In the midst of many that claim to be prophets of God, is there any particular method to tell if one is an actual prophet of God? Or if in fact that there is anything a prophet could say that is validated by scripture?


Believe it or not, the answer to this question is quite simple.  Anyone claiming today to be a prophet is deceived.  There are no prophets today.  Many people make false claims to be prophets.  You should not listen to such an arrogant or self-deceived person. 

This is not just my opinion, it is a biblical position.  For example Daniel 9:24-26 tells us that when Jesus comes to Jerusalem to "atone for wickedness and bring in everlasting righteousness," he will at the same time "seal up vision and prophecy."  The Bible says that after the time of Jesus, prophecy will be "sealed up."  Another relevant passage is Zechariah 13:1-6.  Here we are told that at the time when "a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity," God will "remove the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land."  God continues in this passage to say that those who claim to be prophets will be telling lies.

The New Testament confirms this claim.  1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that "where there are prophecies, they will cease."  This is admittedly somewhat vague as to when prophecy would cease, but if seen in view of Daniel 9 and Zechariah 13, we can reasonably conclude that prophecy was to cease soon after New Testament times.  Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that God spoke through prophets in the former times, but in the last days he speaks through Jesus Christ.  Of course, there were prophets in the very early church.  At a time when there was no New Testament available, God gave inspired teaching to the church through prophets who were given this gift through the laying on of hands of the apostles.  There is no evidence, either biblically or in church history, for prophets in the church who were not given this ability by the laying on of hands of an apostle.  Bottom like, once the New Testament was complete and the books were in the hands of the church, there was no further need for prophets.

Can I prove that God will not use a prophet today?  I suppose I cannot absolutely prove this.  I do not mean to limit what God will do, but the biblical evidence says to me that people claiming today to be prophets are either lying or are deceived.

I have not fully answered your question.  Let us assume that there might be a prophet today?  I say this is certainly not true, but what if there were?  How would we know this?  Biblically, a prophet is judged by his predictions coming true.  Deuteronomy 18:21-22 gives us this standard.  These supposed prophets today, if they want to show that they are prophets should make verifiable predictions of the near future.   We cannot tell someone is a prophet through scripture, because it is not logical to look for a prophet to fulfill scripture.  They are declaring the will of God, not fulfilling prophecy.  Prophets do not fulfill prophecy.  

In my opinion, all this is moot.  There are no prophets active today, but if you come across someone making such a claim, you can ask them what they have predicted about the future which came true, and whether all their predictions have come true.  Personally, I would not bother.

John Oakes

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