The Fruit of a False Prophet Part 2 is an examination of several distinctive points in a false prophet.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 He does not exalt, study, and obey the Word of God.
- 3 He has a tendency to avoid using Scripture as his text and authority.
- 4 He has a tendency to twist any Scripture he does use.
- 5 His tendency is towards avoiding restrictive regulation, preferring unbridled liberty.
- 6 His tendency is against strong, solid doctrines.
- 7 His standards for Christian service and ministry are low.
- 8 He distracts worship from God to other things.
- 9 He does not confront sin (impiety) and does produce justice and piety.
Jesus said that you can discern a false prophet by his fruits. It is often very easy to see a lot of things in a preacher’s life that are bad, and you can deduce from them that he is leaning more towards a false prophet than a man of God.
There is a universal principle. Your beliefs or doctrines will guide your life into a certain destination or walk that corresponds with the purity or contamination of those beliefs as to being biblical or not. Bad doctrine makes bad conduct.
This is true in everybody’s life, but in ministers of the gospel it is especially true. A man of God will lead his own life and others into the paths of God. A false prophet will eventually reveal bad fruit in his own life, and people that follow him will end up like him.
He does not exalt, study, and obey the Word of God.
There is a singular characteristic that defines a false prophet. He is not a true prophet of God. Not being a “true prophet of God” could mean somebody who is not truly called to minister, could be somebody who is disqualified from ministering like a divorced man, or just being a woman if she takes on the man’s role of pastor. But most likely we should understand this point as being somebody who just doesn’t respect the authority of God that God has placed in His Holy Word as being the means of giving us his authoritative messages.
As the foundation of his beliefs and actions, his own perceptions and conclusions are formed and presented to others, practiced by his own life and ministry, and these things are not checked nor founded in studies from the Word of God. He does not have a clear exposition of verses to form his belief system nor his conduct.
The key aspect of discerning this point in a preacher is 1) If he uses the Scripture, 2) how he uses Scripture, and 3) how closely his personal practice in his own life and ministry corresponds to biblical principles.
Use of Scriptures
Every single preacher, minister of God, as well as every single Christian should be a life long student of Scripture. When they speak, teach, or preach, their subject matter should always be the Word of God. But peripheral matters to church, salvation, etc. really should not be the central focus of their message. The central focuses should be 1) salvation, and 2) holiness.
Preachers should not preach “their” ideas on these topics, but God’s ideas. A true minister of God is only going to allow God’s ideas into his speech.
Moreover, the critical point that decides a matter in his thinking is what God has said about it in the Word of God.
You can detect a minister’s attitude toward the authority of God by seeing a very reasoned and good use of Scripture in his words. He neither lacks Scripture, nor does he misinterpret the Scriptures he uses, nor does he overuse Scripture as if the principles and clarity of Scripture to what his conclusions are is a secret matter. He uses them in such a way that his explanation makes the point clear and based on God’s Word.
How we use the Scriptures
Many preachers start off their sermons with a verse from the Bible and then they continue with their ideas and thoughts. They never examine and exposite even their single verse they use to open the sermon, nor do they seem to live in the Scriptures. Everything is a fantasy land of their own thinking. These guys think they have a corner on truth, and they do not need to base what they say and what their conclusions are because it is clear in Scripture BUT BECAUSE THEY SAY SOMETHING, IT IS SO.
In some cases, their conclusion of a particular Scripture is either the total opposite of the meaning in the Bible of that Scripture, or they twist it to something other than what God said and taught. Calvinists often talk about how God so loved the world, but then they redefine “world” as only the elect. That is not what it says, and any amount of explaining is just not going to change the words God said.
Not a Hypocrite
There is a universal principle that most Christians do not really understand very well. That principle is that you teach morality through a living example from a spiritual teacher. In other words, morality (including salvation) cannot be divorce from the life of the person teaching it. Maybe God will overrule this principle and save people even if they are not the best moral examples when it comes to testifying of Christ in the street, but in the pulpit, the preacher has to be a perfect living example of what doctrine he is teaching.
People copy what they see. When they see a hypocrite teaching true Bible doctrine, then they think that they also do not need to conform to Scripture, they can just be a shining light for others to adore. Problem is, people copy what you are before they copy what you say. Hypocrites produce just more hypocrites. True Christianity is always reproduced by preachers who live what they preach from Scripture.
