Watch Out For False Prophets (2)
IN God’s governmental dealings with people, the severity of punishment shows the gravity of the sin committed by man. The sin of a false prophet, who deceives multitudes into believing a soul-damning lie, who strengthens men in rebellion against God, who turns people away from the way of salvation into the way of eternal perdition, who changes, adulterates and distorts the Word of God, the sacred constitution of God’s Kingdom, who sins against the clear light of God’s revelation, who by flagrantly sinning encourages others to sin against God, who professes to serve God, being supported by the resources of God’s people, yet serves God’s arch-enemy, Satan and who refuses the pleadings of the Holy Spirit to repent and return to the truth, that preacher’s crime is greater than what our tongue can express. What would you think of doctors who, instead of helping people to live, are injecting them with disease-transmitting viruses? What would our society, any society, think of lawyers, who collect much money from their clients and yet consistently and deliberately make them victims of cruel injustice? What would our government, any government, think of the teachers who, instead of teaching youths to live properly, deliberately teach them the way of evil and death? What God knows about false prophets, which most of us are ignorant of would make shocking and frightening discoveries, when they are eventually disclosed on the judgment day.
God is no unrighteous Judge; neither is He a partial Judge. If the man that sins and rejects forgiveness and salvation is judged, will the man who sins and makes many others hardened in sin not be judged? If a thief that steals, all by himself is sentenced and punished, will another thief who does not only steal but trains others to steal be free from punishment? False prophets will appear before God on the final day to answer for the deeds they have done in the flesh.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits. A corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” The word fruit is used in Scripture in various ways. Children are referred to as fruits of their parents (Deuteronomy 28:4,11; 30:9; Psalms 127:3; 132:11). Converts and followers are also referred to as the fruit of preachers (Romans 1:13; Jeremiah 2:3; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15; James 1:18; Revelation 14:4). The followers of the false prophets are the fruit of their ministries. The effect of their message and ministry will be seen in the lives of their followers. If the generality of their followers are nominal, sinful, carnal, covetous and blind to the truth of salvation and Christian living, it is the result of what they receive from the false teachers. The fruit of the false prophets, that is, their followers, gradually become committed, zealous, blinded, reprobate, fanatical and apostate. The influence of false prophets on their followers can become so strong until they harden their hearts, and permanently close their ears and eyes to the truth. They often come under such strong delusion that they believe a lie and defend falsehood. The Pharisees and their followers (their “proselytes”) are an example of such strong delusion. Their followers became two-fold more children of hell than themselves.
Though Christ did so many miracles to convince them of His divine credentials and authority, they rejected Him and opposed the saving truth He taught. Those followers of the false prophets did not only reject Jesus Christ and His message, they resisted the Holy Ghost (Acts 7:51). They made a deliberate choice not to retain God in their knowledge (Romans 1:28) and harden their hearts to the point of loving error and hating the truth. They turn away from sound doctrine and turn unto fables. In fact, they confess openly that they hate the word “doctrine”, which is a precious New Testament word (Matthew 7:28; John 7:16,17; Acts 2:42; Romans 6:17; 1 Corinthians 14:6; 1 Timothy 4:6,13,16; 5:17; 6:1,3; 2 Timothy 4:2-5; Titus 2:1,7; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Titus 1:9). The paths of false prophets and their followers are very slippery; falling is easy but recovery is difficult, almost impossible. “Avoid them” (Romans 16:17,18).
This is the teaching of the Word of God from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Christ taught clearly on the final doom and future damnation of deceived and deceptive prophets, not because He rejoiced to see them damned, but because He desired their salvation, warning them so they would see the future awaiting them, if that would lead them to repentance. Like His Father in heaven, He had no pleasure in the death, doom or damnation of the wicked or the false prophet.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 7:19,20; Matthew 13:15; 23:15; Isaiah 30:8-13; Jeremiah 44:15-23; John 3:19,20; Romans 1:22-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; 1 Timothy 4:1,2; 2 Timothy 4:3,4; Galatians 4:15-20; 5:7-12; Proverbs 29:5,6; Job 32:21,22; Ezekiel 13:3-9; Matthew 3:10; Luke 3:7-9; Matthew 23:15,33; 2 Peter 2:1-6,9,17; Jude 4-7; Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 22:18,19; John 15:6; Matthew 13:40-42,47-50; Matthew 25:41,46; Mark 9:42-48; James 3:1-6; Hebrews 10:26-31; 12:25-29; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:8.