Characteristics of True & False Prophets


True Prophets

  1. Few in Number; trusts only in God.

    “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD,”   Jeremiah 17:5.
  2. Generally disliked and not trusted.

    “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,”    Matthew 5;12.

    “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience,”   James 5:10.
  3. Speaks what God says – “God says…”

    “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him,”   Deuteronomy 18:18.
  4. Gives warning of God’s judgment of all.

    “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me,”   Ezekiel 33:7.
  5. Works in the Holy Spirit and wields the sword of truth.

    “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,”   2 Peter 1:21.
  6. Demonstrates the Power of God and shows the Glory of God.

    “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God,”   1 Corinthians 2:4-5.
  7. Socially unacceptable to the proud; does not conform to people’s expectations.

    “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence,”   1 Corinthians 1:26-29.
  8. Speaks a compelling message.

    “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord,”   1 Corinthians 14:37.
  9. Seeks God’s will in your life.

    “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold,”   Proverbs 3:13-14.
  10. Seeks God for His counsel.

    “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets,”   Amos 3:7.
  11. Calls for the testing of prophets.

    “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,”   1 John 4:1.

    “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book,”   Revelation 22:18.
  12. Shares Scripture to show the truth.

    “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord,”   1 Corinthians 14:37.

False Prophets

  1. Many of them; trusts the majority opinion.

    “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table,”   1 Kings 18:19.
  2. Generally liked and trusted by the people.

    “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets,”   Luke 6:26.
  3. Speaks presumptuously of God; “I think …”

    “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him,”   Deuteronomy 18:22.
  4. Speaks of peace and prosperity.

    “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.  They say still unto them that despise me, the LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you,”   Jeremiah 23:16-17.
  5. Uses power of suggestion or illusion; calls it signs and wonders.

    “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect,”   Matthew 24:24.
  6. Demonstrates the wisdom of men and enjoys men’s praise.

    “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets,”   Luke 6:26.
  7. Socially acceptable and conforms to people’s expectations.

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables,”   2 Timothy 4:3-4.
  8. Promotes self-interest.

    “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. Seeks your money in his life,”   Philippians 2:21.

    “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon,”   Luke 16:13.
  9. Gives counsel to God.

    “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ,”   1 Corinthians 2:16 .
  10. Demands belief in his position.

    “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation,”   2 Peter 1:20.
  11. Shares that God will not judge you, do not fear God.

    “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction,”   2 Peter 2:1.
  12. Shares opinion to explain Scripture.

    “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction,”   2 Peter 3:16.


~ Stephen Hanson

Prophet Stephen HansonStephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since.  In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God.  Will we be prepared and ready?

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Characteristics of True & False Prophets — 3 Comments