“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds”—Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV).
Before the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land, Moses gave them a review of God’s laws that they were to obey. In the second giving of the Law, known in Greek as Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, verse 15, God told Moses that He would raise up another prophet like him. God would put His word in that Prophet’s mouth, and whoever would not heed those words will be held accountable (verses 18-19).
The people needed to know when that Prophet came on the scene, so they could obey Him. Since false prophets abound, how would they know the true Prophet? God gave them a test. 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; you shall not be afraid of him.” A false prophet is known by his or her false prophecies. How many false prophecies does a prophet have to make before being labeled a false prophet? Just one.
Christ warned us against false prophets in the last days. He said in Mathew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” They are deceivers. Again, he said in Mathew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (KJV).
False prophets, false prophecies, and their organizations abound in our society. Remember the test: If a prophecy does not come to pass, that person is a false prophet. I personally possess a book printed in 1914 that stated the that world as we know it would come to an end on October 31, 1914. The author was Charles Taze Russell of the International Bible Students Association. Today that organization is called the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, otherwise known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although World War I broke out in 1914, the world did not come to an end. Not to be phased by his false prophecy, Russel “recalculated” to 1915, then 1917, the year in which he died. His followers then chose the dates 1918, 1925, and then as recently as 1975. Russell did not pass the true-prophet test. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an organization founded by a false prophet. God said not to fear such a prophet.
Likewise, Joseph Smith made several false prophecies in his lifetime. Many leaders over the past few centuries have made many predictions that have not and cannot come to pass. Anyone claiming to be a prophet today must take painstaking care that they not be found to be false prophets. Listen carefully to what they say. If their prophecy does not come to pass, do not listen to them. Would you want to be guilty of following a false prophet? Not all churches teach the same thing, and not all prophets preach the same message.
God made Himself known by special revelation through the prophets. His fullest and final revelation came through Jesus Christ who is, “the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3 NIV). For “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9 KJV). From the biblical point of view, no prophet is superior to Christ. If you want to know God, then get to know Jesus Christ. He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 NKJV).
God put his words in Jesus’s mouth. Jesus said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do” (John 5:19). Further he said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. (John 12:49 NKJV) He is the Prophet that we should heed.
Jesus said, “Repent…and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15 KJV). If you do not heed what Jesus says about salvation, you will be lost forever. You will be held accountable.