'Beware of False Prophets' Billboards

Did you know that every book/epistle of the New Testament includes at least one warning to us to exercise discernment and to be on guard against false teachers and their false teachings?

Surely, if it is that important to the Lord, then shouldn't it be just as important to us, especially during these last days?

Matthew 7:15 (ESV) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

1 John 4:1 (ESV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV) 1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

2 Peter 2:1 (ESV) 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.

[NOTE: Read all of 2 Peter 2 to learn how to identify false prophets/false teachers and for an indictment against them from God]

Just to highlight a few key passages of Scripture for you.

Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio recently created and tweeted out the following images that remind us of God's own words of caution to His beloved sheep (that's you and me, folks).

Beware of Joyce Meyer


Beware of Joel Osteen


Beware of Brian McLaren


Beware of Rob Bell


Beware of Perry Noble


Beware of Mark Driscoll


Beware of Steven Furtick


Beware of Bishop TD Jakes


I know, that's quite a list made up of the so-called "Who's Who" in Christendom today, isn't it? and yet, each charge sticks I'm afraid.

The sad reality? There are many more individuals that he could have created a billboard for in order to call attention to their false teachings that have deceived (are deceiving) millions around the world today.

While we cannot cover all of them in a single post like this, I hope that this at least helps you to be a little more discerning about the teachers and teachings you're receiving on a regular basis as "Gospel truth," because we need to keep in mind that just because a "Christian" is popular, or has mass appeal as evidenced by the weekly attendance at their mega-church, certainly DOES NOT mean that they (or their ministry, for that matter) are "annointed" or "approved" or "blessed" by the Lord.

After all, I don't recall the "success" of Jesus' ministry being graded in much the same way. Do you?

My dear brothers and sisters, we need to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and constantly test everything we're being taught that has a "Christian" label on it.

If it matches God's Word, then that's great! If it doesn't, not so great.

To paraphrase Charles Spurgeon, discernment is not knowing the difference between "right" and "wrong" as much as it is about knowing the difference between "right" and "almost right."

Please remember that and put it into practice.

Share|
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

23 comments:

  1. This was awesome. I recently ran a series on my book review blog of books I suggested every Christian would be better off NOT reading, and several of the above authors appeared in that series. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You bet! And thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a good blog. I really appreciate your perspective on false prophets. I have a baptist friend who is starting to see some of this around him. We talk about it quite often. I will try to point him this way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So many are deceived by these wolves. Great article!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! Glad to hear it was helpful to you like it was to me.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can you give the quote/context/reference for Joyce Meyer claiming that she is not a sinner? I listen to her and can not believe she would make such a comment. If true, however, that sure does raise a red flag.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Excellent post. It's heartbreaking how so many Evangelical Christians follow, retweet, share Facebook posts etc. of these so called preachers. We should demand more of ourselves and examine who we follow, before blindly jumping aboard their heresy trains.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous,

    In regards to Joyce Meyer saying this, I believe this is the sound byte you'll want to hear ---> http://youtu.be/5dmHJdM63hk

    I'm thankful the Lord brought this truth to your attention. God bless you and yours!

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my question about Joyce Meyer. I appreciate it. (I am sorry to hear what you posted; but I sure did need to hear that.)

      Delete
  9. But I love Joel! Isn't he talking about how "amazing and wonderful" God made us? Say it aint so! That's my only critique of this article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joel is a very nice gentleman who heads up the family business of motivational speakers. He loves people and wants them to feel good about themselves. Sadly, he must have never had a clear understanding of the Gospel or he wouldn't have denied it (at least the tough parts) on national tv. To put oneself forward as a watchman on the wall and then refuse to warn the people of their impending danger is to have blood on one's hands as in Ezk. 33:6.

      Delete
  10. Can we add Martin Luther to the list since he wanted jews to suffer and their synagogues burned? Here is just a bit of what he said!
    What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

    First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly_and I myself was unaware of it_will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i don't understand, what's wrong with that passage? sounds true. look at modern jewmerica's degeneracy and jewish communist russia were 66 million orthodox christians were massacred.

      but maybe you listen to too much john hagee, and think "jews are a holy people."

      Delete
  11. Pastor Dirk,

    I couldn't agree more with you regarding Luther's writings about the Jews and I would be a hypocrite to sit here and try to defend and/or make excuses for some of the deplorable things he wrote about them.

