Updated: Jun 8
The unsolicited prophecies being offered today by supposed “prophets” are a mockery of the prophets of old.
Old Testament Prophets did not offer their listeners (who, much of the time, actually paid them no mind) a: “There is going to be a great uplifting for you this week” or a: “A shift is coming”. Instead these old-time prophets gave accurate information that actually sometimes saved lives. For example:
“The King is waiting to kill you in Location A.” - 2 Kings 6:9+10
“By this time next year, you will have a baby boy.” - 2 Kings 4:16
We must be onguard against counterfeits, as the Bible says, for many of them have crept into the church [Jude 4].
This is an non-exhaustive list of signs that a prophet is false.
The Prophecy is Wrong
The tweet below serves as comic relief and offers a lot to think about. The vitriol being spilled by people in the comments section who accused her of “testing a man of God” is also sad.
We can categorically say that this “pastor” is false because a true one would have known that she did not in fact have a boyfriend. The same way Gehazi, Elisha’s prophet, went behind Elisha’s back to take the gifts the latter had rejected from Naaman, and Elisha saw him even though he was not physically present at the time -- a true prophet would have known that she was lying; and even if the prophet did not catch the lie, the prophet would certainly not have issued a “prophecy” about a person that did not exist.
One sure way to know that a prophet is false is when what the prophecy simply does not come to pass.
The Old Testament actually condemned such people to death.
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or[f] who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.
Broad, ‘One Size Fits All’ Prophecies
The prophecies from many modern-day “prophets” today have little to no details contained in them but are instead general enough to fit any major event that might happen. For example, when the global pandemic of 2020 hit, some prophets came forward to say that they had “seen it” in 2019. However, a closer inspection of these prophecies showed them pointing to “prophecies” like, “This year will be a significant one…”
These ‘onesie’ prophecies offer no specific time timeline for events that are supposed to occur. A “prophetess” on Instagram said God told her the next "thing" (virus) would affect the mouth and that people should buy the yellow Listerine. There was no timeline given about when to expect this "next thing", yet her followers rushed to Walmart to buy all the yellow Listerine that they could get their hands on.
This same "prophetess" in February 2022 told her audience to buy grains. She said that she did not know what they were stocking up for, or when this supposed event was going to happen, but they should go ahead and stock up on grains. This seems like a joke. Except prophets of old gave specifics in their prophesies; because they were true words from God.
Reminding People About Their Supposed Prophecy
False prophets are prone to doubling down and reminding people about what they said would happen when something that remotely resembles what they said supposedly happens. They are always reminding people that what they said would happen has happened, yet we barely see a precedence for this in scripture.
The prophetess above who supposedly saw the COVID19 pandemic months before it happened has taken to social media to share screenshots and Instagram stories (time and again) of the Vitamin E bottles and masks supplies God told her to buy in 2019. Another prophet prefaces his new “prophecies” by reminding his listeners that his previous words came to pass.
According to the same instagram “prophetess” referred to above, yellow listerine was sold out as a result of her prophecy; she shared numerous screenshots of people saying they couldn't find Listerine on store shelves. She also went on to say that was the day she knew "she had influence around the world."
Old Testament prophets were not concerned with proving their validity to anyone because:
The words they said came directly from God; there was no need to wait around to prove it. They simply repeated what they had heard God say and moved on
The words that these prophets said were accurate. True prophets never miss, and their prophecies are detailed. See. 1 Kings 20:13+14; these prophets knew what, when, where, and how because God told them.
Arrogant With Self-Ambition
False prophets find a way of making their “prophecies” about them; it becomes an ego trip surrounding their self-ambition. False prophets are so focused on exhibiting the gifts of the Spirit that they forget to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. Many of these supposed prophets are arrogant and filled with self-ambition and pride. I have seen “prophets” tell people who disagreed with in their prophecies in the comments section of social media posts to “Get a life.” Others have been so insulted by people denying their “power” that they have laid curses on them.
False prophets are seldom gentle and meek; it makes one wonder exactly what kind of spirit they possess. If you are indeed filled with the Spirit of God, you will be humble. Yet these prophets point to Elijah sending down fire and to Elisha asking that a bear eat people alive, and they will use these instances to say that a prophet is not supposed to be gentle because they carry an “auction”, which is essentially an excuse to be filled with pride and to exhibit bad behaviour.
They have little knowledge of scripture
False prophets have become so caught up in the signs and wonders they desire to perform that they have taken little time to exegete scripture and do not in fact know how to. Many false prophets have little knowledge of scripture but instead pull scripture out of context; they hop from verse to verse to piece together the message they want to preach.