False prophets abound worldwide and have plenty of tricks to lure unwitting individuals to their fold.
They generally know how to use their charm to put many people into a trance that the letter fails to distinguish Gospel truths and whole lies.
These false teachers also typically possess a unique charisma that makes them highly effective in convincing people to follow certain beliefs.
Often, these belief systems run directly in contrast with the doctrines mentioned in the Bible.
Thus, we must beware of false prophets since they espouse false teaching that could lead us not into Jesus Christ and God but to the devil and eternal damnation.
What Does the Bible Say About False Prophets?
Several Bible verses about false prophets give us a glimpse into how they operate.
In Jeremiah 14:14, the Bible says: "Then the Lord said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.'"
Matthew 24:24 has these words: "For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
Meanwhile, Deuteronomy 18:20 talked about these: "But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.
How Do We Spot Modern False Prophets?
Just because we now live in modern times does not mean we do not have false prophets that do what the biblical false teachers did.
Lest we want ourselves to fall into the dangerous traps these religious tricksters lay before us, here are 10 ways to spot modern false prophets:
They do not correct those who sin. One thing modern false teachers want is to ensure that everyone in their fold does not feel like an outcast for committing sinful acts. Therefore, when someone pretending to be a modern-day prophet refuses to correct members who deliberately do what the Gospel tells them not to do, then that leader is undoubtedly a fake.
They profess "holes" in the Bible's teachings. False teachers of our time would tell us that the Bible contains plenty of inaccuracies and contradictions that make it an unreliable guide. Often, these pretentious messiahs do not admit that they are the ones who lack a clear understanding of what the Gospel teaches. Hence, they tell people about its supposed contradictions and errors.
They tell people that material prosperity is equivalent to rich faith. False teachers have a predominantly materialistic view of faith, which is why they tell their followers to be financially prosperous. These pretentious leaders equate material possessions with a person's degree of faith in Christ and God. If all your leader can talk about in his or her sermons is how you can amass wealth on earth, then you are listening to a modern false prophet.
They refuse to acknowledge Christ as "the way, the truth, and the life." Today's false teachers would never tell you about John 14:6; if they did, they would dismiss what the passage says as untrue. Instead of acknowledging Jesus Christ as "the way, the truth, and the life," they would point to themselves as your ticket to salvation.
They won't tell you to repent your sins or fear hell. No true preacher would ever say to their believers that hell is true and repentance for one's sins is needed to achieve God's forgiveness and eternal life. The truth is that hell is where sinners who failed to repent would go. It's up to you to believe this, as mentioned in the Bible (read Isaiah 5:14).
They would benefit from their followers in power, fame, and wealth. There have been plenty of modern false prophets who have enriched themselves off their followers' hard-earned money. Some purchase private jets; others buy large mansions, fancy cars, and jewelry.
They often lure followers into sexual impropriety and other worldly acts. We see many reports about pastors and self-proclaimed messiahs who end up sexually abusing their hapless followers, often very young believers who didn't know better. False teachers have a way of justifying their lust for flesh, fame, or material possessions and often get away with their crimes because they have their followers entirely under their spell.
They see and profess themselves as the center of the universe. One tell-tale sign of a false teacher is when he or she heaps nothing but personal praises. If your preacher does not show humility, then that preacher is not a godly leader.
They talk holy but live evil. When you see glaring contradictions in how your pastor preaches versus his or her actual way of life, that should be enough to raise the alarm. False prophets often speak about holiness and all things that are pleasant to hear but then live their lives entirely outside what the Gospel says man should live.
They sow discord. Very often, false teachers hate peace and love disagreements. They often say or do something that creates ripples of division within their congregations. By doing so, these false messiahs ensure that they seem to be the only person who can pacify everyone and restore order.
Knowing who to follow and place your faith in can be difficult, but weeding the real teachers from false prophets with these tips should be much easier.
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