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Don Stewart :: Who Were the New Testament Prophets?

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Don Stewart

As there were prophets during the Old Testament era so there were prophets during the time of the New Testament. Scripture speaks of a group of people in the New Testament known as the prophets. John wrote.

But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!" (Revelation 22:9).

The New Testament Prophets Spoke God's Truth

As was true in the Old Testament period, the main job of the New Testament prophets was to speak forth the Word of God. The writings of the New Testament prophets carried the same authority as writings of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus said His words were given by God the Father

Then Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine but his who sent me" (John 7:16).

He also said.

For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it (John 12:49).

According to Jesus, the source of His words was God the Father.

The Prophets Were Leaders In The Early Church

The prophets are among the distinctive leaders of the new order. Paul wrote.

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teacher (Ephesians 4:11).

The prophets spoke for edification, exhortation, and comfort.

For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation (1 Corinthians 14:2,3).

The Church Was Built Upon The Foundation Of The Apostles And Prophets

The Bible says that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Paul wrote.

Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

There Is An Important Distinction Between The Prophets And The Role Of The Church

The Bible does not say that the apostles and prophets were built upon the church but that the church was built upon the apostles and prophets. This is an important distinction. The church did not bestow apostolic and prophetic authority upon certain people. It was the Holy Spirit who chose certain people to receive and deliver the truth of God. The church could never authorize a prophet - they could merely recognize a prophet. Neither the congregation of Israel, during the time of the Old Testament, nor the church, during the New Testament era, ever ordained anyone to the prophetic ministry. This was the job of God alone.

Summary

As there were prophets during the Old Testament era there were also prophets during the time of the New Testament.

The job of the New Testament prophets was similar to that of their Old Testament counterparts. They were to speak forth the Word of God to the people.

The church was built upon the foundation of these individuals - they were the leaders of the new order. The prophets were those individuals whom God selected. No church or organization had or has the authority to declare someone a prophet. This was something that was determined by God alone.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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