Three days ago, I asked readers for a biblical defense of the apostolic-prophetic movement. My question was:
“Where, in the Bible, is there any concept of an end-times army of Christians — led by apostles (with great authority) and prophets (with new revelation) — that will subdue God’s enemies and establish His kingdom on earth?”
I haven’t received one response — despite the number of hits this blog receives — and despite the number of comments some of the other posts have received, including comments from supporters of this movement.
I find this silence telling. I believe it lends support to my original contention — that there isn’t a biblical basis for this movement.
However, since I haven’t received any biblical defenses, I will state the one I’ve most often heard from people in this movement. Many advocates will cite Amos 3:7: “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.”
The idea is that all doctrines don’t have to be found in Scripture — many of them are continuing to be revealed through modern prophets. So, they use Amos 3:7 to argue that prophets will continue to receive new doctrinal revelation from God, such as the teachings of the apostolic-prophetic movement. New doctrinal revelation is sometimes called “present truths,” while the Bible is placed in a category of “past truths.”
Advocates claim that the revelation of this movement’s teachings has come from “prophets” around the world, including Bill Hamon, Rick Joyner and Chuck Pierce. The fact that so many of these “prophets” have allegedly received similar revelations about this movement simultaneously — and independently of one another — is seen as evidence that it is a “new move” of God in the end times.
Yet, this application of Amos 3:7 ignores its context. The book of Amos contains God’s announcement — through the prophet Amos — that He is going to destroy the northern kingdom of Israel because of the people’s unfaithfulness to Him. Read Amos 3 here. In Amos 3:7, God is saying that He won’t bring judgment on a people without first warning them (through His prophets). Given this context, it is quite a stretch to use this verse to support the teachings of the apostolic-prophetic movement and its “prophets.”
The idea that the church needs new doctrinal revelation from modern “prophets” contradicts the historic Christian belief that the canon of Scripture is closed — meaning that no new authoritative doctrines can be given.
This isn’t to deny that there is a New Testament gift of prophecy that Christians can have today. But Christians with such a gift cannot give new doctrinal revelation. Furthermore, the existence of modern “prophets” — in the sense of those who have the gift of prophecy — does not prove that the “prophets” of the apostolic-prophetic movement are genuine. Like all prophets in the Bible, their prophecies must be tested for their faithfulness to Scripture and for their accuracy (i.e., do their predictions come to pass?). I have already pointed out that “prophets” in this movement teach doctrines that have no biblical basis (including the movement’s key teachings). In future posts, I plan to discuss their repeated false prophecies and their many prophecies that cannot be shown to be true or false (because they are worded so vaguely that they can be interpreted to mean almost anything).