How to Spot a False Prophet

The Word of God

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou has not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the works of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him. –Deuteronomy 13:1-4

In this passage God emphasizes that, even if a person is able to work a miracle or to prophesy events that come to pass, he is not to be believed, but rejected if he teaches anything contrary to the Word of God, particularly leading people away from the God of the Bible to worship false gods or idols.

This warning from God includes His command that we must reject the religious leaders–gurus and others–who claim to be representatives of God, or to be God themselves. It would certainly include His command to reject false religions, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and the religion of the Muslims. We must reject all religions which do not go according to the Bible, but rather hold up some other god, some other savior. We must test the messenger and the message by the Bible.

There are even those who claim Jesus was a fine fellow, but He was not really the Son of God, God in the flesh, and He was not really resurrected physically and bodily from the grave. Some people say they love Jesus, but will not agree He is the virgin-born, divine Son of God, the literally resurrected Savior, the only hope of a lost and dying world. They just think of Him as a fine fellow. This is not the Bible Jesus, and God wants us to believe in the Jesus of the Bible, the One the Bible tells us about.

Jesus Christ

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because any false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

The message and the messenger must be tested by this one test: he and the message must hold up Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, God who has come down to earth as a human being, the God-man, Jesus Christ.

If anyone rejects Jesus as God in the flesh, Deity Incarnate, then he must be rejected as of the spirit of antichrist. You will notice that many so-called “Christian” groups do this. For instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses reject Jesus as God in the flesh and teach that He should not be worshipped as God. Yet Jesus Himself said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”

Many Christians have asked why those who promote false religions come around on Sunday morning. Some good Christians have thought perhaps it was because if they can catch people at home during the Sunday School and church hour, instead of in Sunday School and church, they may think they have a better chance of winning an unfaithful and irresponsible Christian over to their particular doctrine than if they contact a Christian who is faithful in church attendance.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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