Everyone wants to hear from a prophet from the Lord, however, there are many wolves in sheep clothing. How do you know the difference between a true prophet of the Lord against a false prophet working for the devil? Many times, even the false ones have all the right words and are charismatic.
I have seen the best and the worst of the prophetic movement. I have been in the middle of it. I have learned a lot over the years and some of the lessons have been very painful. A few of those lessons of dealing with false prophets I would never wish on anyone.
Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:30)
False prophets have no desire to live holy lives. I am not talking about struggle with personal sins. They enjoy living in compromise. Many false prophets I have dealt with and known have a complete desire to live as much like the world as possible. There is little different between how they live and how the world lives today.
It is common to see false prophets that drink wine for example. I know of several who smoke cigars and cigarettes. They do not want to “set apart” or “be in this world but not of it.” They enjoy the compromise and there is no desire to be in personal holiness whatsoever.
We should be encouraged by this because scripture told us in the last days that there would be lovers of themselves that would come forth from within the ranks of the church.
They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. (2 Timothy 3:8)
This the act of paying for position within the church. While false prophets do not do directly, they seek to pimp out Jesus. This is when people try and make profit out of the gospel. They turn the work of the gospel into a business. They do not believe in “freely you have receive, freely give.” Everything they do has a price tag. They are in business, not ministry.
It might be a seminar, a class, a book, a conference. It does not matter. Everything is based on making money for the business they pretend is a ministry. One of these groups has a two day seminar for $175 a person that is based on New Age nonsense. They won’t do the class for less than 25 people which means over $4,300 for new days of work.
May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. (Acts 8:20-21)
A true prophet’s goal in confrontation is ALWAYS redemption. He will never humiliate. He understands that no one is righteous. His call to holiness is a reminder to himself as well. Prophets call people to the foot of the Cross; not seek to humiliate them. Jesus never humiliated or degraded anyone for their failure. He called them out of their sin and into the glorious light. Any prophet that does not do the same is a false prophet.
False prophet believe they have a “calling” to expose people. I have never seen an example of this in the New Testament. They exposed ideas, not people. They dealt with false doctrine but Paul never ripped into people for teaching it. The apostolic model has always been to address concepts, not people.
What about Matthew 18? This must be done at the local assembly level. There is nothing that says Paul went around to other churches saying someone was disfellowshipped at Corinth for their sinful ways. Church discipline is never the goal of false prophets and they never let it dealt with the local level.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)
False prophets see the scripture as “old love letters” that are no longer relevant today. This is true about divorce more than ever. They promote divorce as acceptable and in some cases encouraged. This is one area to know the different between a false prophet and a true prophet. The positions are extreme and very easy to see. True prophets seen the importance of commitment no matter the cost. False prophets do not.
Any prophet who thinks that people can divorce and re-marry for any reason is a false prophet. (Biblically speaking, you can separate but not divorce) Anyone who enters into a second marriage is living in adultery every day of that marriage. Anyone that does not teach this has rejected biblical truth and is a false prophet.
Scripture tells us that there is one man and woman for life; not one man and three women throughout his life. False prophets do not preach this. I have no issue with multiple living spouses of believers.
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
False prophets not only living a life of debauchery with the drinking of wine, smoking cigars, and reject the calls to truth; they actually mock people for living holy lives. When a prophet does call people to live set apart, they try their Operation of Condemnation routine. They try and silence a prophet by making a big deal of repented sins. False prophets turn the grace of God into a license to sin.
What you will not hear from this false prophets is a call to “set apart” or that we should be “in this world but not of it.” They desire to live as much like the world as possible and mock true prophets as “legalistic” and we are “angry jerks.”
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do… (1 Peter 1:13-15)
Many (if not, most) false prophets within the modern prophetic movement teach a heresy known as inner healing. They release demons in people’s live that is based in eastern religions. Most people who have received “ministry to the soul” do not know they have playing with serious demonic forces rooted in Buddhism and Hinduism.
The movement is not found in the book of Acts or anywhere in church history until 1958. It was started because some Charsmaniac that lack authority to cast out devils. It would later become popular through false prophets in Idaho that got inroads into the Vineyard movement. (The son of this false prophet is still operating in the same demonic spirit today!) If it is scriptural, it has to actually be in the scripture and supported by church history. Both of these do not exist with inner healing.
One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (Acts 19:15-16)
A common thing you will find among all the false prophets is they do not preach the Cross. They have replaced the Cross, an offense to those who reject holiness with pop psychology. Instead of teaching on the power of the gospel, they teach on “the traits of a narcissist.” False prophets talk more about Jezebel than Jesus.
In the rare case that the Cross is preached, it is seriously weakened and perverted to be about the “10 benefits of living your best life now found in the Blood.” (A false prophet is actually doing this series right now!) They refuse to stand on the simplicity of Calvary and look dead men in the face with compassion saying “Repent or perish.” (Luke 13:3)
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
Paul warned that we would have men (and women) that would try and distort the truth which can be translated literally “reshape the gospel.” We are there. Ministries are seeking to change the whole gospel. They want to make the good news into something that is mere humanism. We are seeing a crossless, bloodless, repentanceless message coming. We condemn Oprah for saying many roads lead to God but many false prophets teach “destiny messages” that are just damnable.
The gospel to them is too harsh and too intense. They see holiness, repentance, and biblical intercession as out dated because it does not sell books. At the end of the day, these false prophets are after profits; not souls. You can not get saved without the work of the Cross or preaching of the blood. They want “feel good” preaching, not revival.
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
The Gnostic where a group of heretics in the second century that did, among others things, believed that they were more spiritual than others because they had the “divine spark.” These false prophets have some of the most complex beliefs you can find. They claim they have “revelatory” teachings. This is nothing more than the Gnosticism remix.
God WILL give prophets profound messages but they will be found right in the text of scripture. They are not hidden in some code or odd history of Jewish traditions. If God is sounding the alarm on something, it will be right in the scriptures for all to see. People who try and make it sound like you need a P.hD to understand the biblical text are false prophets!
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. (1 Timothy 1:3-4)
Almost all false prophets reject the biblical timeline for the end of the age. While they will differ on some theological systems. (Many teach a form of partial Preterism but there are a few “Pre-wrath” guys in there.) No matter where they stand on eschatology, they all seem to teach Kingdom Now. This is confusing because many get lost in the smoke about the kingdom of God as a result.
The latest emphasis is known as “Seven Mountains of society.” If somehow, we impact the political, entertainment, education, Arts and business; Jesus will come and revivial will be imminent. The purpose of this teaching is we are to form a “christian society.” However, there is a problem…. revival has always when the faithful feared death, not celebration.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18)
There is a storm coming and we are seeing it to form right now. It is in the spirit what a hurricane is in the natural. We must be prepared and see the equipping of the saints to walk in biblical power and authority. It is time to cleanse the house of God because judgment always starts in the church house. (1 Peter 4:17)
As I write this in the Summer of 2020, I am concerned that the Pentecostal movement is listening to many false prophets that do these 10 things and we are not prepared for the coming crisis in the land. While we will be caught up to be with the Lord before the great times of testing (Tribulation period); some intense conflict is ahead of us. We must prepare.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:9-13)
Peter Vandever is a Pentecostal Evangelist to the nations and a prophetic voice to the American Pentecostal movement. He is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri.