Many people believe in Prophets and trust that they can find help from the Prophets to receive direction, healing, to get children and or to be protected from evil spirits. People however tend to seek help from wrong sources when they experience hardships and end up being deceived, and without the true knowledge of salvation.

I want to highlight to those who have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ that the true ministry of prophecy (Ephesians4:11), and speaking with other tongues is still available. I also want to help many people know that there are indeed many false Prophets and Teachers of the Word in this world that one has to be careful not to believe everyone calling him/herself ‘Prophet’ or speaking by a spirit (1Tim4:1-2, 1John4:1-6).

In the Bible there are many prophets that can be identified. The Old Testament Prophets had a message from God especially to the Israelites who were in Covenant with God. They would also deliver messages to individuals and those which would also affect the whole world especially when they predicted about the Coming of the Messiah who would deliver the world from Sin, and the judgment that would happen in the last days.

The New Testament Prophets had a message mainly to the Church founded through the Lord Jesus Christ and to believers in line with God’s purpose and foresight. They would also speak God’s mind and will to the world concerning righteousness, Sin and Judgment. The New Testament order is different from the old one in that in the old times, people would choose to go and seek a Word from the Prophets, whilst in the New Testament everyone can receive the Holy Spirit and hear from God; John16:5-15, Acts2:38-39. The Prophets however can still speak to individuals or groups when God sends them but it is not appropriate to go out looking for a prophet specifically to seek a Word!

1John2:26 These things have I written to you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abides in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

New Testament examples of prophets include Agabus, Silas, Barnabas, Paul, John, Peter and many others who were not mentioned by name. The New Testament Prophet seeks to bring people to Christ and not to himself/ herself. He/She emphasises salvation and that people remain in fellowship with God. The message is to encourage, stir, comfort and exhort believers in the Lord as in 1Corinthians14 and Acts15:32. The New Testament Prophet of God strengthens believers in the Lord.

True vs False

As there were false prophets in the Old Testament days who did not speak with God’s Spirit (Jeremiah23:9-32, Ezekiel 13:1-23), there are many false prophets in these days also. False prophets do not bring to people the true and proper gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. They do not speak words of comfort or encouragement but seek to win people to themselves by instilling fear in them and purporting that they are safe when they fellowship with them. They, for example, tell those who seek their help that they would die in a short period of time if they would not follow their spiritual rituals or orders. They also tell people not to associate with certain people or relatives who could bewitch them in a way which does not show the security in Jesus (1John 4:4). Now, it is true that witches exist but the true Prophet of God would not seek to bring divisions or hostility in families but would tell believers to love enemies and seek protection from God in accepting Jesus Christ.

The false prophet makes it appear as though believers’ safety comes by attending their fellowships every time and be ministered to by these prophets who attend to them giving ‘prophecies’ and directions. False prophets do not have the proper knowledge of the gospel of salvation; they do not preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in detail since they have not experienced salvation themselves.

False prophets do not understand the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ and His Name hence some of them, especially in white garment churches, use the blood of goats, chicken, cattle or any other animals when ministering healing or deliverance. They may also use water and other stuff in their healing sessions, without acknowledging the power that is in the Name of Jesus. There are incidences in the Bible where Jesus asked people to go wash in water, or when He used His saliva and dust but they were just occasional.

The early believers also exercised their faith by using handkerchiefs and aprons from the body of Paul and they got their healing and freedom. It is important to note that these were extraordinary cases, and the preacher himself was known to be a man of God judging from his life and gospel. Thus there could be other special cases today when God could use certain items to be the point of contact to minister to those who exercise faith yet we still need to look into the life and the gospel of the minister behind such practices to avoid pitfalls.

A true prophet would know that it is only through the Name of Jesus that healing can take place, (Acts4:5-12). A true prophet knows that for one to receive such healing, he or she must believe in Jesus Christ and continue worshipping and serving Him to keep that healing, John5:13. False prophets can minister to anyone who asks for their ministry, even those who do not worship God, without pointing them to Christ. False prophets seek to prophesy people wherever they are and they can initiate prophesying at will. True Prophets would hear from God and may not receive a Word even if they wish to speak His Word at a particular time.

The true Prophet is guided by the Holy Spirit whilst false prophets have a spirit of divination operating through them as in Acts16:16-19. Other stuff used by false prophets may include razor blades, taking patients for baptism, milk, mazoe raspberry, blood of animals, sewing needles, cotton wool, garments, stones etc. Some false prophets may operate with other evil spirits that possess them when the spirit of prophecy/divination fails. True prophets know that God can never fail and it is normally lack of faith that prevents healing.

False prophets can get drunk with alcohol or live in sin and still prophesy without feeling guilt; they can still marry and impregnate many women and continue in their ministry. They speak with the world’s view point! The other group of false prophets could be those who initially had the true Spirit from God but later seek to misuse the gift for their own benefit. These ones may deceive people to a great extent since they know the scriptures but teach wrong stuff for personal gain. They should be resisted and their teachings rejected. Later, they open doors to evil spirits if they remain in error and God will stop inspiring their ministry if they do not repent.

It is also important to note that false prophets can speak in strange languages imitating the gift of tongues. They imitate and counterfeit the true gift of prophecy and go on to counterfeit all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit. They need to be discerned and their teachings have to be rejected. Believers have to know the truth and abide in it to remain free, John8:31-32. Fellowship and association with false prophets can lead to false spirits possessing or influencing people who partake in those fellowships.

Jesus Christ warned that if a blind person is led by another blind person, both can fall into a pit. Yes, false prophets can tell people exact things they went through but they are still false in the sense that they do not operate by the true Spirit of God. Thus why the Scriptures say even the elect or mature saints could be deceived if they are not careful. Even witch-doctors and other magicians can tell secret things but they are not God’s messengers! People must stop seeking help from false spirits but should pray to God and wait for the answer from Him, and through Him. When a true prophet of God visits, he/she comes with the presence of God and with peace, Romans10:14-15. It is safe to listen to a minister’s doctrine and look for his or her character before receiving them as servants of God. There are many false prophets who have also disguised themselves in some pentecostal and charismatic churches appearing to operate by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

It is true to say it is God who initiated revealing Himself through prophecy and many other gifts including speaking with other tongues. God can not stop doing what is good because the devil has got his own who counterfeit the true manifestations of God. The devil has to be resisted and we have to believe that our knowledge of the truth will keep us. The devil can not deceive anyone who is informed and does not want anything to do with him. God will also protect those who belong to him and will give good gifts to them as in Luke11:10-13. We should mostly depend on God not on people if we are to remain free from error.

(written By Howard Tundu)