What makes a prophet? What makes a false prophet?

Comment by Adamantine:

I am hopeful this commentary will spark some comment by others. I would appreciate challenge on this topic.

A prophet is one who foretells the future. I do not abide the definition that a prophet is one who “forth tells” the truth”. Preaching the truth of the Gospel in a manner that puts the truth before the public is important and part of the job description of a prophet but not one of the prophets of the Old Testament was labeled as such unless their ministry also included a telling of the future in a manner that was to be used of God in His ministry. What should we make of a person who claims to be a prophet but then never functions as one? I would think such a person to be sorrowfully deluded and unfortunate. They would be deserving of pity. Imagine a teacher who has never taught and a fireman who has never put out a fire. Consider someone who claimed to be a surgeon but who had never been to surgery school and never performed surgery. We might pity them as we pity someone who claimed to be Napoleon but had never been to war. What about the opposite? What do we make of someone who leads an army into battle but claims not to be a general? What do we think of a person who performs surgery on people but claims not to be a surgeon? In both cases we wait in desperate suspense to see the outcome of their actions. We might applaud them but if the battle is lost or the patient dies I think we know one will be on the way to jail and the other as likely as not to be hung from the battlements.

Now what do we make of a person who prophesies but claims not to be a prophet?  If they are wrong is there any detriment and if they are correct is there any reward? The answer in each case is no and yes?

The real problem is that the actual question should be is there a reward if they are  never seen to be right or wrong? The answer is yes !

In the world of the religious nearly all wish to hear from God and if someone speaks as if they have heard from God even if they say they are not prophets they draw a crowd. This would be ok if the people drawing these crowds did not make a living off of such claims.

I object to ministries that tell us their dreams and visions all the while they claim to be no prophets and yet they receive the prophets hire. In addition they have not heard from God (if they have heard from God in a manner which will allow us too ever know if they had truly heard from God.) It seems like a scam to me.

I have said I am unaware if I am a prophet.  I will need to wait and see. I have said I think it possible that God has shown me the date of THE California earthquake to be 11/11/11. Now if that is not hoaky for a date I do not know what is. I will likely be shown to be wrong. In the meantime no one will be giving me money or putting anything towards a ministry that I support or that supports me. I say let those who claim to see the destruction of NYC or California come forward with a way to be proven right or wrong or get out of the habit of accepting ministry funding from Christians who like to hear the prophetic and are naive enough to never accept proof.

A false prophet is not one who is wrong ( That might be Jonah) but one who intentionally profits from prophecy whether right or wrong.


20 thoughts on “What makes a prophet? What makes a false prophet?

  1. I haven’t seen where a false prophet is one who gains profit from his tales. I thought it had more to do with blatent lying.

    At least in Revelation, the “false prophet”, the word in greek is Pseudoprophetes (psyoo-dop-rof-ay’-tace) Noun Masculine

    one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies
    a false prophet


  2. Since this commentary started with the commentary on Brother David Wilkerson, I would respectfully like to point out that he has been the pastor of the Times Square Church for many years as I am sure most people who have heard of him know. He started the church from a street ministry that he had ministering to gangs and people that most would have had nothing to do with and would have actually feared. I have never attended his church nor have I ever given a dime to his church but I can testify that I had a cousin who did and with the offering wrote a letter to Bro. Wilkerson containing a prayer request she had about her situation. He sent her back a letter which contained the offering she had sent and told her that his ministry gave to women like her and to keep the money to use for her and her son who she was raising alone. This is not a hireling who takes money for prophecies whether true or false. The others I can’t speak for.


  3. I’m not an expert in prophets, but to my knowledge the last bonefide prophet died around 100 AD on the Isle of Patmos. I appreciate your boldness in putting it out there Adamantine – I do believe the time is ripe for:

    And it shall come to pass afterward,
    that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
    your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.

    I guess if we see the appearance of sons and daughters who prophesy, old men who dream dreams and young men seeing visions (I don’t know if I qualify as young any more but I had two experiences in the past 5 years where I was spending time in worship of the Lord and it was like I was pulled out of that place to see something that I believe the Lord decided I needed to see)..

