Biblical Warnings About False Prophets

Biblical Warnings About False Prophets April 27, 2018

The number of false prophets has exploded in the last few years, so to prepare you for their deception, here are some powerful Bible verses about false prophets.

Warnings

In Matthew 7:15 Jesus warned us to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” and Jesus prophesied that prior to His second coming, that “many false prophets will arise and lead many astray” (Matt 24:11), and we know that these wolves love “Sheep in a Can” because they can shear the sheep and fleece the flock without their even knowing it. Their goals include these three things (at least):

#1 Money

#2 Absolute Power/Authority

#3 Unquestioned Teachings

Jesus knew their hearts and warned us to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15-20).

Question: What about 1 Samuel 16:7 which says that humans look at the outward appearance but only God can know the heart?

Answer: The truth is, bad fruit is easy to spot because it’s fleshly fruit, and includes things like, “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). Paul’s advice for all of us is to “watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve” (Rom 16:17-18).

A Rise in False Teachers

In addressing what the Bible says about false prophets and teachers, the Apostle Peter wrote that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet 2:1). Jesus Christ also prophesied that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt 24:14). The Apostle Paul writes about the true source of these teachers, some even claiming to be apostles of Christ, that: “such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Cor 11:13-15). In a striking parallel, Jeremiah wrote of Judah’s false prophets what could be written today, saying, “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes” (Jer 5:30-31)? The truth is that “such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve” (Rom 16:19), so we had better recognize that “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Tim 4:3). Indeed, it appears that time has come.

Guard Yourselves

Jude wrote, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:3-4). The Apostle John writes, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). God warned Judah through Jeremiah to “not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jer 23:16), and “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds” (Jer 14:14).

Conclusion

Perhaps the greatest test of self-anointed and self-proclaimed prophets is that they are not allowed to be wrong…even once! Deuteronomy 18:20-22 states that “the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.” It’s not like baseball where you’re allowed three strikes and you’re out. You can’t be wrong and be called a prophet of God. For false prophets, it’s one and done!

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • pud

    Every “prophet” in your absurd book is FALSE including make believe “jesus” who according to the STORY told members of the cult that they would not die before the long awaited end of days.

    The entire concept of the most powerful, all knowing, omniscient, omnipotent, timeless “being” (that always cracks me up) having to leave cryptic bread crumbs for the stupid credulous gullible infinitely lessor “beings” to follow so that “he” (that cracks me up too) can act out this ridiculous primitive barbaric drama is something only the mentally ill could embrace.

    You view the world, the universe and life as if it were a Lord of the Rings sequel replete with magic, demons, dark forces and all the rest of the imaginary fantasies a mythical story is comprised of. If you were a child you might be forgiven but as a grown man you really belong under medical care.

  • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

    This is a complicated subject, because there are differing types of false prophets, and because there are similarities between false prophets and faulty teachers.

    I think that the most common type of false prophet nowadays may be Christians who sincerely believe that they have the gift of prophecy, and who make what they sincerely believe to be prophesies, but which do not come to pass. Many of them are laymen and laywomen who are not after money or absolute power, but who are confused about the gift of prophecy and about what they are doing. Even the famous ones may be simply merely confused–albeit foolishly and harmfully so–rather than motivated by personal gain.

    There are also Christians who unintentionally teach falsehood–sometimes egregious falsehood. They should be distinguished from those teachers who intentionally teach falsehood, and from those who for selfish reasons do not correct themselves. In this latter category I include those who have been so deceived by Prosperity Theology that they have become teachers of it, and–what is worse–resist examining their beliefs because they are concerned that if they stop teaching Prosperity Theology they will lose power, authority, and income.

    It is my understanding that false prophets do not always make predictions. I think that the false prophets whom the Lord mentions in Matthew 7 and 24 are ones who deliberately attempt to deceive by presumptuously speaking for on behalf of God, which can be done with the use of the Bible.

