Beware of False Prophets

 

2 Timothy 3:14-17

And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Yahoshua the Christ {Jesus}.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

 

What is truth?  Where do we get our ideas; where do we get our beliefs?  As a child I was taught some things by my parents and some things by my teachers in school.  Something’s I learned from my friends and still other things from television or other sources.  Yet how many of us have ever asked ourselves who taught those who teach us, and the people who taught them; who taught them?  We can continue to ask this question until the end of time; but the bottom line is, where did man’s knowledge come from, and how do we know that the knowledge we have been taught is truth?

I once asked a History professor this question; “How did man learn how to make bread?” Although a simple question; it seemed that He did not understand what I meant. I explained to Him that I could not figure out how a man with limited knowledge was able to figure out how to take wheat, grind it up, add water, add yeast, kneed it, shape it, and bake it. I myself don’t even know what yeast is, or how it makes bread rise.  I am not a baker and I do not claim to even be the least bit interested in how yeast works, but my point is how could a primitive man come to this knowledge?  Hit and miss experimentation or simple coincidence is just not a viable answer.  I do not know what the odds would be for someone to accidentally stumble upon this recipe but I am sure they would be astronomical.  Once I explained to my professor that I believed man was taught how to make bread he never responded.  My position is that mankind was taught how to make bread by someone.  This then bears question; who was that someone?

We can ask this same question to all those who profess to be in the Christian community today.  Who taught the teachers and how do we know what they say is true?  I am not going to get into other belief systems, religions, or philosophies my goal is not to debate the authenticity of their beliefs.  I am writing to those who claim to be Christians and I ask again; “Who taught your teacher?  Who is teaching you, and is what He or she is saying the truth?”

How does a Christian know when the truth is being told to them?  In Catholicism it is the Pope’s Word which is infallible.  Regardless of the man in office at the time, the Word of the Pope, in Catholicism, is law.  For some other churches, denominations, or sects of the Christian faith, there are many who claim that the word they teach is truth. Whether they call themselves father, minister, prophet, teacher, Rev., or just a simple disciple, what is the authority which gives them the right to say they teach the Word of God?  I put myself into this category.  What proof do I have that I speak the truth of God?  Who taught me?

As with most religions or philosophies I get my truth from the deity I claim to worship.  Being a Spiritual Israelite {Christian} {Romans chapters 9-11} I receive my truth from the God who claims to have created the world in six days and on the seventh day rested.{Exodus 20:8-11}  I receive my truth from the God who led the Israelites out of the slavery of Egypt and into their inheritance; {Deuteronomy 6:20-25} which was the land of Canaan.  I worship the God who gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments at the foot of Mount Sinai. {Exodus chapters 19-20}  I worship the God who sacrificed His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. {John 3: 16}

For those of you who have followed my writings you know that I teach a pattern of duality concerning God’s Word.  I teach how a person can understand the things which are spiritual, by understanding the things which are physical, the things that are on this earth.  For the things on this earth, are shadows or copies of the Heavenly things. {Colossians chapter 2:16-17 Hebrews chapter 8:4-5}  The Truth of God is no different.  In the days of old He spoke to His people from the Heavens.  During the days of Yahoshua He spoke to them face to face.  So how does God speak to man in today’s world? Through His scriptures; the Holy Bible.  It is through the scriptures of what we today call the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible that we may know the truth of God.  For it is through God’s Word, Yahoshua, {John chapter 1:14} that man has been taught “The Truth” {John 17-17} from the very beginning.  So let us see what scripture hast to say about those who claim to be its’ teachers.

Before we begin I want to make sure that we all understand what I am speaking of when I say scripture.  The Holy Bible, the book which Christians claim to be the guide to their spiritual beliefs, is made up basically of two books.  There is the Old Testament which speaks of the time before Christ the Savior, and we have the New Testament which speaks of the time when Christ the savior walked the earth and the time after His death.  The Old Testament is basically made up of the writings or scriptures of the people God spoke to directly. These people then wrote down what God had told them.  The New Testament is made up of the writings or scriptures of people Christ the Savior spoke to directly while He was on the earth during His ministry, and the people He spoke to directly after His death and resurrection. These people then wrote down what Christ the savior had told them.  These writings or scriptures, according to these witnesses, are the Words of God.  This is the foundation or premise of this article; that the scriptures in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Christian bible is the Word of the living God; the Creator of the universe.

Let us start with this question, “What do the scriptures say about the validity of scripture?”

Psalm 119:160

The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”

John 17:17:

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.”

