I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. - 1Corinthians 14: 18-19 (NIV)
But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!" - 1Corinthians 14: 24-25 (NIV)
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. - Hebrews 1: 1-2 (NIV)
As the end times grow darker and closer we see the influence of evil continue to infiltrate the church to even deceive the elect of God. This is nothing that has not been foretold by the Bible and we should be aware and alert regarding it. I understand that the notion of a New Testament prophetic culture has many sitting under deception. I know that this is a sacred cow to many in their churchianity. I understand why. It feels right. It looks right. There are enough Scriptures that can be ripped out of context and cobbled together to make it seem right. Many will know a "prophet" or "apostle" personally and will take offense. That is a shame because at the end of the day what should matter to us is what the Word of God says. Whenever I have debates in this area, inevitably the other person ends up defending man while I try to hold the Bible up as the plumb line.
I want to be clear. I am not saying that the gift of prophecy is not in operation. It clearly is according to Scripture. Most cessationists will readily admit that it is the abuses of the gifts of the Spirit that led them to believe they were only intended for the Apostolic Age. If that were the case, what do we make of this:
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. - 1Corinthians 14: 1 (NIV)
I find it very difficult to believe that an omniscient God would allow this to be in the canon of Scripture if it were only meant for people who lived 200 years before the canon of Scripture was decided. No, the issue is not prophecy but how it is being misused in the church. Likewise, the office of Prophet is not closed either. I used to think differently but given all of the admonitions against false prophets in the New Testament, it would seem logical once again to assume there must be true prophets. I have to be careful to not fall into the trap cessationists are prey to. Where the abuse of something of God leads me to wish it simply is not in operation anymore. No, the issue is not the office of Prophet but those who claim they hold it. Invariably, they are false by nature. They do not point people to Jesus but to themselves. They perform for personal gain. At the heart of the leaven is one of the greatest poisons infecting the church today - divine revelation.