TRUE AND FALSE PROPHETS:                                                       


Distinguishing between false and the true prophets was very difficult, though several tests of authenticity emerge in the OT.

                                                              The true prophet must be loyal to the biblical faith directing one to worship Yahweh alone [Deut. 13:1-3]. A second test required that the words of a true prophet be fulfilled [Deut. 18:22; Jer. 42:1-6; Ezek. 33:30-33].  We must remember that this is a difficult test to apply. There were often long lapses between predictions and fulfillment [Mic. 3:12; Jer. 26:16-19]. Some predictions seemed very unlikely, and others were conditional---based upon the hearer's response [Jon. 3:4-5].

Furthermore, prophets could behave inappropriately [ Jer. 15:19-21; 38:24-27]. Prophets appeared ambivalent [uncertainty as to which approach to follow] at times when simply delivering the word of God as it was given [2 Kings 20:1-6].

Also one could predict correctly while not being loyal to Yahweh [Deut. 13:1-3]. Accurate prediction was not a final test. Other tests included agreement with previous prophets' words [Jer. 28:8], good character [Mic. 3:11], and a willingness to suffer because of faithfulness [1 Kings 22:27-28; Jer. 38:3-13]. 

The interpreter must remember the limited perspective of the prophet. The prophets were not all knowing but all telling-that is, they told what God had told them to tell. 

NOTE: Old Testament expressions may have a divine significance, unforeseen by the OT author, which comes to light only after God's later word or deed. [Typology] Sometimes the NT explicitly refers to its method of interpreting the OT as "type",  or  "typically". 

Prophets intended to evoke faith by proclamation, not merely to predict the future. Thus reading the prophets with a lustful curiosity is inappropriate. Our primary desire must be to know God, not just the facts of the future....

The ministries of prophetesses varied greatly. NT The word prophets means "to speak before" or "to speak for" thus it refers to one who speaks for God or Christ. 

Not all predictions were fulfilled literally [Matt. 11:13-15].       

 Kings, Priests, Prophets, are all chosen by God, for various purposes.
Note: Many are called few are chosen. Elect--- One chosen or set apart for a definite purpose.

Isaiah 30:10:

Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; and to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions"....They forbade the prophets to speak to them in God's name. They did in effect say to the seers, see not. the prophets told them of their faults, and warned them of their danger by reason of sin, and they could not bear that.

The opposition which this people gave to God's prophets. They said to those that prophesy, Prophesy ye not. Do not trouble us with accounts of what you have seen, nor bring us any such frightful messages. They must either not prophesy at all or prophesy only what is pleasing. Let not those prophesy that tells us of our faults, and threaten us, but let those prophesy that will flatter us in our sins.

Persecuting God's prophets suppressing and silencing them, is a sin that provokes God. For His sending prophets to us is a sure token of His goodwill...More to come