Presuming to speak on God’s behalf 

Old Testament: Deu 18.20

To read the Bible in a year, read Deuteronomy 17–19 on March 12, In the year of our Lord Christ 2023

By Don Ruhl 

We have Scripture and by it we can know what God says, but if someone claims that God has spoken to them an additional message, a message that adds to the Bible, when in fact he has not, they are speaking presumptuously and will suffer the consequences: 

“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”

– Deuteronomy 18.20 

Under the Law of Moses, a false prophet, one who presumed to speak on God’s behalf when God has not told that person to speak for him, was to suffer death. 

The New Testament does not authorize us to take the lives of false prophets, but let that not give any false prophet relief, for he will have to face God himself at the Judgment. Then what will happen to that prophet? It will be something worse than dying in the body. 


  • What happened if a prophet presumed to speak in the name of an idol? 
  • How can we know whether a prophet speaks for God or not? 

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Don preaches with the Savage Street Church of Christ in Grants Pass, Oregon. 

Listen to his sermons here:

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