The test of a prophet is not that what they say comes true, but that after gaining a following they lead people into the truth of God. Staying true to the Bible is the real test of a prophet. Most false prophets won’t try to deceive others with an obvious lie about an essential truth. They usually start by slightly altering peripheral beliefs so eventually those peripheral beliefs contradict an essential truth. Most Christians share a peripheral belief about their immortal soul, believing it to be a consciousness that always stays alert and goes to heaven when their mortal bodies die. They believe humans stay conscious as disembodied spirits and don’t need to be resurrected by God to have life. Pacified by this belief they don’t seek to prove it as the Bereans might have. To be conscious is to be alive. Upon physical death, people become unconscious and are dead. Rather than harmless, the immortal soul belief denies Jesus is our saviour. Jesus died for our sins, proving he was our messiah. Jesus was dead in the grave for three days, then God brought him back to life. Dying as a fully mortal human man, those three days were the first time Jesus had ever lost consciousness. It was also the first time he was separated from his father. Had Jesus been a conscience, disembodied spirit, then he would not have needed to be resurrected back to life as he would have remained conscious. He would not have died or paid the death penalty for our sins, and the Christian faith would be in vain. Do you believe Jesus died for our sins? Did Jesus bring himself back from the dead? Do any of your peripheral beliefs contradict your essential ones?

1 John 4:2-3 International Children’s Bible
2 This is how you can know God’s Spirit: One spirit says, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ who came to earth and became a man.” That Spirit is from God. 3 Another spirit refuses to say this about Jesus. That spirit is not from God but is the spirit of the Enemy of Christ. You have heard that the Enemy of Christ is coming. And now he is already in the world.

1 John 3:16 Contemporary English Version
16 We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other.

1 Corinthians 15:12-18 New Life Version
12 We preached to you that Christ has been raised from the dead. But some of you say that people are not raised from the dead. Why do you say this? 13 If the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised from the dead. 14 If Christ was not raised from the dead, then what we preach to you is worth nothing. Your faith in Christ is worth nothing. 15 That makes us all liars because we said that God raised Christ from the dead. But God did not raise Christ from the dead if the dead do not come to life again. 16 If the dead are not raised, then not even Christ was raised from the dead. 17 If Christ was not raised from the dead, your faith is worth nothing and you are still living in your sins. 18 Then the Christians who have already died are lost in sin.

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