False prophets come in sheep’s clothing

THAT demons can speak biblical truths has given leverage to the false prophets of today.

 

Every Christian needs a safeguard against falsehoods coming from the charlatans and the false prophets of the 21st century?

 

The fact that someone is preaching from the Bible is not enough to qualify that what is being taught is coming from God.

 

When Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he used the word of God exactly as it is written.

 

Satan tried to manipulate Jesus to do what he wanted and not what God wanted.

 

In the same way a person can use the word of God to propel a false doctrine and manipulate you for his own evil end.

 

My dear friends, many false prophets have gone out into the world. So do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God. 1 John 4:1.

 

And Jeremiah 23:16 warns, This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to his people: “Do not listen to these prophets when they prophesy to you, filling you with futile hopes.

 

They are making up everything they say. They do not speak for the LORD! 

 

The warning is clear: Don’t give them an audience, if you do, you give them an open door, you have given them permission to ensnare you.

 

Spirit of divination

 

In the book of Acts we meet a slave girl who had the spirit of divination but speaks the word of God truthfully about Paul and Silas.

 

Acts 16:16-18

 

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.

 

She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days.

 

Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

 

There are many diviners earning a great deal of money through the trade of fortune-telling.

 

The false prophets use the word of God and pose as true servants of God but are relying on the evil spirit of divination.

 

Elements of darkness

 

When Satan wants to deceive a Christian, he will not come with a tail and horns.

 

2 Corinthians 11: 14 tells us- And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

 

Who is ever tempted by something that is unattractive?

 

Satan presents himself as something that is 80 per cent truth and 20 percent false.

 

It will be mostly light with some elements of darkness. We therefore need to be alert for deception.

 

A true prophet

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us how to spot a the false prophets.

 

Matthew 7:15-16, 21-23 – Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. …”  

 

Not everyone who calls me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven.

 

Many will say to me that day Lord,  did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?

 

Then I will tell them plainly, ’Í never knew you. Away from me you evil doers.”

 

A true prophet of God cannot preach the word of God on Sunday and live a double life from Monday to Saturday!-committing adultery, stealing, having problems with anger, lying and provoking his children, beating up the wife…

 

No matter how powerful a person’s preaching is, if his life does not display the fruit of the spirit ignore what he says and find another church where the pastor “walks the talk.”

 

Watch out for the false prophet

 

We need to watch out for the false prophets who deceive us by their gifting but have no character; that is how deception creeps in.

 

A mature Christian was greatly deceived by a messenger of darkness(servant of Satan) masquerading as a man of God.

 

This man started off by telling her how important it was to read the bible and pray to Jesus. After that he told her how God wants us to pray secretly.

 

He used Mathew 6:6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen. Then your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

 

He told her that whatever is done in secret was between her and God.

 

He told her to buy red candles, representing the blood of Jesus. She was also to buy a red head scarf and red cloth to cover “the altar” that he wanted her to make.

 

This was to be a small table put in a corner of her bedroom. Every time she prayed she was to cover her head with the scarf.

 

He handed her the prayers to pray so that God would reward her.

 

This crook became her “personal prophet” and fleeced her of a lot of money before she realised he was a scam.

 

Study the word

 

What do you think made the woman in the story above believe this messenger of darkness?

 

He came as a genuine prophet, even quoting scripture and telling her to pray through Jesus Christ; that made her believe him.

 

She did not have proper teaching of God’s Word; most likely she was not walking in fellowship with other believers who may have strengthened her.

 

This believer also did not read and study the Word of God for herself as the scammer clearly twisted the scripture out of context.

 

She was not grounded in scripture and did not share with other people.

 

We need to be vigilant for signs that people ministering to us are not deceiving us.

 

When your guard is down and a person quotes scripture you may become gullible.

 

Be careful about running to a prophet for spiritual guidance, test everything with the word of God. Examine it carefully.

 

Intelligent enemy

 

Christians are deceived by false prophets because we are not grounded in the Word.

 

We depend on others to interpret Scripture for us.

 

We have an intelligent enemy and he can twist the truth of God’s word to deceive us.

 

He twisted scripture to Eve in the Garden of Eden; he dared to quote the Word to Jesus!

 

Sometimes we believe so much in the messenger that we don’t evaluate the message. We need to go back to Scripture.

 

Proper teaching

 

When people are born again, many times there is improper teaching and discipleship.

 

Christians are deceived when they are after the benefits from God and not a relationship with Him; they are seeking after his hand (blessing) and not his face (intimacy). They want a quick fix!

 

We have the love of things in our hearts, the love of money, the lust of the flesh, the love of the world.

 

1 John 2:15, 16. Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  

 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

 

All deception happens around the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. There is always a spirit of mind control at work.

 

Ephesians 6: 10, 11, 13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil… 

 

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

 

We need to be strong in the Lord and put on the armour of God. According to you which two pieces of armour do you think Christians ignore most?

 

Your responsibility

 

Our Lord Jesus gave us the blueprint of spotting a scam: You shall know them by their fruits not miracles. How do they treat the people around them, are they behaving like a shepherd of God.

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The word of God must first transform a person’s own life before he can stand on the pulpit and teach it.

 

There are still true servants of God who preach the word faithfully and strive to live  it out by the help of the Holy Spirit.

 

It is your responsibility to ensure you are not deceived. Don’t rely on anybody, rely on God!

 

If  we let a preacher’s physical appearance, his enthusiasm or what he says at face value be our yardstick for evaluating his or her authenticity then we only have ourselves to blame.

 

The Bereans, “were more noble…for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul taught was true.”

 

They could as well believed all that Paul was teaching because of his reputation, but they went an extra mile of letting the scriptures be the final test of authenticity of the teaching.

 

Make it your habit to go back and examine the scriptures to see whether what is said true.

 

Many false prophets have taken advantage of  Christians  who have given them that advantage through their own gullibility.

 

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.” Philippians 1:15

 

There would be probably fewer deceived people in Christendom if believers sought a relationship with God first and not benefits, learn to discern, ground themselves in the word and regularly go back to the word to verify and authenticate.

 

The spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1.

 

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