Is there a need for a prophet now?

Elijah in the wilderness


Last month, John Carmack, at his COG Perspectives website posted the following:

We know from the Book of Judges that God often raised up a judge to lead His people out of trouble.  Throughout the Bible, God sent prophets to warn the people, warn kings and even high priests to repent and turn from doing wrong.

The civil and the religious authorities should have been counterbalances for each other.  If one failed, the other should be there to correct it.  However, it often did not work that way, but rather Israel as a whole would fail until one man would be raised up with a vision to forestall the inevitable decline.

The prophets were often God’s answer for when both branches of governance failed.

God sent prophets to warn the people as a whole.

7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites,

8 That the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

~ Jdg 6:7-8

God sent prophets to warn high priests.

27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?

28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?

29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

~ 1Sa 2:27-29

God sent prophets to warn kings.

7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

~ 2Sa 12:7

Keep in mind that this did not mean prophets did not suffer, especially at the hands of those whom they are prophesying against!…

Do We Need a Prophet?

As I was getting at, prophets tend to be sent only after a time of serious continual problems…

Will there be another?  Well, there is the Elijah to come, and only die-hard lunatics believe it was HWA.  Simply put, they are wrong and history has shown it.  HWA is dead.  Christ has not returned.  Period.  End of proof; all you have to do is open your eyes and your common sense.

Does this Elijah to come have to be one of the Two Witnesses?  No, there is no requirement for it.  Some believe he will be, but frankly I think the Two Witnesses are going to be rather busy.  Not only that, but when those in Jerusalem flee, who is going to be in charge of that group?  The Two Witnesses stay in Jerusalem!

Do we need a prophet now, today?  Apparently not, else God would have already sent one.  There isn’t one.  Period. …

However, two prophets will appear before the end.  Keep in mind, though, their major job is being a witness to the world, not the Church.

However, if a major Elijah figure did appear before the end and correct the Church, how many would actually follow him?… Would people argue with him over the calendar?  Over whether or not the Tribulation lasts 7 years?  Over who is the Man of Perdition and is there a “great” falling away?

How can people like John Carmack insist there are no prophets now?  Haven’t their been continual problems in the COGs over the past couple of decades or so?

The New Testament clearly lists prophets as an office and discusses them in many places (for details, please see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

John Carmack’s firm denial of the possible existence of any prophets now is evidence that he and others like him would not recognize a true prophet of God.  But his denial is similar to those of other groups such as LCG (see LCG on Prophets: Rare, But Look for the Fruits) and CEG (see 06/06/14 p.m. post at the News of Those Once Affiliated with GCG page).

Does the Church of God need any prophets now?

Well, if one looks at the disarray of various groups, personal and doctrinal compromises, the increase of Laodiceanism, and prophetic misunderstandings, the clear answer is yes.

As far as prophetic misunderstandings in various claimed COG groups that I have personally denounced, here is an abbreviated list:

  1. Many COG groups (ICG, CGI, UCG, COGaIC, CG7CBCG, CGG, CEM, etc.) do not officially teach and/or do not believe in the idea of Church eras (The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3), thought they sometimes teach about the churches of Revelation.  Because of they do not teach certain aspects of this, most do not see their own problems and will have to go through the Great Tribulation.
  2. Many COG groups do not believe that the Gospel of the Kingdom still needs to be preached to the world as a witness per Matthew 24:14 (e.g. GCW, PCG) or do not really make that a high priority (e.g. COGWA, CGG), and hence do not have the Philadelphian work.  Only the Philadelphians are promised to be protected from the hour of trial that will come on the whole world (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra ).  See also Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
  3. At least two groups misunderstand the Gospel and COG doctrines so much (PCG and RCG) that I question if their top leaders are actually converted members of the COG.
  4. Many, if not most, COG groups do not realize that the Great Tribulation begins with the King of the North invading the USA. UK, and/or their Anglo-Saxon descended allies (Daniel 11:39) (see Who is the King of the North?).
  5. Many COG groups misunderstand the identity of the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43), and some have the wrong prophetic sequence regarding the King of the South (see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). This is not the order that Daniel 11 teaches (see Who is the King of the North?). Those who hold to the wrong position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  6. Some (CEG, GCG-UK) teach that there is no biblically-required King of the South, while at least one group is unsure (CGF-NW)–but this is an error (see also Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?).  This error contributes to other prophetic errors that those groups have.
  7. Some have held that the King of the South is Ethiopia.  RCG taught that for a while and now denies it.  Any who are waiting for Ethiopia to be the King of the South will be disappointed.
  8. PCG erroneously teaches that Iran is the King of the South.  Those who believe that will not possibly know when the end is until it is too late.
  9. Several COG groups (like CGG, RCG, PCG, COGWA) clearly misunderstand Daniel 9:27 (and most others at least partially seem to).  Those who do not misunderstand it will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).
  10. Various COG groups (UCG, COGWA, COGaIC, RCG, and CGOM, come to immediate mind, but they are not the only ones) have so many areas of undefined prophecy that they will not know what certain events will mean.  And groups who define matters wrong will have problems that way as well (PCG and LCG come to immediate mind, but so do nearly all other COG claimed groups).
  11. A couple of groups, such as  Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God and Triumph Prophetic Ministries, have been repeatedly proven wrong about their dates for the start of the Great Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ.  Those who rely on the leaders of those groups really do not understand biblical prophecy.
  12. Certain groups teach improper interpretations of the 1335, 1290, and 1260 days of Daniel 12 (CGPFK is one) or have other problems with that (most others) that they will not
  13. Most COG groups fail to understand Habakkuk 2:2-8 and hence are not properly getting the warning out to the USA and UK (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel ).  PCG totally misses it, and LCG, while it once would teach it, has backed off because of what appears to be internal politics.  The rising ‘time bomb’ of USA debt is something that needs to be pointed out and Habakkuk 2:2-8 points out the biblical threat that this poses. It should be proclaimed and we in CCOG are doing it.
  14. Many COG groups have various ‘Elijah heresies.’  Because of this, they will not be able to recognize the final Elijah (for details, see The Elijah Heresies).
  15. Many groups do not understand the differing persecutions (and other matters) to come in Daniel 7:25, 11:30-39, Matthew 24:9-22, and Revelation 12:14-17, hence when the prophesied wave of persecution initially hits the Philadelphians primarily, they will not see that the Great Tribulation is about to begin (see also Persecutions by Church and State).
  16. Most groups that came out of groups once led by the late Garner Ted Armstrong (ICG, CGI, CEM, etc.) do not seem to teach that there is a physical place of safety, hence will not be inclined to flee towards one (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
  17. At least one group (PCG) misunderstands the final Prince of Rosh.  Those who insist on a pre-return of Jesus Christ for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 will be disappointed as that is in scriptural error.
  18. At least on COG group (CG7) basically teaches that most of the events of Revelation have already taken place and no one needs to worry about coming persecution.  Jesus warned those of Sardis to be careful about losing the doctrinal understandings they had (Revelation 3:1-6), and this loss of prophetic knowledge proves that those in Sardis will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  19. At least one COG group (LCG) erroneously believes that the abomination of desolation of Daniel 11:31 occurs after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). Since this will not happen, those who hold to that position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  20. At least one group (RCG) totally misunderstands various prophecies in Haggai and Zechariah and expect a type of reunification that is not prophesied.  Those who rely on this and other misinterpretations will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  21. At least one group (LCG) erroneously teaches that the ‘Falling Away’ warned about in 2 Thessalonians 2 has mainly to do with the world and Protestants and not the Church of God (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).  This improper emphasis seems to be leading to a falling away of certain prophetic understandings for those who hold to it.
  22. Some groups teach (RCG, UCG, COGWA, LCG) that the man of sin who sits in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) is the Antichrist, not the Beast of the Sea. Yet, it is this Beast of the Sea, the final King of the North (Daniel 11:35-36; see also Who is the Man of Sin?). So, when this happens, those who hold to that position will not understand its prophetic ramifications.  The identity of the ‘son of perdition’ is important to understand in the end times.
  23. At least one group teaches that the ‘man of sin’ is Joseph Tkach, Jr. (PCG).  This absurd position also partially leads to many other misunderstandings.
  24. A few teach that a Jewish temple in Jerusalem temple will be rebuilt before Jesus returns (CBCG and TPM teach this, as do some in LCG). While this is remotely possible it is not required (the “temple of God” in the New Testament has to do with a Christian, not Jewish, location; see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Since this will not happen as a few sometimes teach, those who hold to that position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  25. At least two groups (PCG and LCG) teach that the Beast power will consist of 10 or 11 current nations in the European Union (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). The European Union has 28 nation members with others hoping to join it. And while it may lose nations, the reality is that if the Beast power rises up when there are more than 11 nations in it, those who hold to that position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin. Under Herbert Armstrong, the old WCG taught in at least a dozen documents (Plain Truth, Good News, Tomorrow’s World, booklets, Co-worker letter, Bible Correspondence Course) that this passage referred to 10 nations or GROUPS OF NATIONS.
  26. At least one group (CBCG) teaches that the ten kings are to be in charge of ten regions around the world as opposed to being a primarily European power.  Insistence upon this would mean that such a group could not possibly understand when the Great Tribulation would begin.
  27. At least one or two groups teach that the first verse in the Daniel 11 sequence relating to the beginning of the Great Tribulation is Daniel 11:40. Instead they should teach that it begins with Daniel 11:39, which is shortly after Daniel 11:31, which is also consistent with the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; see also Who is the King of the North?). Those who hold to the Daniel 11:40 position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  28. The leader of at least one group (GOI, James Malm) has claimed that the Great Tribulation could begin in within a year for the last 6 or so years.  Since it does not recognize why this is in error, it will not truly know when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  29. At least one group (CGG) teaches that Europe is not the Beast.  Since the Beast power will arise in Europe, those who do not understand this will not realize when the Great Tribulation is about to begin (see also Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation).

Some will come up with their preferred rational as why not to agree with the position of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) on these matters. Yet, on most of those points, the old WCG taught what I believe that the Bible teaches on them (on the few that it did not, one is consistent with a November 1979 HWA writing and on the others, a former adviser to HWA told me that HWA would have agreed with me on those as well, as one he had not investigated and some others were not issues when he was alive).

It should be noted that leaders once in the old WCG and now in the Living Church of God and/or the United Church of God confirmed to me personally that I was biblically correct on all the above points, despite the fact that their respective churches hold to several of the errors pointed out above.  Those who rely too much on a compromised ministry (cf. Ezekiel 34:7-10) to teach them prophecy that is not truly in accordance with scripture need to realize that according to Jesus’ words in Revelation 2 & 3 and Luke 21, only relatively few Christians will be protected from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole world.

There are also more prophetic differences that other COG groups have from the Bible than shown in this post.  The reality is that without the right emphasis on the final phase of the work, holding the Bible in sufficiently high regard, and ignoring one anointed like Elisha, the COG groups that ignore prophetic warnings are doing so to their peril.

While some discount prophecy, notice what Jesus admonished His faithful to do:

 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:35-36)

Are we not a lot closer to the end now than when Jesus stated that?  Should you not be watching world events as properly explained in the light of Bible prophecy?

Jesus knew that all the faithful would not be ready at the end time, which is part of why He warned the Laodiceans as follows:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked —   18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘”  (Revelation 3:14-22)

At there have long been articles on dozens of claimed COG groups explaining how they have deviated from Philadelphia era teachings.  And nearly all of those groups are Laodicean.  And the differences included not only areas of prophecy, but also other items of doctrine, church history, and biblical truth.

Additionally, God has allowed my articles on defining Philadelphia and Laodicea to have been published in places such as the Global Church News, Living Church News, and The Journal:News of the Churches of God. These articles were and remain a witness.

Furthermore, an article that I and my wife put together years ago may have been the first independently published (it was published in The Journal:News of the Churches of God in 2005) article explaining why the Tkach list of the supposed 18 restored truths differed from the actual list by the late Herbert W. Armstrong (see The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made?).

The Bible teaches:

7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?  (Amos 3:7-8)

Do the COGs believe that there could be no prophet prior to the start of the Great Tribulation that God could use to try to unify the Philadelphians and warn them against their acceptance of Laodicean doctrines and misunderstandings of end-time prophecy?

The various Laodiceans will not properly understand end time prophecy, and that will contribute to them NOT fleeing when they should (cf. Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 12:14-17).  Various ones have written me with their contradictory assertions, and not scripture, and sadly will not know what is happening.

Although Jesus said to watch world events (Mark 13:32-37), many are watching the wrong events, misinterpret certain key prophetic passages, and misunderstand what Jesus wants His most faithful to do in the 21st century that they will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late and hence will not flee to the place of protection when they should (Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 12:14-17).

At this moment, the only COG-group that possibly can understand when the Great Tribulation will begin, based upon the Bible and basically the later understandings of Herbert W. Armstrong and what all the COG groups teach, is the Continuing Church of God.  The Continuing Church of God is also the only group led by a person told by the longest surviving evangelist originally ordained by Herbert Armstrong that God may consider him a prophet (this occurred in 2008) and the only person known to have been anointed and prayed to be granted a ‘double-portion of God’s Spirit by a minister who told him that this was reminiscent of the passing of the mantle to the Prophet Elisha by the Prophet Elijah (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-13).

God has also confirmed the validity of the mantle being passed to dreams to at least three people, all of whom later became part of CCOG (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God).  The witness is there for those with eyes to see.

Of course, most did not believe the great prophet John the Baptist (Luke 28:33), nor that Jesus was the Christ (Luke 28:34) as most of the people then had different criteria than God set (cf. Luke 28:35).

Those who claim to follow God, need to use His criteria.

What about you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Does Revelation 17:12 teach ten nations or not? Why is this important to know?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here is a sermon Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.

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