Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
A false prophet is a wolf in disguise, someone with a self-appointed ministry. And they can lead folks astray. After all, when someone says, “God spoke to me directly,” it can intimidate some people. Their response is, “Well, I don’t want to oppose God…” and so many of us can possibly open ourselves to false teaching.
But remember the curse that Paul pronounced in Galatians 1:6-9 on anyone who would pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ! In Revelation 2:18-29, Jesus warns the church at Thyatira against one who “calls herself a prophetess.” He labels her “Jezebel,” a reference to the evil wife of Ahab in 1 Kings, who mixed the true worship of God with the worship of Baal, which included gross sexual immorality.
Today, some mix Christianity with occultism: New Age churches, crystal churches, etc. And some have mixed in Eastern religions, like, “It’s OK to be Christian and be a Zen Buddhist, or to worship Christ and use transcendental meditation.” It’s all part of Satan’s effort to deceive.
So I want to make a “Special alert for discernment”. It’s a necessary but lacking element in the church today, when the lines of distinction between truth and error are unclear, or almost obliterated. The Bible reminds us, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
We must “learn to discern.” I’m not saying to be judgmental; I’m saying don’t be gullible! Just because some guy wears a collar, or is on radio or TV, or writes books, or has charisma, doesn’t mean he’s right on spiritually! False teachers may talk about God and Jesus Christ, or quote scripture. After all, Satan used scripture when he tempted Jesus!
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the “discerning of spirits,” the ability to tell between things that are spiritually true and false, the ability to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). This is one aspect of the Ministry the Lord has given me to empower God’s people, have a great day!