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Discerning False Teaching

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Jesus Calling

Discernment - False Prophets

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? - Matthew 7:15-16

Scripture gives us one of the ways we can idebntify a false prophet: you will know them by their fruits. What does this mean?

You will know them by their character. What type of person are they? Do they exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? We're not looking for perfection, but you should see some fruit of the Spirit, and a growing righteousness.

You will know them by their lifestyle. How do they live? Is money important to them, or giving to others? Do they really like nice cars, an expensive home, fancy clothes? Have they been involved in sexual scandles... or maybe there have been multiple signs that there might be sexual impropriety?

Are they truthful? Can they be trusted? Are they willing to be transparent so you can evaluate whether they are being truthful?

Do they have a true concern for knowing and obeying scripture... truly obeying scripture, not their interpretation of scripture? Or are they in control of everything, and scripture and other people are secondary?

Do they claim to have revelations from God giving something "new?" Any form of new revelation is not Biblical. God is not a God of confusion nor does He change.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. - Matthew 24:24

Then there is the test of a prophet given in Deuteronomy 18:

But you may wonder, "How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?" If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared. - Deuteronomy 18:21-22

If they teach one thing that contradicts scripture, they are a false prophet.

If they make one wrong prediction about the future, they are a false prophet.

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