Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…” (Matt. 7:15, 16a). There you have it, the Prophet of all prophets, Jesus said it. As aggravating and disconcerting as it may be, we are called in spiritual warfare to keep our guards up. We do it all the time, checking whether emails are spam, whether friend requests are bots, whether free offers are actually free (they never are!). Since we are digitally cautious and even more so when people show up at our literal front door, we should be more so when it comes to the spiritual world. But how? Jesus by the Holy Spirit gave us some principles to discern whether a person is receiving insight from God.
- “He will speak to them all that I command him” (Deut. 18:18–20)
- “If they do not speak according [to the law and to the testimony], it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20)
- “The word of the prophet comes to pass” (Jer. 28:9)
- “By their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:15–20)
- “He who prophecies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men…he who prophesies edifies the church” (1 Cor. 14:3, 4)
- “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation; they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:20, 21)
- “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:1, 2)
Why does this matter? Like Nehemiah had to face false prophets, the remnant will have to face false prophets again (Rev. 16:13; 19:20) as well as be identified as a people having the true spirit of prophecy (Rev 12:17; 19:10). God does not consider this an elective course; this is a core requirement. Won’t you take another closer look at the Spirit of prophecy?