Exactly what level of credibility are the old T people supposed to give prophets

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Puritan Board Freshman
20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name, a word which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How will we recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him."

The above is the lords commands that pertain to people claiming to speak in his name and do not and how to determine who is who.

My question is what level of trust were the people supposed to give to alleged prophets.

The duet 18 laws entail its possible to be in a situation where you don't know if a prophet is fake at the time you hear his words so you need to wait and see if there true .

The prophet Jeremiah mentions the logical corollary to the above "9 As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, then that prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent.”"

We have examples of prophets who are canonically people who lied in God's name, Hannaiah (jer 28), the old prophet of bethel (1 kings 13), unnamed multitudes om jer 27.
We also have good guys like the aforementioned Jeremiah as well as Micaiah the prophet who invoked the rule on himself "28But Micaiah replied, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Take heed, all you people!”"

It seems we have a tension

God is infallible, so if he acts to inform you of X he cannot fail.

It seems that the purpose of a prophet generally is to inform people of what God is saying at the time the prophet mentions it.

So it would seem that you say "God says I the lord command you to invest in Mcdonald's for it will make you rich" then I should know for certain your right.

But but we have seen that sometimes you have to wait and see, so we don't know if for certain your right

This merits a question:
If a false prophet comes to me and claims the lord says a warning prophecy "I the lord say do x or else" then it seems I cannot be agnostic about its credibility.

Presumably God's alleged purpose in sending a prophet to warn me was to warn me
However God is infallible so if he intends to warn me he must succeed

This is because if he meant to make me know, and I didn't know then God failed to do as he intended.

We could get around this by saying God wanted to tell you the words first, then learn they were true later.

This is very obviously not how prophecy works most of the time.

"God says do X or else" warning prophecies have a dilemma

If they are understood then the audience knows for certain they are from God

If they are not understood God did not intend them to be understood and thus God didn't actually warn the audience.

Either God successfully communicated or he didn't.

If God successfully communicated the Josiah had to know it was from God if he did not know it was from God then God desired not to communicate his message to Josiah and thus failed to warn him

It seems like its impossible to be in a situation where you can wait and see if a prophet if fake if the prophecy is meant to motivate current action.

The stereotypical lying prophet wants to motivate actions in the current moment.

Therefore a seeming contradiction exists
There are canonical examples of bad prophets giving false prophecies that mention in there content they are from God in the bible but your are capable of being agnostic/wrong about whether they are credible

" 32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and reported them and led My people astray by their lies and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them nor command them, nor do they provide this people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord."

It is very hard to follow your reasoning. I think you make a mistake here by assuming a prophet working in total isolation, when the prophecy is an important one. A prophet would first of all approve of and faithfully expound previous revelations, which were accepted, and moreover be a holy man. These facts alone would prove a lot to the faithful church in Israel to consider him seriously and therefore to follow him. Add to that the evidence that accompanies the preached Word of the prophet (just as there is an evidence that accompanies the written Word), by means of it being inspired, which is the sole reason why we close with it by divine faith, and the wholesome foundation stands very firm.

Sometimes prophecies are way in the future. Look at Isaiah, when the kings of the north are about to come and destroy Judah, where we get the prophecy of the virgin birth. Basically he says, the virgin birth is a sign that Judah doesn't have to fear. How does that work? Purely by faith. Know that Messiah is going to come from Judah, therefore I will preserve you as long as that. So here the faith in the promise is the thing that God thought enough to comfort his church with. But again, this promise does not work and come about in total isolation.
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All prophets appealed to kings/people based on Deuteronomy. It was not an abstract out of nowhere prophecy. You make a weird leap from that to prophets coming out of nowhere today approaching you.
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