God does not Speak by Prophets today

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Heb. 1:1 ¶ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake IN TIME PAST unto the fathers BY THE PROPHETS,
    2 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;


    Notice that speaking "by the prophets" is a thing of "in time past unto the Fathers" instead of to us! He does not speak to us "in these last days" by prophets but only “by His Son.”
    The writer does not say Jesus "IS" speaking but "hath.... spoken" which represents the Aorist punctilar completed action. In other words, it is a past tense completed reality rather than an ongoing speaking. He is not presently speaking to us, but already has spoken!
    But when, where and how? Did he write any book of the New Testament? No! When, where and how did he speak to us?


    A. When and Where

    When he lived on earth and walked among us. John the Baptist was the final prophet to live before the ultimate Prophet appeared on earth. Moses predicted the coming of the ultimate prophet (Deut. 18:18) or "the prophet" Jesus Christ.


    B. How?


    Jesus chose 12 men and later a 13th man (Paul) as his official authorized representatives to reveal WHAT HE SAID unto the world:

    Jn. 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU.

    Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.


    Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

    Jn. 17:20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me THROUGH THEIR WORD.

    Heb. 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be SPOKEN BY THE LORD, and was CONFIRMED UNTO US BY THEM THAT HEARD HIM.

    The New Testament Scriptures are "the Testimony of Jesus Christ" and which are added to the scriptures of the Prophets (Old Testament Word of God).

    Re 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, and of all things that he saw.

    The completion of the Biblical canon of scripture is "the testimony" of Jesus Christ (Isa. 8:16-18).

    This is why the apostolic writings are the final authority for discerning the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error:

    1 Jn. 1:1 ¶ That which was from the beginning, which WE HAVE HEARD, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of THE WORD of life.
    2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and BEAR WITNESS, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested UNTO US;) 3 That which we have seen and HEARD WE DECLARE UNTO YOU"


    1 Jn. 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God HEARETH US, he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

    Jesus and his disciples that furnished “the testimony of Jesus” in what is called the New Testament is the last prophetic voice until we come to the final seventieth week of Daniel (Rev. 11:1-15).
    All self-proclaimed prophets between the close of the New Testament prophetic Word of Christ and Daniel’s 70th week are ALL FALSE PROPHETS – Mt. 24:24-25; 2 Thes. 2:9-12
     
  2. Gabriel Elijah

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    Interesting post—didn’t plan on interacting so soon Bib--lol—but that’s a question I’ve looked at a lot over the past few years—I certainly agree that most professed prophets since the composition of Scripture—are indeed false! Most make these self-proclamations b/c they desire some kind of special recognition. But I haven’t ruled out a kind of prophet or prophetic type of spiritual gift still existing. They certainly would not have the capability to add to Scripture, nor in any way counteract Scripture (ie sola scriptura)—but there were prophets in the early church & given that prophets are indeed apart of the end time events (Rev 11)—what kind of date is to be set that would establish their official rebirth? If one was ‘pre-trib’ I could see how the ‘rapture’ itself could be a kind of timeline—but if one is post-trib or pre-wrath—what exactly would signal God’s reinstating of the gift? Further, the main role of the prophet was not foretelling, but proclaiming w/ God’s authority certain judgment & the need to repent. Since Scripture will be present during the end time events, why would prophets be needed thenif the finalization of Scripture truly was the landmark that caused the gift to cease? And don’t worry I’m not as unwavering about this issue-- like I am Gen 6—lol—just interested in your thoughts & a possible dialogue
     
  3. Deacon

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    ...but might tomorrow

    Revelation 11 (NIV)

    I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”[a] 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

    7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

    11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    There is a period of time between the Apostolic age and what many call the Seventieth week or "end" of this present age. At the end of this age during the period described in Revelation there will be manifest supernatural interventionism consistently throughout along with two designated prophets. However, we do not live in the apostolic age or live at the time of the sixth trump when two prophets mentioned live.

    Have you done any serious research on the Messianic backdrop of Isaiah 8:16-20? I have done some intense research on its immediate historical context, Messianic prophetic context and its application by New Testament writers.



    Interesting! How can you make that conclusion? If they are speaking by divine revelation, then what they say is inspired by God and is equally inspired as the Scriptures as the scriptures are called "the prophetic word." Much of the New Testament was orally communicated before it was written down and Paul claims equal inspiration for both.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    I responded to this text in my response to the other gentleman. We live in the "last days" but not the "end" of the age when the sixth trumpet occurs. Moreover, these two prophets stand out due to the fact that God has no other prophets even in that time EXCEPT FALSE PROPHETS.
     
