True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy

True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy

Obviously, not every prophecy is from God. That is why we are warned by John “to not believe every spirit but to test the spirits whether they are of God …” (1 John 4:1). We are never to assume that every prophetic utterance, spiritual experience or demonstration of spiritual power is from God.

Testing the spirits working in the body of Christ is the responsibility of every Christian, but especially of the church leaders and pastors. This is done using the gifts of discernment given by God to Christians in general, especially the leadership of a congregation.

9 Principles for Judging Prophecy in Scripture

How do we determine between true prophecy and false prophecy? John Hagee, general editor of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible gives us nine principles to apply in determining if a prophetic word is true.

1) Prophecy agrees with the Word of God.

All prophecy is to be judged by Scriptural standards. Since all true prophecy comes from the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the Word of God, all prophecy will have to agree in fact and in spirit with the Word of God.

Prophecies are never to be received just because they are dramatic or given by certain individuals. In 1 Corinthians 14:29, the apostle Paul tells the church “to let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge” (or evaluate). Why was there a need to evaluate what was said? This is to determine whether the speaker had truly communicated the Word of God through the Holy Spirit.

God will never contradict His Word

Every prophetic utterance comes either from God, the flesh or from the devil through an evil spirit. We need to test every spirit and evaluate every prophetic word because it is possible for a speaker, under the control of his own emotions, to imagine that God was speaking to him and through him. It is even possible for Satan to counterfeit a prophetic message (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

God will never contradict Himself, and we can distinguish between true and false prophecies by confirming them with what God has already said in His word.

2) Prophecy will edify, exhort and comfort.

1 Corinthians 14:3 says “he who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation, and comfort to men.” The word edify means to build up or strengthen. Paul’s choice of this word was a wise one because the huge mistake the Corinthian believers were making was to emphasize their own personal strength to the neglect of the church.

Paul detected that the believers were neglecting prophecy (that edifies the church) and giving a wrong emphasis to tongues (that edifies only the speaker). They wanted to build themselves up, but they did not want to build up their fellow believers.

The word exhort means to encourage. It could be the speech of a basketball team coach inside the locker room just before a championship game, rallying the team to go out there and give everything they’ve got to bring home the crown.

And the word comfort means exactly that. It has the idea of not only consoling but also strengthening. In other words, to comfort someone is not just to cry with them when they’re hurting; it’s putting your arms around them and strengthen them to carry the load.

A true prophetic word will build someone up, not tear them down; it will encourage someone, not discourage them; and will strengthen, not weaken someone. So when anyone speaks a message into your life under the auspices of prophecy that leaves you filled with condemnation or fear, that message is not from God.

3) Any prophecy containing predictions that do not come true is false prophecy.

How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord? Deuteronomy 18:22 says, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.”

God’s true prophets are always 100 percent accurate. Modern day “prophets” boast of being 75 percent accurate, or maybe 80 percent, but that admission only brands them as false prophets. A prophet sent by God is never wrong; what he predicts will come to pass.

Several Christian cult leaders have predicted the return of Christ and the “supposed” end of the world and repeatedly failed. Believers today must exercise spiritual discernment because many “false prophets have gone out into the world and (1 John 4:1).

4) Prophecy must bear fruit and agree with the Holy Spirit in conduct and character.

Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Any form of joy and peace that bypasses righteousness is a demonic spirit of religiosity. A man who prophesies and does not care and provide for his family is a false prophet. A man who prophesies and lives in sexual immorality or financial irresponsibility is in deep deception and is a false prophet.

Prophecy must agree with the fruit of the Holy Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22-23, namely: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If the prophecy is without love, joy, or peace, it is not from God.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJVOne thing we need to remember is that false prophets do not go around screaming obscene slogans. Instead, they come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-16). They look fine. They talk fine. They even act like sheep, but their purpose is to devour and deceive the body of Christ.

The first thing a false prophet or any person in deception will tell you is, “Don’t judge me.” But you are not actually judging; you are simply inspecting his fruit.

5) True prophecy produces liberty, not bondage.

Romans 8:15 says believers did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption by whom they cry out, “Abba, Father.” Also in 2 Corinthians 3:17, it says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

In the new covenant ministry, there is freedom in the Spirit. God’s people no longer have to live by rules and regulations. God wants His children to obey Him not because of an external code (the Law), but because of internal character. God’s word is written on the hearts of His children and they obey Him because of the new life He has given them.

True prophecy will bring liberty to the individual and not bondage. Any form of control over another person by intimidation, manipulation, or domination is witchcraft. False prophecy will always lead to witchcraft and so Christians are warned to not get hooked on anyone but Jesus.

6) A prophecy that comes true but promotes disobedience against God or Scripture is not a true prophecy.

