What Makes a False Prophet False?

This thread is a discussion thread.

If a person who calls themselves a prophet gives a prophecy and it proves to be false, are they a false prophet?

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30 Responses to What Makes a False Prophet False?

  1. shane says:

    According to Deuteronomy chapter 13 and 18 they are.

  2. Bud Press says:

    Chrystal asked: “If a person who calls themselves a prophet gives a prophecy and it proves to be false, are they a false prophet?”

    Answer: Yes! There is no margin for error and no excuses. False prophets are liars and deceivers. They cannot be trusted and are to be avoided.

    Related reading:

    What God Has To Say About False Prophets
    http://www.christianresearchservice.com/God&FalseProphets.htm

    Discernment the Size of A Flea: An Open Letter to Charisma Magazine
    http://www.christianresearchservice.com/CharismaOpenLetter1.htm

    Dennis Cramer: The ‘Nervous’ Prophet
    http://www.christianresearchservice.com/DennisCramer1.htm

    Wendy Alec: Prophet of God?
    http://www.christianresearchservice.com/WendyAlec1.htm

    Benny Hinn’s False Prophecies for the 1990′s
    http://www.christianresearchservice.com/BHinn1.htm

    Bud Press

  3. I agree with Shane. He is definitely a false prophet, contrary to the beliefs of those who put their faith in false prophets such as LDS, JW, SDA, and the new apostles and prophets movement based out of IHOP!

  4. Bill says:

    “He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me” Psalm 101:7 (NASB)

    “Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the LORD, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit.” declares the Lord.”
    Jeremiah 23:31-32 (NASB)
    (This could speak of nearly all of the TBN programming)

    “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, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, constantly nourished on the words of faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.”
    1 Timothy 4:1-6 (NASB)
    All the work you and others are doing to warn the true church about these heretics is extremely valuable and edifying to the body. Praise be to God! (2 Thes. 3:13; Jude 3)

    “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”
    2 John 9-11 (NASB)
    False prophets are not to be accommodated or treated lightly, but opposed clearly, boldly, and vigorously!

  5. IWTT says:

    I guess the question is, “Are there Prophets for today, or is it just that there is a “Gift of Prophecy”? And what is the greek word for prophecy in the scriptures referenced? I understand that prophecy is forth telling or foretelling, but I have seem some translations as “infallible preaching”?

    • There is an interesting book titled, “The Final Word,” but, not being at home I don’t have the author’s name. HE makes a very convincing argument from Scripture that the whole idea that prophecy can mean preaching/teaching is something developed in modern times. Prophecy in the N.T. means the same as in the O.T. – direct revelation from God, whether it be telling the future or giving special teaching – it must be directly revealed by God. So a true prophet with true prophecy is God’s mouthpiece for what God has to say. Now, that doesn’t mean there are no prophets of God today – God is not to be limited and the Bible DOES NOT say there will never be another prophet, but if anyone claims to be a prophet nothing he says can contradict what we already have and know about God, nor can t here be any error. Today’s so-called prophets contradict the Bible and always have error.

    • cregen says:

      The false prophet is a religious organization that is why it is called the false prophet. It is not just a man either or the Bible would have said so. The antichrist is a man whose number is 666. The false prophet deceives the world into believing that they are truth and what they preach is of God. They make the world beleive through their lies and miracles that they preach and teach truth where you can find them all over the television for the entire world to see. They carry the same central doctrine of Romananism and are leading the world back to this false doctrine that martin luther warned the world about how it is the seat of satan and the pope is the antichrist. The false prophet is Protestantism that has back sliden from the truth and from keep the commandments of God that was given to moses. The mark of the beast is all about worship and satan has set a day aside to show to God that his children are those that worship on the day of the SUN like the pagans do. This is SUNday worship counterfeit to the day GOD set aside for Israel.
      Isreal are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12
      IF you dont believe this you will find out the hard way. http://WWW.john1429.org will show you proof. free videos

      so that when it come to pass then you might believe.

  6. Doug says:

    What makes a false prophet false? What is the evidence?
    If someone living today claims to be a prophet sent of God, a ‘special mouthpiece’ declaring an anointed message from God…that person claiming to be a prophet must be so scrupulously correct that their worst critics would begrudgingly accept what they had to say.
    Look at most of the OT prophets-they were speaking as God moved them to speak, pronouncing judgment, declaring/exposing the sins of Israel…and the people of Israel and Judah had to accept those pronouncements, as they knew that God was speaking to them.
    Here’s an example: If Mike Bickle WERE a prophet sent from God, a man actually chosen by God to deliver a special message…I would accept him if his best critics, John MacArthur, for example, begrudging admitted that Bickle was a prophet.
    Not Kim Clement, Todd Bentley or any other of the faux faithful: MacArthur. Chrystal. Those who oppose the false prophets.
    One of the gifts of the Spirit which is being being exercised by the body of Christ is discernment. It’s not just our “opinion” that the Bickles and Clements, Bentleys and Parsleys are lying-God’s Spirit opens the Scriptures for us to recognize what is true and what is false. That is our heritage-how many Christians have been martyred through the centuries for refusing to accept what is false? What gave them the strength to stand up against entire world systems which condemned them?
    They knew the Truth, and rejected the false and we can do no less today.

