Last-Day Prophets: Bogus or Biblical? Can There Be Genuine Prophets after Bible Times?
Three Questions: Does the Bible permit prophets in modern times? If so, does the Bible predict genuine prophets in the last days? How could we tell a genuine prophet if one came along?
1. Bible Permit Modern Gift? Prophecy is one of the Spiritual Gifts 1 Corinthians 12, esp. v. 28 – No time limit or expiration – Spirit is the source of gifts (v. 8) – Spirit gives gifts “as He wills” (v. 11)
1. Bible Permit Modern Gift? Ephesians 4:8, 11-15 – Prophets are among the gifts – No termination date – Till the end of time (vv. 13, 14)
2. Bible Predict Modern Gift? Joel 2:28-32 – Happens just before “day of the Lord” Revelation 6:12-17, “sixth seal” – Leads up to second coming, “day of wrath” Matthew 24:29-31 – Places these events around Second Coming
Prophecy in End Time? Bible Parallels Joel 2:28-31 Prophecy, dreams, visions Matt. 24:29-31Rev. 6:12-17 Sun darkened, moon to blood Sun darkened, moon no light Sun black, moon like blood Stars fall Tribes of earth mourn Hide in caves and rocks, mtns.
Prophecy in End Time? Bible Parallels Joel 2:28-31 Prophecy, dreams, visions Matt. 24:29-31Rev. 6:12-17 Day of the LordSon of Man comes Day of wrath of Lamb Remnant delivered Angels gather elect “Who is able to stand?”
When do these events happen? Are they all in the future, as some claim? – Alcazar: prophecies were all fulfilled in past – Ribera: prophecies are all for the distant future – Today, liberal Protestantism follows Alcazar – Evangelical Protestantism follows Ribera – SDAs follow Reformers: prophecies cover the sweep of Christian history
When do these events happen? Great earthquake: Lisbon, Nov. 1, 1755 Sun darkened = Dark Day, May 19, 1780 Stars falling: Nov. 12-13, 1833 Next event under 6 th seal: Second Coming
When do these events happen? Revelation 12: Sweep of Christian history – vv. 6, 14: 1260 “days,” A.D. 538-1798 – v. 17: Wrath against “remnant”
When do these events happen? Rev. 12:17: Two characteristics of remnant: – Keep the commandments of God – Have the testimony of Jesus Rev. 19:10— “Spirit of prophecy” Rev. 22:9— “The prophets”
What Is the Testimony of Jesus? Revelation 19:10 See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! Revelation 22:9 See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant and of your brethren the prophets. Worship God!
When do these events happen? Rev. 12:17: – Remnant after 1798 have “testimony of Jesus” – Rev. 19:10, 22:9, they have “Spirit of prophecy” – Have a prophet or prophets among them, through whom Jesus will bear testimony Both Joel and John point to 19 th Century and onward for prophetic gift to be active in remnant
Questions: Does the Bible permit the gift of prophecy in the end times? Yes. Does the Bible predict the gift of prophecy in the end times? Yes. Paul’s counsel in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21: “Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast what is good.”
Third Question: How would we know the genuine gift if it came?
Bible Tests of a Prophet Isaiah 8:20. Agrees with previous revelation. Deut. 18:21, 22. Predictions are fulfilled. Jer. 18:7-10. Can be conditional. 1 John 4:1-3. Gives truth about Jesus. Matt. 7:15, 20. Known by fruits.
Role of Last-Day Prophet Add to the Bible? No. The Bible itself tells us of many genuine prophets whose writings did not become part of the Bible. But God is instructing, guiding; His people should pay heed. Uriah Smith’s “Pilot” story: RH 1-13-1863
Ellen G. White’s Statement I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that Word we are to be judged. God has, in that Word, promised to give visions in the “last days”; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth. Early Writings, p. 78