Beware of False Prophets :: By Nathele Graham

Throughout Scripture, we read about false prophets. A true prophet is one who speaks the word of God and doesn’t sugar coat it, nor does a true prophet twist God’s truth.

Peter writes about false prophets and their heretical teachings. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring them 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: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 1:1-3).

False prophets are all around us, and they profit by promoting their lies. Their heresies are brought into congregations in the form of books promoting New Age lies, contemplative prayer, meditation, purpose-driven, and yoga, among other heresies. Scripture doesn’t promote any of these ideas, and Christians need to reject these teachings, as well as many other ideas that aren’t of God. You’ll find many false teachings on the mainstream news, and Christians need to run everything through Scripture. That is where truth is found. Peter says that these false prophets will reap the reward of their false teaching.

“And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots, they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Peter 2:13-15).

Balaam sold his services to Balak, the king of Moab, in order to destroy Israel. Even a donkey was smarter than Balaam. “But was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet” (2 Peter 2:16). Read the full story in Numbers chapter 22.

God will always prevail; He worked through His prophet Elijah to destroy hundreds of prophets who were evil. “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:19).

Jezebel was the very wicked and evil wife of King Ahab. She practiced paganism, and Baal was a god worshipped by the Phoenicians. Any prophet who speaks for a demon god cannot be trusted, including the false prophet, Mohammed. Their words are only meant for destruction. Elijah was a prophet of God Almighty, and through God’s power, the false prophets were utterly destroyed in a miraculous way. Elijah was outnumbered by the false prophets, so how did he prevail against them? Faith. He knew and trusted God. No matter how much it seems that you’re in a minority, if you have faith and only serve God Almighty, you will win the battle. If you believe everything you hear on MSNBC or CNN, you’re listening to false prophets who sell their services with no thought about God’s truth.

Jeremiah was another of God’s true prophets who dealt with the lies of false prophets. Why is it that people are willing to believe liars and fools? God told Jeremiah that the Southern Kingdom (Judah) would be taken captive by the Babylonians for 70 years. God’s people had disobeyed God by not allowing the land to rest every seventh year. It’s always a good idea to obey God. Because of their disobedience, God was going to remove them from the land to allow it to rest, and Jeremiah told the people this was going to happen.

God directed Jeremiah to make bonds and yokes, put them on himself, and also send them to the kings of Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, Tyrus, and Zidon. This was a warning that God would use a pagan king to do His bidding. Nebuchadnezzar had no idea that God Almighty was allowing him to conquer many nations, but he went about taking people hostage and destroying nations. The nations to which Jeremiah was to send the yokes were nations that listened to false prophets. God added a warning to the yokes.

“Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish” (Jeremiah 27:9-10).

When you listen to God and hearken to His word, you follow truth. Unfortunately, there are always false teachers who make it seem as if God is wrong. God is never wrong.

Nobody wants to hear doom and gloom. They may not honor or obey God but believe that God will wink and snicker at their disobedience and not allow anything bad to happen. God is fair. He warns us of what disobedience brings, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). He gives us Scripture to guide us in His truth.

Prophecy tells us what the future holds, but too many people, even Christians, choose to listen to the prophets of Baal and ignore God. Jeremiah had to deal with a false prophet, Hananiah, who thought he was smarter than God. His false teachings that contradicted God’s words prove he was a false prophet. Hananiah was bold in his actions. He went to the house of the LORD, and in front of the priests and the people, he contradicted Jeremiah’s prophecy of the 70-year captivity. Hananiah said,

“Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD’S house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon” (Jeremiah 28:2-4).

There’s more than one lesson here. First, don’t take Scripture out of context. If you just read these verses, you could make the mistake of thinking Hananiah was speaking God’s words. Next, remember that not everyone who claims to have a message from God actually speaks God’s truth. Test everything under the lens of Scripture. Anything that contradicts God’s word is a lie. Jeremiah could have become angry at him, but he very wisely left it in God’s hands to reveal who was correct.

“Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; the prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him” (Jeremiah 28:6-9).

Instead of arguing, Jeremiah simply said to wait and see which prophecy was proven by time.

After Hananiah left, God directed Jeremiah to confront him. “Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; the LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou has taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month” (Jeremiah 28:15-17).

We need to be very careful who we listen to. Only God has truth. By not studying Scripture, you can easily be duped by a false prophet who speaks for a false god.

Jesus warned that the last days would be filled with deceit. Many will claim to be Christ but are imposters. There will be many reports of trouble. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:5-7).

Have you heard reports of these things? I certainly have. It seems that pestilence and famine are news headlines, as COVID is blamed for everything from delayed shipments of products to bare grocery shelves. Brothers and sisters, I urge you to stand firm on your faith and don’t allow fear to guide your decisions.

Look to Scripture for true prophecy. Study it and understand what Daniel says about the end times, and don’t be afraid to study Revelation. I know it can be a little frightening to read of a Beast running the world and causing everyone to take his mark. Large portions of the population will die, and water will become contaminated. There’ll be a one-world government, one-world economy, and one-world religion. If you don’t worship the beast and take his mark, you won’t be able to buy or sell. Of course, if you take his mark, you cannot be redeemed and will spend eternity in the lake of fire. The good news is that those events will all happen after Christians are taken to Heaven in the Rapture.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

We’re getting very near to the end of days. Everything we see happening is paving the way for the Beast to step into power. Those who are left after the Rapture will face horrors we can only imagine in our worst nightmares. Christians will be in Heaven praising our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as we cast our crowns at His feet. We won’t face the wrath of God.

When the seven years of the Great Tribulation have passed, there’ll be a judgment by God. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).

People like to speculate about the identity of the beast and the false prophet. Names like Obama, the Pope, Bill Gates, and others are mentioned. In truth, Christians will be in Heaven before the man of sin is revealed. The Apostle Paul wrote much about the Rapture.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Paul reassured the believers in Thessalonica that they would be Raptured before the “son of perdition” comes to power. First, there would be an apostasia, a falling away. The Greek word “apostasia” can mean a spiritual departure or a physical departure. The English word “apostasy” comes from this Greek word, and we use it to denote someone who isn’t walking in God’s truth. Paul may have chosen this word because it can mean either a physical departure or a spiritual departure.

Look around, and you can easily see that very few so-called Christians live their faith. How many pastors have now embraced homosexuality? How many of the brethren conform to the ways of the world instead of dying to self and standing firmly upon the word of God? Yes, there is a massive falling away from the faith. Possibly this weeds out the “in name only” Christians from those who have their feet firmly planted in Christ.

The Rapture (the physical departing of Christians) must happen before the wrath of God comes upon the whole world. Will you be one of us who are taken in the Rapture? Accept Jesus now to be sure. Turn your life over to Him and allow Him to guide your path. Put aside anger, pride, and any attitude that’s opposed to God’s word. Holding to any sin will bring tribulation into your soul. Not the seven-year tribulation described in Scripture, but conflict within your spirit.

Many false prophets are in the world today. They speak loudly and with seeming authority, but they don’t speak for the one true God. Study Scripture and allow Christ to mold you into a true follower of His truth. Then stand firmly against all false teachers and share God’s truth with others. Beware of false prophets.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

Recommended prophecy sites:

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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