Sermon #1288 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Nine Marks Of A False Prophet
Text: Matthew 7:15
Subject: Indictments Against False Prophets
Date: Sunday Morning -
Tape # T-92
It is my deep and ever increasing conviction that faithfulness to the glory of God and to the souls of eternity bound men and women place a threefold demand upon the shoulders of every man who stands to speak to men in the name of God. I carry upon my heart this morning what the old prophets used to call “The burden of the Word of the Lord,” an awesome threefold burden…
1. We must proclaim to men and women the necessity of, and press upon their hearts the urgency of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul writes, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men.” How can I plead with your hearts.
“Except ye repent, ye shall in no wise
enter into the
2. Therefore we must proclaim to this generation the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ.
Our Lord said, “Ye shall know the truth; and the truth shall make you free.” Sinners are saved by the knowledge of the truth; and Christ is the Truth. You cannot be saved if you believe the devil’s lie. I do not suggest and the Word of God does not teach that a person must be a learned, educated, well-read student of the Bible to be saved. I do not suggest and the Word of God does not teach that a person must believe a specific creed, be a part of a specific church, perform specific deeds, or experience specific emotions in order to be saved. However, the Word of God does teach and I am declaring that salvation is the result of a specific, God given knowledge, knowledge which comes by the power of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel.
SAVING FAITH IS A HEART KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN HIS TRUE CHARACTER, AS HE IS REVEALED IN THE GOSPEL. Faith is more than knowledge; but faith is not a leap in the dark. Faith is walking in the light! Some things are essential to a saving knowledge of Christ. If you would b saved…
A. You must know God in his true character.
B. You must know yourself in your true character.
C. You must know the Lord Jesus Christ in his true character.
· As Both God and Man
· As The Sinners’ Substitute
· As The Almighty Savior
· Sovereign Dominion and Intercession
D. You must know what happened at the cross.
There is no salvation apart from the knowledge of “HOW that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”
E. You must b reconciled to God in your heart.
There is no salvation to be had apart from the reconciliation of your heart to God as God. In the light of these things, the third burden upon my heart ought to be obvious to anyone with spiritual discernment who is aware of the antichrist, free will, works religion which permeates and engulfs the world in which we live.
3. We must lift up our voices and proclaim to this generation our Savior’s solemn warning - “Beware of false prophets!”
It is my intention today to do what I can to echo that warning to you and to all who may hear this message. I know that some people will say, “You must not judge or condemn another person’s religion. Only a bigot refuses to go along with and respect the religion of another man. We ought to treat all men as our brethren. We must never get the idea that we are right and others are wrong.”
There are just a couple of problems with that pretentious, sugarcoated, straddle-the-fence, effeminate mentality. We are not all brethren; and we are not all right! The fact is, if I am preaching free grace and the man down the road is preaching free will, we are not both right, we are not brethren, and we are not both the servants of God! Therefore…
Proposition: Our Lord demands that, if I would be faithful to him, faithful to his Word, and faithful to your souls, I must prophesy against those prophets of deceit who would destroy your souls by their doctrine. - “Beware of false prophets!”
We read Ezekiel 13 earlier. In that book alone, the Lord God demanded on thirteen separate occasions that Ezekiel prophesy against the prophets of his day. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous and deadly than a false prophet. More warnings are given in the Word of God about false prophets and false religion than about any other thing. We will be wise to hear and heed those warnings. - “Beware of false prophets!”
Let me speak frankly. I fear that the vast majority of people have for a refuge a refuge of lies. Their religion is a false religion, based upon a false faith and a false gospel. They have a false peace and a false assurance which has been given to them by a false prophet. That which they think, hope, and presume is their salvation will prove in the end to be their damnation. Is that not exactly what our Lord tells us?
“Beware of false prophets!” A false prophet is not necessarily an outwardly wicked man. In fact, that is rarely the case. The false prophet does not wear a sign saying, “Beware of me. I am a false prophet.” Oh, no. They come as wolves in sheep’s clothing. They appear to be very nice, sweet fellows. They are so sincere, so concerned, so anxious to see men saved, so intense. That makes them all the more dangerous. Please hear me now. It does not matter how sweet, likable, well dressed, and zealous a preacher is. If he does not preach the gospel of Christ, the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace flowing to sinners through the blood of the crucified Son of God, he is a false prophet; and all who follow him will follow him to hell. - “Beware of false prophets!”
In this day of religious darkness, deceit, and delusion, you will be wise to hear the warning I give you as God’s messenger to your soul, and take it seriously. How I wish I could say or do something to jar you in your very soul! May God the Holy Spirit shake your soul, awaken you, and cause you to hear the Word he has written to show sinners the way of life in Christ.
“Beware of false prophets!” We simply must not ignore our Lord’s warning. Men and women enter the wide gate and get on the broad road that leads to everlasting destruction in hell by listening to and following the teachings of men who do not preach the truth, men who peach another gospel. These false prophets usually preach half truths; and that is worse than an out and out denial of truth, because people who would never believe a man who openly denies the Bible will believe the half truths of men who hold a Bible in their hand and claim to believe it. Therefore, as I bring this message to a close, I want to show you from the Word of God Nine Marks Of A False Prophet. I want you to give me your undivided attention for just a few minutes and carefully follow me through the Scriptures. I want you to check everything I say with the Word of God. If what I say is not clearly revealed in this Book, then do not hear me today and do not hear me ever again. But if what I have to say comes directly out of this Book, you must either hear me now or wish you had heard me when judgment day comes. Here are nine marks by which false prophets are identified.
