Before coming into the knowledge of the Word, i loved to attend church meetings where a 'prophet of God' was preaching. I would remain standing in mile long queues only to get 'a word from God' about my situation. Some prophecies came true but most did not! Until last Saturday (and again today), i knew nothing about discerning who were 'False Prophets'. Pastor 'D' expounded on this topic with much passion and gusto today and left everyone who attended, in a shocked but educated state!
Below are some of the notes from his teaching of today:
There are three sources of prophecies - Holy Spirit, Evil Spirits and the Human Spirit. The difficulty lies in discerning who is giving the prophecy because the evil spirits can also prophecy correctly but with a totally devious agenda!
In Matthew 7:15,16, Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Again, in Mat. 24:24 - For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Yet again, in another scripture, 1 Pt. 5:8 there is a warning - "Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
If we know from Jn. 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, HOW CAN WE KNOW WHO IS THE THIEF?
Here's the answer! .... TEST THE SPIRITS!
1 John 4:1 - 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.
The following are 5 tests which you can subject your 'prophets' to:
1: HAS THE PROPHECY COME TO PASS?
Deut. 18:20 - 22 - But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 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.
2: IS THE GIFT OF PROPHECY BEING EXERCISED FOR PROFIT?
Acts 16:16-18 - Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
Acts 8:18-20 - (Pls. read from verses 8 to 24 for full background)- And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
4: DOES THE PROPHECY LEAD YOU AWAY FROM GOD?
Deut. 13:1-3 - “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
5: DOES THE PROPHET SEEK TO GLORIFY HIMSELF?
Acts 14:8-18 -And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. 11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
Paul and Barnabas are terrified that the people are treating them like Gods and they seek to correct that belief but are instead stoned almost to death! They did not seek the glory but offered it to God.
True Men of God will always use their spiritual gifts to bring people into salvation and never for their own profit and glory!
NOW THAT YOU ARE EQUIPPED WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE, BE NOT DECEIVED!