“Be aware of False Prophets” (Matthew 7:15)
January 1, 2021
In HIS Sermon on the Mount, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ warned the disciples to be aware of false prophets, comparing them to wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. HE said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bring forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bring not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that said to me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Mathew 7:15-23)
Lord Jesus further presents how the false Prophets will point to their miracles: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works?” As false prophets present their lies as truth; and their rules of life as godly ones, one must be wise to acknowledge their decisiveness. True prophets have spiritual gift in foretelling the future and are obedient to God, fearless exposure of human’s sins, profound meekness, love, strictness toward themselves and purity of life. They set for themselves the goal of drawing people to the Kingdom of Heaven and were the creative and unifying beginning of the life of their nation. (Matthew 7:22)
Matthew Henry in his commentaries said, “The prophecy first respects events near at hand, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish church and state, the calling of the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ’s kingdom in the world; but it also looks to the general judgment; and toward the close, points more particularly to the latter. What Christ here said to his disciples, tended more to promote caution than to satisfy their curiosity; more to prepare them for the events that should happen, than to give a distinct idea of the events. This is that good understanding of the times which all should covet, thence to infer what Israel ought to do. How our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace shall be made to hear the messengers of war. But where the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid. It is against the mind of Christ, that his people should have troubled hearts, even in troublous times. When we looked forward to the eternity of misery that is before the obstinate refusers of Christ and his gospel, we may truly say, The greatest earthly judgments are but the beginning of sorrows. It is comforting that some shall endure even to the end.”
True prophets of the Old Testament as Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisyius, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and others gratitude served God and die peacefully. God sent these prophets to direct the Hebrews onwards; there appeared at the same time a great number of false prophets amid them.
False prophets strive to weaken Holy Church deceiving laities with lack of faith; some might fail while others do not. Lord Jesus gives preference to the some as Prophets, preserving the truth and to the many lost: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” and He promises His faithful His Godly protection from spiritual wolves, saying: “And I will give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (Luke 12:32, John 10:28)
False prophets pretend to be faithful leaders in their outward appearance in a variety of ways, with different personalities and titles. They might also occupy a prominent position in religious ceremonies and may have learnt theology or have been theologians themselves. In all these cases, it would be wrong to view them as faithful leaders. We should not be so quick to judge their outward appearance.
False prophets can perform various acts of kindness and as similar. They do all kinds of good deeds to show their ability in performing miracles which later on can be said that their miracles are in the name of God and His glory. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13:15).
The world is traumatized by false prophets in the world and as Orthodox Christians, it is necessary to always avoid such temptations by keeping God’s words, regularly attending the Gospel, reading the bible and other Holy Scriptures. We need to protect ourselves and refute false prophets.
May God protect us from False Prophets; Amen!