“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
A false teacher can be anyone in a position of spiritual authority or claiming to be. Wolves don’t often attack wolves, but they do go after sheep. They bring destructive teachings and lies, often, by telling people what they want to hear. They provide layers of truth mixed with error, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.
“Beware” means to be on alert … to discern what is being said. False teachers take advantage of the fact that many people are not well educated in fundamental biblical truths. To detect a counterfeit, one must first know what the original looks like. It’s impossible to gain a clear picture of absolute truth without going directly to God’s Word. Unless one is firmly grounded in God’s Word and led by His Spirit, one can easily be led astray.
Wolves don’t advertise, instead, they “look” like sheep. False teachers aren’t dressed in red holding a pitchfork. They often look the same as everyone else. They subtly challenge the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, and they add to salvation … it’s not in Christ alone. Legitimate teachers recognise the deity of Christ. False teachers promote salvation through works and not through faith alone. One must belong to their Society, Institution or Church in order to be saved. This is a false gospel.
The road to deception is paved with a reliance on “men of God” who aren’t. When men turn to other men; when men rely on men instead of the Word of God: that is the beginning of deception.
Many of the scams run by false prophets are similar. The most popular are:
“I’ve been to heaven and God sent me back with a message.” or “I’ve been infused with the spirit”.
This is totally contrary to what the Bible teaches. No one is coming back from the dead with a message from God. No message that needs telling isn’t already in God’s Word. Sometimes, the messages appear to be biblical. But after the readers’ trust has been gained, later messages include much which is not biblical.
There are hundreds of “prophetic” websites. Check the biography’s of the prophets; quite a few are run by “former” witches and other members of occult practices. I have found, the number one target of these Messianic self confessed prophets are the wounded / social outcasts or people who have been brainwashed by religious doctrine since birth. They are the most vulnerable because this portion of society isolate themselves. With the advance of the internet, there has been a terrific flood of prophecies flowing out to the global Christian community, via websites, Facebook, Twitter and web rings. The problem is that much of what is shared is poor quality and insipid.
It should be noted, that each fresh wave within the a ‘charismatic movement’ for the past twenty years has been accompanied by promises of revival. Each one was said to be preparing the people so that they would be ready for the great national outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But each wave ended in disappointment, as the promises of revival were never fulfilled. This is dangerous.
“Despite the apparent sophistication of our technological age, we live in a highly gullible generation open to false prophets and false messiahs”(Clifford Hill).
You and I need no Pope. We need no men as Priests. We need no Ministers. We need no Evangelists. We need no Faith Healers that you or I must seek out for healings or other blessings. We need no Prophets nor do we need any person whatever! But almost all the False Prophets are in the business of saying something like: “You have to come to me for blessings.” “Repent”, “Kneel”, Or, some may say: “You have to go to that man or to that woman for anything from God.” They often say: “Christ has given men authority on earth to be your ministers and you have to submit to them and to the authority of the leaders of the Church of God.” This is pure and unadulterated nonsense. Worse than that, it is the propagation and dissemination of the Antichrist system where you have men standing in as the representatives of God.