In this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4), we’ve been taking a look at the scriptures concise revelation of the false prophets whom Jesus called “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15ff).
Our purpose has been to turn your eyes first of all inward, to examine yourself and repent of whatever you have seen that is wrong in your life and faith, and secondly outward, to be able to examine and discern false teachers by their fruits as revealed in the Word of God.
In our last post we observed Jeremiah’s prophecy. Now in this post I want to begin with a prophecy from the prophet Micah.
~Micah 3:5, 11
5Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who make my people stray; who chant “Peace” while they chew with their teeth, but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths: 11Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.”
The prophet Micah reveals another fruit of the false prophets; not only do they declare “peace”, they make war against anyone who does not feed their system. They judged, teach, and divine for bribes, pay, and money. They are servants of the wickedness of mammon, and to anyone that would deprive their mouths of mammon, they make war!
Micah reveals that they are so fat from their dealings that they chew their food even while declaring “peace”. They are prophets of excess, and they profit from their prophesying!
I heartily submit to the Lord’s blessed words that whomever declares the gospel shall make his living from the gospel, and I happily aid all those who declare the gospel (1st Corinthians 9:14), just as brethren have aided me in declaring it.
Thus by the wisdom we have been praying the Lord would bestow upon us, we will be able to discern the difference between those who live off the gospel, and those who judge, teach, and divine for a bribe, pay, and money—between those who live by the gospel, and those who make war on those who do so, and between those who serve the gospel and those who serve mammon (money)!
~2nd John 7-11
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Anyone who does not confess that Jesus the Christ (the Messiah and Son of God) came in the flesh is an antichrist and a deceiver, and there are many that have gone out into the world.
I want to warn those in the West not to look down at this and scoff, saying, “well duh! That’s obvious!” For there are many of these in the East, and in the West, there are many, many, many teachers that believe this, either secretly or publicly.
Likewise, John says “do not receive him or greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds”.
Our response to the departure of the doctrine of Christ is a total turning away. We are not to receive anyone that has departed from the doctrine of Christ, even into our house or our greeting.
Even at this, there are some that would seek to deceive by rejecting this commandment and saying that it is not necessary to be so careful and that it would even be mean to reject someone; these people might say that this doesn’t literally mean what it quite literally says. Will you be deceived? I pray not—do not be caught up into their errors!
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
~1st John 4:1-6
Not every spirit is of God; there are many false prophets that are in the world, and indeed, there seem to be many more added to their number daily.
John reveals to us the Spirit of God from the spirit of the Antichrist; the Spirit of God confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, while the spirit of the antichrist does not. Be careful not to think that this is a pass-all secret question. There are certain false teachers that confess that Jesus came in the flesh, but yet they deny other things. I once had a seminary teacher that believed that Jesus was born in the flesh but was not God until His baptism. Other missionaries I’ve met believe Jesus came in the flesh, was born of the virgin Mary, (etc) but teach men to seek after material gain, wealth, and power, or submit the gospel to the wickedness of the culture and even to idolatry! Certainly these who lead others to idolatry are not true teachers of the Holy Spirit. What is revealed to us here is that of the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Praise the Lord for He has revealed to us by His grace and mercy the plotting of the enemy and granted that we may overcome by faith if we remain true to Him!