Someone who brings a message from God to people. [emphasis mine] The best-known prophets are those of the Old Testament. Their mostfrequent themes were true worship of God, upright living, and thecoming of the Messiah. They often met with bitter resistancewhen they spoke against the idol worship and immorality of theirpeople. Among the prophets of the Old Testament were Daniel,Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Moses.
Prophets also appear in the New Testament. Jesus called John the Baptist a prophet; Christians consider him a bridge betweenthe prophets of the Old Testament and those of the NewTestament. Jesus mentions “true prophets” and “false prophets”— those who present the true message of God and those whopresent a counterfeit ( see By their fruits ye shall know them andwolves in sheep's clothing). He himself was considered a prophetin his lifetime ( see A prophet is not without honor save in his own country) and is still widely revered by non-Christians as aprophet, though not as the Messiah. The New Testament alsomentions that some of the early Christians were prophets whospoke inspired messages to their communities.
Note : In general usage, a “prophet” is someone who canforetell the future. The prophets of the Bible often madepredictions, which confirmed their authority when thepredictions came true, but changing the lives of their peoplewas a more central part of their mission.
prophet. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved October 17, 2011, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prophet
I have been pondering something this evening into early morning about the adversary undermines our Faith. Satan uses our humanity and our ties to this world to distract us from the fact that this is not our home. He uses our need to be loved to bind us in lust. Where he excels is in getting us to believe false prophets.
It doesn't matter if it's the rather laughable Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah who prophesied victory for Israel in 1 Kings 22 or the very frightening Jim Jones and Vernon Wayne Howell. People who claim to speak for God but are really talking from their own knowledge are dangerous. IF like these three examples they lead other people astray, Then we have real problems.
How do I begin to explain how to avoid false prophets? They are everywhere. Some are easy to recognize; what they say just doesn't line up with those few Bible verses you memorized. Others will sit next to you in the most conservative Bible believing church and wreak havoc unnoticed. A prophet doesn't bang a gong and shout "God said..." every time. Most of the time prophets just listen then when they do talk it's profound, pointed, purposeful, and psychic.
My daughter talked about Satan's influence being like rat poison. As Christians, we can't be killed by the poison but we can get very sick if we play with it. Our unsaved friends, however, can be killed by the poison. I cry for all those fools (Psalms 14:1) who are going to wake up dead forever. I am angry at the false prophets that told them God was dead or never existed.
As always a pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure. Read your Bible. Can't understand it? Try another translation. ( YouVersion has many translations all free and works on most platforms. Faith Comes By Hearing offers free audio New Testaments in several versions.) Study your Bible. (E-Sword is free and has lots of maps, dictionaries, and commentaries) Get in the habit of talking to God like He is right next to you all the time, because He is closer than that! Talk to the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit like you would a trusted friend, pause and listen for His answer.
On the short subject of answers to prayer:
- God always answers
- God is NOT obligated to answer "yes"
- God sometimes says "Not right now."
This is rambling. To bring me back to the point. Luke 21:8 CJB He answered, "Watch out! Don't be fooled! For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and, 'The time has come!' Don't go after them. When we know the real thing we won't be fooled. We won't play with poison thinking it's oatmeal. We will be able to point the deceivers and the deceived to The Truth. So start reading!
1 John 4:1-6 ESV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for 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, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (4) Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (5) They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. (6) We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:
1 John 4:1
Beloved (agapētoi). Three times in this chapter (1Jo_4:1, 1Jo_4:7, 1Jo_4:11) we have this tender address on love.
Believe not every spirit (mē panti pneumati pisteuete). “Stop believing,” as some were clearly carried away by the spirits of error rampant among them, both Docetic and Cerinthian Gnostics. Credulity means gullibility and some believers fall easy victims to the latest fads in spiritualistic humbuggery.
Prove the spirits (dokimazete ta pneumata). Put them to the acid test of truth as the metallurgist does his metals. If it stands the test like a coin, it is acceptable (dokimos, 2Co_10:18), otherwise it is rejected (adokimos, 1Co_9:27; 2Co_13:5-7).
Many false prophets (polloi pseudoprophētai). Jesus had warned people against them (Mat_7:15), even when they as false Christs work portents (Mat_24:11, Mat_24:24; Mar_13:22). It is an old story (Luk_6:26) and recurs again and again (Act_13:6; Rev_16:13; Rev_19:20; Rev_20:10) along with false teachers (2Pe_2:1).
Are gone out (exelēluthasin). Perfect active indicative of exerchomai. Cf. aorist in 1Jo_2:19. They are abroad always.
For further study:
Galatians - false teachers came into the church at Galatia
1 & 2 Corinthians - divisions in the church from various causes
1 Kings 17 - 22 - Elijah vs. the false prophets
2 Kings 1 - 9 - Elisha vs. the false prphets