    Anyway I have to say there is a big part of my heart that is praying we see bonafide speakers of things the Lord has spoken to them about the future appear on the earth again and hail the imminent return of our Lord.


  4. I feel I need to say one more thing. God using you to give one or two prophecies does not qualify you to be called a prophet. If you are in doubt about what makes a prophet look to the Word of God and ask the Holy Ghost ,who is our teacher, to show you. He definately will show you. He wants you to know. The Word of God says that he has set some in the church to be apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers this does not make them any more loved or better than the rest of the body but it is their place in the body and as the Word says, our gift makes room for us whatever the gift is. The nine spiritual gifts are also different from the ministry gifts. I encourage you to seek God and look in the Word for the answer to the above questions that you have. He is ready with an answer I am sure.


  5. The prophets in the bible gave us all a base then we try to work out the rest.
    God doesn’t seem to appear to people anymore so unless a person gets some sort of divine intervention then I cant see anyone being a prophet.
    We project and forecast and try to come to conclusions but none of us know 100% and also if people were prophets then the bible would have surely been added with new prophecy’s all the time but it isn’t. I reckon God has given us enough information already.

    On the 11/11/11 theory that is actually around the time we apparently pass right through the tail of comet Elinin.
    If you look at Wikipedia it says:
    The discoverer, Leonid Elenin, estimates that the comet nucleus is 3–4 km in diameter.[6] As of April 2011, the comet is around magnitude 15 (roughly the brightness of Pluto), and the coma (expanding tenuous dust atmosphere) of the comet is estimated to be about 80,000 km in diameter.

    That’s going to look pretty big.
    If it has a big gravitational pull there might be debris in the tail when we pass through it.
    But know one really knows yet exactly.


  6. Just on that topic The diameter of the earth at the equator is 7,926.41 miles (12,756.32 kilometers).
    The comet with the gas will look 7 times larger than the earth and its coming so close 🙂


  7. Comment by Adamantine:
    I wonder how any true prophet of the Bible felt about being a prophet for the first time. They must have had some concern that they were incorrect. Or at least some concern as did Jonah that God might change His mind. For myself I do not think as of yet that I am a prophet. As of now I do not think with certainty that the California earthquake is 11/11/11.
    I recall however on the night of my baptism I had a dream in which “God” told me my future career. Others including the pastor of my church were skeptical. It came to pass….( or I made it come to pass)… hence I foretold the truth and the future In any case it was a forth-telling of the future and many objected that little me should have heard from God. Now should the California earthquake occur then shall I wonder too if this was functioning in the prophetic. I would allow someone who is unsure of prophetic gifts to say so. Personally if I were a Jonah (and in this I may be because I initially thought the California earthquake was coming 11/11/08. California however outlawed homosexual marriage the week before and I was left pondering that God had withheld judgment. The Bible says to desire the spiritual gifts but many Christians do not think they even exist for today. I see far less true spiritual gifting than I would like to see. I am unsure if there are any true prophets in existence today and that would be an argument against it being the end times. It certainly is another reason I would not desire to claim to be a prophet and as such I do not. I would need as much proof as any one else. I need proof that any prophet is one and I have not seen it anywhere. (I may be simply ignorant of who may be a prophet and who may not. Holly on Fulfilled Prophecy I suspect argues against such things. Then again I would like those who are against such things to ponder just what any faith means. It requires faith to pray for something as yet unseen and actually get it. It requires seeing the future faithfulness of God in action. I suspect that anyone who has faith and has seen an answer to their prayer may be functioning in the prophetic. Faith is the assurance of things not seen. On July 14 2007 I saw Gold at 666.00 in answer to prayer it seemed and thought it had prophetic implications that would mean the dollar would cease to be the reserve currency of the world. I suspected that gold would rise in the interim period prior to the setting up of a new world currency. It appears possibly to be a correct interpretation. It may or may not be prophetic. Later in 2007 when I explained this to a pastor he asked if I was a prophet. I answered no with the provision that all true Christians may have some prophetic gifting. If in thinking that God answered my prayer in that it might be prophetic. I said that in faith all Christians might be prophets. In faith all Christians might have the gift of healing. He, I suspect, thought that had I claimed to be a prophet it would have disqualified my comments. I suspect that if someone where a prophet they would eventually not be able to hide it. I simply think if some one speaks in the possible prophetic they should cease to have any financial support from man. That is not what I see defined in the Bible but my opinion.


