Scripture Exposes False Prophets

 

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Scripture Exposes False Prophets

Both the Old and New Testaments are replete with warnings of false prophets. The following is intended to provide biblical criteria for discerning false prophets and teachers. If a preacher engages in any of the following behaviors, be very wary of him or her:

  • Repeated immoral, unbiblical behavior. A false prophet may be detected by examining his moral character. If a prophet habitually displays character incongruent with that of God, then the former cannot speak for the latter. In Jeremiah 23:14, God speaks of prophets that “commit adultery and live a lie.” It is important to note that it is spiritual adultery, not marital, that is in view.

Evangelist Benny Hinn, for example, has a habitual problem with the truth. He has been caught in numerous lies about his own life and ministry. He has threatened not only his critics, but also their innocent children. He claims to have been visited by Elijah and the late Kathryn Kuhlman (a Word of Faith evangelist to whom he often refers for inspiration), and he reports to get “an anointing” from visiting the grave of Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Foursquare Gospel movement – evidence that Hinn has delved into the biblically forbidden realm of necromancy (Deut. 18:10-11; Lev. 20:27; Jer. 14:14).

  • Prophesying under a false god. If a prophet worships or prophesies in the name of a god other than Yahweh, then he or she is a false prophet (Jer. 2:8). Though the Word of Faith (WOF) preachers will not do this explicitly, they come very close.

Hinn once related to his audience that he learned spiritual truths regarding positive confession not from God’s Word but from a witch. Evangelist Creflo Dollar’s Jesus, who came not as God but only as a man whom God anointed, is not the Jesus of the Bible.

  • False prophecies and visions. One of the most recognized tests for a false prophet is whether or not his prophecies come to pass (Deut. 18:21-22). At his church on Dec. 31, 1989, Hinn went into a trance-like stupor during which God supposedly spoke directly through him to enlighten the congregation on some of the major events of the coming decade. Hinn prophesied that Fidel Castro would die in office, the U.S. East Coast would be ravaged by earthquakes, and that by “’94 or ’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America with fire.”

Many of the WOF leaders are also known for relating false visions and dreams but claim for them divine origins. The Bible does not smile upon such as these (Jer. 23:25-32).

  • Revelation Knowledge. This is the belief that God imparts to a select few extra-biblical knowledge of Himself and various other spiritual truths. The doctrine of Revelation Knowledge assumes a spirit/matter dualism in which the spiritual and physical realms are forever separate. Therefore, rational thought is of no value in spiritual matters.

Hinn, under the authority of Revelation Knowledge, has taught of a nine-member Trinity, that women were to give birth out of their sides, and that Adam could fly to the moon. One can see how rational thought might be a hindrance to the WOF teachers. Was it not Christ Himself that taught us to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37)?

Approach with caution preachers who claim to have regular visits from the supernatural, claim to have a special “anointing,” claim that it is always God’s will for you to be healed, claim that God will bless you when you “sow a seed” into their ministries (rather than to your local church), or try to send you an anointed “point of contact” such as a handkerchief, prayer cloth, vial of oil, etc.

Watch also for those preachers who publicly speak in tongues with no interpreter or who engage in “slaying in the Spirit.” Lastly, remember that someone’s apparent miracle-working abilities are not necessarily from God (Matt. 24:24).

Finally, bothers and sisters, I leave you with this Scripture passage: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

–Justin Peters

originally printed 10/16/03
in the Baptist Record
mbcb.org/business_services/br/peters.aspx

Peters can be contacted at (601) 636-2493
 or by e-mail: jpeters@fbcvicksburg.org

 

 

 

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