of False Prophets!
Overview: Signs of a False Prophet
They equate their leaders' words with Scripture.
Of course this is the very most important point. It is the point upon which a minister stands or falls.
the Bible is God's inerrant, complete and sufficient Word to man. Here is
God's testimony about His Word:
It is true that God has given us elders to instruct us in the Scriptures (Eph 4:11-16; 1 Tim 3:1-7), but the content of their instruction must come straight from God's Word—not from philosophy or theological systems created by men!
Holy Spirit of God indwells every born again believer (1 Cor 12:12-13).
He gives "the anointing" from God to understand the Scriptures (John 14:26; 1
John 2:27). He gives us the craving for true spiritual food; and then feeds
us of Christ's heavenly bread (1 Pet 2:2; John 6:27,32,35). If we study
the Bible prayerfully as taught by Jesus Christ and His apostles (Luke 24:13-27,44-48;
John 17:8,20-21; Acts 2:42; Phil 4:9; 1 John 1:1-4) we will be taught of God;
and not misled by the false systems of men.
you see or hear these things being taught by anyone, know that you have encountered
They reject authentic doctrinal Christian teaching.
denial of the Triune nature of God (that God is three-in-one: Father, Son and
Holy Spirit) is an ancient false teaching that still exists today in the Watchtower
Organization (Jehovah's Witnesses), The Apostolic churches ("Jesus only"), Unitarian
and other such false groups.
stated in Point #1, attaching anything to the Bible as equal authority diminishes
from the sufficiency and reliability of Scripture. This problem is everywhere
in Christendom: from the Roman Catholic writings and pronouncements, to Reformed
traditions (The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Westminster Confession
of Faith, Belgic Confession, etc.), the nearly-rabid allegiance of
many to Dispensationalism, the psychology-loving "Christian Counseling" movement,
and so on.
way and means of salvation is always attacked by false prophets. Rome claims
that you must go through their myriad rituals to hope for salvation; including
infant baptism, confession to a priest, penance, purchasing indulgences, last
rites, and so on. The Church of Christ insists that you must be baptized
by them in order to be saved. United Pentecostals insist you must speak
in tongues before you are saved. Mormonism teaches a long maze of rituals
for hope of salvation by way of godhood (for men only): marriage in the Temple,
faithfulness to the Ward, going on mission trips, baptisms for the dead, etc.
Schuller teaches "any creed, any biblical interpretation … that assaults
and offends the self-esteem of persons is heretically failing to be truly Christian
no matter how … undergirded it might be with biblical references."
(Robert Schuller, Self-Esteem The New Reformation.)
churches teach that only their type of church is a true church. If you leave
it, you are leaving God's Kingdom on earth; and are outside of His blessing. Many
Reformed teachers say that if you do not agree with the 5 tenants of Calvinism,
you are not saved.
preachers give half of the gospel; omitting essential doctrines like hell (John
R. Stott and others deny a literal, eternal hell; as do 7th Day Adventists and
the Jehovah's Witnesses).
neglect to preach that ‘faith' is a committing of life to the Savior—not
just a mental idea. (This "easy believism" has been made popular by Billy
Graham, Charles Stanley, and others.)
short, false prophets add to Christ's command to repent and believe the gospel
in order to be saved. They add religious works, obligations of money and
life commitment to them (saying it is to Christ); they chain people to their organizations
and make it very difficult—terrifying, even!—to leave, for fear of
false system of "holiness" replaces the Biblical definition of purity, modesty,
and separation from the world. Rome requires fasting for Lent. The
7th Day Adventists require their people to adhere to Old Testament law; including
keeping the Saturday Sabbath. They also urge vegetarianism on their people,
more restrictive than Jewish kosher food laws. Bill Gothard tells men they
should not wear beards or moustaches; and insists that those who use his home
school materials dress according to his dictates. He also has a list of
food restrictions, and urges his followers to refrain from going to medical doctors.
