It’s about time I add another post to this blog.
I was digging through some old debates I have had online and I came across this little gem from the CARM message board. Anti-Mormons often quote Hebrews 1:1-2 as evidence against post-biblical prophets. Here I examine this claim and attempt to refute it. I have copied and pasted a small exchange I had with some of the posters there. My words are in black, and I have assigned other colors to other posters:
Ok, lets examine this claim.
|1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;|
The first thing that anyone should notice is that these verses say nothing about the possibility of God continuing to speak through prophets. It clearly says that God speaks through his Son, but it simply does not suggest that God will not continue to speak through prophets as he did in the past.
The second thing to point out is that Evangelicals are forced to change the definition of “prophet” in order to accomodate this belief. For them, there are two classes of prophets, those living before Christ and those living after Christ. I find no biblical justification for such a forced dichotomy. A prophet is a prophet, and the bible does not redefine the term at any point.
A small problem must be overcome in order to demand that this redefinition is valid. Amos 3:7 teaches that God does nothing until reveals his will to a prophet. Well, which kind of prophet is that? Apparently since it was written pre-NT it must refer to the former kind of prophet, the OT kind. So, does this mean that once the definition of prophet was redefined God no longer operated among men?
Just imagine Amos 3:7 reading:
7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets, not the kind that will come only after Jesus, but the kind we have today.
It is enough to start there. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
(poster Athanasius) The Book of Amos was written under the Old Covenant. The Holy Spirit did not indwell believers until Pentecost. One of Mormonism’s most pathetic problems is a total inabililty to rightly divide the Word of God.
Where does Hebrews, chapter one, state that God no longer speaks to us through His Son, but needs Old Testament-like prophets to provide revelation?
Smith had the same problem as you – having Christian baptism in the Old Testament portion of the BoM.
Mormons know not the Holy Spirit, His power, or His revelation.
Concerning the issue of prophets, will you Athanasius declare that following Christ’s death and ressurrection no more prophets were ever to be sent into the world?
(poster Athanasius) I believe in the gift of prophecy, which is speaking forth the word of God in conformity with the Scriptures. Smith’s bizarre teachings don’t conform to that standard in the least. The prophets are always subject to the Body of Christ, and the gift of prophecy belongs to all Christians, not just a prarticular few.
By the way, I can speak for myself and have no need for a Mormon to attribue views to me which I don’t agree with.
Ok, so you do believe that prophets still are sent by God?
(Athanasius) I believe that the Body of Christ as a whole has the gift of prophecy – is that too hard to understand?
The gift of prophecy edifies, exhorts, and comforts (I Corinthians 14:3); helps us build up or strengthen; and should lead us to the Word of God. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come (John 16:8-11).
Prophecy is divinely inspired and anointed utterance; a supernatural proclamation in a known language. It is the manifestation of the Spirit of God – not of intellect (I Corinthians 12:7), and it may be possessed and operated by all who have the infilling of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 14:31)
Intellect, faith, and will are operative in this gift, but its exercise is not intellectually based. It is calling forth words from the Spirit of God. The gift of prophecy operates when there is high worship (I Samuel 10:5-6), when others prophets are present (I Samuel 10:9-10), and when hands are laid on you by ministers (Acts 19:1-6).
(At this point I ignored Athanasius’ little discourse on what prophecy is, it was not relevant to the discussion)
What I find most silly about the argument from Hebrews is that generally speaking we consider those who authored the books of the bible to be divinely appointed prophets from God.
How can it be that there are no prophets after John the Baptist when we read and believe the NT to be scripture?
(Athanasius) Sorry you feel the Book of Hebrews is silly, but typical of most Mormons, who only give lip service to the Bible, and put all their eggs in Smith’s basket.
What I find silly is that you would follow as a prophet someone who contradicted the entire New Testament revelation, not to mention the Old Testament.
But, that’s your choice………..live with it. But, don’t try to drag others into hell with you.
At this point I stopped participating in the debate because it was clear that Athanasius was more interested in throwing insults and condemnations my way than he was with holding a good discussion.
The argument from Hebrews (as used by Evangelicals) is just silly.