Some of the evidences of false prophets and ministers
are; they lie (Jer. 14:13-16) and handle the Word of God deceitfully
(II Cor. 4:2); behind the scenes they do shameful things (Ezekiel
22:26-28; 34:2-10); they are greedy (and seek high offices and the
biggest churches; they are destitute of the real power of God and lead
men/women from God by presenting a mutilated gospel (II Cor. 2:17; II
Peter 2:1; II John 7-11). They also speak presumptuously as they
prophecy out of their own spirits (Deut. 18:20-22). These are just a
few marks of the false prophet, yet many Christians have not remained
teachable, therefore have fallen into deception.
When one desires to try the spirits of false prophets,
teachers, pastors, believers or just people, there are many things one
can be on the alert for. I believe the same tests can apply to all
people, especially those that call themselves Christians.
1. First we would do well to look at their
relationship to the world versus their obedience to God.
"Love not the world, neither
the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love
of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of
the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of
the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the
lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."
(I John 2:15-17).
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know
ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity (hatred) with God?
whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
2. Do they have true love for their brothers
and sister in the Lord?
"A new commandment I give unto
you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love
one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
have love one to another." (John 13:34-35). Also (John
15:12; I John 4:7-21 & 3:11-16).
If they really love the brethren, they will not lie to
them, cheat them, rob them, or hurt them in any way. They will
certainly not feed them false gospel or prophesy falsely to them. They
should even be willing to help them at their own expense.
3. How is their confession of Jesus and His
Are they careful to rightly divide God's Word and preach
the true Jesus and His total Word? Or do they preach another Jesus and
another gospel? (II Co. 11:3-4, Living Bible). What they preach and how
they live must line up with God's whole counsel.
4. How is their general outward conduct and
Scriptures for the outward condition:
"For I say unto you, That
except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes
and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
(Matt. 5:20). "..men shall be lovers of their own selves,
covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false
accusers, incontinent (uncontrolled), fierce,
despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers
of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but
denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (II Tim.
3:2-5). (Also Matt. 7:15-16a; Matt. 6:1-24; & 23:1-33).
For the inward condition:
"Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of
the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou
blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter,
that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which
indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's
bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly
appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and
iniquity." (Matt. 23:25-28).
"For from within, out of the heart of
men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye,
blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within,
and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23). (Also Matt, 5:13-48).
Sometimes it's hard to find out about someone's inward
condition, especially those we hear preach. That's why we each need to
stay teachable, acquire the discerning power of the Holy Spirit and the
ability to rightly divide the Word of truth. We, my husband and I, know
one preacher that has been preaching the gospel for about twenty-five
years and most people think he is a wonderful man of God, but several
years ago he was a guest in our home, and I was discussing with him the
writing of letters to my mailing list. I told him I did not know how to
write professional letters; all I knew to do was write what God placed
in my heart. The next thing I heard really shocked me, for he said,
"Zella, trust God and see how far it gets you". See what slipped out of
his mouth. "....out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh"
(Matt. 12:34-35). This is a man who is constantly prophesying to people
and telling his congregations to trust God when his inward condition is
full of hypocrisy and iniquity. I would no longer trust this man's
If we have a bad or uncertain feeling about something or
someone (preacher or anyone else) that may be an inward witness that we
should stay away from that thing or not listen to that person or take
their advice. We may not even know why we have this feeling, but we
should not treat it lightly.
5. Do they produce fruit, if so, what kind?
"Either make the tree good, and
his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt:
for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matt. 12:33).
6. Do they preach true doctrine and the whole
counsel of God’s Word?
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias
prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their
mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from
me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men." (Matt. 15:7-9).
"If any man teach otherwise, and
consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is
proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of
words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse
disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,
supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
(I Tim. 6:3-5).
"But there were false prophets also
among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who
privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that
bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many
shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth
shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with
feigned (fake, counterfeit) words make merchandise of (cheat, swindle,
fleece) you." (II Peter 2:1-3a).
7. Do they profess doing God's will, but in
truth, do not do it at all?
Many Christians, as well as ministers are claiming to do
God's will when all the time they are striving to fulfill their own
8. Is their preaching confirmed by the Holy
Spirit, Satan or not at all?
After Jesus gave the commission to the Church in Mark
16:15-18, the Bible tells us "And they went forth, and preached every
where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs
The Bible also tells us,
"Not every one that saith unto
me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in
that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy
name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye
that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23). "For
there shall arise false Christs, and shall shew great signs and
wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the
very elect." (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22).
These false Christs are some of the very ones standing
in pulpits today, preaching in the name of Jesus and claiming to be
ministers of the most High empowered by the Holy Spirit. The "if
possible" leaves the possibility undetermined...the only way to try to
keep from being deceived is by "rightly dividing the Word and trying
All false prophets, teachers, etc., and all who twist
and pervert Scripture, add to or take away from Scripture will bring
upon themselves swift destruction (II Peter 2:1), and their end shall
be according to their works (II Cor. 11:15). The punishment for those
who choose to add to or take away from Scripture will be the removal of
their name from the book of life. (Rev. 22:19).
9. Are ministers of God good stewards of the
money (tithes, donations and gifts) they are entrusted with?
Do they use it wisely or squander it on celebrity style
living? Do they use it to spread the gospel or use it to build their
own kingdoms? Do they use God's money to build mega church buildings,
play grounds, theme parks, virtual reality theaters, etc. Is this how
you want your tithes and offerings spent?
I want to thank you
wonderful people for visiting my website; some many times. Many of
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I wish for you a hunger for God's Word
God Bless You!
"....but establish the just: for the righteous God
trieth the hearts and reins."
King David said,
"I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is
my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in
whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my
high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised:...."