More Characteristics of False Prophets
This post continues the study on False prophets found here.
This post continues the study on False prophets found here.
First of all, know the history of Watchman Nee. He was a house church pastor that started that movement in China. During his life he spent many years in prison. That is nothing to gloss over as insignificant. It is my understanding that none of his works have survived. I say that in the point that everything we now have “as being a work by Watchman Nee” is actually notes taken from his followers, and almost all are Witness Lee. So there is doubt as to whether anything original in his handwriting survived. Nothing was printed before he died. Whatever the relationship was between Watchman Nee and Witness Lee is not something the world will ever know completely. Maybe Witness Lee got it all right, or maybe to continue with the majority of his teachings, Watchman Nee winked at Witness Lee’s errors. So we are talking about “proximity teaching”, that of what a disciple heard from his master.
So I don’t know how you can talk definitively about Nee. What really is his teaching?
Secondly, and this is major for me, is the issue of authority. In Nee’s book on Spiritual Ascendency, he advocates for submission of the members under the pastor. From what I understand this is in relation to work and a mate. I do not hold to that position. Each Christian should find God’s will for their own life, and good counsel is very important. But in the end, the yes or no decision is in the individual’s hands not that of his pastor. I have crossed cultists that reference this work as almost “Bible”. It opens the door to mind control by the cultist.
From what I have read from his books, Watchman Nee is exactly in the same group as Jesse Penn-Lewis, E.M. Bounds, etc of the Holiness movement before tongues. It is highly devotional reading. The problem is to always compare everything you hear and read to Scripture.
False prophets worship other gods
By David Cox
First of all, the worship of the true God of heaven is focused in an identification, an understanding, and an imitation of the divine character. This is essentially holiness. This character of God is discerned through studying the Scriptures, and once discerned and understood, then the believer would apply this divine character to their own life. Continue reading
Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
In this installation of our ongoing study of the false prophet, we look at how the false prophet understands and treats (mistreats) Scripture. We look at the distinct different of view from the true man of God towards Scripture, and the false prophet’s view towards Scripture. Note that a true man of God esteems “time is short” to obey what God teaches because there is a point in which God will “cut us off” as he cut off Israel if we blatantly refuse to obey his Word and Will.
What is Prophecy? is a study of what is prophecy in the Bible, and how that affects our understanding and true and false ministers of God.
It is very difficult to “identify a false prophet.” Simply put, for most people, if you are different from me, you are a false prophet. This is simply unacceptable. We need criteria by which to judge what is false and what is true, and we cannot use anything except Scripture itself. If I could emphasize anything here, it is that we must use Scripture correctly exegeted (interpreted, explained, and understood).
In my book on False Prophets, I identify three methods or forms that we can use to identify a false prophet, and I will repeat them here (these posts were basically taken from my book in Spanish on the matter).
We can say that such and such doctrine is the true doctrine, and anything else is false. Actually, that would be the fundamentals of the faith. In part that is true. But unfortunately as evidenced today by so many examples, many false prophets have adopted these “fundamentals” or these core doctrines as their own, but they are still false prophets. The problem comes in they refute the Bible axiom that sound doctrine produces correct conduct. They have sound doctrine but don’t believe in it because their life is still filled with sin, and sin which contaminates whole churches because they are leaders.
The issue is that people lie. Unfortunately, ministers lie. And when a good pastor tells you the truth, or when a liar pastor tells you something that likewise looks like the truth, it is hard to discern.
It is unfortunate that there are bad churches with bad pastors and preachers in them. But God has his purpose in allowing even these things to happen to his people. God’s purpose is to make clear those Christians who are faithful to Jesus versus those who only give lip service to him. Many Christians will follow Satan himself into the pit of hell. They don’t care as long as it looks good to them at the moment.
But if a normal Christian, a new believer, is really wanting to follow his Savior, how does he do it? The problem is that if he knows doctrine really well, then he can discern the good pastor from the hireling and the wolf in sheep clothes. But most new believers and Christians who are not experienced do not know their Bible well. So if we by-pass doctrine for a moment (and we understand we are doing this until the individual believer KNOWS his Bible well, that all. This is a secondary way to discern a wolf in sheep’s clothing.) then we can look at the trail of disaster the wolf leaves behind him. By his effect on the sheep, by his methodology of working, the wolf is clearly seen and identified.
These studies are basically for God’s people that are having problems with their church and/or pastor. These are Bible expositions so that we can understand clearly what is going on, and identify and get away from a false prophet, even if he tries to identify himself as a really good man of God.
For an overview of this, see
False Prophets and Teachers Overview
Finally, we will look at our defense against false prophets.
The rest of these posts (beginning with “FP:”) will explore many characteristics of the false prophet.
Please, please do not give up hope. This is the objective of Satan in throwing these firebrands at the church to destroy it. God’s men are not abusive. If you are in a church with an abusive pastor or minister, then you MAY BE in a church with a false prophet. Do not be discouraged by this. Learn from it, leave and find a good church, and throw the entire weight of your life and ministry and resources behind a good church with men of God over it. This is what we need to take away from bad experiences.
