You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. Deut. 18:21, 22
Speaking on the subject of whether or not a prophet is true, we often refer to the Old Testament litmus test above, did what the prophet say come to pass? We know further from the New Testament that every word out of the prophet's mouth should be judged (1 Cor. 14:29). What do we judge the prophecy by? Every thing should always be judged by the Word of God. Notice the agreement with the Spirit and the Word in these verses:
For there are three that bear record in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. 1 John 5:7, 8
There is another part of the Old Testament prophet validity test that we often overlook, and one that we must implement today if we are to stay on track.
"If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spoke unto thee, saying, `Let us go after other gods which thou hast not known, and let us serve them,' 3thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams …….. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deut. 13:1 – 5
Part one of the prophet validity test was to wait and see if the word came to pass. This alone is not test enough, for what if he did a miracle right in front of your eyes and never gave mention of the Miracle Worker, Jesus Christ? What if after performing the marvelous sign, he lured your eyes off the Scripture on to some "new revelation" that put you in charge of your own destiny and made you your own god? Even the Old Testament is clear about checking prophets. We never validate them on signs and wonders alone! We always must keep in mind where we are going and Who we serve! If any miracle worker tells you to follow other gods, put that evil one out of your midst! Under the New Testament we don't go killing prophets, but we are not to even wish them Godspeed, for in so doing we are partakers of their evil deeds (2 John 1:10). Stop buying their books and CD's. Don't support their ministries, and stop watching their broadcast!
God requires the life of a prophet speaking a word presumptuously for God under the Law. Even today under the New Testament of grace, it is still not OK with God to just go out and speak a word for Him without being sent. A prophet is accountable to God for the message he gives. But is that the only accountability of a prophetic word? No! Not only is the messenger called into account for his presumptuous speaking, but you and I are called into account for the words of God given by His messengers! Notice verse 19 from the NIV version:
If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. Deut. 18
We the recipients of God's words are accountable to God, so put your rocks down. Let God fix the presumptuous prophets! You and I must make sure that we in fact receive God's Word from His true messengers and act upon them. There is a day of reckoning; there is accountability of a word spoken for God. God keeps track of every word that goes forth out of His mouth. Let's let our focus be on receiving and acting upon every true word sent from God, for our prosperity is dependent upon it.
believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 2 Chronicles 20:20