Tag Archives: False prophet

False Prophets

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)

Before going into Babylonian captivity, false prophets arose in Judah proclaiming that Judah would have peace and not fall prey to the Babylonian Empire. At the same time, the prophet Jeremiah preached a much different message warning of coming invasion if the people did not repent from their idolatry. The people refused to listen to Jeremiah and instead treated him harshly for his message of impending doom. “Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD” (Jeremiah 20:1-2).

Jeremiah preached a message that was distasteful and unpopular, but it was the message God gave him to warn the people of Judah, and it was the truth. Jeremiah disliked giving the message. He said, “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness” (Jeremiah 23:9). God knew these false prophets well, and he would deal with them in due time. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you … I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied … I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.  (Jeremiah 23:16-17, 21, 25). Not long after, Jeremiah was proven right and the others paid with their lives.

We have false prophets today. This should not come as a surprise. Jesus warned us to look out for them. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11).  Mark records Jesus’ words this way, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22, emphasis mine). Long before Jesus took on human flesh, Moses warned about false prophets. “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, … Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

It becomes apparent that false prophets can actually make accurate predictions so that they can “seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22). I point this out because recently modern-day “prophets” have arisen making astonishing claims, and their claims have come to pass. All of these come from a Pentecostal background that supports the notion that the gift of prophecy given to some believers includes not only “forth-telling” – expounding Scripture – but “foretelling” future events as revealed to them directly from God. You hear them say things like, “God spoke to me and showed thus and so…” The revealed message is always something extra-biblical, but they will include Scripture to help validate the new revelation.

One such prophet was the late Kim Clement. You can still find his videos on YouTube. Clement dramatically and accurately prophesied the election of Donald J. Trump. There are others that have followed in his footsteps who predict that Donald J. Trump will win a second term. In many ways, I hope they are right because I do not like the alternative, but on the other hand, I hope they are wrong and that God will expose them as the false prophets that they are.

There exist among us other false prophets that do not presume to foretell future events. Rather, their forth-telling distorts Scripture making it say things that God never intended. Sadly, we have those in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) that are promoting Socialism – the redistribution of wealth – and promoting the “woke” church.[1]

Other false prophets have been around for a while now. These preach “another gospel” than the one delivered to us by the Apostles.[2] These include the LDS church (the Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and others. These have either added to Scripture, reinterpreted Scripture, or in some form or fashion distorted Scripture.

The true modern-day prophet is the one that says “Thus saith the Lord” by “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), not the one that says “God spoke to me …” Do not listen to the latter, even if his/her predictions do come true. Consider this. Satan is no dummy. He is crafty and cunning, and he knows the Scriptures. He can analyze current events and predict what “might” happen much better than we can. However, he is only making his best guess. Only God knows the future. We need to be careful to whom we listen, even if they get a prediction right every now and then or demonstrate some kind of “sign.” If they are not coming strictly from Scripture reject their message.

Notes:


[1]  Article and video at https://protestia.com/2020/11/27/movie-launch-documentary-of-the-scandalous-first-baptist-church-naples-story-is-out/

[2]  Galatians 1:6-9

4 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Religion, Satan, Theology

Beware of False Prophets

Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.   (Matthew 7:15)

This verse begins with the imperative verb “beware” – the Greek prosecho meaning to pay attention to or be cautious about.  This is not just good advice; it is a command from our Lord.  There are false prophets in abundance all around us.  They come to us sheep, dressed up in sheep’s clothing; that is, they infiltrate Christian gatherings disguised as Christians.  Often they fill great pulpits and attract large crowds.  Jesus warns that they are “ravening wolves.”  The Greek word translated “ravening” is hárpages meaning “rapacious,” i.e., given to seizing for plunder or the satisfaction of greed, and inordinately greedy; predatory; extortionate.  These are out to exploit the flock for their personal gain.  Their strategy is simple: tell the sheep what they want to hear.  “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2 Timothy 4:3).

So how are we to recognize these wolves in sheep’s clothing?  After all, on the surface, they appear harmless.  Jesus provided the answer.  “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16a).  Therefore, we are called to be fruit inspectors.  “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (v. 16b).  The concept is simple: “every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit” (v. 17).  The challenge is in discerning the good fruit from the bad fruit.  What standard is to be used?  The Berean church had the right idea.  “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).  John tells us to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The Greek word translated “try” is dokimazō, and it means “to test (literally or figuratively); by implication to approve: – allow, discern, examine, (ap-) prove, try.”

Always measure the words of the prophet against the Word of God. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).  The Greek word translated as “study” is spoudazō  and it means “to use speed, that is, to make effort, be prompt or earnest: – do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study.”  “Rightly dividing” is the Greek word orthotomeō, which means “to make a straight cut, that is, (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message): – rightly divide.” So when we make an earnest effort and give diligence to correctly dissecting the Word of God (Truth), we should be able to spot the false prophet because his words will not match up with God’s Word. In this way, we can tell the good fruit from the bad, and never fall prey to the false prophets.

On a somewhat different note, but still very much related: some think that making such judgments is somehow “un-Christian,” and any kind of judging should be avoided. They come to this conclusion because earlier, in this same chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). Obviously, from what Jesus said afterward, He did not mean for us to put our discernment on the shelf. We need to exercise discernment and to make judgments in order to identify the false prophets disguised in sheep’s clothing. What we are not to do is pass “holier-than-thou” judgments on our brothers and sisters in Christ except to help them out of some error or sin into which they have fallen. For that a close self-examination is required before proceeding. As for the wolves, beware, be vigilant, and learn to recognize their false message.

5 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Dogs, End Times, Gospel, Religion