Messianic Learning Feature Articles
Be Aware Of False Prophets
While closing His "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:3–7:29), our Redeemer and King Yahushuah issues a stern warning for His disciples: (Matthew 7:15) "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
The words "false prophet" are translated in the Bible's King James Version (KJV) from the Greek "pseudoprophetes" (G5578). According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon that word means "one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies." In Webster's dictionary "pseudo" means: "false, fictitious, sham, spurious, pretended, counterfeit." Yahushuah also warned His disciples about avoiding the flatteries of men that could lead them to become pseudoprophetes: (Luke 6:26) "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets."
These false prophets, under the pretense of being divinely inspired, spoke soft words that pleased the ears of the people. YAH severely rebukes their deception: (Jeremiah 14:13-14) Then said I, "Ah, Sovereign YAHUAH! Behold, the prophets say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine. But I will give you assured peace in this place.'" Then YAHUAH said to me, "The prophets prophesy lies in my name. I sent them not! Neither have I commanded them, nor spoke to them. They prophesy to you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart." Therefore, thus says YAHUAH, "Concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name and I sent them not, yet they say, 'Sword and famine shall not be in this land' By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed."
Compare the acts of pseudoprophetes with a true prophet ("naviy"; H5030), who delivers YAH's message of repentance. "Fake prophets:" (Lamentations 2:14) "Your prophets have seen vain and foolish things for you. They have not discovered your iniquity, to turn away your captivity; but have seen for you false burdens and causes of banishment." A "true "prophet:" (Jeremiah 26:2-6) Thus says YAHUAH, "Stand in the court of YAHUAH's house and speak to all the cities of Judah, who come to worship in YAHUAH's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Diminish not a word! If so be they will hearken and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent of the evil, which I purpose to do to them because of the evil of their doings. And you shalt say to them, 'Thus says YAHUAH, "If you will not hearken to me, to walk in my Torah, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending [them], but you have not hearkened. Then I will make this house like Shiloh and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth."
Note how differently people reacted to a true prophet's message (with anger and condemnation vs. flattery to false prophets): (Jeremiah 26:7-9) So the priests, prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of YAHUAH. Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that YAHUAH had commanded [him] to speak to all the people, that the priests, prophets, and all the people took him, saying, "You shall surely die! Why have you prophesied in the name of YAHUAH, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant?' And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of YAHUAH.
Moses spoke of a great prophet of YAHUAH to come: (Deuteronomy 18:18-19) "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you, and will put my words in His mouth. He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which He shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him."
That prophecy refers to Yahushuah. It's also well attested to how political and religious leaders of His time reacted to His message and teachings from YAH: (Luke 19:47-48) "And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him."
Sadly, Yahushuah prophecies that this pattern of abusing YAH's prophets will continue until the "end times." The future mistreatment reserved for Yah's true prophets are social persecution, physical abuse, imprisonment, and even execution. Selah: (Matthew 23:34) "Wherefore, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes. And [some] of them you shall kill and crucify; and [some] of them you shall scourge in your synagogues, and persecute [them] from city to city."
YAH sent prophets and prophetesses (male and female spokespersons of His Word) from ancient times nto the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. (Matthew 10:5-8) These twelve Yahushuah sent forth and commanded them saying, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. Freely you have received, freely give."
If Yah sent prophets back then, and will do so in the future, prophets most certainly must walk among us today. Hallelu Yah! But can we tell the difference between the false and the true ones? Indeed! (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) "If you say in your heart, how shall we know the word which YAHUAH has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of YAHUAH, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which YAHUAH has not spoken, [but] the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shalt not be afraid of him."
Nonetheless, listen carefully to the prophet's message. A false one will instruct us to do something contrary to Yah's Word. Test their words out against Scripture: (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other elohim ("mighty ones, e.g. political and religious leaders), who you have not known, and let us serve them.' You shalt not hearken to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams. For YAHUAH your Elohim proves you to know whether you love YAHUAH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after YAHUAH your Elohim, fear Him, keep His commandments and obey His voice. You shall serve Him and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death because he has spoken to turn [you] away from YAHUAH your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which YAHUAH your Elohim commanded you to walk in. So you shalt put the evil away from your midst."
Even should wonderous, miraculous signs accompany their speech, a false prophet is not of YAH: (Matthew 7:21-23) "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord! Lord!' (Master! Adonai Yahushuah!) shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. But he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, 'Master! Adonai Yahushuah! Have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works?' Then I will profess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.'"
Here's another way to spot a fake: (Isaiah 29:13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men."
Thus, be aware of false prophets (and counterfeit teachers) today. Learn to recognize their signs: (2 Peter 2:1-3) "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord (Adonai Yahushuah) who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. Through covetousness they shall with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not and their damnation slumbers not." (Matthew 24:11) "Many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many."
Therefore, if anyone believes that they are dealing with a false prophet, test their spirit or spirits: (1 John 4:1-3) "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of Elohim. Because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of Elohim. Every spirit that confesses that Yahushuah ha'Mashiach is come in the flesh is of Elohim. And every spirit that confesses not that Yahushuah ha'Mashiach is come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is that [spirit] of antimessiah, whereof you have heard that it should come. Even now already is it in the world."
So, how can we test these spirits? Yahushuah warns us that false prophets can appear to look like His Believers ("who come to you in sheep's clothing"), but in reality are an enemy ("ravening wolves") of His flock. He then instructs BYA how to know the imposters from YAH's true prophets: (Matthew 7:16-20) "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them."
Yahushuah speaks of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Ruach ha'Qodesh): (Luke 6:45) "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil. For, of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
"May Yahushuah ha'Mashiach reveal His true prophets to BYA. And, may His mercy and grace be upon us all." Shalom, Elder Curt