Does your church have a prophet of God who interprets the passages in the Scriptures the way God intended them to be interpreted?


The New Testament of the Bible does speak about the office of prophet as being a part of the spiritual order designated by God for leadership in the Church:
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28).
We also find that Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of the Church (compare Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18), selects people to serve in capacities including that of prophets:
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Following the establishment of the Church of God in 31 AD, ample evidence is given that there were prophets whom God chose for special revelation of His Will.

One such example is found in reference to the immediate troubles Paul was about to face upon his going to Jerusalem:
“And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit, “So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles”’” (Acts 21:10-11).

It is noteworthy that Agabus was conveying a revelation given to him through God’s Holy Spirit [which is the power of God]—something that did occur as shown in subsequent chapters in the Book of Acts. Agabus was also used to “foretell” an approaching disaster:
“And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 11:27-30).
Barnabas and Saul were named as being among those who were called as “prophets and teachers,” yet God chose them for additional responsibilities within His Church—that is, to become ordained as apostles (compare Acts 14:14). Still, we clearly read:
”Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said [God’s Spirit inspired them], ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:1-3).
Note that Barnabas and Paul were selected for a particular work—or function—within the Church. Paul was chosen to be the apostle to the Gentiles (compare Romans 11:13), and we see that he, like the rest of the apostles and ministers of God, preached the message of the gospel. In that process, the individuals hearing the Truth of God were challenged to prove it—based on the written Word of God:
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men” (Acts 17:10-12).
It not only falls to those hearing what is preached [including messages on prophecy] to prove its veracity, but the true ministry of God must, likewise, “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). God’s ministry should abstain from preaching highly speculative prophetic scenarios, which cannot be proven from Scripture.

Paul strictly cautioned Timothy: “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).
We also find this cautionary instruction from Paul regarding Timothy’s ministerial responsibility:
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:13-17).
From this and many other Scriptures, God reveals that understanding of His written Word takes place on both an individual level through reading and hearing as well as through instruction from the faithful ministry of God (compare Romans 10:14-17). Christ’s Spirit in converted Christians is “the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). At the same time, it is also true that God gives some of His disciples a greater degree of prophetic understanding than He may bestow on others (1 Corinthians 12:10).
When considering how God has established the conduct and oversight of His Church, the main responsibility for the true teaching of His Word falls to the ministry—as noted in previously quoted verses. This does not preclude that ministers with the rank and function of prophet may arise within the Church of God through whom God reveals His Will; however, the New Testament examples show that these circumstances both were not and never will be in contradiction to the revealed Word of God!
In fact, the great danger is that false prophets will arise with the objective of deceiving God’s people (compare Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; 1 John 4:1). Peter specifically addresses this fact:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).
When Jesus Christ asked the question of his disciples, “‘But who do you say that I am?’” (Matthew 16:15), carefully note what follows:
“Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 16:16-17).
We know from the Bible that God will select “two witnesses” who will “prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (compare Revelation 11:1-13, especially verse 3). We also know that during this same time, a false prophet of immense demonically inspired power will emerge who will oppose God and His servants and who will deceive the whole world—even claiming that he is God (compare Revelation 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
Even now, “destructive heresies” arise in which deceivers claim great titles for themselves—who make merchandise of the people of God; however, we have this assurance from God:
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). Also note this statement:
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).
For those who are willing to persevere in faithfully and zealously obeying God, true understanding of His Word is promised (compare Psalm 111:10).
Following the pattern established by the first generation of the Church of God and found written in the Bible, our organizations, including the Church of the Eternal God in the USA; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom, continue to seek God’s guidance and inspiration through the gift of His Holy Spirit and under the watchful care of Jesus Christ, the true Head of the Body and the One seated at the right hand of God (compare Acts 2:33; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 12:2).

We do not claim that there are presently any ministers in our organizations who have been ordained by God to the rank and function of apostle or prophet; nor do we believe that God has given anyone else outside our organizations such ranks and functions. When God chooses to set aside some of His ministers for such responsibilities (as He will, for instance, in regard to the two witnesses), the fruit of such persons will make this fact abundantly clear to those in God’s Church. For instance, God manifested and revealed without doubt the apostleship of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, the late human leader of the former Worldwide Church of God, who died in 1986. Today, even though some claim godly approval for stating that they are apostles and/or prophets, it is our judgment that their claims are false, as in our opinion, they have not manifested the signs of an apostle or prophet in their lives.

Lead Writers: Dave Harris and Norbert Link

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