I. False prophets are men who preach for covetousness (Jer.6:13).
Because they preach for gain, they handle the Word of God deceitfully. They can be bought, intimidated, and persuaded to trim their message.
Any man who can be pressured by other men not to openly preach the gospel with boldness, clarity, and distinctiveness is a false prophet. Any preacher who is motivated, governed, or constrained in his preaching by what he imagines is the will of the people to whom he preaches is a false prophet. God’s servants do not take into consideration the reaction of men to their message.
II. False prophets give men and women peace and assurance when God has not given it (Jer. ).
Churches today are filled with people going to hell, people whose only hope is a decision which as made for them by a slick soul-winner (soul-destroyer), to which they simply nodded their heads or signed their names. How many of you still rest your hopes upon a decision someone else made, a prayer someone else wrote, and an experience someone else had? How many of you accepted a proposition, instead of surrendering to the sovereign Lord?
Illustration: “She’s even lost assurance of her salvation. I just had to stay and help her.”
Rolfe Barnard used to say, “The only person who will give assurance to a lost man is another lost man.” Barnard was exactly right.
III. False prophets make it far easier for people to get saved than our Lord did (Luke -24).
Today sinners are invited to take a walk down the Romans Road to salvation, lift their hands, sashay down an isle, kneel at an altar, say the sinner’s prayer, and say “I believe in Jesus” in order to get saved. Getting a sinner to say “I accept Jesus as my personal Savior” is as foreign to the New Testament as getting a sinner to say “I accept Mary as the mother of God!” You saying it will not make either lie true! There is something more to this business of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ than most people think. You listen to me, now. No one ever got saved by…
· walking down an aisle.
· kneeling at an altar.
· saying the sinners’ prayer.
· getting baptized.
· signing a decision card.
· or joining a church!
Salvation comes only to those who by the grace of God enter into a living, vital union of life and faith with the Lord Jesus Christ.
IV. False prophets make the way of salvation and life much broader than our Lord made it (Matt. -14, 21-23).
According to most of the Baptists and others of our day, Judas, Demas, and Diotrophes are all in heaven today, because they all made a decision to follow Jesus at one point in their lives. But the Scriptures speak otherwise.
V. False prophets also make salvation much cheaper than our Lord does (Luke -27; -33).
If you asked me, “Don, What does it cost to be a Christian?” My answer would be - Nothing from you, but all of you! That is exactly what our Lord told those who came to him, wanting to be numbered among his disciples.
Faith in Christ involves surrender to Christ as your Lord. Until you have surrendered to him, you have not believed on him. To believe him is to trust him as your Lord…
· to save you.
· to possess you, yours, and all that you have for his own glory.
· to rule you.
· to dispose of all things as he sees fit.
Lee’s Surrender at
VI. False prophets make sin an outward act rather than an inward principle (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
If sin is something I do, then all I have to do to get better is
quit doing certain things. That is exactly the principle upon which all false
religion operates. That is why legalism is found and appears to work everywhere
in the religious world outside the
Sin is not something I do. It is what am. It is not my behavior, but my being that is abhorrently evil. Because my problem is inward more than outward, I need regeneration not reformation.
VII. False prophets also make godliness an outward act, form, and religious performance rather than an inward principle of the heart (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Luke ).
Our Lord says, “Rend your heart, not your garments!”
VIII. False prophets give men and women a proposition to consider, a program to join, or a performance to do, rather than pointing them to a Person to trust for the saving of their souls (Isa. 45:20-25).
IX. False prophets will never preach that salvation is by the pure, free, sovereign grace of God in Jesus Christ the Lord alone (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9-10).
They may use the words “grace” or even “free and sovereign
grace,” but before they get done talking, you will understand that they mean to
say, Sinners are saved by God’s free and
sovereign grace in Christ, as long as they do this duty, perform these works,
keep those laws, feel this feeling, or go through that experience. Such
workmongers are drunk with the wine of
· In Christ alone!
· By grace alone!
· Through faith alone!
Any sinner, anywhere who meets God’s terms of salvation will be saved. God’s terms of salvation are repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Bless God, if you meet those terms you are saved. But those terms will not be lowered. Repentance is neither more nor less than the dethronement of yourself and the enthronement of the Son of God in your heart. Faith is neither more nor less than utter confidence in the obedience and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for acceptance with God.
I have some bad news for you. You simply cannot and will not meet God’s terms. You cannot and will not repent. You cannot and will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But I have good news, too. God Almighty gives repentance and faith to chosen, redeemed sinners by the almighty, irresistible operations of his saving grace. Salvation is a miracle of grace. “Salvation is of the LORD!” Unless God saves you, and saves you without any contribution of any kind from you, you will not be saved.
Is there a sinner under the sound of my voice who is asking “Pastor, how will I know if God saves me?”
· He will, by his Holy Spirit, convict you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
· He will cause you to know your need of righteousness, redemption, and mercy.
· He will cause you to see that righteousness, redemption, and mercy are in his Son.
· He will graciously force you and make you surrender to his dear Son as your Lord, crying out to him from the depths of your soul for mercy - “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”
· He will cause you to look to Christ alone for everything your soul needs.
If God has done for you what you could not and would not do for yourself, if he has given you life and faith in Christ, confess him as your Lord and Savior by believers’ baptism. It is written, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!”
Indeed, if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ God has saved you and you shall be saved forever! God help you now, for Christ’s sake, to believe.