Many in the Church think every Prophet out there is a False Prophet and every Teacher who teaches other than what they believe is a False Teacher. When Signs and Wonders show up, many credit it to the devil. Who is a False Prophet? Who is a False Teacher? Are Signs and Wonders from the devil? Is Joel Osteen a False Teacher? Is Benny Hinn a False Prophet?…If you are tired of reading blog-posts of “Heresy Hunters” branding every preacher as false, then here is a different take on the subject of “False Prophets and False Teachers”…
Note: The doctrine that Miracles have passed away and prophets don’t exist now is a demonic doctrine. Cessationism is of the devil and I don’t teach the doctrines of demons. Whatever, this post is long, so sit back and take your time to read.
Let’s get everything straight:-
A False Prophet, against popular opinion, is not someone who misses some of his Prophetic Words. Shocked? If someone’s prophecies coming to pass or not coming to pass, determines whether they are true or false, then the girl Paul encountered, who was possessed by “the spirit of python” or “spirit of divination” must be a true prophet. She was getting her prophecies right, that’s why her Masters were earning a lot with her and her word about Apostle Paul was right. The Prophetic ministry under the New covenant is different from the Old covenant. Prophet Agabus got the revelation right that Paul will suffer in Jerusalem and he tried stopping Paul from going to Jerusalem but Paul was found saying-“Holy Spirit asked me to go to Jerusalem”. Who is right? If Paul is right, then, Is Agabus a False prophet just because he messed up a prophetic word? No. If it had been that way, Luke would have named Agabus as a false prophet.(Acts 20:22, 21:4, 10-13) Under the New covenant, we have been instructed to “judge every prophecy” because there will be mistakes as each believer is in different stage of maturity. It says “Judge the prophecy” and not “Judge the prophet”. Wait, don’t run away…
A False Teacher, against popular opinion, is not someone who teaches a wrong doctrine. Shocked? As of 2001, there were more than 33,000+ denominations in Christianity. What is the reason for so many denominations? Differences in interpretation of the Bible. If there are so many differences, then how do you who is right and who is wrong in doctrine? Everybody thinks “My doctrine is right” but how do you know who is right because everyone uses the same Bible. If you take a particular subject in the Bible, there can be only one truth and only one right teaching. If so, then are everyone else who preaches otherwise, a false teacher? Can’t be. Jesus is not coming back for a few folks, He is coming back for a Beautiful bride. Didn’t get what I just said? Forget it…Listen to this. No one is 100 per cent right in doctrine. I’m 100 per cent right when I say that No one is 100 per cent right in doctrine. If someone claims to have 100% right doctrine, I want to see a life that is like Jesus 100%. Like Jesus 100% in Love, Power and Purity? If No, you can’t claim to have everything in place. Right doctrine comes from the Teaching of the Holy Spirit and if you are 100% tuned to the Holy Spirit in getting the right doctrine, then you will also be living like Jesus 100% under the complete leading of the Holy Spirit. So, if No one is 100% right in doctrine, then everyone who teaches in the Church must be a False teacher right? Can’t be. Not just the Teachers on stage, Sunday school teachers and every believer who teaches another believer must be a false teacher then because no one has 100% perfect doctrine. Think about this:- God gives a dramatic revelation to Peter that the Gentiles can receive Christ and become the people of God. Later, In Galatia, He separated himself from the Gentiles and was blasted by Paul for missing the truth. Peter acted against the Truth, even though He had a clear, dramatic encounter. Is Peter, a False teacher for messing up this truth? No. (Acts 10, Galatians 2:11-14)
A Cult, against popular opinion, is not a group that brings forth a new doctrine that is not in line with the doctrines of the mainline Churches. If so, then mostly every denomination or movement present today brought forth a new doctrine when they were born. Lutherans were branded as Cults by the Catholics, Methodists(Evangelicals) were branded as cults by the Lutherans, Pentecostals were branded as cults by the Methodists, Charismatics were branded as cults by the Pentecostals. New doctrine doesn’t mean something new added to what the Apostles preached but what was lost and brought forth again. As you can clearly see, the mainline denominations or movements of today were branded as cults once. Every movement had its good and bad stuff but that doesn’t make a movement or group, a cult. A Cult is a group that disagrees with the “major” doctrines of the Church, especially the doctrine of Christ. (Minor doctrines, we will have disagreement not just between churches but between individuals). So if you go around branding every group that disagrees with your doctrines or your denomination’s doctrines, then you will have to call everyone except you as a cult.
