Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins


Matthew 7:15 NKJV — “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

What does it mean to beware?

Beware means to be careful or to be on your guard–to watch out for someone or something.  The word sounds a warning.

False Prophets

The Bible has a lot to say about things and people of which we are to “beware.“  We are to be careful not to be covetous.  We are to be careful with regard to “leaven” or evil doctrine.  Leaven is the teaching of the false prophets and false teachers that arise among God’s people.  These prophet and teachers are energized by Satan to destroy the confidence and the reputations of real believers.  Some of those warnings are given below:

Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’ ” And the LORD said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jeremiah 14:13-14, NKJV)

“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24, NKJV) (Note: this will be fulfilled in its entirety after the rapture, but the present day seems to be ready to embrace the false today).

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1, NKJV)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1, NKJV)

How do we recognize and deal with False prophets?

The Lord gives us guidance.  He says, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:16-20 NKJV).

I am not quite sure how to be wise as serpents but I assume that means that we are to be a bit suspicious of people who want to be in control of others.  Satan and his angels first flatter and if that doesn’t work, they confront.  As children of God, we should be controlled by the Holy Spirit and we are told that the Holy Spirit will guide our defense of the Lord and the Gospel when ungodly men who claim to be religious leaders persecute us.  We who are saved are no match for the enemy who uses people who claim to be saved to weaken and destroy the true believer.

We are told that the US treasury department teaches people to recognize counterfeit currency by studying the real thing and not by studying the counterfeits.  In like manner, a person who has been walking with the Lord and who has been studying His Word in a prayerful way should know when they are being taught truth and when they are being led astray by those who claim to be speaking for the Lord.  The history of Christianity contains example after example of those who have used the Bible to control people.  They have burned witches at the stake (the Lord never did that).  So called Christians have burned Bibles, they have persecuted and even martyred those whose doctrines differed from theirs. They have used the Bible to justify crusades and other wars.  

So What Do we Do?

Today we can find authors and schools of thought that agree with our preconceived notions.  We can find those who believe that Christians are chosen to be saved rather than being chosen because they are saved.  We can find those who preach that eternal life is not eternal and that a person can lose their salvation.  Of course some of the Scriptures that they use deny the “backslider” the right to ever be saved again if they once believed and now have turned away from the faith. Of course those doctrines, though popular, are simply not true and a true believer knows that.  

Satan is a great adversary.  He is evil.  He operates as a subtle liar until that doesn’t work (flattery).  Then he confronts as a roaring lion.  He uses false prophets and false teachers in his war against the saints.  The only solution is to rely on the Holy Spirit when we are confronted and when Satan puts doubts in our minds (the fiery darts of the wicked one), and we need to get back to the simple truth of Scripture.

Yes, we need to beware because Satan is a great adversary, but our God is a great God and He has provided us a great Savior.  So let us be wise as serpents but harmless as doves.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the weeks of April 14 and 21, 2024

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