Paul says that we should not despise or reject a prophet. But rather, we should carefully TEST what the prophet says and does by the Bible. “Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21). If a prophet’s words and behavior are in harmony with the Bible, we should heed them.
But what are the tests of prophets?
The most important test is:
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).
The “law and the testimony” was an Old Testament expression for “Bible.” So, a message from someone who claims to have a prophetic utterance from God must be tested by the Bible. A godly man will always agree 100 percent with Scripture. This is the true test.
The second test:
“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:2).
A prophet of God must believe and teach the truth about Jesus Christ–that He was God in the flesh. True prophets must draw attention to Christ not self.
The third test:
“Ye shall know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16).
A prophet’s life must bear witness to what the prophet is teaching.
The fourth test:
“When the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him” (Jeremiah 28:9).
A true prophet will not make false predictions. If a messenger is from God, his prophecies will come to pass. However, fulfillment alone does not automatically make an individual a true prophet. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 warns that false prophets can give signs that will come to pass and then use their deceptions to lead people astray from God. A true prophet must direct people to worship God and follow the Bible.
Keep in mind that-
Miracles are not an evidence that a person is a true. Miracles show only one thing–supernatural power. And supernatural power may come either from God or from Satan. That is why the Lord tells us: “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And Jesus warns, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Therefore we need to prayerfully test every man.
In His service,
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