Ways to Determine False Prophets
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11 KJV)
False prophets come like sheep who appear to be warm and kind. The Bible says, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) They are deceitful in nature thus, the Scripture warns us to not be fooled by those. It was written in the Book of Timothy, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…”
The apostles keep on reminding us to veer away from these prophets. “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” (Romans 16:17). We should all take note that these counterfeit teachers speak with no Holy Spirit in them.
False prophets tend to be sneaky. They are mysterious and they often do things in a devious manner. This is obviously because they know that they aren’t the authentic teachers. False teachers secretly introduce their deviations. A known example is the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. He secretly introduced polygamy to his circles while denying it to his church and to his wife. His teaching of polygamy is not part of the orthodox so, he tends to be shifty with his teaching. Fake prophets can teach biblical and orthodox in their public teaching and will have heretical teachings in private. Watch out for these types of prophets who speak one thing in one place, and the opposite elsewhere.
Giving is the result of the knowing how generous God is. Knowing that nothing in this world belongs to you bring an openness to freely give. God provides everything for us. He supplies all our needs according to His riches in heaven. False prophets consider the opposite. They are after money and they aren’t givers.
Through giving, we became followers of God. His people often used the resources God has given to them to carry on His work. In Exodus 25, we can see how the people used God’s resources for His glory. “God told the people to bring offering of gold, silver, and bronze; fine linens and other fabrics; oil, spices, and incense; and precious stones and gems, to build the tabernacle in which He was to dwell.” Giving is evident in most chapters of the Bible. In the Book of Acts chapter 2 & 4, we can see God’s people being delighted to sell their possessions including houses and land to give to the apostles and distribute to the people in need.
False prophets always illustrate life as a “smooth sailing journey”, never a “life of struggles”. But, God’s way is not like that. He allows trials to come ahead of us to learn the value of commitment and trust. Counterfeit preachers are not as committed as Christ. They don’t possess Christ-like attitude. So, one good way to recognize false prophecies is to check on the manner and behavior of that speaker.