With all the recent “self-proclaimed” prophets and people with “messages from God” in different movements and on the internet and YouTube it is important for God’s people to use scriptural discernment and not be deceived. The following eight tests of a true prophet we hope will help you not be swayed by every passing wind of false doctrine and misleading teachings based in speculation, originating in false “spirit” filled individuals and coming from various man-made religions.
Test Number One – Predictions must come to pass: Deuteronomy 18:21-22:
“And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
In other words, if a prediction a prophet makes does not come to pass, he is a false prophet. That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Not some predictions, but every prediction must come just as prophesied. Jeremiah 28:9 says, “The prophet which prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.” A true prophet absolutely does not lie. His predictions will be one hundred percent fulfilled.
Test Number Two – God speaks in visions and dreams : Numbers 12:6
“And he said, hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.”
According to the Bible, a true prophet of God receives his communications from God by two distinct methods: dreams and visions. That’s what the Bible says and no further comment should really be necessary.
Test Number Three – Everything they says must agree with already established truth from the Word: 2 Peter 1:20
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
A true prophet does not give his own interpretation of scripture. Every prophecy he or she proclaims will agree with already established truth. If they receive new light, it must agree with the old light God has already given in the Tanach (Old Testiment).
Test Number Four – They will be holy men revealing the fruits of the Spirit in their lives: 2 Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
So, a true prophet prophesies in the name of the Lord, not in his own name and a true prophet will manifest the fruits of that same spirit because he or she speaks through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Test Number Five – What they say must edify, exhort and comfort: 1 Corinthians 14:3 “
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”
In other words, a true prophet gives direction to God’s people. And a true prophet’s messages will cover all of these three areas: Edification — to instruct morally; Exhortation — this means to strongly advise; and Comfort — to soothe in distress or sorrow, to console. All of these three things will be exemplified by a true prophet.
Test Number Six – Torah observance and Sabbath keeping: Isaiah 8:19-20
“ To the Torah and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
God gives a clear distinction between false prophets and true prophets here — between the works of darkness, and the works of light. How could it be any plainer? God says, “To the Torah and the testimony…” That means a true messenger of God will keep all of God’s Ten Commandments and observe His Torah instructions which include keeping His Sabbath’s and Appointed Feasts in Leviticus 23 holy… In other words, a true prophet of God is going to be a Sabbath-keeper.
Test Number Seven – Belief in Yeshua as the Messiah: 1 John 4:1-3
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they, are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Yeshua The Messiah is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Yeshua the Messiah is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world.”
A true prophet believes in the Word made flesh – Yeshua the Messiah, and will never question the fact that the Word came in man’s human nature, in the flesh. The Bible says any person, or church, or religious system claiming that Yeshua the Messiah came to this earth in any other way, than in the flesh that you and I have, is the spirit of antichrist. In other words, it’s imperative to understand correctly Messiah’s human nature while on this earth. He came to this earth in our nature, in our fallen, human flesh. But in spite of that, He never yielded to temptation; He was sinless, and you and I can be victorious over all sin in our life through the power, and the blood, and the strength of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, our perfect Example. Hebrews 4:15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities [not Adam’s – the infirmities before he fell – he didn’t have any – our infirmities]; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Yeshua’ perfect life of Torah observance on this earth was an example for us to follow. 1 Peter 2:21, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye [we] should follow his steps.” There is not one sin in our life that Yeshua cannot give us victory over, if we will just let Him do so.
Test Number Eight – False prophets are self-focused and live extravagantly: Matthew 7:15-16
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. . .”
Look at the fruits of a ministry, look at the fruits of a messenger. Are they preaching the truth, or the traditions of men? Are they living extravagantly or as a humble servant… Very important! If Yeshua was the prophecied prophet… then He fulfilled the above tests of a prophet and is our example of how to live a life of self-denial as messengers of God filled with the Spirit of Truth!