“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, he talks about vocations (talents or abilities) that were given to the Apostles at Pentecost. These vocations continue through until today, with some important exceptions. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
The exceptions to this list of vocations are the Apostles and the Prophets. There were only 14 Apostles including, Judas Iscariot and his replacement Matthias, and the Apostle Paul. Once the Apostle John died after writing the book Revelation, there were no more “Apostles.” Born again Christians occasionally refer to themselves as apostles, but they are not numbered among the true Apostles. New Testament saints are apostles only in the sense of the meaning of the word apostles. The Greek word is apostolous and means a delegate, ambassador or messenger. We share Christ with others as messengers for Christ, but we are not numbered among the original Apostles.
The Prophets are all gone too. The Apostle/Prophet John was the last prophet. All God given prophesy can be found exclusively within the pages of the Bible. That is the only location of true prophesy and there will not be additional prophetic utterances until after the rapture. You will not find prophecy in other religious writings. You will not find prophesy today in the “prophesies” of any human. Once John died the prophecy stopped. The Greek word prophetas means a “foreteller of the divine will.” The Apostle John was the last prophet until the two prophets come on the scene in the End Times. These prophets were prophesied by John in Revelation 11 and arrive after the rapture of the church.
If you hear anyone proclaim that they, “heard a word from God” or “got a revelation from God” or “saw a prophetic vision” – Run! Now if they say, “the Word of God (Bible) revealed to me” then you’re okay. Please know that the entire revealed Word of God is within the pages of the Bible. Anyone claiming to be a prophet is a false prophet. On the other hand, if anyone states they got a Word from God and it completely reconciles with the entire Bible – them you can probably trust. I know it sounds like I’m splitting hairs here, but I’m not. Multitudes out there are professing foreknowledge, or believe in people who profess or have professed a new revelation. They are liars, false prophets, deceivers. They cannot be trusted.
We must only trust the Word of God. The complete council of God, as it is written within the pages of the Bible. Matthew 7:15 says, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” 2 Peter 2:1 says, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” This verve from 2 Peter also mentions false teachers. These are teachers the stray from the Word of God and teach false doctrine. All false teachers should be corrected, and if they persist in teaching false doctrine, they should be dismissed from teaching. And lastly, from 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
Everything we hear or see must be reconciled with the Bible. If it doesn’t reconcile with the Bible, it is not from God. If you don’t know the Bible, you will be deceived. Know the Bible, through reading and studying it, so you can test the things you hear or see. That’s the only way you can know if they are from God. Again, if it doesn’t reconcile with the Bible, it is not from God.