Stewarton Bible School

The False Prophet

1. Introduction

The scriptures contain many warnings about false prophets and their miracle-working powers. Miracles are inexplicable wonders attributed to the supernatural. Because men and women are fascinated with miracles, the agents of darkness use them to bolster error and to lead people away from obeying the Almighty's commandments. The fact is, falsehood cannot stand up on its own: it needs spectacular demonstrations and gimmicks to impress the fickle human mind. Truth, on the other hand, is found in the scriptures, particularly in the commandments of God which specify how we humans should live. The prophets of the Almighty always teach Yahweh's law and warn of punishment to those who disobey it. Here are some Bible verses which mention false prophets.

2. False Prophets

Old Testament
The aim of all false prophets is to turn people away from obeying the commandments of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel. False prophets will do numerous and stunning signs and wonders to achieve this aim.
Deut.13: 1: If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2: And the sign or the wonder come to pass,
whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3: Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4: Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

5: And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

New Testament
It is unlikely that a false prophet will openly admit to being false. Instead he will pose as a true minister of the Almighty. He will come as a 'wolf in sheep's clothing:' and will do many miracles in order to deceive the human race - even 'the very elect - if possible'
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

3. Who is the False Prophet?

In the book of the Revelation we read about an end-time 'False Prophet' who is in a class of his own. This False Prophet will arise in the last days when the Beast comes on the stage of time. He will do amazing miracles in the presence of the Beast and, like Elijah of old, will even bring fire down from heaven in the sight of men. He will deceive virtually the whole human race into receiving the Mark of the Beast . All the world's scientists, who pride themselves on not being taken-in by the supernatural, will stand aghast at the miracles performed by this demon wonder-worker. Only the 'very elect' will not be deceived by his breath-taking powers. For they will know - from the Scriptures - that the teachings of this Prophet are against the commandments of God: and that he is no last-day Elijah, but an demon who uses miracles to further his falsehood and cause mankind to worship the Beast and receive his Mark - the Mark of Disobedience!
Rev.13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14: And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15: And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16: And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Rev.16:13: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet.
14: For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Rev. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Who are these unclean frog-like spirits? The answer is: the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet. These evil beings are not men. The dragon we are told is Satan the Devil. (Rev.12.12) The Beast, the Antichrist, we have discovered, is Abaddon the Destroyer from the Bottomless Pit. But who is the False Prophet that has power enough to deceive virtually the whole world into worshipping the Beast? Who is this master of deception?

The answer is: the False Prophet is the same Lying Spirit who in ancient days sent King Ahab of Israel to his death. In 1 Kings chapter 22 we read of how the Almighty was angry with the wickedness of King Ahab and determined to kill him. Yahweh allowed evil angels to carry out His plan. One by one they put forward proposals as to how they would trick Ahab to his death. But each plan in turn was turned down. The Almighty knew that Ahab was too cunning to fall for them. At last the Lying Spirit came before the Almighty with a masterful plan to speak through the mouth of Ahab's prophets: the prophets who never condemned the king's sinful ways. Surely Ahab would believe them! Yahweh agreed; the plan was a veritable masterpiece of deception. It would succeed where all others would fail. Here is the story in full.
1 Kings 22: 1: And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.
2: And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
3: And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?
4: And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramoth-gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.
5: And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.
6: Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
7: And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?
8: And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.
9: Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.
10: And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
11: And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.
12: And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king's hand.
13: And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.
14: And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.
15: So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
16: And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?
17: And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.
18: And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?
19: And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
20: And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
21: And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
22: And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a LYING SPIRIT in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

23: Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a LYING SPIRIT in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
24: But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?
25: And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.
26: And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son;
27: And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.
28: And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you. 29: So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.
30: And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.
31: But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.
32: And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33: And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.
34: And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.
35: And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.
36: And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.
37: So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.
38: And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.
39: Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 40: So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.

4. The End-Time

No student of Bible prophecy will doubt but that we are living in the last days, the end-time just prior to the Saviour's return. Soon the events portrayed under the 6th Seal of Revelation will burst upon mankind. The sealing of the 144,000 will then take place and after that event the Beast will ascend from the Abyss. At that time, and it is near, the False Prophet will make his appearance. Hitherto he has worked from behind the scenes speaking his monstrous lies through the mouths of human beings, the many false prophets (tongue-speakers) who do miracles but strongly oppose the commandments of the Almighty God. But in the future the False Prophet, the supreme master of deception, will actually appear before mankind and perform breath-taking miracles to support his lies. Only those who have the true Spirit of the Almighty will not be taken in by him. Remember that the False Prophet has perfected the art of lying over and above every other spirit in the heavens. Indeed that is why he is called the Lying Spirit: that is his title. Others excel in different kinds of evil: but the Lying Spirit, is the Master of Falsehood: and he is most successful when he speaks through the mouths of the self-styled prophets of God - false prophets in the Christian Church!

5. Beware

Now to answer the twin question: How can we recognise the false prophet: and how does one avoid being deceived by him? The answer is as follows:

False prophets always turn people away from the commandments of God. This is: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Rom:8:7)

The False Prophet is not a human being: though he uses human agents to pass on his lies. The False Prophet is a spirit being, an evil angel in the same category as Satan and the Antichrist. In my opinion the False Prophet is the same Lying Spirit of old: the masterful demon who sent king Ahab to his death so long ago.

To avoid being deceived by this wonder-working liar a believer must stand firm on the writings of the true prophets of God as recorded in the Holy Bible. King Jehoshaphat's advice still applies:
2 Chron.20:20 "Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper."

In matters of behaviour we must obey the commandments of God. The church which escapes the deception of the False Prophet is described as follows:
Rev.12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev.14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

In other words "Fear God and keep His commandments." This is your whole duty and this is your best safeguard against the miracle-backed deceptions of the False Prophet, the Lying Spirit of old.

SBS     Prophecy     Miracles? ... Beware!

Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
1995 ... Reformatted December 1999