Forgotten Word Ministries

In Man We Trust!

Home          Literature          Free Newsletter          Links          ARTICLES


The rise and fall of false Prophets by Thomas Baird

Have any of you ever been deceived? I mean, there are people all over the world that would just as soon lie as to tell the truth.
Many times people will deceive others just to get what they want.
We have seen time and time again how people will deceive others to get money. Scams and schemes seem to be the normal thing in our society now days.
And the people that run these scams are only interested in themselves, they do not care who they hurt to get what they want.

I remember when Denise and I bought our first house. It was in Tupelo Mississippi.
We were looking for a specific house; we wanted a four-bedroom house.
Well, we had contacted a real estate agent that said she was willing to help us. I had come across an ad for a house that was out in the country, we like being in the country, and I asked her about that house. It was a two story four bedroom house on three acres of land out in the country. I had always wanted a two story house, But I did not know where it was located, so I asked the agent about it and she said, oh, that is at least a thirty minute drive. So, based on her comment, we did not even go look at the house. I figured if we were moving so I could be closer to work, I needed to be pretty close to work.
She showed us a house or two but then showed us the one we finally purchased. It was right in the middle of town.
She then told us that there were no more four-bedroom houses in Tupelo in our price range.
We were deceived.
After we purchased the house, we came across four bedroom houses all over the place.
Also, by the time I went through the city traffic, it took anywhere from 20 to thirty minuets to get home even though I was only a short distance away from work.
And then, my brother in law moved closer to tupelo, and while we were helping him move, I came across that big two story four bedroom house out in the country. It was only about a fifteen-minute drive from where I worked.
The house was so beautiful on the outside that I got sick at my stomach.
It had four huge columns out front that went all the way up the height of the entire house.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I did like the house we had, but it was not a two-story four-bedroom house out in the country.
I also found out that the sales lady made more money by selling us the house she sold us, for one reason it was more expensive, and for another, it was listed by her company. She made her comments and remarks to us and pointed out the houses that would make her more money. We were deceived.

Now, the thing that I notice is that we allow ourselves to be deceived. We wanted a four-bedroom house within a certain price range and we were willing to listen to this lady to get what we wanted.
Most people that are ripped off by scams are taken because they want something like a quick way to get rich, a cheap house repair, a free gift that they only have to pay shipping and handling for.
They allow themselves to be deceived.

Now, a question for this morning is….Can people be deceived spiritually?
Can people die and go to hell by placing their allegiance in the wrong place?
Can even Christians allow themselves to be deceived?

Paul was in prison when he wrote the letter to the Church at Philippi.

Philip. 1:14-17
Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
[15] It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. [16] The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. [17] The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

We even have people who preach the Gospel, they preach from the Word of God and they do it out of their own ambition.

There are people that get rich by preaching. Now, I am not against anyone being rich if that is what God has in store for their lives, but when they have mansions and more cars then they can count, they have so much money they will not keep it all in one bank, and when they are making all this money from people that are for the most part poor, I do not think it all goes along with what we are taught in the Word of God.

I had a good friend of mine say to me one time, Gene, you picked the wrong profession if you want to become wealthy. Preaching is not going to make you rich.”
It kind of hurt me to hear him say that, because I thought he would have understood.
There are two things I had to say to him.
I. I am not looking to get rich, I place my faith in God to take care of me.
II. I did not choose this profession, God chose it for me.

I want you to take your Bibles now and turn with me to the book of Matthew.
Turn to chapter 24 and first I am going to read verse 5.

Now, this is near the end of what is described as the Olivet discourse. This is from Matthew 24:1-25:46. This is also related in Mark and Luke.
This is where Jesus was on the Mount of Olives and he was discussing the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world.

In response to his prophecy of the destruction of the temple, the disciples asked Jesus when this would occur. This is when he gave us the signs of the last days.
Now, today, I am not going to go over all the signs that the last days are near, which I feel like they are, but I am going to focus on one thing that Jesus said.

First if you are with me in Matthew 24:5, Jesus Said,

Matthew 24:5
For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Now, look a little further over and find Matthew 24:starting in verse 23.
Read Matthew 24:23-27

There will be false “Christ’s” and false Prophets.

