Christian Universe ™
False Prophets and Their Motivations
November 27, 2011
People preach for different reasons. Three reasons that preachers teach false doctrine are (1) for personal glory (2) for control and dominance, and (3) for material gain, usually in the form of money. Why do those who flock to them listen to their perverted messages? Because they want to believe or be comforted by a lie, but the apostle Paul said that those who want to believe a lie will be sent a strong delusion and be destroyed. Withdraw from false preachers and teachers, and seek God.
False Prophets and Their Motivations
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 11-27-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 12-04-2011
Sometimes people get into the ministry of preaching for the absolute wrong reasons. Sincere followers of God need to be alert to the signs of these false preachers.
Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
The bearers of bad fruit, as far as Jesus is concerned, are good only to be cut down and burned up. They are worse than useless to God – they are occupying ground that needs to be fruitful.
Jesus warned His followers that the unbelievers would kill them in the name of God.
Luke 6:26 "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets."
John 16:1 "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
There would be many false teachers and preachers to arise after the departure of Jesus.
Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
The apostle Paul spoke of false brethren.
2 Corinthians 11:26 "In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;"
Some preach falsely for personal glory.
2 Corinthians 11:12 "But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:18 "Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face."
Some preach for the exaltation, or personal glory. They want a big name for themselves.
Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ"
Matthew 15:7 "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
These men will make up doctrines, or latch onto someone else’s made-up doctrines, and promote them, in order to gather a personal following. They want a large fan base.
Some preach falsely for control and power over others.
Galatians 2:2 "And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you"
2 Timothy 3:5 "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
Some preach falsely because of financial gain.
2 Peter 2:1 "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
Titus 1:10 "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
1 Timothy 6:3 "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
How is that so many false preachers are accepted and adored by so many listeners? Sadly, there are those who prefer a lie over truth, and will seek those who will lie to them.
Mark 4:24 "And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given."
2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
2 Thessalonians 2:10 "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Lesson Reason: Some preachers teach false doctrine for different reasons.
Lesson Outcome: Learn how to discern between those who teach God's word as opposed to those who preach for other reasons, such as personal glory and fame, dominance and control, and/or financial gain.