HOW TO SPOT A FALSE PROPHET

imageJEREMIAH 23:14: “⌊Say this⌋ about the prophets of Jerusalem: I see something horrible. The prophets of Jerusalem commit adultery and live a lie. They support those who do evil so that no one turns back from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me, and those who live in Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” (‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭23:14‬ ‭GW‬‬)

OBSERVATION: How can you spot a “false prophet”? In this day of streaming media, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and the like, there is no end to the voices that are crying out for out attention. The messages that they broadcast are as numerous as the sources from which they come. And I am only speaking of the so called “Christian” voices, let alone the myriad of messages from the world. How can one know what is from the Lord, and what is not?

It really is quite simple if we keep one thing in hand – the Bible! If we begin to discern these messages by our feelings or emotions, we will all be deceived. However, if we look to the written and objective Word of God we will find safety and true discernment. Jesus gave us two key tests to uncover those who were speaking out of their own authority, and not from His.

  • “Don’t ever think that I came to set aside Moses’ Teachings or the Prophets. I didn’t come to set them aside but to make them come true. I can guarantee this truth: Until the earth and the heavens disappear, neither a period nor a comma will disappear from the Scriptures before everything has come true. So whoever sets aside any command that seems unimportant and teaches others to do the same will be unimportant in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches what the commands say will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. I can guarantee that unless you live a life that has God’s approval and do it more faithfully than the experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:17-20‬ ‭GW‬‬)
  • “Beware of false prophets. They come to you disguised as sheep, but in their hearts they are vicious wolves. You will know them by what they produce. “People don’t pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Any tree that fails to produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into a fire. So you will know them by what they produce.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:15-20‬ ‭GW‬‬)

These two tests can be summarized in two words – truth and life. The truth test watches for those who try to dismiss portions of God’s Word as no longer relevant, or as mere misinterpretations. Beware of those who try to peddle “new revelations”. If God does not change, His Word does not change! Period!

The life test is in how they live. If they live a life that is counter to the teachings of righteousness, and they endeavor to offer approval for such behavior, they are false prophets. This is what the prophets in Jeremiah’s day were doing. They were failing both the truth test and the life test. Paul speaks of this spirit of deception in the first chapter of Romans.

  • “Although they know God’s judgment that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do these things but also approve of others who do them.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:32‬ ‭GW‬‬)

So the tests are really quite simple – if we have our Bible in hand and in heart! In these last days this is the way we must live. There are countless who are being deceived by those who appear to be doing great works, but who fail the truth and life test. The book of Revelation is replete with these warnings. It is a time to put on the whole armor of God and to stand against the wiles of the enemy.

Truth does not change. Righteousness does not change. The true prophetic word spoken today will always uphold and embrace both.

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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