Now, there have been false Christs every since Christ came to the earth. The Jewish nation as a whole did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah so many people took advantage of this.

The historian Josephus mentioned several historical figures who might be regarded as false messiahs.
I. Theudas, in A.D. 44 summoned the people to the Jordan River wilderness with the promise that he would divide the Jordan like Joshua and begin a new conquest of the land.

II. Josephus mentions various others from A.D. 52-59 and from A.D. 60-62

III. There was Manahem ben Judah who was called, “the Galilean” somewhere around A.D. 65. These were all people who called themselves the Messiah.

So, we can see that there have been false Messiahs for thousands of years.

But, did you know that in the last 50 years alone there have been over one thousand one hundred religious leaders across the world that have called themselves the Christ?

Over 1,100 in the last 50 years alone!

We remember just a few, there was David Karesh a few years ago, that is still a big controversy over the way the government handled the affair in Waco Texas.
But this man told people that he was christ.

There was that group of people a few years ago that the leader said he was christ and that they were going to all catch the UFO that was behind the hail bop comet or what ever the name of it was.

Thousands of people have gone to the grave following men like these false Messiahs.
And I am afraid that thousands of people have gone to hell, following men like this.. hearing what hey want to hear.

You may say,” well, surely men can not be led astray, people can not wind up in hell just because somebody lied to them.”

Well, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13, when he said,

Matthew 23:13
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

At the very least, false prophets and false teachers put stumbling blocks in front of those needing or even wishing to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus said that not only were most of the Pharisees teaching false doctrine,
not only were most of them missing the narrow gate to heaven,
but because of their false teachings they were also making it hard for others to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

I want you to know that I take my position in the Church very seriously. I know that God has called me to preach his Word.
But I also know what the Bible says in James 3:1

James 3:1
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

I will be judged for the way I handle the Word of God.
I will be judged for the lives I touch.
If I present the Gospel wrongly……… well I hope I never do.

When Jesus was talking to the Pharisees he said Woe to you.
The Pharisees that he was talking to could be described as
False Prophets.

Now, a false prophet is one who falsely claims to utter revelations that come from God, or claims to foretell future events, or claims to have God’s power to produce miracles, signs, and wonders.

Now, in the Bible, false prophets fell into three general categories.

I. Those who worshiped false gods and served idols.
II. Those who falsely claimed to receive messages from the Lord.
III. Those who wandered from the truth and ceased to be true prophets.

Again, false prophets have been around from the earliest days of history and we can see that they have always been a stumbling block and people have suffered because they put their trust in men, instead of in God.

In Jeremiah 14:14-16 The Bible says,

Jeremiah 14:14-16
Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. [15] Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ’No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. [16] And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons or their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.

What can we notice from this passage of scripture that shows how people can be deceived by these false prophets?
They told the people what they wanted to hear.
People allowed themselves to be deceived because they wanted what was being said to be true.

We can find in the Bible that the true prophets such as Jeremiah and Micaiah were thrown into prison for their prophesying.

Why were they thrown into prison even thought they were speaking the truth?

Because the people did not want to hear the truth.
The people only wanted to hear that everything was going to be alright.
The people only wanted to hear that they would have peace and prosperity.
The people did not want to hear the truth.

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses spoke of the punishment for those who betrayed the faith .
In Deuteronomy chapter 13 Moses ordered any prophet who advocated the worship of other gods to be stoned to death.

In First Kings chapter 18 we can read of how the Prophet Elijah put to death over 450 false prophets of baal.

Jesus said in Matt 7:19

Matthew 7:19
Every tree that does not bear good

fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

It is a very very serious offense to prophesy falsely.

So, yes Friends, we can look and see that false prophets have been around for a long time, but Christ said,
Matthew 24:24
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

I have already said that there have been over 1,100 religious leaders in the last 50 years that have called themselves christ.

And all we have to do is look around and see that there are thousands of false prophets out there today.

It is being taught all over the world today that if you have enough faith, then you will be rich.
I heard one preacher say on TV one day that if you want a Rolls Royce and you do not have it, it is because of your lack of faith.