  7. JF says:

    What about prophets that are sometimes right and sometimes wrong?
    Should we always consider their prophecies false if they’ve been wrong only sometimes in the past?

    • A true prophet is never, ever wrong. They are getting direct revelation from God and God is never wrong! That’s why we know Joseph Smith and E.G. White, et al are false prophets – they have many, many false prophecies.

  8. Mr. PSb says:

    I guess the answer to such a question would have the same answer as the following question:

    “If one keeps the whole law and stumbles at one point, according to Scripture, is he guilty of breaking the whole law?”

    Apart from this, how much leaven does it take to leaven the whole lump. It is the Charismatics/Pentecostal who have this erroneous idea that a times prophets can be “accurate” and other times not. It is even said that some prophets are more “accurate” than others. However, none of these views are supported by the Bible. If prophecy is supposed to be the the infallible word of God – does God give false information? Does a true prophet misinterpret information God gives him?

  9. JF says:

    Good point, Mr. PSb.
    Thanks :)

  10. Mike A says:

    1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” If the definition of prophecy is speaking for the LORD, then I belive that biblical preaching is prophecy and the proof is in the spiritual fruit of the congregation. Very good topic for discussion. Thanks.

  11. marcusmaxis says:

    Its very simple. If a prophet speaks and it doesnt come true he is false. God is yae yae or nae nae. its either so or not so. God cannot tell a lie or take part in any lie. If it is from God it will be true.

  12. James Jones says:

    This is a good thread, and what I have read so far this morning are all good comments,
    I personally believe if there are so many false there must be true prophets as well, however, I do not believe they go about advertising the fact, they may not even realize there calling but are humble servants of the Lord.
    Also we all know of Eph.4:11 He gave some to be Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors, and some teachers.
    They are gifts to the body of Christ, for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of ministry, etc. They are not rulers, or Lords, or an elite class but humble servants who follow our Lords admonition about not ruling or Lording over others. They are true servants. Where they are I don’t know, definitely not those who advertise themselves as such.
    We all recognize that there are Pastors, which is mentioned just once in the new testament, and only in the above verse, yet we don’t doubt there are pastors. We all recognize there are Evangelists, and they are only mentioned twice again here in Eph. And Phillip was mentioned as an evangelist, but that is it.
    But the new testament mentions many prophets, as well as quite a few Apostles, besides the twelve. So I do believe there are the real thing. I didn’t list them anyone can to a word search and check it out for your self if it sparks and interest.
    Personally I believe any one who goes by the title Prophet so and so, is not the real thing , that’s a red flag of pride.
    Also the same can be said about I am Apostle so, and so. Not, even Paul proclaimed himself in such a way. He would say something like this; Eph. 1:1 Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. Gal.1:1 Paul an apostle. Some might think that is a straw man of an argument, but if you truly check it out I think you will see the difference.
    Isn’t it something today we have Apostle so and so, and Prophet, so and so listed in our church directories, as some special anointed elite class of leaders that are head and shoulders above the rest of us. These are those who hold to the deeds and doctrine’s of the Nicolaitans something our Lord says He hates. That is something else to consider.
    If some of you may agree with what I said about those who proclaim themselves as Apostle, or Prophet so and so as being a sign of being elitist, and false, could it be said of our leaders who go by the title pastor so and so, as well? Just a thought.

    About prophecy always being forth telling, it is my understanding that, that was only about 20 percent of a prophets words.
    Jeremiah gives a good example of a prophets call.
    “Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in you mouth. See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer.1:9-10)
    In this statement, the first expression of the prophetic calling is judgment. Note the order of the words: the hardest thing first. . The prophet is called to pluck up and break down the things that are dear to men. This includes our religious traditions, the false things that we have celebrated the things that we want to cling to because it has to do with our identity, our dignity and even how we see ourselves, the things we do not see for ourselves, the hidden things. Do you see the gift to the body of Christ a true prophet can be. But to be a prophet ouch, you can also see how a true prophet wouldn’t be liked, there not going to be very popular, there not like what we see on T.V.

