The rise and fall of false prophets have been common from the beginning of time. From the devious work of Nimrod and his mother and possibly wife, Semiramis, the work of deception has increased against God. Then you work through the years and continue to see false ambassadors deceiving people into thinking they are from God.
We have them today. They are stationed around the world. I have met them in Eastern Europe. I have run into them in the Middle East. While in Kenya, Africa I was asked to train the pastors and church leaders to recognize the working of false prophets that were deceiving their people into thinking they were prophets of God. The false prophets were extremely bold in telling them they had received a special promotion by God signified by their Voodoo graduation diploma and their special ring that caused spells to be cast on entire congregations. It was a challenge, but, I entered that nation with a prayer covering by God and words that He had given to deliver to them in defiance of the Satanic work that had developed among their people.
We have false prophets manning the airways in America. False prophets are sure of their work for God...but...they are announcing a lifestyle and a prophecy that has nothing to do with the God of heaven!
One day God told Jeremiah to put a wooden yoke around his neck and go to the center of the city and pronounce His message after a false prophet, Hannaniah, announced his prophecy. This message from the false prophet Hannaniah was a false prophecy. It was a message that the king...an ungodly king...was willing to listen to and reward the prophet for his false message. Hannaniah was offering a message of peace in BC 594...just two years before King Zedekiah was captured and deported while Jerusalem was destroyed. Read the words of the false prophet:
"...the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur from Gibeon said to me in the temple of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people,
2 "This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
3 Within two years I will restore to this place all the articles of the Lord's temple that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from here and transported to Babylon.
4 And I will restore to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon'—this is the Lord's declaration—'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'" 28:1-4
False prophets will always refer to their false messages as messages from God. They think that by announcing that they are prophets of God that it will make them credible to the people listening. Again notice that Hannaniah pronounced that his prophecy of peace would come true within two years. He is saying this to a nation of people who will be destroyed in two years! FALSE PROPHECY!!!
I was leading a crusade in L'viv, Ukraine just following a plane disaster that crashed into a crowd of people and killed 84 of them. It was a huge devastation to the city. A leader in the Satanic church toured the city a few days ahead of this event and pronounced that a disaster would come to this city because there were so many orthodox churches. He said they were "too religious." When the event took place that killed 84 people the leading newspaper in the city wrote an article announcing the prediction had come true and that Satan is angry with their city. The Mayor and Governor announced a moratorium on all religious activities for three months. Our crusade was planned to take place during that period of time. I was asked by our leaders what to do. I told them we will go as planned. Our crusade was in a large indoor arena in the city with a capacity of 12,000 people. On the first night, 3900 people attended. I gathered the pastors and conducted a prayer meeting for the remaining three days of the crusade. The next evening approximately 8,000 people attended. While people were entering the arena I was being interviewed by the man from the newspaper that had written the article that Satan was angry with their city. I asked him to join me in the crusade that evening and see for himself who the real God is. He did attend. The next day...Saturday...he published his opinion of the crusade. He said that he was wrong about the false prophecy that he had written earlier. He concluded the article by saying that Satan is not God and does NOT have a curse on our city. He said..."Jesus Is Lord!"
The following evening 14,000 people came to this 12,000 seat arena and 6,100 people publicly made their decision to follow Jesus Christ with their lives! This event was vivid proof to me that Jesus is Lord and Satan is a liar! The false prophet of Satan was a loser and God was the winner!
Read Jeremiah's response to the Hannaniah...the false prophet. Jeremiah begins with a little sarcasm.
"Yeah, praise God. Amen. You're right. Nothing but peace is coming our way!" (This my kind of prophet.)
"Listen to the truth. As for the prophet who prophesies peace—only when the word of the prophet comes true will the prophet be recognized as one the Lord has truly sent." vv. 6-9
Next...Hannaniah told the wooden yoke from the neck of Jeremiah and broke it saying:
"This is what the Lord says: 'In this way, within two years I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from the neck of all the nations.'" v. 11
Jeremiah then received another message from God who told him to put an iron yoke around his neck and go back into the city with another message:
"'I have put an iron yoke on the neck of all these nations that they might serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they will serve him. I have also put the wild animals under him.'" v. 14
Then this was Jeremiah's final message to Hannaniah...the FALSE PROPHET...
"'I am about to send you off the face of the earth. You will die this year because you have spoken rebellion against the Lord.'
17 And the prophet Hananiah died that year in the seventh month." vv. 16-17
Jeremiah gives to us some confirmations of a true prophet:
1. They MUST have a divine call.
2. The message is the WORD OF THE LORD.
3. The message MUST COME TRUE!!!
4. Their character MUST BE ONE OF GREAT INTEGRITY.
I must admit. When I listen to someone who has no background of integrity...I question their authority to be giving a message that they say is from God. God's message is pure. It is from Him. He decides to give His messages through sinful people...BUT...the message is not sinful and the sin of man and the ambition of man should not be contained in the message. When a messenger spends time promoting himself as the messenger more than the One who supposedly gave the message...beware.
The ones God uses are like Jeremiah. They empty themselves into the presence of God and relay a message that is ALL about Him and not about the one delivering the message.
False prophets are all around us. The devil has a desire to put them in front of your eyes so that you hear his message and not God's message.
Recognize who they are and flee from them. Run to God. Run to the messages that God delivers through His messengers. You know who they are. They often preach "peace" when there is no peace.
For a teenager and young adult, it may be someone dressed like a friend who is saying..."Go ahead, it won't hurt you. Just one drink. Just one look. Just a little action will make people know that you are not a wimp. Come on. Be social. Come on...just this one time."
Remember...if you have one ounce of doubt about something that you are being tempted to do...THAT is God's Spirit saying "you know what's right." Run! Don't do it. Be the one who stands up for God!
May God Bless You!
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY!