“ Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
For many believers, this is an indication that prophecy has ceased already, thinking that since Jesus is the word and the written word’s cannon is finalized, that God no longer needs to speak to prophets to instruct them to write scripture. This evidently assumes that the only words the prophets ever spoke are recorded in the scriptures and that recording the scriptures was the sole goal of prophecy. If I am understanding the reasoning correctly, though, scripture itself indicates this isn’t true. Besides the prophesies torn up and burned and given again, prophets also mention having received revelations from God that he told them to shut up and not share with others. Some of these prophesies may be given again in the last days; and like all prophesies, their validity will be able to be shown by whether their theology lines up with the Bible’s.
What then does this mean? First, the author of Hebrews is laying out a Christology; he portrays Jesus as being the messiah, God’s anointed one, in all three Hebrew senses: as God’s Prophet and the Great High Priest as well as King Forever. Since the “prophet” in this case is God’s own son, and he has “spoken to us” this is if anything suggesting that God the Son speaks to his people directly rather than through human prophets, though this itself is technically still prophecy since Jesus is God and not here with us face to face.
Also keep in mind that, if Jesus is being lifted up as being Messiah in the sense of Prophet as well as Priest and King, if the text implies he only speaks to us one way–through the bible–that also means that you can only read it once rather than many times. That is absurd, just as putting God in a box and limiting the ways that an omnipotent deity can speak to us is absurd. The bible is still supreme; it is the standard against which we test all else for accuracy. The Son will never say anything that contradicts the written word of God.
Rather than taking away the gift of prophecy in these last days, as the bible says, he pours out on his whole church the spirit that in former times only the prophets enjoyed. Rather than the well running dry, its streams of living water are available to all Christians, not merely those called to one of the five positions of leadership in the Church; though in my experience, only the nuts want to openly bear the prophet’s mantle these days, at least I am not aware of any theologically sound churches that maintain the quite biblical office of the prophet, recognize, and ordain those God calls.
Perhaps we need to re-examine what prophets were about in the scriptures.
Regardless, beloved one thing I know, if you’re reading this, God has probably led you here, and he wants you to turn off all distractions and get alone with him. This time, when you’re done talking to him, take your turn at doing the listening.