A multitude of other false prophets deny holiness altogether! Pursuing the misuse of the Scripture, "ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom 6:14); they conveniently deny the first part of that verse, which says, "sin shall not have dominion over you." These preach a message of license; proclaiming that it is good to look and act like the world, so that the people of the world can "relate" to us and we can have a "place to speak" to them! These liars promote worldly music, hating reverent hymns and gospel songs because they cannot gyrate to it. Their attitude is expressed well by Rick Warren, who brags that their church "rocks" and uses very loud music to do so.
false teachers make disparaging comments against "fundamentalists" who stand against
worldly music, dress and lifestyles. They hate teaching on doctrine, and ridicule
it as "divisive and unnecessary." Scorning those who stand against occultic
and ecumenical practices that are flooding Christendom; these deceivers say such
a stand is legalistic, judgmental and harsh. Their total disregard for Jesus'
call to holiness shows they do not love the holy Lord God! (1 Tim 2:9-10; 1 Thess
5:22; 1 Pet 1:15-16, 5:5; 1 John 2:6,15-16)
only do they refuse to be separate from worldliness, false teachers refuse to
separate from false religions, as well. John and Joy Dawson,
Loren Cunningham, Rick Joyner and plethora of others promote their own "words"
on an equal standing with Scripture, insisting that God will come with a fury
and judge those Christians who oppose their teaching.
Dawson and Loren Cunningham created a new phrase and religious category: Messianic
Muslims. Messianic Muslims supposedly accept Jesus as their Savior, but
do not believe He is God. They continue to read the Koran, say ritualistic
Muslim prayers and are in reality Muslims; yet Youth With A Mission considers
them "believers" in Christ — in total opposition to how the Bible defines
a believer! YWAM has also been working with Hindu holy men to make a "bridge."
(Charisma News, March 2000)
has embraced Jews & Muslims as "brethren." While Pope John Paul was alive,
he received the Hindu sign of the Shiva upon his forehead from a "Christian" Hindu.
RC Sproul is a chameleon; claiming to believe the Bible and yet adhering to Rome's teachers. He acknowledges that he clings to Thomas Aquinas and Augustine (both of them the fathers of Roman Catholic teaching), as well as adhering to Roman Catholics such as Martin Luther and John Calvin.
has been a welcomed guest speaker at Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral, and
yet is close friends with John MacArthur (a reformed Baptist) and a guest speaker
at his church!
and Billy Graham, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Richard Foster, Luis Palau, Jack Hayford,
the Alpha Course, Campus Crusade for Christ, Wycliffe Bible Translators...on and
on you can go through out "Evangelicalism" and find union with Rome. From
Southern Baptist to Charismatic to Presbyterian, you can see social activism and
united worship and "evangelism" taking place between so-called Bible believing
Christians and Rome.
unity with false religions is a sure sign of a false prophet!
3. They emphasize experience over Scripture
Hinn waves his suit coat and hundreds fall over, supposedly "slain in the Spirit."
Kenneth Copeland struts the stage, pompously claiming his own doctrines
under the shield of "thus saith the Lord." (In the 1980's) Oral Roberts
claimed that a 900 foot Jesus told him to get millions of dollars for his Faith
Center, or else Oral would "go home." The late Ruth Heflin claimed God sent gold
dust and filled teeth with gold, to show His glory. John Piper asserts that
tongues are for today because his many years of associations and friendships with
Charismatics convinced him that they are.
all of these assertions, not one is backed up with solid Biblical evidence! The
Charismatic Movement in particular is experience-driven; but so is much of the
rest of Christendom.
Wilkinson claims that you can and should have visions and that God will fulfill
them as you seek Him. Rick Warren promotes the "vision" of his world P.E.A.C.E
plan; which conveniently coincides with the United Nations plan for global provision
and control. Richard Foster, John Ortberg, and Philip Yancey and others
of the Renovare′ group promote the experience of Contemplative Prayer; which
is simply Transcendental Meditation with a Christianized name. One Brethren pastor
defended his emphasis on the practice of foot washing not because he believed
it was Scriptural but because it is a wonderful experience; you have to experience
Recently an acquaintance from seminary visited us for an evening. As Dave explained to him the error of Charismatic worship, he defined how Charismatic "praise and worship choruses" go on repetitively in order to get the people into a state of altered consciousness. "What's wrong with that?" asked this man, educated at one of the most respected seminaries in the U.S. This man has no understanding that to go into emotional realms of non-thinking, there is an inability to do what the Scripture commands: discern! "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)
ability to discern must come from clear thinking about the Word of God; to put
our minds in neutral is to open ourselves up to deception from the devil! This
is why Jesus insisted that we are to worship with our minds, as well: "Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy strength, and with all thy mind." (Luke 10:27)
all of the anti-intellectual rhetoric that is popular today in Christendom, our
minds are to be used for the glory of God. The Lord does not by-pass our
minds—rather, He instructs our minds with the Scriptures so that we may
think with the mind of Christ! "For who hath known the mind
of the Lord, that He may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor
2:16) This is why we are commanded to "be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Rom 12:2) We are also
reminded that we "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7); that is, we live by
faith in what God says in the Scriptures, not by circumstances, feelings, or experiences.
