4/4 Deuteronomy 18:20

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.'

God raised up men and women that spoke as prophets. It was an office that existed until the coming of Jesus (Luke 16:16). These men were to be heeded as the very voice of God. Earlier in today's passage it tells of the great prophet that was coming, one like Moses. Today we know that was Jesus. The New Testament refers to prophets as well, but they do not have the same authority as those before the time of Christ. Today we weigh the words of someone that is speaking for God by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit within us (1Corinthians 14:29).

Some within the church would like to claim the office of prophet as in the Old Testament. If that is the case then they should expect others to apply the severity of this verse as well. The prophet whose words did not come to pass was put to death.

I have heard many that claimed to hold the office of prophet speak things that were contrary to the Word of God. Their predictions did not come to pass, but no one seems to hold them accountable. Mark carefully the specific words of a person that claims to be a prophet to see if their words come to pass or not. (See Deuteronomy 18:22.) The people today with a prophetic gift rarely if ever call themselves prophets. They humbly share what the Spirit of the Lord is speaking to them and that word bears good fruit. If the listener is a believer, then they too have the Holy Spirit and can discern if the word that was given is of God or not.

Caution: It was a very serious thing in the Old Testament to speak for God. It is a very serious thing today as well. Be sure to check that what you speak or receive lines up with the Word of God.