How do you know when a Pastor or leader is false? A lot of people get fooled by the charm they see on television. They lack discernment, and follow whatever their Pastor says. This destructive attitude is everywhere. Some of these leaders have never gone to Bible College, yet they are telling you to give everything to God and preach the gospel to everyone. Well, here are some ways that may help you know if your pastor is a false prophet.
Prophets and pastors are esteemed individuals in the society. They influence many people on matters of faith, morality, and spirituality. However, some are just pretenders. Here are ways to know false prophets and pastors.
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Ways to know False Prophets and Pastors
The world today is filled with so many pastors and prophets. It is a typical sign of the end times. For the gospel of Christ to spread, there has to be many churches as well as servants of God, to do the work. Jesus Christ himself said that the harvest (potential saints), is plenty but the labourers (servants of God), are few. However what many people forget is that though these men are many nowadays, not all are called by God, many infact are agents of the devil. This too is another sign of the end times. See Mark 13:22 KJV
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Many Christians today are carried away by hardships, sufferings, temptations, sickness, demonic opression and all sorts of things so much that they seek special help or deliverance from powerful men of God, and often times, they fall into the hands of these false prophets.
It is said that all that glitters is not gold. While rushing to go to a happening church, or see a powerful pastor, it is important that one be careful not to become victims of these pastors or prophets because in the end, one can suffer a fate far worse than the former. Not all the powerful pastors get their power from God. Some get it from the devil, others steal it from unsuspecting christians who weren’t aware of their potential, and some others decieve people with magic and fake miracles.
To detect these men of God is not easy, after all many of them call upon the name of God, and may even be good speakers. However, the Bible was not wrong when it said “by their fruits ye shall know them”. There are certain things that will give these people away:
1 They never preach repentance or Holiness:
What you do not have, you cannot give. These false prophets have not repented, neither do they live a holy life. It is therefore impossible for them to have the utterance to preach on these things. If a pastor from months to months, year to year, preaches only topics about prosperity, giving, etc, and never for once preaches heartbreaking messages that make his members sad and repentant, suspect him. These men of God will preach what people will love to hear, not what they need to hear, because the truth is always bitter. The powerful ones with great influence and wealth, will twist the scripture and lie, and because of their influence, people will buy their ideas and doctrines. Some go as far as making their own Bible versions, so as to make the deceit easier.My dear fellow christians, have a little foundation of the word of God, don’t be a blank sheet of paper that anybody can just come and write anything on.
Study the word of God so that when a man of God says something that doesn’t seem right, you can compare with what the Bible says and know where he stands – whether with God, or with the devil.
2 They do not call the name of Jesus
This is one sign which I would advice anyone who notices, to run away from such a church and pastor without looking back. The Bible says that “in the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow”, so why must a so-called man of God refrain from using the name of Jesus; unless he doesn’t want his knees and the knees of whatever he truly worships, to bow.
Any prophet or pastor who doesn’t pray or perform miracles in the name of Jesus, is false. Even the apostles used the name of Jesus to cast out demons and perform all they did, so do not be decieved that maybe he or she is so powerful, that calling Jesus name is no longer necessary – they have some other sources. Some of these pastors/prophets will pray and say “God of……their name” or say in the name of Jeeezzz or in the name of Jeee. These are common signs that are overlooked. They know who and what their God is that’s why they say “God of….. followed by their name”, and they’ll ask their members to pray same. I have heard a pastor who said boldly that his members should not pray in the name of Jesus, but in the name of his God. Yet this man was performing miracles all over the place, and people were blindly following him. Beware of these men.
3 They hardly pray or preach; it’s always miracles, miracles, miracles
The number one duty of a pastor or minister (whether Bishop, pope, Reverend, etc), is to feed the congregation with the spiritual food, which is the word of God. Some are called to be prophets, we know. But why do we find so many pastors these days who rather than preach, begin to do the work of prophets? Or many prophets who come to open churches? Many pastors hardly pray or preach. When once they receive the microphone, they read a portion of the Bible, begin talking and the next thing they jump straight to miracles. This is a sign of falseness. One who is called to be a pastor would be given the gift to preach and lead, a prophet will be given gift to prophecy and see visions.But because many people now are no longer interested in God’s word (only in miracles and prosperity), pastors now go seeking false spiritual powers to make them see, heal, and do miracles so they can make money. Some who are called to be prophets do not want to serve under a pastor, and hence they open their own church. However, their lack of the gift of preaching makes them shy away from it, to focus more on miracles or prophecies.
4 They use extreme and weird procedures in performing miracles
Now this goes for both the false pastors and prophets. There are certain things that one in a certain position would do, and even to an ordinary human being who knows nothing about that position, it would seem off or strange. Likewise also there are certain things a man of God would do or ask you to do, in the process of performing a miracle, that will tell you clearly that he is not genuine. Take for instance a pastor asking someone to lick his shoe, or kissing someone, or pressing a woman’s breast, or walking on his members, or asking his members to eat grass, all in the name of deliverance. Instances like these happen all over the place, yet people blindly follow these pastors. So many have been blinded by the pastors that they do not even know when they have stepped out of their boundaries. A genuine prophet can simply use the name of Jesus, or in special cases use water or the Bible or Olive oil, or his saliva (like Jesus did on blind barthemius), to do what he needs to.
