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False Prophets

Speaking of the time just before the end of the age, (our time), Jesus said this:

Matthew 24:10-11

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (NIV84)

There are many false prophets in the world today, and they are leading many away from the faith that saves. They are everywhere and in every church--every single church!

2 Timothy 4:3-4

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (NIV84)

My brothers and sisters, those of you that truly wish to please the Lord, please consider what I am saying. If you follow along with the prevalent teaching of this day, you too may be led down the path to destruction. The people have pieced together a faithless self-serving gospel, which is no gospel at all. They do not obey the Spirit, and they ridicule those that do. They cry out to them, "You have fallen from grace. You are a legalist. It is by faith, not by works."

It is they that are guilty of what they accuse others of. It is they that have fallen from grace. It is they that use the Bible like it was a law book. It is they that are faithless. Those that love the Lord love to obey his word. They love to please him. They are devoted to him.

False prophets speak Lies concerning the Truth

There are some misconceptions concerning who is, and who is not, a false prophet. A prophet is one who speaks the words of God. He is not a person that speaks of what is yet to come, unless of course God chooses to reveal something of that nature through him.

A False Prophet Doesn't Know the Truth

A true prophet speaks the words of Truth by the Spirit of God, and a false prophet speaks lies concerning the Truth. A true prophet knows the One of whom he speaks, the false prophet does not know God.

There is something else that you should know concerning false prophets. They do not know that they are false prophets. They think that they know God, and that they are teaching the truth. They have been deceived.

Those that listen to false prophets don't know that they are listening to false prophets. They think that they are listening to people that know of what they speak. Please consider what I am saying.

I was watching the television the other day, and I was hopping from channel to channel, I happened upon an animated representation of the life of Christ. In the animation the Pharisees and the Sadducees had evil looking eyes and they had scrunched up, sad-looking faces, and they did not have the happy sounding voices of the disciples of Christ.

This is not what the enemies of truth look like. In the eyes of the world they look good. As Jesus said; they sit in the places of honor. The people of the world honor them, respect them, and basically believe that they are "good" people.

Matthew 7:15

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (NIV84)

On the outside they look good. They go to church, (are probably leaders in the church), they don't swear, they give money regularly to the church, they attend all church functions. False prophets look good, and they do not know that they are false prophets, nor do their followers think so either. They are exactly like the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the teachers of the law, during the time of Christ's earthly ministry.

If you listen to them they will lead you away from obedience, holiness and righteousness. They will lead you to your death, all quite unintentionally, but to death nonetheless.

So, how does a person keep themselves from being deceived by false prophets? John tells us how in this next passage.

1 John 2:26-27

I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit -- just as it has taught you, remain in him. (NIV84)

Do not be led astray

The way not to be led astray is to not listen to anyone but God. That's simple enough, don't you think? You, my brothers, and sisters, do not need anyone to teach you. If you have the Spirit then he will teach you about all things. If you do not see that the above passage does say exactly this, then please reread it. This is very important for you to see. This is what the Spirit is telling you.

Ephesians 4:11-13

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (NIV84)

Now the Spirit has given some to be teachers, so what is going on here? you might be wondering.

One Teacher: Christ Jesus

Matthew 23:10

Nor are you to be called "teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. (NIV84)

On the one hand we are commanded to listen only to the Spirit, and on the other we have teachers placed in the body by the Spirit. There is only One that you should believe, and that is our Teacher, Jesus Christ. Now this is very important. What the Scriptures are saying is that you must be looking at the Bible passages for confirmation. Only when you see what the Bible actually says do you believe, that is, you believe what the Lord reveals to you through the written Word, and what the Spirit reveals in prayer, (this too must agree with the written Word.)

Don't let anyone tell you anything about Truth. Such knowledge is called doctrine, and is of no value to you whatsoever. Even if what you are told is the truth. You must seek a personal revelation of the truth from the Scriptures.

A teacher in the New Testament age is not really a teacher; rather a guide. My function as a teacher in the church is to point out Scriptures to those that are seeking to understand. My opinion counts for nothing. What I say counts for nothing as well. Why should anyone care what Mark Heaney thinks concerning any spiritual matter? But, if the Spirit is actively using me to speak to you, then you should look at the Scriptures to see if they do in fact say what I have said. Do you understand what I am saying? I hope so; it's very important that you do.

