The Danger of Modern Prophets
by Tom Stewart
July 23, 2001
What is a Modern Prophet? According to the Apostle Peter's Pentecostal
citation of Joel 2:28-32-- "16 But this is that which was spoken
by the prophet Joel; 17 and it shall come to
pass in the Last Days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those
days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 and I will shew wonders in Heaven above, and signs in the
Earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20
the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great
and notable Day of the LORD come: 21
and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall
call on the Name of the LORD shall be saved" (Acts
2:16-21)-- the events surrounding the giving of the Holy Spirit to
the Early Church, certainly qualified them to be Modern Prophets. However, it should
be noted that both Joel and Peter were inspired to describe the time that God's "servants" and "handmaidens" would "prophesy" and "dream dreams" would not
only include the "Last Days" of Peter's Pentecostal sermon, but continue to the future events of the
"Day of the LORD",
thus completing the Tribulation Week, and leaving the Scriptural door open for
still more contemporary Modern Prophets. "And
the Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35).
Traditional Biblicists correctly understand that the Canon of Scripture has long since been completed, and that the security of the Canon of thirty-nine Old Testament books and twenty-seven New Testament books is protected by the Anathema of the Almighty Himself. "18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the Words of the prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book" (Revelation 22:18-19). Though God's Omnipotence defends the Canon of Scripture, modern false prophets will be known by their false teachings, especially attempting to add to or take away from the Word of God. "To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no Light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).
For example, the Mormons' Joseph Smith (1805-1844) denied the Trinity when he said, "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods [WStS emphasis]" ("Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith" p. 370); but, the Scriptures definitely assert the Trinity, i.e., "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Christian Science's Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) attacked both the Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus Christ: "Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God ... Life, truth, and love constitute the triune Person called God... [an impersonal] Divine Principle [i.e., a conception of one's mind]" (Science and Health, pp. 331, 361, 469), while Jesus proclaimed His Divinity when He asserted, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). [For more background on the Trinity, please read our editorial, "St. Patrick: The Trinity and the Shamrock" ---New Window.] Even more recently, the Jehovah's Witnesses' Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) calculated that the "invisible return" of Christ was to have taken place in 1874, and the Second Coming of Christ in 1914; but, the ill-repute and failure of his predictions, more importantly, must be assessed in light of his organization's ill-treatment and abuse of "Jesus Christ, whom we [the official Jehovah's Witnesses' publication] understand from the Scriptures to be Michael the archangel" ("The Watchtower", February 15, 1979, p. 31). These are crucial errors made by false prophets concerning the person of the "LORD Jesus Christ, the LORD of Glory" (James 2:1); and, who should trust them to make any other predictions about future dates? "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1John 4:1).
Why are Modern Prophets so potentially dangerous? Again, the very concept of Modern Prophets is Scriptural (cp. Acts 2:16-21 above), but Contemporary Prophets cannot add to or take away from the completed Canon of Scripture (cp. Revelation 22:18-19 above), nor do they have the luxury of contradicting the Canon of Scripture. "[God] cannot deny Himself" (2Timothy 2:13), in particular, by speaking one thing from the Canon of Scripture, while absurdly contradicting Himself through a Professed Modern Prophet. "Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). Modern Prophets are so potentially dangerous because modern Professed Christians are so often unable to handle the Word of God to discern the false from the true prophet. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). What this proves is that either the Professed Saint is honestly inexperienced and simply immature or that he is not a True Christian. "2 But He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the Sheep. 3 To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His Voice: and He calleth His Own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when He putteth forth His Own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His Voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers" (John 10:2-5). [See our article, "How to Identify a False Prophet" ---New Window, for a Scriptural discussion of the concept.]
May God give His people discernment to receive the Godly true prophets and the ability to reject the false prophets, thus preserving His Saints from the Antichrist!
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