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False Prophets

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by jeffrey, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Throughout the bible, it talks about 'false prophets' and teachers. Are they among us today? What makes a false prophet? If their predictions turn out wrong, does that make them false?
     
  2. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    http://www.phact.org/e/dennis26.htm has to say, on the subject of 'False Prophets' (about which I know nothing at all)

    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? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. -(Matthew 7:15-20)
    Ultimately, truth is an elusive quary. People have do and will always debate it ad nasium. The search is painful and claims of short cuts are plentiful. One only need look at the plethora of claims of religious truth to know:



    They can all be right
    Most must be wrong
    Our chances of stumbling upon the truth are low. We end up being personally responsible for what we decide to be truth.

    It's all too easy to believe someone who claims to have a direct pipeline to God. After all, it would go so much quicker to be able to get a straight answer from God for our situation in the 1990's with out having to wade through the bibles accounts of who begat who and who slew who. It's a fad for people to sell a short cut to truth Just look at the money being raked in by channelers, alleged pphacthics, new cult leaders, crazy new age books, etc. Do we need to trust any of them?

    Perhaps we should learn a lesson from those who decided to believe David Koresh, Jim Jones, Rev Moon, Charles Manson, Father Devine (actually, "Devine" claimed to be God) , or many others.

    Jesus said "false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, as so to mislead, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24). We all agree this has happened all through history.

    Theologians tell us how we should discern prophets:


    [size=+3]Not By Appearance[/size]

    Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15) Mel White author of Deceived, says:

    [size=-1]He knew how to inspire hope. He was committed to people in need; He counseled prisoners and juvenile delinquents. He started a job placement center; He opened rest homes and homes for the retarded; He had a health clinic; He organized a vocational training center; He provided free legal aid; He founded a community center; He preached about God. He even claimed to cast out demons, do miracles and heal.[/size]

    any rational person could have easily tried to apply biblical principals to Jones and end up paying with their life (ditto for Koresh):

    Steven R. Reed of the Houston Chronicle said, "The beginning was innocent enough. A charismatic young man named Vernon Howell embraced God's word, sought God's will and worshipped God's Son." Reed also says: "Called to serve Christ, Howell-Koresh instead had tried to supplant Him." Tragically for many, what appeared to be a man seeking to serve God was instead a man deceived and deceiving others.

    [size=+1]Jesus once told a parable which has come down to us as the "parable of the sower." The parable is repeated in Matthew 13, in Mark 4 and in Luke 8. Here is Luke's account of the parable and the explanation which was given by Jesus.[/size]

    [size=+1]"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. . .[/size]
    Focus here on the seed sown among weeds. The weeds are analogous to false leaders who can end up choking us. Also check out 2 Peter 3:15-16, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, John) 4:1-3

    "And what sadness is ahead for those praised by the crowds - for false prophets have always been praised!" Luke 6:26 "Are we beginning to be like those false teachers of yours who must tell you all about themselves and bring long letters of recommendation with them? I think you hardly need someone's letter to tell you about us, do you? And we don't need a recommendation from you, either!" - 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:1,



    "Again I plead, don't think that I have lost my wits to talk like this; but even if you do, listen to me anyway while I also boast a little as they (false teachers) do. Such bragging isn't something God commanded me to do, for I am acting like a brainless fool. Yet those other men keep telling you how wonderful they are, so here I go. You think you are so wise - yet you listen gladly to those fools; you don't mind at all when they make you their slaves and take everything you have, and take advantage of you, and put on airs, and slap you in the face. I'm ashamed to say that I'm not bold and daring like them!" - 2 Corinthians 11:16-21

    "For what is really sad is you and your lying. You are twisting My words and inventing 'Messages from the Almighty' that I didn't speak." - Jeremiah 23:9-36

    "Do not listen to your false prophets, fortune-tellers, dreamers, mediums and magicians.... for they are all liars!" - (Jeremiah) 27:9-10

    "The ancient prophets who preceded you and me spoke against many nations, always warning of war, famine and plague. So a prophet who foretells peace has the burden of proof on him to prove that God has really sent him." (Jeremiah) 28:8-9

    "But they won't get away with all this forever. Some day their deceit will be well known to everyone...." - 2 (Timothy) 3:1-9, Now when you read early Christian history, the beginning of what they would call the "Jesus movement", there were lots of Christian groups claiming to be followers of Jesus. In fact, the false writings can make a book ten times the size of the New Testament writings. There are all kinds of gnostics, epionites, judaizers, montanists, marshanists� God knows what wasn't existing then at that time. It was not at all the case that all the Christians were happily in One Holy Church and all believing everything and doing everything the same. Absolutely not. If you read the New Testament you have these expressions� "false apostles", "false prophets", "false brethren", "false teachers". Read the pastoral epistles� two of Timothy and Titus. Read Jude. Read Second Peter. Besides St. Paul, read St. John's first letter: "They went out from us for they were not of us. Had they been of us, they would not have gone out from us". And then he says the anti-christs are already appearing. Well, the anti-christs didn't appear outside the Church, the anti-christs appeared inside the Church. They were false brethren within the Church.