    I think that II Timothy 4:3 does not pertain to a time in the future in which Paul and Timothy did not live, but a time which has been common to ministers ever since they lived: the time when members of one’s flock will lose interest in sound teaching and prefer unsound teaching, which can seem more interesting to them if only because it is new to them. This can happen to even a good teacher, e.g. Paul. I think he wrote this verse from personal experience.

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you my friend.

      • Delon Duvenage

        Jack what would you say about Martin Luther’s statement that the papacy is the anti-Christ

        • Jack Wellman

          Thank you Delon. I would say in time we will know, but for now, we can only speculate, so I have no idea of Martin Luther was right or not.

          • Theodore A. Jones

            “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 The soteriological assumption of Martin Luther isn’t right.

  • Carlos Santiago

    This is a relevant and important topic. My verse which I look to is Exodus 18:21 “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate covetousness and dishonest gain”. My feeling is this is a core issue in society and government displayed by corporate and personal greed, environmental degradation, violence against minorities and women, endless wars, Jesus exhorted his disciples to be servants; loving their neighbor as themselves. Paul complimented this focus in advocating followers of “the Way” to be kind and love to all. “It’s not all about me.”
    Peace. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8bf2f0534a6e2ffa3d0357e171ef51ab4fad15fec61878c3a6947149b021942.jpg

    • Jack Wellman

      I appreciate your wisdom sir. Thank you.

      • pud

        It’s not wisdom it’s nonsense. You see what you want to see.

        The world is infinitely less violent and less oppressive then when you religious lunatics ran things

        • hug

          Tell him he reads a “Buy Bull” ! That’ll show him.

          • pud

            Not a rational argument…try again.

            Everything I write is based in fact

          • hug

            Fact: You imagine your arguments are always rational. And you imagine whatever you write is based in fact. Because you say so!

            https://internetatheism.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/bobseidenstickeratheist.jpg

          • pud

            Show that they’re not….waiting…

            Non belief is not a “belief” I combat you and your cult. Appeal to authority means nothing. I doubt Einstein said that or meant what you’re misrepresenting

          • hug

            You have not proven they are.

            I simply lack a belief that you are as rational and factual as you believe and preach at others.

            What Einstein noted is also noted by atheists. Most atheists are great. Some are not.

            Don’t take my word from it. Read what one of your non-belief buddy has noticed:

            https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ex5m4n/hey-atheists-just-shut-up-please

            “Defining your life by volatile antitheism—in other words, clinging to something you don’t believe in—isn’t just annoying, it’s actually pretty backward, and, in some cases, culturally malignant. For a demographic that spits a lot of game about equality and mobility, they sure love lording their “intellect” over anyone who dares to think differently. The atheism subreddit gets off on feeling superior to other people; it’s not about ideas or truth, they’d rather thrive on that faux-scholar buzz. That’s why Dawkins is their fire-and-brimstone pin-up boy. That’s why they screencap Facebook updates from their religious “friends” so they can laugh at all the plebeians from their pretty little perch. There’s no respect or pragmatism, just bottomless, never-ending hate.”

            That is an atheist writing that.

            There’s no respect or pragmatism, just bottomless, never-ending hate.

            I believe that other atheists would say the same about you here.

            I’m hug. ❤️ You are pud.

          • pud

            LOL…what pure horseshit!

            You cannot define your life by non belief in the absurd, the supernatural, the impossible. It is not possible to “cling” to non belief it is the default position.

            Things are either true or they are not true….caring about this is not “Lording over” the stupid who chose to “believe” things without evidence

            I have no respect for anyone who has no respect for evidence, truth or knowledge

            Stop confusing “hate” with “contempt” What I hold for you and yours is contempt…you lie to children

          • hug

            The atheist said that some atheists, most likely those like you, actually do things like:

            “These are the folks who have, ironically, adopted the attitudes of hardcore evangelicals who try to convert strangers on subway platforms—it’s not enough for them that they don’t believe in God, they want to make sure you don’t believe in God either. Just by being themselves, they make the best case against humanism.”

