The most basic need a person has is revealed to us in Proverbs 19:22a, "What a man needs is unfailing love..." Whether a person realizes this or not, it is what the Scriptures teach us. But we know there is an issue that gets in the way of our having this love that does not fail. It's sin. So what can we do about that? God has set eternity in the hearts of men. We know we are seperate from Him, and we long to be with Him. But we find that the wages of our sin is death, or eternal seperation from Him. We know that we don't have that unfailing love.
But what if there was a way to change that? What if there was an answer? There is. And only one answer.
God chose to satisfy the demand of His justice and extend His unearned favor toward us through His Son Jesus.
Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself, the Creator of all things, chose to bear the penalty for your sins and for mine. He chose to remove what seperated us from Him. So He was crucified, not for His own sin, because He was sinless, but for our sin. He died and rose again from the dead on the third day by the Spirit of holiness. Romans 1:4, "who through he Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." You see, it is because of a person's sin that that person is held captive by death when he dies. But Jesus was able to rise from the dead because there was no sin in His own life by which death could hold Him.
He is waiting. He did it for you. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and the gift of life. And He will not turn you away. At the moment you ask Him, He will take away your sin (that by which death could hold you down), credit His righteousness to you so that you also will rise from the dead, adopt you as His child, seal you by His Holy Spirit, and give you the guarantee of eternal life. That's it. That's all you have to do. That's the only thing you can do. That's the simplicity of the Gospel.
This now brings me to the topic of this post: False Prophets and Their Motivation.
I can't say that I have dug real deep into the doctrines that some preach, whether religious or otherwise. But I can say that through study of the Scriptures (the Bible), I have found in Scripture some very basic common denominators concerning false prophets and false teachings.
When someone is in the business of finding those who create counterfeit money, they don't study all of the counterfeit currency out there to do this. They spend their time studying the real thing, and then what is counterfeit is noticable. Then they are able to track down the counterfeiters and prosecute them.
God prosecutes counterfeit teachers and those who pass counterfeit teachings as well. Without repentance, the sentence is far greater than what someone would receive for counterfeiting currency here. Paul says in Galatians 1:8, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned."
You see, in the Scriptures, specifically in the Apostolic letters, we are told about the simplicity of the Gospel and what a person needs to do to inherit eternal life. But in some religions and movements the teachings are different than what is taught in the Scriptures. Why are there some who are willing to preach falsehoods to others (false prophets) and to hold those who follow them captive to their false teachings? What is their motivation, and what is behind it?
Let's start with what, or who, is behind it. Jesus said in John 10:10a, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." The devil is the thief, who comes to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you. And the demons work for him.
1 Timothy 4:1 says, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith (the Apostolic teachings in the Apostolic letters) and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
So the false prophets abandon the sound doctrine of the simplicity of the Gospel found in the Apostolic letters and teach things taught by demons who are out to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you.
What is the motivation of these false prophets?
2 Peter 2:1-3a, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up."
So false prophets motiviated by greed will exploit you by teaching doctrines of demons who are out to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you.
How are demons able to destroy you? Galatians 1:8 and 9, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted (the gospel Paul is talking about here is the gospel taught in the Apostolic letters), let him be eternally condemned." Demons are able to destroy you by keeping the truth from you so that you will not submit to the gospel and be saved. By presenting a different gospel to you and making you feel and believe as if everything is okay, while you are presently under condemnation and don't realize it.
There is only one way to be saved, and that's Jesus' way. Through the simplicity of the Gospel taught in the Apostolic letters. A person cannot be saved from judgement by following a doctrine that is contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures. Whether a person follows the wrong way knowingly or unknowingly, the outcome is the same: eternal condemnation. Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
False prophets, whether religious or non-religious, by their greed seek to exploit you. And they use doctrines of demons to do so. Why? Because they can't exploit you by using the truth. Jesus said in John 8:31a, 32, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The truth will set you free, but with their lies they can put you into bondage and keep you there.
False teachers strive to get your money, and the devil strives to keep your soul. Jesus came to give you life, and life more abundantly. False teachers disregard the Scriptures, especially the Apostolic letters that tell there is good news for you, and keep you from the Scriptures as well. But you have a choice. Read the Apostolic letters for yourself. Ask Jesus to save you from judgement, and He will, keep your money and walk away from these false teachers.
How can we be sure we can rely on what the Scriptures say?
Hebrew 1:3, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by the power of His word." If Jesus' word had not been able to endure, all of creation would have ceased to exist. So, the one who sustains all of creation by the power of His word has also been able to keep the true gospel from being lost. He's holding you responsible to compare what you have heard with His word, the Scriptures.
What are some of the false teachings that contradict Scripture, the reliable Word of God?
1. Jesus is not God.
John 1:1a, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:14a, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us."
Romans 9:5, "Theirs (the Jews) are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry
of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen."
2. Jesus didn't create us and all of creation.
John 1:2, "Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made."
3. There are many ways to heaven and many who can get you there.
John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me."
4. You have to work or pay money to get into heaven.
Ephesians 2:8 and 9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast."
Romans 11:6, "And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer
5. There are those who are equal to God, or that Jesus is subservient to others.
Philippians 2:9-11, "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name
that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on
earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father."
And these are just a few.