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Look Both Ways
October 29, 2023
53m 20s

Beware of False Prophets

by Johnson Bowie
How do we identify false prophets? Jesus clearly warned us to watch out for false prophets, who He described as wolves in sheep’s clothing. We are called to build our lives on Christ and His truth, and the reality is that we can’t define truth based on how something makes us feel. But how do we choose between those people and things that are good influences on our lives spiritually and emotionally and those that are bad influences and can potentially draw us away from Christ? Join us as we look to God’s word to find the answers!
Sermon Notes

Matthew 7:15-20 NIV
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

James 3:1 NIV
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Acts 20:28-31 NIV
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.So be on your guard!

A false teacher is anyone or anything that communicates a worldview that contradicts what God says is true and good and life-giving.

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Tell Us What We Want to Hear

2 Timothy 4:1-3 NIV
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Don’t Tell Us What We Don’t Want to Hear

“False Prophets talk much about the love of God but nothing of his holiness, much about people who are deprived but nothing about those who are depraved, much about God’s universal fatherhood of every human being but nothing about his unique fatherhood only of those who are his children through faith in his Son, much about what God will give to us but nothing about obedience to him, much about health and happiness but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is a message of GAPS, the greatest gap of which leaves out the truth that saves.” — John MacArthur

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Get Us Questioning the Bible

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NLT
These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Deny the Work of The Holy Spirit

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Lead Us to Meaningless Debates

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They’re In It for Selfish Gain

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Lead Us to Sin

Jude 4 NIV
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

How Do We Identify False Prophets?

  • They Deny the Sufficiency of Jesus

Galatians 1:6-9 NIV
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

How Do We Combat False Prophets?

  1. Stop being NAIVE

How Do We Combat False Prophets?

  • Get rooted in TRUTH

There are an infinite amount of fakes, but there is only One Truth.

“The Word of God is the anvil upon which the opinions of men are smashed.” — Charles Spurgeon

How Do We Combat False Prophets?

  • Begin QUIETING your life to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd


What competing voices do I need to unplug from so I can hear the voice of my Good Shepherd?

In what way can I prioritize God’s Truth in the Bible this week?

What would a 1-week social media fast look like for me?

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