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 are prophets that exist in the modern world, but not the kind that deserves our attention. From the distant past to this very day the study of prophecy and prophesying has peaked man's religious interests.

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 think highly of himself but humbly 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).

In likely the most authoritative chapter in the matter of prophecy, Apostle Paul addresses the subject of spiritual gifts of which prophecy is just one of MANY OTHERS. He makes it clear it is not the only gift God gives nor the most important one (1Corinthians 12:7 - 11, 29 - 31).

Who were the minor prophets?
When did Daniel, Ezekiel and others write their books?
WHO can preach the gospel?

In 1Thessalonians Paul tells us to TEST things, especially those who say they are speaking for God (1Thessalonians 5:21). We have the right to test, or prove out, the words given by modern day "believers" who claim to have the gift of prophecy. However, this begs the questions: What do we test? What are we to look for to determine whether someone who CLAIMS they represent God really does? Jesus told us one thing to test for when he stated the following.

'You will know them (those who falsely prophesied) by what they do ('by their fruits' in the NKJV and other translations - Matthew 7:15 - 16)

Which 'fruits' or actions is Jesus talking about in regarding to spotting false messengers pretending to be from God? In another place, God provides us with an exact definition of what to look for.

'You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet's message does not come from the Lord. If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and what he says DOES NOT COME TRUE, then it is not the Lord's message' (Deuteronomy 18:21 - 22)

A true servant, one directly inspired by God, makes unequivocal predictions that DO happen! Jesus warned us, in his Mount of Olives message given just before his death, that TODAY (right now in the end time) there would be presumptuous people (false prophets) trying to deceive as many people as they possibly can (Matthew 24:4 - 6, 23 - 25). God has warned us about such modern day liars! Only one question remains. Will we heed the warning?

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