Enough said…Am I saying there are No False Prophets, No False Teachers and No cults? No, I’m not. There are many False Prophets and False Teachers but some of those we think are the false ones are just “Bad Prophets and Stupid Teachers”. A Bad Prophet is a Prophet anointed by God but messes things at times because of flaws in His Character. A Stupid teacher is a Teacher anointed by God but messes up certain teachings by developing His own interpretation or buying the devil’s interpretation. To get to the point, False Prophets and False teachers and Cults are the ones who disagree with the Major doctrines of the Church, especially the doctrine of Christ. They are strategically placed by the devil to misdirect the children of God from The Way.
What does the Bible say about Discerning False Prophets and False Teachers :-
Jesus:- Jesus never said-“Every prophet is a False prophet”, but that’s what many believe. Jesus said-“Many False prophets will come”. Jesus didn’t say, “Only False Prophets and False Messiahs can perform Signs and Wonders”, but that’s what many believe. Jesus said-“False prophets and False Messiahs will perform Signs and Wonders”, that doesn’t mean the Church has to stop performing Signs and Wonders. That’s Himalayan Stupidity. It is like burning all your money as there are fake money in the market. The Detector, Jesus gave us to target a False Prophet is the “fruit of the person”, character of a person which must contain the Fruit of the Spirit. He also said that they will come in disguise, wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Paul:- Paul also said that the Agents of the devil will come in disguise. He had to battle False teachings at every corner. The Main False teaching He encountered was the mixing of Law and Grace or the Elevating of the Law and Negating Grace. When the Gospel is twisted, everything falls apart.
Peter:- Peter proclaimed that the destructive heresy of the False Prophets will be the “denying of our Lord”. You take Jesus out, everything runs flat. Without Jesus, you can’t get saved and you can’t come to God. So the major attack will be always on Jesus. He also mentions that these False Prophets and False teachers will be money-lovers and will open doors for the lusts of this world to enter in as they themselves will be given into a sinful lifestyle.
John:- John, the Left behind Apostle, gives us detectors here and there for targeting the false ones, like “lack of love” and “living in sin/walking in darkness”. The Main detector being the “twisting of the Doctrine of Christ”. There were folks, called the Gnostics, claiming that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh(physical body). This is a serious error because without taking a human nature, Jesus can’t take away the sins of humans. Without his physical death on a cross, we don’t have salvation and without salvation, we can’t come to God.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God(You test every spirit, whether they are from God not whether they are from the devil. There’s a difference. Many are testing whether the spirit in operation is from the devil and end up falling into the devil’s pants.), for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. 1 John 4:1,2(ESV)(Emphasis Mine)
What does the Bible say about Discerning False Prophets and False teachers and Cult groups :-
In this subject, bringing everything into picture is a bit tricky. Here is the list:- Lack of fruit, come in disguise or live with double natures with a fake one in public, Mixing of Law and Grace or Twisting the Gospel, Denying Jesus, Money-Lovers, Sin lovers, lack of Love, Living in darkness, Denying Jesus’ human nature. You must handle all these detectors carefully because no one is perfectly Christ-like in living, so taking “Lack of Fruit” just like that means everyone is a False Prophet. Most Christians are running after money and living for money, does it mean that all of them are False Prophets? Just because a Man of God fails in the area of sexuality once or twice doesn’t mean He is a False Prophet because Most Christians are hooked to porn, are they all False believers then?.
I’m not saying Sinning is Okay, you won’t come to that conclusion if you have read my other posts. I’m saying the same rule must apply to Leaders and believers. Jesus didn’t die a special death for Leaders. They need His mercy, in the same way a believer does. Sin is sin, no matter who does it and Jesus has provided freedom from every sin for everyone. We are all growing up into our salvation and are walking in different levels of freedom. That’s why I focus a lot on teaching about Freedom than Forgiveness because all you hear in Church is forgiveness, which makes many get comfortable with sin. No one has a license to sin but if we are going to burn a Leader for a sin, then it will be right to burn every Christian in hell because everyone of us have missed it here and there.
