DOES THE BIBLE TEACH?
||False Prophets and Deception
The existence of false prophets is one of the most important issues
discussed in the Bible, especially in the epistles of the New
Testament. The epistles were written for two primary reasons:
to encourage other Christians to resist sin and live holy
and to warn them about false teachers. The following verses
describe false prophets, while showing God's people how they
Many people think that false prophets can only be found in strange
cults and other religions. In these verses, the
warned that there would also be false teachers within the
Bible contains many verses describing how false prophets teach people.
They use "empty words," "fair speeches," "meaningless talk,"
they "speak from the viewpoint of the world." Their preaching
not backed by the truth and power of God's word—it is empty.
There is no conviction, no passion for serving God, and no
real love. This is why so many people don't
like going to church and can't stay awake during the sermons.
20:29 - "Even from your own number men will arise and
distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them."
"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."
"For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have
secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the
grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ
our only Sovereign and Lord."
16:18 - "...by good words and fair speeches deceive the
hearts of the simple." (KJV)
"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things
God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do
be partners with them."
- Some people have wandered away from love, a pure heart, a good
and sincere faith and have turned to "meaningless talk."
want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know
what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm."
1:10 - Paul calls some false prophets
people, mere talkers and deceivers."
2:3 - Some teachers exploit people with "stories they have
"For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful
desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just
escaping from those who live in error."
- "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the
one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the
world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the
viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are
God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God
does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and
the spirit of falsehood."
are numerous verses in the Bible that describe how
teachers can be. This is one reason why Paul tells the
Thessalonian church to "test everything" (1 Thess.
5:21), and why John
says "do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether
they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the
world" (1 John 4:1).
The following verses describe the extent
of this deception,
and most of them are warnings written to God's people to
prevent them from
- "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and
will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will
and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after
them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I
stopped warning each of you night and day with tears."
11:3-4 - "But I am
afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your
minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to
Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other
Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one
you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put
up with it easily enough."
11:13-15 - "For such men
are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of
Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an
light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade
servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions
- "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you
- "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great
signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were
possible. See, I have told you ahead of time."
11:44 - Jesus told the Pharisees that they were like
"unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it."
2:17 - Concerning some false teachers, Paul warns
Timothy that "their teaching will spread like gangrene."
3:13 - "...evil men and imposters will go from bad to
worse, deceiving and being deceived."
2:2 - "Many
will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into
- "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
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
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 your heart
and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must
him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold
fast to him."
- "If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you
love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go
and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have
known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far,
end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen
taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.
1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved
throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
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