Anyone familiar with religious programming today will notice that there are many people calling themselves (or have other people calling them) prophets, but does that mean they really are? We know that there were prophets in the Tanach and Epistles but what about today. The shocking truth is that there are no true prophets today.
A prophet is one who speaks for the Lord. He relays exactly what God has to say to the people. That is a simple, straightforward definition. God tells them exactly what to say. God can communicate what he wants said in many ways like dreams, visions and direct communication verbally (like Moses). Deut 13 and Deut 18 are two portions of Scripture that help us to judge whether a person is a true prophet.
There are four things to remember in judging whether a person is a prophet or not. First, does what they say come true. Second, does it line up with Scripture. Signs and wonders can be a sign but not necessarily. The false prophet will show miracles but he does not teach the truth. What is the purpose of a miracle? It is to draw attention to what that person is saying and teaching. No matter what miracle, sign or wonder is done it always comes down to whether that person is teaching the truth (Isa 8.20). This leaves out every so called prophet today.
There are books out today that are written by people who try to interpret world events and form it into a “word from the Lord.” They may say that a nation is being judged and this makes them “prophets” by some. God does not do things that way. If a nation or a people are going to be judged he sends prophets that are recognized as prophets and have God’s seal of approval on them.
Third, everybody knew who the prophets were in the Bible because the Lord made sure the people knew who they were because they were confirmed through signs. That’s why there were consequences for not listening. Elijah, Moses and every other prophet was known and if the people didn’t know they were from God, they could prove it. 1 Sam 3.20 says that everyone knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. Fourth, true prophets also had a specific word for the people before an event happened. He told them exactly what they had to do to avoid judgment.
Many today are rather ambiguous about what they mean by “repentance” and can’t really tell the people what they need to do. And what they tell the people to do better be in line with what the Scriptures say, and most of the time it isn’t. False prophets today will be all over an event AFTER it happens, and then say they “saw it coming in a dream” or something, but the Lord doesn’t do things that way.
What the Lord will do is to have a recognized prophet come forward and say that a particular event (or events) is going to happen, like Moses did before Pharaoh. What he will describe will be very specific so that it can’t be confused with the natural order of things. Then he will have specific things from the Lord that he wants the people to do. And all this will come BEFORE the event happens so that the people will know that the word was from God.
But, does any of that ever happen? The answer is a resounding “No!” Let’s take an event like 9/11 and look at it. Many came forward after the fact and said “God showed me 9/11 in a dream” and there are several that come to mind right now. They write a book and the next thing you know they are being proclaimed a prophet and invited to prophecy conferences. And they never distance themselves from the title of “prophet” either.
Many just sit there and allow it when others call them that. Many “prophets” just throw out scenarios and say God has shown them something. Several Messianic ministers proclaimed that the Tribulation was going to start in the 90’s and were proven false. Did that stop them? No, and they still have followers today. The Y2K scare brought many false prophets out and they all had visions or angelic visitations, but they were proven to be false. In another example, one teacher had been supposedly seeing visions since the 70’s and he talked about riots and cities burning, but even secular people have warned about the same things, but he is hailed as a prophet by many today (he is deceased now).
A true prophet of God will be specific and always right. Now, does anyone fit the requirements needed to be known as a true prophet today? No, and that is why there are no true prophets right now. Every person who says that he is a prophet or allows others to call him that, has been wrong in the past.
But, that doesn’t mean that there never will be true prophets. We know that in the Tribulation there are Two Witnesses who will be prophets. The 144,000 Jewish men anointed by the Lord to minister in the Tribulation will also function as prophets. However, many are being deceived by false prophets today and more discernment is needed by believers. We must test the spirits to see if they are from God. The book of Jeremiah is full of instruction on how to recognize a true prophet and you will see that there are no true prophets today, but they are coming.
Here is another way to look at it. There is one thing that everyone who listens to these so called “prophets” today needs to remember. It is a simple premise that says “Human beings cannot accurately predict anything that will happen outside of their own control.” In order to believe these false prophets today, two things need to happen. First, the false prophets writing the books, speaking at prophecy conferences or talking on television about what they say is going to happen must suspend their belief in the above premise. To get people to believe them and buy their books, they have to say that “the Holy Spirit spoke to me” or however they want to put it. We have already shown you that there are no true prophets on the scene today.
Second, the people hearing the message must suspend belief in the above premise. We like to put this into a “mathematical formula” that goes like this: tp (their prediction) x Amos 3.7 (a true prophet) = 0. Let’s say that the person gives their prediction, so 1 (tp) x 0 (Amos. 3.7-0 meaning they do not meet the criteria for a true prophet of Amos 3.7) still equals 0 (0x0=0). Let’s say the false prophet writes a book, and there are 112 predictions in it. Being unable to accurately predict the future about things outside their control, and have not really heard from God because they do not meet the above criteria for a true prophet, all their predictions mean nothing. So, the formula would be 112 (tp) x 0 (Amos 3.7-they do not meet the criteria for a true prophet) will still equal 0.
Remember, there are four things to remember when judging whether a person is a true prophet.
1) Does their prediction come true (Deut 18.21-22; Isa 8.20)? One wrong prediction invalidates them as a prophet of God because their credibility is gone and can’t be trusted.
2) Does what they say line up with Scripture? True prophets do not teach false doctrine (Deut 13.1-5).
3) Are they confirmed by God (like Moses before Pharaoh and Elijah before the false prophets of Ba’al) through signs and have a clear message of what to do for repentance?
4) Do they predict events BEFORE they happen (Amos 3.7)?
Understanding that there are no true prophets of God right now will help you discern what is happening and teach you not to fear what many of these people are saying today. It will also save you a lot of time and money that you might have otherwise wasted in listening to them and buying their material. And above all, do not be afraid of their predictions (Deut 18.22).