Many people have claimed to be prophets of God over the years, but how do we know they are TRUE prophets? We have to turn to the Bible to find the truth and test them to see if they live and speak according to the Word of God. The Bible is our guide in all things, and God will teach us through His Word and through His Holy Spirit, will reveal the truth to us.
Now most of us would probably accept a "prophet" with much skepticism and maybe reject them without even testing them according to the Bible. We do know from the Bible that God would send more prophets during the end times before Jesus returns from what it says in the book of Acts.
Acts 2:16-18 ...'But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.'
So we must not say that there will be no more true Bible prophets, because we can see in this verse that God would pour out His Spirit and men and women would prophesy during the last days. Which means that a prophet can be a man, woman, young or old. So let's look at the ways to identify a true prophet:
Numbers 12:6 ...'And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.' ... So God would speak to a prophet in a dream or vision.
Deuteronomy 18:22 ...'When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.' ... For a prophet to be a TRUE Bible prophet of God, the thing that they speak of MUST come to pass, otherwise their prophecy is not from God.
2 Peter 1:20-21 ...'Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.' ... A true prophet will only share what God has revealed to him, and will speak according to the Word, rather than giving his own view or interpretation. If the words of a "prophet" does not line up with scripture, then he is not a true Bible prophet.
1 Corinthians 14:3-4 ...'But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.' ... True Bible prophets NEVER seek to bring glory for themselves, but rather to build up and edify and comfort the true Church of God.
Isaiah 8:20 ...'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' ..... True prophets of God abide by His law, the Ten Commandments, and the testimony of previous Bible prophets and of Jesus. If they don't speak according to the Law of God and the testimony of Jesus, then they are not true prophets.
Matthew 7:15-20 ...'Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.' ... How do we know who is a false prophet? We can tell by their fruit. Look at how they are living, are they doing good works and showing the fruits of the Spirit? Or are they living worldly lives and bringing forth bad fruit? A true prophet has to live according to the Word of God in the Bible.
What if you see a "prophet" doing miracles and wonders? Does that verify someone as being a true Bible prophet? ... Matthew 24:24-25 ...'For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.' ... Satan still has powers to perform "miracles", so this CANNOT be used to verify a true prophet.
So God does have true prophets in the world who live according to His Word in the Bible, but there are also many false prophets too, which is why we need to test them ... 1 John 4:1-3 ...'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.' ... A true prophet will confess that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to this earth in the flesh, ie. He took on the human nature to redeem us from our sins.
How do we identify a true prophet? We use the Word of God in the Bible as seen above.
See THIS PAGE for an example of a true Bible prophet.