How to Discern a False Prophet

   by Rayola Kelley 

Q:I know of an individual who is considered a false prophet by fundamentalist Christians. The problem I have is that some of this person’s prophecies have come true. How do you properly discern who is really of God?

A: First of all Jesus never said that prophets would be known by fulfilled prophecies but by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-16).

It is important to keep in mind Satan has some knowledge about the future, thereby giving his prophets the capability of predicting future events as well. Men such as Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce are just a few examples of Satan’s prophets (psychics) who predicted the future in many areas with uncanny accuracy. Even though these people were correct in some ways, they were operating with a wrong spirit.

Another fact we Christians must keep in mind is that the greatest Prophet who ever walked this earth is Jesus Christ. Jesus told His followers everything they needed to know. In fact, much of what these self-proclaimed prophets are predicting about the days we live in was pretty well outlined by Jesus and the original writings of the Apostles in the Word of God over 2,000 years ago.

For example, some prophets have prophesized about such events as earthquakes, natural catastrophes and the increase of lawlessness of man. These predictions are not new, you can find them in the Bible. To me most of these so-called prophets are nothing more than men who are trying to gain a name, following and credibility by predicting the obvious, the ridiculous and the outlandish. These people actually play on the ignorance of man towards the Word and appeal to the pride and itching ears that are prevalent today.

There are some good ways to test these “so-called” prophets or blowhards:

If a prophet refuses to be scripturally tested, such a person is a fake and hiding behind a title.

If a prophet’s main agenda is his or her prophecies more than the preaching of the cross, that person is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Run the opposite direction.

If a prophet lacks humility by insisting that people have to agree with him or her on the basis of position alone, flee, for this person is a heretic.

If a prophet has to stretch an event to fulfill a prophecy or is general about events that would normally happen, flee because the person is a liar.

Finally, keep in mind prophets are a dime a dozen today. It seems they are climbing out from underneath every rock and hole. The fact that there are so many so-called prophets running around robbing real servants of God money and resources establishes 98% of these people’s real identity. In fact, a legitimate prophet will not claim to be one for it is really up to God to confirm such a person. Jesus gave us this warning in Matthew 24:11 and 24: “And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive man…For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

As you can see all of these “prophets” are a fulfillment of prophecy. But the prophecy is not verification of their authority, but rather an indictment against them. The fact that they get some prophecies right or show a few “great signs and wonders” means nothing in light of the church’s real commission.

Let me state something–the church does not need prophets, it needs people with servant’s hearts who have a heart for God and lost souls and not for their pocketbooks or huge egos. The church does not need more prophecies it simply needs to know and believe the words of the Bible.

The church does not need great leaders, rather it needs to make Jesus Christ its ultimate leader.

It is time for Christians to quit trying to discern all of these so-called “prophets” and begin to discern their own heart and the times in which we live in according to the Word of God.

I can verify that knowing Jesus and His Word will tell you everything you need to know and will enable you to stand.