Think about this. If someone messing up a teaching or messing up big time in their life once makes them an agent of satan, then you must understand that fear is not normal but a demonic spirit. So if you have fear in any area of your life, you are influenced and led by the devil. Does that make you a satan worshiper? Think…(2 Timothy 1:7)
There is a play in this subject, if you don’t get it, you will go around calling everyone you don’t agree with as a False Prophet or a False teacher. Let’s show some Mercy, be discerning and not be judgmental. Now to the detectors:-
Detector 1:- They twist the doctrine of Christ. They deny Jesus’s rightful place and deny His nature.
Detector 2:- They Live in sin and open doors for sin. No Christian can deny that they are sinless but Living in sin, meaning continuously committing a sin without a signal going off on the inside, is out of place. That person is walking hand in hand with the devil. These False ones open doors for sin in the lives of people by releasing teachings that are polished and loose like “It doesn’t matter if you sin, God’s grace will cover you”. Sin matters more now because Jesus has already set you free from sin. And playing with something, He died to set you free is inappropriate. I have heard many say-“Don’t talk about sin”, but I can’t help because Jesus, Paul and the others talked about sin. I rather take sides with My Master and His friends, preach what they preached and not change to please the worldly ones. Understand me right. Condemning people for their sins is wrong, Preaching about sin is not.
Detector 3:- Their focus is on Money and not on Serving people. Money is not bad, even having a lot of money is not bad. Loving money is bad, being Focused on Money is bad. You can have a lot of money and not love money, You can have little money and love money. The problem is not with how much money you have, the problem is with the state of your heart. If a person is focused on getting money out of people’s pockets and not on serving people, you have located a black sheep. And You don’t decide it by watching a video on YouTube or reading article on the net, you have to check them firsthand- whether they are after money or serving people. One of the false ideas many believers have is that “Men and Women of God must not have much money”, which is a anti-biblical idea. You don’t brand someone based on your false idea. As I already said, Loving money is evil not Having money, but you must also understand that there is just a thin line between Having money and Money having you.
Understanding the Major doctrines of the Church:-
False Prophets, False Teachers and Cults are those who mess up the major doctrines of the Church. The number of major doctrines in different groups differs but there are similar doctrines. These similar doctrines must be used to detect the False Ones, so that we don’t fight over the minors. We must all be united in doctrine, until then we must learn to stay united with our agreement on the major doctrines.
Doctrine of Christ:- The devil wants to take Jesus out because everything stems from Jesus. Take Jesus out, you have nothing to do with God. Let me clear the sky, by giving you the doctrine of Christ because many are not clear about it. Jesus is fully God and fully man, 100% God and 100% man. Jesus, God, took on human nature when He came to earth. When He was on earth, He didn’t cease to be God but operated as a Man not as God(This is where many miss). Jesus set aside His Glory as God and walked as a Man empowered by the Holy Spirit to show us how to live, but He never ceased to be God. And This Jesus is the ONLY way to God. Jesus is not one of the way, Jesus is not the way in partnership with someone else. Jesus is THE WAY to God.
Doctrine of Trinity:- God is a truine God- Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Jesus is the way, Holy spirit is our guide and the Father is our destination. So if you take any one or two out, you end up Godless. The word “Trinity” is not in the bible but the truth is found everywhere. God is One- One as three, Three in One or whatever. Trinity is a mystery, you don’t have to understand it. You just have to believe it. We have to play by God’s rules and in His rule book, faith comes before understanding. So just believe it without trying to understand it.
Doctrine of Salvation:- Salvation is by grace, through Faith and not by works. It is a Gift and it can’t be earned, it has to be received by believing in Jesus. Salvation is made available by the Finished work of Jesus. We are not saved by our good works but we are saved to do good works, to be more specific, to do God works.
