Characteristics of False Prophets
There are many voices in the world today. To the untrained ears, all of them sound so convincing. How do you know which one you should follow?
Lets make reference to Biblical warnings of false teachers and prophets, and that of false Christ. Their primary mission is, to deceive believers and swell the intake into Hell.
These dangers have brought about so many incursions of human wisdom, traditions and philosophies into Christendom, leaving believers confused. Some of the ways and teachings of these false teachers appear to be the truth or have wisdom contained therein, unfortunately, they are godly wrong.
Apostle Paul had this fear of misleading voices that he wrote; “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, not sparing the flock” Acts 20:29.
His fear is established with the sudden rise to stardom and affluence of today Ministers against the depleting purse of the flocks. Indeed, the flocks have been ravaged. Our gullibility and quest for easy life have made us prey to the wolves. How then can we differentiate these voices, to escape the wrath of God?
The characteristics of false Prophets are:-
• Lies: “Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron”. 1 Timothy 4:2. In pursuit of their Master’s mandate (Devil the Liar), they promote and thrive in lies to deceive God’s people. They come in sheep clothings, but inwardly they are ravenous beast. Their sayings runs parallel to the ways of God. Take heed. Matthew 7:15-20.
• Deception: “But evil men will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” 2 Timothy 3:13. Deception is devil’s trademark. Always in the game of make belief and stunts. He digs a hole and gives it a fragile cover and ask you to walk on it. So, it is with the false teachers, their mission is to destroy you.
• Claim to be Christ or God: “For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ and will deceive many”. Matthew 24:5.
Anyone who claims to be Christ or God is a false Christ and a deceit. The
Bible well informs us, that, when Christ returns, all eyes will see Him.
1 Thessalonians 3:16-17. There will be great noise and the world will be
aware that the expected one has come. Beware, of any preacher who claims
to be Christ, God or their forerunners.
• Great Signs and Wonders: “For false Christ and false Prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible the elect” Matthew 24:24.
Quite disheartening, that miracles are the driving force to worship God.
Believers don’t ask questions when Ministers boast of their ability to
perform signs. Did the Apostles boasted? Is it right to brag about signs and
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject
to you, but rather, rejoice because, your names are written in heaven”.
We must also be warned. All the marketing and boasting of miracles
are not real. Beware.
• Proud and Boastful: “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error”
2 Peter 2:18.
Pride and boasting is the Devil’s identity. This same behavior cost him is
place in the heavens. His five “I’s” in Isaiah 14:12-17, was seeking equality
with God, and he was disgraced. Whenever you encounter a false teacher,
you will see the evidence of arrogance and puffing up, and they easily
arrogate their powers and achievements to themselves disregarding God,
who gave them power. Beware.
• Covetousness: “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 2 Peter 2:3.
False teachers do not hesitate to take advantage of their flocks to enrich
themselves. They are not concerned about the souls, rather about the gains,
repeating the way of Balaam, who loved unrighteous wages. 2 Peter 2:15.
They hide under the gospel and defraud innocent people.
Apostle Paul refers such as “A cloak of covetousness” 1 Thessalonians 2:5.
The evidence of their covetousness is established in their flamboyant and
irresponsible life, unbecoming of Minister of God. Rather, than make
sacrifices for their flocks, their flocks are skinning themselves for them.
This contradicts Christ way and teaching. A Shepherd is meant to “Feed”
and “Tend” the flocks John 21:15-19 and not vice versa.
• Destructive Heresies: “That we should no longer be Children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” Ephesians 4:14.
Heresies are false and misleading teachings about Christ. This is an obvious
attitude of false teachers. They tend to misrepresent and misinterpret the
gospel to suit their purposes. All, in a bid to exploit their followers.
• Flattery Words: “For neither at anytime did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness – God is witness”. 1 Thessalonians 2:5.
One glaring characteristics of the false Prophets, is the use of, flattery words.
Such as, “the more you give, the more you receive”, not with the tone used
in the Bible, but cloaked with the evidence of exploitation. Christ, nor the
Apostle did not use flattery words to entice followers, rather they came with
the truth. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and people responded positively to the
• Seeking Glory from Men: “Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you
or from others, when we might have made demands as Apostles of Christ”.
1 Thessalonians 2:6.
Seeking glory from men is the trademark of the false teachers. They seek to
be honoured by men They crave for recognition, titles and vain glories. A
Minister once refused to honor an invitation because he was not properly
addressed – an insignificant thing. This is worldliness and a sign of false
• Burden on Followers:“For you remember, brethren, our labour and toil; for labouring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God”. 1 Thessalonians 2:9.
False teachers place heavy burden on their followers, gaining advantage and exploiting them. Yes, Ministry requires a lot, but most often, Ministers are driven by worldly ambition, to build the biggest auditorium, universities, estates and so on. By so doing over tax and over burden the followers. Minister should be concerned of the flocks well being and not for worldly empires, that will be destroyed at the end. Apostle Paul forsook all things that the gospel may move on.
We need to study more on the characteristics of the false teachers in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, 6:5-11, 2 Timothy 4:3-5, 3:1-3, Matthew 7:16, 24:11, 24:5, 24:24, Collosians 2:18, 8, 1 Peter 5:5, 2 Peter 2:1, 3, 14, 18, Ephesians 4:14, 5:6, Jude 16, 1 John 4:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6, 9, Hebrews 13:9 and Revelation 16:13-14.read more on this in my book Catalogue of the last days