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Many people I talk to claim that there cannot be a living prophet. They cite Revelation 22:18-19 claiming that the words there speak for the entire Bible. Certainly it wasn't compiled until after the Revelation was written (sometime around the Council of Carthage). Also, a similar verse is found Deut. 4:2.

In the history of the Bible, there are plenty of times where there was no prophet on the earth and then a new one was called. For example:

  • Joseph of Egypt (about 1800 BC) and Moses (about 1550 BC)
  • Malachi (433 BC) - John the Baptist/Christ (30 AD)

Also, Amos 3:7 says that God will do nothing unless he tells his prophets.

This gives evidence that God calls prophets, but does not necessarily prove anything.

Are there any passages in the Bible that say a prophet couldn't/won't be chosen by God today?

Some sects believe that God calls prophets today (Restorationist):

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • Iglesia ni Cristo
  • Catholicism (the Pope, kinda)
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I don't think anyone would call the Pope a prophet... He has a prophetic role, but he isn't a prophet. –  lonesomeday Aug 24 '11 at 9:23
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3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

As I mentioned elsewhere, the concept of a closed canon of scripture, which goes hand-in-hand with the notion that "we already have all the revelation we need and therefore God will not have to send any new prophets to teach us" has always historically been connected with apostate groups. It seems a bit inconsistent to think that something that has always been completely wrong with regards to the nature of God and the way He interacts with us would now be right, especially with as many times as we're told that God does not change. (Psalms 102:27, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, for example.)

Also, not all revelation is what we typically think of as "prophecy," a prediction of events in the distant future. It was quite common for prophets to talk about current affairs with divine guidance, such as helping out kings in warfare, or even Jesus telling Peter where to go fishing that he could find an unexpected yield in various different cases.

Even if the great, sweeping events of the future have already been predicted and recorded, without revelation to guide us in current events we're at a severe disadvantage. God's revelations to earlier patriarchs did not teach Noah to build the ark, nor did His words to Noah teach Moses how to lead Israel out of captivity and through the wilderness, and so on.

So no, I'm not aware of any scriptural evidence for the end of revelations and prophetic guidance, at least not before the end of the world, and we have a pretty clear pattern that contradicts the notion as well.

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@Mason Wheeler- I wouldn't say that a prophet always foretells future events. The word prophet (in English) means, "A person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God". Perhaps your definition of prophet would beet fit the word "seer", which is used 20+ times in the Old Testament. I haven't looked at the original Hebrew or Greek to know which word they meant here though. –  tjameson Aug 24 '11 at 15:30
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The assumption that man can comprehend God is a foolish Philosophy.That man can decide what God can or will do is another foolish speculation, and arrogant to the core.The ancient spiritual practices on all continents, all believed in prophecy and revelation as an interaction with a living God of consciousness in the present time of seeking and knowing Gods will.

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Can you back up your ideas with some references? Your last sentence doesn't parse too well in English. Could you please clarify what you're saying there? –  Adrian Keister Jul 21 '13 at 21:14
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Please expand this to support your claim. We aren't in the business of providing personal opinion or speculation. Thanks. –  wax eagle Jul 21 '13 at 21:51
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I believe prophets are now and have always been a virtual part of the church since the 1st century start of the church. Only because of arrogance present in today's church they are not recognized as such. But are still there. Not preaching. Not teaching. Not missionary type. But as always trying to steer the discussions and clarify. Gods word and bring His will to the forefront. Many no longer even realize they are prophets as in today's church this title has faded. But they still are acting the precise way God designed them to act. Gods is not interested in titles. His plan is full of action and not words.

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Welcome to the site! This answer would be a lot better if you could add references showing that this is a common understanding, and who teaches/believes it. On this site, we're not looking for personal interpretation, but rather focusing on what various Christian groups teach. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Nov 10 '13 at 18:00
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