Doctrine of Baptism:- Everyone who believes in Jesus and enters the Kingdom of God is commanded to take immersion water baptism. You get baptized after you receive Christ and get saved, and God has nothing to do with the water that was sprinkled on you in the name of baptism, when you were a child.
The Bible:- The Bible is inspired by God and it is the standard by which we judge teachings and beliefs. If you take the Bible out, you will have many saying this and that to mislead people from Christ.
I believe all the major groups in the Body of Christ, who are really saved, will agree on these doctrines. Every group that messes up with these are Cults. That’s why we have the entire Body of Christ standing together in branding the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses as Cults. If you think many other doctrines must be placed as the major ones, think again because I have a truckload of doctrines to be added to the major group. Whatever, let’s keep these as the major ones to detect the False ones…
Note:- The other doctrines that must added to the major list, not to detect false ones but to build your life on the truth are:- “Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”– A second experience, after salvation, to empower the believer, as clearly portrayed in the Book of Acts. “Doctrine of the Priesthood and Kingship of ALL believers”– Every believer is called to do the work of the Kingdom not just the Pastors and Missionaries.Everyone gets to play in the Kingdom of God against the Kingdom of darkness. “Doctrine of Freedom”– Salvation is not just a way to get to heaven, as many believe. It involves freedom from sin, sickness, poverty and every curse of the fall. Sin, sickness and the likes are illegal in the Kingdom of God and must not be tolerated. And I can go on and on but i’ll stop with this.
Is Benny Hinn, a False prophet? Is Joel Osteen, a False teacher:-
Benny Hinn can’t be a False prophet because He doesn’t mess up the major doctrines. Are there flaws in His teachings? Yes but that doesn’t make a False Prophet because as I already said No one can claim to have 100% perfect doctrine. Joel Osteen is not a False teacher because He believes in the major doctrines of the Church. Are there flaws in His teachings? Yes but he qualifies on the majors.
They have flaws in their teachings and holes in their ministry, that doesn’t make them false. Who doesn’t have flaws and holes except Jesus? Everyone does. I disagree with Benny Hinn or Joel Osteen in many areas but that doesn’t mean I’m Messiah’s Man and they are of the devil. Differences in doctrines will be there until we ALL humble ourselves to the Holy Spirit completely because He is the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Unity. Until unity breaks out, let’s disagree in Love.
Check out Benny Hinn’s Major doctrinal beliefs:- http://www.bennyhinn.org/faith-statement/
Check out Joel Osteen’s Major doctrinal beliefs:-https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/WhatWeBelieve.aspx
When Peter messed up, Paul didn’t send a letter out saying-“Peter, Jesus’s right hand man, is a False prophet”. He rebuked him and directed him.
Manifestations in the Church:-
When the spiritual touches the physical, when the supernatural touches the natural, there will be out-of-normal manifestations. If you had read the Bible properly, God is known for coming down to meet God with Great explosives and Cool BGM. Remember, the Thunder , Lightning , Pillar of Fire and all?. But Many in the Church get into judgmental-mode, when manifestations occur. Manifestations in the Church didn’t rise in the last century, they have been there all along. Check out Church history, there are accounts of weird manifestations which are way out there when compared to the present day ones. A real student of Church history and Revival history will know that manifestations have been part and parcel of the Church.
When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, lot of things would have happened beyond tongues because the Bible says “you see and hear”- they heard tongues and then what did they “see”- there was something out of normal happening, that was perceived by the natural eye. Manifestations of the Holy Spirit are normal and no one has the right to tell the Holy Spirit – how to manifest. He is God not a dog. He will do what He wants to do. Many consider “weeping and crying” as the move of the Holy Spirit but when Peter or Paul preached,no one was found crying and weeping. Yes they were cut to heart but it doesn’t say “they cried” Hello? So, Is crying during altar calls and worship sessions a false manifestation. There are no iron-claw rules in this area, we can discern what spirit is in operation only by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has to reveal, until then we won’t. We may not like a manifestation that doesn’t make it false.
