Be careful of false prophets!
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
The emergence of false prophets in our society is a growing trend. As the time goes by, a steadily increasing number of persons or organisations pop up on the Internet, through social media and other platforms, seeking to indoctrinate the weak, unsuspecting, and vulnerable souls with their 'false doctrines'.
Pastor Rodney Josephs agrees that the number of false prophets has increased over time and has cautioned against falling victims to such false prophesies.
He says it is not always easy to recognise false prophets because some will come across as humble and diligent, while others can be readily recognised. "Sometimes it will take time for these false prophets to be known. One thing that we can do is to know the word for ourselves and that will take much dedication. Even if you find yourself in a church, over time, you would have seen strange behaviours that are contrary to the word. The Bible says by their fruit you shall know them," said Josephs.
To guard against believing in false prophesies, Josephs explained that, "a sincere heart towards God, along with a peace of mind (the peace of God) will foster God's wisdom in you so that you will be able to guard your heart. When the peace of God dwells in you, wisdom will flow and when wisdom flows, you will be able to recognise the light. Philippians 4: 6-9 speaks to this. Verse 7 says, 'And the presence of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus'."
Grace is the unmerited favour of God. When one accepts God's grace, as the scripture declares in Titus 2, that the grace will teach us to deny ungodliness. The hand of Christ will allow for the Holy Spirit to dwell and give guidance," he told Family and Religion.
Josephs made reference to Paul, who after teaching the churches, warned the believers that false prophets will rise up among them. "Second Peter: 2 and 1 John: 4 tell us about them. They will be going out into the world. They will deny that Jesus is Lord and talk about another. The scriptures instruct us to try the spirit and if it is false, it will show. Mark 13:22 tell us that they will even show signs and wonders to seduce us, but they will be tested and tried. Again, by their fruit we shall know them. The sad fact is that many have already shown their true colours, but still have faithful followers."
Due to the widespread access to, and use of the Internet, several examples of false prophets have found their way into the main stream. A popular one that garnered much traction was where a Nigerian pastor is alleged to have got a prophesy for the congregation eat grass to be closer to God.
"It will not be easy, but the Bible tells us that they will be coming up against us. However, studying the Bible in-depth is one way of educating and empowering persons to have the knowledge to decide for themselves. Many people will and always be relying on another person's decision to make their own. That is also part of the reality.
The pastor has concurred that society is slowly losing its morals, values and attitudes so they are willing to believe in anything else once they stop believing in God. "I believe that certain behaviours we have started to accept in the Church are contributing to the breakdown in society. The scripture tells us that 'be not conformed to the world', but the Church is losing that fight,(which is) something we need to recover from," Josephs said.