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Deuteronomy 18:21-22 (NLT)

21 “But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ 22 If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.

Thus, the test of an Old Testament prophet was whether or not they prophesied correctly. However, I heard last weekend that modern-day prophecies are not always correct, much like when Galadriel (from Lord of the Rings) says (roughly) "Remember that the Mirror shows many things that have not come to pass, and may still not.". Given that prophesying still happens today (Acts 2:16-18, 1 Corinthians 14), I ask: does this Old-Testament test of correctness still apply today?

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The Cessationist argument may or may not apply here. – Affable Geek Mar 29 '12 at 15:07
@AffableGeek: along with every other argument. – Wikis Mar 29 '12 at 15:11
We got a "new deal" with Jesus didn't we? We just pick and choose from the Old Testament when we're comfortable. – user1054 Mar 29 '12 at 16:38
The mathematician/logician in me screams out that this only offers an opinion is the negative outcome scenario; it explicitly does not suggest anything about the positive outcome scenario – Marc Gravell Mar 29 '12 at 22:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Whether or not prophesying (or, at least future-telling prophesying) still happens today is up for debate (see What is the basis for Cessationism). However, if it does still happen today, then most Christians would agree that the Prophet's Test you mentioned is still very important.

Prophecy is only defined as such when it is a revelation from God. And since it is impossible for God to lie, any so-called prophecy that proves false must not have been from God. The principle of the passage still applies: if a prophet speaks presumptuously, asserting God's authority when God's authority was not actually given, that "prophet's" credibility is shot - he cannot be trusted.

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Well, people make mistakes. I wouldn't say that they are by definition a false prophet but rather that, in this case, they erred. I wouldn't judge their motives. However, if they consistently got it wrong, then I would say they cannot be trusted, same as I would if they prophesied something that was not for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. – Wikis Mar 29 '12 at 15:20
@Wikis, Right, it's one thing to make a mistake, and making a mistake does not make someone a false prophet. For example - Harold Camping is not a false prophet, because he taught from his own interpretation of the Bible, and did not claim God's authority. He just made a (huge and damaging) mistake. But by definition a prophet asserts to be relaying God's message. And it is an entirely different thing to assert God's authority, saying "God told me X". If X turns out to be untrue, then it is evident that the person was lying, or delusional. Either way, they are useless for credible prophecy. – Eric Mar 29 '12 at 15:50

God no longer uses prophets to reveal his will. The Bible is the only valid revelation today for how we ought to live. Prophets were God's chosen mediators between God and man. With the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost along withe scriptures human prophets are no longer necessary or valid.

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What about Ephesians 4:11? – Andrew Mar 30 '12 at 20:58

First of all, Romans 8:16 should let you believe that there is God, and His spirit can contact anyone, even you. There is a level of prayer where the spirit takes over your prayer, taking you closer to God. Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Now, from 1Cor 14:1-3 where someone has to prophesy to you, it must give you comfort and improve your mind and character.

Another thing is that the prophecy may cause you the listener to react. 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 "But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth."

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Welcome to Christianity.SE! Unfortunately, this doesn't answer the question. I asked specifically about whether the test of "Did the prophet get it right?" still applies today. – El'endia Starman Mar 29 '12 at 23:22

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