Author: Dr. Rudy Davis, N.D.
Protecting ourselves from being deceived or misled by a false prophet would seem to me to be a pretty important thing for Christians to do, especially at this time in Earth’s history. So I have put together some guidelines which can be used for those who may be in doubt about whether or not someone could mislead them.
Would you go and listen to someone who had not so much as entered any of our denominational educational institutions? Could you safely follow the teachings of someone whom most church leaders had condemned?
These questions may seem rhetorical, but the answers given unveil the steadfastness or shakiness of the body of believers. What would you call someone who was fully capable of working but never had two pennies to rub together and depended upon the hospitality of others in order to have a place to stay?
If your answer to the first two questions was “no,” then if you had been living in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, you would have been one of those who rejected the Son of God, your Saviour. You see, Jesus had never even set foot inside any of the Rabbinical schools; neither had He received any instruction from church members. This is why it is written, “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned” (John 7:14-15).
This does not mean that education is a bad thing; education can be a very good thing. But education is not the standard of righteousness. Education is a good thing when the glory of God is the end goal. In the Rabbinical education, the glory of self was the end goal and we must be careful to avoid such goals in our pursuit of education.
Jesus was also condemned by church leaders who instructed the people not to follow Him. The Pharisees had sent soldiers to collect Jesus but they came back empty handed:
Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him (John 7:45-48)?
Before responding to any leadership direction it would be wise to study and see if the direction chosen coincides with the counsel given in the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy for then we can move ahead together with the assurance that God is with us.
Now if your answer to my third question was “A bum! A lazy no good!” then these may have been the words that you would have used to describe Jesus as He went from place to place with no home of His own and no money in His pocket. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). And do not forget what Jesus told Peter to do when he asked about the tribute money:
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee (Matthew 17:27).
When it comes to discerning whether something is true or false, we have a problem because as a rule, we are not taught how to learn but instead we are taught to repeat whatever is told to us in class so that we can get a passing grade. This is the model that we follow right through university. In following this model we set ourselves up to become hesitant to accept things which we have not been taught. As a result, we may only accept what we have been taught. We become lazy and depend on others to be our thought leaders; letting them do the thinking for us.
Now please do not get me wrong; I am not saying that we should not listen to leaders but all of us must be subject to the Word of God. The enemy of souls is ready to deceive at any unguarded moment. How many people who know their Bibles really well and have a very good working knowledge of the Spirit of Prophecy could be deceived by a false prophet? We must have church leadership but let us never forget that for the safety of our leaders and for the good of the church, leadership must be subject to the Word of God.
Remember the three questions that I asked at the beginning? I believe that if Jesus was to come back and go into any denomination and apply for a pastoral position, He would be turned down. He would not have the educational qualifications. If He was to just go and start His own ministry, many church leaders from all denominations would turn their congregations away from listening to Him and may even try to have the ministerial association shut Him down for trying to steal sheep.
But if you have been an ardent student of the Scriptures and you went to hear Christ with your Bible in hand, there is a very good possibility that you would identify Him as your Saviour for His sheep know His voice. We can listen to all who claim to have truth with an open mind, but not without an open Bible. “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Now as far as health practitioners go, the same principle applies; if they do not derive all of their principles from the Word of God then they cannot be trusted. If you are a child of God then you cannot go to those who have no understanding in the things of God and expect to receive true healing. When the teachings of science and medicine go against the Word of God we need to stay with the Word of God no matter how many degrees a person may have behind their name, because it would only be so many degrees of darkness unless God is their hope and trust.
In closing, we should never get in the habit of asking others if something is true or false before we have done some research for ourselves to see if what is being presented bears the divine credentials
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1 KJV).
When Jesus first came to this earth very few recognized Him as the Messiah, and the vast majority did not believe. When Satan impersonates the Second Advent very few will recognize him as Satan; the vast majority will believe that he is the Messiah. Make God your first and last Counsellor in all things because Satan will soon personate the Son of God. Will you be ready to discern him when almost everyone will tell you it is Jesus?