Jeremiah lamented, ‘Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets… For the adulterers; For because of swearing, the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, on my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 23:9,10,11).
Jesus warns, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…( Mathew 7:16,16).
For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold I have told you before (Mathew 24: 24,25).
Paul’s warning, “These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. . . . Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness”.2 Corinthians 11:13–15
A false prophet is one who claims to hear from the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit but in fact, speaks of his own or most times by influence of an evil spirit and by extension the Devil.
False prophets can be described as Satanists, witches, wizards, sorcerers, warlords, Balaams, and Elymas. Mostly their desire is money, fame, position, wealth, and power, and they achieve this by consulting demons for information to control, manipulate, and seduce their followers to believe that they are speaking from the true God.
False prophets have done great damage, stolen the destinies of many of God’s children who desire to serve Him, they have destroyed the Prayer and spiritual life of many believers, broken many Christian marriages and homes, made others orphans, and widows, and have stolen hard-earned wealth, properties and resources of many people just to enrich their pockets.
As such, many have lost their lives, and their souls to hell to these false prophets who are presently on the rise in the church. Many people and nations have lost prophetic destinies through false prophecies from these agents of the devil. False prophets are spiritual gatekeepers of communities or Nations. They profess Christianity but believe and practice witchcraft, occultism, mysticism, armock, universalism, voodoo, Hinduism,
Christian science, gnotism, metaphysis, shamanism… to promote injustice, rebellion, and lots more. As a result of this, billions of demons are released to these lands to promote unrighteousness, evil, blood-shedding, wickedness…
Judgment is coming upon them except they genuinely repent and make restitution.
False prophets can be ministers in all categories of calling and offices occupied. This could be as a pastor, apostle, teacher, evangelist, priest, reverend, bishop, prophet, etc.
*There are two categories of false prophets:*
1. Those that are bred and trained by the devil himself, as his intermediaries lead believers astray and take them to hell. They indulge and enter into covenants with death, with hell, and with Satan. As such, they are greatly empowered to carry out their missions.
2. False prophets who were once believers in Christ, steadfastly following Christ’s principles, and His teachings, and were upholding the life of Christ, preaching the undivided truth of God’s words but eventually got turned, and began evangelizing a contrary message of Christ. 2peter 2:1 makes us understand this clearly.
False preachers, prophets, and apostles are now on the rise as never before in the body of Christ, operating as true ministers of God. Matt 7: 15, clarifies this for us, but the Bible gives us a better clue to discerning them in Matt 7: 16, scriptures says ” Ye shall know them by their fruits, Do men gather grapes of thorns or fig of thistles”?
Scriptures also went further to give us a parable, this parable is to warn us to apply ourselves as believers to know God and his undivided truth for ourselves by the daily hearing, learning, and application of God’s word to our life such that our houses would be built on The Rock, and not every wind of doctrine and teachings could blow us off.
It is Jesus’s command to us that we be not only hearers of God’s word but also doers of this word. He also said in Matt 7: 24 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a solid rock.” If we press toward our true identity in Christ, what Christ did for us at redemption, our new creation realities, the holy spirit will help us understand this life and help us apply it for good.
That way, when we see what’s false, we would recognise it quickly. This is a result of our deep, continuous fellowship with the spirit. For we know the truth and that truth sets us free, and if we know the truth, we obviously will know the false since the false just doesn’t look like the truth, no matter how packaged or mixed up with some truth.
False prophets are very cunning, by the operation of wrong spirits in them, marshaled by the dark forces and their leader the devil, they mix up the truth with false for deception. Scripture says in 2 Pet 2:2, “And many shall follow their pernicious way; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of”,
it says further in Matt 24:24, ” For there shall arise false Christ and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”… This is because of the weight of lies and deception employed, it is a war of wisdom.
Matt 24:24 says they will show great signs and wonders… this implies that it is not enough to perform signs and wonders,( miracles, empire buildings, chains of businesses, fame, wealth, etc) but the spirit operational behind these signs and wonders.
Anyway, the spirit will bear witness. So, if a minister is true, and we are of one spirit with God according to scriptures, then we should have an alert in our spirit to detect what’s fake. However, many believers can’t get that alert, some have crippled their spirit, and they have muted their spirit voice through lack of fellowship with the spirit.
As such, their own voice (carnal) gets amplified, and they are easily deceived. This is why we need believers who have crucified their flesh, those who are not totally looking up to a man of God to teach them but will primarily subscribe to the Holy Spirit for teaching and education on the truth.
Any other teaching comes secondarily and must not negate what the Holy Spirit has taught or will teach.
A Man of God is someone who is subject to mistakes and errors, who can fall and sometimes so deep that it would take so much time to get back up…that is if at all he does. However, they can lead many astray by their falling away and this will definitely produce false teachings.
The point is this, we need to embrace God ourselves not primarily through a man of God. They are basically a means pointing to The Way. Therefore, go to The Way and hear for yourself from the one true prophet, apostle, and evangelist which is Jesus Christ, before subscribing to other teachings.
How do we recognise false prophets and teachers?