  8. Even more Comment by Adamantine:
    I do not find it a problem that there is a prediction by a pastor that the rapture occurs (or whatever on May 21, 2011). Instead I object that this pastor may have had a living provided by others for a lifetime.
    There was a Dr. Eby who died a few years back who wrote a book and taught that God has shown him that he would not die before Christ came back. Well Dr. Eby died. I would hope Dr. Eby made sure he never profited by others who might have thought he was correct. If he made a profit then his was a perfect scam for this world . He was dead and gone by the time he was found out. I do not think it wrong to receive support from the church in preaching the gospel. I think it too great a risk to accept support if one is giving “prophetic” words. Prophetic words are like honey to some actually many immature Christians who look to others for hearing from God. We should all be able to hear from God. I contend that only Noah was righteous and listening. God is no respecter of persons. I will take those who say they are not a prophet at their word and not listen to their “prophetic” words. All the more i will not support their ministry if they are coming out with what may only be seen as a prophetic word.


  9. “I think it too great a risk to accept support if one is giving “prophetic” words. Prophetic words are like honey to some actually many immature Christians who look to others for hearing from God. God is no respecter of persons.
    All the more i will not support their ministry if they are coming out with what may only be seen as a prophetic word.”

    Regarding support & tithes and not meaning to get off track, but does the New Testament even give any scriptural authority to a pastor to take a “tithe” from people?
    Is there even a single example of any church paying a tithe to an apostle, or even a pastor? It simply isn’t there. I believe its a man-made ritual and also believe that after the death of the testator, Jesus Christ, the Christian church was never given the law or ordinance of tithing.
    Have you ever wondered if your pastor tithed and to who? Maybe to his denominational headquarters? Maybe to another pastor? Maybe to his own churches general fund which he administers? Do you think it is OK for him to know and monitor whether YOU tithe or not, yet most folks have not a clue whether Brother Pastor pays his tithe? There is no such thing as “Executive Priviledge” in God’s house.


  10. A prophet is one who prophecies and 100 percent of his prophecies come to pass…plus he will not reject the commandments of God..or share aything outside of the word of God…


  11. Anyone who is claiming to be of God, or a man or woman of God, but accepts money from the poor (pumping up their hopes knowing well they will not come to pass), THEN buys cars, planes, homes, etc is a “false Prophet.” End of story. Reason: one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies
    a false prophet


  12. In my opinion, Christians nowadays are getting very paranoiac about the subject. People are calling everyone who makes a mistake when talking, writing or teaching, false prophets.

    Even if you are nobody, who makes no money and no claims whatsoever or being a preacher, a prophet, minister or teacher. A person who just want to put his(her) two cents on the share of the great commission, can easily get the infamous title of false prophet by people who do not even know you.

    Some pastors instead of trying to correct the members of their congregation, and test whether they are sheep or not, fall into the superstition of trying to discern whether a member of their church is a false prophet or not. This is insane.

    This paranoia is causing divisions and mistrust even inside small churches.
    The bible says it clear, by the fruits, you shall know them. It also says that these people are mutilators of the body causing divisions to make the masses to follow them and to gain worth out of this. They twisted the word to comply with their purpose. These people are not interested on the gospel of Jesus, neither on the salvation of anyone, but in money, power and fame.


