In the modern church system today there are many false prophets among the religious masses. They are not called or anointed by God to speak truth, but are counterfeits. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern truth from the lies, but Scripture gives clear examples and insight to differentiating one from the other.
“They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, ‘The LORD declares,’ when the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. “Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, ‘The LORD declares,’ but it is not I who have spoken?” - Ezekiel 13:6-7
The whole of chapter of Ezekiel 13 pretty much sums up and characterizes a false prophet.
The fact is that these supposed prophets practice divination which God deems an abomination. Many are blinded in indoctrination and do not know or take seriously the standards that the God upholds in His word. Exposing counterfeits is not popular among the religious crowds and unfortunately they lacking and are ignorant on this subject.
Many don't even ponder or investigate the truth with the guidance of the Holy Spirit because they are afraid of being deemed as being too controversial, will ruffle feathers and makes others feel uncomfortable.
Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. - Hosea 6:5
We are to be diligent in studying the Tanach so that we can take the truth and cut at the lies that would lead us into deception. God’s truth could also be described like a hammer that shatters hard hearts.
If we claim to follow the ways of God then we will have to walk in boldness that will go against the grain of this world. Most people only want their ears tickled with the deception of following after the grand delusions of religious prophets rather than testing what they hear with the standard of God's truth.
One of the signs of a false prophet is they are good at manipulating people with their words. Their seduction is in the stories that they tell to draw people in and gloss their eyes over until their purses and wallets are emptied.
"He that speaks flattery (cheleq) to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail." - Job 17:5
Having a hardened heart towards God is a serious issue and not to be taken lightly. Just look in the pages of Scripture of the many accounts of the fate of people who hardened their hearts towards Him.
“For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and thencomes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the LORD will be brought to answer him in My own person. “I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am the LORD. - Ezekiel 14:7-8
Exposing the Lies of False Profits
Unfortunately, most people today are receiving ministry from false prophets that are promoting idolatry in their hearts. This is a scary picture where most point to a man rather than to God.
The following Scripture references expose what false prophets are. Take heed to the following words.
- Ask for money or endorsement to feed their greed and egos. (Micah 3:11)
- They can work a crowd with their dynamic speech and enticing eye glazing stories. (Isaiah 30:10)
- They twist, mangle and pervert Scripture for their own benefit. (Jeremiah 14:14)
The True Prophet
A true prophet of God in Scripture did not strive to make a name for himself, but points to repentance and turning back to the ways of God. It is not something that has been made up in someone's vain imagination.
A true prophet’s anointing will either shine or be a flop. The counterfeit will always call to a draw attention to themselves as being 'super spiritual' and esteemed with 'greater revelation.' What this really is about is using vainglory as their credential to promote their self interests. They claim to do things under the authority of God name, but rather are doing with their own.
A true prophet first and foremost points to God, not on himself.
Many do not understand that it is a blessing to be corrected and exhorted by the truth of Scripture, because it brings us closer to God. Unfortunately, many avoid this because it is not a means to making money. The truth is often offensive and would impede the flow of the monetary.
Nowhere in Scripture would you find anyone begging the for money to help spread God's truth.
If God sends you on a mission or an assignment, it is His responsibility to provide for you while on the assignment as you walk in faith and obedience. After all, it is His assignment and He is using you for His purposes.
However, if it is your own assignment, you will need to come up with tricks, gimmicks and marketing strategies by drilling for oil first before you can do anything as soliciting money must take precedence in the endeavour. After all, you are using God for your own purposes.
This is how you can tell whether someone is on an assignment from God or a religious one of their own making.
Characteristics of a Prophet
Here are some characteristics from the writing of Leonard Ravenhill that may give more insight into discerning the truth form deception.
- The prophet is God's detective seeking for a lost treasure.
- The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity.
- Compromise is not known to him.
- He has no price tags.
- He is totally otherworldly.
- He is unquestionably controversial and unpardonably hostile.
- He marches to another drummer!
- He breathes the rarefied air of inspiration.
- He is a seer who comes to lead the blind.
- He lives in the heights of God and comes into the valley with a 'thus saith the Lord.'
- He shares some of the foreknowledge of God and so is aware of impending judgment.
- His message is 'repent, be reconciled to God or else!'
- His prophecies are parried.
- His truth brings torment, but his voice is never void.
- He eats daily the bread of affliction while he ministers, but he feeds the Bread of Life to those who listen.
- He walks before men for days, but has walked before God for years.
- He is a scourge to the nation before he is scourged by the nation.
- He announces, pronounces and denounces!
- He has a heart like a volcano and his words are as fire.
- He talks to men about God.
- He carries the lamp of truth amongst heretics while he is lampooned by men.
- He faces God before he faces men, but he is self-effacing.
- He hides with God in the secret place, but he has nothing to hide in the marketplace.
- He has passion, purpose and pugnacity.
- He is ordained of God, but disdained by men.
Copyright (C) 1994 by Leonard Ravenhill, Lindale Texas
Today, we face many hard and contentious issues where some of them require confrontation sacrifice and may bring affliction as part of walking God’s will in our lives.
Are you willing to count the cost?
It may not look pretty at the moment, but take heart because you are not alone. God will not abandon us and He will give us the strength to fight the fight.
- The Merchandising of Christianity
The sad fact is that most Christians are religious retail customers of a ministry brand name. Their gospel message is a product for sale.
© 2011 PlanksandNails
PlanksandNails (author) on February 13, 2011:
Thanks RJ for your comment. I appreciate your candor as you read through the HUB's. I hope they stimulate. I've been busy transferring material, so keep a look out for more to come.
I will peruse your material soon, and am looking forward to reading more.
Regards and God bless!
Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on February 13, 2011:
I plan to read every HUB you have posted today. This one is very straightforward and I imagine we all can relate to it as we come across these people from time to time. Most notably a prophet in Mexico claims to be Jesus's brother and he has arrived to "clear up some things." RJ