In my last post I said not all prophets are true. What should help you identify the true?
A prophet is one who speaks for another, he declares God’s heart to His people so that they might with all their hearts return to His ways.
Let’s dig into the characteristics of a true prophet;
- He Knows, (have in the mind, have learned, is able to recall, is aware of) the word of God, therefore he knows God, and knows what to do with that he finds in scripture. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29
- Is filled with the Holy Spirit
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.
In John 6:63 we see that the flesh counts for nothing, but it’s the Spirit that gives life. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” As far as he is concerned the flesh counts for nothing, be it material gain or wealth.
3. Is Fearless, but fears God, worships Him only, and not man. He is very courageous, brave, confident and bold as a lion to write wrong where possible. True prophets fight for others but they will not defend themselves. They let God defend them instead.
4. He trusts God, with a pure heart.
He has no other agenda save that of God. He’s obedient, and full of wisdom. He exercise discretion and strong discernment.
Not all prophets are true!
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15
The first step to combating these false prophets is to simply beware of them. There are many who would try to guide you along the broad path that leads to destruction.
It is in the nature of these false prophets to deceive and deny their true character. Often they deceive even themselves, believing themselves to be sheep when in fact they are ravenous wolves.
The basic fault of the false prophet is self interest, which is a desire for gain or an easy life, a desire for prestige, or the desire to advance one’s own ideas and not God’s ideas. You will know them by their fruits.
We guard ourselves against false prophets by taking heed to their fruits; i.e., paying attention to several aspects of their life and ministry. Pay attention to the content of their teaching. Is it true fruit from God’s Word, or is it man-centered, appealing to ears that want to be tickled? Also pay attention to the effect of their teaching. Are people growing in Jesus or merely being entertained, and eventually falling away?