Not too long ago in a sermon we were in the seventh chapter of Matthew. On that particular sunday we read and discussed these two verses:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Now remember this road to destruction or Hell is a broad road that many are going down! Another reason why this broad road is so broad/wide is because there are false teachers who are leading people onto and further down the road that leads to destruction! We are going to cover 8 verses in Matthew 7:15-23. These verses are not easy and we are going to expand on them!
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
Prophets: There are two understanding of Prophets in the Bible. One I will call Special Prophets and the second I will call General Prophets.
Special Prophets: are those who literally speak the very words of God! These are people like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah in the OT and these are people like Paul, John, Peter in the NT. They are literally speaking the words of God! Even telling the future at some point. This is the main way the Bible speaks about Prophets! Prophets are literally the spokespeople for God! This is why we have the Bible because we first had prophets!
General prophets: people who teach the things of God that have already been written down. These are also called false teachers in places. This General prophet could be someone who just teaches the Bible. Now I would not suggest calling them a prophet in today’s culture because when we hear the term prophet we think of someone telling the future.
Now with this background we look at the text: False Prophets are those who teach false things and those who make false claims about God! They may come to you saying God spoke to me a word or they may teach the Bible teaching wrong! Either way, they are false prophets!
1. They are disguised!
• The scary thing about Jesus warning is that false prophets are not noticed easily! They come trying to look like and act like they are truly Christians! They come trying to look like and act like Christians!
2. Look at their Fruit!
• The way that Jesus tells us we can recognize these false teachers is to recognize their fruit!
• Many people like to use the term judge out of context when it comes to this! They say you, can’t judge, me but that is just not the truth! Jesus tells us that we cannot judge someone if we have a log in our eye! Once we give our lives to Christ we are called to judge someone’s fruit!!
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
• One of the main ways that you can pick up on someone being a false prophet is if they act like they have something more special than you do! These false prophets will rise up and say that they have something special from God that not every other believer has!
• The truth is that there is nothing that makes any Christian any better than any other Christian! We are all equally anointed once we come to know Christ!
3. Look at their Teaching!
• False prophets are also recognized by their teaching! Let’s look at some other verses in the Bible that help us when it comes to False Prophets and show us how to find them even before their fruit! Because if we wait for the fruit that means that it has taken us a while to recognize them! We can pick up on false prophets even earlier if we know the Word of God!
2 Peter 2:1
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”
• These false prophets or teachers will teach wrongly about the person of Jesus! They will do this secretly and these will be heresies that could ultimately lead people who once knew Christ into a false understanding!
• Also, if someone says that they will predict something for the Future or has a Prophecy then it must come to pass in order for them to be considered a true prophet! Even one false prophecy means someone is a false prophet!!! Now this does not mean a false prophet will get a future event wrong every time but it means if they get ONE wrong then we are to be afraid of them!
Look at Deuteronomy 18:20-22
“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”
One thought on “False Prophet’s (Sermon Notes)”
There is a lot of wolves unfortunately in the church and in politics.