    It has been pointed out that if a Prophet spoke a word and it did not come to pass that prophet was false and should be stoned, but I think there must be a context that must be considered, many of the true prophets of scripture spoke things that didn’t come to pass until way after there death, and yet we would not say they were false we have the benefit of scripture. Also Deut.13 talks about false prophets speaking words that do come true, so that’s not necessarily a way of identification, again I think its context.
    I am not making an excuse for what we see today, how many prophecy’s have come forth with a time or year and not come to pass, definitely that is false.
    I have heard some cover up their error by saying that it didn’t come to pass because Gods, people prayed, and thus God changed His mind, or people repented and the calamity was diverted, it would seem by those statements we have a lot of Jonahs around today.
    Give me a break.
    Also how many of today’s prophets are having God’s people follow a different gospel, most if not all, that does line up with Deuteronomy 13:1-5 it does say that God is testing us to see if we love Him with all our heart, no different than loving the truth, today. That prophet even though what he said came to pass, with signs and wonders he was leading to a different Jesus, a different gospel, and today he can be glad we are not under the old covenant, for he would be killed.
    I’m just trying to make some hopefully valid points. Not to throw the baby out with the path water.
    Is there a difference between the gift of prophecy and the prophet?
    Yes absolutely, the gift is something that the Spirit exercises at His will, and it can come through either a man or a woman. It has nothing to do with their calling, their training, their preparation, or their qualification. It may be informational, directive or a word of encouragement, but the office of the prophet is altogether something else.
    The office of prophet differs from the gift of prophecy in that it is permanent, not unlike the Pastor, teacher, evangelist or dare I say the apostle.
    To much of what we call today of someone being a prophet is just someone who has operated in the gift of prophecy.
    To summarize I think there are real prophets, but I personally don’t know any, but the bible says there are so I believe that.
    And if there are, most of what they speak will challenge the hearer but it will be for our benefit in the long run, that will be edifying by the way.
    I hope this meager contribution will compliment along with what others have written.
    James Jones .

    • The word “apostle” merely means one sent forth. However, the office of apostle, of which there were 12 chosen by Christ (including Paul), ended with the death of the apostles. Prophets also ceased after the foundation of the church was laid. Eph. 2:20 says the apostles and prophets were the foundation, and when a foundation is built, the structure is passed of to the builders – the teachers, the shepherds (elders/pastors). Hebrews 1:1-2 says in past – past even to that author – God spoke through the prophets but now speaks through His son.

      As for Apostles, one of the main qualifications is that they had to have seen the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:21-23; 1 Cor.9:11), which I daresay no one today has seen! They also had to be personally taught by Christ (John 17:7-8; Acts 1:2; 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Jn 1:5; Gal. 1:11-12; et al). Signs confirmed them (Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:4; Acts 2:42-49)

      No, there are no prophets any more because we have the Word of God. Perhaps God will send prophets for a reason in the future, but anyone claiming to be a prophet cannot contradict what we already have in the Word.

    • Erin says:

      Glenn:
      It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13

      If there are no more prophets, apostles, etc. how do you explain away this passage? We have to becareful and discerning but don’t say that God hasn’t appointed people for these positions when it clearly states this in the Word of God.

  13. Ron says:

    Any prophecy that does not come to pass as spoken is FALSE,which makes the person speaking it a false prophet. Scripture is more than a little clear on this matter as noted by the previous posts.

    Having spent over 30 years in the Pentecostal church I have heard so many “prophecies” that one would think that’s all God has time for. And right now I’m trying hard to remember just one of them that has come true.99.99% of the “prophecies” I’ve heard in church have been something like this: “I the Lord will bless thee,for thou art my child and I will give thee the desires of thine heart…..”

    I personally leave open the door for the Lord to speak a word of prophecy but to be honest I believe the liklihood of Him doing so would be so slim as to be immeasurable because we have already been given the word of God.

    Ron

  14. truthinator says:

    A true prophet will NEVER be wrong because he/she gets their information from God…

    I doubt God is speaking directly to individuals. He said what He wanted to say in His word. Usually when people claim to be speaking from God, they to want you to send them seed money… The seed money manytimes ends up paying for private jets, expensive cars, and other such nonsense.

    What about Pat Robertson? I heard God spoke to him recently. The problem is, Robertson’s yearly “messages from God” are really only predictions. If God was speaking, everything would come to pass. Robertson’s track record is not all that impressive. Also, the predictions he makes are very general. I could make many of the same prediction based purely upon history, economics, and logic.

