If the church were astute, false prophets would not exist. The reality is that messages from false prophets appeal to our carnal senses. The Bible defines false prophets quite clearly though the comparison with examples of false prophets in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and the modern world is not always clear. The current crop of prosperity preachers, fanatical ideologists and just plain power hungry have lead people astray with empty promises, weird and wonderful philosophies, terrible interpretations of the Bible and general appeals to our over media-saturated minds and consumerist ways of living.
False prophets were condemned in no uncertain terms in the Bible, as predominantly their agenda was to get people to worship other gods. The Bible also mentions false prophets who presume to speak in God’s name, “A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously…” Deuteronomy 18:20-22
Jesus continues this with an analogy, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16
In answer to the question then, the work and words of a false prophet do not ultimately hallow God’s name, witness to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ or indeed lead to eternal life. How does that work out in practice? Fortunately there are some spiritual police, godly men and women who are committed to routing out false prophets and exposing their lies. One such example is group committed to highlighting ‘deception in the church’.
One aspect of false prophecy is particularly prevalent in our western consumerist culture. It appeals to our self-interests and encourages us to ‘Get Greedy for God!’ The false prophets’ message is simple. The logic is flawed, ignores the story of the bible and focuses all it’s attention on one verse where Jesus said “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:14.
The logic follows that if what Jesus said in the above verse is true, then I can ask for anything, irrespective of its value or usefulness. It doesn’t matter if what I ask for will help me to take up my cross, or to speak boldly for Him or to live by the spirit and bear good fruit or not. I can ask for anything. Well, some more money would be nice so that I don’t have to lose sleep worrying about the mortgage, so based on this simple logic, I pray and Jesus will give me more money. After all, why wouldn’t he? He loves me and cares for me and wants the best for me.
The proof in what these sons of perdition proclaim is found, as they say, in the fact that they have lots of money. And the reason why? Because they asked for it. It has nothing to do with preying on gullible people who are enticed with promises of wonder and commit financially to the cause, thus making said speaker very wealthy. Nor does it have anything to do with scaring people with empty threats of social exclusion (i.e. from their club, which can have consequences if that includes business relationships) or the judgement of hell (why are some so quick to use hell as a threat when they have no control over it) if they don’t commit financially to the ‘anointed of God’. It’s a spiritual corruption in more ways than one.
Yet as some kings of Israel were taken in by false prophets, so the modern day prophet is not only to blame. While the world is very enticing, if one’s heart is genuinely set on following Christ, it shouldn’t matter what somebody says. For we will be watching out, just as He instructed.