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False Prophets

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

  1. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Actually, let's look at what Jesus SAYS about it in the Gospels:
    "7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
    (King James Bible, Matthew)

    What are the "fruits" of a Prophet? Look at what the words of Jesus bore forth as fruit, at what His teachings produced that was good for man and mankind. That's the litmus paper. If the Prophet CLAIMING to be from God produces "fruits" of the same quality as the "fruits" borne by Jesus, THEN He is not a false Prophet.

    Has the message borne by the Prophet prospered over time? Or has it withered and passed away? Do the words of the Prophet magnify God and the previous Prophets? Or do those words tell of how those previous Prophets were wrong, malicious or evil?

    You have to test by the words Jesus gave us. Test anyone claiming to be a Divine Messenger.

    And be aware there are two kinds of Prophets spoken of elsewhere - those Prophets Who claim their OWN revelation and book - Who are the major Prophets, the Revealors, Who claim Their authority on behalf of Themselves, and those prophets who claim authority from the Major Prophet on behalf of Whom they claim to speak.

    Arabic makes this distinction easy calling the Revealors of God "Rasul", and the Prophets who speak with the authority of the Revealor of God rather than their own authority.

    Jesus does not say to shun all who claim prophecy and revelation He lays the responsibility for judging them upon US.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  2. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I think that's right. Because there is a difference. If God was through using prophets, and if all men who lived after Jesus Christ who claimed to be prophets were "false prophets," it would have been a whole lot easier on everyone if God had simply said, "Don't trust anyone who claims to be a prophet. There will be no more prophets."

    Also, what about some of the Old Testament prophets who said things that didn't come to pass? They are still considered to be prophets.
     
  3. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Scott, I don't disagree with that, but there's more to it. Michel's post goes much more into the depth of it. Anybody can claim to speak for God, but if what he states turns out false, how could that be from God? IMO, it can't be.
     
  4. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I think that's a very good rule of thumb. But there are some matters the Bible doesn't even touch on. If the Bible is silent on a subject, it would be impossible to "go against" what it says. There are a lot of things the Bible doesn't say, and so we are left to interpret what it does say, and try to fill in the gaps as best we can. For instance, to the best of my knowledge, the Bible never comes out and says definitively when God created our spirits. It says that He did create them, but it doesn't say whether He created them at the moment of our conception or at the moment of our birth. I personally believe that He created them long before our conception and that they used to live in His presence. That's not in the Bible, but it doesn't "go against" the Bible either.
     
  5. Daniel Burbank

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    Well, it does say that he knew us before we were in the womb.
     
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  6. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    I am speaking of a Prophet in a way that has little to do with forecasting the future. The purpose of the "Rasul" when He comes is to reveal the word of God, in the process He claims to reveal the WILL of God - SOMETIMES, that revelation of the Will of God is "prophecy" in the way your are concerned with it, most of the time, it simply does not.

    The Revelors of God are not tea-leaf readers or crystal ball gazers, They call upon the race of man to rise above Himself and do what God intends that race to do, reflect the Divine Source with a Divine civilization.

    "CX. The Great Being saith: O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. This is the straight Path, the fixed and immovable foundation. Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure."
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 215)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  7. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Popeye, I know nothing of your religion, so I shall not comment about it. As in revelations, it's up to us to decide what is false. There are also people that are prophets that don't call themselves that. Some just all themselves teachers. If the things they say are even in part, not as Christ would be, to me, they would be false.
     
  8. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Matthew 7:22,23 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? 23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers .'
     
  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    And in Mark 9:38-41, we read:

    And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.
     
  10. maggie2

    maggie2 Active Member

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    That may work perfectly well for those who follow the Christian faith, but there are many who are not part of the Christian religion, including quite a few of us on this forum.

    I would like to suggest that all of us have a heart, a brain, a mind and a conscience. If we allow these aspects of ourselves to speak to us in the still, quiet recesses of our heart then we will know false prophets when we see them or hear them. I truly believe that God gave us a brain to use, not to hold our ears apart, and when we use that brain wisely then we know what is right and wrong. I also think that if more people depended on their own resources, resources which God gave us, we'd have people who were far more responsible than those who depend on someone else (i.e., a pastor, minister, priest, etc.) or something else (i.e., the Bible and/or other holy books) for their answers. I'm not suggesting that people not read or refer to the Bible, only that they also use their own discernment, which I believe is a gift from God, in service to gaining wisdom and understanding.
     
