OPINION (Charisma) – Some Christians fear that if we accept revelation beyond the Bible, we are open to false prophets. This is a valid concern, but we hope that some examples will help give some context for real versus counterfeit words from God. Here are five key ways to recognize false prophets:

  1. False prophets are wolves who lie about the future. Sometimes false prophets prophesy that good times are coming when they are not. God says that false prophets “lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace” (Ezek. 13:10b, NIV). False prophets only say things people want to hear, ignore personal sin and like to say that everyone is going to heaven. Of false prophets we are told, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20).
  2. False prophets prey on people’s fears. Some people worry about a catastrophic future and are susceptible to scare tactics from wolves disguised as prophets. Sometimes wolves cause people to distrust everyone but them, and they rule out of fear and control. Jesus warns that “many false prophets will rise and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:11, MEV).
  3. False prophets are often flatterers. They puff people up with praise, only saying what people want to hear rather than what God wants said. Jesus warns, “Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers spoke of the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). As demonic deception increases in the last days, “the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). READ MORE

Charisma is a monthly Christian magazine based in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. It is aimed at Pentecostals and charismatics.