What is a false prophet? I mean, in these modern times? I guess most people think of a slick, dishonest “TV preacher.” You know, the fellow whose messages seem to be mostly about how much wealth and prosperity you can have (as soon as you send in that “seed faith” offering, of course). But is dishonesty the only, or even the main, distinguishing mark? Or can an honest man be a false prophet, too?
A Non-Religious Example
Let’s say a group of dishonest con men create a fake investment company, which just takes your money and sends you fake quarterly statements about how well your investment is doing. They’re slick operators and convince a large number of people that they are legitimate…including you. Impressed with how well your investment seems to be doing (per the fake statements), you convince several friends and relatives to invest their money with the crooked firm as well. Eventually, the Feds come and shut the operation down, and everyone discovers that the shysters have actually absconded with all the funds to South America.
There’s no question that the tricksters who opened the fake investment company were dishonest. However, when you convinced friends and relatives to invest, you were also creating the same false impression that the company was legitimate and a good investment. Your motives were completely different from the that of the thieves. You honestly thought you were helping people you cared about. But, whether convinced by dishonest con men or by well-meaning family and friends, people who invested in this company lost their money all the same.
So, yes, I submit to you that an honest man can become honestly convinced that certain harmful religious falsehoods are in fact religious truths. If he then tries to convince others of the verity of those falsehoods, he would be a false prophet.
The goal of this website is to expose several popular, harmful religious falsehoods for what they are so that you can identify them regardless of whether they are being spread by honest or dishonest people.
About the book False Prophets
This website is essentially the online version of the book False Prophets, which is the result of over thirty years of study and discussions with pastors and lay people of various Christian persuasions. You can access this book three different ways:
- You can read it on this website (for free),
- You can read the PDF version (for free), or
- You can buy a copy
We do offer quantity discounts to bookstores, churches, or anyone interested in buying 10 or more copies. For more information about quantity discounts, please contact us.
Of course, the book’s title is inspired mainly by the verse:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (-Jesus, Matthew 7:15, KJV)
From this one verse, We can tell one aspect of false prophets: they are not what they appear to be—they appear harmless but they are not. But, are there false prophets today? And, if so, how can we identify them?
Are There False Prophets Today?
Not only did Jesus repeatedly warn that false prophets would come, but His apostles warned that many false prophets had already gone out into the world in the early days of the church. If they had them when the original apostles were here and so soon after the Lord’s time on this earth, how much more so would we have them now?
Surely, there are false prophets today, but how can we identify them?
How Can We Identify False Prophets Today
It would be nice if false prophets had a big sign on their chest that said in large letters “FALSE PROPHET” or if their eyes glowed red or something. But, of course, it’s not that easy.
Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:15, lets us know they will look like ministers of righteousness. And remember the Lord’s own warning that let us know that though they are wolves, they are wearing sheep’s clothing.
The short answer is to examine the doctrine they preach to see if it truly lines up with what the original Apostles and the Lord Jesus taught. The long answer is hopefully found throughout the pages of my book, which you can start reading at Chapter One: Hodgepodge.
Jesus gave the world one plan of salvation to build one church, and that is the only church He recognizes. False Prophets presents in detail the essential doctrines Jesus and the apostles set forth to establish the church in the Bible and exposes what the false prophets are not telling people about topics like:
- grace through faith,
- speaking in tongues,
- the Trinity,
- water baptism,
- the new birth, and
- New Testament salvation