BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS
by Pastor Jeromy John Visser
Brothers and sisters, this morning's study is based on a very important commandment spoken by our beloved Savior; "Beware of false prophets (Matthew 7:15)." In order to tackle the subject matter at hand, we'll be covering Jesus' own description of an erroneous teacher while comparing the books of Jude with the second chapter of II Peter for an even more detailed explanation of what to look for -- we must always be aware of what's around us.
If Christians fail to identify the snake within our own ranks then chances are good that it'll be too late afterwards because their venomous 'leaven' will be injected nonetheless. There are many false prophets at work in the world today and there's seemingly more and more joining the snake dens everyday. With this study I hope to help us all "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" and never fall aside to 'new doctrines.'
A sure-fire sign of a false prophet is they will attack the simple teachings of the Bible while saying there's no 'perfect' Word of God and inserting their own bastardized version of the scriptures. The obvious snakes found on TBN or PTL stick out like a sore thumb to most Christians familiar with Yahweh's Word but what about the ones in our very mist? In order to be a false prophet one must put forth the illusion that they are somehow Christian. One word -- fruits.
Tares look like wheat and can be mistaken for Christians outwardly but they're still children of the devil (Matthew 13:38) whose only purpose in life is to the deeds of their father Satan (John 8:44) -- killing, lying, sowing discord, taking away the Word, stealing, justifying, mocking and many more unlistable abominations. If we're not able to "try the spirits (1 John 4:1)" or "study to shew [ourselves] approved (2 Timothy 2:15)" then we're "meat for the beast of the field (Ezekiel 34:8)."
Also, in this morning's study I hope to show you the importance of The Book of Enoch as well because we'll be covering one of his many sayings quoted in the New Testament. For those of you who are not familiar with Enoch he was the seventh descendant of Adam who "walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:24)" and showed him many things. If you're able to obtain a copy of this book I suggest you do after you're well-acquainted with the scriptures themselves.
(Wolves In Sheep's Clothing:)
Let's begin in Matthew 7:13; "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:13-15)." Here, Jesus is teaching on both the "strait and narrow" and the "wolves in sheep's clothing."
Christian believers would do well to pay attention to the Words of Christ -- #1) Jesus plainly teaches that both the 'gate' and 'way' that His followers must seek is strait and narrow, not broad nor wide. #2) He continues to say that few find this path or correct way. #3) Even more, the majority are wrong. #4) To stay on the "strait and narrow" path we must be aware of false prophets. #5) These same false prophets come in 'sheep's clothing' meaning they appear as Christian or even claim the title. #6) False prophets are equated with 'wolves' meaning another type of dog.
Let's continue; "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:16-20)." Jesus says it's one or the other -- good or corrupt.
As is a common trend in the scriptures people are equated to trees so a seedliner can consider these verses yet another proof on those 'trees' that were found in the Garden of Eden. Nonetheless -- we are to judge everyone by the fruits or 'works' that they bring forth. For example, when a television 'preacher' continually begs for financial donations we should be able to deduct that his 'god' is money or that's the very 'work' that's on his mind. To over-simplify, Jesus says there's both bad and good people.
Read some more; "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 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 7:21-23)." We must always do what YHVH says.
Once again we discover that it is the eternal Law that gains us acceptance or our willingness to 'do' the Law or Will of Yahweh. We can see that many false prophets will say to Jesus on the day of Judgment that they "prophesied" in His name, cast out demons and even did many "wonderful' works (or 'fruits') yet Christ Himself rebukes them for their lawless iniquity. Thank goodness we're saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) but this explanation from Jesus should shed more light on why "few there be that find" the narrow and Biblical path.
Here's why; "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27)."
Of course the deeper Bible student knows that "the Rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4)" so we must do all of the Words of Jesus spoken in both the Old and New Covenants. Jesus says that the truly wise are His followers who do what they are plainly commanded or "keep [the] law continually forever and ever (Psalm 119:44)." Christ adds that it's a total fool who refuses to do what He says or denies His existence outright -- beware of these types of antichrists.
(Jude And Peter United:)
Anyone familiar with the Bible is aware of the similarities between the epistles of 2nd Peter and Jude so I'd like to expand upon both texts at the same time. This way we can get a 'double witness' while reading leaving no room for denial and also get a much more vivid portrait of the false prophet's methods. We'll be covering a lot of scripture in the process but I think you'll appreciate how these two great books tie together in the end -- let's read two sections from each book before I comment.
"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called. Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:1-3)." We should always 'contend' or fight for the true Faith and never fall aside.
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (II Peter 2:1-3)."
Again, we see that false prophets will be among us just a Jesus taught. Notice it doesn't say 'might' or 'maybe?' Rather it says that there will be false prophets that privately introduce damnable heresies or doctrines into Christianity even denying the Messiah Himself. Many will and do follow their deadly doctrines or 'ways' by taking the 'broad' way like falling aside to easy-believism or the universal church. Ironically, it's because of these same snakes that the true Faith will "be evil spoken of" meaning that the righteous appear as wicked and the depraved seem honorable -- this aspect can be seen behind a majority of the feminist "judeo-Christianity" whorehouses out there today that make 'merchandise' of God by selling trinkets or "love gifts."
