If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
Before going into Babylonian captivity, false prophets arose in Judah proclaiming that Judah would have peace and not fall prey to the Babylonian Empire. At the same time, the prophet Jeremiah preached a much different message warning of coming invasion if the people did not repent from their idolatry. The people refused to listen to Jeremiah and instead treated him harshly for his message of impending doom. “Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD” (Jeremiah 20:1-2).
Jeremiah preached a message that was distasteful and unpopular, but it was the message God gave him to warn the people of Judah, and it was the truth. Jeremiah disliked giving the message. He said, “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness” (Jeremiah 23:9). God knew these false prophets well, and he would deal with them in due time. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you … I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied … I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. (Jeremiah 23:16-17, 21, 25). Not long after, Jeremiah was proven right and the others paid with their lives.
We have false prophets today. This should not come as a surprise. Jesus warned us to look out for them. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Mark records Jesus’ words this way, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22, emphasis mine). Long before Jesus took on human flesh, Moses warned about false prophets. “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, … Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)
It becomes apparent that false prophets can actually make accurate predictions so that they can “seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22). I point this out because recently modern-day “prophets” have arisen making astonishing claims, and their claims have come to pass. All of these come from a Pentecostal background that supports the notion that the gift of prophecy given to some believers includes not only “forth-telling” – expounding Scripture – but “foretelling” future events as revealed to them directly from God. You hear them say things like, “God spoke to me and showed thus and so…” The revealed message is always something extra-biblical, but they will include Scripture to help validate the new revelation.
One such prophet was the late Kim Clement. You can still find his videos on YouTube. Clement dramatically and accurately prophesied the election of Donald J. Trump. There are others that have followed in his footsteps who predict that Donald J. Trump will win a second term. In many ways, I hope they are right because I do not like the alternative, but on the other hand, I hope they are wrong and that God will expose them as the false prophets that they are.
There exist among us other false prophets that do not presume to foretell future events. Rather, their forth-telling distorts Scripture making it say things that God never intended. Sadly, we have those in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) that are promoting Socialism – the redistribution of wealth – and promoting the “woke” church.
Other false prophets have been around for a while now. These preach “another gospel” than the one delivered to us by the Apostles. These include the LDS church (the Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and others. These have either added to Scripture, reinterpreted Scripture, or in some form or fashion distorted Scripture.
The true modern-day prophet is the one that says “Thus saith the Lord” by “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), not the one that says “God spoke to me …” Do not listen to the latter, even if his/her predictions do come true. Consider this. Satan is no dummy. He is crafty and cunning, and he knows the Scriptures. He can analyze current events and predict what “might” happen much better than we can. However, he is only making his best guess. Only God knows the future. We need to be careful to whom we listen, even if they get a prediction right every now and then or demonstrate some kind of “sign.” If they are not coming strictly from Scripture reject their message.