    All I can say is that he, like all of us, was still an imperfect sinner. While that might seem like a "cop out" to some, I kindly ask that you would take a few minutes to take a look at this discussion on the subject b/c it certainly help me as I was first experiencing these same concerns.

    ------> http://wittenbergtrail.org/forum/topics/luther-and-the-jews-1

    Hope that helps some.

    Either way, thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  12. Excellent Post. I commend you for quoting scripture. EVERY CHRISTIAN should be reading the bible and testing what they hear in light of God's word. Too many take the easy road and do not actually read God's word. I was one of them and now read often and it is amazing how the Spirit discerns for you. Thank you for sharing scary truth.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello. I'm a first-timer. Love your post. Thank you. I have a question about what your blog is called: "An Ex-Evangelical Turned Confessional Lutheran..." I don't understand what you mean by an "Ex-Evangelical"? I thought to evangelize meant to share the Gospel? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mark Kendrick,

    Thank you for your kind words!

    That's a GREAT question and I would suggest clicking the "Start Here" tab at the top of the page for a detailed explanation. Then, you might want to follow that up with this link (http://www.pastormattrichard.com/2013/08/what-does-american-evangelical.html) as well as clicking the "Evangelizing Evangelicals" section from the "What We're Talking About" area on the right hand side of the page as all of that together should give you a pretty definitive answer.

    However, if you're looking to cut-to-the-chase, then I would suggest watching this video discussion (http://www.lutheranlayman.com/2013/10/why-am-i-lutheran-in-lcms_9.html) and/or listening to the very first podcast we did "How Are Lutherans Different From Evangelicals?" too (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lutheranlayman/2013/11/18/how-are-lutherans-different-from-evangelicals).

    The irony? It's often said that we Lutherans were the original Evangelicals.

    Hope that helps some. Thanks again for stopping by and for commenting. Hope you'll be back!

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's all good and well, but I think he's objecting to the impression that evangelising has no part in the Holy Spirit bringing people to recognise Christ as Lord. I get that there are many evangelists who support wrong notions such as decision theology, but evangelism itself is by nature a belief that the Holy Spirit and the understanding we've gained from Scripture should be shared with those who lack the Holy Spirit and a belief in Scripture, or sometimes even in God at all.

      In saying all that, I live in Australia and grew up in a Baptist church; "Evangelical" probably means something different to me than it does to you. However, I don't believe all evangelicals have the same doctrine, beyond a conviction that the Great Commission belongs to all Christians.

      I just think it's important how you use labels. I've met evangelical's who are equally passionate about discipling those new to the faith as sharing the Good New's in the first instance there-of. I've also met evangelical's who have a strong understanding of the Lordship of Christ; who object to 'decision theology' just as much as you seem to.

      "Evangelical" may have a certain stereotypical form in your mind, but that sounds like a limited understanding of a diverse sub-set of Christians.
      So don't generalise; unless you believe we shouldn't preach the Word of God to unbelievers or seek to 'baptise all nations'. That's what underlies 'evangelicalism'. It's just unfortunate when preachers become obsessed with getting people "into the fold" rather "into the Word".

      Delete
  15. IMO the best Furtick meme I ever seen is this

    http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/the-look-u-get-when-christians-support-steven-furtick-twisting-scripture.png

    ReplyDelete
  16. Zac Dredge,

    Thank you and you raise some very good points indeed. I would agree that "Evangelical" likely means something slightly different to you than it does to me. Still, I think I will generalize any time ANY PROFESSION OF FAITH seeks to make ME/YOU/US more important than JESUS CHRIST (or when the constant message is "ME/YOU/US For Christ!" instead of "JESUS CHRIST For Me/You/Us!" like it's supposed to be). So much of contemporary Evangelicalism fits that framework and that's what I'm writing about and against.

    As for sharing the Good News with others, I like to think of it this way...

    "What makes a Christian?" Not a difficult question for any Lutheran who did his homework in Catechism class. "The Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the one true faith, even as He calls, gathers and enlightens the whole Christian church on earth." (Luther, Small Catechism, Third Article of the Apostle's Creed)

    Romans 10:14-17 (ESV) "14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!' 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, 'Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?' 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."

    Translation?

    "Although the work is done and the forgiveness of sins is secured by the cross (John 19:30), it cannot come to us in any other way than through the Word." (Large Catechism V 31)

    God's Means of Grace, His Word and Sacraments (the Word properly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered), are how He converts people -- always has been that way, always will be that way. As the above passage proves, the spoken word of the Gospel -- the content being Christ -- is a means by which God creates faith.

