If you believe there are no apostles or prophets today, you plainly don’t know the Lord – He manifests Himself by His prophets, His servants. Tell me where you find the Scriptures supporting this doctrine of devils. You won’t deny there were Old Testament prophets. You won’t deny that John the Baptist was a prophet, because the Gospels plainly declare so. And neither can you deny there were prophets after John and Jesus:
“And Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, exhorted the brothers with many words and confirmed them” (Acts 15:32 MKJV).
Acts 21:8-12 MKJV
(8) And the next day those around him going out, Paul came to Caesarea. And entering the house of Philip the evangelist, he being of the seven, we stayed with him.
(9) And there were four virgin daughters to this one, who prophesied.
(10) And as we stayed more days, a certain prophet from Judea named Agabus came down.
(11) And coming to us, and taking Paul’s belt, and binding his hands and feet, he said, The Holy Spirit says these things: So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man whose belt this is, and will deliver him into the hands of the nations.
(12) And when we heard these things, both we and those of the place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Did Paul rebuke anyone for being, or thinking to be, a prophet? No, he simply corrected those who erred, not because they thought they were prophets, but because they should think and speak rightly if they were:
“If anyone thinks to be a prophet, or a spiritual one, let him recognize the things I write to you, that they are a commandment of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37 MKJV).
“One of them, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons. This witness is true; for which cause convict them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish myths and commandments of men, turning away from the truth” (Titus 1:12-14 MKJV).
“Then he said to me, Behold! See, do not do it! For I am your fellow-servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the Words of this Book. Do worship to God” (Revelation 22:9 MKJV).
Jesus was a prophet; but then you would say, “That was Jesus.” Very true; that was Jesus, and all His children are as Him:
“For both He Who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, ‘I will declare Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You’” (Hebrews 2:11-12 MKJV).
What are prophets? First, they are brothers of the Lord, spirit of His Spirit. Prophets are members of His Body, representatives and mouthpieces of God. They are persons inspired by the Holy Spirit of God to speak to whomsoever the Lord chooses, be it to individuals, as when Nathan spoke to David, to cities, as when Jonah spoke to Nineveh, or to nations, as when Jeremiah spoke to Judah.
Prophets in the Bible spoke hidden things, mysteries, and they made predictions of the future. These future foretellings weren’t demonstrations of their authenticity, but would eventually prove their authenticity nevertheless, even if it took centuries or millennia to do so.
However, prophets mostly spoke against sin and corruption, against idolatry, false religion, and hypocrisy. They were, and are, ever separate from works of men. Prophets are never found within the confines of established religion. John the Baptist, for example, was raised up and ministered in the wilderness.
Prophets didn’t go about saying anything they pleased, but only what was given them by God to say. Their miraculous powers varied, as with Moses who performed great signs and wonders, to John the Baptist who performed none at all, but who spoke hidden things and saw into the spiritual realm, as when seeing the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus.
Truly, all true believers are prophets, for “the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy.” All born again-from-above believers have supernatural gifts, as Jesus says in Mark 16. And all those of the Kingdom of God are greater than Moses or Elijah or even John the Baptist, whom Jesus said was more than a prophet:
“Truly I say to you, Among those who have been born of women there has not risen a greater one than John the Baptist. But the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11 MKJV).
Still, there are those who have been called specifically to the office and ministry of a prophet, like Agabus and Silas. Nowhere does it say that true prophets of God ended with the writing of the Bible and its completion… nowhere. So how can anyone be so presumptuous as to say that God wouldn’t send forth prophets today?
Admittedly, prophets of God are rare. Their scarcity, however, doesn’t make them precious to the world. Indeed, they are hated because their job is almost always to testify against the world, even as their Lord and Father did on earth in His flesh:
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its works are evil” (John 7:7 MKJV).
What about apostles? Apostles are messengers, delegates, or commissioners of Christ, men set apart by God for specific missions as ambassadors, usually accompanied by miraculous powers. I don’t personally know an apostle, but based on Scripture, I can’t say there isn’t, or couldn’t be, one.
