Anytime a prophet prophesies his words must line up with the word of God. In the Old Testament, under Moses' law there were stiff penalties for the prophet that prophesied falsely.
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Many people think that if a prophet made a mistake he would be killed. The scriptures never say that. This verse says that if he purposely speaks something that God has not commanded him to speak or if he prophesies in the name of other gods he was to be killed. What about the prophet that speaks something and it doesn't come to pass?
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Every person in the ministry gift has to mature in that gift. The prophet is no different. There will be times a young prophet will miss God. If he is following God, he will learn from his mistakes and continue on in his calling. Christians should always judge the words of a prophet by the word of God.
There was a man in my home church that had been my Sunday school teacher in the Baptist church when I was young. Earlier in his life he had been healed of terminal cancer and Hodgkin's disease, miraculously by the power of God. While at church one day, he went to the front and announced that he was going to have heart bypass surgery and seemed very distraught about it. He asked that the church pray for him. A couple of days later God spoke to me about this man and told me that he did not need surgery because God was going to heal him. I knew that God had spoken to me and I couldn't wait to see my friend in church. The next time I did see him, I told him that God had spoken to me and that he would not need surgery. I was so excited and expected him to be excited too. Instead, he patted me on the back and said sarcastically, "You're young". I was so upset and my anger took over. I left and thought he would probably die since he didn't listen to me! Well, God did not tell me he would die if he refused to accept what I had to say and I did not prophesy or say that God had told me he would die. But in this example, I see how a young prophet could let his emotions get the best of him and speak presumptuously and miss the mark. All prophets have to learn to control their emotions. When the doctors opened up my friend's chest they saw the miracle. My friend's heart had grown its own bypasses around the blocked arteries. The doctors sewed him up without having to perform the bypass surgery. I understand now why he did not receive me and the word I had for him. My gift was not yet proven and it is harder for a prophet to be accepted by the people he knows most intimately.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, we are not to take it lightly, even if the prophet is young. We are to take that word and test it by the word of God. If it proves out to be from the Lord we are to apply it to our lives.
1 Thes. 5:20
Despise not prophesyings.
There is no doubt that if my friend would have listened to the word I gave him he would have been saved from the pain and the trauma of having his chest opened. If we refuse the word of a prophet we will certainly miss out on God's best for us too.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
A Warning to Prophets
Prophets and especially the younger prophets need to be very careful to keep a balance in their lives. They must continually strive to keep a strong foundation of the word under them. Because of the tremendous zeal that most prophets have, it is very easy for them to get so spiritual that they miss God. The prophet should encourage people to judge the words he speaks. Some prophets can get pretty flaky and do some really strange things. I read once about a man who would eat grasshoppers to confirm that he was a prophet. These kind of actions can only serve to cause people to reject the ministry of the prophet.
I have also heard well known prophets say that God will curse people if they oppose their ministries. When I hear someone say this, I question whether this person is thinking more highly of themselves than they should. Obviously, if a person does not listen to the word of God and apply it to their lives they will miss out on the blessings that the word promises. But if you disagree with what a minister says, God will not curse you. This type of theology borders more on witchcraft than true Christianity.
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