- Why Know Jesus?
- Rightly Dividing the Word of God
- Doctrinal Declarations of Faith
- The Providence Of God
- Fall Iinto Sin and the Corrupt State of Man
- God’s Eternal Decrees
- The Trinity
- Of Apostolic Faith
- The Attributes Of God
- Christ Jesus
- Mans Will and Free Will
- Election and Predestination
- True Faith Justification and Repentance
- Adoption and Sanctification
- The Perseverance of the Saints
- Assurance of Salvation and Good Works
- Doctrinal Studies
- The History of the Pentecostal Movement
- Errant Pentecostal Doctrines And False Apostles And Prophets Introduction
- Periods And Confirmations Of God’s Revelation
- The Foundation Of The Church
- The Baptism With The Holy Spirit and The Filling of The Holy Spirit According to Scripture
- Signs Wonders Healing And Miracles For Who And By Who?
- The Apostles The Difference Between True And False
- Real and False Prophets
- The Prophets Of The New Testament
- Personal Conclusions
- CAN A CHRISTIAN BEAR ARMS AND DEFEND HIMSELF AND OTHERS
- (Italiano) E’ BIBLICO PER UN CRISTIANO USARE LEGITTIMA DIFESA PER SE E PER ALTRI?
- The Sanctity of Life and Value of Human Life
- The Importance of the Family to God
- Roles In The Family As In The Church
- The Role of Man and the Responsibilities of a Husband
- The Role of the Woman and the Responsibilities of the Wife
- Responsibilities of Father and Mother to Teach Train and Discipline their Children
- The Responsibilities of The Children in the Family
- The Letter of Paul to the Romans Introduction
- Romans Chapter One
- Romans Chapter Two
- Romans Chapter Three
- Romans Chapter Four
- Romans Chapter Five
- Romans Chapter Six
- Romans Chapter Seven
- Romans Chapter Eight
- Romans Chapter Nine
- Romans Chapter Ten
- Romans Chapter Eleven
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 1-2
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 3-11
- (Italiano) Introduzione Alla Lettera di Paolo Ai Romani
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Uno
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Due
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Tre
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Quattro
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Cinque
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sei
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sette
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Otto
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Nove
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Dieci
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 11
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 1-3
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 4-11
- Mission Ministry
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Real and False Prophets
In connection with the true and false apostles we also have to explain the difference between the office and ministry of the prophet of the OT and that of the NT, the difference between real prophets and false prophets, so we will attempt to do this.
Their functions although being similar were different and had different purposes. The prophets of the OT were used by God to bring direct revelation from God to God’s people in those days, in other words the nation of Israel and Judah. The prophets of God, in other words those who preached directly the message God had given them was usually to condemn idolatry and the sins of the nation in an attempt to bring God’s people back to Him.
They also prophesied and testified of Christ, in other words they prophesied the first and second coming of Messiah, Jesus Christ. LUKE 24:27 and LUKE 24:44;ACTS 10:43;ACTS 26:22;ACTS 28:23;ROMANS 3:21;1 PETER 1:10;2 PETER 3:2 and the entire book of Revelation as a prophecy.
Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
The book of Revelation itself testifies of its own prophetic nature in several places
REVELATION 1:3;REVELATION 10:7;REVELATION 19:10;REVELATION 22:6-10;REVELATION 22:18-19
The true prophets in the NT were gifted by God with an office similar to the one in the OT but not identical. The prophets in the OT even if they often prophesied to Gentile nations they were predominantly sent to prophesy to Israel and Judah. If you do read and study Scripture, I hope you do, you will know then that after Solomon’s reign 1 Kings 11-12 Israel divided itself in two separate kingdoms, the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. The northern kingdom was formed by ten tribes of Israel while the southern kingdom was comprised of only two tribes Judah and Benjamin. The northern kingdom, Israel later mingled itself with gentiles, always lived in idolatry and apostasy and they became Samaritans, whom the Jews hated. Judah and Benjamin for some time remained faithful to God but later on became just as idolatrous and apostate as Israel was.
