False prophets—including the great False Prophet of Revelation—claim to speak for God, yet reveal themselves in predictable ways. Here is what to look for.
False prophets promote the broad way, giving people what they want to hear. They replace God's truth with human tradition. They are identified by their fruit.
Those who advocate doctrinal change portray God as a confused and false minister who lacks the power to instruct his chosen leaders to 'get it right.'
Herbert Armstrong made scores of predictions, and many of them never came to pass. Does this make him a false prophet? Is he thus not worthy of following?
A major clue for discerning false gospels is that any teaching attempting to change the nature of God or Christ or their doctrines is anti-Christ and false.
True shepherds have genuine concern for the flock, as opposed to hirelings who only devour or take advantage of the flock.
Who is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18? This article takes an in-depth look at this prophecy, showing that its greatest fulfillment is in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
A prophet is one who speaks for God, expressing His will in words and sometimes signs. Standing outside the system, he proclaims God's purpose, including repentance.
Many have claimed to be the Two Witnesses. We can identify true and false prophets by their fruits, including if they teach that God's Law has been done away.
Belief always produces conduct, and thus, ungodly behavior signals the presence or influence of a false teacher. Who was the false teacher in Corinth?
In this time of sharp religious confusion, it is good to hunker down in our spiritual foxhole until the deadly volleys of heretical shrapnel have ceased.
All of us have anti-Christ tendencies in us, and must work vigorously to root out the anti-Christ elements within ourselves and to become like Christ.
Having credentials as a motivational coach or an entertainer does not qualify one to be a preacher, especially if he does not hold people accountable for sin.
Many heresies have crept into the church over the past several years. Here is how Satan works to introduce heresy into the church, and what we can do about it.
In Scripture, foam is usually accompanied by a state of agitation, as in hurricanes, angry waves of the sea, nations being torn asunder, or demonic influence.
In evaluating the dubious fruits of a false minister, we must realize that belief and conduct are inextricably linked and the linkage must be with God's Word.
Christ warned that many would be deceived, though no one ever admits to being deceived. The Bible warns of deceptions from within and without the church.
Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in on the "What is truth?" episode in John 18:32-37, suggests that John wants us to ask that question of ourselves. Pilate seemed to believe that all the charges against Jesus were built up on lies and trumped-up charges. Jesus, conversely, was the perfect witness and embodiment of the …
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of a larger Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) that has embroiled institutions religious and political institutions worldwide. The mindset reflects (and is a function of) an unseen spirit world under the sway of the prince and power of the …
Sin has tainted the most faithful leaders. Most (perhaps all) church leaders have skeletons in their closets, but we follow them as they follow Christ.
Corinth had four positive teachers, yet a mysterious fifth teacher was also influencing them and instilling beliefs that were the source of all the bad fruit.
Jesus is aware of all that transpires within His church—regardless of how out-of-control things may seem—and He will always act in the way that is best.
False ministers pander to the 'itching ears' of the audience, telling it what it wants to hear, catering to desires and lusts, fatally mixing truth with error.
The book of Jude, a scathing indictment against false teachers, may be the most neglected book in the New Testament. False teachers twist grace into license.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Matthew 7:13-14, observes that life consists of a series of choices—often a dilemma of a pleasurable choice on one hand, and a daunting difficult choice on the other. It seems as though God Almighty and Jesus Christ invariably want us to make the more difficult choice, insuring seemingly the …
In this lead-off sermon of the 1999 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh draws an instructive though disturbing parallel between the warning given to Belshazzar and the warning given to the greater church of God. A major contributory cause in the splitting of the church has been the wholesale rejection of the doctrines Herbert …
Richard Ritenbaugh continues the theme of the difficulty we have in this age to distinguish truth from error. Satan's biggest targets for disinformation are God's called-out ones. As the apostles turned the world upside down by the Gospel, Satan's implanted tares immediately began to spread disinformation—so much so that …
The process of being taken over by sin usually takes place over a lengthy period of time as we allow Satan's deceptive words to corrode our attitudes.
Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13 warns us that there will be false brethren within the church. Using the example of Christ Himself, Ted Bowling shows that the Bible also tells us how to interact with them in a godly manner.
Martin Collins indicates that, even though II and III John are the shortest books of the Bible, they do contain significant themes, amplifying the contents of I John, emphasizing the fellowship with God. II and III John, addressed to elders in supporting local churches, advocate hospitality to legitimate teachers and forbid …
Like the four groups of seeds exposed to various qualities of soil, many have heard the true gospel, but few have remained faithful after the onslaught of hardship.
Jesus Christ warns us to hold fast to true doctrine. Secular historians help us discover the identity of the small flock repeatedly rescued from apostasy.
John Ritenbaugh speculates about a prophecy in Zechariah 13:2-5, which concerns prophets or church leaders who, coming to feel ashamed of their false teachings, will later claim they were farmers rather than ministers. Most of the billion nominal 'Christians' have no understanding that (1) the reason for the estrangement between …
God gives the ability to determine the source of a spiritual manifestation. However, this gift depends on a thorough knowledge and understanding of God's Word.
Satan has also used a sense of dissatisfaction to bring about a wholesale change in the world's religions. According to Berit Kjos, sinister change agents have attempted to apply traditional Christian terminology to politically correct referents, distorting and defiling the original meaning, with the view of duping naïve …
The first beast rises out of political turmoil, while the second rises out of an entrenched, worldwide religious system, totally opposed to God's laws.
John Ritenbaugh shares the significance of Herbert W. Armstrong's role in the church. Increasingly, some fail to realize Herbert Armstrong's stabilizing role in God's church. The scattering we have experienced since his death has been a blessing from God, revealing our collective, pitiable spiritual deficits. God deliberately …
Satan uses disinformation, spread through false ministers/prophets, teaching smooth things that destroy. We must test the spirits to ensure a teaching is from God.
With dominion comes responsibility to maintain. The sad history of mankind shows that he has mismanaged his power, bringing about disease, war, and famine.
Christ cautions the Pergamos congregation to shun the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The Church suffers when it harbors those who compromise and offend.
We seriously err if we rely on the secular media to give us spiritual understanding. God sends strong delusion to those who do not love the truth.
To establish sound doctrine, we must build on the foundation Christ's teaching, taking the straight and narrow course rather than the wisdom of this world.
The Apostle John exhorts us to test and discern the spirits, judging between the true and the false, using the scripture as the steady standard of truth.
Because of the culture of deception fostered by Satan and his children, we must develop discernment to tell the difference between truth and falsehood.
We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.
David Grabbe, describing several contexts of the term "anti-Christ," points out that one meaning of anti-Christ is those who believe that Jesus Christ is not the Messiah, but a mortal, who may have been a good teacher, but was not a Savior or a literal Son of God. Two-thirds of the Abrahamic religions—Judaism and …
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the recent antics of Rick Warren, reveals that this energetic and ambitious founder of the Purpose Driven Church is now seeking to syncretistically merge Islam and Christian faiths, making the conscience, human reason, and the whims of secular humanism—rather than the Bible—the sole …
John Ritenbaugh poses the question of whether technology really improves our character or quality of life. Are we really better people because we ride around in cars rather than walk? Technology, because of the spin it puts on expectations, can be a great source of discouragement and disillusionment when applying this heightened …
Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without" in Peter's time came from the evil oppression incited by the Pharisees …
Satan has deliberately designed this world to burn up our precious time, creating an artificial sense of urgency and a perpetual state of discontent.
Satan uses lies and disinformation to promote self-satisfaction over obedience to God. The way to the kingdom is through self-denial, even suffering unjustly.