It is being taught all over the world today that if you have enough faith, you will not have any illness or sickness.
I know of one preacher out there that says he does not even have any aspirin in his house because he has enough faith to keep from getting sick.

Health , wealth, and prosperity. That is what many people want to hear.
People want to hear that everything is well in the world, the Christian life is an easy life, all their troubles will be over.
And there are people just itching to tell the people what they want to hear.

I saw a documentary on Jim Jones one day.
Jim Jones was a man that started an organization he called a church, and he wound up with many followers.
People that knew him said that he was one of the most charismatic people they had ever met.
He knew all the proper words to say,
He knew what people wanted to hear
He was a smooth talker.
And people followed him, they allowed themselves to be deceived because he told them what they wanted to hear.
The program showed what some of the congregation had to say about him, and every one of them called him “father”
In Man we trust.

And over 900 of these people trusted this man all the way to the grave as they either committed suicide or were killed.
And I am afraid that many of them, followed this man straight in to hell.

I have mentioned before that there is a church in Florida that has supposedly been having a revival for a couple of years.
I had heard about the revival before and had not heard anything good about it. I did some research on the internet and found a wealth of information about it, and most of the information was toward the negative side.

Denise and I watched an amateur video of one of their services one night ..... and it breaks our hearts to see that so many people are being deceived and these people are in danger of going to hell.
The preacher prophesied and said that a certain man that was calling this a false revival would be struck down by the Holy Ghost within 3 months, of course this did not come to pass and it has been over two years ago now.

According to the Bible, this is just one sign of a false prophet.

Now, these people are putting on a show, they are showing people pass out, people are writhing on the floor,
People are coming up and supposedly forgetting what they were saying…
We could hear people howling like dogs,
There were people that would just all of the sudden start jerking around and jumping.
All I saw was mass confusion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 says,
1 Cor. 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,

The King James Version says that God is not the author of confusion.
Friends, If it is chaos it is not of God.

Now, some people may say, well, I have heard of the revival and have heard of these wondrous signs that people are seeing.

In the main text that we are looking at today,
In Matthew 24:24 Jesus said,

Matthew 24:24
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

They will be able to perform signs and Miracles.
There are people that say they can perform miracles of healing,
Now, I know that God can heal any one at any time and I have seen God heal people, I have seen miracles,
But there are people that put on these big shows, these acts and they are performing signs and wonders and people are following these men by the thousands.

Jesus said that this would happen,
These people are good at what they do,
Christ said the signs and Miracles would be so great that if it were possible it would deceive even the elect.
The signs and Miracles will be so great that it could even deceive Christians if that were possible.

Can Christians be deceived?
I believe they can.
I know a Christian can never be deceived enough to loose their salvation because the Bible clearly shows that you cannot loose your salvation.

But I believe that Christians can so be deceived as to the point to where they become ineffective to the kingdom of God.
Christians can be led astray by these men and spend their entire life out of the will of God.

Have you ever noticed how many Christians fight over religion? Have you seen how many people will fight over the name of a denomination… the translation of the Bible that they use… the type of music that is used to worship God… the color of the carpet in the sanctuary…..

Now, I have my preferences on these matters… but many people will fight tooth and nail over their preferences and cant you just see ole satan today laughing his head off saying….
I cant believer I have them fighting over the things of God.. so much that they are forgetting to worship God…

No, he cant take away our salvation…. but he can take away our joy…. And our witness…. if we let him.

1 John 4:1 says,

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Here in first John and also in 2 peter the apostles instructed believers to be diligent in faith and in understanding of Christian teachings, of proper doctrine.
We need to be firmly grounded in the Word of God.

We can be led astray by false prophets by listening only to what we want to hear, and by putting our trust in men.

Do not put your trust in me,
Do not put your trust in Billy Graham,
Put your trust only in Jesus Christ,
For he is the way, the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 24:27 said
Matthew 24:27
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

There will be no reason to wonder or be concerned as to weather or not Christ has come.
He said the whole world will know it.
There will be no doubt.

Do not let yourself be deceived,
as the song says, turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his heavenly face,
Then all the things of the earth,
all the false prophets,
will grow dim.

Keep your eyes on him, and there will be no way you can be deceived.