Jesus Christ warned of the presence of false prophets among God’s people. These do not necessarily hold leadership positions. They are religious ‘know-it-alls’ who claim to hear God. But in truth they are like those outside of the fold who do not see, hear, or understand Mt.13:13. Not only is their heart ‘waxed gross’, their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes are closed Mt.13:15.

In His discourse with Apostle John, Jesus warned the church at Thyatira against allowing the one who calls herself a prophetess to teach and seduce His people. Here lies the problem: some church leaders are still deceived into giving a platform to the ones Jesus called ‘Jezebel’ Rev.2:21.

Almighty God’s warning against false prophets is quite graphic: ‘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.’ Jer.23:16. There is more: ‘I have not sent these prophets yet they ran. I have not spoken to them yet they prophesied. 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.’ Jer.23:21-22.

Clearly believers are misled by false prophets.

How may these pretenders be recognised? By their fruit. A healthy tree cannot hear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Their words, actions, works, even lifestyle, testify of them Mt.7:16-20. They may look like they have it all together but their lives show that they are led by evil spirits, not our Holy God. Whereas the doctrine that is of God promotes piety, holiness, peace, mercy, love, and other Christ-like graces, their prophesies create fear in people, being based on sensual, earthly and devilish wisdom Jas.3:15.

Before we judge these hypocrites who appear to worship God in public, but blaspheme Him in private Is.65:7, perhaps we should all look in the mirror. If what we see is contrary to what God”s word prescribes, we are just as culpable as they.

How then can believers stay on the righteous path?