And 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.”
A young woman was soaking up the sun’s rays on the beach when a little boy came up to her and asked, “Do you believe in God?” She was surprised by the question but replied, “Why, yes, I do.” “Do you go to church every Sunday’” he inquired. Again, her answer was “Yes!” Then he asked, “Do you read your Bible and pray every day?” Again she said, “Yes!” At last the boy sighed and said, with obvious relief, “Will you hold my quarter while I go in swimming?”
There is an expectation that those who claim to be religious will also be honest, but, sadly, that isn’t always the case, God warned the Israelites that there would arise those who claimed to be prophets— spokesmen for God—yet the messages they delivered would be false. The people would know this because the things they prophesied would not take place. False prophecy was so serious that under Old Testament law a person who prophesied falsely was to be put to death (Deut. 13:5, 18:20).
Under the dispensation of grace, we no longer stone false prophets, but we are still responsible for discerning them. The apostle John said, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Those who are true spokesmen for God will appreciate such testing. The apostle Paul called the Bereans “fairminded” because they “searched Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Never make assumptions; let God’s Word be your standard of truth. If someone tells you something that doesn’t agree with the Bible, you can be sure it’s a lie. God is true; His Word is true; those who disagree are not true. It’s just that simple.
GOD’S LIGHT PUTS LIES TO FLIGHT