Acts 11:27

Beautiful wildflowers in Vermont.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Acts 11:27

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse noted Paul’s coming to and staying at Antioch, the location where disciples were first called Christians. With that noted, it next says, “And in these days prophets came.”

The Greek reads “came down.” It is considered a descent from the particular place these prophets have left. As for being “prophets,” the word used indicates one who speaks by the inspiration of God. Their utterance can be to either foretell events or to forthtell, such as in explaining the word of God. It is the same word used by Paul in Romans 12:6 and elsewhere as an office of the church. Paul places them next to the apostles in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11.

The foretelling of events is used to confirm the word of God at times. It will also confirm the prophet as a true prophet. Jeremiah, for example, made specific prophecies that came about. Thus, this validated him as a true prophet, and it also validated the word he spoke forth. But more, it continues to validate his word even now. If there is a future prophecy still awaiting its fulfillment in the book of Jeremiah, we can have every reasonable expectation that it will come to pass.

As for these prophets, nothing is said about what the extent of their prophesying was. One of them will give a specific future prophecy in the verses to come, but the rest may simply be men who spoke forth the word, much as a preacher does today. We can only speculate due to the brief description given by Luke.

As for their “coming down,” it was “from Jerusalem to Antioch.” Antioch is north of Jerusalem, so modern thinking is that they would have gone up to Antioch. Likewise, there are times when someone will leave Jerusalem and actually go to a higher elevation. Our thinking would be that such a person was “going up.” However, in Scripture, a trip from Jerusalem is always down. A trip to Jerusalem is always up. This is because it is the city of God. Hence to go from Jerusalem is to go down from the presence of God.

Life application: There are an innumerable number of people today who claim prophetic visions, utterances, and revelations. They speak out things over people, claiming that God is speaking through them. This has been going on all along in the church and it has caused irreparable harm to countless millions.

So the question is, are there prophets and prophecies today? The answer is both Yes and No. There are prophets who forthtell the word of God. These men evaluate the word and speak it forth in a manner that explains it to others. However, there is no need to call such a person a prophet. That only muddies the waters for no good purpose.

As for prophecies, there are still many, many prophecies in the Bible that are yet to be fulfilled. They have been recorded, they are from prophets whose words have been validated, and they will certainly come to pass. However, there is no reason at all to assume that people are receiving divine revelation today. The word is written. It includes everything we need for right doctrine and proper living in the presence of God. To add to that would be to detract from the word itself.

Those who have claimed divine revelation have only confused the church and set it on bad paths. Joseph Smith (Mormonism) was not a prophet. He was a false prophet, as were all of the supposed Mormon prophets. Ellen G. White (Seventh Day Adventists) was not a prophetess, she was a false prophetess. Juanita Bynum (still active and getting rich off the uninformed) is not a true prophetess. And so on.

Such people give out false prophecies for various reasons that are always harmful to others, and they detract from the soundness of the word of God. We have God’s word, it gives us all we need to live out our lives in a proper manner, and it tells us of what is coming – even through the end of the ages. And so, what more do we need? Learn the word! Don’t trust in that which is false. Set your eyes on the truth found in Scripture.

Glorious God almighty, thank You that we have a sure word. It has confirmed itself innumerable times throughout history, and it continues to do so even to this day. We don’t need anything sensational from the lips of false teachers to excite us. Rather, we have the most exciting word of all in the pages of Scripture. Thank You, O God, for Your wonderful word! Amen.