            Why should I believe, you an atheist, over other atheists who disagree with what you do? You can’t be both right.

            Luke Winkie and other atheists provide better arguments then the ones you trot out. That is probably why you are posting anonymously in message boards under the name “Pud” and Luke is being paid to write and is using his actual name.

            I’m starting to think you are just trolling. Perhaps you are actually an Evangelical Christian who posts under a false flag to make atheists look like self-righteous and angry jerks. If so: You are doing an awesome job.

            How long have you been posting here?

          • pud

            You cannot “convert” someone to a non position. duh!

            Why should you “believe” anything? I don’t. Rational people don’t. I ‘believe” nothing and like rational people I “accept” certain propositions tentatively based upon the strength of evidence.

            LOL…there’s not a snowballs chance in fictional hell that I have any connection to any delusional faith based nonsense

            I’ve been posting for some time…don’t know exactly…it’s my mission to destroy theism and rid the world of it by constantly pointing out the absurdity of it

          • hug

            I pointed out an atheist who disagrees with your opinion. Given his standards and your actions, it is safe to assume that atheist does not believe you are as rational as you profess to be.

            You are very dogmatic about your beliefs. Telling me you have no belief… …is a belief.

            Many atheists admit they do have beliefs. Why are you correct and all those atheists are wrong?

            Your argument is extremely irrational. But I’m glad you admitted your bias and agenda. I still don’t believe you actually are an atheist. You are far too fanatical and emotionally charged.

            Even examples Luke Winkie gave are not as absurd and silly as your rants and smears.

          • pud

            1. I couldn’t care less what you or anyone else thinks of my prose

            2. I do not hold “beliefs” Telling you this is not a “belief” it is a fact

            3. I’m not an atheist…I’m not any “ist” Not “believing” nonsense and absurd claims doesn’t enlist me in some “ist” or “ism”

            4. Other “atheists” obviously haven’t thought this through well enough

            5. Demonstrate that anything I’ve ever written is “irrational”

            6. Don’t know Luke and don’t care…ridicule for the ridiculous is a legitimate tool

  • Maltnothops

    “The number of false prophets has exploded in the last few years…”

    Has it? Perhaps it only seems that way thanks to easier and more widespread communication technologies. Who counts this stat anyway? I couldn’t find any reliable data.

  • pud

    Most forums are cowardly and demand fluff talk so that tender snowflake feelings don’t get hurt…I don’t care about anyone’s feelings, I care about what’s true

    I don’t care about degrees, arguments ad populum, arguments from authority

    Proof only exists in logic and mathematics….I have offered many logical proofs. If someone makes a contradictory claim (buybulltards do it all the time) then I do offer proof that their claim is wrong. We arrive at truth through “rational argument” I’m quite good at that

    I already told you….I am not any “ist” or “ism” I’m a free thinker if you have to put me in some box

    I most certainly do know what the various form of “love” is……Forest Gump

    What’s a soul? Demonstrate its existence….I told you 10 times now…I do not “believe” anything….”Belief” requires no evidence…I demand evidence for all claims

    • hug

      You have adopted an odd philosophy.
      https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_empiricism.html

      I know, I know. You don’t have a philosophy!
      (That way nobody can judge you the way you judge them).

      You are a fanatical anti-theist.

      I know, I know. You don’t like labels on you
      (You don’t mind labeling others. But if you are to be labeled – it can only be one you pick: free thinker.)

      No free thinker has ever labeled you as a free thinker, have they? If they have, can you provide evidence that anyone but you believes that?

      Anyone can post on a religion message board and proclaim themselves as superior to others. You can do that.

      Not everyone can publish peer-review studies, hold a teaching position at a university or be given a seal of approval from the public in knowledge fields in fields of science, logic and reason. You probably have not done that. There are theists that can. You quite possibly can not. I’d like to see you do it. But there is no evidence that you can.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/818db0d70ed2e372ed07cdaab35902f74acb6c61bc996a88e9973317b6ee6a8b.jpg

      • pud

        I am an antitheist….”fanatical” would be your subjective take on it

        You can judge me…don’t care…I only care about what’s true

        Others choose to have their labels which makes them prime targets for rational thinkers like myself

        Don’t know what anyone has labeled me and don’t care

        I can back up my superior intellectual status

        Theists have never published a peer reviewed theological work in a scientific journal. LOL History maybe…theology? hahahhahahaha! My gods better than your god!

