Happenings around Antioch

There Will Be False Teachers and Prophets!



R.C. Sproul wrote, “I doubt if there has ever been a time in church history when professing Christians have been less concerned about doctrine than they are in our day. We hear almost daily that doctrine does not matter, that Christianity is a relationship, not a creed.” And yes, we are in a relationship with Christ, but you cannot read Scripture, which is our guidebook for life in Christ, without seeing the importance given to doctrine, sound teaching, understanding truth and recognizing error. Peter wrote in his second letter, just look at the false prophets who lived among the people of God in ancient times! In the same way that false prophets infiltrated the people of God then, false teachers do the same today. Again, Sproul says, “The most destructive threat to the people of God in the Old Testament was not the armies of the Philistines, the Assyrians, or the Amalekites, but the false prophets within their gates.” Peter mentioned godly prophets, men who spoke from God, or through whom God spoke. But false prophets and teachers speak on their own and claim they have heard from God.

Some of you have heard me tell the story of Miriam, the lady in white, who paid Antioch a visit in the very early days of the church. When she showed up in a flowy white dress, I thought that was a little odd, but whatever, I am certainly not a fashion icon or expert. But when I welcomed her and she told me she was the “Bride of Christ,” that’s when things started going sideways. I said, “I’m sorry, but you may be part of the Bride of Christ, the church, but, you are not the Bride of Christ!” She smiled at me like a kindergarten teacher would smile at a 4 year old who just said 2+2 equals 5. After we sang a few worship songs, I asked if anyone had a testimony. A few people shared and then I saw the Bride stand up and say in a loud voice, “The time of the Gentiles is over!” All heads swiveled as one as every person in the congregation turned to look. “God has closed the door on the Gentiles, and they will no longer be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Yea, I am returning to My people now,” she spoke prophetically.She continued, “Israel will come back to the fold. But the day of the Gentiles is over.” She took a breath, and I was hoping along with everyone else that she was finished, but no, she had one more shocker. “Not only that,” she said, “The Lord says there will be a plague of ants on the earth.”

There goes our church picnic at the park next week, I thought.

The Lord reminded me that day of the importance of elders, and I asked if any of them would like to reply. One of them shot to his feet and said that her prophecy did not line up with Scripture and quoted several places to show why. And, he said, there is no indication of a plague of ants happening right now or any time in the Bible.

God said to Jeremiah, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” God brought judgment on the shepherds who were not only not feeding their people, but who scattered the flock and poisoned them with false teaching. God said he would bring his sheep back to the fold, and said, “I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing.”

We hear it often today, and I repeat what I have written before. The people of God, many of them, have been scattered by no teaching or wrong teaching, and by no leadership or abusive leadership, and many have wandered for years and some have given up on the church altogether. That is not the answer. God did not tell his people in Jeremiah’s days that it was ok for them to be scattered and no longer cared for and no longer under authority. Neither does He say that today.

There are healthy churches that are led by healthy elders and populated with people who are growing in their love for God, for His Word, and for each other. Find those churches and become a member there. Submit to the elders and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And study the Word of God, which is true, so you will be able to identity error when a false teacher or prophet comes along.