In the message to the church at Ephesus at the end of the first century (Revelation 2:2), the faithful tested those who said they were apostles and found them liars. This passage doesn’t indicate there were no longer legitimate apostles, but apostles must pass the test because, as always, there are the counterfeit to beware of. If there were no longer true apostles, why would saints need to try anyone claiming to be an apostle? Anyone claiming to be an apostle would be automatically deemed false.
Were there only twelve apostles? Who says? Those were the primary ones Jesus chose, but Acts shows us there were others, such as Barnabas:
“But hearing this, the apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their clothes and ran in among the people” (Acts 14:14 MKJV).
What about James, the Lord’s brother?:
“Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those apostles before me, but I went into Arabia and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I saw no other of the apostles, except James the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:17-19 MKJV).
You should know that Herod slew the apostle James, John’s brother, many years earlier:
“And at that time Herod the king threw on his hands to oppress some of those of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:1-2 MKJV).
Had Jesus chosen His half-brother to be an original apostle? Not while He was in the flesh. So now we have at least two other apostles after the twelve.
Unbelievers say, “We have the Bible now, and all God’s Word is there… we don’t need any more than that. Now that Christ dwells in us, we don’t need prophets or apostles.”
Does Christ indeed dwell in such thinkers? Certainly not! How narrow-minded and ignorant! Limit the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, intensely personal God to some paper, ink, and thread bound in a piece of gold-embossed leather by men. Or maybe even a cheaply-made paperback. To say God stopped speaking by chosen inspired vessels He died to dwell in is wicked and stupid, defying not only reason and the nature of things, but Holy Scripture itself, the very thing unbelievers claim to be sufficient for them!
Could or would the Lord speak only those words recorded in the Bible over and over again, like some malfunctioning device? Would He not speak to His own by His Body members, as the Scriptures plainly declare, as well as directly? How small is your god, you who believe such lies! God is a wee mite bigger and more personal than that. We prophets, in all solemnity, assure you!
The Bible is more than ample evidence, an earth-shattering testimony of how Jesus Christ speaks and relates to those He creates in His image and to whom He gives His Spirit. The notion of not needing the Holy Spirit or hearing God’s personal Voice because one has the written Bible is madness. It is gross indecency. It is idolatry. It is diabolical. (Read Bible Worship Used by Men to Cover Evil.)
Anyone entertaining such devilish doctrines has learned very little of the Lord Jesus Christ and has no right to say anything about Him.
Read Diabolical Doctrine: The Gifts of the Spirit Are Not for Today, Diabolical Doctrine: There is no literal, personal voice of God speaking today as in Biblical times, Diabolical Doctrine: All believers have equal authority and status, The Big Lie Exposed, and We Are Here to Tell You.
Consider the alternative to believing this doctrine: If I receive a prophet or apostle, I receive the Lord, for He said to His disciples, “He that receives you receives Me.” If I consider that there is such a thing as a prophet or apostle, and there is none, as long as I seek after the Lord, He will keep me, and I will have lost nothing.
The new birth is one in which we are born of God, born again by His Spirit. Does God sleep? If He doesn’t sleep, and we are in union with Him, born of His Spirit, then how can we ever sleep? Yes, in body we sleep - our outer man perishes - but our new birth in Christ precludes death or sleep of the inner man.
What a carrot this false teaching of the Lord’s physical coming has been, dangled before the noses of the religious masses as a titillating and sensational prospect that masks the futility and barrenness of their empty professions of faith. How many have died waiting for Christ’s “soon” return, thereby missing present communion with Him on account of a pie-in-the-sky promise? They are “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the Truth,” which Truth is the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Anything that divides is not of God,” the saying goes, in churches. But where does that saying come from? Does it come from God, or does it come from the realm of darkness, from men jealously preserving their kingdoms? It comes from Satan, who savors the things of men, not of God (Matthew 16:23).