Are there modern day prophets?
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Question: Do modern day prophets exist? How can we tell whether they speak for God or not?
Answer: There is hardly a biblical term that has captured man's religious concepts and imaginations more than the word prophecy, prophesying or prophets. Strong's Concordance has these three words respectively: #4394, Greek propheteia (prophecy), #4395, propheteuo (prophesying) and # 4396, prophetes (prophet).
Scriptures that reference prophets and prophecy are not always clear. In 1Corinthians, we find the Apostle Paul referencing these words in the midst of a discussion on speaking in tongues, giving 'revelations' in church, and so on.
6 So when I come to you, my friends, what use will I be to you if I speak in strange tongues? Not a bit, unless I bring you . . . some inspired message (prophecy, Greek: propheteia) . . .
29 Two or three who are given God’s message (prophets, Greek: prophetes) should speak, while the others are to judge what they say.
39 So then, my friends, set your heart on proclaiming God’s message (prophesying, Greek: propheteuo) . . . (1Corinthians 14)
It is widely understood that prophesying does not necessarily mean predicting the future, but it can mean speaking with inspiration, as a sermon can be, when God genuinely inspires it. Godly instruction in Christian living would then be the essence of that prophesying, rather than a prediction for the future.
Even though he certainly gave prophecies, Paul did not refer to himself as a prophet but rather gave credit to God (1Corinthians 2:1, 4 - 5).
Jesus also referred to this same demonstration of the Spirit in the evening of the last day He spent with His disciples (see John 14:16 - 17, 15:26)