Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets in Matthew 7:15. Not only do they initially appear as sheep, but they lead others down the spiritual path of destruction. So how are we to identify the wolves in sheep’s clothing? There are at least these 7 identifiers given in the NT to help detect and reject false prophets.
1. A false prophet always focuses the attention on himself rather than the Lord. He is the center of attention in his sermons, in his illustrations, in his scriptural examples, on his social media accounts, and in his day to day life rather than pointing others to Christ. A false prophet tends to be narcissistic, me-centered rather than Christ-Focused. While he may use many references to Christ, the gospel, and Scripture, he loves the spotlight. Matthew 6:1,2,5,16
2. A false prophet will at some point deny a central, core, biblical truth about Christ. 1 John 4:1-3
3. A false prophet will somehow undermine the gospel message that we are saved through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone. Galatians 1:6-9
4. A false prophet will disrupt the spiritual growth of believers and the health of the local church. 3 John 9-11
5. A false prophet will use spiritual language to cloak, conceal, and justify sinful behavior. Jude 3-4.
6. A false prophet loves and boasts in his following not to the good of his followers or to the glory of God but for his own selfish gain and the ruin of his followers. Matthew 23:13-15
7. A false prophet will tell you exactly what you want to hear and not what you need to hear. 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Let’s be biblically diligent and discerning with whom we allow to be our spiritual influencers!