    Still, we Lutherans believe that the Lord has instituted a divine Office of The Holy Ministry where certain people are called by Him to be servants and to minister to us His Word and Sacraments. As the above passage says, preachers proclaim as divinely authorized representatives (Luke 10:16) and God speaks through them (Romans 1:16).

    Does that mean that we can never confess the faith and share the Gospel? Where do we factor into the process if and when it comes to sharing the Gospel with others in our lives then? Excellent questions! I think the "Doctrine of Vocation" (http://www.canadianlutheran.ca/vocation-the-spirituality-of-ordinary-life/) addresses that Biblically and beautifully!

    To summarize, I don't worry about "evangelizing" others like maybe I used to in years past (putting all kinds of unnecessary pressure on myself like "If I don't talk to that person about Jesus or say the right thing, then they might go to Hell and it will all be my fault!" No, not exactly.)

    All of that's to say that we Lutherans look at the Great Commission differently that most within Evangelicalism do (http://www.confessionallutherans.org/papers/moedoc.html) and I think you'll find it a more Biblical view of things too.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  17. Have a link to any of the actual tweets (rather than directly to the images)? My searches in Twitter seem to indicate that our definitions of "recently" differ a bit. Also billboardmaker.com is a dead link, adding to that indication.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oops - never mind. I see that you're accurate. Misread your date of original publication.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The article at ConfessionLutherns.com was a little difficult for me to get through. I'm ultimately not an Evangelical myself, so my defense of them is not one that disagrees with your views(though it's not a defense of all of them, either). That and I'm fairly uninterested in American church politics.

    I certainly agree with the idea of vocations being a means to serve and love others. However, I'm a little sceptical about this 'divine Office of The Holy Ministry'. To clarify, I suppose you are referring to 'preachers', as distinguished from 'pastors'(whose role is to preside over a Church rather than going out to share God's Word). Not to imply that someone couldn't do both.

    I'm glad you at least believe that some must go forth and evangelise. There are plenty of nations that haven't been made disciples or taught about God's Word. There are also plenty of people, in nations with Christian influences, who have never heard anything but hearsay about God's Word, or a twisted word.

    I do believe that the random guy you see on the train would be blessed by you taking that bold step of telling him about God and His Word. It's not that feelings of condemnation should result when you don't(though conviction isn't bad), but a wasted opportunity is different from obsessively seeking for 'a word' for someone, or conducting 'street evangelism'. If a thought crosses your mind such as 'oh, this would be a perfect time to tell that person of the love and redemption offered by God'(assuming you still have such thoughts), and you don't(perhaps because 'it's not your vocation'), then how will they hear? They might hear else-where, but they might not. It's not for you to assume they'll have plenty of opportunity later on.

    I've missed opportunities to share God's Word with others, primarily due to my own fear; not because of any conviction that there was a valid reason not to tell them about God and his holy Word. I repent of those occasions, considering them sin; just the same as I would consider any lack of compassion sinful. That's just my point; my belief that we should all evangelise in our day-to-day lives stems from the belief that evangelising to someone is a form of compassion. Shall I offer clothes to the naked and not offer the promise of life to the spiritually dead?
    I think the important point to make is that we all have different vocations, but evangelism can be done by Doctors or Shoe-shiners, as well as appointed Evangelists or 'Missionaries'. Should being a Christian Radio Host mean I don't share God's Word anywhere else? Should being anything else mean I don't share some of God's Word if I ever get the opportunity to speak on radio?

    I'd also like to challenge you and your Church by asking; are any of your congregation currently away preaching and teaching God's Word? If so, are you supporting them in prayer and/or finances? Is there anyone making an effort to preach and teach locally?
    On a slightly different vein; do you and your congregation make an effort to be open to people of all ages, demographics, ethnicity, sub-cultures and even patterns of sin(eg alcoholics or prostitutes)? Is maintaining the style of your Church Services more important to you and the members of your congregation than new members, who may have differing opinions?

    I don't object to your views on Evangelicalism under the terms of Arminian-based doctrine(though that doesn't apply to all of them), but I question whether the Lutheran Church has lost it's passion for evangelism as it has come to see it as the territory of other Church's. I'm not claiming that as truth; I don't know the Lutheran church well enough to be that bold. Like I said, I intend to challenge you, and to uplift you through that. Even if it's not a problem in your Church or in the Lutheran Church as a whole then I'll have learned something.

    Truth and Love,
    Zac D.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!