In Deuteronomy 13:1-3, Moses describes a prophet or a dreamer of dreams who predicted an event and it occurred, which was the test of a true prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). But then the prophet invited the people to join him in worshiping other gods.

Why would a prophet deliver a true message followed by an invitation to worship false gods? For the same reasons formerly orthodox religious leaders in the church will abandon their calling and get involved in cults or even organize their own cults in order to have a following, exercise their own authority and make money.

Moses clearly states that just because the prophecy comes true does not mean the person who gave the prophecy is from God. Any prophecy that causes a believer to look to another source for spiritual guidance such as horoscopes, psychic, hot lines, and palm readers is not from God.

7) True prophecy injects fresh fire into the meeting of believers.

The Bible says that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Paul here isn’t suggesting that the law was a mistake for he knew that the lost sinner must be slain by the law and left helplessly condemned before he can be saved by God’s grace.

But a legalistic prophetic word brings death. A prophecy that condemns and puts the congregation under a dark cloud of guilt, thereby killing their joy, power, and effectiveness in witnessing for Christ is not from God.

True prophecy inspired of the Holy Spirit brings spiritual life to a meeting of believers. If a prophecy comes that destroys the worship service, that prophecy is not from God.

8) True prophecy given by the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit.

The Word of God says, “It is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6b). The Spirit was given to bear witness to Christ (John 15:26; 16:14) and we can trust the Spirit’s witness because “He is truth.” We may not be present at the baptism of Christ or at His death, but the Holy Spirit was present.

Today, the Holy Spirit is the only person active on earth who was present when Christ was ministering here. The witness of the Father is past history, but the witness of the Spirit is a present experience. And it is the Holy Spirit indwelling every believer that bears witness with their spirit.

Among the 9 principles used to judge prophecy, this is the only one that’s subjective. But when a given prophecy bears witness with your spirit, you’ll know that it is from God.

9) Any prophecy that comes true but does not give glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ is the spirit of divination.

This principle is much the same as principle number 6. The fact that a prophecy comes true is not proof it came from God. Again as John says, we need to test every spirit and every prophetic word that’s spoken.

Jesus Christ, the God-man

A prophecy uttered that comes to pass and yet denies the deity of Christ is false prophecy. Some groups today deny that Jesus is God (such as the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Muslims). Back in John’s day, people did not have a hard time believing that Jesus was God. But they had a hard time believing He was a real man.


False prophets and false prophecy abound in the world today. False prophecy leads to deception and makes the believer the object of manipulation or domination by false prophets who have ungodly motives and hidden agenda.

9 Replies to “True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy”

  1. Hey Alice,

    Thank you for your insight. I totally understand the concern with these mandatory vaccines and mask mandates. I admire that you are exercising discernment during this season of testing. May I offer you a few critiques?

    1. There are so many different interpretations of Revelations 13:15-18.

    Some Christian scholars and believers interpret this passage as a literal mark on your right hand and forehead, and that there is a religious and political system involved with the Antichrist. Some see this as merely symbolic and metaphoric, given the historical and spiritual context of this book and the timing of John’s prophecies.

    Most of the books in the New Testament were written during the Apostolic age, just after Christ’s resurrection and Pentecost. Given the nature of the Antichrist and the false prophet, I see the mark of the beast as an allegiance to the evil rulers and the kingdom of Satan.

    Think about it. If believers are marked with the Holy Spirit, we have submitted an allegiance to the kingdom of God, hence the work of salvation through Jesus Christ. Likewise, the mark of the beast is a willful choice to submit to the will and authority of Satan at the expense of one’s soul. It’s all about immediate gratification.

    Therefore, anyone who understands the context of this passage should be convinced that these mark of the beast theories being spread are downright lies. God is a God of direction and exhortation, whereas Satan is a spirit of condemnation.

    Do you see how the notion that getting a vaccine to protect your fellow neighbors condemns one to Hell sounds just like a prophecy from Satan? BTW, this is a consideration from a teenager who is fully vaccinated.

    2. I highly agree that deception lies on both sides of the spectrum. However, this should not be an excuse to neglect to take care of our bodily needs. Remember, our bodies are the temple in which the Holy Spirit resides.

    Romans 13:1-2 states, “Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except God and those who be are ordained by God. Therefore he who resists the authority withstands the ordinance of God, and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment.”

    My intention is not to submit to one side of the spectrum, but to submit to the truth presented through the Holy Spirit. Yes, we should stand up for what is holy and righteous. Yes, we should not trust the world for our answers.

    But, let’s not fall into this false notion that we can jump off a cliff and expect God to send angels to rescue us. Remember what happened when Satan tempted Jesus to jump off the pinnacle, backing it up with the notion that the angels would guard and protect Jesus?

