CHARACTERISTICS OF A TRUE PROPHET OF GOD
…By Mordecai and Catherine Uka Dike…
ost people think that anyone who makes a prediction that manifests is a prophet, but this is not true. There are many magicians, astrologians, witchdoctors, occultists, shamans and African traditional healers who can accurately predict an event (Act16:16). There are certain qualities that are supposed to be seen in the life of a true prophet of God. Consider a few of these qualities...
THE CALL: A prophet must receive his call and gifts from God, not anointed by another prophet or receive his gift by other spiritual means (Ephesians4:11).
TRAINING: A prophet must be properly trained, experienced and mature in the word of God (1Timothy3:6)
EVIDENCE OF THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT: Despite the accuracy of one’s prophecies or predictions, if that person does not have the character of Christ, if he is not bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control etc (Galatians5: 22). That person is not a true prophet of God (Mathew7:16, 20).
HUMILITY: A prophet must be extremely humble, for the secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant (Psalm25:14). The fear of the LORD means to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth (Proverbs8:13). God cannot reveal his secret to a proud person! Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth. (Number12:3).
ABILITY TO TEACH AND MAKE DISCIPLES: As mentioned earlier, a New testament Prophet must be an absolute preacher or a teacher of an accurate revelation of God. Jesus commanded every Christian to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. To teach the new disciples to obey all that He has commanded (Mathew28:19). One who only forecasts for people without rebuking the wicked and teaching repentance and salvation to sinners is not of Christ…Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiaah58:1)
DOES NOT CONTRADICT THE WORD OF GOD: A t true prophet's words will be in absolute harmony with the written words of God; for instance, a true prophet cannot proclaim peace to the wicked when the Lord has spoken through the prophets of old that there shall be no peace unto the wicked. The scripture reads…To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light in them (Isaiah8:20).
GENUINE LOVE OF CHRIST: True love of Christ is what makes every true child of God, for The Lord has commanded us to love other people just as he loves us. He says when we do love other people exactly the same way He loves us means we are his true disciples (John13:34-35).If one performs miracles and prophecies accurately without fulfilling God’s commandment which is “to Love” as Jesus loves, he will still be known as a false prophet…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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mathew7:21-23).
FEARLESSNESS: True prophets are fearless; they don’t compromise the word of God, but always willing to die for the truth (1kings22:10-51).
NOT FAME SEEKERS: True Prophets don’t seek for popularity, but always seek for a deeper intimacy with God. Not a president or head high-ranking governmental official can bribe a prophet to make them compromise the word of the Lord. And they don’t advertise miracles (John7: 1-5).
DOESN’T PROPHESY AT OWN WILL: A true prophet does not prophesy any time he wishes, or any time people consult him. A prophet prophesies only when the Holy Spirit moves him (2Peter1:20). You can’t pay a prophet and ask him to prophesy to you.
NOT MONEY CONSCIOUS: A true prophet is not money conscious (Daniel 5:13-17, 2Kings5:14-19,1Timothy 3:3). He does not ask people for an offering before he prophesies, or asks people to “sow a seed” in order to claim their prophecies.
DIRECTING PEOPLE TO CHRIST: Directly or indirectly, a true prophet does not receive praises or worship from People; instead, he will sincerely abase himself and allow the people to see Jesus Christ. A true prophet does not allow people to depend on him, he encourages people to inquire directly from Jesus Christ (John1:24-36). The purpose of the prophetic ministry is to help in bringing people to Jesus Christ. A prophet does not consider his assignment as a guiding ministry and with craftiness, uses it to replace the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER: true prophets are intercessors; real spiritual watchmen who bear the burden of the saints and the nations of the earth in his heart…O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD (Isaiah62:6).
PREACHERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: Prophets are preachers of holiness and righteousness (2Peter2:5, Isaiah58:1). Not only do they preach holiness, they practice what they preach… These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with
God (Genesis 6:9).
NOT A MAN OF DIVERSE FAITH: A t rue prophet is a man of one faith; He believes and establishes his faith in Christ alone (John14:6). Any person who claims to be a true born again prophet of God, but still follows the teachings and practices other religions apart from Christ is an agent of darkness. One cannot claim to be a Christian and at the same time believe and practice Metaphysics, mysticism, spiritualism, shamanism, Amorc, Universalism, Islam, New Age movement, Hinduism, Mind Science, Gnosticism and so forth.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FALSE PROPHETS
The false prophets are in different categories, first are those who claim the title without the calling and the anointing. Since they don’t have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit they cannot prophesy, so they tell lies, they don’t have and cannot teach accurate revelatory messages from Jesus Christ, and also cannot show any supernatural signs of a true prophet…
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit (Jude1:19) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2peter2:17-19).
The second category are those who can prophesy and use the name of Jesus Christ to do many wonderful works but fail to keep His commandments, or follow His teachings accordingly…
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. any 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew7:21-23).
The third category are the diviners, spiritualists, shamans and many others who reveal secrets and foretell futures through consultation of a familiar spirit and by using mind science….(1Samuel28:5-14).
LACK OF THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT: Jesus says “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Mathew7:15-20)
PROPHESIES AT HIS OR HER OWN WILL: a true prophet prophesies only when the Holy Ghost moves and gives them utterance (2Peter2:19-20). But false prophets’ prophesies at anytime you sow a monetary seed, or whenever they choose to prophesy.
SELF-GLORIFICATION: false prophets glorify themselves instead of Christ; they don’t teach people how to hear from God. They manipulate people to depend on them (Act13:12, 8:9-10)
PROPHESYING THROUGH A MEDIUM: true prophets prophesy by faith through the help of the Holy Ghost, the majority of false prophets use a medium such as crystal ball, tarot card, Ouija board, zodiac and so forth to access hidden things though the help of a familiar spirit (Jeremiah2:8).
MONEY CONSCIOUS: unlike the true prophets of God, false prophets are always money conscious. Most of them can’t prophesy to people without demanding monetary offerings, or after their prophecy they must ask people to sow a seed in other to claim or “activate” their prophecies (Micah3:11).
FAME CONSCIOUS: the false prophets are popularity minded, they seek for recognitions of men, which is why they boast and make much noise about their deeds and advertises their miracles and ministries on the radio, television and internet (Mathew6:1-5).
LACKS ACCURATE REVELATION OF CHRIST: the teachings and prophesies of the false prophets always focus on material blessings they don’t have a true revelation of Christ or the kingdom of God; they can’t bring young Christians into full maturity of Christ. It is a fact that they can make an accurate prediction but after that, they can’t stay true to their teaching, and lead people astray (Deuteronomy13:1-5).
SECLUSION: Jesus commanded every Christian to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything he has commanded(Mathew28:19-20). False prophets always try to operate like the Old Testament prophets; they don’t go out to preach the gospel to the sinners, instead they will establish themselves a prayer house where they want people to come and inquire from God with offerings.