False Prophets–What the Bible Says About Them!

The Characteristics of False Prophets

  1. They are greedy for gain
  2. They prophesy lies
  3. They speak even when God did not sent them
  4. They steal words from one another
  5. They distort the words of the living God
  6. They give people a false sense of peace
  7. They dress the wound of God’s people instead of healing them
  8. They do not expose people’s sins
  9. They whitewash the wicked deeds of the people
  10. They turn God’s grace into a license for immorality
  11. They dishearten the hearts of the righteous
  12. They come in sheep’s clothing
  13. They secretly introduce destructive heresies
  14. They climb in some other way
  15. Their fruit will help you recognize them
  16. They distort the truth to draw away disciples after them
  17. They are grumblers and fault finders
  18. They slander celestial beings
  19. They corrupt the teaching about Jesus Christ

Role of People in the Boom of False Prophets

  • When people love to listen to lies there is danger
  • When people keep seeking prophets instead of the Lord there is danger
  • When people encourage false prophets to have dreams, then there is danger
  • When people close their ears to the truth there is danger
  • When people entertain friendship with the world then there is danger
  • When people try to put their legs in two boats at once there is danger


Jesus warned about false prophets. He also told that their coming will be a sign of the end times. Their purpose, He said, is to try and deceive the people by performing great signs and miracles (Matthew 24:24,25). You would be wise to listen to Jesus’ warning.

You would be surprised to know that God gave detailed warning to the Israelite people about false prophets even 600 years before the birth of Christ through prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Even during the time of Moses (1500 years before Christ), God had warned about prophets who would try to lead people to follow other gods and worship them. God warned that these prophets should not be listened to even if a miraculous sign or wonder they had announced came to pass. Instead they were to know that God was testing His people to find out whether they loved Him will all their heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:1–5). You would be wise to listen to these warnings too.

The amazing thing about these warnings that God has provided in the Bible is that the modern false prophets also show the same characteristics shown by false prophets of Old Testament times. Therefore you should have a good knowledge about what the Bible says about false prophets. This is important because God clearly said that His people, including you, are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). This article is intended to help you easily locate the various characteristics of false prophets mentioned in the Bible.

Another shocking truth that you are going to learn is the role of people in the success of these false prophets. Therefore it is most important to be on your guard to make sure that knowingly or unknowingly you don’t encourage or sponsor false prophets. Note that Jesus has asked you to be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves because you have been sent out like sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16).

Look at the following characteristics of false prophets the Bible mentions (All references are from NIV):

False Prophets Are Greedy for Gain

The world is greedy about money. False prophets are more so. Even though Jesus taught to store up treasures in heaven and not on earth (Matthew 6:19,20), these false prophets try to grab money from people through deceitful means (Jeremiah 6:13, 8:10b). Peter noted that these \emph{false teachers, in their greed, will exploit you with stories they have made up} (2 Peter 2:3).

He further warned that they are “experts in greed” and they follow the practices of Balaam, “who loved the wages of wickedness” (2 Peter 2:14,15). Jude says the same thing: “they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error” (Jude 11). When you think about the greed of false prophets, you also need to remember that Jesus had warned that the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).

Contrast with God’s Word: Jesus came to Give to you; while false prophets try to Take away from you!

Paul also wrote about people who think godliness is a means to financial gain. He added: “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:5,6). Clearly, love of money, which is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10) is characteristic of false prophets.

And isn’t it amazing to note the modern and current relevance of these words about how those in religious authority treat God’s flock: “Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, `Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them” (Zechariah 11:5). Yes, modern false prophets also praise God for their riches; made out of squeezing money out of their flock!

Prosperity Gospel Exposed

#1. Any gospel that treats the precious blood of Jesus Christ which he shed for us on the cross in a light-hearted manner is not the true gospel.

#2. Any gospel that focuses on your comfort rather than the will of God is not the true gospel.

#3. Any gospel that makes a big fuss on earthly blessings which do not last is not the true gospel.

#4. Any gospel that borrows worldly wisdom like self-promotion and aggressive marketing is not the true gospel.

#5. Any gospel that spends more than normal time on asking you for money is not the true gospel.

#6. Any gospel that understands marriage in a broader way than “one man with one woman” relationship is not the true gospel.

#7. Any gospel that makes a doctrine out of some small text in the Bible is not the true gospel.

#8. Any gospel that allows permissiveness or loose morals among its leaders or members is not the true gospel.

#9. Any gospel that spends time on discussing spiritual visions of heaven, hell, angels, and others without concentrating on preaching the Word of God is not the true gospel.

#10. Any gospel that preaches violence or hatred against other religions is not the true gospel; for Jesus came to love people not to judge them.

#11. Any gospel that denies the uniqueness of Jesus Christ—his virgin birth, his sinless life, his sacrificial death on the cross, his resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven, and his coming back to this earth to judge the world—is not the true gospel.

#12. Any gospel that treats the Holy Spirit as simply a power and not as a person is not the true gospel.

#13. Any gospel that preaches the gifts of the Holy Spirit as something to be desired without laying emphasis on the fruit of the Spirit beginning with love is not the true gospel.

# 14. Any gospel that lays a hand on the Glory of God will ultimately face the wrath of God because our God is Jealous and he will not share his glory with any other.

#15. Any gospel that leaders of different denominations come together to proclaim in the name of ecumenism mixing and matching it with other religious principles and saying that all religions like rivers lead to the same sea is not the true gospel at all.

#16. Any gospel that allows its followers to live in sin saying that the grace of God is a license for immorality is not the true gospel.

#17. Any gospel that preaches authority of its Church and traditions as greater than the authority of the Word of God is not the true gospel.

#18. Any gospel that promotes “Slaying in the Spirit” is deceiving the people and opening their minds to demonic attacks and depression; and is not the true gospel.

Remember the words of Jesus,

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”

(Matthew 7:13, 14 NIV).


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