July 22, 2021

Why Don’t We Have Prophets Today like in the Old Testament?

Nathan W. Bingham & Benjamin Shaw
Why Don’t We Have Prophets Today like in the Old Testament?

Throughout the Old Testament, we meet prophets sent by God to reveal His authoritative truth. Where are the prophets today? Today, Ben Shaw explains the role of prophets in redemptive history.


NATHAN W. BINGHAM: I'm here on the campus of Reformation Bible College with their professor of Old Testament, Dr. Ben Shaw. Dr. Shaw, prophets are frequently seen in the Old Testament. Why don't we have prophets today?

DR. BEN SHAW: Quick answer, Hebrews 1:1-2: "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son whom he appointed the heir of all things through whom also he created the world." The point being that there was a time when prophets were necessary; God sent men from Him to speak His word to His people, to warn them against sins and transgressions, and to direct them in the way of God. But that time has passed. The final revelation has come to us in Jesus Christ. And we find that recorded for us then in the New Testament, which completes the Scriptures. And therefore, we don't need prophets today because we have the Scriptures.

In Deuteronomy chapter 13, for example, it warns against false prophets. And false prophets would be those who would lead people contrary to what the Word of God teaches. And so our basis, what we stand on, is the written Word of God. And if a man speaks contrary to that, whether he calls himself a prophet or not, he's not.

I think also sometimes people want immediate clear direction from God as to what they should do in one situation or another, and they think that prophets would enable them to do that. But we never see prophets doing that kind of thing in the Old Testament. Their message is always more general, unless they're confronting a specific sin by a specific king"say, Nathan with David. But other than that, we don't see prophets speaking to the individual concerns of people at large.

NATHAN W. BINGHAM: What would you say to someone who finds themselves in a church that has self-proclaimed prophets?

DR. BEN SHAW: I would recommend they find another church. Men set themselves up as prophets and they may not intend to be dangerous, but they can lead the people of God astray very easily.