How Can We Tell If Someone Is A False Prophet
God offers instruction on how His people can determine true from false prophets. In Deuteronomy 18:22, He explains, If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us to beware false prophets, who appear gentle but are not.
They come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them .
The bottom line is that false prophets bring a message that is not from God. Their message contradicts what God instructs, often appealing to our earthly cravings or passions. And ultimately, they produce bad fruit.
Trust instead in Jesus and the Word of God as given to us all in the Bible.
The Difference Between A Prophet And A False Prophet
While a prophet is one who receives and then offers the Word of God, a false prophet is one who receives a word by other means, such as divination, fortune-telling, or sorcery, whether a word from their own minds or from other, false gods. These corrupt, dishonest messages are not of God and therefore cannot be trusted.
Sometimes, people posed as true prophets to mislead, such as in Nehemiah 6:10-15, when a false prophet attempted to convince Nehemiah to hide in the temple, but Nehemiah realized it was a trap. Other times, false prophets offered signs and wonders as a way to entice people to follow other gods instead of the Lord .
False Teaching Sometimes Stems From A Desire For Material Gain
This tendency is very apparent in the modern world, where faith-healing televangelists and prosperity preachers prey upon the underprivileged to finance their extravagant lifestyles, but the same kind of greed motivated false prophecy and teaching in the early church . As Paul defended his apostleship from this charge, We are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ . The same type of charge appears in the Pastoral Epistles: From these come . . . constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain. . . . For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs .
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False Teachers Will Arise
If you cannot identify any voices you hear as false, its not because you arent being exposed, but because youre falling for it in some way.
We begin by acknowledging not just the possibility of false teaching, but the certainty of it. We should not be surprised to find false teaching in the church today. Jesus and his apostles are very clear that false teachers will arise. They promise it. As Jesus says,
False christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard I have told you all things beforehand.
Likewise, Paul warns the Ephesian elders and his protégé Timothy that false teaching is sure to come . If we had any doubts at this point, Peter joins the refrain to add another voice: There will be false teachers among you .
So, we should not be caught off guard that false teachers have arisen throughout church history and likely have multiplied in our day.
False Teachers Are Pre
In John 10:11-13, Christ said that when the wolf comes the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep, but the hireling just runs away. Many false teachers focus exclusively on making money. Peter compared them to the false prophet Balaam. In 2 Peter 2:15, he said, By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. They minister in order to receive pay.
However, Paul declared that he I have desired no ones silver or gold or clothing . He also at times refused support from churches so they could not accuse him of greed . Sadly, many ministers and ministries promote themselves with the primary goal of making money.
Be careful of ministries and teachers that focus on money. Should pastors get paid? Yes. Should church members be cheerful givers? Yes. However, ministries should not focus on moneythey should focus on God and serving others. Be careful of ministries and teachers who are pre-occupied with money.
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Immortality Why We Did Not Inherit It From Adam Edward Ohara
Was Adam immortal when God made him? Was his body different from what ours is now? What does the Bible say about this? I ask this question because there is so much false teaching regarding this issue. And this issue is very important because it speaks to the very heart of what it means to be human. Are we as Adam was when he was made? Or is our flesh different from his when God made him? This is a very important issue because Heb.2:14 says that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have. But, if Adam was mortal then how is it that he could live forever? Isnt that what being immortal means? We will begin by reading from the Genesis account first to see what, if anything, is there regarding this issue.
In Gen.1:26 we see God telling the story about man being created in His image and likeness. We then see God defining in plain language at least some of what this image and likeness is by saying He gave him dominion over the earth and what is in it. God has dominion over all things. So being made in His image we are told is that Adam was also given dominion. So this is part of what it means that Adam was made in Gods image and likeness. Can we find something else here that defines further what it means to be made in Gods image and likeness? I believe we can.
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What Does The Bible Say About Being Led Astray By False Hope
Answer: Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
What Does 2 John Have To Teach Us About Partnering With False Teachers
Is it possible for us to undermine the gospel we preach through our ministry associations? This last question seems to be a recurring one in American evangelicalism.
Its quite common for ostensibly evangelical pastors, teachers, and authors to share ministry platforms with those who preach a gospel other than that which was once for all delivered to the saints .
