This article continues a new Prophecy Q/A series, where I do my best to answer questions from readers like you.
Have a question you would like answered? Email me here.
Q: Is the gift of prophecy in the New Testament the same as the role of the prophets in the Old Testament?
The gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 12:6) has more to do with “forth-telling” than “foretelling.” The Greek word there means something closer to “speak forth.” It’s the bold proclamation of what is already in God’s completed Word. I do not believe there are prophets today in the model of the Old Testament where they could literally tell the future via direct messages or visions from God. I understand there is an in-house debate but remain unified with my brothers and sisters who hold a different view. However, it is my humble understanding that all of God’s will (and any specific future/end-time prophecy) that He wants us to know is contained in the completed Canon of Scripture.
Q: Are there prophets today?
This seems to be the hot button of the day! Jeff and I tackled this recently on an episode of Prophecy Pros.
Personally, I believe once the Canon of Scripture was closed and finalized with the book of Revelation, the only prophecies we need to pay attention to are those written in the Word.
People can “prophesy” in the sense that they can encourage others and proclaim God’s truth in a powerful way. But I do not believe anyone today is speaking authoritatively for God as the Old Testament prophets did.
Since the Bible is complete, we have all of the infallible, inerrant truth we need.
In the Church Age we also have the Holy Spirit indwelling us to lead us. However, the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s Word or add to it.