  6. Gabriel Elijah

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    Bib—now u know I love ya—& your probably my favorite older gentleman in California--but make sure your hearing me right—these are real questions—not statements—what marks the transition into the so-called ‘70th week’ of Daniel (out of the Apostolic era) & when will we know we are in this time period? (ie how will we recognize the Revelation events)-- Further—how does the existence of prophets in Rev 11 correlate w/ your premise of prophetic cessation since Scripture finalization—since Scripture will be present when the prophets of Rev 11 appear? (Notice I said they wouldn’t counteract or add, but yes they will be prophets so they will have the same kind of authority of divine revelation)—does the overall premise require a pre-trib affirmation to stand? Once again these are questions—not statements
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    If you literalize or spiritualize the two prophets in Revelation, other than these two can you find any other prophets except FALSE prophets between Revelation 4-20?

    The transition from the apostolic period to our present period is very simple - when the last apostle died.

    Personally, I believe that the two prophets in Revelation are not to be taken literal for several reasons. First, the descriptions attributed to them are taken from all the most famous duo's in Scripture (Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha, Joshua and Zerrubabbel, John the Baptist and Jesus). Second, they are called the "two olive trees" and "two candlesticks" which are representative not of individual prophets but the institutional houses of God (Jewish/Gentile). The twenty-four elders seems to be drawn from the twenty-four course division of the Levites who served in the temple under Solomon which again I see representing two institutional houses of God (Jewish/Gentile). The description of the New Jerusalem falls into the same two-fold category of Jewish (12 tribes) and Gentile (12 apostles) house of God. The immediate context is the completion of the institutional house of God (Rev. 11:1-3). The inner court is measured, finished, while the outer court is given to be trodden down of the gentiles for a specified period of time. I understand the inner temple to represent the Gentile house of God, while the outer court represents the unfinished Jewish house of God, the yet future salvation of Israel. However, I realize my interpretations are neither here or there as this book is highly symbolic and there is room for scholarly differences of opinion. However, the ONLY prophets that I find mentioned in the book of Revelation during the sixth trumpet period are these two alone. I personally don't believe we have entered into the sixth trumpet for several other contextual reasons.
     
  8. Gabriel Elijah

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    I completely agree with the idea that the “two” in Rev 11 is symbolic & not literal. For many of the same reasons you gave. The only noticeable difference would be the 24 elder identification, who I personally hold to be angelic in nature (divine council reference), but the connection w/ the priesthood order is also very plausible (especially considering the nature of the passage). However, I do believe that Rev 11 is speaking of literal end time prophets-- but how this actually plays out-- is a question that I’m currently working on. This is why I found your post intriguing, b/c it does have relevancy on the issue as a whole. Thank you for the input & hopefully others will give arguments that can be added to the research
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    So you believe redemption was applied to claimed by angels (Rev. 5:8-9)? Angels are sent to minister to us (Heb. 1:14) but that is a far cry from being able to sing the song of being redeemed by the blood out of every nation.
     
  10. Gabriel Elijah

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    Not sure if I follow the wording of your question—but along w/ the 24 elders, the 4 living creatures are also involved in rev 5:8-9--& they are angelic—so not sure how redemption being applied to angels is relevant—but as far as angelic redemption is concerned-- Heb 2 makes clear that they cannot receive salvation once fallen—regardless, I’m not opposed to the priesthood identification of the elders-I just see more evidence for a celestial being identification—but I’m certainly not dogmatic about it
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    Rev. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
    9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
    10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.


    Those in verse 8 are the ones picking up BOTH the harps and the golden vials who then sing in verses 9-10. The term "saints" simply identifies the golden vials which are prayers not singing or a song.

    The natural interpretation is the same ones picking up the musical instruments are the same ones singing, instead of being a back up orchestra. Hence, they symbolize those described in verses 9-10.
     
  12. Gabriel Elijah

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    The elders do seem to play more of a priestly role than the living creatures, so I could see where they are more prominent in these actions. And the particular translation of v 9 you posted, with the pronoun ‘us’ would certainly favor what you’re saying. But V 9 has a textual variant & the majority of commentaries I’ve read say that the ‘us’ wording is only found in the inferior variants, while the best manuscripts use the pronoun ‘them/they’ when speaking of the redeemed (implying the elders are not part of the redeemed). I also recently read a point made by Mounce that talks about how in rev 7:13- one of the elders asks the identity of the ‘triumphant multitude’ in heaven, seeming to imply that the elder himself is not one of the number of the redeemed. But I’ll tell you what- I’ll look more into the textual variant & if there is additional evidence for the ‘us’ reading in verse 9—I’ll certainly reconsider your identification-- b/c Heb 2:16 clearly speaks against any type of angelic redemption—which in turn would certainly speak against the celestial being identification of the elders.
     
