—>False Prophets: How to spot a counterfeit?<—
There are a lot of different ministries and things written or spoken about God online currently. The internet is littered and cluttered with more information than anyone bothers to look at or read. Clutter tends to lead not only to distraction, but also to confusion. This confusion is often in what ministry or minister to listen to. Who do you trust when multiple people are barking similar yet different messages at you? Who is telling the truth? It’s so easy to struggle with being able to tell the difference between good sound biblical doctrine and ‘teaching’ that’s just for entertainment or show. We almost have to become like Phoenix Wright in the game Ace Attorney and analyze each message word by word to spot the contradiction in their story.
Should we really try to look through all the words that everyone says though? There are so many teachings available now, that it would be hard to spend time analyzing them all on our own. Although, it is common to seek out errors in people’s story in the courtroom, we need to realize that as long as we stay in God’s word and trust it over anything else we will stay on the right path. That being said, let’s turn to the Bible to see what to do if we are confused over false teaching.
“Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.”
2 Thessalonians 2:2-3(NLT)
What do we do when there is confusion over what teaching is what? We don’t panic. We stand still. We don’t immediately believe what was said and instead turn to the only valid testimony, which is the word of God. However, if we are trying to train ourselves to better spot a contradiction to avoid false teachers it’s good to look at characteristics the Bible describes a false teacher as having in general.
So, the evidence of someone who speaks falsely in God’s name are listed below:
1. They seek wealth and fame over God
2. They lead people away from God and His Word
3. They compare themselves to others over Christ
4. They can and will perform signs and miracles or have visions of the future.
5. They might try to deceive subtly or in secret.
Idolatry: By seeking wealth and fame over God or anything over God, they make idols of them. These people will also love themselves more than God according to scriptures and will not have fear in their hearts for Him. They will encourage others to idol worship or other sins and will not discourage it at all. We should avoid loving or seeking things above God, period. If anyone amongst you seems to be doing the opposite or saying the opposite, correct them, if they don’t listen avoid them and pray over them.(Deut 13: 2-4;2 Peter 2:1; Luke 6:26)
Leading away: These people will lead people away from God and His word. They usually do not use much scripture, if they use any at all, and do not encourage people to go to the word, to understand the word and God, or to seek out God. Remember to seek God’s word before believing anything. Ask Him to show you scriptures and to help you understand whatever teaching you saw or questions you have. (Ezekiel 13:1; Deut 13:2-11; 2 Thess. 2:15)
Comparison: They will not let Christ be their standard. Instead everyone else will be their standard for living. They will constantly want to know what’s happening in other people’s lives(celebrity or not) so that they can see what they need to change about their message or word to suit what they think the people will like to see or hear. They are people pleasers more than anything and will never speak the truth for they run from it; as the darkness scatters when the light shines. Their teaching will encourage you to do the same. (Romans 16:18; 2 Cor. 11:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:2-9; 1 John 1: 6-7)
Miracles and visions: A lot of people think that people who have visions of the future or who can perform miracles automatically belong to God. This is not always the case according to scriptures. Sometimes there are people who will go far enough to perform fake miracles and have fake visions that seem as real and true as can be when done. Many will see these things and immediately think this person has some sort of divine ‘anointing’ of sorts, while forgetting that this person needs to actually preach what the word says to back up the wonders. (Deut 13:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:2; Matt. 24:24)
Deception: Some of these people will use a subtle suggestion to deceive people. Some will tell people untruths and lies while they are at a secret place, or one-on-one. These people do this because they feel like if they can get this person separated from the pack and tell them lies they feel like this person will be weak enough in their faith to actually believe their false words. Test others words about God against the Holy Word.
Do not spend a lot of time alone with these people, always bring someone in who can listen in on the conversation, and if you are weak in the faith avoid being with this person as much as possible. If you know enough scripture, correct these people and rebuke their lies with the word of God. If they do not listen, just pray for them and be led by God on whether you should end contact.(Jude; 1 John 4:1-6 ; 2 Thess. 3:14-15; 2 Cor. 11:12-15)
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
When following God we should not seek after temporary satisfaction, which is all sin is. As soon as your popularity dies down, as soon as your wealth dwindles, as soon as whatever you’re seeking over God fades; what will you have left? Only God will be left. What would it profit you if the only one that’s there for you has kindled His anger against you? If you are a false prophet, I implore you to repent now. If you have any of these attributes in your lifestyle ask God to help you turn from those things. He is able to release you from this snare. If you are confused about false teaching, get a version of the bible you understand and keep reading it.
Remember to trust God and listen to His word
over everything, even what is on this blog, for I am just a human!
Run from false teaching and prophets!
Hate what is false!
Cling to God instead!
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