False Prophets

Jeremiah the weeping prophet wrote much about false prophets. 5:31 points to the last days as much as throughout history when he wrote: "The prophets prophesy lies, The priests rule by their own authority, And my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?" This puts the judgment not only on lying prophets but the ones that flock after them. A false prophet that speaks upon his own authority appeals to the fools and it is tragic that there are so many fools for the prophets to lie to. They speak what the people want to hear and the majority of the church flock to them.

I get prophets coming to me frequently that want to be part of the anointing and teach us. Jesus is the teacher but they think that since God speaks through them that everything they say is from Jesus. Pride has already set in before they see our unity and it says a lot about how this group is coming across to others. I get e-mail from those that think that they are one or both of the two witnesses or that they are the one and only Elijah and they have the authority to dictate to me and this group what should be taught. If we do not accept what they have to say, they think we are rejecting the truth. There is a better way and a deeper truth.

Jesus is the way, if we want to accept the words of others, it had better be the way that Jesus has given us to follow and that is the way of love, holiness, denying ourselves and taking up His cross. Jesus is the truth, when we accept the truth that others give as their truth, it better be the truth that come from the right source or it can be only half-truth, which is not good enough for holiness. No one here cares how right you are or how smart you are, we want Jesus. It matters not that you think you have the truth for even cults and legalistic denominations think they have it, in fact they think that they have the corner on the truth. Right? He is the life and if we are a part of that life, then we are a part of a life that is composed of a body of believers that love each other as He loves us and we give ourselves to each other as He has given Himself for us. And we teach each other in the power of the Holy Spirit and lift each other up, not put anyone down.

Unity, holiness and love. These three make up the true Bride of Christ that follows the way, the truth and the life. Beware of false imitations that would have us follow them.

There are many false prophets in the church today. Jeremiah wrote "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. You have scattered my flock and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall."

False prophets, bogus healers, teachers after their own heart, pretended apostles and contentious Christians, all clamoring for the same honor and glory that Jesus has. Mostly they are well meaning people that are just trying too hard. If God truly gives you a spiritual gift, it will come easy. I see prophets all the time that want a word from the Lord to give the people and if they do not receive one, will give it anyway just for the attention. Hearing what other prophets are saying, they will mimic the theme or use flattering words. They do not need to exalt their giftedness by saying thus saith the Lord or use inspired by the Holy Spirit phrases or speak in King James prose, but they do. Much of what they say is true but if they are speaking from their own heart we must be very careful what we respond to.

The true testimony of Jesus is through the spirit of prophecy but false prophets will appeal to your pride. They preach the soothing words of peace, but it is only slumber and the temptation to walk after your own heart and be conformed to this world. "No evil shall come upon you," they say, "you are saints and will be delivered from the day of trouble." God did not send them, yet many listen.

Ezekiel: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat, and ye clothe you with wool, you kill them that are fed: but you feed not the flock. I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock: neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

Peter: "There shall be false teachers among you, who prively shall bring 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. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you..."

The false prophets that now preach the worst deception are economists, government statisticians, politicians, corporations, special interests, advertisers, diplomats and strategists. Manipulating their message, they contrive to put something of their own between the hearers and the gospel to control others. A weak church will listen to these false prophets and slumbering shepherds because they tell them what they want to hear. They wish to conciliate a class or an interest; create an opinion in favor of their own learning, delusions, ability or eloquence, their enlisted cause is only accidentally connected to the gospel.

Many Christians are naive, often gullible. The reason for this is that once we are saved, we want more from the Lord and can be easily swayed in our yearning to be taken higher. Those with tickling ears hear what they want to hear and heed those that exalt their own self-importance. I am learning that this is what is wrong with the faith movement and prosperity and seed faith doctrines and that is that it puts our belief system in a position of pride and selfishness. Even putting the latter rain or the apostolic into a movement or a denomination puts it into an prideful effort of man rather than a spiritual fulfillment of scripture. Understanding the influence of pride and demanding authority is a major factor here for discernment.

Simony is using what God gives us and peddling it. An early church document, the Didache tells us that if a prophet asks you for money, he is a false prophet. These ministers would rather prey on people than pray for them. If God cannot provide for your ministry without asking anyone other than Him, what reason do you give for having a ministry? Just because you want to serve God? Is it for your own glory? We cannot call and send ourselves, we must be called by God. Have you seen those evangelists praying and telling of seeing visions of particular members giving money. They tell you that giving to them is giving to God and tempt you by saying God will repay. "God told me to tell you" they say. Not my God, it is the god of avarice and filthy lucre springing forth from their own belly.

There is the authentic and there is the counterfeit. The problem with trusting another's discernment is that it can also be counterfeited. There are actual so-called discernment ministries that have nothing else to do but knock all ministries that do not fit into their own narrow way of thinking. Many of these ministries draw those in the flesh to them to become prideful heresy hunters themselves and tear down spirit filled ministries because they have not personally had the same experiences. They use the word of God as a weapon to tear the flesh instead of dividing the spirit thereby judging entire ministries because of a few bad apples. They have their reward. Of course we are not be surprised at this but it is true spiritual discernment needed to expose the false. We cannot do it alone, we need each other; it has to be according to truth, it has to be according to thus saith the Lord in scripture and it has to be according to the witness of the spirit to verify that truth. Relying on the spirit might not be enough if it is a false spirit, relying on the Bible is not enough if it is according to mis-interpretation. That is why we are to bear witness with each other and to the Word of God according to the final authority of God and not lean upon our own understanding. Unity is the key here.

Josephus: "False prophets were seducers and deceivers who, under the guise of having been inspired by God, work toward rebellion and revolt, and who by their words would turn. Some were diviners who could read the secrets of the heart and the past, and foretell the future, according to remuneration; some were fanatics who worked themselves into a frenzy by weird music, strong drink, or dervish-like dances, and spoke in trances words which their hearers considered inspired - i.e., breathed into them some spirit other than their own."

Jeremiah speaks with professional scorn of "every man that is mad, and makes himself a prophet. Say unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit.. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Saying Peace, and there was no peace..." John: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have no doubt continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
[Jeremiah, Ezekiel, II Peter, 313, 319, 310, I John, The references to "this group" was from discussions on the latter rain list]

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