Deuteronomy 13:1, If there arise a prophet.
In the modern (especially Charismatic) church not only is the term “prophet” carelessly thrown about, but so is the term “false prophet,” which is often applied to any Christian who simply “misses” hearing the word of Elohim correctly, but isn’t guilty of leading Elohim’s people astray spiritually into heathenism. We need to fine tune our use of these words and learn how the Bible uses them and then do the same.
For years, I also had been using the term false prophet too broadly and generically (as many in the church do) to apply to those who either prophecy presumptuously out of the dictates of their own heart, or who hear a word from Elohim but incorrectly interpret it or misapply it (as was the case with Nathan the prophet who repented for telling David incorrectly that it was YHVH’s will for him to build the temple), as well as to those evil prophets who lead YHVH’s people away from the Truth of Elohim and into paganism.
The term “false prophet” is not to be found in the Tanakh (or Old Testament) at all, and is only occurs several times in the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) and is applied to patently evil, satanic individuals. Therefore, based on the biblical evidence, it is incorrect to apply this term to a godly individual who, for example, makes an accurate prophecy, but gets the dates wrong, or somehow misinterprets a prophetic message from YHVH.
Although the term “false prophet” isn’t found in the Tanakh, there are many warnings given against individuals who, through their false prophecies, lead YHVH’s people astray into idolatry or who don’t urge the people to repent and get back to YHVH’s straight paths of Torah-obedience, or who otherwise involved in ungodly activities (e.g. Deut 13:1–5; 18:20–22; Jer 23:9ff; 28:1ff; Ezek 13:2ff; Isa 28:7). The term “false prophet” doesn’t strictly apply to a godly person who isn’t leading YHVH’s people into apostasy.
Therefore, based on the biblical evidence, the godly person who “misses it,” so to speak, should be more correctly called a presumptuous prophet (Deut 18:22), or foolish prophet (Ezek 13:2) or a carnal prophet (i.e. who speak out of the flesh; Ezek 13:1). Based on scriptural evidence, I can see no justification for applying the derogatory term “a false prophet” to a Christian who simply misinterprets a prophetic word from Elohim, or who erroneously adds their own ideas to the prophetic word while assuming they are from heaven. One should be wary of such a “prophet,” and, if possible, teach him or her how to hear and interpret a prophetic word correctly from Elohim, but the church should not reject them as a false prophet. For this reason and for the purpose of accountability, Paul instructed the saints in Jerusalem (and us) to judge the prophets who prophesy in the local congregation (1 Cor 14:29) to insure that what they are saying is indeed from Elohim and lines up with his Written Word.
Deuteronomy 13:1–6, A prophet or a dreamer … a sign or a wonder. A prophet may claim to receive his or her vision or “word from YHVH” while they are awake in a vision or in a dream while asleep (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 1007). According to Rashi (the Jewish Torah commentator), a sign is a supernatural event in heaven while a wonder is a miraculous event on earth. There are those among the people of YHVH who, as Adam Clarke states in his commentary on this verse, “pretend to have a divine influence, so as to be able perfectly to direct others in the way of salvation” or shows some “miraculous proof of his mission … or some type of representation of what he wishes to bring you over to” (vol. 1, p. 774). Yeshua warned about false prophets in the latter days who would deceive many (Matt 24:11) and false messiahs who might even deceive the “very elect” (verse 24). Paul talks about a “man of sin” that would arise showing signs and lying wonders such that some would fall from the truth of the salvation message of the gospel (2 Thess 2:1–12). Paul warns, “do not be soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word … let no man deceive you by any means (verses 2–3). He then (in verses 15–17) encourages the brethren to stand fast in the simple truths of the gospel of Yeshua:Continue reading