Question: Thuria Musima from UGANDA asks:
Dear Pastor Chris,
How can I distinguish between a false prophet and a prophet of God?
Simple things, number one: a prophet of God draws people to God and not to other gods but to the father of our Lord Jesus Christ and draws people to the Word, not to himself or to some other god. And then, the things that he says come to pass. Now, that’s a little tricky because sometimes, you have a true prophet who makes mistakes (because there are some who have made mistakes). Don’t forget that you are not made a pastor, a prophet or an evangelist because you are perfect. So sometimes, some of them can make some mistakes and I don’t want you to judge them with their mistakes, because sometimes, out of enthusiasm (that’s over enthusiasm) or the expectations of those who are aroundthem, they can do or say things that they are not supposed to do and then some might not even be living right and so things go wrong because they are not paying attention to the Holy spirit. But that does not make them false prophets. See, a true prophet can make mistakes and say the wrong thing, as a true evangelist can say the wrong thing. So sometimes, there are problems like that.
There are other distinguishing factors: does he walk in love? A key- walking in the love of Christ- is very important! Then, the consistency of the word of God in his mouth, because, as you have a false prophet, you can have a false pastor, you can have a false teacher, and then the Bible also talks about false brethren! So, it’s not only false prophets; there are false prophets according to the scriptures, there are false teachers according to the scriptures and there are false brethren according to the scriptures! And you are going to know all of these in the same way, sometimes not immediately. Sometimes it takes a while but you would see certain things consistently, especially faltering on the word of God consistently- that’s a major sign.
Then, there other problems that make it very difficult- you’ve got the use of material mediums. Incidentally, there are true Christians, true pastors, prophets, evangelists, teachers and so on, including apostles. There are true ones that have been misled into the use of material mediums, praying through certain things. They’ve got some cloth to pray through, they’ve got some holy water to pray through, they’ve got all of these stuffs and they are problems because a true prophet should not use them! But some of them have used them and are using them. So, it becomes rather difficult to distinguish between them for some people especially when you understand that sometimes some of these ministers have come from a background where they were children and grandchildren of juju priests and priestesses. Some of these things they have carried over into Christianity and they are using them. So, I’m saying that’s not enough to condemn them because they are using some things out of their ignorance. Someday soon they’d learn from those mistakes and stop using them. That is why that’s not enough to tell that they are false. But, if you listen to the Word of God that’s taught you, that’s the most important. Go to the scriptures for yourself and listen to what they are saying; compare what you are hearing to what is in the Word and that would help you because if that minister continues to falter on the word of God, you’ve got to know something is wrong. So, that’s the biggest sign.