If you doubt this, do a Google search using the terms “modern apostles” and “modern prophets.” You’ll see what I mean.
It’s not just Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses or other cult groups who claim that their leaders speak directly for God. A growing number of charismatic Christians are following so-called apostles and prophets. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a town in America that doesn’t have at least one “apostolic-prophetic” church (though they might not identify themselves with that label).
Yet with all their talk about “apostles” and “prophets,” the churches generally place very little emphasis — if any – on testing the claims of these individuals to see if they’re true. On the contrary, they often teach that questioning an “apostle” or “prophet” is sin.
This teaching is in stark contrast to the teachings of Jesus, which stressed the importance of testing so-called apostles and prophets. In His message to the first-century church of Ephesus — delivered by an angel to the prophet John — Jesus praised the church members for ferreting out false apostles. He said:
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false. (Revelation 2:2)
But He rebuked another first-century church — the church in Thyatira — for tolerating a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20-23). By her teachings, this woman was leading the church members into sin. He gave them a stern warning: those people who continued to follow this so-called prophetess would face His judgment.
Jesus’ messages of praise and rebuke to these two churches would be well heeded by today’s churches. Don’t simply embrace the new “apostles” and “prophets.” Put them to the test.