True and false prophets
MATTHEW 24:24 reads “For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
Malachi 4:5 says: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”
In a time when the prophetic ministry is becoming more widely accepted and more visible, we are seeing more mistakes, miscalculations and even untrue words being uttered.
It is becoming more and more difficult to recognise true prophets from false prophets. In these last days, we need to be continually filled with the spirit of God because we will only identify the difference through spiritual discernment.
False prophets will speak things that are true and they will also perform miracles, signs and wonders. The doctrines they will teach will initially be true, but they will slowly begin to mix the truth with their own demonic doctrines which will deceive and seduce God’s people. For example, we have witnessed the sale of oil, water, towels and other acts done in God’s name.
Is the name of Jesus alone not enough that we need to buy oil or water from so-called prophets.
2 Peter 2:1 reads: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”
There will be false prophets who never accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. There will be others who once walked closely with God, but allowed themselves to be drawn away from the truth of God’s word and relationship with Him. Also in the end times the Spirit of Elijah, the true prophet will be restored.
In the last days not many will follow the true prophets of the Lord because this requires true repentance, a holy lifestyle and a change of attitude. But the Bible teaches us that multitudes will follow after false prophets.
1 Timothy 4:1, 3-4 says: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
“Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
“For every creature of God is good and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.”
Historically, every major prophet of God was both misunderstood and rejected by all except for a small minority. Today’s prophets are like Hollywood super stars.
Marks of a true prophet
True prophets always speak in the name of the Lord with the authority given by God. This is the first and foremost test whether a prophet is from God or sent by Satan.
True prophets exhibit godly qualities such as found in Galatians 5:22-23 which says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
True prophets, glorify God through their words, action and any supernatural signs they perform. They refuse to attract Christians to themselves, but to God.
True prophets of God give glory to God for the anointing and power that operates in their lives.
True prophets lead people to God and His teaching, they will speak with authority from God’s word.
True prophets point people to Jesus.
True prophets will not idolise water, oil, clothes/towels. At the centre of everything they do is the name of Jesus.
True prophets respect the body of Jesus and honour other true men of God in the city and country and are open to correction.
True prophets will not allow anyone to bow down to them as they know that they too are only servants of God.
The Marks of a False Prophet
False prophets speak in a name other than the name of Jesus.
False prophets do not possess godly character or fruit.
Galatians 5:19-21 reads: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are — adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
False prophets pretend to be servants of God but are after their own gain.
False prophets lead people to themselves. They pretend to care for people, but in reality they control and manipulate them.
False prophets will be widely accepted by everyone, admired and well spoken of by all. Prophets of old demanded repentance from sin and hence they were rejected by people.
False prophets love to be praised.
False prophets promote selfish interests and demand belief in their position.
False prophets will have what initially appears to be humility, but it will be a false humility.
False prophets reject correction and are not accountable to anyone.
False prophets have it in their hearts to deceive the people of God and eventually lead them into worship of someone or something other than the one true God.
1 Corinthians 14:29 reads: “Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge.”
Scriptures make it clear that all prophetic words are to be judged. Here are some questions that can be considered when judging prophecy.
Does the prophecy bring you closer to God and to your purpose? Do soccer outcomes bring you closer to God?
Does the prophecy alienate you?
Does the prophecy encourage you and build you up?
Does the prophecy manipulate or control you (watch anyone who wants your money directly or indirectly in exchange of prophecy or healing or deliverance). Freely we have received, freely we give.
Does the prophecy condemn you?
Does the prophecy line up with scripture?
Does your spirit witness with what has been said?
Is the person delivering the prophecy under authority and accountable?
Does the person have spiritual fruit in his or her life?
What does your Pastor say about the Prophetic word?
Does the prophecy display the character of Christ?
Does the prophecy usurp your will?
Does the prophecy come to pass?
Does the prophecy confuse you all the way?
What is the spirit behind the prophecy?
Does the prophecy produce liberty or bondage?
Is the prophet spoken well off by other credible and leading men of God?
To be continued . . . don’t miss out on next week’s edition of The Prophetic Anointing – (Part III).