False Prophets think that they are right

False prophets and those that listen to them think that they are following the Bible. False prophets always quote Bible passages to support what they are saying.

Luke 4:9-12

The devil led him (Jesus) to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

12 Jesus answered, "It says: "Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' (NIV84)

Satan used a Scripture passage to support his thought, but incorrectly, because elsewhere in Scripture it says not to test God. Now this concept is of critical importance. All Scripture is true, but the truth agrees with all Scripture. A matter is only true if it agrees with every passage in the Bible. A matter is only true if it is what the Spirit intended. You can't play the Bible lawyer with God.

Jesus responded to each of the three temptations by following the Spirit in the Word. Jesus obeyed the Spirit of the Bible. This is how we must respond to everything as well. When a false prophet says something, and quotes a Bible passage, we must follow the Spirit through the sum-total of Scripture and respond by obeying the Spirit of Truth.

Now for the Spirit to do this we must first have read the Scriptures. We must continually read the Scriptures in order for the Holy Spirit to have the raw materials to guide us.

John 14:15-17, 25-26

If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

25 "All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (NIV84)

Now, how can the Spirit 'remind' us unless we have read his Word? How can we respond to temptation like Jesus did, by obeying the Word, unless we have the Word inside us?

Simply reading the Bible is not the answer. This may surprise you, but it is true. Many people read the Scriptures endlessly, but do not know the Lord.

John 5:39-40

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (NIV84)

Those that Jesus rebuked, diligently studied the Scriptures, as do many deceived people of today. Reading the Scriptures is not enough. You must fellowship with the Scriptures. You must humbly be seeking to know and be like God. As you obey what you see in the Scriptures, God then opens their true meaning to you. The problem with most people that read the Bible is that they read the passages to support some doctrine or another, and then when they come across a passage that doesn't agree with their doctrine they label it a "problem passage" and move on.

A person must read the Scriptures with the intention of obeying everything that God reveals to them. Then God will reveal. And, my brothers and sisters, it is God that moves what you know in your mind to your heart, and what you know in your heart is made alive. It is that which is in your heart, or subconscious mind, that defines you, and sets the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV84)

A person must believe the Scriptures in their heart to be saved, not in the mind only.

Romans 10:9-10

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (NIV84)

The thing about your heart, or subconscious mind, is that you can't make yourself believe. You can try confessing Scriptures until you are blue in the face, but you cannot make yourself believe.

Matthew 19:23-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (NIV84)

I thought that this passage was real interesting. Jesus said that for man it was impossible to be saved, but for God all things are possible. Well, we know from Scripture that to be saved one must have faith in Jesus Christ, and that means that they must believe in their heart. So we can understand that it is impossible to believe in Jesus Christ in your heart unless God makes it so.

Salvation is not a matter of words, but of faith

What this all means is that all those people telling one another that they are saved have been deceived. Salvation is not a matter of confessing that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and then getting baptized. It is a matter of seeking God with a pure heart and sincere faith and a good conscience.

1 Timothy 1:5

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NIV84)

The goal, that is, God, comes to those with a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Timothy 6:11

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (NIV84)

When we pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness, then God opens our heart and reveals himself to us. This is how one comes to a true knowledge of Scripture. If it is not your heart's desire to become holy and pure and pleasing to God, then God will not reveal himself to you. It is as simple as that.

1 Corinthians 1:9

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (NIV84)

How is a person to fellowship with Jesus Christ apart from the Scriptures? And to fellowship with Jesus is to go where he is, and not to try to bend Scripture to conform to what you, or your denomination, thinks. We must be seeking in total honesty and humility; accepting whatever the Lord makes known to us in the Scriptures.

John 14:15, 23-24

If you love me, you will obey what I command.

23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (NIV84)

So, my brothers and sisters, I urge you to stop listening to what people at church are saying about God and intimately read the Scriptures for yourself, with the intent to be pleasing to God. God doesn't want you to be a faithful church person. He wants a relationship of love with you. He is willing to be your husband, if you are willing to be his holy and pure wife.

Please consider carefully the words of this article.

 

This article can be found at SeekersTrove.com