  13. Gabriel Elijah

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    In the meantime—see if you can use your ‘charming personality’ :smilewinkgrin: --to get more people involved in your original post—b/c the question itself is not only interesting, but it could have consequences on Rev 11 or vice-versa. Maybe someone who is adamantly ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ cessationist (in regards to prophets)—has read some scholarly material that I’ve missed—in turn saving me a ton of research hours & allowing me to get an actual day off!
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Well, my "charming personality" does not come across in writing as much as in person, so I doubt if that will be a drawing card (I can hear the loud amen's).
     
  15. Gabriel Elijah

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    :laugh: I knew you had a sense of humor! that was hilarious! :thumbsup:
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    There are three important things to note about Hebrews 1:1-2. First the contrast in time:

    1. "in times past"
    2. "in these last days"

    Second the contrast of revelatory means:

    1. "By prophets"
    2. "By His Son"

    Third the past tense completed action of both

    1. "spake" - Aorist tense participle
    2. "spoke" - Aorist tense indicative active

    This is an implicit denial that God continues to speak to us by ongoing revelation. There is no continuing revelation outside of these completed past tense revelations.



    Finally, when did Christ speak and how was this revelation provided and completed?

    1. Hebrews 2:3 explains when this revelation occurrred and how it was conveyed to us:

    Heb. 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;


    2. The New Testament is the predicted completion of the Biblical canon according to Isaiah 8:16 which the writer of Hebrews shortly quotes in part and applies to Christ and His apostles:

    Heb. 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

    Isa. 8:16 ¶ Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
    17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
    18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.


    Heb. 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
    4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,
    according to his own will?


    Carefully consider the above scriptures and how they overlap especially with binding up "the testimony" (Isa. 8:16) and apostolic signs and wonders that would confirm the binding up of scriptural revelation. This means that in the mind of the writer of Hebrews this finished revelation by the Son would conclude when the apostles sealed and bound up "the testimony" of Christ.


    The writer of Hebrews did not claim that his epistle sealed or bound up that testimony. Hence, the apostles had not yet all died. Indeed, he says the apostles had communicated that testimony to the writer (Heb. 2:3 "confirmed unto us by them that heard him". Hence, God had already finished speaking to us by Christ when the writer of Hebrews wrote his epistle but that "testimony" had not yet been "sealed" or completed through the apostles, as some were still alive and no epistle by any apostle yet up to the writing of Hebrews claimed it "sealed" the testimony of Jesus Christ. John makes that claim in Revelation 1:3 and 22:18-20

    Jesus made it very clear that he chose some and called them apostles for the very purpose to provide a "testimony" or witness of his resurrection and words. Jesus made it very clear that He gave the Word of God that came to him by the Father to these witnesses so they could give it to others. The New Testmment scriptues are "the testimony of Jesus" and the final book of the New Testament fulfills Isaiah 8:16 precisely as predicted (Rev. 1:3, 22:18-20).

    Final note! The period of this testimony was not finished until the final aspect of this testimony was sealed by John the Revelator. Hence, prophetic revelation from the ministry of Christ on earth until the last book of the New Testament is consistent with Hebrews 1:1-2 including the book of Hebrews and the few books that followed climaxing in the book of Revelation.

    The point is that, this new testament revelation or "testimony of Jesus" is God's final revelation to us "in these last days" until His return. In the book of Revelation there are only two exceptions to this rule, as all other prophets listed in the book of Revelation are false prophets. Moreover, these two prophets are specified and limited within the sixth trumpet of Revelation at the very end of this age.

    All self-proclaimed prophets from the sealing of the New Testament by the book of Revelation to the end of this age are false prophets predicted by Christ in Matthew 24:24-25 and 2 Thes. 2:9.
     
    #16 The Biblicist, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2014
  17. Alcott

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    Not by prophets? Then by losses?
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    That is cute!:applause:
     
  19. HankD

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    I had posted Hebrews 2:3 also, I missed it in one of your previous quotes.

    Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

    "was confirmed" an aorist participle - completed action in the past.

    No more confirmation is necessary apart from the record of confirmation.

    HankD
     
    #19 HankD, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  20. The Biblicist

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    :thumbsup: Good point!
     

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