Since scripture says we shall know them by their fruits, then let’s examine their fruits.
*Fruits of False preachers, prophets, and apostles:*
** They are followers of their own spirit, not the Holy Spirit. So, they come up with wrong revelations of scriptures which is false. God says Ezekiel 13:2-3,” Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing”
** They are promoters of themselves other than Christ, making idols of themselves and drawing the hearts of people from God to themselves. Jer 23:14 says I have seen also in the prophets… a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk-in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from wickedness; they are all of them onto me as Sodom and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah”
** They promote wrong messages about Christ, creating a false understanding of Him.
** Their lifestyle is in contrast with God’s words. Although, there is a sweet mix of truth and falsehood. They preach messages to encourage a life of sin and amplify the life of flesh over the Spirit, and the works of the flesh over the works of the Spirit.
2 pet 2:18 -19 says, ” For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage”
** In their association, various kinds of sins and condemnation prevail, whereas, the love, hunger for God, and his purposes and pursuits is killed. Matt 24:12-15
**They are significantly influenced by their former life, from which they forsook to embrace the God-life. 2 pet 2:22 says, ” But it has happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog has turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire”
** They are not intercessors Ezk 13:5 says, Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord”.
** They are money conscious, they love money and wealth more than their soul. As such, they employ gimmicks to manipulate people to give and can do anything for money. 2 pet 2: 3
** They despise authority 2 pet 2:10, ” But chiefly they that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of diginatries
As a result of their insatiable want of money, their major reason for preaching are for money, miracles, healing, and deliverance. They prophesy money out of people’s pockets. God says in 2 pet 2: 3, ” And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not”
They are not interested in knowing the source of members’ offerings and tithes, and even when they know, they still command the blessings of God on such ill fortunes, thereby encouraging evil. God says in 2 pet 2:15, “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness”
** They encourage Partiality in elections into church positions, as positions in the church are given to heavy and fat tithers, huge offering givers, and large envelope seed sowers.
** They would at seldom times, or at length never preach on repentance, holy living, God’s coming judgments, hell, etc. They speak when God has not said. God says in Ezk 13:6-7, “They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others hope that they would confirm the word.
Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken?”
**They are preachers of false doctrines, giving wrong prophecies, teaching what negates godly living. Ezk 13:10
** They are judgmental speaking persons, mostly declaring destruction, cursing people, and exalting a false definition of God… like God having a mission of revenge on us, God is very angry and ready to kill human enemies, God’s unforgiving nature towards us. They, therefore, misinterpret God’s identity of love towards the believer and sinners to repent.
** There is no perfect healing or deliverance of their members which are consistently in a cycle of oppression.
** They are materialistic and extravagant in their taste for luxury. A true man of God is disciplined to handle wealth with the right usage of it, which is propagating the gospel. So, the wrong usage of wealth negates God’s principle, because God calls us good stewards and good stewards use their masters’ wealth for the master’s pleasure.
God says in 2 pet 2:13,” And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it a pleasure to riot in the daytime. Sports they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you”
**There is sadness, and exaltation of the wicked in their preaching and behaviour. God says in Ezk 13:22, ” Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divination: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord”.
May the Lord set many captives free from these false prophets in Jesus’ name.
Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord that steal my words every one from his neighbour” Jer 23:30.
We as believers need to try all spirits, we need to judge all teachings. Don’t accept everything you hear just because he is a minister and he mentions Jesus Christ or God. Scripture tells us in 1 john 4:1 that they are fake and we need to be awake. After all, not everyone that says Lord, Lord will inherit the kingdom of God.
And this should not shift us to an option of running from all ministers or putting all ministers in the same picture, tagging all of them Fake. Most definitely, where there is fake, the original is not too far away, so search for it by discerning for the spirit at work in a minister, check out his fruits and teaching tenets.
We need more believers to focus on God over man. Words from any man of God should be secondary, while every believer’s personal walk with God comes primarily. This way, we would not be taken up by every wind of doctrine.
False prophets shift focus from Christ to themselves (idolizing) themselves. Oftentimes, believers accept and believe the voice of men over the voice of God. Authenticating every word from a minister as from God without proper judgment of those words is dangerous. People mirror their life after these men of God in place of God. This is why Paul rebuked the church at Corinth about the theory of Some for Apollo, Some for Paul, and Some for Timothy.
Your life should be one hundred percent on God. Ministers should only act as a confirmation of what God has spoken and taught.
*Roles of Genuine Prophets*
The Bible from the Old testament to the New testament reveals the office of God’s prophet. Prophets are represented in scripture as very vital in the plan of God, and against sin, injustice, evils, wickedness, and abominations. They predict futuristic plans, purposes, and events among others.
Here are some of their primary assignments:
*Prophet Jeremiah’s example*
Jeremiah was raised up as a prophet to the nations at a time of spiritual and moral declension of God’s people. The prophetic role of Jeremiah was as a weapon in the hands of God. In ‘Jeremiah 5:14’, Jeremiah’s words were fire, was used to wage war against the stony hearts of men at his time. He also had the authority to install a king and displace another.