        I don’t care….the truth is decided by rational argument and no one has authority over that

        • hug

          I can judge you. And I do so by your actions.

          You can tell me you self label as a rational thinker. But that does not mean you are a rational thinker.

          I see no evidence that you are a rational thinker. You certainly are not reasonable.

          I’m not on a crusade against a group like you are. You believe your beliefs are superior to those of theists.

          “believe – accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.”

          If you don’t hold beliefs, you are not human. Or you are fooling yourself. I get the feeling that not many people want to talk to you. You rationalize that your trollish behavior is justified. But all you seem to be doing is justifying your superiority complex and self-righteous indignation.

          Please don’t just take my word for it.

          https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-online-secrets/201409/internet-trolls-are-narcissists-psychopaths-and-sadists

          An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

          Regardless if you are an atheist, empiricist, free-thinker, troll or non-belief having believer – you are dull. It is boring talking to somebody with no beliefs and a delusion of being rational.

          I am going to follow this advice:

          “The next time you encounter a troll online, remember:

          1) These trolls are some truly difficult people.

          2) It is your suffering they imagine they inflict (whether in the name of rationality or superiority) that brings them pleasure, so the best thing you can do is ignore them. “

          I’m cutting you off pud. Blocked!

          • pud

            Demonstrate any instance where I did not put forward a rational argument….do it or we have nothing more to chat about

            I do not have to hold “beliefs” to be human. I told you several times now that I accept certain propositions to degrees of certainty. Belief requires no evidence, all “beliefs” are equally stupid…I do not “believe” anything.

            There are very very few people I find worth talking to! Most people are my intellectual inferior so I find them boring very quickly

            I do come here to upset people but I have a purpose

            I do not lie

  • Alex Voon

    Today we have been indoctrinated by all sorts of false doctrines in the Church at large and the erroneous 325 AD Nicean creed is the main cause.
    Why is it so? The answers is in the bible.

    Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven:
    Only few are given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven and only few are the true Church of Yahshua (Christ) for we humans is the Church.
    There are “multitudes” of Christians in the churches worldwide, but the disciples are always few.

    “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven …. Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.” The Kingdom Parables of Matthew 13.
    The seven parables of Matt. 13 comprise a complete history of the Malchut HaShamayim/Kingdom of Heaven — or rather, a complete prophecy, for when Yahshua spoke these words, it was virtually all still to happen.
    But how many of us truly understand about the Kingdom of Heaven these days? Even in the time of Yahshua, He himself made it clear from the beginning that while He spoke to the multitudes in parables, He only interpreted them for the disciples alone in private. He told them that “It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them (the multitudes) it is not given” (Matt. 13:11).
    Yahshua spoke the parables to the “multitudes” but only explained them to disciples. There are “multitudes” of Christians, but the disciples are always few. “Straight is the gate ….. that leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).
    There are always disciples – but always only a few. Today it is no different — regardless of how great a multitude say they are Yahshua Believers, there are not many who are willing to walk the narrow way, deny themselves and take up their cross, turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, face persecution and reproach, sell all they have in exchange for treasure in heaven, and lose their life in order that they may find it.

    Look at Matt. 13:13-16: “Because of this I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand …
    for the heart of this people has become thickened, and their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart, and turn back, and I heal them.”

    Now why does Yahshua quote this extraordinary prophecy? Because parables force us to interpret; they draw out of our hearts an interpretation which springs from our true motive, e.g. greedy will justify their greed, lazy will justify their idleness, talebearers their gossip, critical justify their bigotry. Parables speak the truth, but veil it so as to allow the secrets of each person’s heart be brought out.

