I must be careful. There are many who proclaim “thus says the Master”. How can I know if they are really speaking the word of God? Are they really a prophet of God?
Jesus warned us that “false Messiahs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect. The best way to guard ourselves against falsehood and false teachers is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing.
Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.
- Deuteronomy 18:21–22 (CSB) — 21 You may say to yourself, ‘How can we recognize a message the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the Lord’s name, and the message does not come true or is not fulfilled, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
- Jeremiah 28:8–9 (CSB) — 8 The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, disaster, and plague against many lands and great kingdoms. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies peace—only when the word of the prophet comes true will the prophet be recognized as one the Lord has truly sent.”