False prophet of just false prophecy? – Mark 13:22

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect (Mark 13:22).

The Christian world today is flooded with people getting supposed new revelation from God. Yet, they readily admit that modern prophecy can be in error. For example, here how John Piper describes modern revelation:

It is a Spirit-prompted, Spirit-sustained, utterance that is rooted in a true revelation, but is fallible because the prophet’s perception of the revelation, and thinking about the revelation, and report of the revelation are all fallible (John Piper, The New Testament Gift of Prophecy).

Now, I have a great deal of respect for Dr.  Piper which is why I picked a quote from him. We know from Scripture that false prophets will arise in the church today to lead people astray. So, how are we supposed to recognize them if it is not by seeing that their prophecy is false? In the Old Testament, the test for a false prophet was pretty cut and dried:

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or 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 (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

Why in the New Testament age, when we have both the Scriptures and the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit has it begun so difficult to determine who is and who is not a false prophet?

This topic deserves some more posts in the future, but I have work to do today. In the meantime, be in the Lord’s house this Sunday studying God’s word and worshiping him with other believers.


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