False teachers and prophets in the church

Dear Editor:

Anyone trained to recognize counterfeit money knows the best method is to be so familiar with the real thing that the inconsistencies of the fake are obvious. There are countless books and websites that claim to offer insight into the Bible, and countless religions that offer the “truth.” For those of us who are resolved to believe God’s Word, however, the Holy Bible is the first and last authority. Anyone who teaches differently, man or angel, is to be “accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)

The apostles warn that during the end times, false prophets and teachers will become more and more common and we need to be prepared. (2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:17-18; Matthew 24:23-27) That doesn’t mean we should go looking for false teaching. Part of “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is studying the truth—the Holy Bible—and not exchanging it for a lie. (Romans 1:25)

Are there true prophets today? If the purpose of a prophet was to reveal truth from God, why would we need prophets if we have the completed revelation from God in the Holy Bible? If prophets were the “foundation” of the early church, are we still building the “foundation” today? Can God give someone a message to deliver to someone else? Absolutely. Does God reveal truth to someone in a supernatural way and enable that person to deliver that message to others? Absolutely. But is this the biblical gift of prophecy? No.

Whenever a person claims to be speaking for God,the essence of prophecy, the key is to compare what is said with what the Bible says. If God were to speak through a person today, it would be in 100% complete agreement with what God has already said in the Bible. God does not contradict himself. 1 John 4:1 instructs us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” So, whether it is a “word from the Lord” or a supposed prophecy, our response should be the same. Compare what is said to what the Word of God says. If it contradicts the Holy Bible, throw it out. If it agrees with the Holy Bible, pray for wisdom and discernment as to how to apply the message.

David Nowak, 


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