    This is putting God to the test!!! Stop treating God as a jack in the box! Don’t force Him to do things when YOU want to willfully expose yourself and others to danger. Plus, I and my friends at high school have to wear masks and socially distance for this school year. And more children are ending up in the ICU because we want to satisfy our egos and challenge the very Creator who has blessed us with this new technology.

    So, the “liberal media” you are talking about is actually reality. Grim reality!!! I don’t wish for any man to suffer, but we have to commit to working together as a team to rebuild trust in the body of Christ. It’s the false prophets that are only fueling the flames.

    I do not judge any of you for choosing one side over another side. I firmly believe we should look at all angles of the same situation. Yet I refuse to give ANY devotion to the work of Satan!! No matter which side of this cultural spectrum, I REFUSE to bow down to Satan’s schemes!!

    I am not saying that I am perfect. But, I do strive to be the best example of Christlikeness in this dark age and to lend an open and compassionate hand to everyone during triumphant and turbulent times.

    Don’t hesitate to correct me if needed.

    Fighting for the light! 🙂

    1. Hello again,

      I admire you for doing your diligence in knowing what the Word of God has to say. And I encourage you to keep it up.

      But we must also do our part in knowing facts. You’re gonna hear me say this over and over again: “I want to see the DATA.” When “so-called” scientists say that more children are ending up in the ICU because of Covid, we should ask them to show us the data. But of course, they won’t be able to. They just scold and berate people for “refusing to comply.”

      I’m sure you know that most politicians will lie through their teeth just to have control over the people they govern. They think the people are so dumb and stupid that they will just follow their orders.

      There is no study that supports masking and vaccinating kids because of Covid, none whatsoever! In the same way that there is no data showing that vaccinated people won’t get Covid. The people need to wake up! Stop letting those in power decide for you.

      Christians, use the wisdom and discernment that God has given you!

      Let me say this again, I am not anti-vaccine. I am fully vaccinated. But I believe taking the vaccine should be a personal decision. I am against mandatory vaccinations and mask mandates, period.

      Maia, may I know where you are getting your information about Covid and vaccination? What or who are your sources?

      By the way, I disagree with what you said that not taking the vaccine is “putting God to the test.” You can check out the CDC website and see if what Dr. Fauci is saying on TV lines up with their documented findings.

      Yes, there may be different interpretations of the “mark of the beast” mentioned in Revelation 13. But our goal must be to get to the intent of the author when he wrote it. And the best way to do that is to study it in the original language in which it was written and consider the context.

      Thankfully, many Bible scholars have already done the work so we don’t have to.

      Needless to say, it is still best to look at different commentaries and compare them.

      1. I am not refusing to saying taking the vaccine ITSELF is putting to the test. I am merely saying that willfully exposing yourself to danger (Covid) based on a lie, knowing darn well it’s the truth, and expecting God to protect you in the end.

        This is what it means to put God to the test in a sense. Let’s not put God in a box, feeling we are entitled to be kept from the virus. Jesus said that we would go through tribulations. Christians are not exempt from trials in life.

        1. I don’t know of any person who would willfully expose themselves to any danger. And I am not one of those who think Christians are exempt or miraculously protected from any danger or virus.

          We must always use the wisdom that God has given each of us in dealing with everyday situations. But to cower endlessly in the face of Covid-19 is not how God wants us to behave.

          Yes, the virus is real. Too many people, including Christians, have succumbed to it. I’m pretty sure we know some of them; our friends, relatives, colleagues.

          Jumping off a cliff or a tall building believing God would catch us is putting God to the test. Drinking a deadly poison or playing with snakes and other wild animals is putting God to the test.

          Purposely getting close or intimate with people who we know are Covid positive without protective gears is putting God to the test.

          But to “keep yourself in a box” and stop living your life because of a virus that has a survival rate of 99.3% for healthy people below 70 years old is UNREASONABLE.

          Honestly, I don’t know why we are talking about Covid-19 and vaccination when this post is about True vs. False Prophecy ☺.

          I guess because of what I said in my conclusion that “false prophecy leads to deception.” Ha ha.

  2. Romans 13:1-4

    1. Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except God, and those who be are ordained by God.

    2. Therefore he who resists the authority withstands the ordinance of God, and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment.

    3. For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the same.

    4. For he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn’t bear the sword in vain; for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil.

  3. It’s just so sad to see many false prophets working in the body of Christ today.

    2 Corinthians 11:13:14 states, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as Christ’s apostles. And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.”

    Many are working to deceive the masses, especially during this Covid pandemic. Even those who are fearmongering, and believe that they are hearing from the Holy Spirit?!? How can ANY man DARE to spew these mark of the beast lies at our young children who want to get vaccinated for this virus? How dare we condemn our children to Hell for taking A VACCINE promoted by a government ordained by Christ Himself to heal His children from this pandemic!

