Modern Prophecy?

A Claim of Authority

There are many modern religious groups who claim their authority for religious practices by the revelation of prophecy in the modern era. This authority takes on varied forms, from “latter day” gospels, to inspired “prophets” or leaders, to “speaking in tongues.”

The reason why these claims are so dangerous should be obvious: when one claims their own false teaching as “inspired”, it creates a new “legitimacy” among those who are not spiritually knowledgeable – a “legitimacy” not sanctioned by God. However, there are two ways to confront the idea of modern prophecy.


While the very idea of prophecy is found throughout the Bible (itself a work of prophecy), the Bible is also quite clear as to both the form and scope of prophecy. Never do you see the use of the miraculous (of which prophecy is a part) for personal gain or for any other reason than spiritual understanding (cf. Mark 16:20). While some Old Testament prophecies focus upon a particular group or event (commonly Israel and Judah) these messages always have a greater purpose found in God’s plan. When that plan was fully revealed, the need for such prophecy ceased (Dan. 9:24, et al.).


This way necessarily builds off the first and can be summed up with the question: If God’s mystery has been revealed in Christ, what more do we need to know? For instance, some arguments in favor of the practical use of modern day prophecy focus upon current events, or questions facing the modern church. However, are there really any modern scenarios which cannot be resolved by the New Testament example? I would argue there are not. Another important consideration pertains to those who have gone on before us. If more necessary prophetic information existed after the 1^st^ Century, what of the fate of those 1^st^ Century Christians? Another way to phrase this idea might be: If I need a “new” gospel in order to please God, how about those who had the “old” gospel? Did they not please God? Did Paul not warn us about “new” gospels anyway? (Gal. 1:8, 9).

Real Danger

This brings us back to the original danger. False teachers know that when Christians choose to stand on the Word of God alone, they will not be deceived. Because of this, many try to veil their falsehood in the “legitimacy” of “prophecy”. Let us never be fooled by the words of men, but hold fast solely to the Word of God.

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