“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)
There are many that have gone out into the world claiming to be prophets. Whose prophet are you? A huge number of people have no clue that the devil sends out impersonators of the righteous to deceive the world into following false doctrine. False would imply that they are not the real deal. But, how do we know the real from the fake? Having faith in someone will not make them a true prophet, but having faith in God will keep you from the evil and flattering tongue. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) God directs and we are to follow as well as lead others. But, along the way, many have left their first love to follow the path of those that promise them the same things that God offers in addition to allowing them to keep the sinful ways that they do not want to rid themselves of. What happens is, they convince themselves that they are following behind Christ, but all the while, they indulge in selfish lusts. But, why rid themselves of this buffet of blessings and sin? To follow behind the one and True God, we have to repent of what is not of God and we have to be led by God down some paths that may take us far from our comfort zones, however, you must realize today that your comfort zone has to be shifted as you are elevated. Even the most righteous of men have, at one point became comfortable in ways ungodly. But, they traded their sins for righteousness and forsake the law of self to follow behind the tender grace, love and mercies of our Heavenly Father. There is no better choice!
Did you know that many false prophets do not know that they are false prophets? Somewhere in their spirit, the understanding lives, however, they trust after their flesh and listen to voices that are not from God. They cast out devils and they prophesy. But, through what power is this done? They believe, yet they deceive! How do we know this is true? “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name? And in thy Name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23) Open your eyes and see this clearly. This is all done in Jesus’s Name! This may seem confusing to some because we then begin to question ourselves. Am I following behind Christ? What about my leaders? Are they impersonators of holy men? How can I find out the truth to this mystery? It is not as difficult as you think. God is just a call away. You don’t even have to pick up your phone. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” (James 4:2) It is simple as asking God for it and believing that He is willing and able to deliver it. So, I am sure your thoughts are: Well, I am sure these people who thought they were messengers of God were praying to God and speaking to Him. So, how do I know that it is His voice I am hearing and not my own lusts? “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) What desires are strangling the word in you? Is it your desire to keep that husband or wife who wants to have nothing to do with Christ? Just because they are choosing a secular life does not mean that you have to go secular to please or attack them. Move on His Word. Many are enticed to follow after their desires and they allow those desires to overwhelm their time and consume their minds. Whereas in righteousness, we should be following Christ. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) Seek God. Seek to do what is right in His sight. Seek favor.
Well, wait. Some people still believe that if they are prophesied to that the one voicing the prophesy is of God. “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers.” (Acts 16:16-19) Now, if this spirit that was in her was of God, Paul would not, should not and could not have cast it out. But, as we can see, that spirit was speaking some truth, but it was an unclean spirit. The truth is, demons are spirits, so they know how to perform and speak of things supernatural. They also recognize Christ. “And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” (Mark 5:1-7) Those words were spoken from the mouth of a man, however, the spirit uttering those words was unclean. Man did not know that Jesus is the Christ, only Peter had proclaimed to Jesus who he knew Him to be and this was given to Peter from God. “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-17) As you can see, if a devil can proclaim who Christ is whereas the understanding of man was unfruitful, that could only mean one thing. This knowledge is available. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19) But, Peter believed God and believing God is having faith.
But, how are these spirit possessed individuals deceiving the world? “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24) Meaning, through signs and wonders, the world is enticed. But, how are we to know who is real? Well, through prayer, the answer is revealed. “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.” (Mark 9:38-40) Here is where confusion tries to seep in. We just read that there were many who were going to proclaim to Christ that they cast out devils in His Name and prophesied in His Name and He would tell them to get away from Him because He never knew them. Also, in Matthew 16:17-18, we learn, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” So, from our own understanding, no matter how hard we ponder it, we cannot figure it out, but Christ answered us in His Word. He said that these miracles would follow those who believe. We just read that even the devils believe and they tremble! So, through their faith, they are able to perform miracles, great signs and wonders! However, they are not of God or for God. Because the payment they desire for their ministry is not salvation, it is to deceive the world. False prophets search after their own lusts rather than bringing souls to Christ. Meaning, if all they have to do is cast a devil out of you to get you to believe after them, so be it. They did not perform the miracle. The power was in their words and their faith projected forth and caused a supernatural healing. But, their motive was self gain and their intention was to get the glory of men. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17) They are the uncircumcised in heart, searching after the lusts of their flesh, but teaching and preaching to gain acceptance and glory from man. Unrepentant and self righteous, they minister in cruelty, there is no love found in them. They scare away children from the Word, teaching that our God is unforgiving and cruel when 1 John 4:8 teaches us, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Our God is a merciful God, willing to forgive us because of the Love that is Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) They condemn the saints and exploit the poor. They are the modern day Pharisees, choosing to sit in the best places in the congregation, reverencing man and money. Titles enlarge the pride that has swelled up their hearts and the glory from men has been the snare that has caused them to betray God. They weigh sin with an invisible balance and cause their pockets to grow with the money gained by their deception. They favor the rich and wealthy and misuse the poor. Their ways display the venom in their hearts. “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” (James 2:9) If they were of God, their ways would be His ways. “For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11)
Yet, even though their prophecies are seasoned with some truth, understand that the messenger is sent by someone. And if the sender is not Christ, then he must be none other than Satan, himself. Which means, that message is a lie with a hint of truth to perfume it. Reflect back or read the story of Ahab in 1 Kings 22. Ahab, originally, was a God fearing man who disobeyed God and married a foreign woman that God forbade him to marry. And she turned his heart away from God and he begin to worship other gods. When Ahab wanted to go into battle against Ramothgilead, he asked for help from his friend, Jehoshaphat, who was king of Judah. Jehosophat was a God fearing man, nevertheless, he associated himself with Ahab, which also caused judgement to fall upon him. Jehosophat wanted to consult with the prophets to inquire whether or not they would be successful going into this battle. Ahab did call upon some prophets, but notice that the bible did not say they were prophets of the LORD. “Then the king of Israel (Ahab) gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.” (1 Kings 22:6) “And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?” (1 Kings 22:7) In this final scripture, you can see where Jehosophat asked for a prophet of the Lord, discerning that the men called were not of God. The story goes on to tell about Micaiah, who was a righteous man, a prophet of the LORD. When Micaiah prophesied,” And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.” (1 Kings 22:17) In essence, they were going to lose that war. Wroth, Ahab spoke against him, Zedekiah struck him and Ahab had him thrown into prison. But, how did 400 prophets prophesy the same thing and just one came in and spoke the Words of God? Micaiah explained in 1 Kings 19:19-23, “And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.” Therefore, you can see that it is of no relevance if 1, 400, or 4,000 men were to prophesy the same thing, we must ask of God and test each spirit by the spirit. And when we do this, deception will have no place in our lives. Read your bibles and pray. Speak to God so that no one can prophesy a false thing in your life and it be so. When you plug in your faith, you can and will cause that false prophesy to manifest. But, when you learn to know the voice of your Father, no one can impersonate Him to you. They could try, but, you, being wise will know to rebuke and pray. But, through ignorance, people perish. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) They do not know His voice because they do not want to hear it unless they are in trouble. Remember, the message of Jesus Christ is love and repentance. Any other message or messenger is not from God. God loves you and it is not His will than anyone go to hell. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Just know that Father calls you to love Him with all your heart and mind and soul and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Any other message contrary came from a mouth of one who bears a forked tongue.