My friend tells me that she is a prophetess who receives visions and dreams from God in order to predict what is going to happen. She also hears God’s voice in her head to say “random” things to certain people around her. How do I respond to her? Does God still use prophets/prophetess’ today?
Having grown up in a church that believed in predictive prophecy and hearing the voice of God, I can understand a little where this is coming from. I also used to think I heard God’s voice, and “prophesied” to others in my teen years. Here is what I have come to know:
2 Peter 1:3 says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness“. A few verses later Peter says where the “all things” is found…in the Word of God. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (verse 19).
Peter—the disciple that walked with Jesus, heard His preaching, saw His miracles, bore witness to His resurrection (verse 16)—that Peter said that there was “a more sure word of prophecy”! More sure that being there with Jesus Himself?! Yes, that is exactly what Peter was saying. The more sure word is the very Word of God, the Bible. He trusted it, more than his own experience. Now that is saying something!
This means that everything we need to know about God, sin, salvation, and how the Lord would have us live is recorded in His Word. We no longer need miracles, visions, voices, telling us what God’s will is because the “more sure word of prophecy” (the complete Bible) has been given to the Church. The “sign gifts” that Pentecostals and charismatics believe in today have ceased, and while the Lord may still do mighty miracles, He has not embodied them in people anymore. These charismatic gifts were for a very specific time in the Church’s infancy, and no longer function like they once did.
I once met a man who claimed to have the gift of healing mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9. He spoke about all the great miracles he performed in Africa. I asked him if he had a few minutes to take a trip with me. “Where are we going,” he asked. “To the hospital,” I answered. “There are many people who will be very happy to go home today thanks to your gift of healing.” Calling me a skeptic, he chuckled and walked away. I’ve been present for many “so-called miracles” but have yet to witness a single one. I’ve been prophesied over dozens of times in my youth by so-called prophets. None of them came to pass. Read Ezekiel 13:9, Jeremiah 23:16 and 1 Timothy 4:1,2.
The bottom line is The Word of God is His special revelation to sinners. It alone contains “all things that pertain unto life and godliness“. Don’t believe the “cunningly devise fables” that Peter speaks of in verse 16. We need nothing more than the Word of God, and the applying work of the Spirit upon our minds and hearts.
Pastor J. Lewis