Anyone who believes Jesus has given them the gift of being a prophet should read 1 Corinthians 14 carefully. The Corinthian Christians were divided and confused about many issues, one of them being spiritual gifts. Paul’s message to them was unity in diversity. Spiritual gifts are meant to bring Christians together in their service and worship of Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 12). Spiritual gifts are meant to be used from hearts filled with love for God and others (1 Corinthians 13). Spiritual gifts should be used to help bring order into God’s worship and service (1 Corinthians 14). Anything less than that is a misuse of spiritual gifts, including the gift of prophecy (prophet).

Even as the apostles warned about false apostles, they also warned about false prophets (e.g. Acts 13:6; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1). Jesus warned about false prophets (e.g. Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22). Unfortunately, Christians around the world today are listening to and believing false prophets. That has led to terrible theology and great division in Christianity, just as Jesus and the apostles warned.

If someone claims to be a prophet of God, put them to the Old and New Testament tests. They will pass or fail depending on both their theology and their practice. If they pass, listen to what they say and follow their example. If they fail, don’t listen to what they say and don’t follow their example. Be aware that Christian leaders can change. Even good leaders need to be watched carefully to see whether they continue “in the faith.” If they don’t, go to them with some other strong Christians to share your concerns. If they won’t listen to you, have nothing more to do with them. 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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