Many evangelicals find this pattern of association to be dangerous, damaging, and confusing. They argue that its not only unwise to share public ministry platforms with false teachers, but that it is in fact sin. Are these critics correct, or are they overreacting? Thankfully, we dont have to try and use our own wisdom to try and untie this knot. Scripture speaks plainly and clearly on the matter.
Second John is a short letter, and its not at all complicated. The children of God must strive to live out the perfect harmony of love, truth, and obedience as they follow Jesus. Those who love God and one another will walk in the truth .
It seems that John set out to write to the elect lady because some teachers had come along trying to lead the church into a brand of Christianity that only required obedience and love, but not truth. Specifically, it seems like these teachers were lying about Jesus . This leads John to warn his beloved children that their souls are in danger .
Lets take them one at a time.
John couldnt be clearer: Deceivers are real.
And the list could go on.
False Teachers Are Identified By Their Apostasy From The Faith
and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth
1 Timothy 6:5
When Paul uses the two descriptors corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth, he seems to be identifying their total apostasy from the faith. These false teachers are not truly born again and therefore they are led into false teaching.
In describing an unbelievers mind, Paul says:
because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so.
The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14
The natural mind is at enmity with Gods law it cannot truly understand it or accept it. However, true believers have been given the mind of Christ . They have an anointing so they can understand what Gods Word teaches . Christ said his sheep hear his voice, and they will not follow the voice of another . True believers will not be led into damning teaching, and if they are, God will bring them back. However, false teachers dont have the ability to discern biblical truth. They have depraved minds and have been deprived of the truth.
This doesnt mean that they were ever truly saved. It means that they were thoroughly exposed to it and then eventually rejected it. They are like the people in Hebrews 6:4-6:
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Thirdly The Deception Of False Prophets
- When an enemy appears to be a friend its easy to be deceived and ultimately destroyed.
2nd Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works.
- A false prophet will transform himself to look like a true prophet.
- If false prophets are so deceptive, how can we identify them?
- They will ignore doctrine of the Bible or twist scripture in the way they want.
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The Context Of Our Text
In the first chapter of his epistle, Peter summarizes the all-sufficient work of our sovereign God in making provision for our salvation and sanctification . Included in these provisions are the precious and magnificent promises of Scripture which make it possible to become partakers of the divine nature. Peter urges us in verses 5-7 to make use of these divine provisions and to pursue the character qualities of the divine nature. Verses 8-11 spell out the fruits of the pursuit of holiness in terms of what we avoid as well as what we gain.
As in his first epistle , Peter calls our attention to the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets which find their fulfillment in the Christ of the Gospels. These prophecies are sure when interpreted correctly. But just as God raised up prophets, false prophets also arose as we see throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter assures us that we likewise should look for false teachers to arise as they have done throughout history. In chapters 2 and 3, Peter describes these false teachers and their teaching so that we may avoid them and the errors they promote.
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Are There Any In The New Testament
False prophets were not only a problem in the Old Testament they also plagued the apostles in the New Testament. For example, the Book of Acts describes an occasion when Barnabas and Paul encountered a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet when the apostles were offering the word of God to the proconsul of Paphos. When the sorcerer tried to oppose their teaching, a Holy Spirit-filled Paul verbally lashed out at the man, causing him to go blind. Amazed, the proconsul believed.
The Apostle Peter warned about false teachers, much like false prophets, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies .
These evildoers will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done .
What Does The Bible Say About Being Led Astray By False Friends
Answer: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
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False Teachers Pass Over The Law And The Gospel For Other Things
False teachers easily pass over the great and weighty things both of law and gospel, and stand most upon those things that are of the least moment and concernment to the souls of men. ‘Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned from which some have swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling, desiring to be teachers of the law, and understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm’ . ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone’ . False teachers are nice in the lesser things of the law, and as negligent in the greater. ‘If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself’ . If such teachers are not hypocrites in grain, I know nothing, Romans 2:22. The earth groans to bear them, and hell is fitted for them, Matt. 24:32.
How To Recognize False Teachers
3. Isaiah 8:20 Look to Gods instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.
4. Malachi 3:18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
5. Matthew 7:15-17 Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
6. 1 John 2:22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ.Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.
7. Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. Now those who belong to the Messiah Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also be guided. Lets stop being arrogant, provoking one another and envying one another.
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False Prophets Wolves In Sheeps Clothing
They might look like a Christian and do good deeds, but even Satan disguises himself.
23. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.
24. 2 Timothy 3:5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
25. John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your fathers desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.