people, and would He not now send a prophet to guide them? "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people." "And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people ... like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt." Isaiah 11:11, 16.
- "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Malachi 4:5. Clearly, here is a prediction of the coming of a prophet in the last days. Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ's first advent (Matthew 11:13, 14; 17:10-13; John 1:21), so, in the ultimate fulfillment of this prediction, a prophet would prepare the way for Christ's second coming.
- Revelation 12:17 tells us that the remnant of Christ's church is to have "the testimony of Jesus Christ," which is "the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).