you hear people expound upon their favorite spiritual practice and say, "You just
have to experience it to know," recognize that theirs is an experience-based religion,
not Biblical Christian faith!
we saying there is no feeling to the Christian life? No times of intense
emotion or expression of great joy or tears? No, we are not saying that
at all! Rejoicing over the goodness of God, tears of sorrow over sin,
knowing the peaceful presence of the Lord are all part of life in Christ. However,
we do not determine God's pleasure and blessing by the presence or absence of
certain feelings or experiences.
of our "dry times" (times where we feel little or nothing in prayer and reading
of the Word) are actual blessings because they teach us to trust God regardless
of our circumstances. The growth that takes place during a "dry time" is
far greater than the growth we experience when we are "on the mountaintop" (when
everything seems to go right for us, and we have feelings of warmth and joy).
prophets emphasize experience over Scripture. They may use a twisted passage
here and there, but they belittle sound doctrinal teaching, deny the crucified
life, and reject Biblical thinking to embrace circular reasoning based upon tradition
They dominate the lives of their members.
Watchtower Organization (Jehovah's Witnesses) have a mound of paperwork that would
make the government jealous. They keep strict tabs on all of their people,
requiring them to fill out a constant array of forms for their weeks' activities.
Hare Krishna and other cults keep their people busy from morning until night,
working for their organization. When they are finally finished serving the
religion at the end of the day, they fall into bed, exhausted.
Evangelicalism, the Church Growth phenomena began pushing "busyness" on
people back in the 1970's. One Assembly of God church had a huge paper tree
on a wall in its auditorium. Every time someone brought a friend to church,
the bringer could get a leaf up on the paper tree with his name on it. The
person with the most leaves on the tree won a bicycle.
Many churches say that "you don't have to attend all of our services; these are only opportunities to worship and fellowship." But they show their true colors as they withhold fellowship and encouragement from those who don't attend the various meetings. Those who desire to minister in such churches must be there "whenever the church doors are open" or they are considered "unreliable" and "uncommitted."
We have experienced cultic churches that have gone so far as to lock the back door of the sanctuary during the gathering of offerings and tithes. Testimonies were given of "repentant" members who "came back to the fold" when they "realized the danger of God's judgment for leaving."
is intimidation and coercion rather than voluntary involvement in church activities
that the members feel individually called to. Our actions within the church
must be that of faith and faithfulness to the Spirit of God who calls us individually
to do the will of our Father.
churches violate the scriptures which clearly teach that the church is a spiritual
entity, not a physical kingdom, especially kingdoms of man's own making.
Warren boasts that in his Purpose Driven Church, everyone must be plugged into
various groups and places of commitment. The emphasis of the Purpose Driven
life and church is involvement in the programs of the church. Anyone who
doesn't want to be in the programs can go elsewhere; because they are clogging
up the works of a Purpose Driven church.
"keep 'em busy and happy" mentality has gotten so ridiculous that one Episcopal
church actually had circus week! The priest dressed up as a clown (appropriately),
and many of the members donned red clown noses during the "service."
False prophets want to keep people so busy they don't have time to think, pray and read the Scriptures. Sleep deprivation (as practiced by many cults and false religions) is a form of mind control.
brain cannot think clearly when it is extremely tired; and false teachers know
this. It is difficult to witness to someone in such a "busy" cult, for they
have little time to think things through; less time yet to sit down and read a
forbidden Bible passage, or book which explains the Biblical truth.
Is this the way Christ runs His Kingdom? Jesus said, "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5:19)
Jesus didn't try to keep up with the Pharisees. He could care less about the agenda of the Sanhedrin.
consuming drive was to do what the Father told Him. Nothing more; nothing
less. Then Jesus told His disciples: "Peace be unto
you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." (John 20:21) Jesus
assured the Apostles that His agenda had not changed. He would direct them
to do only what the Father had in mind. They needn't worry about impressing
people. They didn't have a quota to fill each month. They need only
do as the Father directed them, by the Son, through the Holy Spirit.
true pastor, the true church, and the true child of God seeks God daily as to
His priorities for the day. Some are obvious and set in stone: prayer, reading
and meditating on the Scriptures, ministering to one's family. But sometimes
the Lord has us put other normal things "on hold" in order to do an aspect of
His work that is special for that day: invite a homeless person in for dinner,
take time to witness to someone at the store, go visit a person at the hospital.