    Yahshua quoted Yeshayahu’s/Isaiah’s prophecy in Matthew 13 because it is relevant to all of the parables, especially applicable to the subject of the Kingdom. He called the parables “the mysteries of the Kingdom”.

    Do not underestimate the devil; he is the master of fraud and subversion and the world pays homage to him for he is “the prince of this world”, so is his false kingdom of this world. Remember Yahshua’s Kingdom is not of this world.

    1. A counterfeit Kingdom:
    To study the parables is of particular importance as it is crucial that we understand them if we are to know and understand our Faith in Yahshua. Pay attention, for the Bible also tells us of a counterfeit kingdom which is subtly yet radically different from the true Kingdom — a false kingdom masterminded by the prince of counterfeit and deceit, subverting and perverting the values of the true Kingdom, and yet can so easily fool our human hearts into accepting it as the true. Please note that the danger of this counterfeit is brought to our attention many times and in many ways by Yahshua in the kingdom parables (we also need to study on the Mystery of Iniquity).

    2. Misunderstanding the gospel/besorah :
    Evangelical Christians in particular have narrowed down what they mean by “the gospel” to the doctrine of justification by faith as set out by Shaul/Paul in the book of Romans. So entrenched has this thinking become that the idea that Yahshua also “preached the gospel/besorah” strikes us as odd. We have not grasped the truth that the Sermon on the Mount is “the gospel/besorah of the Kingdom” and it is the same as preached by Kefa/Peter, Shaul/Paul, Yaakov/James and Yochanan/John. The preaching of free grace (called “cheap grace” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer) has marginalized, if not totally eclipsed the challenge of the besorah of the Kingdom.

    Grace and Discipleship are what Yahshua Believers are struggling to reconcile to the idea of grace with the demands of obedience and the stern conditions of the Sermon on the Mount. The perceived tension between an “Elohim of grace/chesed” who loves and forgives, and an “Elohim of discipleship” who makes stringent demands, has created a false dualism between the two apparently opposing sides, and Believers have tended to come down in favour of one side or the other.

    Many come down on the side of grace/chesed, and tend to sideline or ignore the hard words of discipleship. That is certainly the more comfortable option. But others come down in favour of discipleship, and tend to ignore grace, become legalistic, hard and critical. Both these options appeal strongly in their own way to different sorts of people; but neither is the true besorah.

    In reality there is no contradiction between grace and discipleship. Grace is a fundamental of the besorah. So is the challenge to discipleship. Clearly, there can be no contradiction between the two. In fact, the fault often lies in our concept of grace.

    We have to accept the whole besorah of the Kingdom at face value if we are to understand the parables of the Kingdom aright. If we are willing to do this, and if we accept that the Sermon on the Mount is the “besorah of the Kingdom”, we can go on to suggest that it makes sense to say that the besorah of the Kingdom and the parables of the Kingdom are likely to be talking about the same thing. The same principles run through the clear, unambiguous teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and the “mysterious” parables of the Kingdom.

    Once we see that we can interpret the parables of the Kingdom in the light of the besorah of the Kingdom, the parables become easier to understand. The parables and the besorah tie in with each other and explain each other. There are no contradictions between them. However, the plain teaching of the Sermon on the Mount has been confused by theologians and bible scholars suggesting that it only applies to the Jews, or that it only applies in the Millennium; and so the parables of the Kingdom have been subject to even more confusion.

    But if we are willing to accept that the Sermon on the Mount applies to all Yahshua Believers, today, then we will understand the parables much more easily — and we will have a much fuller and more complete understanding of the besorah. Only those who have been obedient to the Word of Yahshua and put the Sermon on the Mount into practice, can understand the mysteries of the Kingdom. In Bonhoeffer’s book on the Sermon on the Mount, “The Cost of Discipleship”, he stressed the point that “only he who is obedient believes”
    —- that is to say, the only proof of real faith in the life of a Yahshua Believer is when he obeys Yahshua’s Words.