How to Know a fake prophet: Know a Charlatan
How to identify a false prophet
This article is particularly meant for Christians or anyone who professes that faith on how to identify a false prophet and the dangers one could face if he/she is misled or deceived by one.
Who is a prophet?
A prophet is anyone commissioned by God to speak his mind that is the truth and encourage others to do what is right according to the will of God. Therefore you could say a prophet is a morally upright person chosen by God to lead people away from sin, idolatry and abominable practices. Examples of prophets of old include John the Baptist, Elijah, Moses, Elisha, Abraham and Jeremiah. So anyone who by his/her conduct inspires people to do what is right and pleasing to God is a prophet.
Therefore a prophet is not a sooth-sayer who predicts the future or a fortune teller rather he merely speaks to God’s people on his behalf on what they ought to do or ought not to do and the consequences thereof.
Who is a false prophet?
A false prophet is any person who claims to be a servant or messenger of God but is not. He or she could parade him or herself as a pastor, evangelist, apostle, reverend or even a bishop. What ever the case the false prophet is simply a charlatan, an impostor claiming to be authorized to do God’s work and lead or more accurately mislead and deceive God’s people. They are people who often say or teach what is pleasing to most people rather than what is true as a result false prophets are themselves amoral, inclined to misleading and deceiving others and abusive of the trust people repose in them. Don’t expect a false prophet to portray himself as a crook because they won’t do that rather they are very much like what Jesus Christ termed “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in other words evil people appearing harmless.
Signs of False prophets
So you call yourself a Christian, attend church regularly and aren’t sure of whether you are under the yoke of a false prophet. Many people today are victims of false prophets in so many ways, but particularly with regard to how they use their monies. False prophets tell these people lies and manipulate them to act in a way that undermines the value of God’s work in their lives. For instance tying earthly prosperity to worship of God is not only deceptive but is dangerous to the ones who accept it and I will soon explain why. Some other false prophets go as far as using lying signs and wonders such as stage managed miracles to deceive gullible and faithless people. Here are some signs for you to use in your case.
1. False prophets use false and Heretical teachings often in their sermons
False prophets are in the habit of selectively picking out verses from the bible and misapplying them in such a way as to back or support their evil arguments. For instance a verse in 1 Corinthians which reads “Christ became poor for our sake that we might become rich” is often used as justification for why Christians shouldn’t be poor financially. Whereas the verse actually uses rich figuratively to depict Christ being a divine being taking up the corrupt and mortal state of man in order to redeem man of his sinfulness. There is nothing false prophets wouldn’t do to deceive.
Christ himself once asked “what shall it profit a man to gain the world, yet lose his soul?” He was reputed to have said “it is easier for a camel to travel through the eye of a niddle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”. In another of his parables he depicted the case of a poor man Lazarus being in heaven with Abraham and a rich man in hell surely it should have been the other way round if he wanted Christians to be prosperous and even rich as false prophets always want us to believe.
2. Unwholesome and abominable practices
Many false prophets act in ways that are unrighteous especially manipulative. For instance they try to silence dissenters with fear and threats by often times using verses from the old testament of the bible in which God punished enemies of his prophets. They could state things like “touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm” when in actual fact God only anointed kings and the last anointed King of God was Jesus Christ, any other anointed person after Christ is a false Christ. Besides touching God’s anointed meant inflicting physical harm on them and not asking questions about their spurious works. Other wise why was David not punished by God for opposing God’s anointed (Saul) simple he did not touch him.
False prophets are also master liars and manipulators. They are very good at using mind control to influence people’s actions. It is a statement of fact that using third party testimonials have decisive effects on a select group of people so that a person paid to claim he or she was healed of say terminal cancer due to the prayers and intercession of a false prophet will encourage other cancer sufferers to attend miracle crusades organized by those charlatans first as a way of offering them false hope to be healed and secondly to encourage them to spend their money and sacrifice their time and efforts for the false prophet.
What are the effects of false prophesies
Lose of trust in church leaders
Many people who have been victims of false prophets have lost trust in many of their church leaders including those that may truly be serving God. As a result of your trust being betrayed by someone you thought was God fearing you may become paranoid and even hostile to other church leaders you feel may not be different from the false prophets. This is not good for Christianity and could even contribute to massive reduction in church attendance.
Hurt and abused parishioners
Many parishioners have been sexually molested, defrauded and even physically and emotionally abused by false prophets. Many of them have lost hope with ever finding salvation some have committed suicide or even murdered their tormentors.
Falling moral standards
One thing you can never take away from false prophets is their tendency to encourage immorality through their godless lifestyles. Many false prophets are arrogant, selfish and stupid perverts with their infectious behaviors now becoming standards for others to follow. As a result we have a lot of Christians with unbelievably low sense of morality. There are homosexuals, idolaters, cheats, fraudsters and other not so attractive agents of immorality in the communion of believers thus undermining the essence of serving God as a sacred body of believers.
Loss and destruction of lives and properties
A lot of people have lost their lives, jobs, marriages and happy homes to the deceptions of false prophets. They were misled into carrying out actions they thought were God sent when in actual fact the charlatan was merely propagating his interest through them. People in their desperation and foolishness often times suffer this fate.
In conclusion, I would like to state that serving God is not a call to enrich oneself or protect the integrity of individuals rather it is a call to love all men as we wish for them to love us. Do false prophets ever practice this? No they don’t.
True servants of God are usually unpopular not for their behaviors but rather for their stand in support of the truth, false prophets on the other hand are men pleasers and liars.
True prophets practice what they preach and rarely do their actions contradict what they preach, false prophets on the other hand contradict themselves. They may preach love for all men but are not willing to express love for their enemies. They may encourage enterprise among Christians but themselves live fat on the sweat of others and so on.