False prophets are not going to tell you they are leading you astray. They actually believe they are speaking for God when they tell you, this is the word of the Lord. This is why we test the spirits. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” This is why Jesus said Matthew 24:4 “Watch out that no one deceives you.” Usually people think charismatic when talking about false teachers deceiving but this has effected the church across all denominations and distinctions. There are many false teachers out there who are simply teaching what they have been taught. They follow a certain theological distinction, and they believe it with all their heart and teach others the same. For example, I was a Methodist, went to a Methodist Seminary and then preached in a Methodist church with the key word being was. It may be a Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Reformed distinction to name a few, but that teaching will be perpetuated. Each has their own view of scripture and believe themselves to be the way, the truth and eternal life will follow if you are part of their belief system. Sadly many will not hear well done but depart from me. It appears that every church is doing this and every church has differing beliefs. Testing the spirits in this case is holding scripture up to the teaching and see what has been added to and deleted from. You will be surprised how much has been added and deleted if you look.
Today I want to look at when someone says, “hear the word of the Lord.” Today there is a fear of the charismatic and there should be, but the fear of God and not following His word should be stronger. Many are mistaken when they say there are no longer prophets. Oddly most accept three of these five. As we read in Ephesians 4:11 “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” The difference today is prophets do not add to God’s word but proclaim what people do not want to hear. There will also be times like this as we see in Acts 11:27 “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.” In most cases other than an example like this one, the word of the Lord will be just that, the word of the Lord as already written in scripture. The problem is that even today as there have always been, prophets are speaking for God when God has not spoken. Jeremiah 23:16 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” Ezekiel 13:2 “Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. 7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?” If God has spoken, you test the spirits by reading God’s word. It is also kind of odd that many believe that today there are false prophets but don’t believe there are true prophets of God. You can’t counterfeit something that doesn’t exist as counterfeit means to copy.
Just the other day I heard this false prophet named Julie Green talking about Trump’s indictment. I think I had mentioned her before during the elections when the man she said God has picked was not chosen by the people. This time she said Trump will not be indicted yet he was. She constantly lies but people still follow her. When you listen to her, it is pure demonic, yet she speaks as if God is speaking through her and many believe her. In her case what she says is usually a lie, so it really is easy to see she is a false prophet. You also just listen to see if this actually sounds like Jesus and it does not as her words do not reflect the word of God. The word of God does describe her and her demise. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” Ezekiel goes on to say Ezekiel 13:8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord. 10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”
Today’s church is filled with false teachers because truth has been thrown down. It doesn’t matter whether they are charismatic like Julie Green or non-charismatic like John MacArthur, false is false and both are false prophets. Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” After reading these verses you should be concerned for the church. Because the church has rebelled, satan has infiltrated the church. There are many like this Julie Green and many who are just teaching what they believe to be true, yet what they teach is false. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.”
Testing the spirits should be part of your journey to truth. The other day I said my journey has been about seeing and talking about the deception and delusion in the church. As you read this you should be testing what I am saying by reading the scriptures to make sure I am not deceived and deluded. In today’s church question everything and everyone who is teaching. When you ask them, they will tell you they preach truth but what does the bible say? It is good to be Berean in your search and you should be searching for truth in a day were truth is nowhere to be found. Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” If you seek truth read your bible and the more you read the bible the more truth you will see but only if you turn from the manmade church. If you continue to read through the eyes of a particular distinction, you will not see the truth and continue to miss the power of God. Earlier I said to read the Gospels and Acts. After reading them there is no way you would come up with something like cessationism or denying the gifts of the Spirit as possible for today. So make sure you read to seek God, not confirm what you have already been taught.