This question deserves our attention, for there are those who profess to be prophets today and they do indeed claim to perform miracles and teach that we should be prosperous. But “what saith the scriptures?” We will attempt to answer this by making three points.

  1. There are NO PROPHETS TODAY. After the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven the Holy Spirit came down to form the church and spiritual gifts were given for the edification of the church, including the gift of prophets. We see this in Ephesians 4:11-12, “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 the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (NKJV). The gifts of APOSTLES and PROPHETS were, we believe, temporary in nature, for their mission was to establish the church in the foundational truths of Christianity. Ephesians 2:19-20 bears this out: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” The apostle Paul refers to this same truth in 1st Corinthians 3:9-10: “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I HAVE LAID THE FOUNDATION, and another builds on it.” Again, the truth that the apostles and prophets gave to the early church IS THE FOUNDATION. Paul says emphatically that he has “laid the foundation,” and thus the work that the apostles and prophets were given to do HAS BEEN DONE. A foundation is only laid once and so the need for apostles and prophets ended when the body of truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ was presented.
  2. FALSE TEACHERS have replaced false prophets. Listen to these words from the apostle Peter in 2nd Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” Peter was speaking to Jews who had been converted to Christ and he was warning them that just as there had been false prophets among the Jewish people in the land of Israel, there would now be false teachers among Christians in the church. False prophets had opposed true prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel, with their false message of peace when there was no peace. This caused many Israelites to reject the truth of impending judgment. Peter was inspired to write to his Jewish brethren to predict that this same opposition and false teaching would be repeated in the present church age, for false teachers today are bringing in “destructive heresies” that deny the Person and Work of Christ, along with denying that God’s judgment is going to fall on this Christ-rejecting world (see 2nd Peter 3:1-7).
  3. MIRACLES and PROSPERITY are part of a FALSE GOSPEL. False teachers also preach a “health and wealth gospel.” They use Mark 16:17-18 (and other passages) to support their claim to perform MIRACLES OF HEALING. It reads, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…speak with new tongues…take up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them…lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” But they fail to realize that these miracles were meant to serve a special purpose in the early church. That purpose is given in verse 20: “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and CONFIRMING THE WORD THROUGH THE ACCOMPANYING SIGNS.” Miracles “confirmed the word of God” and after God’s new revelation was confirmed, the miracles were no longer needed. Yet today false teachers preach a false gospel which says that these same signs should be performed by Christians today. If this were true, then why don’t they rid the world of demon possession and heal all who are sick?

They also add to their false gospel that all believers should be PROSPEROUS, and that if you aren’t rich you must be lacking faith or living in sin. Many passages of Scripture could be cited to refute this error. For example, the Lord Jesus (Who was NOT rich when He walked this earth) warned us against desiring to be rich in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” He also said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). The apostle Paul warned of the same thing in 1st Timothy 6:8-10: “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” It is simply amazing that men can read these verses and yet continue to preach that all Christians should be wealthy. (228.1) (DO)