Run away from those prophets who will tell you to light seven candles, or walk naked at the Riverside at night, or bring fetish items like egg, kolanut, fowl, etc. These are all rituals, and it only proves the fact that they are in reality native doctors or voodoo priests.
Some prophets and pastors even ask members to sleep with them (usually in cases of barrenness), and these women ignorantly do so. It is painful how people who claim they are adults and are wise, get fooled and used so much all because their eyes are blinded to the truth. So many Christians today worship their pastors and these men in return, prey on them.
There are many other signs with which one can identify these ‘wolves in sheep clothing’. However these are a few major ones that believers usually overlook. We all need to pray for the spirit of God to reveal to us who our pastors really are. Only then can one be truly certain that he/she is in safe hands. Because some of these false prophets and pastors are very good at pretending, and may not even give away many signs, but by the spirit of God, they will be exposed. The Bible make us to understand that these people are our shepherds. So if the Shepherd is actually a wolf, then what is the fate of the sheep?
In the streets of Washington, D.C., we have seen religion used as a political prop and we have seen it exercise its prophetic voice.
On June 1, President Donald Trump infamously had the street in front of the White House cleared of protesters so he could use St. John’s Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square as a photo backdrop. Not only were peaceful demonstrators tear-gassed, clergy were chased away from the church, which was turned into a political prop without the permission of its pastor or bishop.
The crassness of this photo-op was transparent to all but the president, who is used to being blessed by obsequious clerics in the Oval Office. If this were done in China, it would be denounced by the U.S. State Department as a violation of human rights and religious freedom.
Meanwhile, many of the demonstrators who had been pushed aside were responding to the prophetic call of their religious leaders. Racism was denounced as a sin, and police violence condemned as an assault on the life and human dignity of God’s children. This prophetic voice was heard especially from black clergy, but white clergy and white believers also responded to the call.
Religion and politics have been locked in relationship since the dawn of humanity. Sometimes that relationship is healthy and sometimes it’s exploitative. Working together in a positive way, the two forces have created community and fostered the common good. With the blessing of the gods, political leaders could rule without brute force. With the help of political leaders, great temples and works of art were created that enriched the religious and cultural life of the community.
Conflict between the religious and political leaders could also be healthy. Before there were elections, independent courts and the rule of law, religion often provided the only check on political power. There was a higher law than the law of the king, and the prophet could challenge the despot with the voice of God.
On the other hand, rulers sometimes became the only ones powerful enough to reform religious institutions that had become corrupt.
Over the course of history, prophets and reformers have only succeeded when the people supported them.
But when religion and politics were in an incestuous relationship, religion turned rulers into gods and political leaders corrupted religious leaders with wealth and gave them power to impose religious beliefs on unbelievers. Temples and churches became not houses of God but monuments to clerical power and privilege.
The history of the United States has seen these themes play out. Political and religious leaders supported slavery and racism in an incestuous relationship where religious institutions even owned slaves. On U.S. soil, religion too often became part of the establishment and turned against new immigrants, whether Catholic or Muslim, Irish or Chinese.
Too often religion stood on the side of the status quo against workers, blacks, women, gays and social reformers. It too frequently used its political influence to protect criminal clergy and hush up scandals. It tried to impose its views about human behavior long after it had lost the support of the public.
But religion in America also had a prophetic voice, whether it was Catholic clergy defending Irish immigrants against the WASP establishment or black clergy leading the civil rights movement against racism.
Today, there are prophetic voices on almost every issue, sometimes on both sides. There are pro-life prophets and feminist prophets. How can we judge true prophets from false prophets?
Here are four ways to test a prophet:
- Follow the money. No prophet in the Scriptures was ever rich. “What did you go out to the desert to see?” asks Jesus about John the Baptist in Luke’s Gospel. “Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces.” A true prophet does not get rich speaking for God.
- Who are the prophet’s friends? A true prophet is friends with the poor and the powerless. A false prophet keeps company with the rich and powerful. Jesus was criticized for keeping company with tax collectors and sinners. “Put no trust in princes,” says the psalmist in Psalm 146. Prophets should not get in bed with politicians.
- For whom does the prophet speak? The job of the prophet is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. False prophets tell their congregations what they want to hear. We can see some clergy fawning over political leaders as others challenge them to protect the marginalized and serve the common good. A prophet who ignores the sins of his friends is a prophet for a party, not for God.
- How does he speak? The words of a prophet can ring with righteous anger but not with hate. The prophet must condemn exploitation but have compassion for sinners. If there is no love in the prophet’s voice, then he does not speak with the voice of God. A true prophet speaks only after listening and praying.
Religion can be a political prop or a prophetic voice. History should teach religious leaders not to get in bed with political leaders. Religious and political leaders can work together for the common good, but they should be enriching the community, not each other. A prophet can speak courageously about issues, but when he starts endorsing political parties and candidates, he is no longer speaking for God.