Deuteronomy 18 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“’I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to My words that he (the prophet) speaks in My name. But the prophet who dares to speak in my name a message I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods – that prophet must die.’ You may say to yourself, ‘How can we recognize a message the L_rd has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the L_rd’s name, and the message does not come true or is not fulfilled, that is a message the L_rd has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:19-22
There are two ways to test a prophet primarily because there are two kinds of prophecies. First, there are prophecies, which predict the future; then there are those, which claim the revelation of God. So, there are basically two ways to spot a false prophet: 1) His prophecies (predictions of the future) don’t come true. 2) His message for today is inconsistent with the Word of G_d.
The challenge of discerning prophecies concerning the future is that you have to wait & see. Sometimes, the wait is critically long. For instance, the followers of cult leaders like Jim Jones or David Koresh went to the grave following false prophets. Other followers of false prophets may not see a fatal demise, but they run the risk of wasting valuable years, chasing after false hope.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Satan cannot steal the soul of a true believer, but he can make them ineffective by getting them to hope in things the L_rd never promised. When the object of their hope never arrives, the victim’s anger is focused at the L_rd, because they honestly believe the prophecy came from Him.
Perhaps, a more efficient way to spot a false prophet is not in testing the prophecy, but in testing the prophet himself. Are the words they speak and lives they live in accordance with God’s revealed Word and Yeshua’s life example? Put simply: Do the overall character & words of the prophet correspond with the character & words of G_d?
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘L_rd, L_rd,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father.” Matt 7: 21
One of the by-products of reading the Bible every day is that we develop a heightened ability to spot counterfeits, to not heed their instruction and to warn others to stay away.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Monday, June 30, 2014