Danger sign NUMBER 1: False Prophets.
Matthew 24:4-5 (NKJV) “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
Pay attention to what the Lord Jesus said. “Take heed that no one deceives you.”
Then He mentions that kind of deceiver.
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
False prophets are so numerous that we can’t keep track. But they’re on the Internet, satellite, radio, cable, and other places. They’re so charismatic and sensational. The primary ones are exactly what Peter shared in 2 Peter chapter 2.
2 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV) “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.“
Notice what Peter said, “…who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…”
Remember what Jude said?
Jude 1:3-4 (NKJV) “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Notice the two words, “secretly and unnoticed.”
But also notice that Peter said “…by covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.”
Like money, purpose, destiny, first fruit offerings, sowing a seed, etc.
These, and other deceptive words are by covetousness, to exploit you.
These individuals used deceptive means to come in and destroy the true believers. At first, they appear innocent, harmless, and seem spiritually mature. Paul warned the elders at Ephesus.
Acts 20:27-31 (NKJV) “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.“
False prophets and teachers are savage wolves. Not just in Ephesus, but everywhere where the true believers assemble. Paul shared in Galatians of these individuals that would come in with “another gospel.“
For what purpose? “To draw away the disciples after themselves.”
In Acts 5:35-37 (NKJV) “And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him.
He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him.
He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.”
The whole purpose is to destroy them. When a man or woman comes along with a sensational “anointing,” they will attract many unsuspecting believers. They won’t be challenged.
Many unsuspecting believers will caution other believers not to put their mouth on God’s anointed.
This is delusion.
In Acts 17:11, the Bereans challenged Paul.
Paul said in Galatians 1:8-9 (NKJV) “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
When we don’t challenge what people are teaching, we’re leaving ourselves wide open for “destructive heresies.“
Finally, 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NKJV) “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
When they preach about apostolic authority, and the prophetic, this is what Paul was speaking of because what is it that we see that’s an emphasis?
The apostolic and the prophetic.
No repentance from sin, no holiness, no righteousness, no faith on Christ ALONE, no subjects on the wrath of God, no preaching on hell.
There’s an emphasis on purpose, prosperity, healing, and other things. They may even talk about salvation, but they rush past it to preach their primary message and the deception is set.