Here we see that scripture says that scripture is true.  Remember the writings or scriptures of the bible are the Words of God.  Since scripture is truth and God’s Word is scripture, than the people who teach scripture must be teaching the Word of God.  This is why they can claim that they speak the truth.  This is how I can claim that I speak the truth, because I am teaching scripture from the Holy Bible which is God’s Word; which is truth. This is the foundation upon which we teachers of the scripture get our authority; scripture is the Word of God and the Word of God is truth.  If someone is claiming to teach the Word of God and they are not teaching scripture of the bible than they are not teaching truth, they are liars.

How can we be sure that we are being taught the truth?  The first thing we must do is open our bibles.    There are so many preachers, teachers, even so called prophets, on television who claim to speak the Word of God and do not open the book they claim to be teaching from. There are even more who open the book and use scripture that is taken completely out of context, they bend and twist it for their own devices.

What does scripture have to say about trusting the teacher who teaches scripture?  We can find the answer to this in the book of acts.  This is the time after the death of Christ.  His apostles and disciples were traveling throughout Asia, Greece, and other provinces of the known world preaching the gospel and teaching the salvation of Christ.  During this time the scriptures used for the Word of God was the Old Testament.  This was the book of the Jewish people.  Christ was Jewish and His disciples were teaching that the scriptures, the books of the Old Testament, prophesied that Yahoshua {Jesus} was the true Messiah.  There were some who believed and there were some who didn’t.  Let us take a look at one of these instances and see how the people in each one of these territories chose to react to the teaching of the scriptures.

 

Acts 17:1-5:

 “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as His custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Yahoshua {Jesus} whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.  But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.”

Here is a perfect example of people being taught the scriptures.  Remember the scriptures being taught were those of the Old Testament, the book of the Jewish people, the Israelite people.  This was not the book of the Greek people, but when the apostles preached the scriptures, and taught that Yahoshua {Jesus} was the Christ, Greeks believed; the Jews did not.  Let us continue with this story it to see what happened next.

 

Acts 17:10-11:

“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

The people in the town of Berea received the Word and we’re happy to hear it.  They were excited to hear it.  We must understand that the things the apostles were teaching the Jewish people in Berea were the exact same things they were teaching the Jewish people in Thessalonica, but the Jewish people in Thessalonica:

1: Didn’t want to hear it!

2:  Didn’t believe it when they did hear it!

3: Were so angry about what they were teaching, they chased them out of town!

So what was the difference?  The people in Berea searched the scriptures daily to see if the things they were being taught were true.  They searched the scriptures daily, and because of this we read:

Acts 17:12

“Therefore many of them believed and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”

It was because they wanted to Hear the Word of God, they were excited about Hearing the Word of God, they desired to Hear the Word of God, and when they did Hear the Word of God they searched the scriptures to see what they were being taught was true, and when they saw that the things they were being taught were true, they believed.

The people in Thessalonica never once checked to see if what they are being taught was true or not true.  Even the ones who believed did not check to see if what they were being taught was the truth.  The simple fact that people in Thessalonians believed what they were being taught about the scriptures without checking it is just as bad as those who simply refused to believe.  They could have been taught anything. It was just fortunate that they were being taught the truth.  They did not know who the apostles were. They could have been anybody.  They claimed to be the apostles of the God of Israel but how did the Thessalonians know if this was the truth?  They didn’t!  This is why scripture tells us that we should continue in the things we have learned but we must be sure we know who is teaching us.  The only way to know this is to know if what they’re teaching is the truth, and we know it’s the truth by searching the scriptures.

2 Timothy 3:14:

“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them….” 

Matthew 7:15-20:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Scripture warns us of false prophets, people who claim to be teachers of the scripture, people who claim they are teaching and speaking the Word of God.  We will know they are false because their word is false.  The lies that they tell are the fruits that they bare, and even though they come in disguise we can tell what they are by their fruits.  When we search the scriptures their lies cannot be covered up; their fruits are revealed.

 

2 Corinthians 11:13-15:

 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan Himself transforms Himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if His ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

It is written that there will be those who claim to speak for God, they will claim to be teachers of the gospel, teachers of the scriptures, but they are not.  These people are in the pulpits, on the TV, speaking to the radio, and in these days and times, all over the Internet, claiming to teach the truth.  The only way a person can distinguish between the truth and a lie is to study the scriptures. 

Prior to the beginning of His ministry, Yahoshua {Jesus} went into the wilderness to prepare Himself by fasting.  As He was ending His fast Satan came to Him to tempt Him.  We can find this story in Matthew chapter 4: 1-11.  You can and should read this for yourself but I’m going to begin in verse 3.

