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Early Church Prophets

Early Church Fathers Quotes on Prophets

The Didache

But every true prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of his support. So also a true teacher is himself worthy, as the workman, of his support. Every first-fruit, therefore, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and of sheep, you shall take and give to the prophets, for they are your high priests. But if you have no prophet, give it to the poor. If you make a batch of dough, take the first-fruit and give according to the commandment. So also when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give it to the prophets; and of money (silver) and clothing and every possession, take the first-fruit, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment. – The Didache

Martyrdom of Polycarp 

And while he was praying, a vision presented itself to him three days before he was taken; and, behold, the pillow under his head seemed to him on fire. Upon this, turning to those that were with him, he said to them prophetically, “I must be burnt alive.” – The Martyrdom of Polycarp

Then it seemed good to them to cry out with one consent, that Polycarp should be burnt alive. For thus it behooved the vision which was revealed to him in regard to his pillow to be fulfilled, when, seeing it on fire as he was praying, he turned about and said prophetically to the faithful that were with him, “I must be burnt alive.” – The Martyrdom of Polycarp

Origen 

Never have any of those who have not embraced our faith done anything similar to what was done by the ancient prophets. And in more recent times, since the coming of Christ, no prophets have arisen among the Jews, who have confessedly been abandoned by the Holy Spirit. – Contra Celsus — Book VII

Celsus is not to be believed when he says that he has heard such men prophesy. For no prophets bearing any resemblance to the ancient prophets have appeared in the time of Celsus. – Contra Celsus — Book VII

Consider, too, if, because of the fact that the saying, “I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh, and they shall prophesy,” has been fulfilled in the churches from the Gentiles, you can say that those formerly of the world and who by believing became no longer of the world, having received the Holy Spirit in their own country – that is, the world – and prophesying, have not honor, but are dishonored. Wherefore blessed are they who suffer the same things as the prophets, according to what was said by the Savior, “For in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Now if any one who attends carefully to these things be hated and attacked, because of his living with rigorous austerity, and his reproof of sinners, as a man who is persecuted and reproached for the sake of righteousness, he will not only not be grieved, but will rejoice and be exceeding glad, being assured that, because of these things, he has great reward in heaven from Him who likened him to the prophets on the ground of his having suffered the same things. Therefore, he who zealously imitates the prophetic life, and attains to the spirit which was in them, must be dishonored in the world, and in the eyes of sinners, to whom the life of the righteous man is a burden. – Commentary on Matthew, Book X

Cyprian 

Besides the vision of the night, by day also, the innocent age of boys is among us filled with the Holy Spirit – seeing in an ecstasy with their eyes, and hearing and speaking those things by which the Lord warns and instructs us. And you will hear all things when the Lord, who bade me to withdraw, will bring me back again to you. – Epistle IX: To the Clergy Concerning Certain Presbyters

 

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