Greetings brethren in the Name of the Lord! May grace and peace be upon all those who call upon the name of our saviour - in sincerity and truth.
Some might approach this topic today from the stand point of...not another one of those "false prophet" warning messages, And begin to lean back on their chairs to have a really good stretch ...whilst yawning at the same time ;-)
But im persuaded of better things (of some) in here. After all it wasn't me that sounded the alarm and warning bells - in the first instance!
~~ Beware of false prophets (matthew 7)
~~ False christs and false prophets (matt 24:24)
~~ Peter said it was not unusual for prophets to found amongst the O.T saints, just as it WOULD not be UNUSUAL in our TIME to DISCOVER the false teacher in OUR midst.
~~ LIKEWISE Paul warned Titus of a man who was a verbally insulting PROPHET - towards other people. Calling such people liars, evil beasts, and slow bellies. And thus was appropriately labeled "a prophet of their own"
~~ We see Elymas in Acts ( bar-jesus ) who was both a sorceror and a false prophet. And Being very much i might add a "troublemaker" and a "resistor" of the truth.
But to balance the discussion today and without digressing to much. We see true prophets in the form of one Agabus, and both Judas and Silas ( acts 15:32 ) now i thought i'd throw in those (3) names to you - in case some out there (say) New testament prophets don't exist, or if they did - they faded after the establishment of the 1st century church. ( famous last words ) :-x and also we read this in acts 13:1 Now there was in the church that was at Antioch ...certain Prophets
Incidently Agabus prophesied (predicted) a world-wide DEARTH which did come to pass. With the apostles responding accordingly making preparations for what lay ahead! ( so much for those who declare predictive prophesy is relegated to the O.T prophets only). This same prophet also emulated the O.T prophet style and demeanor by performing an "en-actment" of the bonds and the deprivation of liberty that awaited Paul AT Jerusalem ... should he GO up. By taking Paul's girdle and binding them to his own hands and feet. Saying "thus saith the holy ghost" to this man here Paul. Now this is Very much akin to the symbolic acts accustomed (to that) of the O.T prophet ... well to my way of thinking it is. And what is so "non different" about the remonstration performed here - by one Agabus? In comparitive terms that is (to the ways) of an old-testament prophet - i ask you? Not a lot by my reckoning!
But back on topic after having pursued that rabbit long enough. Now i didn't want this be to long and drawn out message, nor did i want to be short to the giving out of (JUST) the HUSKS of man's religion.
False prophets how do we identify them? What are some of THE things we look for...in a false prophet?
Well for starter's let's begin by making this statement beware of shepherd's who say to you the man who is coming to our congregation next week - "Is a prophet of the Lord" so ready yourselves ahead of time - for his visit next week. ( end quote )
Now if your pastor is a good judge! then you might well "bear with him" and trust his judgement and discernment of what a prophet "is" and "isn't". However i have always thought it was up to the individual to make up his or her mind in regards to the validity of a man's office. And Without that "right" to JUDGE THE PROPHET - being USURPED or "taken away" from me.(HELLO) Or to have someone else making that decision on my behalf encouages babyhood! and further to that we have a situation of a blind "surrending of your mind" and "will" to another's judgement and determinations. hmmmm
False prophets are on the increase no doubting, and will abound in great numbers as the days draw closer to the end. And to the triumphant SOON return of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Amen)!
Great signs and wonders will be prominent in the life of the "self professed" prophet of the last day GENERATION.
The "man of sin" featured in 2ND Thessalonians Chapter Two - also comes with all manner of power, signs, and lying wonders. Therefore it is no strange thing that his prophets would come in like manner with "false anointing" "counterfeit gifts" and " FALSE FIRE" !!
The false prophet described in Revelation chapter thirteen - who works in tandem & unison with the beast ... calls down fire from heaven! And decieves them that dwell upon the earth by MEANS of those MIRACLES. There has always been TRUE FIRE and FALSE FIRE brethren (always)!
Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken and with him the "false prophet" that wrought (worked) MIRACLES before him, with which ... he decieved them - that had recieved the mark !!
Should we then throw out the baby with the bathwater - and dismiss all prophets who work miracles amongst us? NO only the false ones!
By their fruits ye shall know them!
~~ inwardly they are brutal
~~ inwardly they ARE ravenous
~~ inwardly they devour souls
~~ and their inner part (heart) is vicious
A good tree cannot bring forth - evil fruit!
Can a good tree bring forth - that which is evil
Remember the prophet in Titus brethren and his features. He was not forbearing, patient, or longsuffering or enduring - nor was he the "endearing" type! He was insulting, verbally abusive, critical, slanderous.
Now rewind and go back to the words of Jesus and recall how he said im Matthew seven how that - a good tree does not bring forth this evil fruit. So this "prophet of their own" here in the book of Titus is bringing forth that undersirable and bad fruit (no)? ( a classic example )!
Also recall Elymas' behaviour and how he greatly withstood paul and barnabus before the deputy of the town. Who paul fastening his eyes upon him denounced him as mischievous, a subtil of heart person, an enemy of righteousness. Whom paul both reproved and rebuked - saying when O when O' Man will you ever cease to pervert the "right ways" of the Lord? Sounds like to me that evidently he had been decieving and corrupting the scriptures now for a considerable and long time. Who recieved of paul "divine discipline" being struck down and smitten with temporary loss of sight for a season!! And the deputy being astonished upon what he just seen - repented and found Christ that very selfsame day. (Glory)
In closing the book ofJeremiah gives us some real insights into the works of a false prophet. So with-out further ado lets tke a look at chapter twenty three (23) and see if we can't dissect it and put more perspective on - TOdAYS MESSAGE
~~ False prophets "prophesy lies" about their dreams, claiming them as divinely recieved dreams from the almighty (Jer 23:25)
~~ They are prophets of the deceit - of their OWN heart. They prophesy from their own spirit.
~~ They cause people to forget God's name. And they achieve this - by stealing the focus of fascination T HROUGH the telling of their OWN dreams (JER 23:27-28)
~~ The word they preach does not come forth as a fire or as the hammer that breaks rocks into fragments. Eg an unpenitent heart ( Jer 23:29 )
~~ THE Prophet that is false uses "LIGHTNESS" in the pulpit ( jer 23:32 ) being way to flippant.
~~ The prophet who is false is not sent ... but runs anyway ( jer 23:21 )
Notice that last trait ... he runs anyway!
Now contrast that with 1st John who said the false prophets of his era had failed to do what? failed to "discern the Spirits". And as a consequence of this - many false prophets have entered ... into the world. Hmmmm they ran anyway.
~~ the false prophet often foolishly sets dates for things to occur and happen in the world. Only for the thing or prophesy ... to fail - to come to pass and be fulfilled. Leaving that prophet both red-faced and the object of people's scorn and rejection!
Let a word to the wise be sufficient here. Now these are indeed exciting days we live in. How so?in that we of all people might be the very ones who witness the closing out of TIME - as it were. YES the fulfilment of all things. The very consummation of the ages. Finalized and realized to WIT ... in the full-redemption of the body ( Glory BE) But having said - it is also perilous times and dangerous DAYS of mass deception ... yes this is "the era of the false prophet"
Amen and Amen