Therefore, the prophets of God were sent respectively, who to Israel who to Judah, sometimes as we said even to Gentile nations. See specifically Jonah who was sent to prophesy to the Assyrians. However, other prophets also prophesied to Gentiles Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Zachariah. The work of the prophets of the OT though, seemed over after that Malachi prophesied and there was 400 years of prophetic silence in Israel.
After these 400 years another prophet’s voice was heard, the last prophet of the OT but really the first prophet of the Kingdom era, was John the Baptist. I know some will begin to contend that the baptist was not an OT prophet but one of the NT. I will tell you that even if technically the Gospels are considered NT it is because of certain factors we find in them, the greatest reason is because Jesus is the author of the New Covenant and His redemptive work is described in the Gospels. However, from Jesus’ birth to the beginning of His ministry 30 years later to the Passover’s last supper there are two transitional periods we see, we are exiting the OT and entering into the NT through a intermediary period, the Messianic Kingdom period, Messiah and kingdom the Jews refused, rejecting Jesus. This was described in detail previously.
It is at this juncture that we enter into the NT, through the death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus. In fact John the baptist, was the last prophet of the OT as he indeed had, not as the Apostles and prophets of the NT, witnessed the death ad resurrection of Jesus neither had he been part of the baptism of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, event he prophesied about, he in fact died before the institution of the New Covenant.
Pentecost marks the beginning of the birth of the church, in other words the coming of the Holy Spirit to give birth through baptism of the body of Christ, the church. Acts 2; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-13;JOHN 7:37-39.
The Holy Spirit comes to dwell permanently in the church, in the life of every believer and to continue the work of God on earth through the church, to seal, as a down payment of God’s inheritance for the saints 2 CORINTHIANS 1:22; EPHESIANS 1:13-14;EPHESIANS 4:30.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit of God two particular offices were constituted amongst the others, the Apostles and the prophets.
In the OT the prophesies of the false prophets would have been confirmed false because the real prophet who received revelations from God would have been exact and perfectly accurate in the content and details of the prophecy and the prophecy had to be fulfilled as it was given.
DEUTERONOMY 18:15-10 teaches us the nature of a real prophet while DEUTERONOMY 18:20-22
declares that if a person considered themselves a prophet that declared to speak in the name of the LORD and spoke things God had not revealed to him or if he spoke to sway the people to follow other gods this prophet had to be put to death. The Lord had provided a method to identify false prophecies, if that prophet prophesied and that which he prophesied did not come to pass exaclty the way he declared it, he was a false prophet.
We find a very interesting passage of Scripture in
Ezekiel 13:1-9a “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’ ” 3 Thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5 You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the LORD. 6 They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD!’ But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. 7 Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The LORD says,’ but I have not spoken.” 8 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,” says the Lord GOD. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people,
This is the nature and the behavior of the false prophets, even today’s. These are the accusations of God against them. Strong words, words that should send terror in the heart of every person who says “ Thus says the LORD ” when the LORD did not reveal anything to them, the revelations and visions they have are only because they have prophesied out of their own heart and followed their own spirit, while they have seen nothing. Yes, the Lord Himself says it is possible to believe that He is speaking while the false prophet in reality is only following his own heart and spirit.
Notice the words in the passage, the Lord declares that it is not Him who sent them, they had false visions and have futile visions and false divinations, yet, they hope that what they prophesied will be confirmed.
However, it is not the Lord who has spoken, in fact the Lord is against them and His hand will be against those who give false divinations. The word used, divination, it intends exactly that the revelations they have are of demonic nature, or at the very least carnal. These are like the false visions and divinations of the psychics and fortune tellers that exist today in the world.
The word used in the Hebrew for divination is qoceem, quecem used in other passages to describe witchcraft and magic, DEUTERONOMY 18:10 1 SAMUEL 15:23; 2 KINGS 9:22;2 KINGS 17:17;2 KINGS 21:6;2 CHRONICLES 33:6 .
So these are not speaking for God nor by God rather at the very worse by the power of the occult, doctrine of demons, whitchcraft, magic,at the very best they speak from the figment of their own imagiantions, their hearts and minds which give them imaginary revelations to communicate thinking it is God while it is their own thoughts.
