How to tell if someone is a False Teacher or Prophet?

 

The usual, the teaching is not drawn from Scripture; rather read into to fit their wayward theory. Pride is always a good indicator, a true servant of the Lord points to Christ and not themselves. And of course what they predict does not come true. Then after the false prophecy, they are silent for a while, hoping you forget and then wow you with a new date or teaching… They feed on those who do not read the Bible and do not think. In addition, 1 Peter gives us the main template of the false teacher and prophet, by showing us what a real one is like:  

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched (the Scriptures) intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 1 Peter 1:10-12

They searched the Scriptures, not forced presumptions into the Text. They taught what God told them too, not what they wanted to. They shared and lived out the Grace of our Lord, they preached the Gospel, and they pointed to Christ not making a name for themselves… 

“It was revealed” is about the mysteries to which God gave the O.T. prophets a glimpse—of things to come that were to benefit and encourage future generations, like us today. For us, a real prophecy or a Gospel teaching is the Message of the Gospel, the true Truths directly from God’s Word the Bible being infused by the Holy Spirit and then lived out in our lives; it is that Jesus Christ, being fully God, lived in behalf of us, took our place for God’s wrath, suffered in our place, and redeemed us. It is a call to us to be the messengers of the Gospel along with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:25-27, 45-47). 

God wants us growing in Him, not speculating on nonsense and wasting Kingdom time and ‘debating’ others away from the faith. He wants us to be contagious with his Truth and grace. He wants to see if our faith and commitment is real and brings us into situations where we can learn and grow in faith and so receive our reward. God’s purpose is to refine us, form us, mold us, improve us, restore us, grow us, and strengthen us. This we need to pray and contemplate our attitude, mindset, and deeds so we can make sure we are pointing to Christ and not ourselves. We are to seek our repentance and so we will “wake up,” see our error, and seek Him (Gen. 11:1-f; Deut. 8:2; 13:3; Judg. 2:22; Job. 23:10; Rom. 5:3; James 1: 2-4, 12-16; 1 Pet. 4:17; 5:1-4, 8).

 

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Exegetical look at Matthew 24, Part VI

Vs.36-50: No one knows…angels, or the Son… Why did Jesus not know, when He is the omnipresence God? God keeps most of His plans secret for good reason (Deut. 29:29; Zech. 14:6-9). We would become preoccupied with them and miss our purpose for being here on earth. Just look at some Catholics and how they are overzealous with artifacts; in fact there are enough so-called pieces of the cross of Christ in European Cathedrals to build a large church! There is also the obsession for the Holy Grail (the cup of Christ in His last supper). They look to “stuff” and not to substance!

· This is one of the “hard saying of Jesus.” Scholars debate whether Jesus, being also fully man, could not predict His second coming because either He did not know, or the time was not yet set up. These two views seem to nullify His omniscience. According to Catholics, and some Protestants, the knowledge was too high for Jesus to communicate to mere humans (St. Thomas Aquinas). Luther said the divine nature was unable to communicate this to the human nature. The Reformed view is that there is no distinction or confusion between the divine and human natures, as Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus had all knowledge, but when He was in human form, only the Father had this knowledge. In addition, the Father has knowledge that the other members of the Trinity do not have.

· Even the Holy Spirit did not have this knowledge. So, if someone says, “the Holy Spirit told me the day and time,” they are either being dishonest or are deluded—to which this passage attests!

· Son refers to Jesus the Divine Person, a part of the Godhead of the Trinity—one God, three manifestations. The Son is the manifestation that lives on behalf of us and redeems us before the Father. The Spirit convicts the unbeliever to know God and paves the way for Christ’s work (see doctrine channel at http://www.intothyword.org and article on the Trinity).

· Days of the flood refers to people carrying on their daily lives, unconcerned with God—only focused on self. This also refers to the evil, sinful nature of people!

· Taken refers to being taken to Judgment (Jer. 6:10-12)! Most people think this is the rapture, but, it is never explicitly taught or illustrated, although the text does “allow” for such as view. (What is my view? I do not have one. After 20 years of carefully studying the books of Revelation and Daniel, I am not ready to publicly form one; I still need more study!)

· Israel, as a nation, had rejected their Messiah and thus would be forced, by their own will, to go through a great tribulation.

· Thief will come literally means to “break in,” as to dig into the clay and brick sides to get inside the home. This could only happen if the people were not there—as in not ready (Ex. 22:2-3).

· Watch…be ready refers to being active, in faith and practice, and not be waiting, sitting and doing nothing. Do not be distracted from that which Christ has called you! Do not waste your time in the particulars of eschatology; it really is not that important for us to know or to teach!

· Servant. Wealthy people had servants whose job it was to watch for their return, as they had many homes for winter and for summer. The servants were to be ready, so food, provisions, and the chores needed to have been done. Those who failed, who were lazy or took advantage of others and their master’s things, were fired or imprisoned. Thus, they could only be abusive if the master was not present. Our Master is always present!

The study of eschatology is important, but, compared to issues such as prayer, Bible study, who Christ is, basic doctrine, faith development, living in the Spirit, and growing in character and service to our neighbors and people in need, it really is not that important for us to know or to teach! Do you agree or disagree, and why? (It is OK to disagree with non essential doctrine, as long as we do not divide over it!)