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But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you...and through greed shall they with false words make merchandise of you          2 Peter 2:1-3

How To Identify a False Prophet
(or counterfeit ministry)
 
Jesus said we would be able to identify a counterfeit by their "fruits."
 
What fruits are we then to be looking for? Many things can be faked pretty well.
 
Paul said Satan's ministers appeare as if they are ministers of righteousness.
 
That would be a fairly convincing appearance of authenticity wouldn't it?
 
So what is one thing that cannot be faked?
 
The one thing a counterfeit cannot fake...
is the effect of his or her ministry in the lives of their followers.
 
We can argue that everyone has free will (and we do), so we can't blame a minister if their followers don't have good fruit in their lives.
 
And up to a point, that is absolutely true.
 
However, Jesus said we (The authentic ones) have been appointed and ordained to bear fruit and that our fruit would remain (grow and mature).
 
Too many Christians are following teachers whose teachings give only a temporary "feel good" (high) effect to the listener, but produce no lasting change (fruit) in their lives.

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Cult's will say they are the way to Christ and Christ Himself is not the way... they put themselves as a group (or their teaching)  in between man and God....
 
False teachers and false prophets will say they receive revelation from God that we won't find in the Bible....

Apostles Prophets & The Coming NEW AGE
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Is This Right...??

____ has been on TV asking for funds as if he is going out of business. He stated that he had to cut back on the missionaries he supports because the funds are simply not coming in. But ____ did not sacrifice one piece of his lavish lifestyle, instead he appealed to his donors to dig deeper in their pockets for his crusade work. ____'s parsonage is now estimated to be worth $10 million dollar. ____ as CEO of his ministry has a salary being upwards of $1.3 million each year according to wall watchers. He owns two Mercedes valued at $80,000 each. The bills for purchasing and tailoring ____’s suits are between many thousands of dollars per month. He owns a private jet (Gulfstream III) that cost over twelve million dollars, with over a million dollars for maintenance per year. His layovers between Crusades at locations such as Hawaii are upwards to $3,000 for one night.

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Not Any Teacher, Preacher or Prophet

How Can We Protect Ourselves From False Teachers?

1
Seek the truth--Love the Truth--Obey the Truth
Love "truth" more than any teacher or doctrine
JOHN 8:32  JOHN 17:17
2 THESSALONIANS 2:9-11
Know what the Word of God has to say
read it daily
always picking up today where you left off yesterday
 
Be a doer of the Word; not a hearer only Matthew 7:24-27

2
Seek Godly Counsel
PSALMS 1:1
PROVERBS 11:
Do not alienate ourselves from the
body of Christ and the checks and
balances God has provided for our safety

3
ASK QUESTIONS!!!
Is Jesus the focus--or the ministry itself or the teacher?
Don't be fooled by pious words or charisma
"with their lips they draw near...but their heart is far from me."
 
What is the fruit of their ministry?
Matthew 7:15-20
Does their ministry produce mature Christians who love the word of God and each other?
Does their ministry produce Christians who are strong in the Lord, stable and able to develop an independant relationship with God?
Or does their ministry produce Christians who are constantly dependant on them for faith and doctrine?
How do their followers react if the integrity of the ministry or teacher is questioned?

Below  is an excerpt of some correspondence with a follower of some counterfeit ministers of righteousness, and the response we received when we pointed out that he was placing his faith in a counterfeit--in a well without water....
 
He initially wrote:
...My wife and have been separated 14 months now and I received a notice 3 weeks ago that she had filed for divorce.

I have heard so many voices in the last 14 months, and so I decided I wanted to hear something from God. ...

He told me through a prophet that He was going to restore my marriage....
 
 
The person, quoted above, asked for our opinion of a ministry that we happened to be personally familiar with (having lived in the area as well as having first hand, on site, experience  with the ministry in question).
 
The following is an excerpt of our communications on the subject:
 
His first email asking for our input: I don't travel in ___ circles much, but I have went there 3 times in the last year for a prophetic word on Friday night.
 
They told me that God was going to restore my marriage. I was stunned because I hadn't even told them anything about my wife or anything.
 
Our response wasn't delicate.
 
We frankly told him that most of what got passed off as prophetic words, at that place every Friday night, was nothing more than old fashioned psychic soothesaying.
 