We have to say that there are many today who delight in declaring “ Thus says the LORD” claiming their message comes directly from God, through revelation, vision or dream. Often they speak in the first person as it were God speaking. To these God has given a lying spirit, God has allowed this to be so that He would try His people in the OT and in our case today, tryHis children, to show proof of the lack of discernment, if they could indeed discern between false and true, if they love God enough to want to believe His written word or the lies of the false prophets instead.
1 Kings 22:22-23 “The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 “Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.”
The false prophets, however, do not let themselves be judged or proved by anyone, as the written word instead instructs to do, both in the OT as in the NT. The LORD however, did not speak through them, they are as the prophets of whom we have read, false. This will be the subject we will deepen in a bit.
There was another test in the OT to prove if a prophet was true or false.
Deuteronomy13:1-5 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’–which 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 know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.
In Deuteronomy 13:1-5, in addition to judging the prophecy for fulfillment and accuracy, the test was to see if these used signs and wonders as well, to deceive the people and lead them astray, to lead them into the worship of other gods or a more subtle idolatry, to lead them into the worship of false representations of the true God, both things are idolatry. In addition, when one falsely prophesies using the name of God, when God has not spoken, these are using God’s name in vain and rendering false witness in making God seem untrue.
Notice also, it says that the prophet would arise among them, not from the outside, from the inside, it would be one of the assembly. We need to be even more cautious then, don’t we?
Notice in this passage that the sign and wonder comes true, it seems really coming from God, it seems original. But it is not! Once again,that is why God wants us to follow His written word not dreams, signs and wonders and who performs them.
Jeremiah 23:25-32 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. 28 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD. 29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ 32 “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.
Both in Deuteronomy 13:1 and in Jeremiah 23:25-32 these false prophetsare called dreamers of dreams. It is very interesting to note that they do not rely upon the written revelation of God’s word rather their dreams, visionsare where they get their revelation from. It is interesting to note also that this same exact word and term or title is given to another category of persons described in the NT.
We find this in
Jude 8Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
Today we are surrounded by thousands of people in the church who constantly say they have revelations from God through visions and dreams and wiht them they pretend to speak for God, they are nothing but apostates, false prophets trying to lead astray other weak believers, to go after other gods’–which you have not known–‘andserve them,’
The gods of their dreams are not the God of Scripture, the living God and therefore when people are invited to obey and listen and practice what these dreamers are telling them to do in behalf of God, in reality they are going after other gods they do not know. God and His will are revealed to us and are knowable only through the written revelation of God’s holy word not through the dreams, visions and revelations of these people.
It’s very dangerous to say to speak for God, when in reality God has not spoken. In fact as we will soon see, today all those who claim to have the office of prophet and to speak directly for God are only deceiving themselves and are false prophets, in grave danger and in serious sin, sin so serious that in the OT it was commanded by God to put these false prophets to death.
So in this passage of Deuteronomy 13:1-5 the Lord uses false prophets, who use signs and wonders that come to pass, to see if His people loved Him and only Him and would obey His written word .
This is probably the most unused portion of Scripture as far as the testing and the confirming of prophecies of who declares to be prophet and to possess signs and wonder gifts from God. But why? Because, if these contradicted at all the doctrines and revelations previously given and written, which would provide the true knowledge of the One and Only True God, these were false prophets.
Think on this, whoever claimed to be a prophet and even only once was found wrong by the exam of the written word, had to be stoned to death in the OT, because this is a practice which God does not at all tolerate. By God’s mercy this practice of stoning is no longer required in the church, otherwise I ask, how many false prophets would not be alive today? The prophetic ministry would end real soon, I guarantee you. Schools of prophets would be empty and the majority if not all the people who arrogantly claim to be prophets today would be really silent.
Sadly, today in the church because of the worldly sin of tolerance many want to be more gracious than God and they say we have to accept and tolerate if a so called prophet makes a mistake, perhaps he was wrong this time, perhaps he spoke in the flesh and not in the Spirit, we have to give them a second chance to redeem himself.
A second chance? You better read again the passages we just read so far on false prophets and realize that for God this is a very, very serious offense to Him, false prophets did not get a second chance, they had to be stoned to death.