THE TEST OF A PROPHET
Spiritual test and scriptural evidence Speaks according to the Word of God. Isaiah 8:20 Magnifies and lifts up Christ. 1 John 4:2,3 John 12:32 Magnifies the Law of God. Isaiah 8:20 2 Kings 17:13, Lam. 2:9 The predictions come to pass. Deut. 18:22 Jer. 28:9 Their work produces good fruits. Matt. 7:17 Gal. 5:22,23
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Matt. 7:17
Edifies the church. 1 Cor. 14:3,4 Eph. 4:11-13 Physical test and scriptural evidence Fall into a trance. Num. 24:4 No strength is left in them. Daniel 10:8, 16, 17 Is supernaturally strengthened. Dan. 10:18,19 Have their eyes open. Num. 24:3,4 Do not breathe. Dan. 10:17 Speaks without breathing. Dan. 10:17-20
- Speaks According To The Word of God
“Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” Jeremiah 1:7.
Isaiah 8:20 : “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
- Lifts Up Christ
“Beloved, believe not every spirit,” writes the apostle John, “but try every the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” He goes on to say, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” 1 John 4:1, 2. The incarnation of Christ Jesus, “Christ in you the hope of glory” is the great theme of the gospel. As it is written, “And if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32. On the contrary, false prophets do not exalt Christ. They rather draw attention to themselves.
- Magnifies The Law
Just like Jesus came to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” Isaiah 42:21, every true prophet must honor the law of God and even more encourage obedience to ALL the ten commandments. This is exactly what Elijah did. He called people’s attention to the commandments of God. We read that by all prophets the following message is to be given, “Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes.” 2 Kings 17:13. As we have seen, “To the law and to the testimony.” In the Bible, we see that when “the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.” Lamentations 2:9.
- Predictions Fulfilled
It is God’s attribute alone to declare things to come. Isaiah 41:22-24. This is one of the features that distinguish the true God from all false gods and so with the prophets. Only the true prophet can predict and it come to pass. It is written,
“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,” Deuteronomy 18:21,22.
Elsewhere, says the weeping prophet,
“The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.” Jeremiah 28:9.
- Edifies the Church
According to 1 Corinthians 14:3, 4, “he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”
Through prophets, God strengthen and builds up the church, In Ephesians 4:11-13, we see that God gave some prophets, “for the perfecting of the saints, for the working of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man”.
In other words, a true prophet must prepare people to meet the Lord as did John the Baptist. Luke 1:17. As it is written, “Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.
- Condition While In Vision
Prophets do receive visions. For “where there is no vision: the people perish” Proverbs 29:18. God says, “If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream.”
Numbers 12:6. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7.
Considering the Word of God, we see consistency in the physical manifestations of a prophet while in vision. One would “fall into a trance, but having their eyes open:” Numbers 24:4, they “retained no strength” Daniel 10:8, there would be no breath left in them Daniel 10:17 and then they would “be strengthened” Daniel 10:18,19.
- The Test of Fulfillment of Prophecy
Jeremiah 28:9 : “When the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet know that the Lord has truly sent him.”
Deuteronomy 18:22 : “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
- The Test of Attitude Toward the Incarnation of Jesus. A true prophet will declare, and not deny, both the deity and the humanity of Jesus.
1 John 4:2 : “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.”
- The Test of Fruitage
Matthew 7:20 : “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”