Skip to comments.“Word of Faith” series by Justin Peters: Analysis: Scripture exposes false prophets
Posted on 02/15/2008 9:57:38 AM PST by WileyPink
Word of Faith series by Justin Peters: Analysis: Scripture exposes false prophets
This is the Fourth and final in a series of analyses by correspondent Justin Peters. These special articles were first printed in the Baptist Record each week from September 25, 2003, to October 16, 2003.
Analysis: 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 (Deuteronomy 18:10-11; Leviticus 20:27; Jeremiah.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 (Jeremiah 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 Gods Word but from a witch. Evangelist Creflo Dollars 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 (Jeremiah 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 Gods 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 someones 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)
Peters is interim minister of education at First Church, Vicksburg. He holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in Biblical Languages and a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth. Peters can be contacted at (601) 636-2493 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thanks for posting this. We can never hear the truth often enough.
Careful there are some here take offense when you criticize the false teachings of Osteen, Hinn, Copeland, and Meyer. I am not one of them.
And Rick Warren and Mike huckabee... and bill hybels and anyone else with a big church. John Macarthur seems to be fair game though... because he’s not a restorationist and doesn’t think we can reclaim the world for Christ,
Never let it be said that I'm not an equal opportunity offender! :~)
You're welcome. Look for the other three of the series here on FR that I posted within the last couple of weeks. They're good too.
But, and this is a big but, they teach some things that just aren't true.
I've used this analogy before and it seems to fit here.
If you baked a batch of cookies and used "just a pinch" of manure, would the cookies still be OK to eat? After all, it was such a small amount of manure and we can discern which part we want and which part we don't. \sarc
Your testimony about the tongues not only is telling of you (a good thing) but also is very telling of the church that you went to (not a good thing). I thank the Lord that you now know that His Grace IS sufficient.
2Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
I can see my own deficiencies and in human terms its hard to comprehend how a God who is perfect would have anything to do with me. But thank God that He does.
Because He IS a perfect God!
Thanks for your testimony.
Yep, and the list goes on...
You've been added to the Ping list, thanks.
GOOD MORNING SAINTS!
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
SO WHY DO SOME HAVE THIS NEED TO HAVE THIER EARS TICKLED?
2 Timothy 3:1
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 Timothy 3:2
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3
unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
2 Timothy 3:4
traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Timothy 3:5
having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
2 Timothy 3:6
For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
2 Timothy 3:7
always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:8
Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
2 Timothy 3:9
but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
2 Timothy 3:10
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
2 Timothy 3:11
persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2 Timothy 3:12
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 3:14
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
2 Timothy 3:15
and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
MAYBE THIS IS THE ANSWER AND SOLUTION TO THE AGE OLD PROBLEM.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MANY:
Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus,
who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?
“And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
THE PROCOUNSEL SOUGHT TO HEAR OF THE LORD,THOUGH THE SORCERER TRIED TO TURN HIM AWAY FROM THE FAITH,PAUL KNOWING THIS WAS WRONG CALLED HIS LIES OUT AND THE HOLY SPIRIT PHYSICALLY BLINDED THIS PURVEYOR OF DECIEPT.
HERE WE SEE THE SORCEROR TRYING TO KEEP SPREADING LIES HE WAS PAID FOR.THE PALM READER,HOROSCOPE PROVIDER OR OTHER MYSTIC MAY BE EASY TO SPOT.
WE ARE COMMANDED TO BE ABLE TO DISCERN THE TRUTH FROM LIES THAT MAY SEEM TO BE TRUTHFULL.
DISCERMENT IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT.
1Jo 4:1 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 4:2
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
1 John 4:3
and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
1 John 4:4
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:5
They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
1 John 4:6
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
This is a very useful test in many cases. If any form of doctrine denies or dishonors the Godhead or Messiahship of the Lord Jesus, or makes his incarnation to be a mere myth, it is to be rejected with abhorrence. Errors which touch the person or work of Jesus are fatal.
2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
The world is bad enough, but deceivers come into it from Satan, and try to make it worse by their errors. Modern skepticism is by some praised and petted, but it is to be abhorred by all who abide in the truth.
2 John 1:8
Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
Faithful ministers fear lest their converts should disappoint them by not remaining firm in the truth. If they go over to error their ministers have labored in vain.
2 John 1:9
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1:10
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
2 John 1:11
for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
As he who aids and abets a thief cannot be an honest man, so he who encourages a false teacher is a sharer in his crime.
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." -- Colossians 1:16-17
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." -- Colossians 1:16-17
Nothing more required.
When I Read Things Like this, it Always Makes me Long for a New House-Cleaning in the Church, as when our Lord Swept Away Several Fallen 'Ministries' in the Past.
Brother Alpha, Thank you for your Excellent Scriptures and Comments on this Thread, and Also for the Outstanding Study on Discernment a Few Days Ago.
The Blessing and the Honor and the Glory and the Power
Belong to the One Sitting on the Throne,
And to the Lamb Forever and Ever! (Rev.5:13)
Thanks for the post Wiley.
I knew nothing of these phonies until I went to see Osteen at the invitation of a friend. OH YUCK. I just couldn’t believe all the adulation he got! And yes it always winds around to be a message about planting a seed ... in their
ministry ! osteen’s rally was so devoid of any substance, it was all pomp and fluff; designed to play on emotions. Very little gospel— but just enough to sound “Christian-ee”
Many times I have tried to warn my peers about these
pop preachers, but they have their itching ears closed and they get a little offended.
Many people think if folks are brought to Christ then a little pinch of manure is justified. Or even a huge
pile of manure with a sprinkle of gospel is fine too.
I am urging my pastors to do a sermon or a mid-week teaching on this...