    These fearmongering prophecies are pure evil. This is JUST UNACCEPTABLE! The very fact that we are believing this fearmongering nonsense just sickens me!!! This is THE Work Of SATAN!!!!!! And it is only fuelling more quarrels within the body of Christ! Our children are scared to death believing that they are going to Hell all because they were willing to protect their family and to sacrifice their own desires to stand in line to get vaccinated.

    All because of one ounce of gasoline lit by these false prophets. They are only fuelling these flames!!!

    Also, check out this piece I wrote just before the election. It’s called “Satan’s Pulpit.”

    May we cling continue to stand for the truth that rests in Christ Jesus!

    Love you!

    1. Hi Maia,

      I truly appreciate your inputs; we (admins and contributors) all do. We believe you are very sincere in everything you do for the Lord. But lately, I’ve noticed that your comments are becoming more and more politically inclined.

      Sure, we see the deceptions that are spreading around in regard to the Covid-19 vaccines. However, I think we need to acknowledge that these “deceptions” are coming from both sides of the aisle.

      And yes, there are Christians who think that the vaccines are the mark of the beast which makes them even more reluctant to take the jab. On this point, I’d say that anyone who knows their Bible very well must know that this claim is just absurd.

      Having said that, we also see how this mandatory vaccination is setting the stage for what will take place during the Tribulation when “marking” will be required to buy and sell.

      I am not anti-vaccine; as a matter of fact, I am fully vaccinated. I don’t think I need it, because based on SCIENCE and DATA, the survival rate for young people with no underlying medical conditions under the age of 70 is more than 98%. I had to take the vaccines because unlike the US where you have the first amendment, I am currently based in a country that is controlled by the government.

      By the way, you mentioned “fear-mongering” people. Again, this is coming from both sides but worse from the mainstream/liberal media. I am talking about what’s going on in America.

      These “so-called” journalists and scientists are not only spreading vaccine misinformation but they also think those who want to exercise their freedom to get vaccinated or not are murderers and consider them as public enemy number one.

      By the way, Maia, did you know that there isn’t any scientific data that support vaccinating kids and young adults? Thus, there is no data that supports masking children. But of course, if your only source of information is the mainstream media, you won’t know this.

      I understand that you truly want to engage the culture, you want to get involved, you want your voice heard. But I really suggest you do your own research on what’s really going on. Please stop relying on the liberal media because they do nothing but lie and censor.

      (Note: I am talking about CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc, Facebook (which is working for the Democratic Party), YouTube, Twitter, Google. Please be wise and discerning.

      False prophets have gone out into the world but if we keep our eyes wide open, we won’t fall into their traps and schemes.


      1. I know there is much confusion about those shots. I am looking at this from a spiritual perspective rather than supporting any one party in general.

        I see deception on all four corners. One of which is the whole mark of the beast fiasco and these false prophecies. People are so desperate these days. We will cling to anything that appeals to our filthy flesh, and this includes conspiracy theories.

        It is no sin to question things — it is very wise to seek what is true and acceptable in God’s eyes. However, it IS a sin to knowingly deceive our brothers, and sisters and condemn them to Hell for supporting one side of the coin and rejecting the other.

        We all have our own approaches to understanding God’s moral and spiritual values. But, we should all be on the same page, aiming for the light of Jesus Christ!

        Satan is not after those who support one side and reject another party. Satan is after ALL of those who seek the truth and work for peace. This is why this nation and the church are so divided. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is to be peacemakers.

        Yes, we will not agree on some of these issues, but that does not mean we should tear others down for what they believe. Sure, there are certain things that are downright deceptions from Satan and the flesh– not denying it! But, let’s see things through an open and compassionate heart while standing firm on the truth.

        It all comes down to the “love thy neighbor” rule.

        1. You’re maybe right! People want to believe what makes them feel good.

          As I said, I am a “science” person and we should know that God isn’t anti-science. I’d say God gave us science as another means for people to come to believe in Him. Many scientists who used to be atheists have come to faith in Christ as a result of their scientific discoveries.

          There’s too much evidence that the “virus” was chemically engineered in a lab. Yet the so-called scientists (or doctors) who are supposed to be truthful and honest are doing all they can to cover this up.

          This is why I can’t blame those who refuse to get the shots. They’ve been lied to before.

          Going back to the topic of false versus true prophecy, many well-known Christians in the west have fallen off the wagon. They made bold statements about the November 2020 US presidential election.

          I myself could not believe the result, but as I always like to tell my friends and colleagues whenever we talk of controversial things, “The truth will eventually come out. It may take a while but everything done in the dark will be exposed for everyone to see.”

          Let all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place in God’s timetable. God knows what He’s doing; let us trust Him.


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