  11. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Good point, Maggie. :)
     
  12. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    How are ya'll defining 'prophet'?

    1) As a person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed.

    OR

    2) A person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression.

    ?

    By definition #1 I don't believe any one can be a prophet... by definition #2 we've had many prophets from many cultures, religions and ages, although I prefer the terms 'teacher' or 'mentor' rather than 'prophet'.
     
  13. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    To me, both definitions would be pretty much equally valid. But it's good that you brought that up. A discussion on prophets is pretty meaningless when we don't all agree on our terminology. One thing I don't think a prophet is is a fortune-teller or clairvoyant. A lot of people use the term "prophet" to mean this, and I think it's not a really accurate use of the word.
     
  14. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I am speaking of both definitions you offer. I believe there have been Thbose selected by God, Who did speak by divine inspiration AND as the interpreter through which the will of God is, indeed expressed. I understand you believe otherwise, but would like you to understand that I believe this definition is perfectly valid and characterized by:
    Abraham, Krsna, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammed, the Bab and Baha`u'llah and others like Noah, Salih, Hud, and some Whose names have been lost in the ages, and Whose revelations do not exist in record any longer.

    I think we have been blessed by those who are defined by your second definition, characterized by the presence of Ghandi, Schweitzer, the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, and others who would take too long to enumerate and some whose names and examples have been lost in the mists of time.

    Those in the first category are the Divine Manifestations of God. Those in the second category are blessings from God, but different in nature.

    I'm not arguing with you, but just offering the idea that both definitions are true, though some will deny one and uphold the other.


    This is what my faith says about the first category:
    " Know thou assuredly that the essence of all the Prophets of God is one and the same. Their unity is absolute. God, the Creator, saith: There is no distinction whatsoever among the Bearers of My Message. They all have but one purpose; their secret is the same secret. To prefer one in honor to another, to exalt certain ones above the rest, is in no wise to be permitted. Every true Prophet hath regarded His Message as fundamentally the same as the 79 Revelation of every other Prophet gone before Him."
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 78)

    And this is what we are taught about the second category:
    ""Ye are the angels, if your feet be firm, your spirits rejoiced, your secret thoughts pure, your eyes consoled, your ears opened, your breasts dilated with joy, and your souls gladdened, and if you arise to assist the Covenant, to resist dissension and to be attracted to the Effulgence! Verily, I say unto you that the Word of God has assuredly been explained and has become an evident sign and a strong and solid proof, and its traces shall be spread in the East and West, and to these all heads shall bow and all souls shall submit and kneel down with their faces to the ground.""
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 360)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  15. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    I'm in total agreement. Most excellent post! :jam:
     
  16. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Jeff,


    With respect to Maize's first definition, "a person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed," do you believe that such individuals existed in Old Testament times? Or would you pretty much just reject this definition as it applies to more recent times?
     
  17. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    I would say that Abraham and Moses, Noah and perhaps Joseph fall into that category. All we have left of the revelations of Noah, Joseph and Abraham are the commentary of Moses in the Torah. Muhammed and Baha`u'llah assure me that Abraham, Moses, Noah were Manifestations of God as was Jesus. Only the Qur'an mentions Joseph, but that's good enough for me. These are "Prophets" Who speak with Their own authority, not depending upon the authority of any other Prophet.

    Those who were "prophets" (small 'p') like Isaiah, Malachi, Daniel, and in the New Testament, Peter. Paul, John, Timothy spoke with authority derived from another Prophet.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  18. time_spender

    time_spender Member

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    There are alots of false prophets out there!
    its hard 2 recognize the truth!:areyoucra ...aww somebody :help: !!
    :D
     
  19. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

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    Such as...?
     
  20. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    From American Catholic:

    <-----snip------->
    The primary role of a biblical prophet was quite simple: to serve as a mouthpiece for God. To these frequently beleaguered persons fell the unenviable task of being Israel’s conscience, of reminding the straying Israelites of their covenant obligations, of recalling for a forgetful people the real implications of being God’s chosen people.
    http://www.americancatholic.org/Study/SFS/0-86716-392-5_prophets.asp
     
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