  13. Well I do believe in the prophets of the old testament, they did give Gods word. I am concerned with a woman in our community who claims to be a prophet. She claims God has told her not to work and to rely on the goodness of the community. There is a big plan for her in the future, which she cannot reveal. She gives counsel to people and tells them what God has said for them. I am having a hard time with this because she is getting money for all of her living expenses from relatives of mine. She lives in the country with exotic amimals, lamas, minature horses, etc. She does have a pattern of getting money, hay, payments of her utilities for many years. She has went from church to church, and community to community getting assistance. How do I show or know that she is a prophet or a false prophet?


  14. I confess. My first response was anger and a deep sadness that she is making merchandise out of men.

    Yet those that go to her for “council ” seriously need to read the warning in scripture and search their own hearts before the Lord ( pretty soon here ) .- Jer 17:5 — Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    Through COVETOUSNESS she seems to use they use great swelling words to deceive others into giving her money 😦

    2Pe 2:3 — And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth no

    2Pe 2:18 — 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.

    Kay this is how ( in my humble opinion) 🙂

    1) There are no modern day prophets- period-Mat 11:13 — For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. I wonder why she is so ” secretive ” about her ” future” ? If I were you I woud challenge her on that.

    2) As EnforcingHisgrace so powerfully stated, please ask her to provide ONE scripture in the New testament that supports her ( self serving ) agenda.

    3) Ask her to give all she has away.

    4) From what I gather having ” exotic animals” and living in the country can be rather exuberant right?- Mat 19:21 — Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    5) Is she ” dead ” to self ? – Mat 16:24 — Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    Mat 19:23 — Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    Just my two cents worth.


  15. Sorry for not proof reading before posting ( again ) guys. Ooopps but ye gotta love me anyways right…laugh 🙂 I type like I talk…fast ….and blurt it out with not much thinking!
    (Ask those that have spoken with me on the phone here….they will tell ya! LOL)


  16. “There are no modern day prophets- period-Mat 11:13 — For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John”

    Jesus and the apostles came after John the Baptist and they were prophets.


  17. “Many shall come in my name . . .” – Jesus Christ.

    The point I was trying to make was , in order for one to be QUALIFIED to be an apostle would they not have had to be in the presence of Christ from His baptism….until His resurrection 🙂

    Also , from a biblical perspective all the apostles that served in this ” office” all died doing the work of the Lord correct…I wonder if these modern day ( wanna b’s ) would even dare consider dying for Christ ?

    I would love to follow one around for a month or so and witness their lifestyles in the quietness of their homes (behind closed doors) and test the fruit .Does love , humility, self control, death to self rule and reign in their lives? sorry for asking….that’s rhetorical anyways 🙂

    There seems to be a ” narcissistic and grandiose ” air about those I’ve met whom claim to be ” prophets” and would be so blessed if someone would direct me to someone( who claims this office ) that would clear up my perception (once and for all.) I’ve been blessed to be able to travel anywhere in the world so ” distance” is not a issue here 🙂

    I do know that we are living in the end of end days. The apostasy is here. God has clearly stated that he would CHOSE the person’s delusions….I’m so not surprised.

    Daily I find myself having to deal with the dangerous NAR movement that seems to be gaining momentum in the lives of so many unsuspecting Christians, I don’t think we realize just how dangerous this really is…..It’s all around us and I fear for what’s coming. Not in a “whoohoo” sorta way …but as I quoted Rodger Oakland yesterday, I will end off with his words.


    Isa 66:4 — I also will choose their delusions,

    Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

    Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

    Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

    Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus:

    2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    Rev. 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

    Rev. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


  18. I like the posts on here and the exchange that is taking place. I personally don’t think Matt. 11:13 means an end to prophesy, I personally think Jesus was saying that the prophets had prophesied about the arrival of the Messiah and then John the Baptist came along and declared that the Messiah was there. I have a friend who has a gift of prophesy but does not claim to be a prophet but a preacher who occassionally prophesies. Anytime he says, “The Lord said…” he is right. Sometimes he will say, “this is what I think but I can’t say it is from God for sure” and he might be wrong. He NEVER claims to speak on behalf of God unless he is 100% sure and I have never known him to be wrong in those instances.


  19. One more comment, here is the measure of a prophet: Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.


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