Identifying The True Prophets Of God
Who is a prophet?
A prophet has a very crucial role in the society. It is the prophet’s duty to foretell future events, to encourage repentance and to promote righteous living.
However, not every prophet has the good interest of the public at heart and not all of them speak on behalf of God.
The birth of Christ was foretold by most of the prophets in the Bible and the event occurred exactly as they predicted it.
For unto us, a Child is born, unto us, a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Isaiah foretold the birth of Christ thousands of years ago and it came to pass exactly as he stated. Since we are celebrating the birth of Christ this month, this blog will identify some key features of the true prophets of God.
This post will try to define who is a prophet and the importance of knowing a genuine and the counterfeit prophet. Other posts will reveal the biggest imposter in the world, the limitation of false prophets, the functions of the prophet of God, the judgment of the false prophets.
According to the English dictionary, a prophet or prophetess is a person who speaks on behalf of God or by divine inspiration. A prophet can also be defined as a person who predicts the future. A prophet speaks for a higher authoritative power.
It is generally believed that a prophet is genuine when his predictions come to pass. This view is based on the following verses in the Bible.
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
The Lord spoke the above words and so we know it is factual but we also need to test the spirit of the prophet to know if they are from God because Satan also has prophets that are foretelling events in the future that are coming to pass.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this, you know the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard coming, and is now already in the world. (1John 4:1-3)
Many false prophets with the spirit of the antichrist are already in this world. Therefore, we should not be looking for one single antichrist but many. They exist throughout each generation since the resurrection of Christ.
The antichrists deny that Christ is the Messiah who came to earth to redeem mankind. You may not hear them outrightly denying Christ, but their actions and words will reveal their heart.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45).
They are a brood of vipers because when they are practicing evil they cannot speak good things (Matthew 12:34).
The Bible recorded the life and work of many of God’s true prophets. They are the examples whom our present-day prophets should aspire to become.
However, Is it fair to judge a prophet by the above verse in Deuteronomy 18?
In our dispensation, not every prophet is one hundred percent accurate. If they make a margin of error, should we denounce them as false?
Will God pronounced a death sentence on all of the prophets who prophesied incorrectly?
Bear in mind that during the Old Testament period, God spoke only to His people through His prophets.
The Israelites hearts were rebellious and stubborn and they could not stand in the presence of the Lord because He appeared to them as a consuming fire.
Due to the fact that only the prophets could hear from God, it was imperative that they speak the true Word of God or else the penalty was severe. Read the story of Jonah; Jeremiah 23:9-40.
Jeremiah was called a prophet of doom because he only spoke words of violence and plunder and the other prophets and people hated him. He was beaten and thrown into stock. Jeremiah cried unto God that he was in derision daily and all the people were mocking him.
Consequently, Jeremiah decided that he would no longer speak in the name of the Lord. But, the Word of the Lord was in his heart like a burning fire shut up in his bones. He became weary of holding it back and had to release it in spite of the disdain. Hallelujah! (Jeremiah 20)
Jesus Christ is our ultimate High Priest, Prophet, King, and Lord whom we as Christians need to obey. While Christ was on earth, He appointed twelve disciples and they followed Him wherever He went ministering, teaching, healing and delivering.
One day, the disciples told Jesus that there was someone, who was not a part of their group, casting out demons in His name. The disciples wanted to forbid and shut the man down. But Jesus said to His disciples,
“Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” (Luke 9:49-50)
Therefore, we should not try to ridicule, tear down or shut up anyone who is prophesying or ministering in the name of Jesus, even if we are not in agreement with their prophecies.
We are all on the Lords side! We are only planters but God gives the increase.
The Lord will not kill or destroy anyone who is prophesying in His name. Demons cannot cast out or expose demons. Neither can Satan prophesy against his kingdom.
The religious people called Jesus a devil because He was casting out demons, but He told them that a kingdom divided against itself would fall (Matthew 12:24-26).
As a result of Christ’s mighty work on Calvary, we can all go freely to the throne of God in the holy place to worship and praise Him (Hebrews 4:14-16). This is the secret place or sanctuary where we need to abide.
We do not have to depend on any prophets to hear the Word of God because we have the written Word (Bible) and the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts.
Saints of God, develop a close and intimate relationship with God so that He will speak to you directly.
Thus, you will be able to identify the true prophets of God when their prophecies confirm whatever God had already spoken to you. This is how you test the spirits to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1-6).
Continue to: The Characteristics of A True Prophet of God.
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Can you identify the true prophets of God? Why are so many people claiming that they are prophets? What are the qualifications of a prophet? Write your answers in the reply box below.