And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Peter 2:2
READ: 2 Peter2:1-3
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
False prophets don't talk about holiness. They don't encourage you to grow spiritually. They make no reference to your lifestyle at all, they couldn't care less whether you are even born again or not. They just start 'prophesying' about earthly things. That is not the way of the Lord.
God's priority is your soul. He said in Matthew 6:33 that you must seek first His righteousness and then all the earthly riches will follow. He says there is no profit in it at all if you gain the whole world and lose your soul (Matthew 16:26). He says He wishes above all things that you prosper, but that the prosperity must come even as your soul prospers (3 John 2). If you know yourself that you have not been living holy and someone comes to you prophesying, without mentioning the need for you to live a consecrated life, that is a false prophet. The first message God will send a real prophet to deliver is that of holiness because that is His priority. Some false prophets even discourage their victims from growing spiritually by telling them that they don't need to fast and pray; alI they need to do, is just give them some money and they will do the praying on their behalf. You should know that such a fellow cannot be from God. God who says you should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16) cannot now tell you to hand over the responsibility of praying to a 'contractor'.
“I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah." Jeremiah 23:14
Check the prophet's lifestyle. Does he live a life of holiness? Does he tell lies or encourage you to do so? Some prophets say they want to wash away some evils from the body of a woman. Imagine that- they want to rub their hands on the naked body of a woman!
Lastly, pride is another major fruit of false prophets. They ascribe so much glory to themselves as though they were God. A true prophet will always ascribe glory to God because he knows that God is his only source.
If the prophet is not living holy, he is a false prophet.