JEREMIAH 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!