For ex, If I tell you-“God is commanding you to kill your Son” or “Go and marry that prostitute”, you will think I’m operating under the wrong spirit. But God asked Abraham to kill his son and Hosea to marry prostitute. Did you know that God sent a Killer angel to kill King Herod? What more, Ananias and Sapphira got knocked down for lying. God doesn’t have to explain everything to everyone, He unveils His ways only to His friends. Understand this- YOU CAN”T BOX GOD. HE WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY OUT. I’m also not saying every manifestation is from God, it can be the devil or even the person faking a manifestation.
Adding to that, you must also understand that there can be a mixture of the Holy Spirit, demonic and fleshy manifestations in the same meeting. Don’t let your jaw drop, look to the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13:24-29. Weeds were planted among the good seeds in the soil of the Master. And the Master told his servant-“Let them grow together”. Get the picture? Whatever, For more on this:- http://holyspiritrevolution.com/manifestations-in-the-church-real-or-fake/
Does God call someone to hunt False Prophets and False teachers?:-
If you have been saved for quiet long, you will know that there are “Heresy Hunters”, claimed to be called by God, who go around exposing False prophets and False Teachers. Go to YouTube, they are there. Go to Google, they are there. They have flooded the Internet with articles, blogs and videos on False Prophets and False teachers. First, God doesn’t call anyone to hunt False prophets. God calls people to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and do the works of the Kingdom. Jesus is our model and His focus was on serving people, not on exposing the bad guys even though at times He did. He gave 5 fold ministries to the Church and the sixth one that has risen is not of God. Most of the information you receive from these fellows about Leaders is wrong and secondhand. These fellows operate under the spirit of gossip.
The Danger of Calling someone a False prophet or False teacher:-
Many will proclaim that we must expose False prophets and False teachers because Paul did it. Yes we must but not based on our ideas or our denominational beliefs. We must, by the Truth, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit knows everything, we don’t and we must let Him take the lead. There is something tricky in this, that many don’t understand. Yes we must be confronting False Prophets and teachers on one side but there is a other side which says “True Apostles and True Prophets and True believers will be branded as the “of the devil” by the people operating under the influence of the devil. Says Who? Says Jesus.
The Pharisees were operating under a false spirit and called Jesus, a False Prophet. Jesus informs His disciples that they will also be branded as False. So, the truth here is this- “If you call someone a False prophet or False teacher, who is not one, then you are operating under the devil’s hand”. It is purely demonic. Did you just hear this? How much careful we must be in calling out someone as a False Prophet or a False teacher? The bottom-line is:- If you are calling someone a false prophet, there are two options:- 1. You discerned the bad guy with the Holy Spirit’s help. 2. You called a good guy as a bad guy under the influence of the devil. It’s better to be careful and act when the Holy Spirit acts. We must learn to disagree on the minors, learn to walk in Love and not fight everyone who doesn’t agree with our doctrine.
If the head of the house(Jesus) has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household(You and Me, believers). Matthew 10:25(NIV)(Emphasis mine)
Final Note: Revelation, Understanding and Spiritual growth :-
Revelation is progressive, not instant. We receive more and more as time passes by, as we grow deeper and deeper in God. What you knew when you got saved and What you know now are miles away. You grew in your understanding about God and His Kingdom. You have beliefs now, you didn’t have when you started. I believe everyone will agree on that. So if I’m in Level 1 and you are in Level 5, then you will have more revelation and understanding than me. I can’t understand your revelations and beliefs because I’m in Level 1 and not in your level. In the same way, a toddler can’t understand High school Maths, Level 1 person cannot grasp what Level 5 person is walking in. The problem arises, when Level 1 people call Level 5 as false because they don’t have what they have, they don’t believe in what they believe in. But if we respond in humility, Holy Spirit will open a new level to us or else we will keep judging those on a higher level than us and won’t grow. God will not contradict His book but He will contradict your commentary on His book. He will contradict your understanding of His book. Yes, we must sharp in discerning false spirits invading the Church but we must also be open to the Holy Spirit.
There are False prophets, False teachers and Cults. They will be there until the devil is removed once and for all. We must be discerning everything with the Holy Spirit’s help and not by our own ideas or denominational beliefs or own understanding. If we do it outside of the Holy Spirit, we will end up in the devil’s lap. Let’s handle this subject right…
What is your take on thus subject? Did you receive clarity by reading this post? Share…
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