The church is not broken. The men of God are not broken. These things work, and they work very well. The entire genius of God’s eternal wisdom is put behind God’s creation of the church. He did it right the first time, and there is no need to change anything or “fix” anything broken with the church or preachers. The only thing we need to do is to study and heed what God has done, understand it, and obey what God has told us.
If we would have taken the time to study and truly verify the spirituality, yea, even the salvation of our preachers and pastors BEFORE they entered into their offices, we would not have these problems today. Man is lazy, so the layman’s laziness caused these men to get into church office. Do not throw off all the responsibility on “the pastor”. When churches lose their pastor, and they are in the process of selecting a new pastor, or when a Christian move into a new area and is looking for a church home, these are layman problems that nobody wants. They take the first thing that “looks okay,” and then they think they can put up with things if a few things are out of order. They don’t go to Scriptures and insist on their church and pastor being biblical.
Here enters your faith. If you insist with God that the pastor and church where you are going to attend is biblical, not perfect in every sense, but a group and individuals highly following God’s Word, and you do not give up the faith that God can provide you that, then you will be rewarded. Settling for trash usually ends poorly for anybody who does so. Just look at man’s poor statistics with marrying each other, and you will see this born out.
Posts that mention false Prophets in them
This post and the other posts here are taken from my book in Spanish “False Prophets and Teachers”
Here I am just going to list each of the points, and gradually, I will make a separate post for each of these points. Note that a lot of the points here are themes that I take up regularly in my writings against false prophets. Some of those things will also appear under each point.
1Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Everything Satan touches leaves “his mark” on it. This is very distinctive. It is not the will of God, although Satan tries to make it look like what God does, and look like the will of God.
Definition: False Prophet – Somebody who perverts, twists, or manipulates the message of God for his own personal purposes. In this, he does not give the message of God such as God gives and commands us to give it, but he puts his own “touch” on it slightly or greatly changing it. (David Cox)
2Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
God has to be behind every true presentation of truth and the gospel, and Satan perverts or changes it for his own purposes. What those purposes may be is not so important as that it is not God’s will.
1Pet 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you: 1Pet 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1Pet 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
One of the great overpowering elements of a true minister of God is that they feel a great compulsion to be exact and in agreement completely with what God’s Word says. Over and over again we find this great respect for authority is the core difference between a true man of God and a false prophet.
1Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
For a true man of God, the Word of God validates or convicts his ministry and message. He falls or stands by how well he stands with and presents the Word of God, Scripture. It is as if every encounter that the man of God has with another person, he will give account to God for that encounter. He must present in action, attitude, and speech correctly what God wants him to show that person. As a minister of the Gospel, he understands that he personally is an example of Jesus Christ (1Pet 5:3 “being ensamples to the flock“; Heb 13:7 “which have the rule over you… whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation“). No true minister of God will take any of this lightly. False prophets often give a pretense of being serious, but so often they are not really serious in obeying or uplighting this great office of spokesman for God.
Note: If something shows up as a link here, the connection may not be obvious in the title, but a section of that post will deal with the issue. Continue reading
Summary: In this post we examine how false prophets are unshackled from God’s will, doing their own plans, inventions, and will.
Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Matt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
One of the clearest teachings on false prophets is Jesus telling us that they will be a part of our lives in the future in Matthew 7. The key focus of this passage is simply that nobody will even enter heaven (much less be a minister and servant of God that enters heaven and is blessed and praised by God for their ministry) IF THEY ARE NOT DOING GOD’S WILL!
Here we need to digress some. God’s will is very clear in the Bible. Jesus focused on God’s will of being holy, but first and foremost is the salvation of the soul. That salvation transforms the life from the sinful human nature of BEFORE to the holiness of a man or woman of God AFTER.
The moral pattern by which we check the will of God is that which Jesus left us. Did Jesus have a jet plane for his own use? No. Did he even have a horse of a good breed? No. He borrowed a burro and came riding into Jerusalem in preparation of the great contradiction of glory one moment and then the Jews killing him the next. Did Jesus even have a place to lay his head? No. I see believers owning their own houses throughout the Bible, but if you want to get technical about it, God’s ministers were not rich, nor did they focus their ministries on getting rich.
Notice how Satan’s men, the false prophets, change and justify their own ministries and lifestyle. They claimed that they had the blessing of God on their ministry because they did wonderful works (miracles, and great things for God), and that they had power over the spirit world of demons and such, and that they even prophised (which could be preaching to receiving new revelations from God). None of this did Jesus contend with them over it. Simply put Jesus’ accusation is that they had a low regard or no regard for God’s will in their ministry. Disobedience is not justified by what miracles or great things a person seemingly does for God.
God’s will is an iron cast standard for discerning whether a person is a false prophet or not. Nothing a minister or Christian does is good if it is outside of God’s will.
