Are there still prophets in our time as I was taught that prophets only existed during the times of the first apostles.
(NOTE: These answers are not presented in a particular order, just in the approximate order that they arrived from our contributors. Feel free to add your comments. If you have a burning question send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you feel able to answer these type of questions email us to join our panel of "messianic rabbis".)
RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...
Run in the other direction- as fast as a gazelle! Anyone who calls himself/herself a prophet is a self proclaimed liar. In the TaNaK, the prophets were killed, sawed in half etc. If they were spewing stuff about their prophetic gifts and were about to be sawed in two- they would recant- most of these people do not have any such gifts. I have heard of a few who dream dreams which in the near future, were on target- but those people never ran around claiming to be prophets that I know of.
RABBI GUTMANN answers ...
Part of the answer to this question lies in the use of a capital letter! I do not believe Hebrew style Prophets existed after the coming of Yeshua. This is clear from Hebrews chapter1! However Paul lists a gift of prophecy in 1 Cor 12-14. Furthermore he speaks of "the prophets" and lists prophets with apostles as foundational ministry gifts particularly in Ephesians 4. Furthermore Acts refers to prophets who "came down from Jerusalem" and that a famine was prophesied about. As with the question last month on apostles-yes I believe in the gift and ministry of prophets and prophecy today-but NOT prophecy of the nature of Scriptural prophecy. What the Ecclesia's prophets said had to be weighed and tested by their contemporaries. Indeed, have been used by God to bring a word of prophecy.
However, I ALWAYS precede the words of prophecy with, "I believe the Lord is saying...." NEVER do I say, "Thus says the Lord..." I believe that is too presumptive! I am also uncomfortable with personal prophecies spoken alone to an individual. God has given me a specific word for a specific individual at times, but I uttered them in the Congregation, preceding them with, "I believe also that God is speakian individual here, and you....." The words may go on "feel God has abandoned you" etc. So yes prophets, but I don't feel comortable with Prophets, although their have been some outstanding prophetic ministries, in the John Knox sense!
MOSHE COHEN answers ...
Careful! A prophet is not a fortune teller. The main office of prophets in the Tanakh was to turn the nations back to G-d. This did include warnings and predictions of the consequences of not repenting, but that is not the main point. The prophets mainly declared G-d's holiness and righteousness, and lived a G-dly life among those who didn't. They also had a rule that any time a prophet spoke of future things, unless there was a 100 percent accuracy rate, the prophet was killed. How many modern 'prophets' would stand up to that rule today? If your friends have been encouraged to walk closer to G-d by the prophet, that is a good thing. If the 'prophet" is fulfilling the true role of the office, that will be the result. By their fruits you will know them.
SANDRA JEFFERY answers ...
In my understanding, a prophet is someone who knows and understands the Word of God through much dedication to study, and is able to correct the body of believers in any misinterpretation of scripture they might have. Because the church walls are down now because sin has not been defined properly from the pulpit, we have well meaning people with good intentions, and some, not so good intentions, who are mixed in with the church claiming to be prophets. Jeremiah 2: 7, 8 ‘And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the Lord? And they that handle the law knew me not; the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
Matthew 7: 21 - 23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The only way we can know God is through His Word and prayer (communication). And if we don’t know His Word, and we don’t pray for guidance and direction, and keep our hearts open for correction, we won’t know God or His will for our lives so we can carry it out. Many prophets who are not deep studiers of the Bible don’t even realize they are sinning because sin is rarely spoken of, and most believers today, prophets included, no longer study the Bible for themselves or even apply it to their lives for correction.
Jeremiah 23: 21, 22 ‘I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Jeremiah then continues to speak about lying prophets in the rest of this chapter. The Bible tells us that Satan has a counterfeit for everything including prophets. It is serious business to be speaking into people’s lives and situations without the authority of Almighty God. Any true prophet (few and far between these days), is not likely to win a popularity contest because they’ll be speaking the truth of God’s Word that usually comes in the form of correction….
RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ...
Just to clarify; if someone receives a word from the L_rd, this does not make them a prophet. People can still today receive a word from the L_rd today.
A closer examination of a prophet may help resolve this matter. What is a prophet? Prophets are spokesmen for G_d. Prophets speak the will of G_d. Prophets have an audience in mind. Prophets are those that are spokespersons for the will of G_d for G_d’s people. And the L_rd speaks to them directly:
Numbers 12:5&6 – “Adonai came down in a column of cloud and stood at the entrance to the tent. He summoned Aharon and Miryam, and they both went forward. He said, "Listen to what I say: when there is a prophet among you, I, Adonai, make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream."
Let’s examine what a false prophet is: Deuteronomy 18:20-22 – “But if a prophet presumptuously speaks a word in my name which I didn't order him to say, or if he speaks in the name of other gods, then that prophet must die.' You may be wondering, 'How are we to know if a word has not been spoken by Adonai?' When a prophet speaks in the name of Adonai, and the prediction does not come true -that is, the word is not fulfilled -then Adonai did not speak that word. The prophet who said it spoke presumptuously; you have nothing to fear from him.”
So in answer to your question, based on what we see here in Scripture, there is no reason why a prophet could not be in our time and midst today; the true test though, as to whether he/she is a prophet, is whether what they prophesy does come to pass!