The "prophet" he was referring to, was actually a "prophetic presbytery" that took place every friday night.
 
The "prophets" there, recorded the "words from the Lord" and allowed the person receiving the "prophecy" to take a cassette tape recording of it home for a "suggested donation" of only $5 (to defray the cost of the .50 cent cassette tape).
 
We personally know of numbers of false prophecys coming out of there.
 
The following was his response to our admonition about that ministry (and another one we mentioned): I did not contact you for argument, nor to help tear down other believers....(remember, he asked us what we thought about this ministry-we were only honestly responding to his questions).
 
If I wasted time looking..., I would never be able to hear from God. And I want to hear from God.
 
I have enjoyed ___ alot, and I will continue to....I have always given much more than 5 dollars (for the tape), and I always will...
 
What a shame this Christian has such a lack of discernment and likes it that way.
 
He considers the effort it takes to discern the real from the counterfeit a waste of time.
 
Please also notice
This is a hurting person
 
He lost his wife, and these "prophets" told him he would get her back.
 
No wonder he enjoys going there, and no wonder he doesn't mind paying even more than the "suggested donation" for these "prophecies".
 
They are telling him what he desperately wants to hear.
 
**These presbytery "prophets" are trained never to say anything negative.
 
I have read their workshop instructions, and the trainees are warned to go back to God and ask him for another word (!) if he gives them a harsh or negative word for someone the first time they ask.
 
This hurting brother based their authenticity on the fact that they knew about his failed marriage "without his telling them."
 
Well, Satan certainly knows about it (he had a hand in it)--so why wouldn't his ministers know about it?
 
Someone telling us about past events in our lives  ...is not proof that it is the Spirit of the Lord speaking through them
 
We personally know numbers of people who never miss a Friday night soothesaying session at the ministry in question.
 
And we also know, by the written Word of God, that it is a Spirit of Whoredom which drives  Christians to to run here and there seeking a "Word From the Lord."
 
Putting it bluntly
They want their fortunes told
 
But, as "good Christians" they know better than to go to "Madame Zelda-Palm Reader" for it, so Satan has set up some very convincing counterfeits under the guise of "prophetic presbyteries"--right in our very own churches!
 
Yes, we at Hungry Hearts Ministries, believe all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the Church today, including the gift of prophecy, but these prophetic "presbyteries" are not of God.
 
They are not scriptural, and neither are the prophetic training sessions that are provided for the purpose of "activating" the prophetic gift in Christians--they even have them for children.
 
**Parents, please do not let these people get hold of your children. It is not the Holy Spirit that is being activated at these sessions!
 
We can find absolutely no difference in either the language or the technique used in these prophetic gift activation workshops from those used in psychic gift activation workshops.
 
The parallels are easy to see with only a minimal amount of research. 
 
**Satan is very effectively using the peace, love and unity line within the Body of Christ, today, in order to keep Christians from either giving or receiving warnings about his counterfeit activities.
 
Paul bluntly addressed some of the same problems, in his day, when  dealing with counterfeits who appeared to be ministers of righteousness.
 
He said, "ye suffer fools... gladly"
 
Peter didn't mince any words either when he told the people these charletons (false prophets) were "making merchandise" of them (wonder what their "suggested donation" amount was?).
 
Jeremiah couldn't get any more plain when he said, "the prophets prophesy falsely... and my people love to have it so...."
(do you imagine that was because the false prophets were saying only what the people wanted to hear?)
 
I don't suppose Paul, Peter or Jeremiah would pass the peace, love and unity test that seems to be the barometer the church uses today in order to determine authenticity.
 
According to some... neither would we.
 
But it's a funny thing--relating to false prophets--we can't seem to find that test anywhere in scripture.
 
We do find the test that says if absolutely anything they say fails to come to pass--stone them--that's a far cry from what trainees today are told about learning to prophesy in a safe environment where it's all right to make mistakes while we're young in the gift and still learning.
 
We also find the test that says to inspect the fruit of their ministry.
 
But absolutely nothing about the peace, love and unity test.
 
The final word we received from this deluded hurting Christian brother was this: I cannot listen to christians tearing down other christians, I can't and I won't... I have always given much more than 5 dollars (for the tape), and I always will....
 
As long as there are Christians willing to give much more for a "word from the Lord," there will be those willing to have their "palms crossed..."  to give them one. 

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