He had authority over nations, to root out, pull down, build, and plant. He wasn’t just waging war against the darkness in the hearts of men, he was also used by God to attack satanic forces and powers that resisted the Kingdom.
He wept over the sin, Idolatry, and evil of Israel for over 40 years. He laboured fervently in soul travail and consistently wept in prayers and intercessions for Israel and for other Nations.
He was also known as the weeping prophet, and preacher of repentance because he kept on giving warnings of impending judgement from God throughout his life and ministry.
*Prophet Ezekiel’s example.*
Prophet Ezekiel was a core instrument used by God in activating His will in Israel through messages of repentance, prophecies of impending judgements, and Intercessory prayer ‘Ezekiel 37:1-14’, he was used by God to activate the life-giving power of God on a spiritually dead, dry and hopeless valley of bones (Israel). In every revival movement or restorative work of God to the Israelites, prophets were notable instruments. He used to bring about His ultimate purpose and plan generation by generation.
*John the Baptist’s example:*
John the Baptist was a prophet used by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry (Mark 1:3). He warred and pulled down mountains, and made straight paths, exalted the valleys and the cultural influences of both society and religion through his messages of repentance. This flung open the door to the hearts of the Israelites hearts for Christ.
Prophets are to call the people of God back to proper repentance and relationship with God. This means that their words are to carry love, rebuke, expose sin, evils, and injustice, proclaim repentance, righteousness, and warnings of judgment from God to come.
Prophets in the Bible fasted and prayed ceaselessly to bring down the will and purposes of God. They combat Satan, hosts of darkness, corruption, sins, worldliness, materialistic values and indifference among God’s people and nations.
This is what John the Baptist ministry’s was about. Jesus said, ” there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist”.
(Luke 1:15-17;7:2628). Many others like Samuel, Elijah, Agabus, Simeon, and Anna.
*A few of such Prophets in our contemporary church include:*
Wesley L. Duewel wrote about the roles of some of these prophets, “The reformation is undoubtedly the spiritual result of many holy wrestlers. Nicholas of Basle is one who helped prepare the way for the reformation.
He was known as a “friend of God”, and he and others influenced by him wrestled in prayer for years. Nicholas, with two other ” friends of God”, died a martyr at age of about ninety after years of wrestling for the sins of the church and the world.
From the mid – 1400s to the mid- 1600s, we can quickly recognize that the Reformation and related awakenings in the church were prayed to pass by the mighty prevailing of bold men and women of God. Savonarola- the revivalist of Italy; Martin Luther- the father of reformation; John Knox- who moved Scotland for God; George Fox- who founded the Quakers.
Madam Guyon, the French woman revivalist of the 1600s; and Catherine Booth, the mother of the salvation Army. John Flavell, a pastor in Dartmouth, England, in the late 1600s wrestled mightily with God just before a major sea battle between the British and French.
Not one sailor from Dartmouth lost his life in that sea battle. Henry Martyn, a fearless missionary to India around the 1800s, spent much time fasting, self-humiliation, and prayer. He wrote, ” My whole soul wrestled with God. I knew how to leave off crying to Him to fulfill His promises, chiefly pleading
His own glorious power. Charles G Finney often experienced periods of great prayer wrestlings throughout the years of his ministry for revival in America.
Leonard Ravenhill the great prophet and revivalist also wrote,” mere preacher may help anybody and hurt nobody, but prophets will stir everybody and Madden somebody. The preacher will go with the crowd; the prophet goes against it.
A man freed, fired, and filled with God will be branded unpatriotic because he speaks against his nation’s sins; unkind because his toque is a two-edged sword; unbalanced because of the weight of preaching against him. The preacher will be heralded but the prophet bounded”.
Another great prophet and revivalist, Mathew Zakaria, wrote,” servants of the Lord, ministers of Calvary, this is no time to rejoice in our religious accomplishments. God needs no crowd-pleasing and applause-loving men, but rather He needs men who can courageously walk into a blazing for, and pull someone out of the burning inferno. He needs no magnificent cathedral or modern facility to convict the world of its sin”.
*There is a saying that _Every prophet of God is Intercessor but not all Intercessors are prophets.*_ This is because of the uniqueness of their calling, assignment, and also their role in Christ’s Body and the Nations.
Sadly, not many, in fact, a whole lot of individuals and groups do not get to understand this, as such, they pay very little or no attention to them, their ministry, or need…At length, the message is disregarded and the messenger despised.
Prophets are Intercessors who stand in the gap for individuals, some for a church, a community, a nation, or the world at large.
Prophets are Intercessors who receive insights and deep revelations, mysteries unveiled right at their face. They tend to be almost completely invisible, I mean secluded in their closets to avoid distractions and seek God more closely. However this is also because a lot of people don’t want to associate with them, their ministry, or needs.
But we need understand that the role of a Prophet as an Intercessor though disregarded by many cannot in any sense be overemphasized.
John Abiola.Revive Us Again series 64.
Revive Us Again is a Global prayer movement for revival.