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If you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?” 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. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

I don’t think it a bit unreasonable to ask the question posed here — “How can we be sure someone who speaks in God’s Name is actually speaking the truth?” Let’s face it: there are a lot of voices out there declaring things in the Name of the LORD and, unfortunately, they aren’t always saying the same thing. Thus the question: “How can we know if this is the word the LORD has spoken or not?” The text says, if what is spoken doesn’t come to pass, then we will know that the word was not from the LORD.

Obviously, if someone said, “Thus and such will happen next Tuesday and it doesn’t happen” then we can discount that person as a prophet. But what about those situations where we have to wait — and wait, and wait. For example, we’re still waiting for some of what the prophets of old have spoken to come to pass. We are confident that everything a true prophet speaks will come to pass – even if it takes thousands of years, and so, how do we know the words of these men were from the LORD? Because they did not speak a word “presumptuously,” which is to say, arrogantly and with no regard for what God has already declared.

The prophets of old never spoke in this manner and — this is extremely important — never contradicted the Word of God. In fact, the true test of a prophet is not whether they can predict the future, but whether the substance of what they say agrees with the Torah. This is one of the reasons we can know for certain that Messiah was “the prophet like unto Moses” — He always spoke and worked in concert with the writings of Moses. And why wouldn’t He? As He said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me” (John 5:46). Therefore, we can know who the true prophets of God are — they will always speak in harmony with all of Scripture and never be so arrogant as to draw attention to themself. A true prophet will always point the people back to the One Moses and all the prophets spoke of — the resurrected Messiah.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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