False prophets are an abomination to the Lord our God. A prophet is a person who gets messages from God and shares them with the church. Unless a believer tests the spirit of the prophet as to whether it is of God or not, he or she cannot be exempt from consequence of yielding to the false teaching or spirit (1 john 4:1).
False prophets have been in existence since the Old Testament times. God exposed them in many ways because He hates false prophets. They may be seen to be successful from afar yet they live under a serous spiritual curse. I believe that some of the false prophets out there think they truly hear from God yet that is not the case. When we read from Ezekiel 13:9, we get to learn that some prophets receive false dreams and visions and they believe it is from God. However, most false prophets know that they are not God’s prophets.
The question then would be, “if false prophets live under a curse, how about the people that genuinely believes that the prophets are of God?” What awaits them in the spiritual realm? The sad reality is that, God will curse and punish them. God will surely not lift His curse on people that continue to believe a false prophet message even when such a prophet has died. God really hate false prophets. See the following verses:
- Jeremiah 23:16
- Hezekiah 13:9
- Mathew 7:15
- Deuteronomy 18:20
- Revelation 20:10
- Jeremiah 14:14 – 15
These are just few verses that warn believers about false prophets that pollute God’s message. These are people that intentionally provoke God to anger.
We can’t help it but call out to Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhists, etc. to respond to the genuine call because according to the Bible, their founders can be classified under false prophets. We warn them of the foundation they are standing on that it is not of God and in it there is no genuine hope for eternity. Sadly, most of them genuinely believe in the founders of their religion and would even kill for them. It is sad; really hurting to know that ignoring the truth does not change it.
A classic case of a false prophet and how God dealt with him is about Hananiah found in the book of Jeremiah 28. Hananiah claimed to have received a message that was opposing that which many true prophets had prophesied. Indeed this new message made the people happy because it meant God had changed His mind on sending war, disaster and plagues against many countries and great kingdoms. The Bible reports that even after Jeremiah exhorted Hananiah, he insisted that his message was from God. In all this, Hananiah was given chances to repent and make right with God but he didn’t. I’m sure you are a witness to that this is very similar to what the false prophets of our time do.
When God reacted to the false message shared by Hananiah, he cursed both the false message barer and the people that received it. In other words, the nature of God is to curse everyone who is defiled by a false message.
In the case of Hananiah, just as the case was for other false prophets before him, God killed him within twelve months of the prophecy. To the people who accepted Hananiah’s message, God promised to make the consequences even more severe. The expression in the Bible is, “…I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals” (Jeremiah 28:14). The yoke God was previously made from wood but after the people received a false message from Hananiah, the yoke was to be made of iron.
How to escape false prophets
Reading the Bible and praying is the best solution. The Bible will teach you who God is, what He likes and that which He dislikes. Prayer will open your spiritual eyes and mind to understand what the Bible is teaching. Prayer will also close your ears to deception. God will guide you through His word and Holy Spirit into knowing the truth only if you let Him. As already quoted in my opening paragraph, testing the spirits is one way that the Bible will guide you on how to do it.
It is your duty to find the true and right church of God. You are fully accountable for going to the church that you go to and practicing that which is taught in that church. I cannot emphasize enough the need for believers to believe more what the Bible says than that which they hear from their pastors. The Bible clearly states that cursed should be a person who trusts in himself or another man.
May I conclude by stating that at the end of the day, it is your life that this is all about. Everyone will give an account on the things he or she did under the influence of a wrong message.