false prophets

There were false prophets in Old Testament times, and we are warned of false prophets in the New Testament as well.

Matthew 7:15-20

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Sometimes a prophet prophecies from their own imagination.
Ezekiel 13:17

 17 “Now you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their own inspiration. Prophesy against them

Sometimes a prophet will give a sign or wonder.
Deut. 13:1-3
1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom 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 find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
We need to be aware that false prophets can appear harmless (hence the idea of a wolf in sheep’s clothing). But while scripture tells us we can know them by their fruit, what exactly does that mean? Sometimes false prophets give us sign or wonder that comes true, so we can’t always use that to know they are false – but if the prophet tries to entice you to follow another god, then you know him to be false.

But certainly if what the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and what he says does not come true, then we know he is a false prophet.

Deut. 18:22
22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
In fact, we must test everything and ensure they profess Christ.
1 John 4:1-3
 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, andnow it is already in the world.
So be careful. Sometimes people from within the church will appear to speaking for God and are not. Sometimes people who claim to be Christian will give signs and wonders and they come true. But if anyone tries to get you to go against what God has said, then they are not speaking for God.

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