    Excuse me for begging the question: How can we make sure we don't miss a true prophet or get faked out by a false one:

    One approach is to look at the costs of not following what could be a true prophet: If you don't follow a claim because you reserve judgment, what would be the worst that could happen? And contrapositively, if you do follow a false one, what could be the worst that could happen. For most prophets out there So if a false prophet appears to be a true prophet and a true prophet appears to be a true prophet, how are we to know the difference? If we cannot rely upon outward appearances, upon what should we rely? The key is looking deeper. The key is seeing past the outward appearance. The key is to unzip the sheep's suit. Jesus tells us that we will know the true prophet from the false prophet, not by appearances . . .


    [size=+3]But By Fruit[/size]

    You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:16-20)
    < Other areas of interest are: John 15:8, "By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples." Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."

    It's important to stay connected to a local church. Perhaps your pastor could help you determine if Dennis's words are worth following.

    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. (Matthew 7:15)


    Hope that helps!
     
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  3. joeboonda

    joeboonda Well-Known Member

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    Michel, nice job. :clap

    There are false prophets all around today! Many are the 'televangelists', and 'fringe' groups that use the Bible but digress from, and twist fundamental Biblical teaching. (I think of Branch Dividians following David Koresh)
    A false prophet will profess things contrary or twisted from clear truths of the Bible.
    If they predict wrong once, they are a false prophet, according to the Bible.
    One must really know their Bible, know the real thing good, so they can detect a counterfeit when they see one. Those who do this will spot one pretty quick.
     
  4. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    So then .......are Jehovah's Witnesses false prophets?
     
  5. joeboonda

    joeboonda Well-Known Member

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    What do you think? I will keep my opinion to myself.
     
  6. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    I agree! Most excellent post, Michel! :clap What about teachers and prophets today that make claims that never came true?
     
  7. Evenstar

    Evenstar The Wicked Christian

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    I often wonder if we have many false prophets.
    I think this is why I dont overly trust the Church.​
    To me its a sad world we live in, who can we trust?
     
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  8. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    You can always trust Heinz 57.
     
  9. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    I am goin to keep my opinion to myself too or I may go to hell.
     
  10. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    As I recall, there are two criteria in the OT: that the prophet does make accurate prophecies and that he's consistent with the Torah and G-d's rules and so on

    It's hard to tell about the prophecies, too, because you can't prove they're true or untrue until they've happened, which may well be at some unspecified time in the future.
     
  11. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    I think I would rather trust 'Heinz 57', which is a little of alot of different religions then be a sheep led to slaughter. :D
     
  12. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    I agree. Now there are some religions that have 'teachers' that predicted things that never happened.
     
  13. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    Name some.
     
  14. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Do a google search. Not hard.
     
  15. Bangbang

    Bangbang Active Member

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    Chicken!:biglaugh:
     
  16. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    lol. :D
     
  17. Evenstar

    Evenstar The Wicked Christian

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    Thats why my religion is Heinz 57, I believe I can trust my own judgements in my life.
    My path is right for me.​
    It may not be for everyone, but I would never push it on people either.
    I dont want to have false teachings pushed my way.​
    I like to make my own choices... NOT others!
     
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  18. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Interestingly, though, we are warned in the New Testament of "false prophets." I wonder why the scriptures don't just warn of "prophets" in general.
     
  19. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Maybe because there is a difference? If what he states turns out false..=false prophet.
     
  20. Daniel Burbank

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    Here's what I think: don't believe anything that someone says if it goes against anything in the Bible. It's important to know what the Bible says, because the Bible is the truth. Now someone may say, "well, how do you know that the bible is original? how do you know that everything that it says is true?" Well I say that if God is real, as I believe he is, he would allow his truth to survive throughout the ages so everyone can know it. So don't believe anyone or anything that goes against the bible.
     
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