In this post, you are going to discover the 11 characteristics of true prophets of God that will help you differentiates them from false prophets.
There are many characteristics that will distinguish a true prophet of God from a false prophet who is not sent by God and this is what this post will discuss today.
In this time we live in, many false prophets have mushroomed and are mushrooming from everywhere and are busy deceiving many people, which is why you need to be careful of who you listen to.
Since the beginning of time, false prophets alongside true prophets have always existed which is why the bible warns us in 2 Peter 1:1,2 that just as there were false prophets and teachers in the old, there will be false teachers today.
This is why you need to know the characteristics that distinguish a true prophet of God from a false prophet who’s not from God. The issue of false prophets isn’t something new as they have always existed in both the old testament and the new testament.
And the purpose of these false prophets is to lead others astray from the ways of the Lord which is why you need not believe every person who claims to be a prophet of God as many of them aren’t sent by Him.
With that said, let’s look at the 11 major characteristics of true prophets that will help you know if a person who claims to be a prophet is from God with references to Bible verses in both the old testament and the new testament.
What Does It Mean To Be A Prophet?
By definition, a prophet is a person who communicates God’s word to people or prophesies about future events as revealed by God. Prophets can come in many forms, but they all have one thing in common: They speak for God.
Prophets are powerful messengers who are used by God to deliver His message to people. Prophets are not always religious leaders, but they do have a special calling from God that allows them to be called into service.
Since the beginning of time, God has raised and used many prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah who were used in the Old Testament to speak God’s message to the people as well as warn such people of God’s judgment if they disobeyed Him.
We can see such examples of the Lord speaking to Old Testament prophets in Isaiah 14:1-24 where He spoke to Isaiah to warn Israel that He would judge them if they did not repent of their wickedness.
In like manner, God still has prophets today speaking on His behalf to warn people of His judgment if they don’t repent of their wicked ways. In short, to be God’s prophet is to be God’s mouthpiece who speaks on God’s behalf.
11 Characteristics Of Prophets Of God.
Below are the 11 major characteristics that will help you differentiate a true prophet of God from a false prophet who is not from God our Lord Jesus Christ warned in Matthews 7:15-20.
- They Speak The Truth.
- They Preach Sound Doctrine.
- There Are Sent By God.
- They Speak True Prophecies.
- They Don’t Contradict Scripture.
- They Are Filled By The Holy Spirit.
- They Warn Of God’s Judgment.
- There Not Power Or Fame Hungry.
- They Perform Miracles.
- They Don’t Take Advantage Of The Poor.
- Have The Gift Of Prophecy.
1. They Speak The Truth.
One of the major characteristics of true prophets of God is that they will speak the truth of God just as it is and they won’t add anything of their own or try to dilute God’s truth for the sake of church numbers. This is why we are told in Isaiah 8:20 that anyone who claims to be a true prophet of God will speak according to the law of the testimony and if not, they are not from God and are false and full of lies with no light in them.
2. They Preach Sound Doctrine.
Another characteristic trait that will show that a person is a true prophet of God is that they will always preach about the sound doctrine concerning sin, holiness, and righteousness, which seems to be lacking in many churches today. The Bible warns us in 2 Timothy 4:3 tells us that the time will come when many will not be able to endure the sound doctrine of the bible. This is partly due to many false prophets who have gone out there and are teaching false doctrines that people want to hear but if you are a true prophet of God, you will teach sound doctrine and not what people want to hear.
3. There Are Sent By God.
All true prophets who prophesy the truth are always sent by God to speak the truth to the people and warn such people of their wicked ways. Since true prophets are sent by God, it implies that all true prophets of God will always speak and prophesy the truth as they have received it from God just as we see in Ezekiel 37:1-28 where prophet the Ezekiel was sent by the Lord to prophesy to the Israelites that He will revive them as they were like the dry bones at that time.
4. They Speak True Prophecies.
Other than performing great signs and wonders divinely inspired by God, another trait that a true prophet of God will show unlike a false prophet or false teacher is that they will prophesy the truth. Implying that the prophecies they utter will always come to pass as we see in the case of all old testament prophets of God whose prophecies came to pass. For instance, the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14 prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ and it happened in the New Testament as we see in Luke 2:1-20.
5. They Don’t Contradict Scripture.
The teachings of true prophets are always consistent with Scripture, never contradicting it because their teachings are divinely inspired by God and not by human wisdom. However, false prophets will always teach what’s contrary to scripture even if they perform great signs and wonders. The apostle Paul warns us of such people in 1 Timothy 6:3 that we must not listen to such people who teach false teachings and doctrine contrary to scripture.
6. They Are Filled By The Holy Spirit.
All true prophets of God are filled with God’s Holy Spirit that enables them to teach the truth that is divinely inspired by God that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth as Jesus Christ tells us in John 16:13. Nevertheless, if a person if a false prophet they won’t be filled with the Holy Spirit but the spirit of error from the devil is what will be in such people which explain why they prophesy lies and teach damnable or destructive heresies in their church pulpits that 2 Peter 2:1-3 talks about.
7. They Warn Of God’s Judgment.
A true prophet who is sent from God will always warn the people of God’s judgment and wrath that will befall them if they don’t repent and turn from their wicked ways as we see in Ezekiel 3:17-20. In that verse, we see Ezekiel was sent to warn Israel that the Lord will punish them if they don’t turn from their wicked ways and die in their sin. Moreover, if a person is a false prophet that person won’t warn the people of God’s judgment and wrath that will be upon them if they don’t repent of their sins or evil ways but will only focus on money and prosperity which is common nowadays among many religious leaders today.
8. There Not Power Or Fame Hungry.
True prophets of God do not seek fame or power for themselves (1 Corinthians 2:6-7). Rather, they seek to serve the greater glory of God by bringing His word and will to those who need it most especially those who have been blinded by sin or have lost hope that there is anything left worth believing in (1 Corinthians 2:11-16). Sadly, the opposite is the case in the church today where many self-proclaimed false prophets and false Christs only seek power and fame for themselves at the expense of others and have no interest in preaching the truth of God’s word.
9. They Perform Miracles.
Indeed, true prophets of God also perform miracles and great signs and wonders that are divinely inspired by God and cause one to draw closer to God. Miracles that a true prophet of God performs are to bring glory to God as well as draw many to Him and not to themselves. However, you must also understand that false prophets can also perform great signs and wonders as Jesus Christ tells us in Mark13:22 with the intent of deceiving others and exalting themselves rather than glorifying God and drawing many to Him in repentance.
10. They Don’t Take Advantage Of The Poor.
The other characteristic that will distinguish a true prophet of God from a false prophet is that they won’t take advantage of the poor by prophesying lies to them that they will get rich if they give them money. This is sadly the case with many false prophets today who demand you pay them for them to deliver you. Such people are greedy dogs as Isaiah 56:11 tells us as these wolves in sheep’s clothing are just there to exploit the poor by enriching themselves with silver and gold from these vulnerable people. Shame on such false teachers.
11. Have The Gift Of Prophecy.
Last but not least, a true prophet will have the gift of prophecy implying that such a person can receive divine visions from God as well as being able to communicate them to others in a language understandable by others (Deuteronomy 18:15-22). Aside from this, true prophets of God have a spiritual gift of discernment where they can discern truth from error, which is lacking in many false prophets today.
I hope the above post on the 11 characteristics of true prophets or messengers of God will now help you discern a true prophet of God from a false prophet who’s just there to deceive you. In closing, if the above post has benefited you greatly, let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share before you leave. Watch out for false prophets lest they deceive you.
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