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Crackpot Economics in Jesus’ Name

Written by Gary North on March 5, 2016

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (I John 4:1).

The office of prophet no longer exists in its Old Testament form. Why not? Because the canon of Scripture is closed in history. The Bible is complete. There can be no “updated messages” from God that are of equal authority to the words spoken by the prophets of Israel and the early Church’s apostles. Their words were direct revelations from God, to be considered by the listeners as the very Word of God, without any qualification. When a prophet of God announced that someone was to do something, that person had no choice; he had to do it in order to be obedient to God.

Prophets therefore possessed more lawful authority than either kings or priests (state or church). The false prophet claimed this unique authority in God’s name. He asked kings and priests to obey his word, thereby subordinating their offices to evil purposes as lawful representatives of the nation. This is why listening to known false prophets was such a fearful sin; it could lead to the imposition of God’s negative sanctions over the entire society: “Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and l sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed” (Jer. 14:15).

No earthly agent today bears lawful authority over both church and State. With the closing of the canon of Scripture and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the Old Covenant office of prophet ceased. There is no need for prophecy today; to say that such a covenantal office still exists is to say that the canon of Scripture is not closed. Why? Because the revealed Word of God alone is above both church and state. The Word of God is equated with Jesus Christ in the New Testament; He alone is called the logos or Word (John 1:1). He alone is above both church and state. Thus, for anyone to claim to be a prophet today is to claim judicial authority that alone is possessed by Jesus Christ in His capacity as perfect man.

Contemporary Prophets

There are still heretical groups and cults that claim that their leaders or specially gifted members possess the predictive and judicial powers of the Old Testament prophets. This claim must be steadfastly resisted by all Christians. This is not to say that supernatural predictive power does not exist; Satan does have this power to a limited degree, and he grants it to a few of his followers for brief periods of time and for specific purposes, such as spiritual deception. It is a snare.

While there is still a prophetic office possessed by all Christians–the office of God’s counselor–the judicial power of foretelling the future is no longer granted by God. Covenantally faithful people can enter into God’s holy court and plead their case in prayer. This is the only supernatural aspect that remains of the original office. Christians are God’s counselors, but they do not prophecy in the same way that Old Testament prophets did. Their words are not law. No one is required to believe them.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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