with lives locked into programs don't have time for such ministry. They miss doing
what the Father would have them to do! Family time is put to a minimum for
the sake of the "larger purpose," and the responsibility of parents to teach and
admonish their own children is delegated to the cult.
has called us to be His church, listening for His voice in active, faithful service,
not to be manipulated by religious power brokers who usurp Christ's authority.
who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore,
if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious
words: and not content therewith neither doth he himself receive the brethren,
and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." (3 John 1:9-10)
False prophets demand absolute conformity to their dictates. This is very different from those who teach the Scriptures and command believers to adhere to the Word of God. False prophets make a list of things to believe, do, wear, speak and be that oppose the commands of Christ. Their demands often differ from other false prophets. Some demand obvious evils: like shared marital relations amongst the group (ie: the Jesus people, Sun Myong Moon, and David Koresh). Others are rigidly moral.
breaking the code of the false prophet is chastised; often publicly.
control is demanded of those within the Purpose Driven churches. Anyone
who is a "resister", someone who does not agree with the plan of the Purpose Driven
Church is castigated as a cancer. Warren wrote in his book, "When a human
body is out of balance we call that disease...Likewise when the body of Christ
becomes unbalanced, disease occurs...The task of church leadership is to discover
and remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural, normal growth
can occur." (Purpose Driven Church, pg 16)
who call attention to the inconsistency of teaching of false prophets are vilified.
Their words are turned against them, and they are accused of being divisive,
and slandered by the leaders to the congregation. Like Diotrephes, they
prate against preachers of truth with terrible maliciousness, and insist on taking
the preeminence among the people.
A good example of this is an Orthodox Presbyterian pastor in Utah. A member there realized that infant baptism is unbiblical, and addressed this and other unbiblical teachings of the denomination with the pastor. Enraged, the pastor published a scathing letter to his congregation, and posted it on their church website. The pastor claims no one has tried to deny his letter thus far; but the truth of the matter is that he will listen to no one, and claims that an attack on him and his doctrine is an attack on the church of Jesus Christ. He harasses former members who left, threatening them with God's wrath if they do not repent and return to that church and receive church discipline.
Orthodox Presbyterian pastor in California constantly verbally beats his congregation
with the Law. It has been reported that he considers no one in his congregation
saved, saying it is not "safe" for him to do so. He teaches that no one
can truly know that salvation has occurred until the time of their death, when
they face Christ. Only then, he insists, will the merits of grace be known;
and the person's faith be judged. This flies in the face of Romans 8:15,
when Paul declares that "ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry
Abba, Father." How can we cry "Abba, Father" if we don't know Him?
"pastors" seems to agree with Rick Warren's "Rules for Growth", which states,
"Never criticize what God is blessing, even though it may be a style of ministry
that makes you feel uncomfortable." (Purpose Driven Church, page 62)
the Charismatic Movement for anyone to denounce a teaching or teacher as being
in heresy is "unloving" and "judgmental." The Charismatics also equate worldly
success (growth in numbers, popularity, and increase of wealth) as a sign of God's
blessing. They insist that those who look for doctrinal purity are "heresy
hunters"; trouble makers who are "tares" among the "wheat." "Touch not Mine
anointed" they misquote when believers challenge the Biblical validity of a teacher.
they don't want to see is that much of Christ and the Apostles' teaching dealt
with pointing out the difference between truth and error. They were not
quiet about rejecting error; and did not worry about the Jewish leaders calling
them ‘divisive' heresy hunters! Rather, they diligently sought to
support the truth of God's Word, and keep a soundness of teaching within the body
of Christ (See 1 Cor 11:19).
heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost
hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with
His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves
enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall
men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts
teachers resist all confrontation as attacking "the anointed of God" (referring
They are greedy and live lavishly.
churches preach that believers are to give a tithe (10%) of their income to the
church. While this is widely accepted,
it is not a New Testament teaching (For NT teaching on giving, see 2 Cor 9). False
prophets use it as a means of getting rich.
Mormon church sends out a "bill" for their peoples' tithe. Tithe-teaching
churches regularly preach on tithing to pressure their members; saying they aren't
even giving to Christ until they give more than 10%!
