Beware of false teachers, false leaders, and false prophets. This warning is found throughout the New Testament, from Jesus (Mt. 7:15) to Paul (2 Cor. 11:13). The warning is vital and must be taken seriously by the church. Currently, there are too many voices in the Kingdom of God through Facebook and other social media platforms. Many of those voices are false and are deceptive. Three churches in Revelation were in danger of assimilating into the world around them, mostly in religious activities. The threat came from false leaders (Rev. 2:1-7), false teachers (Rev. 2:12-17), and false prophets (Rev. 2:18-29). The church today must beware of these as well.
Jesus warned us about false leaders in the church. He said, "He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep" (John 10:12-13 NASB). In our culture, we honor anyone with a title. We tend to think that because someone calls themselves a pastor or a prophet, that is what they are. A genuine prophet of God does not need to proclaim that they are a prophet. The same is true for a real pastor. A false leader will lead people in the wrong direction. We better be careful about who we allow to guide us. Whatever you do, do not mistake false leaders for the real men and women of God who serve, love, and protect.
The Apostle Peter warned, "There will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them, the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed, they will exploit you with false words" (2 Peter 2:1b-3a NASB). Not only must we be careful about who we allow to lead us, but we must also be careful about who we allow to teach us. Peter, down to a tee, describes many of America's favorite preachers on television. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about sacrifice (John 3:16, Romans 5:8), not wealth, health, and prosperity. If any so-called preacher, teacher, or prophet can talk about anything without mentioning Christ, run away from their heresy. If a sermon or teaching is all about earthly possession, it opposes the call of Christ (Mt. 19:21). Don't you ever believe that because you get sick, you are not saved or lack faith. That is a lie from the enemy. Bad things happen to Godly people, and how we respond when bad things happen to us is what matters. We respond to sickness, poverty, tribulation, persecution, etc., with faithfulness to God, and He is glorified (John 12:27-28). Real teachers and preachers of the Gospel proclaim Christ and nothing else. Paul said, "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man (or woman) complete in Christ" (Colossians 1:28 NASB).
Finally, we must beware of false prophets and their phony messages. We must remember that prophecy is about edifying the church (1 Cor. 14:4). Prophecy will always inspire God's people and lead them closer to Him. In and around 2020, we heard plenty of false prophecies (yes, I said it!) from false prophets. To my knowledge, only one of those proclaiming those false messages apologized and resigned. Most of those "prophets" just "updated" their prophecies. For the record, Isaiah, Jeremiah, nor Ezekiel ever updated their prophetic messages. I was amazed at the people celebrating all those phony proclamations while none brought revival or improvement to the church. Jesus said, "Many false prophets will arise and mislead many" (Mt. 24:11 NASB). Many were misled by "prophetic" messages that had more to do with politics than Christ or His church. Christians were left in denial with anger in their hearts. We can easily see what false prophets are capable of.
I understand that some of you may not like what I have written, but I have shared the Truth from God's Word with you. I want you to remember the most crucial thing from everything I have shared. It is all about Christ! Any leader that fails to lead you toward Christ is a false leader. Any teacher who teaches anything besides Christ (even if it sounds good) is a false teacher. Any prophet who proclaims a message missing Christ or fails to lead you closer to Him is false. Do not fret; God still has faithful people to teach and lead His church. Make sure that you are following and listening to them. The American church is looking for the "antichrist," we have forgotten that the antichrist is already here (1 John 2:18) and is fueling many false leaders, teachers, and prophets to mislead "even the elect" (Mt. 24:24 NASB). Beware!