(2 Peter 2:1-3) “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
There have always been false prophets and teachers in the Church but in these last days they are multiplying at an alarming rate. The Lord Jesus and the apostles warned us that in the last days false prophets and teachers would inundate the Church. In his second letter Peter tells us that they will “secretly introducing destructive heresies.” This phrase has the idea of” truth being laid side by side with error” and done with such skill that they appear to be the truth. What is a false prophet and how do we recognize them in the Church?
1. False Prophets pretend to be sent by God even though God has not commissioned them.
(Jeremiah 23:16-18, 21-22) “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear His word? Who has listened and heard His word. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed My words to My people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” In these passages of scripture we can see certain clear marks of a false prophet.
a. They fill God’s people with false hopes. You see these today at large meetings where believers are clamouring to hear “a word’ from the Lord”, usually it comes in the form of blessing and prosperity and soothing words that move the emotions. Multitudes of believers today no longer want to hear the Word of God but only what their “itching ears” want to hear. When you see the prophets sent by the Lord to Israel they often spoke words of warning and coming judgment as well as words of blessing. Today these modern prophets only tell people what they want to hear. Many Christians will actually believe a personal prophecy even if it does not agree with scripture. Today in many Churches experiential theology is superseding the Word of God.
b. Instead of warning Christians when they backslide they prophesy peace, blessing and prosperity: They tell God’s people that He wants them to be rich and successful and to have the best jobs in town. They tell God’s people that He wants them to live in mansions and drive expensive cars and wear the finest in clothes and jewellery. When the Church back slides these false prophets do not warn the people of coming judgment but tell them everything will be okay. They certainly avoid telling Christians that they will be persecuted if they really stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ. When judgment was looming over Jerusalem in the time of Jeremiah and the Babylonians were advancing on the city the false prophets were preaching peace and security when in reality the people were heading for judgment because of the stubbornness of their hearts towards God and His Word.
c. They have never really stood in God’s presence and heard from Him: If they had stood in God’s presence like Isaiah they would cry out, “Woe to me!” I cried, “I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5) True prophets whom God sends know that they are unworthy servants and know that if it wasn’t for God’s grace in their lives they would be as bad and in some cases worse than the people to whom they are prophesying. Not so with false prophets! They have never stood in God’s presence nor has He sent them and the message they run with is a false one. If they were genuine prophets then they would turn God’s people from their backsliding ways.
2. False prophets are often permitted by God to continue in their prophesying because He is testing the diligence and faithfulness of His people.
(Deuteronomy 13:1-3) “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all of your heart and with all of your soul.”
It is possible for a false prophet to work miracles. When you watch Benny Hinn you see a classic example. He waves his coat over people and they fall backwards into the arms of professional catchers. On the other hand he prophesies things that do not happen and has consulted with the dead. He parades around in a white suit enjoying the praises and adulation of the audience. He has the cameras at certain angles to extenuate his bearing. He comes up onto the platform with his arms outspread like a messianic figure and believes his own publicity about himself when he says we are all “little Gods.” He calls down curses on God’s people that do not go along with his brand of ministry. (You can see and hear these things for yourself on video clips.) Now there may be some who have been healed at his meetings. I personally do not know of any that have been medically proven. Of course the Lord is not bound. He can even speak to a false prophet through a donkey!
However, genuine healings and even miracles do not necessarily endorse a man’s ministry or the man himself either. The Lord Jesus said that many would prophesy and work miracles in His name but in the end would be rejected because they had not done the will of God. (Matthew 7:15-23) In the end “doing the will of God from the heart” is all that matters. The money word of faith preachers have a faulty theology of the cross and do not live a crucified life. Benny Hinn is one who loves money and this is clear when you see him on a video saying that he does not want the gold in heaven but down here. Obviously he needs it to feed his insatiable appetite for his expensive and luxurious lifestyle and so-called ministry. The Lord permits these false prophets like Benny Hinn to operate in the Church to see if His people really Love Him with all of their heart and soul.
