Jesus and the Apostles warned often of “false prophets.” In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses spoke of false prophets. Who were they talking about? Meanwhile, there are legitimate prophets like Moses, Jesus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, the Apostles and many more. What is a prophet and how can you tell a false prophet apart from the one you should actually listen to? Let’s take a look.
Two Types of Prophets
To start, what is a prophet? Simply put, a prophet is a teacher, but more specifically, a teacher of God’s Word. Abraham was called a prophet in Genesis 20:7 just like Jesus was called a prophet in the book of Matthew. Both of these men studied God’s Word, understood it, took it to heart and taught it. Now, a false prophet also claims to teach God’s Word, but their teachings are of the false interpretation or understanding of it. Moses wrote what God said about the two types of prophets in Deuteronomy.
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you [Moses], and will put My words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him… But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the Word which the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of/reverence him.” Deuteronomy 18:18-22
False prophets speak of things that are not in scripture or doesn’t happen, for example, rapture! Many pastors have forecast rapture when it is not even in the Bible! Many false prophets also teach that God’s Word is for everyone, while Jesus said he came not but for the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel 1Matt 15:24 I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel. . That is not everyone!
Look to Matthew 23 for many identifiers of false prophets. Jesus pointed out in this chapter that the scribes and Pharisees (religious teachers/priests) were hypocrites! They were hypocrites for many reasons. Watch the following video to learn how.
I spy a false prophet. Can you?