Fourteen or fifteen years ago we visited our son and his family in Nebraska, USA. In speaking of crime he said there was little crime other than some drug abuse and a little domestic violence. I asked him why this was so and his response was: “Everyone works.” It was an eye opener to me as I realized that in our country we have so many people without work … which is one of the reasons our levels of crime is so high. Because of the high rate of sexual crime, armed robberies, house burglaries, domestic crimes and murder … we have to be vigilant to protect ourselves, our loved ones, possessions and property. As citizens we are one of the biggest creators of employment because we have security fencing on top of our walls and fences, cameras, alarm systems, armed security, burglar bars and gates. We are vigilant because we want protection. We care and we are concerned that we go to great lengths and spare little cost to do everything we are able to, to protect ourselves. We are vigilant … but are we? Yesterday we started looking at Matthew 7:
Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
We have consider “false prophets, watching out for them and that they disguise themselves. Today we push on …
4) The true personality of false prophets. They might appear well dressed, well groomed, well-educated and presentable people … but … inwardly they are ferocious wolves. The true personality of a person is not the exterior such as clothing, education and cut. It is spiritual and exposes the person or persons view of Christology. Once again we are confronted with what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ.
1Jn 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
The dividing line as to whom Jesus Christ is, is answering the question … Did God become incarnate? This is crucial … because what the Bible has to say about whom Jesus is and what He is separates Truth from error. There were two Adams … the first failed his God given mandate and plunged the race into sin and death. The second Adam obeyed the God given mandate, delivers believers from sin and gives life eternal. This second Adam could not be man born of a human father and mother because He would then inherit the sinful nature of the first Adam. He needed to be sinless and only God is sinless … so God Himself comes to our planet as the Godman to be Messiah. Only He is able to deal with man’s sin effectively because of His eternal sinlessness. He enters our world through the womb of a virgin and is born man but the cause of her pregnancy is God the Spirit miraculously planting the seed that provides sinlessness. As the Godman, sinless, righteous and holy, He is able to offer Himself as the perfect offering for sin, meeting His own required holy standard to appease His wrath, covering sin and removing it permanently, causing believers to be redeemed and adopted into God’s Holy, Forever Family. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John says that anyone holding to a doctrinal position different to this is indwelt with the “spirit of the antichrist” and is a “false prophet”. The true personality is controlled by satan. Paul, in speaking about forgiveness, says:
2Co 2:11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
The false prophet, indwelt by satan, presents Jesus as different to what the Bible says. They will say He was a good man, He performed miracles but He did not die to redeem you from sin and He did not rise from the dead … and He is not God. The true personality of the false prophet is spiritual … satanically inspired spirituality!
5) The true intent of the false prophets. Consider:
1Ti 6:3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
Their strategy is to teach false doctrine. It all starts here. It does not match Jesus’ teaching nor the call for godliness. Once the teaching of false doctrines take effect … it’s easy to manipulate the followers to give huge amounts of money to the false prophets. Every single cult has at least one wealthy sponsor and the leadership live in luxury! Many years ago a false prophet deceived a family who were in a Church I pastored to the point where they lost the family holiday home in the Swiss Alps. What is behind all this? The one who lied to Eve in the Garden continues to use his agents to lie to people through counterfeit doctrines.
Jn 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
So far we have only covered verse 15 … but we have seen that if we say we are God’s own through salvation in Jesus Christ, we need to know the Bible and the many doctrines flowing from it … and more especially those related to the Lord Jesus.
Father, grant us an appetite to study and know the Bible so that we will be spiritually vigilant protecting ourselves from the evil one and his deadly, deceitful, false prophets. Amen.