3. False Prophets are described in various ways in the Bible.
a. They are arrogant and treacherous: (Zephaniah 3: 4a) “Her prophets are arrogant: they are treacherous men.” (They cannot be trusted)
b. They covet money: (Micah 3:11) “Her prophets tell fortunes for money.” So much “personal prophecy” in the Church today is exactly that and those who go around doing this rake in the money just like the false prophets have done before.
c. They are crafty: (Matthew 7:15) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” They always appear to love the flock but in reality they are out to “fleece” the flock. They are in reality like ferocious wolves that rip and tear up the sheep to feed only themselves and their appetites. Jude describes them when he said; “These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm-shepherds who feed only themselves.”
d. They are “drunk:” (Isaiah 28:7-8) “And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer. They stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. All their tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth.” The prophet Isaiah was not only describing literal drunkenness but also the manner in which false prophets often conduct themselves. When you have seen the videos of the so called “laughing revival” of Rodney Howard Browne and the excesses associated with his meetings you see exactly what Isaiah was prophesying about. While laughter in the Spirit is a Biblical experience what you see in Rodney Howard Browne’s meeting is anything but that. These people are often into “dreams” and “visions” of one sort or another. In certain cases they claim to have “revelation” that goes beyond what is clearly taught in the Bible. Indeed Concerning our attitude towards the scriptures Paul himself said “that we must not go beyond what is written”. It is a fact that converted Gypsy’s, when they see this kind of stuff, will tell you that they used to do the same things themselves before they were saved. They call it “Duckering” i.e., using occult power to get money out of people. Now sobriety in the Bible is not primarily talking about physical sobriety but spiritual sobriety. False prophets will often exhibit the opposite. When you see Rodney Howard Brown in the video repeating the phrase “drink”, drink”, “drink”, and a phrase like ‘”fill ‘em up Jesus” you see him encouraging spiritual drunkenness. If you watch the video very carefully his laugh is staged and contrived. No wonder he calls himself “The Holy Ghost bartender.” His conduct is an affront to the Lord Jesus and an insult to His name and character. In fact where in the Bible is the Holy Spirit glorified above the Lord Jesus? The Holy Spirit will only glorify the Lord Jesus and not Himself or His gifts. If they have any gifts at all they misuse them and flatter people to their own advantage. As far as the Lord is concerned the words of false prophets are like vomit in His sight. (Jeremiah 23:10b)
e. They are Godless and immoral: (Jeremiah 23:11, 14) “Both prophet and priest are godless, even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie.”
Peter the apostle described them when he said, “With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed-an accursed brood.” Today if you watch the faith prosperity preachers on TV carefully you will see that many women almost worship them. Most of these preachers are well dressed and good- looking with charming personalities and act like movie stars. They say they are preaching the gospel but their lavish and self-indulgent lifestyles prove them to be liars. They are anything but Godly. There have been many down through the centuries that have been literally caught “with their pants down!” I am sure you would remember some of if they were named.
f. They prophesy lies in the Lord’s name and the delusions of their own minds: (Jeremiah 5:31 14:14) “The prophets prophecy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? The prophets are prophesying lies in My name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.”
False prophets always exaggerate and in some cases actually make up stories. They may have some kind of vision or so called revelation but the real question is whether they have really heard from the Lord. Scripture must always test every utterance, every teaching, every vision and every prophecy. The scriptures always align false visions with divination and this links false prophecy with the power of the occult. God will often allow false prophets to deceive themselves as a judgment on them. In other words God allows them to believe their own publicity. (Ezekiel 14:9) Paul writing to Timothy calls these false dreamers “enchanters” who “deceive and are themselves deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)
g. They are “copy cats:” (Jeremiah 23:30-32) “Therefore,” declares the Lord, I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the Lord. “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,’ declares the Lord.”
If you watch the faith prosperity teachers on TV, especially on Trinity Broadcasting Network they do exactly what Jeremiah said the false prophets were doing in his day. When Kenneth Copeland teaches his unbiblical theology concerning the cross he got his from Kenneth Hagin who got his from E.W.Kenyon. Apparently Kenyon himself publicly admitted at one time that Mary Baker Eddie the founder of Christian Science influenced him in his own theology. If you watch others on TV they copy one another. God calls these false prophets “reckless.” Spiritually speaking they are like “rabid dogs!”
h. They deny the Deity of Jesus and His finished work at the cross in some way: (1 John 2:23) “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son Has the Father also.”
