Real versus Counterfeit
“For false Messiahs and lying prophets will arise and will give signs and wonders and will deceive, if it is possible, even the chosen. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” (Mark 13:22-23 HRVS, emphasis mine)
End-time prophecies have become increasingly more common as the time for the return of our Messiah Yeshua draws closer. Amazingly, the main stream westernized church community has suddenly become over-populated with a rapid rise of those “called” to the prophetic ministry. I am not here to dispute the “calling”; however, it is YHWH our Elohim who sets up, and it is also Him who tears down (Job 34:24; Dan 2:21).
The Word of Elohim, however, gives us some very strict criteria for determining the validity of a prophet. Just like the combination on a bank safe, all three of these criteria must be simultaneously met and fulfilled in an individual – not one of them can be off – or, like the combination for the safe in question, the prophet (and his/her prophecy) will be very wrong …
“… when the prophet speaks in the Name of יהוה and the word is not, or comes not, that is the word which יהוה has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deu 18:22 ISR, emphasis mine)
The first criterion which must be met is “fulfillment”. If the prophet prophesies an event in the future, and it fails to come to pass, it was not from our Elohim. Presumptuous prophecies are self-glorifying, and seldom bear fruit. The word, “presume” is defined as “to venture without positive permission; to form confident or arrogant opinions”. “Presuming” to prophecy is dangerous ground …
However, it is possible for someone to give a prophecy, have it come to pass, and it not come from YHWH. The scriptural reference for this is as follows:
“When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’ do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being. Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him. And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה your Elohim – who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim and ransomed you from the house of bondage – to make you stray from the way in which יהוה your Elohim commanded you to walk. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst.” (Deu 13:1-5 ISR, emphasis mine)
Here we find the remaining two criteria that a prophet appointed and anointed by Elohim will fulfill. Such a person will never speak in the name of any other god except the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nor will a true, anointed, man/woman of YHWH our Elohim speak against keeping the commandments of Torah. Signs and wonders are not the true test or proof of prophecy, or of a prophet, for we can see that it is possible for them to be duplicated and fulfilled. Yeshua Himself said that we shall know them by their fruit (Mat 7:15-20).
All three of these criteria (1. the prophecy will come to pass; 2. the individual will always reflect a life of loving YHWH with everything in them, loving their neighbor as themselves, and of a lifestyle of keeping the commandments of Torah, and 3. the prophet does not ever speak in the name of any god but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) - all of these must be fulfilled before the individual will pass the test, and can be accepted …
Increasingly, the smell of rotten fruit is lingering in the air. The experience that I personally have had with those that Elohim has called to the office of the prophet, and those operating in the ministry of prophecy (two different things), is the deep humility in these chosen and anointed people, something that is becoming a rarity. Upon my own extensive research, I discovered that the early, first century congregations had added a further “test” for discerning between a true or false prophet. If a prophet, while prophesying, asked for food, money, or any kind of a gift, he/she was labeled a false prophet, and not of Elohim. Now, I wonder how this “test” would separate the wheat from the tares in the modern, “westernized” church?
“But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.” (1The P)