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FP: Identifying a False Prophet (updated 1/29/2022)

How to Identify a False Prophet

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.

How to Figure out when you got a Wolf by the Tail

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.

Purpose of these studies

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

We can discern a false prophet by:

  1. His fruit – What he does or produces by his life and ministry.
  2. His methods – How he does what he does.
  3. His Character – What he is, or what is in his heart (as seen by the outworking of his life).

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.

Final Exhortation

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.

More Posts on False Prophets

Posts that mention false Prophets in them

    More Posts on Spiritual Abuse and Cults


    FP: Using Scripture or Following Scripture?

    Using Scripture or Following Scripture?

    Using Scripture or Following Scripture?
    By David Cox

    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.


    Continue reading FP: Using Scripture or Following Scripture?

    FP: False prophets worship other gods

    False prophets worship other gods

    False prophets worship other gods
    By David Cox

    This article establishes that false prophets seek to worship other gods, and they teach and arrange things for the same within their church. Although this is not apparent, it is very true.

    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 FP: False prophets worship other gods

    Cults: Double Standards and Hypocrisy

    Cults: Double Standards and Hypocrisy is a post about how cults have double standards, but the true work of God does not.

    The entire mindset of a cult is to construct an organization which serves the cult leadership. A biblical local church is an organization built to serve God and His purposes, to do the work of God. This difference is very abundantly clear when one has been hurt by a cult organization. Continue reading Cults: Double Standards and Hypocrisy

    What is your Gospel?

    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    When we refer to “our gospel”, this the is “good news” which is always on the tip of our tongue, which we are already ready and willing to share with others. The Calvinist will strongly deny that he has any other gospel other than that found in the Bible, but this is what he says to defend himself. In reality, he preaches “another gospel.” Continue reading What is your Gospel?

    Good Shepherd Sacrifices

    Good Shepherd Sacrifices

    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.

    See Tag: http://www.theologicalsystems.com/tag/money-and-the-minister/ Continue reading Good Shepherd Sacrifices

    Biblical Overview of Covetousness

    Biblical Overview of Covetousness

    Taken from Biblehub.com see more there.

    Easton’s Bible Dictionary

    A strong desire after the possession of worldly things (Colossians 3:5Ephesians 5:5Hebrews 13:51 Timothy 6:9, 10; Matthew 6:20). It assumes sometimes the more aggravated form of avarice, which is the Mark of cold-hearted worldliness.

    Continue reading Biblical Overview of Covetousness

    False Prophet bad fruit Part 1

    False Prophet bad fruit Part 1 is a study on the False Prophet in the Bible, his fruit is bad and that is what he produces.

    A False Prophet cannot but produce bad fruit

    False Prophet bad Fruit. Christians have the obligation to be fruit inspectors. We cannot ignore the possibility of a cherished minister actually being a false prophet. This could be that he always was bad, or that being good, at some point he turned bad.

    Here we need to look at a couple of things, and not be deceived by the “misdirection” these magicians use to deceive. We start asking honest questions. What kind of ministry did this guy establish? Is it biblical? Look at the people he has gathered. What kind of people gravitate to this ministry and this minister? What economic success have they achieved, and how does that relate in their priorities and central focus? Are there blatant carnality seen on the surface? How does the leadership react to sensualness, carnality, and worldliness? Are they focusing on fame and recognition rather than doing God’s work? Continue reading False Prophet bad fruit Part 1