How to Shake the Fake Anointing

The Bible teaches us in both testaments about the existence of false prophets and the dangers associated with their teachings. Over the next couple of weeks, I’d like to look into the characteristics of false prophets and their teachings.

First, let’s look at the characteristics of the false prophet.

Jesus tells us in Matthew, chapter seven to beware of false prophets.

Beware – properly, have towards, i.e. to give full attention; to set a course and keep to it.

The best way for us to identify false prophets and false prophecy is to give our full attention to the Word of the Lord.

To learn how to recognize a counterfeit, you are taught to recognize what is authentic.

False prophets look like sheep. They categorize themselves as being followers of the Lord, but Jesus said that truly, they are ravenous wolves.

What does a wolf do to a sheep? Feed on them. Why? Because, they are hungry.

What are they hungry for?

That’s the rub! To recognize a false prophet, you discern where their hunger takes them away from the truth of the word of God.

The prophet Jeremiah was surrounded by false prophets in his day. In chapter 23 of Jeremiah, he lists some characteristics of the false prophets of his day:

  1. They commit adultery and walk in lies

To understand this trait requires some biblical knowledge. We know that the commission of adultery is a specific act. But, scripturally we also know that adultery is committed spiritually against the Lord when we put things before Him.

Peter describes these individuals:

With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed–an accursed brood! 2 Peter 2:14

Peter characterized them by saying that they:  follow the desire of corrupt flesh and despise authority. Verse 10

They profess to teach the truth but live a lie. A lie is a falsehood used to promote the desires of the speaker.

A false prophet will tailor the truth to justify the desires of his own flesh.

Their teachings will seek to justify the indulgence of the flesh and even use scripture to make those indulgences spiritual.

  1. They seek popular acclaim

False prophets want to be recognized. How do they do that? More often than not, they do this by preaching a message that supposedly leads to outcomes desirable to their listeners.

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. 2 Timothy 4:3

Inside the teachings of the false prophet resides a very dangerous component:

An unconditional pledge of immunity from disaster.

Repentance of sin is not usually a part of their pathway to God’s blessing. To have the widest appeal, they must tailor the message to include both sincere seekers and rebels, so they replace repentance with attitude adjustments, life coaching, and commands to “do something”.

  1. They fail to distinguish their own dreams from a word from God

Since their desires are corrupted, their words are usually corrupted by their own desires. They tell of dreams and encounters that bolster their goals and often, exalt these dreams and experiences to the level of biblical revelation.

Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart not from the mouth of the Lord. Jeremiah 23:16

Any teacher or prophet can miss God or have to clarify where a word is coming from. The apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians contains examples of that (1 Corinthians 7). With the anointing comes great responsibility for its presence. Dreams/visions/words are to be tested by God’s word. Any prophet who claims infallibility is to be rejected.

  1. They steal words from one another

False prophets will seek the “wow” factor. The anointing creates what they are looking for but if they are false, they will need another source. They often are voracious readers and listeners of others. In and of itself, this is not wrong. But, false prophets are looking for manipulative words and methods through which they can make people think they are speaking from the anointing when in reality, they are using motivational speech to bolster their goals. People who seek to motivate others are always looking for new buttons to push!

In closing, Jesus said that a false prophet may do wonders, give great words, and even appear to cast out demons, but you cannot fake doing the will of God, which is contained in the entirety of God’s Word. This is what marks the true prophet of God. They teach it and live it.

Next time, we’ll look at the message of the false prophet.

Is There Any Word From the Lord?

The events of the last few days have been sobering.

More beheadings in the Middle East – Students at UC Davis voting to censure and punish Israel and shouting down those with opposing views with cries of “Allahu Akbar!” – Disintegrating relations between the American administration and the nation of Israel – the burning alive of a hostage of ISIS.

I haven’t even mentioned other events that we are facing that trouble us such as our national debt crisis, stagnant wages, political division, etc.

In the midst of these events, is there any word from the Lord?

The answer is yes.

Jeremiah the prophet, who lived in Israel during terrible times said this:

“For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it?” Jeremiah 23:18

Verse 22 says this:

“But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.”

As I prayed about what to write to you, the words of Jude came back to my mind:

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”

Verse 15: “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.”

Verse 19: “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

While I would love to talk about the fruit of the Spirit, the blessings of God, and other such things that accompany salvation, I must go back to the fact that we need to repent.

Too many of us (I’m speaking to those who identify themselves as Christians) are living in ways that are not biblical. Jude wrote about people who turned the grace of God into a license to sin; living in lewd behavior. By living this way, Jude said that they were denying the Lordship of God and of Jesus Christ. Being a “Christian” is not going to save people if they are living out from under the Lordship of Christ. Destruction is hanging over those living in such a manner as Jude told us.

The mess we have in Washington and the conflict that we are seeing at UC Davis and many other places is a byproduct of those who identify themselves as believers not living according to the Bible.

I know………this sounds like judgment. But, according to the Scriptures it isn’t. It is truth.

We must repent of our sin in the church and then we will stand in a place in which God will listen to us as we repent for the sins of the nation. There is a direct correlation between the enemy gaining strength and the church losing power. We have no influence in our nation because we have no influence with God. God can bring change into this land, but it must begin with His people or it will be counterfeit.

Friends, there is no time to waste!! Things are getting worse exponentially. If the church loses its power, evil will go on unchecked and grow until there is no restraint.

Repentance is different from becoming angry. We in the church are good at getting angry and attacking others or speaking against them. Our anger is not going to change things in our nation – our repentance will. Repentance will bring a godly zeal for the Lord that will be followed by actions that not only reflect God’s Word but His heart as well. Once this repentance begins, the enemy of our souls will have a force coming against him that he will be unable to withstand. Changes will occur at all levels of society. Political action is important but repentance is more important! We can be seduced into sin while we stand for what is right! We need the Word of the Lord more than we need Republicans in power or conservative judges.

Now, let’s boil this down to what you have control over….to the place that societal change begins:

Are you living in character and heart according to the Word of the Lord?

This is the question that must be addressed today. If not, you have the words of Jude prophesying your destiny. Listen, its time -its past time; later than we think. God is calling to you. How will you respond to the Word of the Lord?