False Prophets and Teachers

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  • False Prophets and Teachers

    Scripture often warns against false prophets and false teachers for the simple reason that God's own people can be deceived (Ezekiel 34:1-7; Matthew 7:15-16; 24:4-11). Therefore, the Bible exhorts believers to test those who claim to be prophets (see I John 4:1-3).

    How can believers recognize a false prophet? Here are some key considerations:

    - False prophets make predictions that aren't fulfilled (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).

    - False prophets sometimes entice people to follow false gods or idols (see Exodus 20:3-4; Deuteronomy 13:1-3).

    - False prophets often deny the humanity of Jesus Christ (I John 4:1-2).

    - False prophets sometimes advocate legalism, such as abstaining from certain foods for spiritual reasons (I Timothy 4:3-4).

    - False prophets often encourage asceticism (Colossians 2:16-23).

    - False prophets sometimes teach that marriage is bad (I Timothy 4:3).

    - False prophets often promote various forms of immorality (Jude 4-7).

    If a so-called prophet says anything that clearly contradicts any part of God's Word, his teachings should be rejected. The Word of God is our barometer of truth--a litmus test that exposes error.

    Pearl of Wisdom: We ought to follow the example of the Bereans by comparing all truth claims with Scripture (Acts 17:11; I Thessalonians 5:21).
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