Oral Roberts' "seed faith" teaching has been used by dozens of false teachers. They insist that if you send a portion of your income to them—a generous portion—coupled with faith, that you will receive back 100-fold what you sent to them. Marilyn Hickey preach that God intends for Christians to be rich. Hickey said "What do you need? Start creating it...Speak to your billfold. Say, 'You big, thick billfold full of money.' Speak to your checkbook. Say, "You big checkbook, you. You've never been so prosperous since I owned you. You're just jammed full of money." (Marilyn Hickey, "Claim Your Miracles," audio tape #186.) Creflo Dollar insists that the wicked are getting rich just so that we can have their money.
Using this opportunity for his own wallet, Dollar says, "According to the Word of God, the wicked are accumulating wealth to hand over to the righteous! Increase your expectation by sowing diligently and confessing God's Word over your finances." (Creflo Dollar's Daily Devotion, October 2) Fred Price says he drives a Rolls Royce because he's following in Jesus' steps! (Fred Price, "Ever Increasing Faith," TBN, December 19, 1990).
TBN telethons are some of the phoniest things outside of Las Vegas. Paul and Jan Crouch make millions of dollars from this "non profit ministry" each year, and live opulent lifestyles. Yet, according to them, each year TBN could experience the lights going out, and the gospel won't go around the world anymore! They badger people with unbelievable hubris, saying things like "'Well I'm on the little fixed income. I can't afford— "You can't afford not to do something, to plant something. If you're going to obey the command of Jesus Christ and go into all the world and preach the gospel, the only way many can do that is to send someone else...to give so that others can go." (Spring Praise-A-Thon, April 1991)
teachers want your money! Don't give it to them!
They elevate themselves over others.
The Pope claims to be the representative of Christ on earth. Sun Myong Moon claims to be the new Messiah, who was able to complete the work that Jesus "failed" to do. Word of Faith teachers, Rick Warren and others claim to be "the anointed of God", above criticism and scrutiny by the body of Christ.
Schuller claims to have brought in the New Reformation, shunning any criticism
of his gospel of self-esteem. Calvin, Luther, Sproul, and others claim the
"clear" writings of the Patristic fathers over the truly clear teachings of the
of the tools of their trade is to discount truly biblical discernment as attacks
upon God's truth and His anointing. Yet when the clear teaching of Scripture
is brought to the fore′, anger and ungodliness spew out like poisonous venom.
Lord Jesus warned that "there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and
shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall
deceive the very elect." (Matt 24:24)
is only one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism (Eph 4:5). Jesus is the only
Lord of the Church and has given us His Word to follow. He has given us
His Holy Spirit to reside within us to cleanse us with the truth of His Word.
This is our only hope. It is not in the traditions and writings of
men who often contradict each other and pervert the words of Truth.
who teach damnable heresies, trying to deceive the Elect of God will reap the
fruit of their own corruption. The Apostle Peter said, "But
these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of
the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure
to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with
their own deceiving while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and
that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised
with covetous practices…" (2 Pet 2:12-14)
not give in to the ranting of these false teachers. Instead, immerse yourself
in the Bible, prayer and truly Christian fellowship. This will protect you
from these ravenous wolves that prey upon foolish minds and tickling ears. The
soundness of biblical teaching uncovers their evil hearts. Cling safely
to Jesus' arms and the comfort of His Spirit.
any of this sounds familiar:
there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false
teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying
the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many
shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be
evil spoken of." (2 Pet 2:1-2)
any of the things that we've stated thus far sound familiar to you, be encouraged;
the Apostle Peter tells us, "the Lord knows how to deliver
the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment
to be punished." (2 Pet 2:9)
you have been caught in a web of deceit, there is hope for you! First, repent
for aligning yourself with teaching that opposes the truth of Jesus Christ. Recognize
that you've gone the wrong way, and that God is not pleased with your holding
to a false religion. Accept that God's judgment is right; that you were
under chastisement as long as you served the lie.
that the truth lies fully in God's Word: the Bible. Repent by rejecting
any teaching that does not line up with it. Throw out all the books and
tapes (CD's, DVD's) that promote false prophets! To "repent" is to leave
your sins, grieving that you disobeyed the Lord. Then go in God's direction
(obedience to His Word): Study carefully: Leviticus 26:40-46; Isaiah 1:10-20;
Acts 3:19-26; 1 John 1:6-10.
these Bible passages:
13:1-5; Matthew 7:15-27; 24:24; Acts 20:26-35; 1 Timothy 6; 2 Peter 2