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

twotug@embarqmail.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Recommended prophecy sites:

www.raptureready.com
www.prophecyupdate.com
www.raptureforums.com

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

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email a

Pride :: By Nathele Graham

There are two kinds of pride… a good side and a bad side. Good pride urges us to pull our pants up to our waist, comb our hair, bathe, and brush our teeth in order to be presentable in society. We can take pride in doing a good job or in creating a work of art. On the other hand, pride can stumble our walk with Jesus and cause us to think more of “me” than of serving the Lord.

Pride causes us to believe we are better than other people and to look down on them. We are all sinners and are all in need of God’s grace. It’s not a Christian virtue to pridefully look down on other people. We are all human with many failings, so if you set the standard of perfection by your own actions, you’ve lifted yourself above Jesus. He was perfect in every way and never sinned. He is the standard of perfection we need to aim for. Since we are all human with a sin nature, we can never achieve perfection in our own right; therefore, we can’t be so prideful as to expect others to meet our standards.

“A man’s pride shall bring him low; but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23).

Remember, none of us is righteous by our own means; our righteousness comes only through Jesus. We owe Him our life.

This doesn’t mean we aren’t to discern. Scripture tells us not to pursue friendships and marriages or any partnership that compromises our walk with Jesus. Always ask yourself if joining closely with another person will bring you closer to God or drive you away from Him. If Jesus is first in your life, you will try to be like Him, and He will be your guide in all things. Jesus was humble and only got angry when God the Father was dishonored or when the Pharisees allowed pride to compromise compassion.

What makes you angry? Is it someone who steps on your pride? Someone who makes you feel inferior? If these things make you mad, then your pride is making you follow a wrong path. According to Scripture, we are to love our fellow human beings.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).

More than likely, you do things that step on other people’s pride. You cannot control another person’s actions, but you can allow the Holy Spirit to guide your actions.

There are many bad attitudes that pride brings into your life. Pride won’t allow you to forgive someone who has wronged you, even if they don’t seek your forgiveness. It also stops you from asking forgiveness from someone you’ve wronged.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).

Take all things to the Lord and ask Him to help you subdue your own pride. Let Him lift you up instead of allowing your pride to bring bitterness into your heart.

We can’t find a better example of the ugliness of pride than the pride of Lucifer. He was filled with pride, thinking that he was equal to God. He’s a being created by God, therefore inferior to God.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Sadly, too many people reject Christ and follow the ways of the world, which is ruled by Satan. When you look down upon another person with anger and spite, you aren’t following in Jesus’ footsteps but are following Lucifer in his pride and hatred. Satan’s pride caused him to lose his place in Heaven, and he will spend eternity in the lake of fire. He will be there with all who reject Christ and choose to follow satanic ways. Be sure to look to Scripture to guide your life, choices, words, and attitude.

The only example of true humbleness is Jesus Christ. With the words of His mouth, He created the earth and all that’s in it.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

Jesus is God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He was in the very beginning of all things… the Creator. He existed in Heaven where love abounds. There is no sin there and no pride. Yet, He loved His creation enough to humbly step into this fallen world in the form of a human baby in order to give us the only way of salvation.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

John did indeed behold Jesus in all His glory. John saw the miracles, and he saw the pride-filled Pharisees try to discredit Jesus. John was there at the last supper, saw Jesus arrested, and watched Him humbly allow Himself to be crucified. John also found the tomb empty on the third day. He saw the risen Lord. He was there on the day of Pentecost and was filled with the Holy Spirit. John must have been quite a rowdy fisherman when Jesus first called him. Jesus nicknamed John and James “The Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). John mellowed over time but never compromised God’s truth. His writings give us a special insight into the love of God.

Jesus came to earth in order to save humanity from sin. He gave His life for you and for me. Although He created the entire universe, He humbly stepped into His creation to show us the only way to eternal life. His own words tell us to be humble in our spirit.

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Poor in spirit doesn’t mean that you have a weak spirit, but that the spirit you have is humble and not enriching itself. Jesus goes on to say, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Meekness isn’t weakness but power under control. A meek person has a mild disposition and a gentle spirit. Pride isn’t in them, just the love of God.

The wrong kind of pride will bring much misery into your life. When you’re filled with pride, you have no room for the love of your fellow humans. Pride causes us to see worldly desires rather than the desire to please God.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

We only need to look upon the recent riots and destruction in order to see the result of pride unleashed. Christians need to put pride behind us and serve our Lord and Saviour rather than allow pride to drag us down to the level of worldly people who serve Satan instead of Christ.

That evil being was prideful enough to try to tempt Jesus to sin. If he was arrogant enough to try to tempt Jesus, he will certainly try to tempt those of us who follow Jesus. After Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Satan thought He was weak. Not Jesus… He was humble, not weak. Every temptation put before Him by Satan was answered with Scripture. The third and final temptation presented was that Satan would give Him all the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him. That would have meant Jesus wouldn’t have to endure the cross, but it would also mean His blood wouldn’t have been shed for our salvation. Pride could have caused Jesus to accept the challenge, but Jesus had Scripture ready to thwart Satan’s feeble attempts to cause Him to stumble.

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10).

If you allow pride to rule your life, you are not serving Christ.

Remember, it was pride that caused Lucifer to think He could be like God almighty. Lucifer is so far from being like God that there is absolutely no comparison. God is love; Satan is hate. God wants you to be with Him forever in Heaven, but Satan only wants you to join him in the Lake of Fire. Both places are eternal, but only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus brings eternal love and peace.

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23).

Pride is a sin. Don’t let pride cause you to fall. Bow your heart humbly before Jesus and let Him lift you up.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com
ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Recommended prophecy sites:

www.raptureready.com
www.prophecyupdate.com
www.raptureforums.com

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

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.