I thought it would be beneficial to write a little about my view on false prophets and witnesses, as well as being careful how we, as Christians, treat one another.
Through my own personal investigations I have come across quite a few that I would consider “false prophets” or “false witnesses.” A lot of these come in many different forms and can teach through video, websites, books, churches, ministries, radios, magazines, devotionals.. You get the idea. They can be anywhere and have been popping up since before the times of Christ, throughout His time here, and the time before His second coming, which is now (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, Matthew 7:15, Romans 16:17-18).
What’s still always amazes me is just how easy it is to be deceived or to deceive those around us (I’ve been there too). Even God says in Jeremiah 5:29-31, “Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? (30) A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; (31) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?”
Not only do the people easily follow false teachings but they do so very willingly. It is something far too easy to witness going on around us and is scary to see as it is on TV, online, from the pulpit, in magazines, books, on radios.. it’s everywhere and people will believe what they want to believe. The problem with that is that not everything we want to believe is the truth. There’s a reason that God leads us better than man does. When man starts to think that he knows best (and we’ve all been there in regards to our own lives or situations around us) then all that is taught is what is best to better serve man’s own ideals rather than God’s.
I for one am a very skeptical Christian and I like to think that there are many out there that can be just as skeptical and question things, especially in this day and age as it seems we are getting closer and closer to the times prophesied in Revelations. But even I have been corrected by God, many times, concerning what I believed to be truth. Although it was painful here and there I am incredibly thankful for it in the long run. I would much rather be told that I’m wrong by Him than find out the hard way later on or never find out at all.
Concerning false prophets and teachers, I have come across quite a few but I have not written about as many as I have found as that would end up taking up most of my time. I have written short things about them here and there in the hopes that others will learn to what they should watch out for. Other times I have listed sites that have already written about such people or their teachings to better help inform those around me. I also have not written about most of my personal experiences with the ones I have come across.
Concerning the Local Church and Witness Lee that I have mentioned in the past, I did attend one of their churches for a little while until God revealed what was really going on. There are still some people from that church that I, or my friends, might have to deal with sometime in the future. I still pray for many people who I have come across that God has revealed their blindness and I will continue to pray for them.
There are other people, like Tom Deckard, who calls himself a Jewish prophet and is what we would consider a spiritually abusive leader. He uses fear to promote his own leadership and says that we should all escape America while we can (among many other false teachings). There are many more like him that also promote similar things, most of which lead people to selling all of their possessions and going off to live in some little commune, island, or territory that they have acquired by their “leaders.” They are told in order to be safe and saved from the tyranny of this world that they must abide by the rules and laws that their “leader” has set in place and if they do not they will have to leave. They use fear to promote that we need to go and hide to protect ourselves and that by following them they will be protected. They take away the protection we have through Christ by causing fear; fooling some to believe that true protection from from them.
I wonder… what was it Christ says about running off to hide and protect yourself?
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 16:25
I would say that it is very easy to fall into the propaganda that is put out there. There are many Christians who are not willing to work on their relationship with God themselves, those who are stuck inside a watered down version of God’s word and teachings, those who are taught that someone else can do it all for them, and some that fall prey to fear that is used to try to convict them that giving man control over our spiritual lives is the best thing.
Seeing the world the way it is now, especially compared to what the Bible says, can be a scary thing. What a lot are not taught, do not see, or forget is,
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20
So what we can gather is that we are not supposed to be hiding away and waiting for the end of the world, but we are to be speaking God’s word, sharing His love, and to remember that He is always with us, “even unto the end of the world.” I would say that’s a pretty powerful statement and we would be wise to remember it, especially when the powers of man are used to promote fear in order to get us to do what they want. What else can be said about that?
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. – Isaiah 53:7
So we see the importance of not only being careful as to who we follow but also being careful to let others around us know about such things. We must also always seek God above all things as He is our ruler and not man.
There are times that I will list links or have quotes from others from books or other sites. I try to always make a point to leave a side note that I do not necessarily follow all of the teachings from whom I might be quoting. I cannot see the hearts of man (his intentions) like God can (1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Samuel 16:7, Genesis 8:21) so I will not claim that any one man is completely correct in their teachings. Typically when I quote someone else I am using it because they have written it better than I could and also to drive a point. Not all of their views are my own. Most of the time the quotes I come across that I use I find that I have never actually heard of the person (or group) that I am referring to, which is often why I sometimes do not link back to their sites as I do not know what they are fully teaching and am simply using what they have said about a particular subject that can be agreed with when compared to scripture.
With all that being said about false teachers, we must always pray about such matters and realize there will be times when we have to be careful as to who or how we relate such warnings. It is incredibly easy to become offended when you are told something that you thought seemed trust worthy was not something you should believe in, that it is misleading, or that there’s a hidden agenda behind it. Put yourself in their shoes; I imagine it would make someone feel that their intelligence is being questioned. At the same time we also have to remember that most of us probably believed something in our lives that we later found out wasn’t exactly truth. I can relate many things from my childhood that I was told and taught that I now realize was either false or not the entire truth. I do not blame many of those who taught me but realize that it comes from a long line of ignorance of the matters and in our societies it is just continually being passed down and not corrected with scripture as it should be. (That’s a whole different matter that I will not get into right now.)
Now that I am older and seeking God and the truth for myself, through studying, and researching while using the Scriptures as my guideline, I have found that there are many things that have not been what I originally thought. We have to be open-minded enough (not set in our ways from the teachings of men) in our walk with God for the Holy Spirit to move through us and teach us. We cannot just take the words spoken to us at face value and accept it all as fact. Even my own words right now should be tested with scripture and with the Spirit of the Lord.
There have been other “teachers” out there that I have stumbled upon, many of whom have written books that are now said to be New York Times Best Sellers. That should be one of the biggest clues that there are agendas behind the book when it becomes a New York Times Best Seller (and is also featured on Oprah, who is one of the biggest celebrities that endorses New Age philosophies). Typically what most “Christian theology/philosophy” in the mainstream media is taught has a lot of New Age agendas behind it. They teach a watered down and/or false gospel of accepting everyone despite their beliefs. Now I am not saying that because I do not accept everyone’s beliefs that I hate them, I’m saying that I do not accept them as a personal truth for my own life and I do not allow their beliefs to determine what I might decide in my own life. I do not have to accept their beliefs when making decisions for myself or my future family, I have to look to God and my own beliefs when it concerns my personal life.
There is a lot more to that particular New Age agenda that I will not get into right now, but I did want to point out that by “not accepting someone’s beliefs” does not mean that I hate them. It means that I do not recognize their beliefs as truth. They are still human, still made in God’s image as am I, and He still loves them and wants them to turn to Him.
Anyway, I just wanted to touch base on some of my views as to why I question everything. To point out that I try my best to use scripture as my basis for every teacher, preacher, minister, ministry, person, or people who I come across. I ask questions and many times people can find them offensive despite the intentions behind them. This is actually more common with Christians than non-believers as many are taught that if it has a Christian label on it and uses a few quotes from the Bible then it must be true. What can easily be pointed out, again, is that even Satan used scripture against Christ when he was tempting him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5-7). So when we are questioned, even by other Christians, we need to learn to not be offended and understand that we will all be tested.
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
Hopefully soon I will write a post concerning some of the many ways we can test the spirits.
Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I continue to pray for those who may read this as well.