The Faith prosperity preachers teach that Jesus “died spiritually”. They say that when Jesus said, “It is finished” just before He died on the cross that the work of redemption was not finished. They actually believe that Jesus went into hell, became one nature with Satan, was tortured for three days and nights in that place and was then born again in hell before redemption was completed. If this were the case then at the point where Jesus became sin He would have ceased to be God. This cannot be supported from the Bible. The reason He could come out of hades was because He was without sin and down there in that place on our behalf and because of our sin, not His! Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and the late Kenneth Hagin have all taught this doctrine. In fact most of the faith prosperity preachers believe this and teach it. When the Lord Jesus said, “It is finished” the work of redemption was complete. The Old Testament sacrificial system was no longer needed to cover sin. The curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom and by this God was saying that the way to heaven was opened for all who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation.
Furthermore, all of the faith prosperity preachers live in mansions, drive around in limousines, wear expensive clothing and jewellery and call themselves apostles and prophets. In reality they worship the golden calf of money and the Jesus they preach is not the Jesus of the Bible but another Jesus as well as another gospel. They are in fact enemies of the cross of Christ. The apostle Paul said certain things that apply to these people. “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven”… “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (Philippians 3:18-20a) (1Timothy 6:9-10)
4. False prophets are not always accurate in their predictions.
(Deuteronomy 18: -22) “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. Do not be afraid of him.”
A true prophet will always be 100% accurate. This is the consistent pattern of scripture. When you look at Daniels prophecies he was a 100% accurate as history proves. It is the same with all the Biblical prophets and there are numerous accounts in the Bible where we see this happening. Real prophets are not 90% accurate but 100% accurate. Some will argue does not Paul say “we prophesy in part.” Yes he said this but he didn’t mean that prophets were partly right and partly wrong and that they are not always accurate in their predictions. In the context of the passage Paul was saying that when Jesus comes again we won’t need prophecy anymore because we will know as God Himself knows us. Fortune-tellers and those who read crystal balls are sometimes accurate in their predictions because Satan knows the future, however, a true prophet will always be 100% accurate in his prediction.
If you look at the past prophecies of Benny Hinn that have failed to happen and have been documented then it is perfectly clear that he has not heard from the Lord. It is spiritually dangerous to prophecy something that the Lord has not spoken and those who go in for this kind of thing will reap God’s judgment. This is what happened to the false prophet Hananiah, “Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. Therefore, this is what the Lord says; “I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord.” (Jeremiah 28:15-16) It could very well be that Benny Hinn is on borrowed time and treading on thin ice and if he does not repent the Lord will take his life. False prophecy is actually rebellion against the Lord.
The Lord dealt with the false prophet Shemaiah in the same way. “Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send him, and has led you to believe a lie, this is what the Lord says: I will surely punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. He will have no one left among this people, nor will he see the good things I will do for my people, declares the Lord, because he has preached rebellion against Me.’”(Jeremiah 29:31b-32) False prophets also bring disaster on their families as well. The reason false prophets get their predictions wrong is because their doctrines are wrong. The Lord will never trust his prophetic revelation to those whose doctrines are wrong!
5. False prophets do not warn God’s people when they sin and backslide and avoid warning them about God’s judgments.
(Jeremiah 8:11) “They dress the wound of My people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.”
If you watch and listen carefully to many TV preachers and leading Charismatic preachers today there is almost no mention of the seriousness of sin and the need for holy living. The emphasis is on prosperity, blessing, abundance and Jesus Himself is presented almost as a self-indulgent figure that can be made to perform whatever these false teachers demand of Him. It is almost a consumer mentality, an instant answer syndrome where God is relegated to a spiritual dispensing machine. Now God’s promises are there for us to claim and when we stand on His Word in faith He is really pleased with us. (Hebrews 11:6) While there are general promises of spiritual and temporal blessings there are also many promises that tell us that we will not always have it easy and good in this life. In fact the main focus of the New Testament is on the spiritual blessings we receive by walking in holiness and faithfulness to Jesus and by obeying His Word and denying ourselves in this world and by taking up our cross daily and following Him. We are in fact to lay up treasure in heaven and not on this earth. Genuine prophets will not always speak a comforting message but often will agonize over the fallen state of God’s people and will warn them when they see the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” circling around to tear and devour the flock. When true prophets see God’s people backsliding into sin and rebellion they warn them.