1Cor 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
There is a tactic acknowledgement and submission to the commandments of God as being the authority in one’s life. Some want to make homosexuals and other sexual perversions acceptable. God has commanded that these fornications be not named once among God’s people. You can start a homosexual church and have a million people in it, all witnessing for God, giving out the gospel every day, and have a million of them praying daily for hours to God, and it is all wrong and all of them will go to hell, because at the bottom most level, it is not God’s will. Repentance of sin, and abandonment of worldly lifestyles is a prerequisite for pleasing God.
1Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
We must be wise builders, doing what God says, and nothing else. What is typical of man, and especially typical among false prophets is that they ignore what God has actually said, and go about to fabricate some substitute. All of this is condemned in God’s eyes. It will never come to anything good until the people involved repent of their rebellion from God, and go back to the Bible and find God’s will, and begin with doing that.
Churches use modern programs to get people to attend their churches. But without the beginning element of evangelism, these new people bring heathen ways and thoughts into the church, and either there is turmoil and conflict or the church will give up their biblical ways and doctrines to keep these people saved. This never ends good for anybody involved.
This is an epitome of a false prophet. Instead of looking at what the Bible commands, Warren looked at what people in his neighbor wanted. First of all that is just wrong. It is a false prophet. Secondly, he didn’t even look at what good, godly Christians wanted, but what unregenerated people wanted.
1Kgs 19:13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 1Kgs 19:14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 1Kgs 19:15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 1Kgs 19:16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 1Kgs 19:17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 1Kgs 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
Many of God’s servants feel that they are alone in the world, and they alone are serving God correctly. Even so they get discouraged and want to give in to the pressures of the world to conform to the world’s standards and be “politically correct” with the corrupt world system. This passage was an encouragement to Elijah, and without doubt it is also an encouragement to us that God will not let everybody go the way of the world except us. We will always be part of the remnant, and there will always be others.
Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. Mark 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
This passage of Scripture is very important. At the time Jesus walked the earth, there were other believers that were not exactly a part of Christ’s band of followers, and yet they were not wrong either. Christ explains that the group or being a part of the group is not what makes a person right, but what they believe, and what they do (along with what they are morally). This does not open up an alternative way of salvation, but it does establish that some people that are right in God’s eyes may not be in your group.
Note: For the Baptist Briders and Landmark Baptist people, this is very difficult. If there was only one church, and everybody HAD TO HAVE COME THROUGH THEM AND THAT ORGANIZATION, then how did Christ let this other minister/group go on without specifically joining to the band of the 12 apostles?
John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
See my Tracts
One of the requirements for discernment and understanding God’s will is a biblical disposition towards God’s will, and a history of seeking and complying with God’s will. I often see churches where the pastor has had his own way in imposition his own will, and that has become a false god that those at that church worship. This is sad.
In other churches, I wonder as they claim to be good churches of biblical doctrine, but I see the early Christians literally burning their lives for Christ in order to get the gospel out, yet I see these modern churches have no burden for the gospel, and their efforts in getting the gospel out can basically be boiled down to a sign with their church name on it in the front lawn.
No church is going to please God if it is not weekly sending out workers to witness the gospel to the unsaved, sending and funding missionaries, explaining and offering the gospel regularly in their services, and praying for the salvation of the lost.
False prophets “USE” this biblial activity for their own benefit, and in reality, being a false prophet, they don’t want these people they drag into their fellowships to really be saved (because they will first cause trouble and then leave). So what they do is to “water down” the gospel so as to make it ineffectual. Jack Hyles guys will preach a salvation that has no real reference to remorse, repentance, and abandonment of sin. An unsaved person can just repeat the words after their soul-winner, and they are part of the group. When you do that, you can “win” thousands every year to the Lord. When you press for true repentance before receiving Christ, those thousands dwindle to dozens. The issue is that simply a person must give up his own will before he is truly saved, and without dealing with this (sin is an expression of one’s own will), the person has no chance of truly getting saved.
See my tract: salv31 Easy-Believism
Many churches exchange out the Bible gospel for social work. This too is just wrong, and not God’s will. If you want to know if you minister or church is squarely in God’s will, look to see if in the church services and in their evangelism time, they focus on the plan of salvation, communicating that to the unsaved.
False prophets want to be Unshackled from God’s Will and this causes them to be very easily identified. Although they constantly proclaim that their own understandings is God’s will, we just don’t see their views and practices in the New Testament. This is the key to discerning what they are. To read the NT we see and emphasis and focus on salvation and holiness, and these prophets of their own selves push their own benefits, ministry, and person for worship and sacrifice to them.
A biblical pastor has a clear view of what he is supposed to do, and the biblical bases for that set of commandments.
See my tract: ch49 The Biblical Pastor: The Biblical Duty
As a saved person you too must have a clear view of God’s will for your life, understand it, and also understand where in the Bible it comes from.
Although there are some problems with this man’s words, (he is just telling what the Koran says), but some of the points are very interesting. Apparently he was converted to Catholicism. Continue reading
Good Shepherd Sacrifices
By Pastor David Cox
Jesus described the good shepherd in John 10:7-18 (below). The concept in Jesus’ mind is one of being essential and beneficial to the sheep. The shepherd is paired with the sheep. In this article I want to pull some ideas from this teaching to apply them to false prophets.