End-Time Prophets and New Doctrines
True end-time prophets will not come with new doctrines. The Bible declares, “If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18, 19).
The one who takes away from the words of the Revelation is equally guilty like the one who adds to the words (verse 18). The guilty one in this case will have three great losses: (1) the loss of immortality, and the consequent suffering of the final death; (2) the loss of participating in any part of the new earth life; (3) and the loss of all the blessings and promises of the Revelation. This is a great loss, which nothing in this life can ever compensate for.
The Jewish historian, Josephus, affirmed concerning the 22 books forming the Hebrew Old Testament; “For, although such long ages have now passed, no one has dared either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable” (Against Apion i. 8 ; Loeb ed., pp. 179, 180).
The Bible – The Source of All Doctrines
The Bible alone is man’s textbook of salvation. Because only God can offer man salvation, He alone can show its nature. All that needs to be given concerning man’s relationship with God has been given in the Scriptures. Therefore, the Scripture is the source of all doctrine. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). And we can trust the Bible because, “Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
What Do True Prophets Reveal?
Jesus said He would bless His end-time church with the needed prophetic messages. “‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17). For when “there is no vision [prophecy], the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). When a church does not have a prophet to counsel, guide, and lead it back to Jesus and the Bible, the people will flounder (Psalm 74:9, 10) and eventually die spiritually. True prophets will:
A. Show aspects of Bible doctrines that were not clear until pointed out by them (Amos 3:7).
B. Guide God’s children into closer walk with Him and a deeper study of His Word (Psalm 25:4-5).
C. Assist God’s people in understanding tough and unclear passages in the Bible so that these truths may immediately having a transforming effect on the believers (2 Timothy 2:15).
D. Protect the believers from fanaticism, delusions, and spiritual darkness (2 Kings 17:3).
E. Help the believers comprehend end-time prophecies which are verified by daily news (Acts 15:15).
F. Assist God’s children to sense the surety of Christ’s soon return and the end of the world as we know it (Amos 3:7).
Test the Prophets
Jesus warned that there will be false prophets, especially at the end (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24). Therefore, Christians must test all prophets by the Scriptures (Isaiah 8:19, 20; 2 Timothy 2:15), heeding their teachings only if they are true. Believers are to follow the prophets’ counsel only if they speak and live in harmony with the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21). For more on how to test the prophets, check: How can we test the prophets?
In His service,