The Five Fold Ministry: Are There Still Prophets Today According To The Bible?


There is a popular teaching in evangelical circles that there are still prophets today, in the Old Testament sense.  What I mean is that they have a new word from God, a "Thus saith the Lord" revelation that is not found in scripture.  Turn on the local "Christian" television station and sooner or later you will hear that they have a new word from God for you, a revelation if you will.

You can be sure that if there is fundraiser going on at that time, God will definitely be speaking to them.  These false prophets will tell you that God is speaking to them, and that you need to give them your money so that God will give you a 100 fold return on your seed that you "sow" into their ministry.

The New Testament definition of a prophet is any person that proclaims God's Word (1 Corinthians 14:3, 24-25), in the sense that he is forthtelling what God has said, basically it means to preach God's Word.  However, to claim that there are prophets today like the ones found in scripture such as Elijah and Ezekiel is unbiblical.

Why do so many people add to the Bible?  Is it not God's infallible, inerrant, unchanging, living, breathing, and eternal Word?  Why do we need anything else?  Scripture repeatedly says that it is all we need for our growth and comfort in our daily affairs.

Prophets were needed in Old Testament Israel because God's Word was not complete and God needed to warn them of danger, judgement, war, etc.  We have all of those warnings for our learning (1 Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 8:5), therefore prophets are not needed today, we now have a complete revelation from God. 
Let us now look to God's Word to find the answers in this matter:


God Spoke Through Prophets In The Past:

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
Hebrews 1:1-2

"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."
Luke 16:16

"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.  And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come."
Matthew 11:13-14

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
2 Peter 2:1

"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour."
2 Peter 3:1-2

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Ephesians 2:20-22

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
1 Peter 1:19-21

"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints."
Jude 3

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts."
Jude 17:18


Prophecy Will Cease:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
Daniel 9:24

"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."
1 Corinthians 13:8-10



The Bible Is All That We Need, Why Would We Need A Prophet?

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
2 Timothy 3:16

"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."
Proverbs 30:5-6

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
Deuteronomy 4:2

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Revelation 22:19

"And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another."
1 Corinthians 4:6


The Gift of Prophecy In 1 Corinthians 12:10 Is Explained in           1 Corinthians 14:3, 24-25 As Preaching

"But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort...But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth."
1 Corinthians 14:3, 24-25


Hear the warning from Jonathan Edwards from the danger going outside of God's complete and revealed word:

"That it is God's manner in these days, to guide his saints, at least some that are more eminent, by inspiration, or by immediate revelation.  They suppose he makes known to them what shall come to pass hereafter, or what it is his will that they should do, by impressions made upon their minds, either with or without texts of Scripture: whereby something is made known to them that is not taught in the Scripture.  By such a notion the devil has a great door opened for him, and if once this opinion should come to be fully yielded to, and established in the church of God, Satan would have an opportunity thereby to set himself as the guide and oracle of God's people..." Thoughts on the Revival, Works IV page 404.




The Five Fold Ministry: Are There Still Apostles Today According To The Bible?


Let me start by saying that missionaries and church planters are apostles in the sense of being sent.  I have one question for those that believe that there are apostles today with the same ability as in the early church.  Where are the real (documented) signs that must accompany an apostle?  "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds," 1 Corinthians 12:12.

There are specific guidelines in the Bible that a true apostle must meet in order to hold this office.  Does anybody today meet these guidelines?  Is an apostle necessary today now that we have a complete revelation (Bible) from God unlike in the early church?
Let us look to the Bible, God's infallible, inerrant, unchanging, living, breathing, and eternal Word.


The Apostles Are The Foundation, Once The Foundation Is Laid There Is No Need For Another One:

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Ephesians 2:20-22


Where Are The Signs That Accompinied The First Century Apostle?

"Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."
1 Corinthians 12:12


God Spoke Through The Apostles In The Past:

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Jude 17

"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints."
Jude 3

"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour."
2 Peter 3:1-2


Paul Was The Last Apostle:

"After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."
1 Corinthians 15:8


An Apostle Had To Have Seen Jesus And/Or Been Witness To His Ministry:

"Am I am not an apostle?  Am I not free?  Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?  Are not ye my work in the Lord?  If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 9:1-2

"After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."
1 Corinthians 15:7-9

"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."
Acts 5:29-32

"For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."
Acts 1:20-26

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."
Luke 1:1-4

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
Revelation 21:14

Hear the warning from Jonathan Edwards from the danger going outside of God's complete and revealed word:

"That it is God's manner in these days, to guide his saints, at least some that are more eminent, by inspiration, or by immediate revelation.  They suppose he makes known to them what shall come to pass hereafter, or what it is his will that they should do, by impressions made upon their minds, either with or without texts of Scripture: whereby something is made known to them that is not taught in the Scripture.  By such a notion the devil has a great door opened for him, and if once this opinion should come to be fully yielded to, and established in the church of God, Satan would have an opportunity thereby to set himself as the guide and oracle of God's people..." Thoughts on the Revival, Works IV page 404.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
Hebrews 1:1-2
"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."
Luke 16:16
"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.  And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come."
Matthew 11:13-14