In a follow up to the above, you can discern a false prophet because he has a strong tendency “to wander” when preaching so that it is not the Word that is being presented but rather his own thoughts. Sometimes preachers can be so impressed with a spiritual gem that they discerned that they go long on talking about it. But in general, the principle is clearly presented before they elaborate on it.
A false prophet doesn’t deposit a biblical truth and expound on it, but uses a verse as a stepping stone to introduce his own thoughts. Again, exposition has to be at the heart of what a true minister presents.
He has a tendency to twist any Scripture he does use.
A false prophet does not have his heart right with God. He is not a person truly seeking to present the truth of Scripture. His own will reigns strongly over his sermon, and he side steps truth, and steps forcefully in his own conclusions that really are not sustained by his citing of Scripture.
In order to get to the truth, you must understand Scripture, correctly interpreted in the historical and grammatical context of the day it was given and with the people it was given to. People today have a hard time understanding a lot of the Old Testament because they are not familiar with nor do they understand the temple system of the Jews. This makes an easy understanding of the Old Testament, or even the New Testament when based on the Old Testament because they don’t understand the context.
His tendency is towards avoiding restrictive regulation, preferring unbridled liberty.
As false prophets go, they are either like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day in that they just want people to jump through hoops that they define, or they are libertines that Paul spoke of in that they want to give permission to people to do whatever their heart desires.
His tendency is against strong, solid doctrines.
Holiness for example is a doctrine that restricts our lives in living in a specific form or way before God. Doubtful things are given up in an effort to not offend God. But the false prophet wants to honor man and not God. So the doubtful desires are man are released. They see no problem with a homosexual or a transgender “Christian”. The one that has to give the benefit of the doubt is never God but man.
Obvious verses that say homosexualism is an abomination before God are forgotten. The wrath of God falling on Sodom is changed. God was not upset at their fornication but because they were not hospitable. They should have been hospitable. But that was not the issue. The homosexuals of Sodom wanted to force these angelic strangers into practicing their sexual fornication, willingly or unwillingly.
A man woman marriage with no outside romances is just not the kind of thing a false prophet is going to want to emphasize. Acceptance and getting involved in sin is what they want to see happen.
His standards for Christian service and ministry are low.
Since the false prophet himself is unqualified for Christian service and ministry, his standards for others in that church are also low.
Again we return to the principle that God has imposed a rule that a person who personally exemplifies these biblical principles is qualified to teach or preach them. The contradiction between what a person is and what he is presenting as Bible comes to the forefront.
He distracts worship from God to other things.
Many false prophets focus their church in service and other ancillary activities. But as a church we are to evangelize the lost and train the saved to be like Christ, especially in evangelizing the lost. That is the mission of the church.
When a church goes off track here, then you see an emphasis on comfort and service. There are game oriented activities for kids, and site seeing and companionship activities for the elderly. The youth are entertainment oriented and later on, they want activities where they can meet people of the opposite sex.
But is any of this really where the focus should be? Salvation, witnessing, and being like Christ?
He does not confront sin (impiety) and does produce justice and piety.
The fact that every single church as well as every single church member has sin seems to pass many preachers by. They do not open their eyes (although it is impossible to be in a community with other people without eventually seeing what they are spiritually). A false prophet would rather preach a hundred times sermons on what are the 12 tribes of Israel, what are the names of the 12 apostles and the background of each, etc. This is data. It is useful information at times to understanding the Bible. But it does not transform lives. It does not challenge the eternal destination of a person, where he is going after he dies. Nor does it direct, change, nor exhort to change the morality of a person.
Preachers changed lives in the past. John the Baptist caused a stir because people repented of their sinful life styles after being impressed by one of his sermons. That is the kind of church and preaching we need today. We rarely see anything like that.
Pastors seem to have learned as a group “don’t rock the boat.” Most the best tithers in a church are the rich and sin laden. Don’t offend them with morality or repentance if you want them to stay with you and support your work. So most of our pastors are more a false prophet than a true prophet. Elijah was threatened with death for his sermons. John the Baptist was murdered for daring to preach sexual morality. The main difference here then is very simply a false prophet doesn’t have the internal fortitude to face and overcome the challenges of confronting sin that exists in his own church people.
More Articles from the False Prophet-Teacher Category
- Why so many Crises Today?
- What is Prophecy?
- What do false prophets want?
- The Fruit of a False Prophet Part 2
- Pastoral Covetousness OT
- Pastoral Covetousness NT
- Ministerial Requirement Not Covetous
- Good Shepherd Sacrifices
- Fruit of a False Prophet and the Bible
- FP: Using Scripture or Following Scripture?