Today many of these so-called prophets are full of levity and get people laughing and having a good time. You know Charles Finney once said that God never uses a court Jester to search the consciences of men! When Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates burnt with fire he wept and fasted and prayed. He certainly wasn’t jumping and dancing around, rolling on the floor and howling like an animal and saying that, “God was doing a great thing!” Today the spiritual state of the Western Church is terrible. You can’t really find a church today that conforms to the New Testament standards of worship, practice and holiness. This is a subject in itself.
Ezekiel was God’s prophet and God told him that if he did not warn God’s people of their sin and backsliding and its consequences He would hold Ezekiel personally responsible. “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me. When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life that wicked man will die for his sin and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. Again when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 3:17-21)
Real prophets are not court jesters but those who carry the Lord’s burden for the backslidden state of the Church. Jeremiah was called “the weeping prophet” because he could hardly cope with what the Babylonians were going to do to the people of Jerusalem because they had rejected God’s Word. Jeremiah wasn’t parading around like a peacock in heat showing off all of its feathers to attract a mate, neither was he full of levity and foolish jesting at that time. Listen to what he says, “O my comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me. Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away; “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her king no longer there?” “Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their worthless foreign idols?” “The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved.” Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.” (Jeremiah 8:18-9:1)
Today the Church in the West is enslaved in ‘Babylon.’ This world with its allurements and pleasures and rampant materialism has enchanted the majority of professing Christians. Ancient Babylon was both a political and religious empire and today the Babylon of this world and the Babylon of Ecumenism and interfaith and all false religion has captivated many professing Christian Churches. Only the faithful remnant remain and they by enlarge are scattered and cut off from the mainline denominations. Today multitudes of so-called prophets (Profits) are running around preaching peace and safety when the Church in this land and in the Western nations is hanging on the edge of a spiritual precipice and about to go over that edge. Islam is advancing, terrorism is coming and laws are now being drafted up in parliaments around the globe to bring in religious tolerance for the sake of social harmony. These new laws will prohibit the preaching of the gospel! What happened in 586 BC in Jerusalem and then again in 70 AD will happen again to the Western Church! Ultimately the compromise of the Church globally will bring the Antichrist onto centre stage in world affairs. So then false prophets do not warn God’s people of coming judgment, neither do they expose their sins or rebuke their backslidings.
6. False prophets and teachers were predicted to multiply in the Church in the last days.
(2 Peter 2:1-3) “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
God’s people have always been plagued by false teachers and prophets. Israel’s history is full of them. False prophets and teachers always mix truth with error. The Devil never tells outright lies but always promotes a mixture which God hates. When you see the word impurity used in the Bible it always refers to a mixture, some good and some bad. False prophets are this way as there is always yeast in the bread or leaven which in the Bible represents sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine. There is always cheese in the rat trap There is always a little arsenic of false doctrine in the gourmet sandwich of truth. The cheese in the rat trap and the ingredients in the sandwich may be very appetising spiritually speaking but if it is tainted it will ultimately bring about spiritual sickness and death. All false teaching is this way and the Devil has designed it to bring about spiritual sickness and death in those who embrace it. He does not care about the unsaved as they belong to him anyway. The people he is after are the saints who follow Jesus and His Word the Bible. As we know from the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness the Devil is a past master of twisting the Bible and he has been around a long time has he not? He can masquerade as an angel of light and so can his disciples!
When Paul was leaving Ephesus he said to the Church elders, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:28-32) False prophets always have an agenda and their desire is always to draw attention to themselves and have people follow them and treat them as spiritual Gurus. Like their Father the Devil they can twist the scriptures. The danger is not from those outside of the Church but from those within who claim to be brothers but are false brothers with another agenda.
