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.
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).