7. FALSE PROPHETS (Matt.7:15-23)

BACKGROUND: Prophets were individuals who proclaimed God's word to his people. We can apply the criteria of this passage to any person who stands in front of others claiming to proclaim the word of God, regardless of whether he/she is a pastor or a layperson.
  1. Try to find as many reasons as possible from this passage as to why it is difficult to tell a false prophet from a true one.
    • According to this passage, do false prophets act inside the church or outside it?
       
  2. What do you think a false prophet, who is in fact a wolf in sheep's clothing, actually does inside the church (vs.15)?
    • Do false teachers themselves know that they are wolves in sheep's clothing? Give your reasons.
    • What is the fruit by which you can tell if a prophet is true or false (verses 16-20)? Give some concrete examples.
       
  3. Where in our day do you hear such things happening as are described in verse 22 (prophecies, demon casting, miracles)?
    • What is Jesus criticizing those people, who even perform great miracles in his name, for (vs.22)?
    • By what yardstick must we evaluate those people who perform miracles in Christian churches?
       
  4. What do the false prophets consider to be the purpose of religion?
    • Imagine a person who is visiting only such meetings where miracles happen. What will still be lacking from his faith?
       
  5. What is the attitude of the false prophets towards sin (verses 21,23)?
    • Why don't false prophets realize themselves that they are evildoers?
       
  6. Think about the way the false prophets use Jesus' name. For what purpose do they not use it?
    • The leader may read Rom.10:13. What is the difference between false prophets and the people Paul is referring to in the above verse, regarding how the name of Jesus is used?
       
  7. How does Jesus get to know his own (vs.23)?
    • Why doesn't Jesus know these people who have performed great miracles in his name?
    • How can we know today whether Jesus will acknowledge us in the last day or not?
       
  8. What message do true prophets have for those who are sinners - losers - who have lost their happiness in this world- or who are facing death?
    • Whose duty is in our day it to warn Christians about false prophets?

GLAD TIDINGS: Satan can never be like the Lamb of God, Jesus, because he hasn't any wounds on his body. The problem with false prophets is that they don't admit their sins and, consequently, don't need the cross. That is why they never learn to know Jesus as their Savior.

2012 Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com