Thursday, September 15, 2016


All of the Abrahamic religions have, or have had, prophets.  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, claim to have prophets who are said to speak for God.  Jewish prophets in the Old Testament are well documented.  Christian prophets, not so much.  Paul mentioned Christian prophets, or more accurately, those having the "gift of prophecy" (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:28; 14:1; Eph. 4:11; etc.), but none seemed to be named in his writings.  And, of course, Islam has its one prophet, Muhammad.

When Paul mentioned prophets, he viewed them as being less in stature to only the apostles.  He listed the gifts of church leadership in Ephesians 4:11-12 - "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."  But even during Paul's ministry, he wanted believers to "be like the Bereans"; he wrote:  "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:10-11).  Although Paul was an apostle, he wanted his audience to verify what he taught by comparing his teaching to the Word of God!

The New Testament also warns the Church to be on guard against false prophets (Mt. 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; Luke 6:26; Acts 13:6; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 Jn. 4:1).  There have been many who fall into that category:  Padre Rio and Alexandrina Maria da Costa of Catholicism; Charles Taze Russell of the Jehovah's Witnesses; Joseph Smith and his successors of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons); Ellen G. White of the Seventh-Day Adventists; and Herbert W. Armstrong and his successors of the various assemblies associated with Armstrongism.  These are just the main ones; there have been literally thousands!

Then, during the Tribulation, when the Church has been removed via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; 1 Th. 4:16-17), the Jews (the Tribulation is for Israel, as it is also called "Daniel's Seventieth Week" - Dan. 9:27, and "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" - Jer. 30:7) will be persecuted by a man known as the Antichrist (1 Jn. 2:18; Rev. 13:1-10), and his enforcer, the False Prophet (Rev. 13:11-18; 16:13; 19:20)!  Ironically, in the end, ALL false prophets will spend eternity together (Rev. 19:20; 20:11-15)!

Most "false prophets" today, might well be described as "false profits!"

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