|Mark 13:21-22 |
21 Then if any man says to you, 'Lo, here is Christ;' or 'lo, he is there;' do not believe him. ["The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil," (by George Fox). Turn inward.]
22 For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and show signs and wonders, to seduce even the elect, if it were possible.3 [Jesus said the false prophets in sheep's clothing would come. John said the antichrists and false apostles had come and had gone out from among them. Peter saw the false teachers had come. Paul saw the false apostles had come, and warned the brothers night and day for three years of more coming. And in Revelation, John saw where the whole world was to go after the false prophets and the false church, which occurred shortly afterwards. The false church is Revelation's whore of Babylon, riding the beast of many names, (41,000 sects in Christendom), with horns like a lamb [resembles the true church], but who speaks like a dragon, (men speaking from their carnal minds, which is enmity with God, and their vain opinions from their evil imaginations), instead of speaking words supplied by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus and the Apostles did.]
3 For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and show signs and wonders, to seduce even the elect, if it were possible. Many people think prophets only foretell the future, but Paul tells us, "he who prophesies speaks to men for edification, and exhortation, and comfort." 1 Cor 14:3. All preachers and teachers prophesy. The false church is Revelation's whore of Babylon, riding the beast of many names, (41,000 sects in Christendom), with horns like a lamb [resembles the true church], but who speaks like a dragon, (men speaking from their carnal minds, which is enmity with God, and their vain opinions from their evil imaginations), instead of speaking words supplied by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus and the Apostles did.
Including this verse's warning, the Lord is recorded as warning us three times about false Christian prophets, (ministers, evangelists, teachers), that perform miracles:
And in Revelation, we are told the spirits of demons would be working miracles. Rev 16:14; and the demons work miracles through men who put on a great show of being religious.
Power without truth is how the false church of Babylon was established. Do not be deceived with power accompanied by lies. Unless power is accompanied by the true gospel, (freedom from even the desire to sin, union with Christ and God, and translation into the kingdom of God while still on earth), through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial that results in Jesus appearing in your heart to destroy all sin, such power is from the devil and not God.
There are many "Christian" healing ministries with great show, great pomp, great words of vanity, and loud and raucous services; but you will know them by the fruits they obviously lack: self-control, peace, gentleness, humility, etc. Never accept any demonstration of power as necessarily coming from God. Remember Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian Magicians, who cast down their rods that turned into serpents, and who turned the waters of Egypt to blood. The miracle workers of Christendom, who preach the false gospel of instant grace as a license for excusing continuation of sin, or preach the gospel of prosperity, derive their power from Satan. However, the power of Satan is not limited to false Christian ministers; it is also frequently demonstrated in other religions.
Smith Wigglesworth of several years ago, (still highly praised by the Pentecostals), had a faith healing ministry where he slugged people in the stomach to heal them, saying he was slugging the devil in them, not them; one man he slugged so hard that he died, but of course the minister then raised him from the dead; you will know them by their fruits, and violence is not a fruit of the spirit, but gentleness is. A current televangelist, who is widely acclaimed and praised by the leadership of the Pentecostal movement, heals by slugging people, kicking people, and slamming people on the forehead, as he staggers around like a drunk shouting his message.
William Branham was a preacher who performed great miracles, died in a car crash in 1967, still has many dedicated followers today, and has been greatly lauded by Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders like Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, and Benny Hinn — all because of his ability to perform miracles. Branham had many prophecies, received from angels, including that the United States would be destroyed and Jesus would return in 1977. Branham was misogynistic, teaching a very negative message about women in general, while claiming that Eve had sex with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, which resulted in the birth of Cain and that Cain’s descendents are reprobates, the scientists, and educated people of today. His doctrine is totally false for:
Yet, because Branham had so many miracle healings across the world, some of followers visit his grave every Easter, expecting him to be resurrected.
The false church of Babylon shows great signs and wonders, to convince those who have not been taught by revelation in their hearts by the Spirit of God as to what is the true gospel, the true hope, love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, turmoil vs. peace, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, bitter vs. sweet. Since the elect have been taught by the Spirit in revelations, they see past the miracles of the false church and false prophets; which false prophets who live in sin, and excuse, life-long sin.
Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstration of power accompanied by lies.
There is a web page, How to Identify a Blind Guide or False Prophet, devoted to the doctrines of false prophets/blind guide preachers vs. true prophets/ministers to help you distinguish a true preacher/teacher from a false preacher/teacher.