(Deceivers Of Old Time:)
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:4-7)."
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds) (II Peter 2:4-8)."
As you can see, both authors give a brief history lesson about the Israel people but there's some hidden keys to be found here. First, we can see that the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah was brought on by its people "going after" strange or foreign flesh meaning race-mixing. These same angels "which kept not their first estate" give us a clue as to why the mamzêr or "child of mixing (Strong's #H4464) is such an abomination in Yahweh's eyes. These things all transpired to be examples that we can learn from and also to see what happens when we don't follow God's perfect Law. This account is mentioned in The Book of Enoch.
(Brute Beasts And Angels:)
"Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves (Jude 1:8-10)."
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children (II Peter 2:9-14)."
From these two passages we can see that these serpentile teachers can only do what they know to be 'natural' almost as if they were given a case of retardation from Yahweh. It's only Jesus Christ that can give us "eyes to see and ear to hear" so we should really avoid debating with these types of snakes because even the angels themselves only 'rebuke' them sharply. These 'beasts' are meant to be taken and destroyed and will speak evil of the things they don't understand, like Christianity. This word translated beast would take an entire sermon within itself to explain but for now we should take notice that they speak, riot, deceive, feast, have eyes full of adultery, can't stop sinning (or transgressing the Law), beguile unstable souls, are full of greed and called wicked children. Let's do all we can to avoid these beasts or dogs because "the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."
(The Way Of Cain:)
"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 1:11-13)."
"Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbade the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest: to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever (II Peter 2:15-17)."
There's several 'keys' found within these passages that will unlock more traits of a false prophet but they require additional study. Fortunately, we've already looked deeper into the characters of Cain and Balaam in Tactics of the Lawless Children and know that they were both serpentile men who were against Yahweh and His perpetual Word. False prophets will 'feed themselves without fear' or any conscience and are only there to take advantage of your pocketbook or good will. These sons of Belial are considered waterless clouds and wells, carried by winds or tempests (of doctrine), twice-dead trees without fruit, plucked by their roots (or having no identity), waves foaming shame and stars reserved for darkness forever. This description is expanded in The Book of Enoch.
(Enoch, Seventh From Adam:)
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage (Jude 1:14-16)."
"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (II Peter 2:18-19)."
Beware of people who attack The Book of Enoch saying that it's not canonized because it's mentioned right here -- "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these." One must turn to Enoch's own writings in order to see what is said and Secrets of Enoch has recently been released in The Forgotten Books of Eden by LB Press. Anyway, 2nd Enoch 26:2 says; "Behold, he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him who utter with their mouths unbecoming language against God, and speak harsh things of his glory." Aside from Enoch's own words being quoted in our Bibles over thirty times we should notice here that as a rule false prophets are carnal 'man-pleasers' who speak lies being the "servants of corruption."
(Dogs Return To Vomit:)
"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen (Jude 1:17-25)."
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (II Peter 2:20-22)."
Both Simon Peter and Judas Thaddaeus teach that the only way to withstand these false prophets is by being familiar with the Words of Jesus Christ who is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)." Notice that they are considered 'separatists?" This is because the word Pharisaios (pronounced far-is-ah'-yos) translated Pharisee means 'separatist (Strong's #G5330)' and even today there is a lawless Christian Separatist Church Society that is still pushing this unlegislated agenda. These false prophets attack everything from the sanctity of the scriptures to Yahweh's eternal food Laws while maintaining an 'antichrist watch' website boasting names that correlate with those found at the ADL or SPLC sites. Let's be wiser than the serpent.
This morning's sermon is inspired by the very first work I ever did for Covenant People's Outreach & Ministry which was founded by Minister John Michael Estes and myself in December of 1996. I preached a horrible two-part sermon called Contemporary Christian Music? where I even throw plugs to the Hosanna! Integrity company! Anyway, these RealAudio files are available at the CPM website's audio section but don't say I didn't warn you.
On a more serious note -- we should all be growing in the knowledge and Words of our Savior Jesus Christ yet at the same time abstaining from "Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth (Titus 1:14)." One of the characteristics of Israel is that they're a 'stiff-necked' and 'hard-hearted' people so many Christians tend to think they're not 'targets' nor even have enemies that hate their God. It's my prayer that our fellow kinsmen will awaken or grow in wisdom because of hearing or reading this sermon. We always have the upper-hand because the enemy is bound under us, this is apparent by their having to tell us all things before hand while "the third" stuck in the middle are clueless. It's my sincere wish that those people who 'border the fence' will come into the sheepfold and learn the truth or Word (John 17:17) while being taught to see the enemy posing as believers. The snake in the grass is hardest to spot.
We've covered a lot of ground this morning so I hope this ministry has blessed you. Please remember to keep Legion of Saints and Covenant People's Ministry in your prayers and feel free to swing by the forums to ask questions or comment on articles. Jesus Christ is the name by which all blessings flow and it's His grace by which we're saved. Let all things be done in honor of the Kingdom and our precious King of kings. War for Christ! Amen.
Sunday, June 19th, 2005 ]
Last Page Update: March 28, 2010
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