7774 prophets, false

7774 prophets, false

Men or women who falsely claim to speak on God’s behalf. They are denounced in the OT and NT for leading people astray. Scripture provides criteria by which true prophets may be recognised and distinguished from false prophets, who often speak from base motives.

Criteria for recognising true prophets

A true prophet’s word will be fulfilled Dt 18:21-22 See also Jer 28:8-9

A true prophet’s teaching commends righteous behaviour Dt 13:1-4 See also Eze 13:17-23; Eze 14:4-8; La 2:14

A true prophet’s godly life will reflect his calling Mt 7:15-20 See also Isa 28:7; Jer 23:10-11,14; Zep 3:4

A true prophet will acknowledge Jesus Christ as divine 1Jn 4:1-6

The motivations of false prophets

Their messages originate with themselves Jer 23:16 See also Jer 14:13-14; Jer 23:25-32,36; Eze 13:1-7

Their messages may be occasioned by popular demand Jer 29:8-9 God places a strict requirement upon his prophets that they should proclaim only what is divinely revealed: Nu 22:35,38; Nu 23:12,26; Nu 24:12-13; 1Ki 22:13-14
Isa 30:10-11; Jer 5:30-31; Mic 2:11

Their messages may be given for financial reward Ne 6:12-13 See also Jer 6:13-14; Eze 13:19; Mic 3:11; 2Pe 2:1-3

Their messages may be the result of deception 1Ki 22:19-23 pp 2Ch 18:18-22 See also Eze 14:9

Their messages may be inspired by divination Jer 14:14 See also Eze 13:6-7; Eze 22:28; Ac 13:6

Examples of false prophets

In the OT Ne 6:10-13 See also 1Ki 22:1-28 pp 2Ch 18:1-27; Jer 27:9-10,14-18

False prophetesses Ne 6:14; Eze 13:17

Prophets of other gods Jer 23:13 See also 1Ki 18:19-40; 2Ki 10:19; Jer 2:8

In the NT Mt 24:24 pp Mk 13:22 See also Mt 24:10-11; Ac 13:6-11 False prophets feature as part of the symbolism of the book of Revelation: Rev 2:20; Rev 16:13; Rev 19:20; Rev 20:10

The punishment of false prophets

Dt 18:20 See also Dt 13:5; Zec 13:3; Jer 14:15 God sometimes intervened to strike the false prophet down: Jer 28:15-17; Jer 29:21-23,30-32
Jer 23:34-40; Eze 13:8-16; Mic 3:5-6

See also

4155divination
5908motives
6145deceit
8748false religion
8749false teachers
8750false teachings
8776lies
8846ungodliness
9105last things