  15. beyondgrace says:

    Revelation 20:10 tells us that the false prophet is destined for the lake of fire and brimstone. To determine that someone is a false prophet implies that they are not Christian and that their eternal home will be hell.

    Indeed I believe that there are false prophets, but also that there are many, many more who prophesy falsely.

    If someone prophesies some really goofy doctrine, does that make them a false prophet and destined for hell?

    If so, if soneone preaches the same goofy doctrine, and instead of saying “the Lord says” instead says “The Word of God Says” but really botches up the interpetation of the Word (a scenario repeated perhaps thousands of times across the country in all manner of churches), is that person off the hook and not destined for hell because he did not “prophesy” it?

    I’m not soft on bad prophesy, and I despise when people speal on behalf of the Lord when he has not spkoken, but I’m hesistant to send a brother, however misguided, to hell for saying something stupid.

    So, without getting into a really long post, that’s where I stand.

    -Bill

    • Bill says:

      We must always make a distinction between a brother who has made a mistake out of ignorance or lack of understanding and is willing to submit to clear instruction from God’s Word, and those who are stiff necked and unwilling to turn from thier false teaching (prophesying) even when confronted with the clear truth of God’s Word.

      The Holy Spirit, which the world cannot receive (John 14:16-17) will guide a believer into all truth (John 16:13).

      Bill N.

  16. David says:

    2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
    You hear too much prophecy nowadays that has it’s origins in the will of man, and therein lies one problem. Another is lying spirits which the unfaithful find themselves taken over by. Divination is also upon the American church, shaminism shows up with the accompanying animal manifestations and proclamations and utterances spoken forth as “prophecy” can simply be vain imaginations.

    Revelation 19:10 sums it all up best. Whether the prophecy comes true or not, whether it uplifts or corrects, whether the speaker lives in a cave or comes from heaven flapping majestic white wings – “..Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
    Any prophetic word or prophet that speaks contrary to the Life, teaching, discipleship and heart of Jesus (who in Himself is the Fulfillment of “the Law and the Prophets”) is false. Jesus warned that “many will come in my name” so our affiliations sects biographies and teachings may bear the name of Jesus, but what distinguishes the right from the wrong is those who worship and serve Him “in Spirit and in Truth”.
    What is not Truth is false, what is not of the Spirit is fleshly. I have heard both types of false prophecy, all with good intentions but false nonetheless.

  17. truthinator says:

    Beyond makes a good point that some people may not be lost but just in error in their understanding of the Bible. They will hopefully be convicted by scripture however because a prophet from God will never be wrong! Predictions (Pat Robertson) and prophetoc words from God are not the same thing. I do not understand what Robertson does at all. Some of his ‘words of knowledge’ sessions look like divination to me. Anyone else?
    T.

  18. Mr. PSb says:

    Reply to Bill:

    Bill, the issue is not whether they go to hell or not in this discussion. The issue is that if they make one false prophecy – they are disqualified from being a true prophet (and we need not listen to them – ever). That person needs to shut up and not claim any prophetic titles.

    Apart from this, regardless of how sincere people are, those that speak presumptuously for God and those who preach heresy will receive the greater damnation according to Scripture. All too often people adopt a careless attitude towards the word of God. Regardless of one’s intention – its still dangerous. If one repents of false prophecy/doctrine the Lord is grace to grant repentance as he sees fit.

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness”. – James 3:1

    “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep”. – 2 Peter 2:1-3

  19. Bill says:

    If we accept that the canon of scripture is closed and that we have been given all revelation that God deems necessary for us to have (Heb. 1:1-2; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19), then we must define current day prophets as pastors and teachers who proclaim the whole counsel of God.

    This makes the determination fairly easy . . .
    Is their proclaimation in full submission to the authority of the written revelation found in the Word of God?

    If, on the other hand, we accept the possibility of “words of knowledge” and other forms of new revelation, then we need convert our bibles to three rind binders.

  20. Erin,

    I don’t dispute the passage that says God gave he church apostles and prophets; however, Eph 2:20 plainly states that the foundation of the Church was the apostles and prophets. Once a foundation is laid, you turn the structure over to the builders – the pastors (elders/shepherds) and teachers. There cannot be anyone in the OFFICE of apostle as were Paul and the others, because a prime qualification was to have seen the resurrected Jesus, and no one claiming apostleship today has that qualification. They were also personally taught by Christ – are so-called apostles today taught by Christ? I do not doubt that God can have prophets today as needed, but there is not a single person out there who claims to be a prophet who meets any biblical qualifications..

  21. The post by cregen above really should be removed because it in itself is false teachings. A false prophet is not an organization, it is a person. Organizations may have false teachings and false prophets, but an organization is not a person.

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