5 TESTS OF A TRUE PROPHET
1. DOES THE PROPHET BELIEVE IN THE REDEMPTIVE WORK OF THE SON OF GOD?
One thing to note is that false prophets are antichrist in nature. They are not anti-Jesus. The word Christ is the Greek word Christos and it means “the anointed one.” The anointing is always related to the power of God. Beware of people who try to tell you that Jesus doesn’t do miracles anymore. This is dangerous, since Scripture tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). According to Paul in Second Corinthians chapter 11, there is another “Jesus” who is not the Christ (anointed one). The Jesus we serve was anointed yesterday, is anointed today, and will be anointed forever!
(1 John 4:4-6) You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
2. FALSE PROPHETS DO NOT LIKE TO LISTEN TO ANYONE;
THEY BELIEVE THAT GOD TELLS THEM EVERYTHING.
False prophets are hyper-spiritual. They begin most of their statements with, “The Lord said to me…” or “God told me…” I have found over the years that this is just a spiritual way of saying, “I don’t want your input, leadership, or guidance in my life.”
False prophets often make statements like, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” But the truth is if we are really submitted to God, then it must manifest in submission to real spiritual authority. If we claim to follow Jesus but do not follow the leaders He has put in authority in our lives, then we are deceiving ourselves. There are many times in our lives when we need another voice to give us guidance, direction, and maturity-producing discipline. When we resist authority we rob ourselves of an opportunity for spiritual growth, which ultimately hinders the effectiveness that the Holy Spirit wants to release through our lives.
(1 John 4:7-17) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
False prophets view correction as persecution. They often say things like, “You know, they persecuted the prophets of old.” First of all, they have nothing in common with the prophets of old, because we are under the New Covenant now. There are no more Old Covenant prophetic voices, so the comparison immediately falls apart. In fact, in the New Testament the apostle Paul reminds us that, “the spirits of the prophets are subject to prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32). The Amplified Bible expounds on this perfectly, saying that the spirits of the prophets are “subject to being silenced as may be necessary.” In other words, real prophets are willing to receive correction, whether they are delivering a message in tongues, or sharing a prophetic word.
3. FALSE PROPHETS ARE NOT MOTIVATED BY LOVE, BUT ARE
MOTIVATED BY A NEED TO BE NOTICED.
The central theme of all ministries must be the love of God. We must ask ourselves: Am I in the ministry for the purpose of bringing out the best in people? Do I have the kind of love that covers a multitude of sins?
(1 John 4:19-21) We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
4. FALSE PROPHETS COMMONLY USE FEAR TO
“Doom and gloom” tend to be the central theme of a false prophet’s message. It’s also common for them to say things like, “God showed me something about you, but I can’t tell you what it is.” These kinds of statements breed insecurity in people. False prophets love to make you think that they “have something on you” that you don’t know about!
(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Love is the central theme of the Gospel. Anyone operating in the prophetic ministry that isn’t defined by love has missed the entire point of the Gospel. We will make mistakes, mess up, and even fail at times, but when love is at the core of our ministry it’s always expressed in kindness, gentleness and humility.
5. FALSE PROPHETS ARE NOT IN A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST.
I have yet to observe a false prophet who has a healthy relationship with a local church they attend. As a matter of fact, many do not even attend a church at all. They wander from place to place looking for people who will listen to them. Often, their goal is to gain a following, stealing people from the flock. False prophets often use a combination of power and flattery to attract a following. And because false prophets are not in covenant relationships with the Body of Christ, they recruit others out of the church community to join them in their independent, distorted spiritual journey.
The word covenant means that we are not in a relationship for what we can get from people, but rather for what we can give. Covenant relationships are costly. Jesus, in John 15:13, says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”