When you look at the Money Preachers on Christian television and on the Internet you have prime examples of the kinds of false prophets and teachers the Bible warns us about. Of course Paul gives us the remedy to counteract false teaching and teachers when he also commended the Ephesian elders to the Word of God that was able to build them up spiritually and give them the means to discern false teachers and false doctrines. Spurgeon used to say something like this,” If you want to see if a stick that looks straight is in reality bent all you need to do is to hold it up next to a perfectly straight stick and you will see the difference. God’s word is like that straight stick. It will show up doctrinal error! As it is written, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” James tells us that God’s Word is like a mirror that tells it as it is! A mirror does not lie but shows warts and all!
Furthermore in His discourse on the Mount of Olives the Lord Jesus warned His faithful believers about deception four times. In fact it was virtually the first thing that came out of His mouth. Of course these false “Christs” or those with a “false anointing” can often counterfeit miracles by occult power like Pharaoh’s magicians Jannes and Jambres did when opposing Moses and Aaron. Of course we are told that eventually they will be exposed for what they are. (2 Timothy 3:1-9) It has been rightly said, “You can fool the people for some of the time or even for most of the time but you cannot fool all the people all of the time!” Those who really love Jesus and know His word will see through these conniving wolves in sheep’s clothing! In fact they are also called “enchanters” and they not only deceive others but are themselves deceived. Furthermore they persecute those who take a stand against them. (2 Timothy 3:12-13) Just watch the video where Benny Hinn curses other Christians because they dare to question his ministry not to mention his ethics! These kinds of prophets are ravenous wolves who do not care for or spare the flock!
7. False prophets ultimately fall under God’s judgment.
All false prophets are eventually judged but the tragedy is that God’s people are also involved in the ruin of these prophets. Listen to the words of Isaiah, “So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day; the elders and the prominent men are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail. Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray. Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will He pity the fatherless and widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks vileness.’ (Isaiah 9:14-17)
When false prophets fall under God’s judgments they also bring judgment on their family members and all who follow them. This is precisely what happened to Pashhur the false prophet when Jeremiah the true prophet spoke God’s final words to him. “And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’” (Jeremiah 20:6)
How then do we recognize false prophets in the Church? What do we look for? When we see and hear someone prophesying or even teaching what questions do we need to ask the following questions? Do their prophecies come true or do they have a track record of failed prophecies? Are they always prophesying about revivals and moves of God that never happen? Are they magnifying signs, miracles and wonders above God’s Word? Are they always preaching about money? Are they sound doctrinally and does their teaching line up with the teaching of God’s Word? Do they have a faulty theology of the cross that even denies the deity of Jesus in some way? Is their emphasis always on prosperity and abundance and they never mention the judgments of God? Do they preach against sin and backsliding when it comes into the Church?
Do they preach holiness and live a holy life themselves? Do they live a crucified lifestyle or are they going around in limousines, wearing expensive clothing and jewellery and staying in five star motels? Are they dictatorial and into heavy shepherding? Are they always boasting about their own gifts, spiritual experiences and revelations? Are they magnifying the Holy Spirit and His gifts above the Lord Jesus Christ? Are they humble or do they swagger around and speak in a boastful manner about their gifts and abilities?
Do they like mixing with attractive women? Are they faithful to their wives? Do they mimic and copy others? Do they try and sell charms, trinkets or bracelets or small bottles of oil on TV with promises of healing, prosperity and abundance? Are they always asking for money for their ministries and promising some kind of spiritual or temporal blessing in return? Do they denounce other genuine ministries and call down curses on other Christians in the name of the Lord? Do they love the praises of men? Are they always promoting their own ministry and pushing for sales of their books, tapes and videos? Are they prepared to lay down their ministry if God tells them to do it? Are they persecuted for preaching righteousness? Are they able to receive correction when they are in error? Will they lay down their ministry if their prophecies do not come true? Are they really willing to serve others? Will they make themselves accountable to the Body of Christ for what they prophesy in the name of the Lord? Do they grieve over the backslidden state of the Church? Are they men of the Word and prayer? What then did Moses write; “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. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18: -22)