Monday, August 20, 2012

How to spot a False Prophet!
But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.  In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.  2 Peter 1:1-3 NLT

We find many warnings in the Bible about False Prophets. My fear is that many of them have infiltrated the church today and we don't even know it!  They twist Scripture ever so slightly here and there so that the average Christian, who doesn't really know the Bible, cannot detect the deception. Besides, this guy is a minister. He's got a doctorate in Theology! What do I know??

Well you do know. And you can know. First and foremost, you must be close to God and know your Bible well. And you can't do that unless you spend time with Him and read His Word.  But in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul expounds on some telltale signs of a false prophet that might be good for us to know.

But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 2 Corinthians 11:3  NLT
Deception.  Look for a leader who elevates him or herself. Look for a form of the gospel that makes the message more complicated. In the garden, Eve was deceived from the simple 'don't eat' by going deeper and more complicated into--you'll be like God, and before long she found herself being drawn slowly into a convoluted understanding of God's instructions. 
Beware of formulas:  Fasting x days to bring revival, praying certain Scriptures over your life for x number of days, offering certain amounts of money to see your prayers answered.  This is all complicated faith. And deception.

UnChristlike Character:
In verses 4-12 Paul describes a Godly minister as transparent, humble, lacking any pretense of greed, and actually loving and knowing the people. The false is opposite - secretive, treated like royalty, proud, eager to take people's money.
Numb to the needs of people
 And when I was with you and didn’t have enough to live on, I did not become a financial burden to anyone. 2 Corinthians 11:9 NLT
We know that Paul worked as a tent maker so as to not be a financial burden to the church.  But the word "Burden" is katanarkao in Greek which means "to grow numb".  In other words, Paul wasn't numb to the needs of the people. A false prophet will pretend to care but not care at all.

So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. 2 Corinthians 11:15 NLT
A false prophet will live one way in the pulpit but act differently in real life. If you hear about a minister or pastor who claims great annointing and miracles but then find out he does drugs and is unfaithful to his wife, he's a false prophet.

After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools! You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face. 2 Corinthians 11:19-20  NLT

Appeal to the Ego
A false teacher will tell you that you must follow him to be on the cutting edge of what God is doing. He'll deliver a personal prophecy just to you to make you feel good. He'll try and make you feel special, more spiritual than others as he promotes a more touchy emotion-laden gospel that's more about God blessing you with money and possessions than crucifying the flesh and becoming more like Jesus.

Brings you into Bondage
By appealing to your Ego and your search for excitement, this teacher brings you into bondage to him and his teaching as a necessity for your growth in Christ

Steals your Money
When you give to God, give out of your heart because you love God and want to help His church. Give as the Spirit leads you to give. Never give out of guilt or pressure. As an example there are 'prophecy of the month' clubs where if you partner with a ministry financially, you get a personal prophecy monthly. These poor people eagerly await the next letter from such and such minister to find what they must do next for answered prayer. It's pure manipulation and bondage.

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16  NASB

Do any names come to mind??  They do for me! 


  1. Mon Aug 20th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Excellent word today ... on "how to spot a false prophet". May I say, that the very first picture you used ... that of a wolf in sheep's clothing ... is amazing ! Totally catches the concept ... frightening, yet so "cleverly disguised and deceiving". That picture said it all. Oh, how we need to be "on our toes spiritually speaking", and in close relationship with our Father, plus "knowing" what His Word says.
    Excellent message, MaryLu !
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Amen, MaryLu! False teachers have been with us from the beginning. It is so important to test everything, just as the Bible said, and to really know what the Bible says, period! Satan loves to twist Scripture and use it to lead us away from truth!

  3. Thanks Ladies! I figured this was information most of us knew, but it's always good as a reminder. I think many of the FP's are not as obvious as others. They are often hidden within our churches, lurking about unawares. We need to be on our guard.

    Yes, Emma.. a favorite tactic is to take Scripture out of context or twist it's meaning somehow.

    Brenda.. got your questions for Friday!

    Bless you both!

  4. Excellent post! We need to constantly look out for these kinds of false prophets and I'm sad to say they are getting more deceptive in their ways. Thanks for the reminder.

    Just wanted to also thank-you for the free book you sent me from the book club network giveaway! I received it last week and looking forward to reading it. :)

  5. Thanks, Cathy!! Hope you enjoy Veil of Pearls!