Matthew 4:3-11:

“Now when the tempter came to Him, He said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

Let us stop and see exactly what is going on here.  Yahoshua {Jesus} had committed Himself to fasting, not eating or drinking anything for 40 days and 40 nights.  Just before His fasting ended the tempter, who is Satan, came to Him to try and make Him sin.  The first thing Satan tried to do was to have Him break His fast by attacking His ego.  When Satan said if you are the son of God, He was really saying, prove to me, that you are the son of God, or in other Words, give me a sign, that you are the son of God.  Satan believed that once Yahoshua {Jesus} had turned the stones into bread, He would not be able to turn away from the bread; and begin eating it, therefore breaking His fast, sinning against God, and not qualifying as our Savior.  How did Yahoshua {Jesus} respond to this temptation; with scripture.

Matthew 4:4

“But He {Yahoshua} answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

We can find the scripture he quotes in Deuteronomy 8:3:

“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

 

By giving that answer Yahoshua was showing that He was the son of God, because He did not have to eat to survive.  He was showing Satan that man lives by the Word of God not by physical food or drink, and Yahoshua is the Word of God, He is the Manna, bread, from heaven.

Let us continue to see what happens next dropping down to verse five:

Matthew 4:5-6:

“Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

Here the Satan is quoting scripture.  Satan knows scripture better than anyone living on the face of this earth; this is how He can transform into an angel of light and deceive people into believing that what He says is true.  The scripture He quotes to Christ is Psalm 91:9-12.

Psalm 91:9-12:

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

But how does Yahoshua {Jesus} react to this charge?  He uses scripture!

Matthew 4:7:

Yahoshua {Jesus} said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

We can find this scripture is in Deuteronomy 6:16:

 You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

This scripture clearly shows how someone can be deceived by a teacher.  Satan is quoting scripture and saying to the Messiah that it is OK to throw Himself down from the tower, in other words Satan wants Yahoshua to put himself into a harmful situation purposely because God had promised to protect Him.  Yahoshua {Jesus} knows that Satan has taken this scripture out of context.  How does He know this, because He knows that no one should tempt God by putting themselves purposely into harm’s way.  We do not have the right to test God.  This is why we must study scripture, because if we do not know scripture then those who are teaching us can clearly lead us astray by using the very word which is meant to save us.

So what happened next; dropping down to verse eight:

Matthew 4:8-9

“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And He said to Him, “All these things I will give You If You will fall down and worship me.”

The first two temptations not having worked, Satan then pulls out the big guns and offers Yahoshua {Jesus} the world.  How many of us could actually resist this offer.  Looking at people in today’s world, especially, but not exclusively, those in the entertainment business, it seems that Satan doesn’t even have to offer the world anymore. Just some bling, bling, some fancy trinkets, a little cash and notoriety and they bow to him.  How did the Messiah react to this offer?  With scripture of course:

Matthew 4:10-11:

“Then Yahoshua {Jesus} said to Him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” {Exodus chapter 20:3}

It is so easy to be misled in this world.  With so many different doctrines, faiths, religions and things to believe in it is very easy to be confused, because this is how Satan wants it.

1 Corinthians 14:33:

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

James 3:16-18

“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

Satan is the author of confusion.  It is He who wants the truth to be mixed with a lie so that no one can tell the good from the bad.

 

Romans 1:24-26:

 “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

Satan is a liar.  That is what he does that is who he is.

John 8:44-45:

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in Him. When He speaks a lie, He speaks from His own resources, for He is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.”

 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Revelation 12:9:

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Satan is the one who deceives all of mankind.  Scripture says that the whole world is deceived.  But there will be a small group of people who shall know the truth. Yet God warns that even these people, those he calls the elect, because of the effectiveness of Satan’s lies and delusion they the holders of God’s truth might even be deceived

 Matthew 24:24:

For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

 If whole world has been deceived then there must be people in the world perpetuating the deception to and they are usually behind the pulpit of the nearby church, synagogue, or temple.

The whole purpose of this series will be to test if the things we are being taught in the Christian churches are true.  I shall try to achieve this by searching the scriptures and quoting them.  I pray that we all may be as the people in Berea who searched the scriptures happily and diligently. Yahoshua says that during the time of the end all things shall be restored.

Matthew 17:11:

Yahoshua {Jesus} answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things

 If something is to be restored it must at one time have been lost or damaged.  So how did this happen how did the truth get lost or damaged.

Isaiah 29:13:

“Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…”

Matthew 24:11:

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Due to the disobedience of ancient Israel and their rejection of the messiah, God has allowed false prophets to come, and spread lies.  Yet upon His return all people shall then be taught the truth and the laws of God.  Satan shall be locked away 1000 years unable to deceive mankind.

 Revelation 20:1-2:

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years….”

So during this perilous time with all this information at our fingertips and countless people claiming to speak the word of god spreading what they call the truth, let us be diligent:

1 Peter 5:8:

Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

So until next time my friends remember the good news of the Kingdom of God. Please take care and may peace be with you always.